So, with everything going on, I decided to take a break from cynical realities of life and try romanticizing harsh realities of life. I don’t know if this will be a short story or something more. Let me know what you think.
Honor Among Thieves
My heart pounded in my ears as I ran through the darkness. But I knew running in the darkness was futile. No matter how hard or fast I ran, darkness encased my every turn. I was running in place and my predators were gaining on me. I made another quick turn and my life flashed before my eyes for the umpteenth time in 22 years. I thought about the decisions that got me to this very moment.
Love. Acceptance. Respect. Protection. I spent my entire life searching for these, putting myself in life threatening situations for anything resembling this. I’ve damn near lost my life chasing after anything that displays itself as loving acceptance. But I soon discovered that these were pretty lies, always too late. I had bought another dream that never delivered. Now, I was finally going to pay for it. I screamed out loud for help. I’m not sure to who, or for what reason. Maybe it was just for good measure. But I screamed loud again as I rounded the corner and slammed body first into a human brick wall.
I groaned and rolled over to my side as if shielding myself from blows inevitable. After what seemed like hours of stillness, I gazed up through a guarded head, and saw the ominous figured standing above me. He was over 6 feet tall with long black hair. He was built like a brick wall–sturdy. At the angle I was at, I couldn’t make out his face. I slowly unfolded from my ball and that’s when the mountainous man began to move. I flinched defensively, awaiting a blow. Peeking through my fingers, I saw his massive hand extended. I slowly reached out to grab it, and with a swift but gentle move, he pulled me to my feet. From this position, I could see his face more clearly. It didn’t seem to match his face. He had a beard, but his face looked young. He had soft features, and friendly light eyes. When he spoke his was a mixture of his appearance, gruff yet gentle and full of humor.
“Was wondering how long you were going to stay balled up like that.” He stated simply.
“Um, sorry.” I replied. It was the only thing I could think to say.
“Vultures chasing you?” He asked calmly.
“Um, vultures?” I asked confused. I hadn’t noticed I hadn’t been breathing and took long deep breaths to steady myself. I placed my hands on the wall to try to stop the world from spinning underneath my feet.
“Pack of guys, pouncing on anything that appears weak or ignorant of their position?” He explained, sitting against the wall.
“Oh, them. Yeah.” I answered. The giant reached into a sac beside him and pulled out two bottles of water and two packets of pop tarts. He handed me one of the bottles and a packet.
“You’re going to need to keep your strength up out here. Especially if you stay to yourself.” He explained. I cautiously accepted the gifts, trying to decide if I could trust him or not.
“So, your not one of them?” I asked anxiously. He chuckled.
“If I did the things they did, I wouldn’t really need a group.” He smiled and took a drink from his water bottle. “I also would have knocked you out by now.”
“Good point” I said sliding down the wall next to him. I opened the water bottle and took huge swallows. I began ripping into the poptart package when I heard the heavy footsteps and heady breathing. I tried to jump to my feet, but I was so dizzy, so weak. As the footsteps got closer, I began to panic. The giant rose to his feet with ease and stood in front of me just as the vultures rounded the corner.
It was as if I was watching a cartoon, the leader stopping and the vultures slamming into him trying to stop. I had no idea what was occurring, but I was quietly looking for a way to escape. The vultures had the fear in their eyes as I did when I first met the seemingly friendly giant, but there’s didn’t dissipate.
“Still playing Captain Save A Hoe, Big E?” The leader asked snidely. The giant smiled.
“Wrong guy in cape” He answered quietly.
“Look man, we don’t want no trouble. We just want the piece of meat behind you.” I felt my heart drop. I willed the giant to look at me, so he could see my pleading eyes, maybe he would find a reason to spare me. When he did finally look at me, he smiled with crazy eyes, and pulled out a hunters knife. My breath got caught in my lungs as he turned back to the vultures.
“I’ll make you a deal. Any of you can get through me to get to her, and can get her physically past me, she’s all yours.” He said in the same unbothered tone had used before. The vultures froze, as if contemplating the challenge. The leader looked pissed and was becoming antsy.
“Come on Man! We’ll even share her with you.” He bargained. The giant glanced in my direction as if considering the terms.
“I don’t share” He replied. The leader was irate now and spewed out a slew of obscenities. He even spit in the giants direction. But, he didn’t make a move towards him. Which mean he didn’t make a move towards me. The giant didn’t flinch.
“This ain’t over.” He bellowed before signaling to his crew to retreat. As the vultures receded, the giant picked up his bag and started heading in the opposite direction.
“You coming?” He asked casually over his shoulder. I quickly ran to catch up with him.
“Um, thank you for what you did back there.” I thanked him
“No problem” He simply replied.
“Well, I’m Kay” I told him nervously.
“Batman.” He stated. I stared at him confused.
“You’re Batman?” I asked slowly. He smiled mischievously and nodded.
“Although some call me E.”
“So, I presume we’re headed to the Bat cave?” I asked laughing.
“To see Alfred and Robin” He replied. I laughed some more than got nervous.
“By the way, um…I like girls. I mean I like people…just not…um….” I had no idea how to go about this.
“Not interested in anything no consensual. Or selling people.” He stated again, in the same unbothered tone.
“Oh, good. Great! So we’ll just have contest to see who can pull the most girls.” This statement got a large bellowing laugh from him.
“No competition. I got the rugged good looks. You’re much too dainty.” I couldn’t help but laugh. Laugh at the joke. Laugh at life. Laugh at this new adventure path I was taking with this stranger deemed Batman. Laughed because I finally had a break before the next wave Life would hit me with.