Entry Four: Haven’s Vigilante

It’s official: I am now a vigilante. This is a new responsibility for me, but I’m the kind of person that believes if you want change, then you have to make change. My way of change just happens to be bashing thugs’ skulls in.

I came to this decision after running across a local news report on TV. Shortstop was shifting through channels while I entered the apartment. He stopped when he heard me walk in. I was tired after a busy day at Cowabunga Pizza. I’m a delivery girl, and I normally don’t use a car. I leap across buildings while carefully carrying several boxes of pizza at once. On the downside that means I can’t do any tricks, but it is a fun way to deliver food. It’s also my main source of income. I forgot how many orders I delivered today simply because there were so many. Seems like everyone was craving pepperoni. I removed my hat and kicked my shoes off. It was time to chill out. My feet voluntarily slid against the floor towards the couch. I noticed that Josh was already sitting there with an excited expression on his face. Raising an eyebrow while smirking, I playfully ruffled his raven locks as he tried stopping me to no avail.

“Whatcha wanna eat, kiddo?” I asked as I kept playing with his hair.

“Pizza!” he exclaimed in a mildly mischievous tone. That tone told me he was just messing with me since he knew I just finished work. His smart-assery was rewarded with a mild glare as I hopped onto the couch and sat next to him.

“Now what do you REALLY want to eat?”

“I dunno, maybe cheeseburgers?”

“Works for me.” My hand reached out for the phone as I prepared to order some cheeseburgers for us. I knew how much money I had since I checked shortly before coming home. However, Josh’s response to what the anchorwoman stated prevented me from dialing.

“Look Big Sis, it’s about the Panda Crusader!”

“‘Panda Crusader’? What’s that, some new show?”

Putting the phone down for a moment, I decided to listen to what Kiara Juañez had to say.

“A mysterious young woman wearing a panda hoodie has been brutally beating criminals on the streets of Haven. The first incident occurred almost two weeks ago in an alleyway down on Knox Street, where witness Kelsey Jett watched as the panda-eared attacker viciously injured three would-be rapists. The attacker left the men in critical condition. The second incident occurred just several days ago when two young boys were saved by the same figure as she beat down two members of the Blood Princes. Rumors have been circulating around town about the possible identity of this woman, and questions have been asked about her intentions. Is this vigilante truly doing this out of the kindness of her heart, or does she have ulterior motives? Is this the start of something big? We will keep you updated on the latest developments here at Channel 12 Local News. Moving on to our next story…”

I sat there stunned as my brother was bouncing excitedly. I never thought I would end up in the news. Did my actions really affect the town? I always hated the amount of crime in Haven especially after the anti-drug laws, but I never considered becoming a vigilante. I was simply helping out people at the time. It made me seriously dwell on the idea. I wasn’t much for fame, but if I could put fear in the hearts of criminals…

“Isn’t she awesome?!”

Josh’s words interrupted my thoughts. My eyes diverted from the television screen to him.

“Uh, Josh, can I tell y–“

“Now there’s somebody out there helping the police!”

“That’s nice, bu–“

“Can you imagine Sis? A real superhero!”

“I’m happy that y–“

“I wonder where’s she’s gonna–“

“I’M THE PANDA CRUSADER!”

The truth spilled out of me like a geyser. Pipsqueak’s first reaction was to laugh. He was cackling at my remark. I stared at him blankly as he rolled around on the couch howling. This went on for at least several minutes. Then he glanced at my face. I must have appeared serious because immediately he stopped laughing and his eyes widen in amazement.

“Wow, so you’re….you’re not joking?”

“Nope. And I got to thinking something. Maybe I should be a vigilante.”

“That’s so cool! You’ll be kicking bad guys’ butts! They won’t know what hit them!”

“But they will if anyone finds out about this. Josh, I need you to promise me that you won’t tell anyone. I don’t care who they are. No one can know that I fight criminals. If anyone found out, that would not only risk my life, but it would put your life at risk as well. And I really don’t want to lose you, ya know? I care about you and your safety.”

I could tell there was mild disappointment in his eyes, but nonetheless he nodded silently in agreement. Josh is a good kid. He knows when to keep his mouth shut. If he didn’t, I’m pretty sure we would be separated right now.

“Good.”

I gave Shortstop a hug and ruffled his hair a bit more. I made an important choice today, and I always follow through my decisions.

