Entry Eleven: Eh? Ah, Don’t Worry

I don’t like concerning people about my own personal affairs. I guess I can consider this vigilante thing a personal affair. Thanks to that, I decided to not see Derek because I knew the stab wound would alarm him. It didn’t end well.

Josh didn’t respond well to me coming home the way I did. He immediately pestered me about calling 911 and stuff, but I talked him out of his panic. Even so, I could see the fearful look in his eyes as he saw his big sister in pain. I tried staying strong so that it wouldn’t bother him as much. It’s not like I nearly died or something.

It was fairly easy to get the stab wound treated and wrapped up at the local clinic. I had to go to the clinic; it was cheaper, and they wouldn’t question me about my wounds as much as the hospital or elsewhere would’ve. A lot of injured gangsters ended up there, so they probably figured I ran into some gang activity or something. Sometimes I wondered if they were, well, legal, but I didn’t care much. It wasn’t like I was getting drugs from them or something. Legality doesn’t concern me as much as righteousness. It’s better to do what’s right rather than what’s lawful. If it overlaps, great. If it doesn’t, oh well.

I decided to take a day to chillax at home. Derek called me, but I didn’t answer. I didn’t want to have to lie over the phone. My voice would crack right away, and he’d be banging down my door in a minute.

However, I forgot that he usually stopped by whenever I didn’t return his calls.

After a while, there was a knock on the door. Josh must’ve ran over and opened the door because when I emerged from my room Derek was standing in my living room with his arms folded. To make matters even worse, I was wearing a tank top and shorts. He could clearly see the bandages and bruises.

“Okay, you DEFINITELY have some explaining to do, Trix.”

Well fuck. I tried playing the injuries off.

“Eh, don’t worry about it, it’s just scratches y–“

“Scratches my ass! Your shoulder is covered with thick bandaging! Why?!”

He pointed at the injured shoulder. My hand rubbed the designated spot nervously.

“Errr…I fell?”

“Bullshit.”

He stepped closer to me.

“I’m sorry I didn’t show u–“

“Don’t change the subject. What. Happened.”

My eyes glanced over at Shortstop. He was sitting on the couch as he glanced back at me. I knew he wasn’t going to say anything about the heroic stuff, and I already told him what happened, but nonetheless I nodded my head towards his room. Munchkin ran off in response.

“Let’s sit down, Derek.”

His glare didn’t break for even a second as we both sat down on the couch. My best friend gazed into my eyes as he silently awaited his answer. I knew there was no way out of this. Sighing lightly, I gave him an explanation.

“These bandages are covering a stab wound.”

“Don’t tell me your parents found you.”

So that’s what he was worried about. I could at least ease his anxiety by truthfully denying that this had anything to do with my parents.

“No, nothing to do with them. If it was, either everything here would be packed in boxes, or Josh wouldn’t be here. It had to do with a gang.”

“Gang? Which fucking gang hurt my sis?”

“Blood Princes. I intruded on their turf and paid the price. A couple of the members beat the shit outta me, and one of them stabbed me with his knife.”

Technically what I was saying was true. I definitely was on their turf, and I did tick them off. The only thing I wasn’t revealing was the whole vigilante business. Derek of course didn’t need to know that. I could tell the guy was displeased. A perpetual frown remained on his face as he gently touched my shoulder.

“You need to be more careful where you parkour next time. I’m not letting this bullshit happen to you again though. Imma call up some of my connections and get you some protection.”

“I don’t need an escort.”

“But you do need people that’ll watch your back. I’ll see if I can do anything to keep those asshole Princes in check.”

He steadily stood up and pulled out his cell phone. Before he dialed, he gazed at me once more.

“I gotta admit though, I’m glad it was the Blood Princes and not the Inferno Dragons. I don’t know what the hell turf they have, but they’ve been burning up everything ya know. If you ran into them, I’m sure you would’ve been burned to a crisp.”

He rubbed his eyes in mild frustration.

“I’m heading out now, but YOU missy better relax and let those wounds heal.”

“Yeah yeah, I’ll take it easy.”

“You better. I’ll see if I can get any information on the Inferno Dragons. I always like having a map of Downtown Haven. I don’t like seeing ambiguity like this. That usually means war, and that’s painful for all of us Downtown folks.”

“Ya don’t need to tell me that. I know damn well the kinda shit that happens.”

“I’ll check in on ya later, Trix. And Sis?”

I tilted my head in confusion. “Yeah?”

