When I was in high school, I was rarely lucid. I was also…an idiot.
But I had one aspiration: I wanted to be a writer. Ever wonder what you get when you mix a simple-minded sixteen year old with delusions of grandeur and a die-hard determination to clank away on her keyboard like a moneky chained to a typewriter?
You get a coming of age story about two girls—one with a broken leg, one with a very big stick—and a colony of vicious bums wielding Medieval weaponry.
Folks, I give you PART II of I CAN’T BELIEVE I WROTE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!
Medieval Bum Wars by Teenage Me.
I’m going to stick you right into the meat of things.
Echo Park. Los Angeles, CA.
Amanda, my hero girl, is training with her token Asian buddy Jenny in preparation for the BIG END OF YEAR BATTLE ROYALE with a six-footer-varsity-soccer Bully Girl who, earlier in the plot, threatened to spin kick Amanda’s head in like a soccer ball. Please don’t ask me to explain why. As I’ve said before, I was rarely lucid. This story is your basic Underdog plot, think Rocky, think Karate Kid, especially Karate Kid since I have an Asian mentor.
Amanda and Jenny are running laps around the park and Jenny has Amanda shadow boxing to the beat of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ when Bully Girl darts through the bushes and chases them down like the T-1000.
The pair opt to split up and Amanda ends up crouched next to a bramble bush…not daring to make a sound. But Bully Girl’s got a predatory sense of SMELL and soon, she sniffs Amanda out. Trouble!
I hoist myself up on my hands and knees. I turned around just in time to see a giant soccer cleat, attached to the world’s meatiest legs, propelling straight toward my face. The only thing I could do was close my eyes and wait for the pain to come.
But Jenny saves the day!
When I opened my eyes, I saw Jenny Hong in the air, her legs like a propeller blade on a helicopter, spin kicking a surprised Mary Easton in the face. The kicking, which would have disabled a normal person, had no effect on Mary.
Jenny gets her come-uppins…
Jenny’s little feet landed on Mary’s cheeks like little baby slaps—to no great effect. Jenny was merely a pesky mosquito buzzing around Mary—an annoyance only. At the very least, it bought time. A distraction.
Soon I could tell that Mary had had enough of Jenny. With one deft motion, Mary snatched Jenny’s leg in mid-kick, and with an unbelievable amount of superhuman strength, bought her elbow down on Jenny’s shin.
Mary snaps Jenny’s leg like a twig.
Amanda picks up a big stick and clobbers Mary over the head.
Mary topples over like a giant oak.
Now the girls’ face a REAL problem: how do they get to school before tardy bell with Jenny and her broken leg? See, I was always a good student. Even my characters had attendence as their number one priority.
Jenny, the smart one (of course she’s smart, she’s Asian. Duh! I’m also Asian, so Jenny is an extension of me, particularly the fierce karate maneuvers—that’s all me. I have a PhD in PAIN, remember?), devises a plan:
“Okay,” Jenny said, “Here’s what we’ll do. You see that bum over there?”
“The one on the bench?”
“No,” Jenny motioned with her chin, “the one taking a leak by yonder oak tree.”
“Oh, yes. Well, what about him?”
Jenny shot me a look that told me she was up to no good.
“I’m afraid to ask,” I said wearily.
“You see his shopping cart?”
I nodded. “I don’t like where this is going…”
“Take the cart, Amanda.”
“Are you mad?!”
“No,” Jenny said slowly, “I’m in pain.”
“Father Willie says stealing is a sin. Stealing a homeless man’s shopping cart will surely buy us a one way ticket to Hell.”
“Bullshit,” Jenny spat.
“It’s like we’re taking all this man’s worldly possessions! Father Willie says we should never pick on bums.”
“Is this the same Father Willie that seduced your mother?”
When I failed to answer, Jenny added, “That’s what I thought. I don’t think you should be taking advice from the likes of him. Besides, I’m not saying you should steal the cart. Just take it.” She paused, yanking out her wallet and shuffled through its contents. “Here,” she handed a wad of bills to me, “forty bucks should cover the damage. Now, here’s what I want you to do. Casually stroll over there, dump his stuff out, toss the money on top of the pile, get me in the cart, and wheel us the fuck out of here.”