The Haven Times Issue 1

CRIME RATES RISING SINCE PASSAGE OF ANTI-DRUG LAW

The government’s attempts at controlling the amount of drug use and crimes resulting from it have instead cause crime rates to rise. The citizens of Haven are now endangered by the violent gang uprisings that occur on an almost daily basis. Gang factions are forming, and together they are damaging the integrity of this once beautiful city. Many of these crimes are in relation to illegal substances. Some have been found illegally possessing various drugs while others are caught while under the influence. Patterns show that alcohol and analgesics are the popular choices. Mayor Jared Ravencroft has declared these recents events to be evidence that the police force must react by enabling a war on crime. The police are actively investigating crime scenes while also shutting down potential threats to people’s safety. Appropriate measures have been taken to combat the criminals responsible for this mess.

FIRE IN DOWNTOWN HAVEN KILLS EIGHT PEOPLE, 15 INJURED

On Saturday, a large fire engulfed one of the apartment complexes in Downtown Haven. The apartment complex was located on Gregory Street, several blocks away from newly renovated Haven High School. The fire was reported at about eight pm. The apartment owner called 911 when he noticed the floor above his place was smoking. The fire alarm on the second floor did not go off thanks to it being broken. It was apparently supposed to be repaired the next day, but unfortunately that allowed time for the fire to spread further as the residents panicked. Despite utilizing proper safety procedures, eight people living in the apartment complex died while fifteen other people received critical burns. The Haven Fire Department did what they could to tame the fire and save the people on the upper floors that were still trapped within the building. It is unknown what caused this inferno.

MAN CAUGHT FEEDING APHRODISIACS TO CHILDREN

Joe Schlock, 41, was arrested this past weekend thanks to reports from anonymous sources. Schlock was a daycare worker whom often babysat for various children outside of work as well. The police acquired a search warrant after reports of strange activities occurring within Schlock’s house. An abnormally large amount of aphrodisiacs were found within a secret compartment of the bedroom closet. A trip down to the basement revealed that Schlock was feeding an eight-year-old boy a cupcake. A quick scan of the cupcake revealed that some of the drugs were injected into the batter. According to the police report, the boy behaved in “a strange, intoxicated manner” as he was sent back home to his parents. More information will be given as the investigation continues.

Entry Three: Swing Away, Hero

People generally don’t mess with gangs unless they’re in one, but I made an exception today.

All I did was leap between various rooftops as usual, but it seemed like Life had other plans. I ran into a pair of kids that were walking home from school. My little brother Josh takes the bus, so I don’t have to worry about getting him home. My plans were to check up on a friend of mine that hung out at a basketball court several blocks away. I was moving about in my gym clothes, so that meant I was dressed in loosely fitted yoga pants and a tank top. The pants and top were black while the sneakers were mostly white. They were kind of old, but that didn’t matter to me. I’m too broke to buy expensive shoes anyway. Besides, who would I be fooling? I was one of the poor kids of St. Maria, and everyone knew that. After all, St. Maria used to only be for rich kids until the destruction of Haven High. Saint Maria High School for the Exceptionally Gifted was the full name. It should have been named “for the Exceptionally Rich” instead.

For years, there were separate schools for the social classes. However, just as luck would have it, a gang war occurred nearby Haven High. In one particularly nasty battle, the old, crumbling high school was finally destroyed by a bunch of makeshift fire bombs. It was just months before my freshman year. Because of this, my graduating class had to be granted special access to St. Maria until Haven High was repaired into a usable form. When I was a sophomore, the repairs finished, but because of my good grades, I was able to stay via a scholarship of sorts while most of my fellow working class friends went back to Haven High.

Now I’m just running on tangents though. Going back to when I was watching the kids, I examined the both of them. It was two boys about Josh’s age. Considering where I was, it wouldn’t have been a stretch to say that they were also from his school. No rich kid would be roaming about this deep in Downtown Haven. I don’t know why I continued trailing them from above, but I guess my sisterly instincts were kicking in or something. That was when things went sour.

“The fuck are you brats doing here?!”

Within less than a millisecond, I was glaring at a pair of knuckleheads in gang colors. Uh oh. Those were members of the Blood Princes. Individually, their fighting skills were less than superb, but they took advantage of their large numbers. They won turfs through sheer numbers. Ticking off one of them meant having an army sent after you. Awkwardly enough, I didn’t even realize that this block was their turf now. The problem with turf wars is that it’s hard to tell who has what until you see the colors. It’s even worse trying to figure that out when you’re a parkour artist. My only way of knowing is checking the walls I’m bouncing off of, and I’m not about to risk losing momentum just to check for a mark. Generally gangsters don’t tag rooftops. Luckily that also means they rarely check them.