“You really need to stop getting black eyes. They make you look like a panda.”

We both laughed as he left the apartment. If only he knew.

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Entry Ten: For The Wrong Reasons

Like I said before, I needed some things before I could fight the Inferno Dragons. One of them was a disguise. I decided to start off with the hardest item first.

In order to get gang “uniforms”, you generally have to be within the gang. This means going through the rituals and possibly either humiliating yourself or putting yourself in harm’s way. It’s especially….challenging for females. For probably obvious reasons, I didn’t want to bother with any of that crap. However, this meant I needed to do a covert operation much like the one I did before. I didn’t have a new bat yet, but I had to wait until next paycheck in order to buy one. I figured that Parkour and Street Gymnastics would surely help me get the disguise.

Well, it was a lot more complicated than that. Blame the Blood Princes.

I was surveying the area via rooftops when I noticed that burning smell once more. Instinctively I followed the smell, hoping to save some unfortunate civilians caught in a fire. Another building fire blazed out of control, but this one felt different. A bad feeling washed over me as my eyes gazed into the flames. Something was not right about this place. However, I had to act right then and there if I wanted to help anyone. So I ignored the feeling and climbed into the building via a window. I burnt my hands in the process. I helped some little kids exit the building safely out to where the authorities and their parents were. When it appeared the building was vacated, I lightly smiled and turned towards the open window.

Suddenly something clubbed me upside the head. I blacked out.

When I woke up, I was surrounded by the Blood Princes. My hands were cuffed against a pole. I lightly struggled against my restraints to no avail. I had no weapon; even if I did bring a bat, it probably would’ve been confiscated.

I was in shit creek without a paddle.

The leader of the Blood Princes walked over with a sharp knife in his hand and a makeshift crown on his head. He had the hands of a fighter and the eyes of a scorned man. My breathing became erratic as I glared at him with my black eyes. He chuckled at me before he punched me across the face.

“So this is the Panda Bitch everyone’s been rambling about. Don’t look so tough without your bat, eh?”

The sleazeball coped a feel as he observed my physical build.

“Skinny….paler than a ghost….how the fuck did a runt like you beat my thugs?”

“This runt has a brain.”

“And a name.”

“A name I’m not gonna give ya.”

“Even when threatened with death?”

“You won’t gain shit by killing me.”

He growled under his breath. “Clever bitch.” The knife thrust into my shoulder. A sharp pain ran through my body as the blood leaked from it. I didn’t even flinch, and the boss didn’t like that very much. This was probably the kind of guy that liked to hear his victims scream. I wasn’t giving him the satisfaction of seeing me in visible pain. I noticed my body felt bruised and battered. They were probably beating on me while I was unconscious.

“So little lamb, are you gonna tell me what I wanna know?”

“Sorry, I don’t date gangsters.”

That earned me another punch across the face and a kick to the gut. Still I sat on the ground as I stared at my captor.

“You were hired by the Inferno Dragons. Why?”

Wait what? That part confused me. I raised an eyebrow at the leader. My confusion only infuriated him further.

“You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout bitch! What are you planning?!”

“I think you got the wrong information, because I ain’t planning shit. Well, that’s not quite accurate. It’s more like I’m not doing shit for those Infernal Dragons.”

“Don’t bullshit me!”

“I’m not. I don’t fight for gangs; I fight for the people.”

“‘The people’?”

“You know, the ones you terrorize with your crimes. Civilians.”

Mumbling occurred among the gangsters. The Blood Princes were discussing the authenticity of my statement. For some reason, they were convinced that I was working for the Inferno Dragons. I sighed impatiently as I spoke once more.

“Look, I’m a vigilante, not a mercenary. I myself am trying to take down the Inferno Dragons. Now I don’t know what the fuck they’ve done to you or what the fuck they’re planning, but they are destroying people’s homes and injuring dozens of civilians. If I don’t do something to stop this, then who the fuck will? You? You guys are more likely to cause more bullshit with an all-out war.”

It was true. Gang wars only escalated the problem; they didn’t stop it. All eyes were on the leader as he was forced to give a response. His response would determine my fate. If he thought I was lying, I would probably be subject to more torture or possibly death. If he thought I was telling the truth, there was a chance that I could make it out of this encounter alive. My heart pounded furiously as I awaited his verdict. His hazel eyes gazed intensely into mine. Neither of us broke eye contact; we didn’t even blink. After a long silence, he put the knife away and answered.

“A’ight, so you’re not bullshitting us. However, I don’t trust you either.”

