Friday, August 11, 2017

Street Warriors

Kristen Miranda’s legs felt like they had blocks of cement tied to them. Running for that long in knee-high leather boots would do that to a skinny girl like her. The boots were a nice compliment to her black hoodie, black Pantera halter top, and black mini skirt with fishnet stockings. The mascara would have been a nice touch if she hadn’t spent the last hour with tears streaking down her innocent face. Her makeup looked messier than an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Her black lipstick dried out from all of the huffing and puffing she did.

Kristen wondered exactly how long she had been running away from home. She could still feel the sting of her parents grabbing her arms tightly as they argued relentlessly. What the hell were they fighting about? Did it matter? She was finally free in the outskirts of Paulson City, though dark red skies, graffiti-covered walls, and dumpster fires didn’t look a whole lot like freedom. The stern look on her previously crying face gave the impression that these greasy hobos would be better company than her parents any day of the week.

Most of these trench-coat and newspaper wearing folk were already asleep by the time Kristen reached the encampment (out of sheer luck). Their machinegun snores filled the air as did their whiskey burps and green-clouded farts. Kristen held her nose while gently treading across the garbage can fires. She rubbed her sore arms vigorously as if that would stop the chill.

She spotted an unattended dumpster fire next to a chain link fence and rushed over to hold her hands to the flames. Chills of warmth and sadness surged through her body. How would she survive out here on the streets? She only had a pocketful of one dollar bills and some spare quarters. There was a donut shop around the corner from here, but a Bavarian cream-filled pastry would only last her for so long. She sighed as her stomach rumbled like grinding machinery.

The gothic teen snapped out of her trance and gasped deeply when she felt a hand even stronger than her parents grab her by the arm. The strength at which this man squeezed was reminiscent of a blood pressure cuff and left purple impressions on her bicep. Kristen gazed at this man in wide-eyed horror while weakly trying to pull away from his grasp. Like the other hobos, he had a filthy gray trench coat, little underneath, and newspaper shoes. Why he was wearing a demonic clown mask with horns and a rainbow wig was a mystery in and of itself.

“Shouldn’t you be at home playing with Barbies and blowing your boyfriend?” asked the clown in a gravelly voice. “This is not your territory, bitch. This place ain’t no rave party.”

“P…please, sir!” stuttered Kristen. “I don’t have anywhere else to go! I just need a place to sleep tonight and then I’ll leave, I promise!”

“Sleep? You want a place to sleep?!” grimaced the clown, sending tremors throughout his victim’s body. “I wish I had a place to sleep other than this dumpster fire. I used to have a nice warm bed with lots to eat and a woman to snuggle with. And then do you know what happened?” With teary eyes, Kristen shook her head. “The bitch took it all from me!” shouted the clown, prompting even more tears from the teenaged girl. “In fact, you kind of look like her with those pretty brown eyes and black sexy hair.” The clown took a big sniff of Kristen’s hair. “Yeah, she used that same shampoo. Oh, I’m going to have some serious fun with you tonight!”

Kristen slapped the clown with her free hand, but it barely fazed him and only put an evil grin on his face. The clown grabbed the teen by her throat and bull rushed her against the chain link face. She tried to yell, but only gagging sounds and red spit came out. The clown quickly cuffed her hands to the fence and shoved a ball gag in her mouth the shape of a cheeseburger. While the teen moaned through her gag, the clown said, “You want to eat so badly? Choke on that, you slutty bitch!”

The clown’s ghostly laughter was silenced by an Indian-accent shouting, “Hey, Crackers!” The teen and her captor stared saucer-eyed at a hobo with torn sweat pants, newspaper shoes, and a dirty white turban, who could be seen carrying a wooden plank wrapped in razor wire. “That girl doesn’t belong to you!” he said. “You owe me for that box of donuts I gave you! If anybody’s taking that bitch’s cherry, it’s me!”

Kristen screamed through her foul-tasting gag and prompted Crackers to yell, “Shut up!” and slap her across the face. Tears flooded from Kristen’s eyes and burned the now open wound.

Crackers folded his arms and said to his rival, “Samir, I don’t owe you a goddamn thing. If you didn’t give me that box of donuts, I would have smashed your fucking face in and taken them from you. Are you new to this shit or something? You know how this works!”

“You better hand over that hot piece of ass or I’m shoving this plank up yours!” threatened Samir while he held his weapon high in the air.

“Oh, you want to go? You want to do this right now? Let’s go, bitch!” shouted Crackers as he threw his trench coat down and revealed bloody polka dot pants underneath.

