By Scott Gressitt
I looked the speaker over. He was at least 6 foot 4 and easily had 50 pounds on me. He looked like he had the IQ of a shovel and the temperament of a wolverine.
As words began escaping my mouth, I instantly imagined myself dying at his feet, bleeding out, brain dead from blunt force trauma. “Well, my friend, I have a three part answer. A, my father raised me as a gentleman and pressed me to always come to the aid of a lady in distress. B, I got up late and took this alley as a short cut to my favorite java joint. And, C, my filters have been broken since I went through the windshield of my truck twelve years ago and I don’t know when to shut up and mind my own business. In summary, if you hit her one more time, I’ll die trying to stop you.”
He let go of her and turned to me, his southpaw winding up down around his ankle.
This is gonna hurt so bad, I thought, as his fist flew my way.
I put my head down and charged, lunging shoulder first toward his sternum, resigned to whatever punishment the future promised.
He went down, my head locked in his well-muscled right arm. He laughed as he pummeled me with his left.
I was impressed by the sounds of banging and crunching that seemed to be coming from the other end of the alley. Looking up, I noticed the sun highlight yellowing fall leaves circling by. It was a beautiful morning.
I managed to reach up and pinch his lower lip between my thumb and knuckle. With everything I had, I yanked his lip down until I felt tissue begin to tear. I thought that would distract him enough to reconsider his attack, but alas, it furthered his rage and I felt him wind up for the big one.
As the idea of grabbing his balls started to form a cohesive thought, I noticed the woman.
Just moments before, she had been cornered in a defensive position. Now she moved aggressively toward us and slammed her heel into his left eye.
Normally, that would’ve left a nice shiner by the next morning, but, sadly for Grizzly Adams, she was wearing stilettos.
He roared as the heel plunged through his eyeball and the soft tissue behind it. Then he lay still, sighed, and relaxed his grip on me.
“You owe me, you fat old fuck.” She sneered, yanking her shoe from his eye socket and wiping his blood off the leopard skin print with his shirt.
It took a moment to register that she was talking to me.
She slipped her shoe on, arranged the mess of platinum curls on her head, and turned her back on me, moving down the littered alley at a remarkable rate, stilettos and all.
I slowly picked myself up from the pavement, nursing my swelling head.
She turned and hollered from a hundred paces, “Which way you going, old man?”
“To the nearest doctor, sweetie.”
“Well drop me off at 10th and Market on your way.”
“That’s not on my way.”
She stopped in her tracks, hands on her hips, eyes rolling, “Really. You were willing to die for me, but you can’t drive me six blocks?”
“Yeah, yeah, OK, get in, my dear.”
“I’m not your dear.”
“You certainly aren’t, are you? Lucky for you, Father raised a gentleman.”
“Your father raised a pussy,” she insisted, oozing disdain.
She got in anyway and, of course, pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lighted one, filling the morning with her foul blue cloud.
I wondered what sort of life had lead her to this point.
As if reading my mind, she said, “He was a piece of shit. Someone should’ve killed him a long time ago.” Then she added absently, “My name’s Kelly.”
She looked out the window, taking in the morning traffic, the locals moving through the city, ant-like and busy.
I shut up. I was out of clever one-liners and my head was throbbing. As I pulled up to her corner, she was half way out the door before I came to a stop.
Without looking at me, she swung the door, squeezing out a “K. Thanks” as it slammed.
I turned my car around and headed to the local ER, saying to the door, “All righty then! Sure has been an interesting morning meeting you and Grizzly. Sorry it was under such adverse circumstances, Miss Kelly. Perhaps after they sew my face back together, we could have coffee. I know a great little place in Bankers Hill that has the best croissant.”
About Scott Gressitt
An amateur writer and rapscallion, I write of my past, a life laden with extraordinary events. I have walked in places most of the population avoids. Besides scars and bruises, I’ve collected experiences that frighten, delight and entertain. I write with the intent to take you on a wild ride where all your senses are fully engaged.
Photo credit: Maegan Tintari