“Good, ’cause it might be your head next if you decide to hurt innocent people just like what these pyromaniacs are doing.”

“Normally I wouldn’t give a fuck about what some other assholes are doing, but they’ve been in our turf. They’ve also been in other gangs’ turf. They’re burning everything to the ground.”

“So they’ve been targeting your turf?”

“Yeah. These fuckers destroyed our base, killed several of our members, and they burned down my apartment. We heard word that you were around for all of the fires, so we th–“

“So you came to the conclusion that I was some kind of mercenary for the Inferno Dragons that could be bought off or stopped. If any of you had actually been there, then you would’ve known that I was in those buildings saving people’s lives.”

Another moment of silence happened. This moment was then broken by the leader’s laughter.

“Let Wonder Woman here go. Let her keep thinking she can save the world with a pipe.”

“Baseball bat.”

“Oh my bad, a bat.” His words oozed with sarcasm as the cuffs were removed. “Mark my words though: if you cross paths with us again, you’re going to regret it.”

“If you grope my breasts again, you’re going to regret it.”

“You don’t even have a rack.”

“I do, and I don’t appreciate creeps like you touching it.”

I bolted away before he could open his mouth. I had a feeling if I heard the response, I would’ve probably pounced on him. The Blood Princes were not my concern, but it was interesting to know that the Inferno Dragons were making enemies out of everyone. Just what do they hope to accomplish?

Entry Nine: Where The Dragons Are

I forgot how important sleep was. I was so tired that I ended up oversleeping. That’s not what I want to write about though. What I wanted to report was that I found the Inferno Dragons. I even spotted the new leader.

It started with an exploding car.

It was late at night as I ran across the rooftops. My hand tightly clutched the side of a fire escape railing as I noticed odd activity happening below me. A male and a female were arguing with each other. The argument itself wasn’t the oddity; it was the fact that they were wearing identical jackets and a suspicious bottle was in the male’s hand. I decided to quietly lower myself down from the fire escape and listen. I remained in the shadows as the bickering continued.

“Boss didn’t give us orders to burn anything!” exclaimed the woman.

“Fuck what she says! I wanna burn somethin’!” the man growled impatiently.

This boss needed better thugs. My head tilted to glance at the emblems on the jacket. The guy turned just enough for me to see the symbol. Bingo. They were both Dragons. I couldn’t beat them up yet though. I still needed more information. I continued listening.

“Ya going to fuck shit up if you do this, Frank!”

“I want some motherfuckers to burn!”

They continued bickering on whenever or not they should act. Finally the guy was frustrated enough to toss the bottle. It then hit me; that bottle had a handkerchief in it. That was….

Oh shit.

The molotov cocktail set the car it collided with aflame. Fire surrounded the old hunk of junk. The female freaked out as the male laughed maniacally. The male received a slap to the face.

“YOU FUCKING IDIOT! We gotta run now!”

The duo dashed down away. That was my cue to follow them. I climbed back up to the rooftops and chased them down. This time I was chasing them stealthily. It was time for me to locate their base.

Ironically enough, they went to a basketball court that was almost right next to Haven High. There was an old shed in the back that no one hung out in. It was technically closed down after the Haven High incident, but following the law wasn’t something gangs agreed with. Once they got past the tape, I dropped down to the ground and tiptoed to the broken fence. I stayed there and glanced through the caution tape. I saw the two members and several others. They were gathered around one person sitting on top of a pile of junk. The pile was like a trashy throne. The person was a female with striking red hair. Half of her hair reached about two inches past the jaw while the other half was shaved close to her head.  The long half partially covered her face so that I could only see one eye. The other one hid behind the hair. Her green eyes had a ferocity to them. Something told me that she didn’t take kindly to failure.

Then I watched as some unlucky guy was lit on fire.

“You fucked up.” was all she uttered as the guy screamed in agonizing pain.

What bullshit cruelty. I almost stepped in there, but then I realized that there were well over twenty Inferno Dragons hanging out in that one spot. No way in hell could I fight them yet. I frowned realizing this as my heart pounded. It hurt to see that guy suffer. That was when I heard the sound of two more Dragons showing up. Forced to retreat, I ran off into the night. I needed better preparation. I thought I was safe once I reached the top of the school roof.

Well, I found another parkour artist. One that was from the Inferno Dragons. Whoops.

