The Harlem Knight

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Chapter 2

The next day, Valencia was in karate class about to receive her purple belt. “We have a student in this class who came along way in this class and has shown her great ability. At first she had extreme difficulty in this class, but after weeks of training she won our title last night as the best martial arts school on this side of New York City. It gives me great pleasure to present this purple belt to Valencia Landeros,” said the instructor to the class. Valencia walks up to the instructor and takes her purple belt as the class applauded. She and the instructor bowed down to each other.

Later that day, Valencia, her parents and little sister were sitting in the living room discussing her purple belt and the tournament she won. “Were very proud of you, Valencia. That’s a beautiful purple belt,” said her mother. “You worked very hard for that belt, mija,” said her father. “You took gymnastics and got four medals and took karate and got a purple belt. What’s next?,” said her sister. “Maybe I’ll take ballet,” said Valencia. The family laughed. “Every thug in New York City better look out. There’s a lethal weapon on the loose,” said Valencia. The family laughed again.

The next afternoon, Valencia, Anna and Pedro were sitting at a picnic table at a park. “I’m surprised that you two have got away this far with spending time with me,” said Pedro. “Are you afraid of getting caught?,” he asked. “Nah, that girl better watch out, because my home girl here got her purple belt yesterday,” said Anna. “That’s great! They don’t have a chance with you,” said Pedro. “Don’t worry, Valencia, I’m gonna help you fight if those girls bother us again,” said Anna. The rough-looking girl and her two friends are walking up to the three. Valencia looks straight ahead, sees the girls approaching and said, “You know Anna, you might have to sooner that you think,” said Valencia. “Don’t worry, I got your back, girl,” said Anna as she and Valencia get up from the picnic table and walk into the path of the girls. “Oh brother, I hope there’s no guns, knives or blood splattering,” said Pedro to himself. The three girls walk up to Valencia and Anna. “I warned you two cows to stay away from him and you thought I was frontin,’ ” said the lead girl. “We don’t care what you say, Pedro’s our friend we’ll hang with him anytime we want and if you don’t like it, that’s too bad and plus you don’t tell us who we can or can not hang with, you scrub,” said Anna. “Yeah and why don’t you and your hoochie-dressing friends get out of here,” said Valencia. “Well since you three like hanging out together, let’s see if Pedro here wants to hang out with you in the hospital,” said the lead girl as she and her two friends charge at the girls. Valencia side kicks the lead girl across the face and makes her fall down. Anna punches the second girl across the face and makes her fall down. Valencia punches the third girl in the stomach and pushes her down with her foot. The lead girl gets up charges at Valencia, takes a swing at her, she ducks, grabs her arm and flips her on her back. The second girl gets up, charges at Anna, Anna punches her across the face, knees her four times in the stomach and punches her as hard as she can in her face again and the girl falls to the ground unconscious. The third girl grabs Anna from behind and struggle to break loose from the girl’s arms. The lead girl gets up, charges at Valencia, Valencia side kicks the girl in the stomach, gives her a karate chop to the side of her face and the girl falls to the ground unconscious. Anna gets loose, elbows and socks the girl in the stomach six times with both fists, punches her across the face and she falls to the ground unconscious. All three girls were knocked out cold. “You girls are the bomb. You’re good! You’re better than Chuck Norris,” said Pedro. “You could’ve helped us,” said Valencia. “I can’t hit girls,” said Pedro. “You’re such a gentlemen,” said Anna. Valencia noticed a vine hanging from the tree next to the picnic table. “Pedro, pull that vine out of that tree,” said Valencia pointing to the tree.

Moments later, the three bad girls are tied up in a bundle with the vine and hanging six feet off the ground from a basketball hoop. “Wake up, you jacked up Barbie dolls,” yelled Valencia. The three girls open their eyes half way moaning and groaning in pain. “You girls listen and you listen good. We’re gonna hang out with Pedro anytime we want and there’s nothing you can do about it. He don’t like you and don’t plan on ever being with you nasty dogs. You better leave us alone or next time you’ll be hanging from the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River,” yelled Valencia. “Yeah and if I want any of your boyfriends, believe me I’ll take them all and next time you bother us again, you gonna get jacked up again, but only worse. You’ll need Blue Cross, New York Life, Met, Doogie Howser, Red Cross and whole entire medical board of New York City just to put you back together again,” yelled Anna. “Just get it through your heads, I don’t like none of you abuelitas. I never did and I’ll never will,” said Pedro. Valencia, Anna and Pedro walk off the basketball court. “You girls were great. I can always rely on your for protection,” said Pedro. “We did all the work and you didn’t do nothin.’ If somebody be jackin’ with you, you better protect yourself,” mocked Anna. “He expects us to fight for him and he wouldn’t help us,” mocked Valencia. “He doesn’t hit girls even if they’re dangerous,” mocked Anna. “He’s all heart which means he’ll never protect us from a girl,” mocked Anna.

