This is My day

Chuck is a teenager who is well acquainted with life’s challenges. Stubborn in her youthful outlook, Chuck refuses to face her reality and reinvents herself as a Super-Girl. Busy making a name for herself in a makeshift world, Chuck’s reality soon catches up to her. Embarked on a desperate mission to run from everything outside of her creation, imagination takes her to roads even she couldn’t re-invent.


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1. This is My day

The black window lowered with a buzzing sound, and I watched my stupefied reflexion buzz down with it. “Hey, how you doin’” he grinned. Even through his glasses, I could call the grin’s bluff.

We just stared at each other for a heartbeat or two – until I walked away, you know, towards my destination to err… Barney’s, yeah… Barneys. Boy I was spooked, my face was not so much frozen but kinda too lazy to move – like my whole body sank down to a whole new level called stupid. Whoo theh hell was he? Who the hell were they? What was that car doin’ parked on up my street? I got to Barneys: “Hey Reg” Reg: “Hey, Chuck” (Everyone love me call me Chuck – by the ways, that everyone who knew me). “What’s up, Chuck you look like someone hit you over the head with a can of tuna steak and called you Nancy.”
“What?”
“I said what happened to you? You alright baby girl?”
I put the cash on the desk and scrunched the gum off the counter and put in my mouth – wrapper and all – and walked out the store with a faintly “Bye.” The sun was beating down hard, but I kept my jacket on an’ shoved my hands in my pockets. With my elbows winged to flap and mind a-wanderin’, I chewed and slacked my gum till I got home.

Instead, I didn’t get home – I sat on the curb in front of Maisy’s house with my legs sprawled, watching a little lizard scattering around. It was lifting the dust up the ground trying to chase a tiny pebble. This way and that, snaking left an’ right, round and about. I cushioned my head with my hands and let my body thump to the grass behind me. The Sun was beating – lizard was dusting – men with dark sunglasses and dark suits sitting in a dark car in my neighbourhood-ing – sun a-beating – lizard a-dusting - me a-sleeping.
 

*
 

“Hattie!” Whoa, that sound was like, otherworldly. “I say Hattie, you sleepin’ on my lawn again? Girl, I’m gon’ tell your mother, you hear me? She gonna woop your behind till their aint no one be kin to you, you hear me?” So I got up and said over my shoulder as I was leaving “Tell Maisy I says hi, Maam.”

“I will do my little babychuck, you go on home now, mama gonna make you a nice pie and all – oh, such a sweet baby, you never believe how sweet…” Her voice trailed off eventually – She’ll keep jawlin’ for God knows how long. Hhm, she made me smile, Aunty Mally did.

Shoot! The Car! I raced home – ew, how did I get gum I my hair? Never mind. Woo, finally “Ma! Ma! Guess what!” Oh, lord. Ma is watering her imaginary flowers again. Please, lord let her be watering the grass. Please, please, please. “What’s that, hummingbird?” she asked me softly.

“Ma, I saw some funny lookin’ guys on our street. They were parked with a black car and wearing suits. I swear one of them had a gun taped to his forehead. I know it.”

“Whaaaa?”

“Yeah, we have to go. I have a funny feelin’ about this. If we don’t go – I know it – we’re, we’re uh…you know what this is like  - this is like the story Trace-face told us when she came round last week – don’t look at me like that, don’t look at me like that – Ma. Ma.” Ma was shaking her head. I lost her. She chuckled and went inside, calling behind her, “come in and close the door, Chuck.” So I did.

I figured I’m the only one who could solve this mess with the strange men in the car. Jacqueline could help me – but she’s too caught up over Hero. I could call Jer, but he’s always too clumsy to stay out of trouble. No, this has Chuck written all over it. Chuck…I couldn’t go on this investigation as myself. I need a code-name. Oh my. Oh my, oh my, oh my. I got it! I’m gonna invent a whole new identity for myself. I’m gonna make myself a super-girl.

 

*

I land downstairs and face the crowded breakfast room. They take one look at me and laugh. They laugh so hard they gulping for air and clap like seals. Catty actually chokes on her pan-loaf for a second. But I don’t care. I stare over them, hands on my hips, legs parted wide. The long cape is loose on my neck, and I imagine it flapping like a flag. It is a flag. My flag. The flag of the Brave. I don’t wear no mask ‘cause trust me – I don’t need one. I have a steel expression and will keep it that way – I practised so my expression is hard and wise and strong. I made sure my clothes fit tight though – not no one gonna mistake this for a masculine thing. Men can’t do nothing round here – that’s what Yiyanny says anyhow. I open the front door and really do feel my cape floating around in the wind. This is my street now. Mine.           