“Hey, who the fu–“

I jumped on him and beat him down with the bat before he could say anything else. I rushed away but tripped over loose scrap metal that fell off the edge and landed on one of the dumpsters. I could hear a mild commotion as I stood up. My rickety bat cracked when I landed on it. One glance made me notice how the wood was splitting in half. Cursing to myself, I got out quickly and ran home before anyone else could find me.

If I want to fight the Inferno Dragons, I’m going to need:

  • A new bat
  • A disguise
  • Some sunscreen

I can’t fight the entire gang at once, so I’m going to have to take down the leader and hope the followers falter. I could probably get her arrested or something. That should work as a plan, right?

Entry Seven: Royal Pains

Goddamnit, why did I forget about the Blood Princes?

Those bastards were still pissed at me for wrecking two of their gang members, so yesterday I found myself in a bad situation. I had to fight about ten guys at once, and every single one of them was much buffer than I. Oh, and I also found physical evidence and managed to rumble with one of the Inferno Dragons.

I’ll start with the Inferno Dragons first.

I decided to head back to the apartment building where I saved that family. Of course, the location was still under investigation, so I had to be careful. The police would get pissed if they saw me entering the restricted parts of the building. Normally the investigation wouldn’t take so long, but this was becoming a trend. Crimes happen all the time in Downtown Haven, but never like this. Crimes do not fall into patterns naturally. Having the exact same type of incident occur multiple times in a short time span is something to worry about. It means someone is formulating a plan.

Despite my discontent with this city, I don’t like the sound of someone burning it to the ground.

I was about two blocks away from the original building. My eyes glanced at the ground level as I watched the police cars drive away. For a second I thought they were on break, but that was when the scent hit my nose. It was that burning smell again. Within no time I bolted in the same direction as the cars. Sure enough, there was another fire. This one blazed wildly out of control. It not only engulfed the apartment building it started from, but it was dangerously close to lighting the nearby buildings on fire as well. The fire department was already there. People were escorted out the area by firefighters. Water blasted out of the hoses. I could see the gushes of liquid fight the growing inferno. (Wait, that line sounds extremely pornographic….it sounded better in my head.) Since the people were safe, I decided to investigate instead. I leaped through a window only to realize too late that it was closed. My sneakers broke the window as the glass shattered. It made a mess, but I suffered no injuries except for a few cuts.

One of my observations was the fire was crazier this time. The other fires seemed more controlled than this one. My second observation was how sloppily the job was done. Two minutes of observation resulted in me finding a bunch of flammable materials scattered around the place. I would’ve dismissed it as coincidence if it wasn’t for the fact some of it was gasoline. Who the fuck would keep gasoline in apartment hallways? Also, no matter how clumsy someone is, no one manages to spill shampoo the entire length of several halls. I was starting to think this was a pretty shitty attempt at copycatting the previous fires. At least until I noticed someone leaped out the window I just broke while wearing the Inferno Dragons jacket. Like hell if I was letting this one escape.

I dived out the window and was greeted with a blast of water. It knocked me off the building and sent me spiraling into the dumpster. My clothes were soaked, and the makeup on my face partially melted away. Irritated and wet, I leaped out the dumpster just as the figure turned a corner. I sprinted after him. From behind me I heard shouts from the cops. I refused to stay behind and get arrested. I was NOT taking the punishment for this. It was one thing to let my parents beat me for something my little brother did; it was another to let myself get arrested for a complete stranger. Not to mention this stranger was malicious in intent. The figure noticed me and picked up speed. In turn I also sped up. It was a wild chase through the streets of Haven. My teeth gritted with frustration as I got close to him. At this point, I could see his physical features. It was a brunette young male with an average frame.

I yelled at him while my hand reached out to grab his collar. “Motherfucker, if you don’t tell m–“

Suddenly I was choking with a muscular man’s arms wrapped around my neck. The man dragged me into a dark alleyway. I struggled to no avail. I didn’t know who it was and assumed it was more Dragons. However, once the other guys appeared, I noticed the colors were different. It only took me a second afterwards to realize I was in the vicinity of several Blood Prince members. The man hurled my body against the brick wall. I cringed in pain from the impact. I sat against the wall as I tried to regain my composure. The back of my head collided with the brick, so my vision was blurry for a bit. I could see waves of hoodies closing in on me.

“You dun fucked up, bitch!”

“Messin’ wit’ our boys, are ya?”

“We’ll beat your face in!”

I completely forgot about that incident. More crap happened since then. At this point, I had just about enough. The suspect scampered away as I remained in the company of a bunch of gangsters that wanted my blood. Brilliant. I glared at all of them as I unsteadily stood up. My hand pulled the bat off my back.

