We arrived at the meet location and though I was nervous, I was excited at the same time. We were meeting someone of some significance which may be the start of some sort of resolution, or the beginning of all-out war. There was a lot riding on this meeting, and I was more than a little surprised that I was even a part of it. Theo told me that if not for me, he wouldn’t have even tried to talk to him. He didn’t explain and what he meant, and it was clear he wasn’t going to until the time was right.
Theo dropped me off at the meet location, which was an old abandoned city park.
“If everything goes as planned I should be back in less than twenty minutes and well before their arrival. I have a few arrangements to make beforehand. Any questions?” Theo said.
“I have a hundred.” I said.
“Jacques should be her soon. Ask him, he loves questions.” Theo said.
“Funny.” I said as I got out of the car.
“Sit tight.” Theo said, and then he sped off on a mission.
I sat on an old splintered picnic table in the middle of the inner city park. The grass was overgrown, almost swallowing the few remaining swing sets and slides that were scattered about in no particular fashion. The basketball court was hardly even noticeable amid the shrubs and weeds. The hoopless backboards stood tall out the grass as a reminder how things once were.
I was alone with my thoughts, but not for long. I got an odd tingling feeling on the back of my neck that was unlike anything I had ever felt when I was human. It was only seconds later when I smelled them. This park was picked specifically for a number of reasons. One being that it was a secluded area surrounded by large vacant buildings. The other was that if anyone did see anything they would likely keep it to themselves. When you live in a place like this you get real good at minding your own business. The third was that if things turned deadly it would appear to be just more inner city violence and not a raging war of werewolves and vampires.
I was hardly surprised when I saw them making their way towards me. A white boy who looked like he just stepped out of a JcPenny catalog could not have been more conspicuous around here. I was hoping to avoid this.
Inner city youth are fairly good at sizing up their prey. Living in the ghetto is Darwinism at its core. The weak are preyed upon by the strong and ruthless and that’s just the way it is. A mistake in evaluating your victims could be costly. My previous self would not have lasted long in this environment, but unfortunately for them, I was no longer that person. I could only guess that the feeling I experienced before I seeing them was another of my gifts. An early warning sign of danger as it were. Humans have this ability as well, but it is far less acute and rarely do you listen to them when you should.
There were three of them, though they had split up the second they seen me. There was solo kid, who was approaching me, and the two others, who had circled to the other side of the park. It was obvious that the first was to distract me, so the others could get the drop. A move that I’m guessing worked for these guys numerous times. I knew I had to deal with this as quickly and quietly as possible before Theo and the others arrived. We did not want an audience or a commotion that would disrupt this meeting.
“Wussup dawg?” the approaching thug said. “You have the time?”
It’s either the time or do you have change? One to get your wallet out, the other your watch or phone, but both to distract from what was about to happen.
He was young looking black kid about eighteen, but tall and muscular. He was wearing a tight white tank-top with a Tiger’s cap. The other two were getting closer as well, one white, one Hispanic, but they were dressed in the same colors as the first. I couldn’t help but think of what a great politically correct poster of diversity they would make for inner city gang recruitment. It made me
“No time, sorry.” I said, not looking at him or acknowledging his presence. I also did not appear to be worried and I could tell this was confusing.
“Yo, everyone has the time. Check ya phone.” He said, now trying to sound a little tougher.
“No phone.” I said. Again with no emotion or eye contact
I knew at this point there was nothing I could possibly say to scare this kid, or change his mind about what he was going to do. Not with words anyway. He was committed. There was only one thing that was going to solve this equation.
I waited just long enough to let his friends get into a position I wanted them in, then I stood up facing him directly and looked him right in the eyes. He sized me up again and I could tell he misjudged his previous quick evaluation. He now saw that I was almost as tall as him, but my confidence and physical stature was more intimidating than he originally thought.
“The chubby white kid with the do-rag trying to sneak up on me is about to get injured.” I said.
His worried eyes drifted over my shoulder to his approaching friends. He knew something was off about me, but was unsure what to do about it.
With razor sharp precision and speed I circled behind the two thugs attempting to sneak up behind me and grabbed the fat kid by the neck.
Worked for Franklin.
He had just pulled a knife from his pocket, but before he could raise it I had his wrist and squeezed. It snapped and the knife fell to the ground. Then I broke his other arm before he finished yelling. I wanted him to have two reminders not to rob people
“Aaahh shiiit!” He yelled in agony.
The Hispanic kid was stunned, but before he could do anything stupid, I hit him on the side of his neck in the brachial nerve, which instantly knocked him unconscious. He crumpled to the ground like a puppet that had all the strings cut at the same time.
I directed my attention back to the one who approached me in the first place. He had a completely different look about him now, but to his credit he didn’t run.
“Listen to me young man. You and white Fat Albert here are going to pick up your friend and get as far away from this park and possible. Understand?” I said.
He nodded in stunned silence.
“It’s never too late to change your life.” I said, still looking at him, giving him my best sage-like stare. I may have over done the dramatics of it, but I couldn’t help myself. And who knows, maybe this bizarre and unreal experience would change his life in a positive way.
“Don’t just stand there crying Willie, grab DJ and let’s go.” The tall one said.
“My arms is broke, I can’t pick up shit.” He wailed.
The tall one ran over to the unconscious friend, threw him over his shoulder without complaint and started walking. Fast and deliberate.
“Come on fat-ass. Let’s go!”
He did as he was told and they scampered out of the park. The tall one dropped his friend a few times onto the cement, which apparently revived him back into consciousness. He was back on his feet, but not walking in a straight line. I couldn’t help but smile.
If anything good came out of the encounter it was that they might think twice about robbing anyone else, even if they look weak.
I waited another 15 minutes before Theo came back. He was now driving a new black Bentley. I had heard that he had one, but I had never seen it until now. It was something to see. Not the most inconspicuous set of wheels, but knowing Theo there was a reason he brought it.
He pulled up next to me and I got in.
“Any problems?” He asked.
“Nope. All quiet.”