(Disclaimer: A warning to those who continue. This is a sequel to a previous story. Both of these were written in the mid-1990’s. While the first one was slightly edited and vanity press published, this one has not been touched in over 20 years. I figure I should do something with it and people may get a laugh or fright from how I used to be. Every author comes from somewhere, so this is part of my origin. To that end, I am deeply sorry for whatever nightmares I will inflict on the literary world and the American English language. Enjoy?)
Adriana and Tegam are currently wandering around King’s Plaza and they have already hit three other malls. Tegam is moving slowly while a high stack of multi-colored parcels block his view and weigh him down. Adriana is quickly moving in front of him and looking at all of the stores around them. She finally finds a store with fancy outfits and a pretty big lingerie section. Tegam gladly puts the stack of boxes down and he slumps against the nearest wall.
“May I help you?” asks a young lady as Adriana starts looking through a rack of fancy dresses. She pulls out a beautiful dress made out of red satin with a black velvet jacket.
“Do you know if this kind of dress comes in any smaller sizes? It looks way too long. It also appears to be a little too tight in the bust area,” says Adriana.
“I’ll go check what we have in storage.” The young lady disappears behind a nearby doorway while Adriana takes the dress into the dressing room.
“Having fun Tegam? You look like you aren’t enjoying yourself,” mentions Adriana before she comes out of the little room. She almost trips over the long skirt of the dress, but she manages to grab hold of the wall. Her hand leaves an imprint in the wall from where she grabbed it. She is having a little bit of a problem breathing because the dress is practically crushing her chest.
“How do I look in this? Besides the fact that my face is starting to turn blue and I’m afraid that I will trip over my own feet.”
“You look good. Can I go now?” replies Tegam.
“No. I need you to carry my new wardrobe. Besides, we only have one mall to hit after this one before we return to the shuttle. Try to show some patience and I promise that you will be rewarded.”
The young lady comes back with a smaller version of the dress that Adriana is wearing and hands it to her. Even though the new dress is smaller, the top of it is bigger than the first dress. Adriana takes the dress and goes back into the changing room in order to put it on.
“Excuse me. Is your friend some kind of fashion model? I mean she certainly has the body for it. And it would help explain how she could afford all those clothes and the one she’s trying on,” says the young lady. Tegam looks up at her and smiles as a funny thought crosses his mind. But he knows that if he says what he is thinking, Adriana would make his life even worse than it is now.
“Yeah. She’s a model. I’m her cousin and she wanted to go shopping since it’s her first time in New York City. Adriana spends most of her time either in her French estate or where she was born in Italy. You probably haven’t seen her because she mostly models jewelry and shoes. They don’t usually show her entire body. Except when she does lingerie shows,” explains Tegam as Adriana walks up behind him in the outfit that she walked into the store with.
“My cousin. He is such a blabbermouth. I really wanted to do some shopping without anyone knowing what I do for a living. Like I don’t get enough attention because of my looks. But a pretty woman like you probably already knows about that kind of attention,” Adriana says with a slight Italian accent. She gives off an award-winning smile and hands back the dress that fit her and a credit card.
“I’ll go get you a receipt and bag your purchase.” The young woman takes a few minutes to get back with the dress and the receipt. Adriana signs the small piece of paper and she is walking out of the store when she hears a loud crash to her right. She looks over to the escalators and sees three big guys beating up on a small child. The little kid, who looks about ten-years-old, is wearing dirty clothes and he has a metal cup that jingles with coins in his left hand.
“Fucking bastards. I’ll teach them to pick on a kid. Especially a homeless kid that only wants money for food. I’ll be right back, Tegam,” whispers Adriana. She walks toward the trio of men with an angry look on her face. She gently taps the biggest one on the shoulder and smiles at him once he turns around.
“What the hell do you want, bitch? We’re busy with this piece of trash,” he says. His breath reeks of Jack Daniels and marijuana.
“Nothing, jackass.” She kicks him hard in the gut and the impact sends the large man into the escalator. The blow knocks him unconscious and his limp body is carried up to the next level of the mall. His two friends just look at Adriana and each of them pulls out a switchblade.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me. After what I just did to your friend, you two still want to fight me. Let me help you make a much smarter decision.” She swiftly grabs one of the blades and rolls up her sleeve. The man whose knife she stole runs away when he watches Adriana stab herself and not even bleed. The other man remains calm enough to make a quick slash at Adriana’s stomach. She grabs his hand and terrifies him when she bends the steel blade with her pinky finger.
“You haven’t heard the end of this. We’ll be back to get the kid,” the guy says as he sprints toward the exit of the mall.
“I hope you bring better dialogue with you. Are you okay, kid?” Adriana picks the kid up and wipes away some tears from his face. With a closer look she realizes that the boy is much younger than she thought. He couldn’t possibly be older than seven or eight.
“Thanks, lady. Those guys wanted the money that I made today,” replies the kid between sobs. His black hair and rough skin are not covered in dirt, so Adriana thinks that he does have a place to get a bath and haircuts. His clothes are ripped, but not terribly and they look like the kind that one would give to a charity.