The pair of thugs hounded on the two little boys. They weren’t beating them up yet; they were just shoving them around and taunting them. The kids were scared but were putting on tough faces. I couldn’t really hear what was being stated because I was too pissed off. They reminded me of Josh too much, and I do not let ANYONE hurt my Josh. Not even my scumbag parents. No, especially not my scumbag parents. Let’s not talk about them though, I don’t need to be breaking my pencil. What I did break was the faces of those thugs. How, you ask?

It’s kind of easy when you have a bat, even when it’s ancient.

This time I went for a sneak attack. Since these guys actually had colors on, there was a good chance they were also packing. No one likes getting shot, and I’m not an exception. Me getting shot meant either death or hospital bills. Neither of those choices were appealing. My sneakers silently touched the ground as I climbed down the building. It was easy to quietly scale my way down without anyone noticing. I slipped on my hood as I stood on top of the closed dumpster. Tiptoeing to them allowed me to take the gangsters by surprise. I choked the left guy with the bat as soon as I got behind them. Immediately his friend turned around, but with my quick reaction I was able to turn the thug I was choking into a body shield in case they had guns. I tossed him at the other thug. This was enough to make him stumble. I took further advantage by forcefully shoving him with the bat. Soon the thugs were in a rather compromising position on the pavement. Mercilessly I swung at them. Their heads were my softballs. When I was done, I could clearly see more blood on the chipping wood. I didn’t even turn around as I ran off into the sunset. I wonder if Josh would enjoy these stories.

Entry Two: Tea For Your Troubles

Well, this was going to be a pain in the ass.

I didn’t expect to end up moving before I graduated high school. Well, life’s funny sometimes. I’m 18 years old, so I can legally acquire my own apartment and live on my own. However, there was just one catch to my independence (Besides not being out of school):

I took my little brother with me.

There was no other option. I just had to get the squirt away from them. Not like I minded either. As annoying as he can be sometimes, he’s a real good kid. He’s 9 years old and is about to move to the fifth grade. To be honest, he was excited to move to a new place. We didn’t move that far; our new apartment is on the edge of town. The city of Haven has two halves: Downtown and Uptown. Uptown is where all the rich people live with their nice flying vehicles and generally peaceful surroundings. Downtown is a shit hole. To put it in nicer terms, Downtown is where majority of the crimes and violence happen. All the people here are poor and live in rundown homes. The closer a person is to Uptown, the closer he or she is to safety. That’s why I chose this apartment on the border. Only problem is I have to pay a whole bunch, but hey, it’s better than nothing. It was also better than those rat-infested places deep in Downtown Haven.

Pipsqueak was helping me carry our belongings to the new place. I felt kind of weak while I was lifting the large box. It was probably because I barely ate anything for several days straight. It wasn’t because I was sick either. My pale, skinny arms managed to carry the box into our new home. I placed it on the couch and immediately began unpacking. Junior put his box next door to mine on the couch. He copied my movements. A slight smirk grew on my face.

“So what do ya think?” I asked him.

“I like it! It’s better than home at least.”

“Well, this is our new home now. Did you make sure to pack everything?”

” Yep, I think so.” I turned to him because I noticed his voice faded a bit. Sure enough, he was frowning. “Couldn’t we have had more time?”

My heart sank in my chest. The decision was rather last minute. There was little warning about this chain of events. I should’ve seen it coming, but I didn’t. Instead, all I could do was swallow the spit down my throat as I answered. “No, we couldn’t.”

He understood why. That was when the landlady walked in. She was several inches shorter than me and kind of pudgy but not quite fat. Her graying hair was pulled back into a bun. She had on a rose pink dress with frills that made me almost cringe just looking at it. She had a pair of glasses with one of those silver chains that made them akin to spectacles. They were around her neck, so presumably those were just reading glasses. I noted that her skin had a pink hue to it that matched her outfit. Suddenly I began to dwell on my own appearance. My skin’s so pale, I could die and become a ghost and no one would notice any change. At least the bruises on my eyes were healing up; now it just seemed like I needed more sleep.

“Welcome! Are you Trixie Ravenna?”

I bit my lip. “Yes, but please just call me Trix.”

“She hates it when you call her Trixie.” Shortstop chimed in.

“Ah, and what would your name be, little boy?” She leaned over a bit to glance at him.

“Josh!”

A sweet smile grew on the landlady’s face. It was like looking at a grandma cooing over her grandson. The sweetness put me at ease. Still I sent Josh to his room.