November 2020

Valencia and Anna are now fifteen and sophomores in high school. At lunch time, Pedro is sitting at a table in the cafeteria reading a lowrider magazine. Anna walks up to the table along side him. “Hi Pedro!,” said Anna. Pedro looks up and says, “Hi Anna!” and looks back down at his magazine. “Do you mind if I sit with you?,” asked Anna. “Not at all! Sit down,” said Pedro. Anna sits next to him. “Can I look on with you?,” asked Anna. “No problem, be my guest,” said Pedro. Anna leaned on him, puts her hand on his shoulder and the other one on his arm and looks at his magazine with him. “That’s a nice car. Huh?,” said Pedro about a picture of a ’57 red Chevy in the magazine. “Yeah it is,” said Anna. “Wouldn’t it be nice if me and you were cruising in that car?,” asked Anna. “Well…..yeah, it would be,” said Pedro nervously. “Where’s Valencia?,” he asked. “I don’t know, she probably stayed after class. Just think about it. We’re at Central Park, parked in front of a moon-star lit river on a mid-summer night with a full moon and a Milky Way in the sky. Doesn’t that sound romantic to you, papi,” said Anna. “Uhhhh! Uhhhh! Yeah, it does,” said Pedro nervously. “Isn’t it getting hot in here?,” he asked nervously. “No, I’m cool, papi,” said Anna and she blows in his ear. “Uhhhh!,” said Pedro nervously. “Well! Well! Well! If it ain’t Beauty and the Beastess,” said Valencia standing in front of table. “Valencia, sit down and join us,” said Pedro. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” said Valencia. “Oh no! Please sit down!,” said Pedro. “You shy boy,” Anna said to Pedro. “Homewrecker!,” she said nastily to Valencia.

After school, Valencia and Anna are walking home from school. “You’re sure a very very very friendly person. Aren’t you?,” asked Valencia. “What are you talking about?,” asked Anna. “I’m talking about you flirting with Pedro today in the cafeteria,” said Valencia. “Oh! Now you wouldn’t be jealous?,” asked Anna. “No, more like disgusted. You flirt with ever guy friend we’re around,” said Valencia. “You knew I always liked Pedro and I made it clear that time when those three girls threatened us for being around him,” said Anna. “You act too crazy just to make a guy like you. Just act cool and let a guy ask you out on a date,” said Anna. “That’s always been a problem for me. All kind of guys have asked you out, but only a few have asked me and it being the twenty-first century, I have to be a liberated woman and take a stand,” said Anna. “What do you mean?,” asked Valencia. “If I want something bad enough, I should do whatever it takes to get it. Meaning, if I like a guy that doesn’t notice me, I got to make the first move,” said Anna. “Flirting is not the respectable way of getting a guy to like you, just ask him out like a lady,” said Valencia. All of a sudden, a man flies through the glass of a window of a convenience store and lands on the sidewalk right in front of the girls. “You cut in front of me in line again, essay, I’ll throw you through the ceiling,” yelled a man out of the shattered window at the man who is laying on the sidewalk. The girls look at the situation in shock.

Valencia and Anna came home. They walk into Valencia’s apartment talking about what they saw. “That was a trip. That guy’s crazy, throwing a guy through a window just because he cutted in front of him in line,” said Anna. “If we were in the store and saw what happened, maybe he had a good reason for doing that,” said Valencia. “I don’t think that was necessary, it’s not like the guy put his hands on him,” said Anna. “People are crazy in this world today. It was wrong for that guy to throw that guy through that window,” said Valencia. “Why were you condoning what happened then?,” asked Anna. “You’re right, maybe nothing more did happen like I anticipated,” said Valencia.

The guy getting thrown through the window wasn’t the only wild behavior going on in Harlem. There was an uncontrollable crime wave going on. Here are some sequences of what happened.

1. Some gang members were sitting all over a picnic table at a park just laughing, talking, drinking and smoking. All of a sudden a car speeds by with a guy shooting an uzi out of the window. The gang members pull out their guns and fired at the car. One of the members gets shot and fall down.

2. At a pool hall, a group of guys are playing a game of pool, then they get into an argument about how the game is played, then one guy hits another with a cue stick. One thing leads to another and then every one is fighting in the pool hall. People are getting thrown, landing on tables, breaking the furniture, cracked over the head with bottles and punched.

3. A guy walks up to his car, he pulls out his remote control, pushes the button to disarm the alarm, all of a sudden the car blows up. The explosion throws the man across the street.

4. Two masked men entered a convenience store, they point their guns at the clerk and yelling at him to empty the register. The clerk opens the register and takes the money out as fast as he can.

