Two Broke Girls
From the aerial vantage point of a pigeon flying above 45th St. in Chelsea in Manhattan, watching people walking up and down the street, two people in particular walking side by side and headed east. The bird didn’t know or care whether or not people called this part of town Chelsea or Hell’s Kitchen.
“So at least we managed to get the rent and the bills paid. I have to find a job before we get behind on everything.” said one of the people below.
“You had a job. How do you get fired from dancing at Scores anyway?” was the question in reply.
“Beating up on Russian mobster customers will do it every time.” being the counter reply, and the start of their banter.
“How did all that get started anyway?” was the next question.
The horn of a passing taxicab sounded, and a bike messenger veered out of its way. The girls like most of the people being New Yorkers, didn’t acknowledge the horn. Like the tourists did.
“So listen, he says to me “What would it take for you to spend the night with me?” And then I say to him “Duct tape and an abandoned warehouse.” But then he gets a little too grabby.” was the answer.
“What’s a little too grabby? You’re a stripper for crying out loud.” in reply.
“His fingers didn’t understand where they didn’t belong.” in reply to the reply.
“Yeah, that could be a problem.” reply accepted.
From the bird’s eye view, two girls, a petite redhead and a shapely brunette headed east on 45th as they passed the Imperial Theatre and the Marriott Marquis. Alexis Zimmerman is the redhead and Tonya McLain the brunette.
“So how are things at the Midtown Lounge?” asked Tonya.
“The tips are OK, and my boss grabs my ass.” answered Alexis.
“So quit.” Tonya said.
“Why? I like it when he grabs my ass.” Alexis said in response.
“But aren’t you already sleeping with a customer?” asked Tonya.
“Yeah, and I love the way he tips and grabs my ass, too.” Alexis answered with a smile.
The two girls turned south on 7th Ave. A sea of Yellow Cabs flowed slowly with the congested traffic made worse by the heavy migration of pedestrians. A police car stood at the curb, seemingly oblivious to the tangled mess of cars and people.
“Are we going to have to go on the run from the Russian mob? I mean, are they going to kick our door in and kill us in our sleep?” Alexis asked, concerned for their wellbeing.
“Please, Vasily wouldn’t have the balls. His brother Anitoli would, but not him.” answered Tonya.
“Vaseline and Cantelone had better just stay away from us. I’ve got my self-protection right in my purse, and you’ve already kicked Vaseline’s ass with your Tae Bo.” Alexis quipped.
“You mean Vasily, Anitoli, and Tae Kwon Do. Hahahaha.” Tonya laughed.
“Yeah, that’s what I said.” Alexis joined in the laughter.
The girls crossed 7th at the southern end of Times Square, easily wading through the barely moving automobiles. Four mimes on a corner performed air drum and guitars to Running with the Devil by Van Halen.
“Are we stopping in Chinatown for lunch? Maybe Chang Po?” Alexis asked.
“Sure, or maybe Ninja Sushi. Oh, maybe not. I’m sorry.” was Tonya’s reply, thinking that it might be a sore spot for Alexis.
“Yasu Saito and I had a wonderful night together, but he knows that was just for one night.” Alexis explained.
“How was his California Roll?” Tonya inquired.
“Good enough to go back for more.” was Alexis’ answer.
The girls descended the steps to Times Square Station, stepping around a homeless man with a KFC bucket for people to put money in. A few people ascended the steps with cell phones surgically attached to their ears.
“So where are we going to look for work first?” asked Alexis.
“Think we’ll try the Village first.” Tonya answered.
“Any place in mind?” Alexis asked.
“How about Hogs and Heifers?” Tonya asked in response.
The girls got caught up in a sudden flash of blue lightning on the stairs, encircled in the electric fire.
“What thaaaaaaaaaaaaa?????!!!!!!!” shouted both girls
The girls appeared in the blue lightning in the midst of a marsh, and landed right in the mud and water with a splash and a thud.
“Aaaaghh!!!” they finished screaming.
