Vanguard, Part 1

Given the chance to help a million people, most will do so. It’s that added satisfaction of having been there for that many. It leaves the thought of the person in everyone’s mind. Rarely forgotten, told throughout the ages as the mighty hero. More than a symbol. Someone who helped millions. Maybe even to the cost of their own life.

A more significant is being there for one person. Someone unknown. Someone that will probably never know your name. Probably only know you as that one person who was looking to aid because you’re the sole person on a train that understood what was right and wrong.

Or maybe because you were the person dumb enough to do something.

Given a chance, I would have loved to have been that person. Ignorant in the sense that I could have turned my eyes away and done nothing. Sometimes you have to do something good to get back at the overly dominant evil world that we all lived in. That’s how I felt it when I raised my hand at the guy who had bashed a girl’s head into the window. When I felt his fist hitting the side of my cheek, I thought things over. As it landed, I knew I was already regretting having taken the train. I hated the train.

I spat out a bit of blood that had formed in the bottom of my lip. My tongue tingled from the metallic taste and my teeth felt jarred. The guy standing over me had that biker look, younger though. Not one of those older guys, the ones you knew who were therein the sixties doing heroine before it became mainstream. This guy was the type of biker who thought because he knew how to fix an engine made him better than most of the people here. Damned fool if you ever saw one.

He picked me up by the collar of my blazer. I had decided to walk back from my friend’s place. It was clear across town, and I was dumb enough to take the train this late.

Too many mistakes.

The poser spat in my face as he growled his jowls at me. “You lookin’ to die, punk!?”

This guy had obviously never watched any underdog movies. “Not today,” I said as heroicly as my miniature chest allowed me to bellow. Before he could attempt another threat on me, I slammed my foot down the front of his right shin. He screamed in surprised and pushed me back.

I slipped backwards and found my ass had landed my ass awkwardly in one of the train’s seats. I meant to do that. This didn’t stop the poser. As I grabbed a railing nearby to help balance my way standing, he decided it would be a good a idea to slam into me. While it did well to pin me against the seat, and knock me out of air it also provided me with a good section of meat.

Holding me to the side of the seat, I began to pummel and lay into this back and kidneys. No matter how strong you are, and I’m certainly not in the range, you can’t hit the boney area or shoulders. Too much muscle. They’d take up most of your blows and soak it all up. Have to aim for the nicer areas, the ones that screamed for you to take them. The kidneys and if you could the liver if you could reach around someone who had you pinned. As big as he was compared to me, I was able to reach around and lay into these vital areas.

He too wasn’t letting me rest, laying into my ribs and sides. They don’t go out as easily as TV leads you to believe. They’re made to protect those organs inside of your body. While they’re good against most fists, it doesn’t mean it’s going to feel like a picnic.

I clenched my teeth and held my breath through each blow. Landing a successive amount of blows to his kidneys he finally pulled back and aimed a quick jab to my jaw. My turn to go on the offensive.

What the man lacked in speed he made up in strength. Still, a good mixture of both helped a lot. Made me wish I had worked out more. The jab came in hard for my jaw, right side. I ducked quickly and dashed forward, feeling the breath of air running down my neck from his missed attack. I aimed for his waist line and pushed into him as much as I could. It was enough, plus he allowed his balance to go out the window from his attack. It was a rookie mistake.

I felt him stutter on his footing and kept my head ducked. Better to keep low than to get cocky. The guy was still bigger than me. Before he could recover from my unexpected rush, I rushed him again this time and aimed for the window behind him. There was a loud crack as the back of his skull met with the glass. I looked up to see past his form that his eyes were closed and heard the man let out the yell.

From here, things became simple. One thing to do to ensure that you’re going to win is to make sure you don’t hurt him too badly. Only enough that he remembers what can happen in public.

Pulling back from his body I came forward once more with a fluid uppercut. I had practiced this technique practically often. It had become a signature of mine. As they landed into the bottom of the guy’s nose I heard the wet snap, that moment of connection where you know where something becomes mush. This guy’s nose took a few seconds to become just that.

When you knock someone out badly, they don’t immediately fall down. They take a little bit of time to waver. Some stay coherent for a few more seconds. Most, I noticed, slide over to one side and fall to the floor that way. It’s never been clear. Always was a mess. The poser leaned to his right side and feel over the side, head first into a train seat. Head first into a seat, his lower side bent over to the panel of the chair. For any passenger that walked in or had been watching would have swore the poser was waiting for his boyfriend to arrive.

I panted for a moment. The exchange maybe took less than ninety seconds. I grabbed his hand, he yelled at me, I slid down his shin, he pinned me, I destroyed kidneys and maybe had a liver shot in there, pushed him back, slammed him into the window, and then broke his nose which was now bleeding all over the dark grey outline of the seat. Adrenaline could be a beautiful thing.

Looking over my shoulder, I saw the female who had been hit a few times by her “lover”. Her eyes looked over to me, surprised and perhaps in shock. Who helped anyone these days? I offered a hand, “You alright?” I asked.

The woman took a moment before she stood up herself and slapped her hand away from me. “What the yell did you do?” She yelled, her innocent and startled eyes vanished into a blaze of fury.

I was about to stumble out a heroic quote about saving the day before she slapped me right across the face. It reminded me why I did what I did. There was soft ding as the train stopped and I looked up at the florescent red lights. My stop had arrived. I took a few steps to my side and waved at her. “Well, weary traveler. Fear not! You’ve been saved by the mysterious young lad!”

I don’t know what shocked her more. The face she gave me when I punched out her boyfriend, or whatever the hell the poser had been, or when I announced myself as the mysterious young lad. Yeah, I made that shit up on the fly. Sue me.

Dashing through the doors I ran down the tunnels of the subway and brushed past a few people who were still out in the early night. Most avoid the subway now. It’s how it goes.

I was welcomed by a rush of free, dirtied air that filled my lungs. I took a deep breath of it and granted it into my body. It was all beautiful, all of it was fantastic. I pushed it out through my nostrils and looked up at the glowing lights that New York city provided.

I loved New York.

 

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