Monday, April 27, 2015

Part 127

"I don't do business with scabs," Moe rumbled in warning.

OK, that told me what or who they were but I had a feeling it wasn't shoes they were after.  How did I know?  They were looking at me like they were a feral pack and I was an unclaimed bone.

Completely ignoring Moe several of them pulled knives and rushed me.  What the heck?!  Only one made it through after my patrol and Moe started busting heads but one was enough.  I got the sudden feeling that the others had actually been a distraction and that the guy coming at me had planned it so that it was just me and him.  Too bad for him that he'd waited too long.  I'd spent too much time in the city surviving and too much time alone surviving.  Even amongst friends you have to be prepared for things to change lightning fast.  Strutting in and stopping to make a physical statement had given me time to set and prep myself for whatever was coming.

He pulled a knife and I parried with my bat.  His arm was longer than mine and he was taller but that's not always the advantage that people think it is.  His primary advantage was he was a long, thin rail that seemed to have some flexibility so that he could dodge.  But he was also overconfident and attacking with very little thinking behind his jabs and swings.  He also fought with only one hand.  I'd learned to be ambidextrous despite being a natural lefty.

If he'd been a real knife artist I would have been in trouble but this guy fought like every opponent was a nail and he was a hammer.  It might work on your average person but it didn't work with me.  Sherry would have kicked my behind if it had.  She was the one that taught me how to defend myself against the box cutters that the other girls and women carried ... especially against those that wanted to mess up your looks but not kill you.  This guy was out for murder but he thought he was going to have some fun first and I decided that he most definitely was not.

"You killed my baby sister," he growled.

I asked, "Was your sister a puss brain?"

He screamed in rage and really came at me hard but I dodged.  I was aware that mine wasn't the only fight going on so knew not to count on any help.  "Geez, are you damaged or what?!"

"You disrespect her memory on top of killing her?!  I'll make you pay!!"

"So if I'm gonna pay mind telling me ..."

I heard a crash and a baby cry.  How could I forgotten there was a baby?!  I was so over it all; I didn't care why this guy was after me but I was done.  I went from defense to offense and came in with a low, hard swing on top of his right knee cap ... the leg he seemed to lead with every time.  There was a loud pop and he went down screaming.  I turned and jumped over a table and Moe and I got to the guy that was coming at Sher and Dawnie at almost the same time.  Moe took him high, I took him low, and if he hadn't been connected at the waist he would have gone flying in two pieces in two different directions.

Moe took up a stance in front of them ready to take on anyone else and I turned just in time to fend off another attack from Wonder Bread boy.  That's what was on his t-shirt ... an old Wonder Bread logo ... though it was filthy and faded.  It was also torn and I saw that he wasn't just skinny but really nasty skinny - emaciated even - with the edge of his rib cage showing.  I think I could have been compassionate and just let it go - I think I could have - if he hadn't kept coming and coming and coming at me.

"Will you stop being stupid?!" I shouted at him.  "One, I don't know jack about your sister and two, you're gonna get hurt!"

Breathing heavily he shouted, "Don't lie!!!"

And that was the last thing he said because Sgt. Shelly pistol whipped him so hard he dropped like a rock.  Then the MPs arrived and if I thought things were messy before they were suddenly a lot worse as they waded in kicking and using riot clubs on anyone that didn't stop fighting and back way the moment they came through the flap.

"Quiet!!!" The bellow of the lead MP was so loud and commanding that with that one word it sounded like the whole base went silent.  "That's better.  Now, who is senior rank here?"

"That'd be me Rickerson," Sgt. Shelly answered.

"Oh.  You again," he sighed like he suddenly felt a migraine coming on.

Sgt. Shelly chuckled darkly but said, "Hate to disappoint but not our fault."  She pointed to the floor and said, "Scabs."

The MP looked at the now subdued crowd of about ten and said, "You bunch were making noise after discipline hour this morning."

One of the girls spit in my direction and she said, "That little ***** killed Matt's sister."

"I didn't kill anyone," I snapped.  "I don't know what they are talking about.  They just came in here and started breaking up the place."

Lucy came over and said, "That chick that tried to knife you was a three-striker.  She got put in the tank with the bad girls and then got in a fight she couldn't win.  Skull got cracked open before the guards could separate everyone and break up the tussle."

It wasn't a nice story but I'm not going to feel sorry for someone who makes a habit of acting crazy and stupid.  "So what has that got to do with me?"

She shrugged.  "Brother has to blame someone and you are the closest he could get to."

Angry at the injustice I snapped, "How about he blame himself for dragging his sister into a crappy life?  Or setting a bad example?  Or whatever?  Her choices are not my fault, all I was doing was defending myself.  Was I supposed to stand there and let her gut me with that pig sticker she had?  Not this side of the Pearlies I can guarantee that."

I saw Moe get a wicked gleam in his eye and come stand on my other side.  He asked the MPs, "You bunch suddenly taking the word of Scabs over your own now?"

The MP looked at him but didn't say anything. He turned to the men with him and jerked his head indicating they were to take the scabs away, to drag them off in the case of the unconscious ones.  Without another word he followed them.

I started to pick up the stuff that had been knocked over.  "Why didn't they ask for a report?"

Gayle answered, "The scabs are all two-strikers.  Doesn't matter what they did, if they don't get themselves killed in the tank they'll be heading for a work camp as soon as the prison rail car has room for them."

Josie added, "More n' like they already know about last night and have put two and two together to come up with whatever it takes to haul that bunch off."

Sher sat rocking Dawnie and feeding her to calm her down.  She said, "That bunch is well known.  There used to be more of them but the winter halved their number."

"Yeah, they looked bad off."

Moe asked me, "You feelin' sorry for 'em?"

"Heck no," I griped.  "Just stating a fact.  I've been bad off too but I've never turned into a scab or whatever you want to call them.  Not even in the city did we steal from other groups like they were doing."

"No we didn't," Moe said with some pride.  "And I better not hear of you feeling sorry for them either.  That girl what fought with you got what was coming to her and so will that bunch of ***wipes."


  1. Thanks for more of your great story Kathy. Praying for you and yours.

  2. Thanks for more of your great story Kathy. Praying for you and yours.