“Do you have anyone to go home to? Like parents or some kind of guardian. Or are you on your own?” asks Adriana. Tegam finally walks over and drops the heavy stack of parcels in a heap on the floor.
“Nope. I’m all that I’ve got. Except for the local charities, the occasional nice person, and soup kitchens. I know how to survive if I have to. But thanks for helping me out of trouble, ma’am.”
“Hey, kid. You look hungry. Let me buy you something and we can talk about how big a problem this city has. I’m haven’t been here in a long time, so I’m a little curious about the darker changes. ” Adriana takes the kid’s hand and she nods to Tegam to take the packages. They quickly get some burgers and fries while they sit down and start to talk.
“Well, I have to admit. The city has gotten better and there are less homeless people on the streets. More soup kitchens and missions are around these days. But money is still a problem. Money is a problem for the ones on the street and the ones that have too many citywide problems to deal with. People like me tend to get over-looked. A lady like you must think its weird that a kid like me knows so much,” says the boy. He grabs a handful of fries and stuffs them into his mouth. Adriana is listening intently and she slowly begins to notice things disappearing from the table. None of the silverware or the condiments are left except for the peppershaker.
“I could understand that. No city has an endless supply of money no matter what some people think. But if someone where to make a big donation directly to city hall with directions of how to use the money. I have a few large bank accounts that I could use and they are very easy to replenish if I put my mind to it. I think I can actually help this city out before I have to get down to business,” mentions Adriana in a whisper to no one in particular.
“That would be great, but you shouldn’t spend a lot of money on people like me. We’ll always find some way to survive.”
Tegam interrupts by saying, “The fund that she is talking about has over twenty million dollars in it. She works the stock markets as well as doing some other types of business. Basically, it is always growing and it is the center of her business empire. She could give away two million and not have a thing to worry about. Not to get off the topic, but who were those three men that were beating up on you?”
“They’re a bunch of college seniors that don’t like homeless people like me being in public places. Cops don’t usually catch them because they have to tend to my injuries first. And if the cops do catch them, those guys never get kept in jail for too long because they have friends get them out. But I don’t think that they’ll mess with me after what she did to the big one. I can’t believe you sent him flying so far.” As if in answer, about seven guys start walking toward their table. The one in the lead is the one that threatened to come back after Adriana.
“There she is. Let’s mess her up!” their supposed leader yells.
“You two keep talking. My turn to have some fun today and these goofs will do just nicely for a little stress relief,” whispers Tegam. He stands up and quickly cartwheels over to the angry group of teenagers.
“Get the hell out of our way, freak. Go back to the circus and get the fuck out of handsome face,” says a tall, black-haired man. Tegam suddenly does several flips in the air and his feet smashes into the man’s face with every flip. When Tegam stops hitting him, the guy collapses to the ground.
“He ain’t handsome anymore! I’d recommend that the six of you rush me and try to pin me down. It could make things easier for you and it would make the fight seem more realistic.” The six guys jump at the man in the jester outfit, but Tegam jumps into the air to meet them. He gets one of them in the throat with a quick kick. As the stunned body crashes to the ground, Tegam slams an elbow onto the back of the neck of another one.
“Bet that hurt. Who’s next?” One of them throws a chair at Tegam while another attempts to tackle him. They take him down hard and the metal chair leaves a nasty gash on his forehead. The man that tackled Tegam is still holding him from behind and trying to lock in a sleeper hold. It takes a couple of seconds for Tegam to roll onto all fours and push off with all of his strength. Both of them go flying into the air and hit the ceiling very hard. The guy takes all of the impact and lets go of Tegam.
“This isn’t worth it. Let’s get out of here,” one of them mutters. The ones that can still move start to run away, but they don’t get very far. Tegam picks up two wooden tables and he hurls them at the four college seniors. All of them get nailed in the back and collapse in a groaning pile.
“Nice job, jester. But I think that after that little brawl we should get going. Last thing we need is the cops showing up and seeing you regenerate. Good-bye, kid,” says Adriana as she pushes all of the bags and boxes into Tegam’s hands. They disappear into the crowd and the kid is left confused. He puts his hands into his pockets and begins to walk away when he feels a roll of paper. The boy smiles when he sees that Adriana had stuffed a wad of singles into his pocket.
A few hours later on the evening news:
“This just in. A bundle of money was recently dropped off in the mayor’s office with a note. The note said that this money, which amounts to three million in American currency, is to be used for only one thing. This money was given to city hall in order to be used to help the missions, soup kitchens, and any other helpful organizations of our city. The secret donator of this money has mentioned that if it is discovered that any of this money was used for something else, the city will be attacked. In order to make proof on the threat, the mysterious writer says to look for freakish humans to cause destruction through the city in the upcoming week. The mayor has said that he will wait three days for this proof before using the money to do as the note has instructed. But he will increase protection around the entire city and will be ready to get help from the National Guard if needed. We will keep you updated as best as we can. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.”