The muddy and wet girls started walking through the marsh, with what sounded like thunder in the background.
“What the…?!! What did we fall in? Oh my God, did the sewers flood the subway?” Alexis said through the mud on her face.
“I don’t think so. It looks like a swamp, we must be in Jersey.” Tonya answered.
“And what’s that sound?” Alexis asked.
“I don’t know, thunder or maybe fireworks. Come on, I think Meadowlands is this way.” Tonya answered.
The girls arrived at a fresh water pond a little south of the marsh. They spooked a group pheasants which immediately took flight. Grey clouds dominated the sky from horizon to horizon, but moved as though they had purpose.
“Look.” Alexis exclaimed.
“Let’s get cleaned up.” Tonya suggested.
“Good idea.” Alexis answered.
The girls washed the mud off of them, but their clothes were still drenched and dirty. Water alone would not get their clothes clean. What they needed was a good detergent.
“Ugh, I smell like New Jersey.” Alexis complained.
“Hey, I grew up in Jersey. You smell more like the bathroom at that diner you used to work at.” Tonya taunted.
“Well, so do you.” Alexis fired back.
“Ew, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.” Tonya joked.
The girls saw a farm off to their right all by itself, but not a hint of farm equipment around. Trying to figure out what had happened to them was the question of the day.
“Let’s go ask where we are.” Alexis suggested.
“And maybe hook up with some farm boys?” Tonya joked again.
“And that’s a problem?” Alexis answered.
“Not in my opinion.” Tonya quipped.
The girls crossed through the corn rows to the farm house and stopped on the edge before leaving the corn. The clouds were starting to move off.
“All this corn, maybe we’re in South Jersey.” Tonya remarked.
“Or maybe we’re in Kansas, Dorothy.” Alexis joked.
“I wonder what happened and how we got here.” queried Tonya.
“Maybe it was Vaseline. He used one of them flash grenades the police use, then drugged us, probably had his way with you, or both of us, brought us here to kill us but we escaped?” said Alexis, making her best guess.
“Why would Vasily bring us all the way to Kansas when he could do all of that in New York?” Tonya answered.
The girls watched people in Colonial American clothing enter the barn, not understanding what was going on, and thinking they were in Lancaster, Pennsylvania instead of Kansas.
“Uh oh Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Tonya said in total doubt of their surroundings.
“Huh? What are they doing, some sort of Revolutionary War reenactment?” Alexis asked.
“If it’s a reenactment, where are the tourists and their cars?” Tonya added to the growing list of questions.
“Maybe it’s some sort of throwback commune, or this is maybe that village from that M. Knight Shyamalan movie?” Alexis offered.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” said Tonya.
The girls ducked down in the corn stalks and whispered to each other. The wind picked up and whistled through the corn.
“Whatever they are, or wherever we are, we’ll blend in a lot better if we borrow some of the clothes from the clothes line.” Tonya stated.
“You mean steal.” Alexis said.
“I mean borrow. We’ll give them back if we can.” Tonya answered.
Clothes on a long clothesline swayed in the breeze and attracted the girl’s attentions.
“Oh, I just know they’re not going to have anything in my size.” Alexis commented.
“We’re not picking clothes for clubbing, Alexis.” Tonya told her.
The girls crept over to the clothesline at the farm house, being cautious and praying to not be seen. The Sun started to peak through the clouds, the day becoming beautiful.
“Take those clothes there, they look like your size.” Tonya told Alexis.
“Why are you grabbing that sheet?” Alexis asked Tonya, noticing her selection.
“Luggage, to put our clothes in.” Tonya answered.
“And that’s why I hang out with you, because every comedy sidekick needs a badass, strong, and smart friend to hang out with.” Alexis told Tonya.
“You’re not the comedy sidekick, you’re my best friend.” Tonya corrected.
“Damn, I’ve been downgraded.” Alexis shot back.