“K, so which one of your royal asses do I beat first?”

My answer was ten doofuses charging at me at once.

Several minutes later, they were all out cold. My bat was caked in blood and splintered. I walked away with several bruises whistling a random tune. I tend to whistle when I’m annoyed. In this case, I was rather annoyed and took out my frustrations on a bunch of thugs. They chose a bad time to jump me.

But now I have to find those Infernal Dragons.

Entry Six: A Smoky Trail

Thanks to my best friend, I had a potential culprit for the fire: The Inferno Dragons.

I decided to meet up with Derek yesterday. Derek and I are close friends; he’s like an older brother to me. We knew each other since elementary school. I helped him get out of his ” girls are icky” stage by playing sports with him. Since then, we’ve talked and made it a habit to hang out with one another at least twice a week. It was a little harder for us to meet up when I kept going to Saint Maria’s, but we still managed. I arrived at the basketball court via my usual method of travel, and he waited for me on the ground. I saw the friendly grin on his face as he glanced at me. Me being on the rooftop was no surprise to him.

“How’s my Trix doin’?” he cheerfully asked. I hopped down in front of him and hugged my arms around him. His right hand playfully ruffled my thick, messy black hair. After a short duration of time, we separated from the hug but still stood closely to each other.

“So you did get dreads!” I noted as my eyes focused on his hair. In my opinion, that hairstyle suits his complexion; he’s dark brown with beautiful brown eyes. They’re warm unlike my generally cold black holes. Obviously he’s African American, so no, we aren’t related by blood, but we might as well should be with how close we are. Besides being a laidback guy, he’s also a good source of information. He has a lot of connections and often receives news quick. Actually, his connections helped me acquire my new home.

“Yeah, I decided to just go through with it. Like ’em?”

“Pretty cool. Now you just need to be able to play sick beats!”

That comment got him chuckling. To be honest, I’m more of a rock fan though. Alternative’s pretty cool to me. I can also get into Metal. Screamo is a completely different story.

“You and Josh liking the new place?”

“Yeah. Josh is much happier now.”

“I’m glad. He needed to get away from those abusive bastards. I’m sorry you’ve been under their ‘care’ for so long.”

“Hey, don’t worry ’bout it, it’s fine.”

“You had me worried sick with those bruises. Very rarely have I ever heard of someone getting two black eyes from the exact same incident.”

“Ha ha….” I started to feel uncomfortable, so I changed the subject. “So I’ve been hearing ’bout these fires. You know anything?”

“I’ve heard a lot actually. You won’t believe who’s back.”

Derek suddenly straighten his posture before leaning in close to me. This had to be pretty freaking important.

“Trix, those Inferno Dragons are back.”

“What?” My eyes widen as I flatly responded. Those bastards were the ones responsible for the Haven High incident. Thanks to their many cases of arson, they were often called “The Infernal Dragons” since they were a menace to society. Many of them were arrested after Haven High burned down. Now they were back for revenge.

“Derek, they haven’t been near Uptown, have they?”

“Thankfully no. They been lighting up buildings deep in Downtown. People say that those two fires on the news were ’cause of them.”

That was a helpful bit of information, but I needed evidence. However, I couldn’t let Derek in on my secret. I was already putting Josh in danger by him knowing; I didn’t need to put Derek in danger too. Plus knowing him, he would worry to all hell and back if he found out I was fighting crime all by myself. So I simply nodded and decided to proceed on to lighter topics.

“Wanna go to the usual place?” I questioned. His posture went from secretive to relaxed.

“Yeah, need me to pay for your ice cream?”

“Nah, I got it.”

“Oh! Speaking of money…”

A frown grew on my face. He had that tone in his voice. It was a tone he had whenever he had to tell me something he knew I wouldn’t like. I tried making a guess.

“Is it about the apartment? Because you know, that’s all good and paid for.”

“It’s not so much about you paying for it than it is about the person who helped me find it…”

Oh hell no. He was not….

“…Please tell me you didn’t…”

“Yeeaaaahhh……you owe a certain someone a date.”

“Quit leaving me in fucking suspense and just say it.”

“Luke.”

“SON OF A BITCH!”

Welp, this weekend is going to suck. As for the evidence, well, I’ll take care of that later. We left for ice cream afterwards, and even though I could pay for my own scoop, he paid for both of us anyway. I had a feeling it was his way of apologizing to me.

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?

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.