Another older short story set in the same timeline as First Time.
It was nice to get some time off. The stress of school had been starting to get to me, but a weekend of leave was just the thing I needed. My plans were pretty simple, to get together with a group of friends from high school and hit the town for a night. There was a new club that everyone was raving about, and Lucy was sure she could get us into.
After looking at where the club was on the map, I hesitated a bit. That area was well known by locals as the bad part of town, and few people traveled there after dark. However, from what I had been hearing, it had gotten much better since I was gone, hence the new club opening up. So, we suited up in our finest, trashy club outfits and set out on the town. I, of course, brought my snubnosed in my purse. There was no sense in having a concealed carry permit if I didn’t use it.
When we got to the club, I thought we had picked a bad night. There was a massive line out the door of people waiting for the bouncer to let them in. Imagine my shock when Lucy and Toni walked straight up to the door without even slowing down. As soon as he saw Lucy, the bouncer seemed to stand up straighter, and he stepped aside to let her pass without comment. Madison grabbed my arm and pulled me through the door while Toni hung back to flirt with the bouncer a bit.
I don’t remember much about the club, which means I probably had a good time. I do remember trying to pay my tab before we left, only for the bartender to wave me off saying that it was “taken care of.” The cold air helped sober me up a bit on the walk home, but I was still pretty buzzed. It took someone stepping out of one of the dark alleys to remind me that this was the same part of town that everyone had always said to avoid when I was growing up. Thanks to the adrenaline, my head cleared up real quick and I started to reach into my purse for my snubnosed, only to stop when more people stepped up behind us and to our flank.
I did a quick tactical assessment. Four sobering up girls with a single revolver between them versus at least five large men with unknown weapons surrounding us. It didn’t look like fighting our way out would be very helpful. Knowing that the rest of the group probably didn’t have any sort of training to handle getting out of this sort of situation without anyone getting hurt, I was preparing to step up and speak for us when Lucy beat me to it.
“Jamal,” she said, “what did I say about muggings?” Her voice was soft but firm as if she was in complete control of the situation.
“Bitch, you ain’t said nothing to me!” he shouted, as he reached into his jacket and pulled out a gun. I started to draw on him, but I was pushed to the ground by Toni. I was about to yell at them for stopping me when I saw Lucy move out of the corner of my eye. Turning to watch her, what I saw next caused an entire paradigm shift in my world.
Lucy’s arm stretched outwards to an impossible length and bent in ways that bones would not allow. It reached towards Jamal’s arm and caught it before he could bring his gun to bear. Stepping forward calmly, Lucy easily pulled the gun from his hand while still gripping his wrist with the same hand in a move that my mind still refuses to comprehend. At the same time, she reached out with her other hand and lifted Jamal into the air by his throat. His eyes widened.
“What. Did. I. Say.” Lucy spoke more forcefully this time as if issuing a command for him to speak rather than a question.
“No… no muggings.” Jamal managed to squeak out through the apparent vice grip on his neck.
“Because it brings police.” Jamal seemed to be almost shaking in terror.
As I wondered why we weren’t dead yet, I turned around to look at the other would-be muggers. To my shock, they had dropped what seemed to be all of the weapons they were carrying on the ground and knelt with their hands on their heads. Madison and Toni were going around and collecting their weapons.
I turned back to Lucy, still confused and a bit in shock. There was a small trickle of blood flowing down the arm that she was using to hold Jamal aloft. She stared at him for a moment, and then nodded in satisfaction.
“You are lucky I found out so soon. If I had had to find out by hearing about the poor people you hurt or killed I might have been angry.” Lucy’s voice was sweat, almost saccharine given the situation. Still holding Jamal by his throat, Lucy turned to the men on their knees.
“I trust each of you knows why he will be punished?” They gave only the feeblest of nods in response. “Good. I want each of you to tell your friends and family about what happened here and why you are going away. Then I want you to strap a block of concrete to your feet and throw yourselves in the river.” At this, I could not contain myself.
“Lucy!” I shouted in indignation.
“They are getting off easy.” She said simply. She then looked back at the group and said “The normal Sacrificial Pier will suffice.” They seemed to take this as a dismissal and left.
“Madison, can you take these things to the warehouse?” Lucy said as she gestured to the discarded weapons. Madison nodded and began loading them into a car that she unlocked with a pair of keys dropped with the arsenal.
“Toni, put her to bed, I will explain everything in the morning.” Immediately after that, I felt a small prick in the side of my neck, and the world began to fade.
The next morning, I woke up with a massive headache. I quickly dismissed my memories of the walk home as an alcohol-fueled dream. Dismissed that is, until I looked at the morning news on the TV and saw the face of the same man that we had met outside that alley last night. The segment accompanying his picture said that he had been found disemboweled and hanging from a streetlamp that morning. Shockingly, he was still alive and conscious until after the paramedics cut him down, although they are not sure how he survived that long. Apparently, he died while they rushed him to the hospital. During the short time they had, police got no information from him about who had done this, as all he would say was “I’m sorry.” Right now the only information they had was that on his chest were carved the words “NO MUGGINGS.” Police suspect this might have something to do with the recent sharp drop in violent crimes in the area.
I briefly contemplated reaching for the phone to call the police with what I knew, but I was cut off as Lucy entered the room.