The girls changed clothes in the woods, Alexis naked but surrounded by the leaves of a bush, and both of them not familiar with the clothing of the period.
“We need to hurry, I think the guy with the plow saw us.” Alexis warned.
“I’m almost dressed. You’re the one all Mother Nature over there.” Tonya replied.
“I’ve got bottoms on now. Run, here comes Plow Boy.” Alexis replied to her reply.
Alexis finished dressing on the fly as they raced back through the corn. The girls walked away from the farm, down the streets of a Colonial looking city, by a sign that said Broadway Street.
“Where the Hell are we?” Alexis asked.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Colonial America. Remember the exhibit we almost wrecked when we worked at the American Museum of Natural History?” Tonya offered.
“Ah come on, that was an accident. My heel broke.” Alexis reminded Tonya.
“And I tripped trying to catch you. I said that “we” broke. No one is blaming you.” Tonya corrected.
“OK, but how did we get to Colonial America?” Alexis wanted to know.
“I don’t know just yet.” was the only answer Tonya could give.
The girls passed by an open triangular park, not knowing this was known as The Common in Manhattan in the late 1700s.
“So then what city do you think we’re in?” Alexis asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe one of the original colonies I guess, so we’re on the East Coast, maybe even Manhattan.” Tonya answered.
Tonya decided to inquire about work, but thought it best to not mention that they didn’t know where they were. And definitely not to mention time travel or they might be burned as witches.
“Excuse me sir, we’re looking for jobs. Could you tell us where we should look?” Tonya asked a man unloading a wagon, and the man pointed them further down the street.
“These days the need is with the Army. Go down to Ft. George at the Battery, and turn left to the East River of the Sound. The military hospital is in need.” the man answered.
“Thank you sir.” Tonya responded.
The girls continued walking down the street, past a blacksmith shop, a silversmith, a bookbinder, a pewterer, and the occasional tempting tavern.
“Oh. My. God! This is Manhattan! This is Broadway, that marsh would have been somewhere around Canal Street. That pond was what, Columbus Park and Thomas Paine Park? Oh God, that would mean the farm is where the World Trade Center was, I mean will be. Oh my God and this really is Colonial America.” Tonya exclaimed.
“Let’s go back to the farm and leave a note, we can warn people in the future about 9/11 and the terrorist attacks.” Alexis responded.
“I don’t think we can do that, it would probably just mess things up even worse. I’m pretty sure that’s what happens in the science fiction movies. We’re probably just here to change some tragedy in the past, and then we go home, right. For now we just go get jobs.” Tonya replied trying to think through the situation.
The girls arrived outside Ft. George, companies of soldiers were marching by, and the Ft.’s cannons were firing.
“Oh, those noises we’ve been hearing are the cannons. Why are they firing the cannons?” Alexis asked.
“That guy said that the military hospital needs people. We must be at war. We could be in the middle of the American Revolution.” Tonya answered.
“Why does that not sound like a good thing?” Alexis asked.
“It isn’t, but if we’ve been pulled out of our time to correct something in the past then it could be a good thing for someone, I guess.” Tonya tried answering as best she could.
“But how did we get here?” Alexis asked another question.
“I don’t know. One of my customers at Scores is a nerdy scientist guy, and was talking about time slips. I thought he was talking about how he got paid, so he decided to explain it a little more. It’s like being taken from your own time to another without a time machine.” Tonya tried to remember as she answered.
Soldiers were marching away from the East River in their direction.
“So we fix the whatever it is and go home right? Because after this, I just want to curl up with a half-gallon of ice cream, and watch Dancing with the Stars.” Alexis.
“Soldiers are coming in from somewhere.” Tonya mentioned out loud.
“Wow! They even look good in uniform way back now.” Alexis commented.
“You said it. I think.” was Tonya’s reply.
Three Colonial soldiers were walking towards them talking. They were Jack Cain, Tommy Phelps, and Jason Wallace of the 1st Delaware Regiment.
“They’ve been dismissed I guess. Three of them are coming this way.” Tonya pointed out.