I decided not to give myself a super-girl name. I’m gonna let  the people decide. I wanna be an enigma. People be guessing what my name is, where I came from – where did Chuck go? Yep, this is a full-time job, and I need to focus on catching those Joes-in-black.I ran as fast as I could to where I found them before. I ran past Anny, I ran past Tory, Kery and Pup. I ran so fast I bet I look a blur to people. And I get there. And the car’s still there. This is it. I’m going up to them.

            I walk slow, I burn my gaze through the blacked-out window. I know they can see me, please. I walk round to the other side of the window from last time and root myself there. I know they’ll scroll down, I don’t have to knock for anybody. I wait. They sure do like to take their time. Eventually they scroll down, but only to the point where I can see the guy’s glasses. I say, real smooth “you guys talking ‘bout me?” They look at each other, and I can hear a smile in this Joe’s reply “how’d you guess?” I let out a “huh” and just look at them. They need to do the talkin’, not me. They say, “What you doing here, baby girl?”

“I aint no baby girl. If you didn’t wear those masks over your eyes, you’d know that.”

“Oh, look here Jey, we got ourselves a grown woman” – I clocked the “Jey” into my memory.

“I see her” the driver I talk to before say.

“I know what you up to” I warn “and I aint gonna let you go till you tell me exactly what you’re up to.”

“Oh, sorry, didn’t know we were talking to the sheriff” the Joe laugh. I slam my arms onto the car and get real close to his eyes.

“Sheriff? I own this town, Joe. Own it.” They don’t laugh, instead they sigh.

“Look” the man takes off his glasses. They’re blue – but swimming – like, molten. The colour is actually moving around – alive. I’m dumbfounded, but no way in hell I’m gonna show it. He continues, “we’re just trying to do our jobs, and we can’t take any hassle right now. We’re gonna be here for a little bit longer then we’re gone, k?

“Nice try. I’m not leaving till you fess up.”

“Oh Gosh, look kid”

“I’m no kid. And you look, I’m a very important person with more power than you two could ever handle. I know everything there is to know around here. These people trust me, and I have a responsibility to them to find out whatever you’re doing. Oh, and if you even think of hurting these people, you can forget it. These people are not stupid. They’re strong as steel, too. You try to hurt them? Worse – you try to hurt me – you’re not gonna leave this street looking like you do, you hearin’ me, Joes?” They look at each other and roll up the window. I know they think I’m bluffing, so I sit on the roof of their car. I’m not movin’ till they move, first.

“Chuck? Chuck? That you? What you doin’ on that car?”

“Barney?”

“Chuck” Barney lifts me off the roof. I must have been sleeping.

“Barney! Help me. These people are gonna hurt you – they’ve been watching us”

“What?”

“These people - ”

“What people? There no people in this car! You ok, Chuck? You’ve been acting strange for some time now. You sure you k?”

“What?” I scramble out of his grip. No one touches a super-girl. “No one touches a super-girl.”

“What?”

“I don’t have time for this. Leave, Barney, it’s for your own good. Trust me.” Barney sat down on the grass and looked at me – his eyes were soft and loving, I knew he was smiling on the inside. I also knew he wouldn’t leave without me. So be it. I need to save his ignorant butt. I knock as hard as I could on the window of the car. Its engine runs. But I need to know what information they’re gonna take away with them. “You leave without me, you’re gonna get it!” Barney chuckles, but I don’t take any notice. I keep hitting on the window. Those damn blacked-out windows. The wheels start to move. I swoop around looking for something. Anything big enough. A rock. I smash the glass window wide open.

“CHUCK!”

“Stay out of this, Barney!”

“CHUCK WHAT YOU DOIN’!” I look into the car and into the wild living eyes of the Joes. They’re both got blue and wide ones. I shield myself when I see they’re flesh for what it really is: a scaly skin, crawling all over their skeletons like a worm. I try not to barf. “I’ll get you, snakes!” I reach over to unlock the door from the inside.

“Chuck, just what game are you playing? That car’s been there for -” The car is moving regardless. Damn snakes. I open the door and pull at what the closer man is holding. It’s a huge parcel. I pull it out and fling it into the air “DUCK BARNEY! DUCK!” I don’t get an audible response from Barney so jump on him, hoping my strength will make him drop closer to the ground. He starts squirming under me as I’m watching the black car screech off into the blazing horizon. The parcel explodes in the air. We’re saved.  “Barney! Barney, you ok?”

“You one crazy kid” he says. I laugh on the inside, knowing that he’s safe, and put my power-face expression on.

I get up and see people crowded around the curb.  I see the people who were laughing at me in the breakfast room there. I stand facing the horizon. The strip of street looks never-ending before me. The sun is high in the sky; the sand beneath my feet is crackling in the heat. I lift up my fist and the crowd roar. I march forward, knowing I have another huge mission to accomplish. I know trouble’s just around the corner, so I run. I hear people sayin’ “who’s that girl? Is that a super-girl? Where’s Chuck?” I keep on running, pushed by the sound waves of the clapping crowd. This is my street now. Mine.

 

 

 

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