I peek my head around the alleyway corner. I know I'm not supposed to be here, but I need to see what Yamma does each night, and why he hides in that shed during the day. He tells me he goes to his job, but I know my older brother hasn't done an honest days work in his life. And no night job pays the kind of money he brings home.
The crowd is gigantic, but I know my brother is here. I weave my way through, being careful not to be noticed. The people crowd chant something, and when I get to the center of the crowd, my heart drops to the floor.
I see Yamma on a mat, holding a remote control, that controls the movement of a fighter bot. And he uses his bot to destroy The other bot, belonging to a girl with pink pigtails. A roar erupts from the crowds and money is passed from one person to the next. A skinny woman comes out with a flowered dish and red parasol.
" And The Winner!, by To-tal ani-o-la-tion, YAMMA!" She lifts the top of the dish, and Yamma takes the money out from the dish, and stuffs it in his shirt. Ew! I just find out why the money is damp in the morning!
My head spins. I know my older brother is a jerky knucklehead, but bot fighting! That's illegal! My hand finds its way into my sweatshirt pocket, where my fingers find some spare dollars that I was going to spend on bus fare. But this is more important.
I escape through the warmth of the crowd, and find myself shivering in the alleyway. My eyes find the payphone I was looking for. I blink tears from my eyes. Am I brave enough to stand up to my older brother? I hear his voice in my head. Nobody likes a tattle tale, Kayla. But I can do this. I dial 911 into the payphone.
"911 what's your emergency?" The woman on the other line answers, with a no-nonsense voice.
" I neeeeedddd ttttooo rrreeepport aa bboot ffigght." I stutter.
" You have nothing to worry about, now what is it?". She reassures. I take a deep breath.
" I neeeeed to report a bot fight." I tell the police woman, calmer than before.
" Alright, where is it, and what's your name?" She asks, in a serious tone.
" In an alleyway behind the CVS on Regan Road. And I'm Kayla" I inform her.
" We'll have someone on the scene as soon as we can." Then she hangs up. I walk up to the CVS, sit on a bench, and wait. Someone needs to be there when the cops arrive to show them where the bot fight is.
I wait in silence, thinking about what I've just done. How will Yamma react? I remember the last time I walked in on him in the shed, and how 'forgiving' he was after he pushed his work away. I can still feel his arms gripping around my shoulder, digging into me, throwing me out. I still have the bruise from where I hit the ground. I hear a loud roar from the crowd at the bot fight. What's going on? Are they leaving? I get up and run down the alley. But the crowd moves toward me at a faster rate, almost trampling me. I hear the police sirens, and I feel better. But as I see
what behind the corner, I gasp.
I see Yamma, pushing a boy my age up against the wall, with some other men behind him. Anger bubbles up inside of me.
" WHY DON'T YOU PICK ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE!" I scream. Yamma, his minions, and the boy look at me.
" What are you doing here Kayla?" My brother asks in his deep,scratchy, voice.
" Visiting you at work." I replie, a sudden confidence filling me.
" Go home, Kayla. You don't belong here." He orders me.
" So your minions can beat that boy to a pulp?" I ask.
" You don't know what he did to deserve this." He snarls as me, letting the boy go. He whispers something to his minions and walks right past me.
" Hey fellas. Lets talk about this." The boy nervously laughs. I run in front of him.
" Don't touch him." I tell Yamma's minions. They give me a snarky giggle.
" You your turn?" The head minion asks.
" I've done more wrong in your eyes!" I tell him. "You really shouldn't hold your bot fight next to a payphone that can call the police. I turn to face the boy, but before I can give him a reassuring smile, his face turns the color of paper. " Don't be scared, the police will come and sort everything out."
" Well it's time for a change of plan." The Head minion tells the others. A feeling of fear creeps into my body. What have I done? I start to run, but the head minion tackles me down before I can get away. My head hits a robot, and I plunge into a sea of darkness.