The girls approached the three soldiers, Tonya focusing on the dark haired bearded one, who she would discover was Jack.
“Hello gentleman, I’m Tonya McLain and this is my friend Alexis Zimmerman.” Tonya said to the men.
“Ladies. I am Jack Cain, and these are fine gentlemen are Tommy Phelps and Jason Wallace of Colonel John Haslet’s 1st Delaware Regiment 2nd Company under Captain John Caldwell, otherwise known as the Blue Hen’s Chickens.” Jack told them.
“This may sound strange Jack, but what is today’s date?” Tonya asked.
“Why it’s August the 30th in the Year of Our Lord 1776.” Jack answered.
“So where are you gentlemen coming from?” Tonya asked another question.
Jack began to tell the girls of the battle they had just come from.
“Unfortunately we have just come from a disheartening defeat by the British under General William Howe across the river on Long Island. We did however manage to evacuate over 9,000 of us on flat bed boats without a loss. General Washington was the last man to leave, and has just landed here in Manhattan. The British are going to be mad when they figure out that we’re not there anymore.” Jack said with a smile.
“Thank you Jack, we’re off to get jobs, but I hope we meet again.” Tonya said.
The girls went off to get jobs at the Military Hospital closer to the East River in The Battery.
“We can certainly use all of hands we can get. The casualties so far are minimal, but we do have wounded and expect a lot more. I’ll have someone show you to the nurse’s quarters, then report back here ready to pitch in.” the head nurse told the girls.
The girls jumped right in tending to wounded soldiers for the rest of the day.
“So when we get back I’m adding being a nurse to my resume.” Alexis said.
“How are you going to explain the lack of schooling, nursing degree, and the dates you were employed as a nurse?” Tonya asked.
“I was just kidding, you know.” Alexis replied.
The three Blue Hens waited for the girls to finish work.
“Ladies, we were wondering if by chance you would like to join us for food and drink this evening.” Jack asked as gentlemanly as he could.
“Thought you’d never ask.” Tonya answered.
The five of them went to a tavern and enjoyed an evening of drinking. Jason Wallace eventually stood to excuse himself.
“I think I’ve had my fill for the evening and therefore shall retire to my tent. Ladies, it was a pleasure meeting you.” Jason said.
Alexis danced with Tommy and Tonya danced with Jack.
“You must have danced before, you are very graceful.” Jack said to Tonya.
“You should see what I do on a pole.” Tonya replied.
“I’m sorry, I don’t seem to understand.” Jack answered a bit bewildered.
“Don’t worry about it. It was another time, and another life.” Tonya replied.
“How well I understand that. I used to be a sailor, until war was declared. With the pounding the cannons have been giving the British fleet, perhaps we can get ships out and I can transfer to the Navy.” Jack said with a smile.
Tonya glanced over to see Alexis kissing Tommy, and then slip past her with him.
“We’re going somewhere more private.” Alexis said looking over her shoulder.
Alexis and Tommy found their way to the hay loft in the closest stable.
“Oh yes Tommy. Don’t stop.” Alexis moaned in delight minutes later.
Alexis arrived later back at her and Tonya’s room at the hospital.
“Where have you been?” Tonya asked.
“With Tommy.” Alexis answered cheerfully.
“Doing what?” Tonya asked, already knowing but asking because she knew Alexis was dying to tell her.
“A little of this, and a little of that.” Alexis laughed.
“Oh my God. What if he’s like your quadruple great grandfather or something?” Tonya blurted out.
“Oh come on, that can’t happen.” Alexis replied.
“Oh, how do you know? Did you pull you’re your iPhone out of your purse, somehow manage to get a signal, and check your family history on Ancestry.com?” Tonya pushed.
“No, but clearly nothing bad happened to you or me, because here we both are still stuck in the Revolutionary War.” Alexis said, showing that she wasn’t the ditz she pretended to be.
