Entry Five: Into The Flames

It was through the fire and flames that I saved a bunch of people’s lives.

Now don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t looking to jump into any fires today. That’s just downright silly. You don’t do that kind of thing. I just so happened to stumble upon some trouble. That kind of stuff happens when you become a hero, but goddamn I didn’t expect to be that close to getting fried my first day on the job.

Well, it sort of beats delivering pizza.

I scampered across the rooftops searching for trouble. It wasn’t that hard to find it either; there’s always crimes going on in Downtown Haven. I was prepared for anything. This was no longer me just being a frustrated bystander; this was me being a hero. The panda hood was already over my head, and my face was covered in black and white face paint. I now truly had “panda eyes” thanks to the heavy amount of black paint around my eyes. I guess having black eyes sort of helps too. I debated painting my hands white, but I figured that I was already so pale that it wasn’t necessary. My weapon of choice was my trusty wooden bat. I noticed that there were slight traces of blood on it. I sure wouldn’t be able to use this for softball practice anymore.

Within a few minutes of me parkouring around town, my nose picked up an odd smell. I’m not saying that it usually smells good here, but this was different. It was the smell of burning ash. Something was burning, and it wasn’t just a small fire either. With how heavy the smell was, it had to be an inferno. Stopping at the edge of the building, I turned and followed the scent to its direction.

It didn’t take me long to see the burning apartment just a few buildings away from me.

Figuring that helping out the residents of the apartment was more important than trying to find a bunch of crooks to beat up, I dashed in the direction of the fire. Switching from building to building, I reached my destination with ease. However, I couldn’t go in through the roof. The roof was falling apart, and the next door building wasn’t close enough for me to hop back and forth from wall to wall. It was possible, but with the amount of momentum and speed I would lose trying, it wouldn’t be worth it. Frowning, I then decided to take a leap of faith through a broken window. I left the bat behind as I did this.

Diving in headfirst, I rolled my away across the floor. It was natural for me to morph into a human beach ball and then switch back to standing. I’m just flexible like that. I’d do gymnastics if it wasn’t for all that judging bullshit. Miraculously I avoided becoming a human campfire. Covering the lower part of my face with my arm, I crouched over as I searched for people trapped inside the building. I spotted a family trying to escape. It was a beautifully tanned woman with her three children. Two of them were just old enough to walk; the third was a baby she carried in her arms protectively. The mother seemed rightfully concerned as she tried getting her entire family out of there. Somehow I doubt there was a father. I wondered if he was a scumbag like my dad and decided to abandon this poor woman. Some men are jerks.

I tried speaking up, but the smoke caused me to go into a coughing fit. Hearing the woman’s frantic words, I noticed that she had an accent and was speaking in a language other than English. Sounded like Spanish actually. I didn’t know a word of Spanish, plus I kept coughing so I decided not to say anything. Instead I lightly grabbed the woman’s free arm so that she would spin around to face me. When she noticed, I gestured towards the nearby fire escape across the way. I escorted the family to the fire escape. The older children got out first, leaving the mother and I at the fire escape. When the mother began to climb down the fire escape, that was when an unexpected situation occurred. The rusted metal fire escape began to collapse. My eyes widen in horror as the woman stumbled with her baby in her arms. If they fell from this height, the cement would kill either one or both of them. Even then, that didn’t include the falling metal. Knowing that I had to act quickly, I scurried into one of the apartment rooms and noticed a mostly untouched white bed sheet sitting around. I grabbed the sheet and then tossed in down to the two kids.

“Spread it out!” I yelled as my hands mimicked the motion. The boy and girl glanced at each other blankly for a moment before seeing the sheet falling towards them. They each grabbed a different side of the sheet and spread it out. Now the mother had a safe place to land. However, I noticed her reluctance as she stared worriedly at the baby in her arms. Understanding her concern, I lightly attempted to take the baby away from her. She nearly shoved me away, but I made her glance straight into my black eyes.

“Trust me.”

Well aware of the situation’s urgency, the mother then willingly handed me her baby as she leaped and landed safely on the sheet. Now it was time to get the little guy out of here. The baby wailed and cried as he left his mother’s arms. With an annoyed sigh, I went into the building one more time to find something to secure the baby in. I figured out that by tying a bunch of blankets around my body and the kid, I could secure him against my chest. I then grabbed a fishing hook and some rope. I tied the rope around the fishing line end of the hook. Now I had something I could use to hook myself to the building. As I was about to leave, I noticed a suspicious figure scrambling his or her way out of here. My eyebrow raised a bit, but there was nothing I could do. I had to focus on getting Junior out of here first; any investigation would have to wait.

I carefully climbed down the remains of the fire escape. I never had to do this kind of thing with a baby around my chest before. That was certainly new. When I felt like I was about to fall, I hooked the line into a small gap on the building and then slid down the rest of the way. I successfully saved the child and gave him back to his mother. I could see her relieved expression as she cuddled the baby lovingly in her arms. Being in his mom’s arms once more made him hush too. Good, that crying was freaking irritating. Before I could stand around for a thank you, I noticed all the fire trucks and a news van in the area. Deciding it was time for me to bolt, I dashed away. I completely forgot about the bat at the time, but I went back for it later. One question lingered in my mind: who was that person I saw leave the building?

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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 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?