“Run along Munchkin! You need to put your stuff in your room.”

“Which one is it?”

“The left one.”

He scampered away with his box of things as I faced the landlady once more.

“Your name’s Mrs. Dubfire, right?”

“That is correct. I didn’t realize you had a little brother. How old is he?”

“He’s 9.”

“Ah, what a healthy young lad! His hair and eyes look similar to yours. Speaking of healthy, are you feeling under the weather Trixie? You look awfully pale. You also have red spots around your eyes.”

My worry levels shot through the roof. I am a terrible liar, but I didn’t want to alert Mrs. Dubfire about our previous living conditions. If I stated too much, then I would risk losing Josh. I didn’t want that to happen.

“I’ve just been very stressed out. That’s all. You know, stress, haha.” My voice almost cracked as I responded. “Also, it’s Trix.”

“Let me bring you some of my herb tea then! It soothes the body and helps you relax. It’s a natural way of putting a person to sleep too!”

Thankfully Mrs. Dubfire believed me and dropped off a box of herb tea. I wasn’t much of a tea person, but I thanked her and placed it in one of the cabinets in the kitchen area. Perhaps I could try a cup. Hell, I may even need it later.

Entry One: Three Thugs, One Bat

I didn’t think I would be the reason why three bodies were lying on the asphalt of an alleyway.

It all began when I was running across rooftops. I’m a parkour artist. I scale buildings with no equipment whatsoever. It’s always fun to travel by hopping between a bunch of city structures. I’ve been doing it since I was around twelve. I remember when my left foot slipped on the brick wall of some rundown apartment. What followed subsequently was a painful fall, several bruises, and the smell of milk gone bad. I landed in a dumpster. Little Pipsqueak called me a skunk while my deadbeat parents simultaneously pointed at the bathroom door across the room.

That’s not what I wanted to write about though. No, I wanted to write about how I kicked thug ass.

So I was travelling along the rooftops, minding my own business when I heard a scuffle going on below me. It was pretty warm, but I was still wearing my panda-eared hooded jacket over my tank top. Didn’t feel like having people bother me. My choice of weapon was a wooden baseball bat. It’s rickety and ancient. I randomly picked it up somewhere when I was looking for a bat to use for batting practice. Looked like no one was using it, so I called Finders Keepers and claimed it for myself. I tiptoed to the edge of the roof and glanced downward into the alleyway. I could see three thugs, a young girl, and a guy whom looked like the girl’s brother. The brother appeared to be about my age while the girl was somewhere in her early teens. I couldn’t see the thugs’ faces from my angle, but I could clearly see the brother’s face as he stood in front of his sister. He was clearly pissed.

“Get away from my baby sis, ya assholes!” was what the brother exclaimed. That confirmed my suspicions.

“What ya gonna do? It’s 3 against 1!” one of the thugs noted.

“Sure wouldn’t mind playin’ wit’ ya sis, haha…” another thug taunted. I could sense the jeers on each of their dirty little faces as I watched the brother shift into a fighting stance.

“Over my dead body!”

As expected, the thugs jumped the guy and easily overpowered him with sheer numbers. Before he could hit the ground, the trio used the brother as a punching bag as two guys held his arms and the third kept throwing punches. I watched as the brother cringed in pain with every punch. His face bled with purple bruises all over it, and his gut was probably throbbing from all the hits it was taking. I could feel my anger rising as the young man was tossed aside. Now there was no one to protect the teenage sister from getting assaulted. She sat there crying the whole time, and when the thugs turned to her, her pleas were the last words I heard.

“No, please, don’t hurt me! Get away, don’t touch me!”

That caused me to snap.

Suddenly my legs moved as my body jumped off the edge of the roof as my arms swung backwards. I landed on the middle one with my bat raised above my head. The wood collided with his skull as I promptly knocked him out. I felt myself standing on top of his unconscious body. The jerk’s friends were outraged and went charging for me. I could barely see them through the red lenses over my eyes. The left one got hit in the groin with the thrusting tip of the bat while the other was smashed upside the head by the same bat. He was my first target as I brutally beat him upside the head with my weapon until I saw blood spill. My second target was the one I hit in the groin. Before he could fully recover, I was kicking his ass as well. Even though the third was already unconscious, I made sure he couldn’t get up by breaking both his sorry legs.

I’m not a fan of violence, but those bastards had it coming.

I gave the girl a once-over. She was both grateful and shocked at the same time. With a slight smirk on my face, I dashed away, rapidly working my way up to the rooftops and leaping my way back home. That should be the end of it, right?