Kristen watched the fight unfold with a sore jaw, sore cheeks, a whimpering voice, and hazy eyes. For every fist Crackers threw, for every swing of Samir’s plank, the gothic teen struggled in vain to jerk herself free from the handcuffs. The two combatants’ attacks missed wildly due to their initial drunkenness, but Samir was finally able to bury his plank into Crackers’ thigh, earning a wild scream from both him and Kristen in the process.

Despite the bleeding, Crackers yanked the 2 X 4 out of his leg and broke it over his good knee, earning more cuts in the process (he was too drunk to care). He then threw rapid fire punches Samir’s way and ended up punching the cage and various dumpster fires as he missed. Samir picked up a trash can lid off the ground and smashed it across Crackers’ face. The demonic clown no-sold that blow and head butted the Indian for his efforts, knocking the turban off his greasy scalp and sending him crashing to the ground.

Kristen continued to struggle and scream while Crackers hoisted Samir up by his neck and attempted to throw him into a nearby dumpster fire. The Indian braced himself by shoving against the metal structure with his feet. Just when he was getting forced closer to the flame, he reached down for another wooden plank, lit it on fire, and smashed it across Crackers’ face. Once again, the clown no-sold the offence despite the ashes forming on his cheeks.

With a wicked smile on his face, Crackers grabbed Samir by the armpits and tossed him against the chain link fence. The clown then grinded the Indian’s face against the wire and opened some massive cuts, even managing to pop one of his eyeballs and break some of the fencing.

Seeing how easily the fence broke under Crackers’ violent force gave Kristen the confidence to struggle harder. This time she pressed against the cage using her boots and grinded her metal studs across the wire. She even used the studs on her novelty gag to shred the wires even more.

Every time she saw Samir’s blood fly across the cage, Kristen missed her family more and more. Her parents could be a pain in the ass, but they were nowhere close to being as violent or psychotic as these two street warriors. How she longed for the taste of mother’s cooking. How she loved bullshitting with her father about classic rock bands they both loved. How she missed petting her dog across the back and feeling fluff and love. Each of these images and more fueled her passionate struggle against the fence. She heard a wire snap and struggled harder. She heard another one snap. And another. And another.

Her efforts were halted by Crackers grabbing her hair and yanking her head backwards. As Kristen breathed heavily through her nose, the clown said, “Nobody’s coming to save you, you dumb bitch! Not your parents, not the police, not even nacho nuts over there!”

Despite looking like a cross between a horror movie victim and a slaughterhouse cow with his splattered blood and popped eyeball, Samir managed to pick up a piece of broken razor wire and slam it against Crackers’ wrist (the rapid bleeding took away some of his equilibrium). This time Crackers sold it like a champ since his wound was juicier than a spilled soda truck.

What Samir unwittingly did in the process was slash the chain on Kristen’s handcuffs and allow her to jerk free from the cage. With nothing but adrenaline and a tearful love for her family, Kristen unfastened her cuffs and cheeseburger gag before bolting out of the hobo hideout with demonic swearing behind her. She didn’t care if running away from home made her exhausted. Running back home was sure to put her in a coma, but she ignored her burning pain and sprinted like a motherfucker.

Her legs felt like liquid shit. Her face felt like gonorrhea piss. Her ribs felt more crushed than Samir’s bloody eye. Yet she ran screaming and never looked back. She didn’t care about being covered in darkness. She didn’t care about the red sky polluted with industrial filth. She cared less about the car pulling up to her on the street potentially being filled with bad guys. She threw the back door open and leapt inside while screaming, “Go, go, go!” The car pulled away in a big fucking hurry, leaving skid marks underneath its tires.

Despite having gelatinous green fluid in her nose from crying so much, Kristen detected the familiar scents of a pine tree air freshener and old leather seats. She was in her parents’ car. They actually went out to find her. While Mr. Miranda was busy speeding away from the scene, Mrs. Miranda reached behind her shotgun seat and hugged her daughter tightly while showering her with kisses. “Don’t ever run away from us again, Kristen! We love you! We love you forever!”

“I love you too, Mom!” sobbed Kristen. While she and her mom continued hugging it out, Mr. Miranda turned on the radio and played “Pigs On the Wing” by Pink Floyd, a love song with no hint of shallowness or perversion. Oh, how good it felt to hear “old people music” again. Kristen couldn’t help but smile through her tears at the sound of such a familiar tune. She was finally going home to a warm bed that didn’t feel anything remotely like a dumpster fire. Crackers and Samir could bleed each other dry for all she cared. It was over now. It was all over.

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