Day 2: A Meeting
Later in the evening, Gar and Charles called their other friends in order to hold a short meeting under the moonlit sky. There was a cool easterly wind that granted them respite from the humidity of the tropics.
They were all sitting under the craggy, thin guava tree in Charles’s garden and everyone brought dirt-cheap chips made of corn, as well as mixed nuts and cornicks and ice pops for refreshments.
“Now, what’s the plan for this fight?” asked Luis.
“Who are we taking?” followed Charles.
“We have Tom, Berto, Aldrin, Michael and Jun with us. Richie is into this too. Aries and Luis are brothers; they surely want to have a chance to beat Joey’s posse. Then we got you Charles. Nando, Harris and Dennis are coming too. That makes a total of 12,” mentioned Gar.
“So two groups?” asked Richie.
“No, three,” Charles thought that if they could divide themselves into three patrols, they can cover both roads leading to their neighborhood. “It would be enough to cover everything.”
“Any chance of getting Purok 3 on our side?” asked Tom. Purok 3 was the other neighborhood that was situated next to them.
Charles gave a curt reply to that question.
The youngsters of Purok 2 and 3 always had fights with each other. There was a time when Purok 1 felt confident enough in their numbers and went to try to invade Purok 3; those were the only times that they set aside their differences and fought together on one side as Charles and his friends always rushed to help their erstwhile rivals.
Of course, after they’re done barely beating the Alley Boys, they always went back to their old ways.
Luis said, “Hey, if we can get Toto and his group with us, we’ll be stronger!”
After a pause, Charles explained the plan of the upcoming gang battle to his friends. He was certain that if they planned well, they could beat their rivals quite easily.
Charles drew a map on the soil with his finger. His friends could barely see it.
Richie immediately noticed it.
“We couldn’t see what you’re drawing, are you drawing a stick man or what?”
Tom gave Charles a short twig. The latter continued his makeshift presentation.
“Okay brads, Group 1, headed by myself, will try to draw their fire and run at them. We will come from the main road. We will have short swords and shields. After all, those people have the numbers and the slingshots to boot.”
Everyone listened intently, as if their lives depended on it.
“Group 2, under Tom, will support and attempt to fight them from another road, the area near the cogon grass and acacia trees. They will carry slingshots and provide lots of shooting. Group 3, under Gar, will come late as backup and crush them when they’re tired. They’ll do the punching.”
After catching his breath, Charles concluded his statements.
“This is the only way that we could win this one. Any other questions?”
“Hey, what do we call our gang?” asked Nando.
Everyone was surprised at the question.
“We should call it the Batista Gangsters,” said Gar.
“No, we must name it the Meat Grabbers,” said Jun.
Michael just looked at them with a very disappointed expression. Gar asked what was wrong with his brother.
The younger brother looked around and pointed out something.
“You all miss the point. Why don’t we call ourselves Street Eaters? After all, we are supposed to eat them alive and take back our streets, right?”
“Yes, that’s right!” shouted Richie.
All of the other kids just gave Michael a silent look. Afterwards, Gar raised his hand, a way to grab everyone’s attention.
“Let’s call ourselves the Street Eaters.”
Soon, everyone raised their hand in agreement.
“So, we are the Street Eaters now?” asked Charles.
“Looks like it,” muttered Tom under his breath.
After a few more awkward moments of silence, the newly-minted Street Eaters all went to the comfort of their respective homes.