5. A guy was on a street corner, a car pulls up, the man walks up to it and makes a drug transaction with the driver. A bag of rock cocaine and some dollar bills exchanges their hands and the car takes off.

Two weeks later, Valencia and Anna are in the kitchen looking at some newspapers. “This is terrible. All these crimes in town,” said Valencia. “What is this world coming to?,” asked Anna rhetorically. “A gang shooting at the park and two members died and one wounded,” said the Valencia. “There was a fight at Savio’s Bar & Billiards. Some people were in comas, some were seriously injured and there are some still in the hospital today on life support,” said Anna. “What about that car that got blown up around the corner. They found the owner of it laying across the street burned real bad,” said Valencia. “Armando’s Mini Mart got robbed too. The clerk went into shock and had a heart attack after the robbers left,” said Anna. “I’m surprise they haven’t killed a guy for being gay, yet,” said Valencia. “How close can these crimes get to us?,” asked Anna. All of a sudden, the girl’s heard a woman screaming in the hallway. “What’s that?,” asked Valencia. “Somebody’s in trouble,” said Anna. They run to the front door, open it and see a man pulling a woman by the hair keeping her from running away. The girls stepped into the hallway. “HEY! STOP IT!,” yelled Valencia. “LEAVE HER ALONE, PENDEJO!” yelled Anna. The man stops, walks up to the girls and yelled, “Get back in there before the same happens to you. This ain’t none of you’re business.” “Why don’t you get out of here and leave her alone,” yelled Valencia. “That ain’t no way to treat a woman. Do you treat your mama like that?,” yelled Anna. The man gets madder and tries to grab at her. Valencia pushes the man back, sidekicks him in the stomach, he flies and crashes into the wall and slide to the floor. He gets up, run up to the girls, Valencia jabs the man in the face, knees him in the stomach and flips him on the ground by the arm. The man staggers up in pain, Valencia does a spiral kick to the man’s face, the force crashes the man’s face into the wall, he falls down unconscious. “Anna, call the police, quick,” said Valencia. Anna went back into the apartment to call the police. Valencia walks up to the crying woman and hugs her. “What happened?,” she asked. “We had an argument, he got real mad and slapped me four times and I ran out of my apartment, he chased me and caught me and was pulling my hair to keep me from leaving,” cried the woman. “I’m sorry to hear that,” said Valencia as she hugs the woman again. “Is he you’re husband?,” she asked. “Yes, he is. Thank you for helping me,” cried the woman. “You’re welcome! It’s no problem,” said Valencia and kisses the woman on the forehead.

Ten minutes later, the police is in the hallway asking questions and investigating and the paramedics was strapping the man to a gurney and they carry him away. “Thank you for your cooperation. He will be charged with assault and battery and go to jail after he’s released from the hospital,” said the officer to the battered woman. “Will you be OK, mam? Can we take you to a friend or a relatives house?,” asked the other officer. “No, I’m OK! Thank you for everything,” said the woman. “Good bye, we’ll see you later,” said the first officer as him and his partner walk off. “Good bye! Thank you!,” said Valencia. “If you need anything just come right over or you can come to her house too,” she said. “I live in 1G around the corner,” said Anna pointing in the direction of her apartment. “Where do you live?,” she asked. “I live in 1C at the end of the hall,” said the woman. “I better go now, I left my door open. Thank you,” said the woman and she walks away. “Come by if you need anything,” said Valencia. The girls walk into the apartment. “This is how close the crime will get to us, just like you asked,” said Anna. “There’s something we need to do,” said Valencia. “Like what?,” asked Anna. “I don’t know, yet,” said Valencia.

That night, Valencia is sitting in her room looking at a comic book. “Batman punched Killer Croc in the face, he flew through the four story window, fell to the ground on his back into a coma. Batman lowers himself down to the ground with his grappling hook, rushes over to Croc, puts his fingers on his neck to check his vital signs. His pulse was very slow,” read Valencia the narrations in the comic strips. “If that was a real person falling four stories, he would die instantly,” she said to herself. She hears a siren outside. “After what I saw happened in the hallway today and reading this book and hearing that siren, there’s something I have to do. The crime is getting too close,” she said to herself.

The next day, Valencia figures out a way to solve the crime wave in Harlem. Here are some sequences of what happened.

1. Valencia goes to a fabric store and shops for some black and purple spandex material.

2. She comes home and starts measuring a pair of her pants and a long sleeve shirt and wrote down every single measurement in a notebook.

3. She starts cutting and tailoring the spandex material on her sewing machine.

4. She then measures her head and here hands and writes the measurements down in her notebook.

5. Valencia goes back to work on her sewing machine.

The next day, she goes into a screen arts studio wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses to hide her identity. She shows the artists the picture of a knight’s helmet with a yellow background. She shows him the spandex material and tells him what she wants done.

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