“Sounds easy enough,” I said dryly. “What do you propose we do about the bum? You think he’s just going to stand ideally by while we make off with his cart?”
“Oh let’s see. He’s taking a piss. His back is turned,” Jenny said. “You’ve got a stick.” She slaps her forehead. “Do I have to spell it out for you?!”
Despite her initial reservations, Amanda tip toes like the Hamburglar over to the unsuspecting bum. Here I realize that all the bum activists are going to be on my ass for posting this… Eh, your entertainment is worth the risk.
I resumed tip-toeing toward the target, gripping the stick with two sweaty palms. I was about tapping distance from the homeless man when he must have sensed that someone was behind him. Zipping up quickly, he spun around. His bloodshot eyes went from my apologetic face to the giant stick in my hands posed to strike.
He opened his toothless mouth. “What the—-”
I swung the stick and the bum crumpled to the ground.
Biting my bottom lip, I surveyed him for any signs of movement. He was completely out. “Sorry mister,” I said, crouching down and stuffed the wad of cash into his jacket pocket. “I’m so sorry for the trouble.”
Amanda’s wheeling Jenny (now in the bum’s shopping cart) out of the park. They think they’re going to make it to the sidewalk when they hear a shout:
“Hey!” the voice screamed again. “Somebody stop them girls!”
I turned around. It was the bum, stumbling toward us as if drunk, one grisly paw rubbing the side of his head.
Another voice sounded from the park bench. “What is it, Larry?”
“Those girls attacked me and stole my cart!”
A different voice, a woman’s voice, haggard and drowsy, responded from somewhere in the bushes, “Say what?”
“They stole my cart! They beat me with a stick while I was having myself a piss!”
“You don’t say?” the bench bum called.
I turned to Jenny who said, “You should have hit him twice. Always hit them twice.” She tapped me on the forehead. “See? You never learn. Now we’re in for it.”
The bushes and trees rustled. The rustling was light at first and then increased in volume. Out into the daylight, they came. The bums. Stumbling out of their hiding places and into the park clearing.
“What is this?” Jenny whispered. “A bum colony?”
There must have been a dozen of them, some waving empty gin bottles, some shaking their grizzled fists, while others snarled, their dry, cracked lips pulled back revealing missing teeth. They closed in on us, corralling us with their tattered, unwashed bodies.
Jenny and I huddled together, fearing what may soon turn out to be a bum mob.
“There!” the first bum spat, pointing an accusatory finger in my face. “That’s her. That doe-eyed white girl. She’s the one who knocked me on that head with that there stick. See, she’s still holding it. The bitch!”
A volley of angry roars echoed through the bum mob.
Prompted by the crowd’s response, he continued. “And that cart is mine! She dumped out all my cans so she could take her little Asian friend on a joyride!”
This got more shouting from the audience.
“Bad enough we had some loon filmmaker try to lure us with them dry-ass turkey legs so we can fight each other in his sick little movie, now we got these crazy bitches trying attacking us when we piss and robbing us blind!”
I staggered backward. “Well, genius. If you’ve got a plan to get us out of this one, now’s the time,” I whispered to Jenny.
“Quiet,” Jenny snapped, rubbing her temples. “Let me think!”
“Think faster!” I eyed the encroaching mob wearily. They were making more noise as the lumbered toward us, some were foaming at the mouth, some were banging their liquor bottles menacingly against their knees.
I felt an urgent tug at my sleeve. “The stick, Amanda,” Jenny instructed. “Use the stick. Beat the shit out of anything that moves and get us out of here!”
“Wait! Don’t stop!” you say? Too bad. This post is turning into an incredibly long one. In the interest of preventing your eyes from melting, I will follow Suzanne Collin’s example in The Hunger Games and keep you in SUSPENSE. In other words, I believe in cliffhangers…
Here’s a teaser:
“Get him off me!” I screamed. “He’s biting me! The motherfucker’s biting me!”
Just a little something to look forward to…