“Yeah, maybe it’s not that big a deal. Now if you had sex with George Washington, that could have been bad, and when we get back I’d have to get you a t-shirt that says George Washington slept here.” Tonya cracked.
“If George Washington was doing what Tommy was doing, I can guarantee you he wouldn’t have been sleeping.” Alexis replied.
The next day at the hospital tending to wounded, a delirious patient rambled on and on about something. The girls leaned in closer to hear what he was saying.
“Must warn…Tories going to blow up fort.” mumbled the patient.
“What did he just say?” Alexis asked.
“He said someone’s going to blow up the fort.” Tonya answered.
The girls sought out their boys who they found cleaning their weapons.
“You think the head nurse will be mad with us just leaving like that?” Alexis asked Tonya as they approached the guys.
“If she knew that we were trying to save lives, she’d probably be very happy. Jack.” Tonya said.
The girls went to the Fort with the guys.
“And that was all that you heard was a plot to blow up the fort? That doesn’t give us much to go on.” Jack asked Tonya.
“I’m sorry Jack.” Tonya replied.
They headed in the direction of the powder shed.
“This way. The powder shed is over here. That would be the most likely place for sabotage.” Jack told the group on the way.
There were four men there, three keeping watch while another poured a trail of powder out of the door.
“No one is allowed in the powder shed right now.” said a big man watching the door.
“And why on Earth not?” Jack asked.
“Go away.” the big man snarled back.
“We think not.” Tommy added.
Jack and Tommy attacked two of the larger men at the doors with swords drawn. A sword fight ensued.
“Tory scum!” Jack shouted.
Another Tory charged the girls but Alexis sprayed him in the face with her pepper spray.
“How do you like that jerkwad!” Alexis taunted.
Tonya flying side-kicked the one with the powder keg.
“Oh no you don’t!” Tonya said.
Tommy wrestled the one he fought with until he rolled the man’s face into horse poop.
“Eat manure Tory.” Tommy taunted.
“You want some of this too?” Alexis asked the man she had sprayed.
Alexis hit her opponent with her stun gun but ignited the pepper spray catching the man on fire, and she had to steer him away from the shed and towards a horse trough.
“Oh, oh my God, oh my God, oh you can’t be on fire here. No, no you have to go this way.” Alexis told the man as she guided him.
Jack dodged a downward swing of his opponent and stabbed the man in the throat with his sword.
“Die Tory!” Jack shouted.
Tonya’s opponent recovered and started to pull a flintlock pistol, but she kicked him in the nuts, and then round-housed him in the face.
“Say goodnight Gracie.” Tonya said in her terrible George Burns imitation.
Guards came running over to arrest someone.
“What goes on here?” said one of the guards.
“Tory spies trying to destroy the fort.” Jack answered.
The four heroes walked out of the fort after the Tories were arrested.
“So what shall we do now that we have saved the day? Jack asked.
“We could go to Disney World.” Alexis answered.
“What did you say?” Tommy asked.
“Er, I said we can also save the World.” Alexis answered.
“Yes, yes we could.” Tommy agreed.
They walked along the Battery looking out over Hudson Bay.
“So Tommy, where are you from?” Alexis asked.
“Wilmington, Delaware.” Tommy answered.
Alexis looked over to see Tonya and Jack kissing.
“Jack, do you have a girlfriend?” Tonya asked.
“You and Alexis are girls and my friends.” Jack asked, puzzled again.
“I mean a wife or a lover.” Tonya asked.
“No, I do not.” Jack answered.
“Well then, you do now.” Tonya informed him.
That evening Tonya and Alexis looked out towards Ellis Island.
“So that over there is Ellis Island, right?” Alexis asked Tonya.
“Yeah, and no Statue of Liberty yet.” Tonya answered.
“We saved the day, right? Why aren’t we back in our time?” Alexis asked.
“Maybe that wasn’t it. Maybe we have more to do. So we’re just going to have to keep saving the day until we do.” Tonya said.
The girls hugged.