Written by M.J.C
Beast walked into the gym and went to the weights. She was dressed to work out, and her flaming red hair was in a tight ponytail. She had worked out for many years and was dedicated in following her routine. Some of her crankiness about this mission was due to the disruption of her routine. She looked around to a mostly empty gym – not many worked out overnight, though Mr. Scopes would soon be here. She decided to get a lite workout in.
Beast had sat in her car thinking over the place, and still being irked that KJ had chosen Niwt the honor of the first kill. She had argued – they all argued – for hours but Beast could not change KJ’s mind no matter how angry, logical, pleading, begging, or crying. Nothing worked so she finally accepted KJ’s directive which, KJ said, was hers and hers alone and that the decision had nothing to do with the leadership at BLM-PD, or even the survivor’s moms. This was personal to her, for her friendship that was lost when their friend was murdered.
He wasn’t the first, of course, or the most known. He wasn’t famous and he didn’t have a mom to memorialize him or any organizations to get the media, or what was left of it, to pursue his case. No, he was just another highway stop, pulled over for going too slow of all things, and within moments of being pulled over, he was shot six times. The two cops said that he was reaching for a gun and that they smelled marijuana in the car. They said he moved so quickly that they each feared for their life and thus had to protect one another.
There wore no body cameras in the State where their friend was killed, as they had been outlawed some years ago by the State’s local Ruling Party, so it was their word only.
But his friends knew the cop’s words to be false. Their friend never drank nor smoked, ever. They knew he was afraid of guns and thus never had one nor had ever even touched one. He did drive slowly in his hybrid car, but KJ was able to get his car computer readout that showed he was driving a little under the speed limit – during a time when all other cars were as well. He was driving with the flow of traffic. His registration was current; he had no warrants and had never been arrested. There was no reason other than DWB – driving while black. Again. He was randomly chosen as so many before him had been. And the outcome was familiar: he was dead, cops said they feared for their lives; they planted a gun and weed, and they went back to work.
Beast left his funeral without talking with anyone. Days later she called KJ and said: “I’m in. What do you want me to do?”
Beast saw Mr. Scopes enter the weight area. He had come in a little while ago and, like many men, he talked to folk while slowly making his way to the locker room. And once he left the locker room, he started warming up in the weight area, while looking at himself in the mirror. While he warmed up, he placed his water bottle – it was brown with the racist Chief Wahoo mascot from the Cleveland Indians on it – on the floor. After warming up for about seven minutes he walked over to the treadmill and started jogging to finish warming up.
KJ said he’d jog five miles before moving onto the weights. So, roughly twenty minutes.
Beast watched him – he was still looking in the mirror, headphones on, listening to country music, per KJ.
Beast had her headphones on and she listened to Diana Krall’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.”
After about five minutes, Beast walked over to where Mr. Scopes left his Cleveland Indians water bottle, opened it, deposited the powder, closed it, and continued walking to the locker room. She looked back and saw that Mr. Scopes was still looking in the mirror at himself.
And she looked up at the cameras that were placed around the main workout area and she winked. That was for KJ who would disable and erase everything recorded over the past month, but who was watching at this very moment, Beast knew.
Beast dressed, exited and headed to her car, just as Niwt was arriving.
Mr. Scopes wasn’t feeling good – he was breathing heavily and getting a headache.
He’d finished his warm-up run and at that time he felt good. He looked for his water bottle and saw that he left it near the stretching area so he walked over and drank as much as he could. He drank a lot of water every day and when he worked out, he would drink three bottles before leaving the gym.
But tonight after the first bottle he started feeling bad. First his breathing was hard and now he was starting to get a headache, so he decided to shut it down for the night and leave early. He was pissed because he’d really wanted to get a good workout in; he was stressed at work because he had gotten off to a slow start and was behind in his ticket quota for the month. He hated to think the darkies were driving around believing they were safe from him.
He dressed, slowly – “what was wrong?” he thought. It was probably a flu bug and that was fucked up because he could not get further behind. He stood up to button his shirt and now he felt dizzy and like he wanted to throw up.
“I’ll just get home and rest; I’ll be fine,” he told himself.
He exited the gym on wobbly legs and headed straight for his car. “I’ll turn the air conditioner on,” he thought as he staggered slightly.
He saw someone walking toward him. It was a lady and she was good looking, he told himself. “Hey, I may be sick, but I know a babe when I see one,” he thought, as he chuckled to himself through his sickness.
He said: “Hey, I’ve never seen you here, pretty lady. I need to turn around and work out with you.”
She was tall and striking. Black hair that was messy and in dreadlocks that were years old and pulled back tightly. She wore no makeup and her eyes were black like onyx. She had a tank-top on with her arms bared – and those arms were fit; she wore no shoes, and her hands were empty.
Where’s her gym bag? was his last thought before she was on him.
Niwt was closing the gap between her and Mr. Scopes at a determined but not fast pace. She was focused, like before a fight, and she had already thought of the first ten moves she’d do, his counter-moves, and her counter-counter moves. She was ready.
Her first move was a leg sweep that dropped him hard.
He didn’t counter.
No matter, she thought. Too bad for him but good for me. This won’t take long.
She was on top of him and when he started to speak, she elbowed him in the mouth, knocking his front teeth out. She immediately followed with three more elbows to his face that broke his nose and jaw, and closed his left eye. He was still conscious though and she was glad.
She reached to her left hip and grabbed her knife.
She carried a Kukri knife – the blade curved inward and represented the religious symbol of the Gurkha Goddess of Might, from Nepal, and was thought to be one of the oldest knife styles in history. The Gurkha knife and the Kukri warrior are inseparable and Niwt found that pairing her Muay Thai training, which hailed from Thailand, with her Kukri knife – which hailed from Nepal, with her dreadlocks – one of the oldest hairstyles known, dating to 2500 BC and written in the Vedas, Hinduism’s oldest scriptures that depict the Hindu God Shiva wearing them, as well as Ancient Egyptians, and the Biblical Samson who lost his power when his locs were cut off; and of course, the Jamaicans who popularized the style for the modern world – presented a threatening figure.
And she was correct.
Niwt held the blade at Mr. Scopes neck and she got close to his face, enough so that she could feel his stilted breathing. He was dying, she realized. But not from her blows.
Dammit, Beast had done it! Niwt was furious. She looked around but Beast was nowhere to be found. I’ll deal with her later, she whispered.
He’s still alive. I’ll kill him now she said to herself.
Mr. Scopes spoke through broken teeth, bloody mouth, one eye shut, a broken jaw, and a concussion and asked: “Who are you?”
Then replied in Romanian, her first language: “Aducator de moarte,” she said.
The Bringer of Death.
She slowly started moving the blade to puncture his neck. The kill is mine. “Aducator de moarte,” she whispered again.
Blood spattered on her chest and face. In was instantaneous. But it wasn’t from her blade.
An arrow had pierced Mr. Scopes head, in one side and out the other. The arrow had narrowly missed Niwt’s hand, which still held her blade. This wasn’t Beast’s work, she thought. She looked around and saw only darkness.
Then the darkness started to take form walking from the trees to her right.
She was a young woman. She held a bow in her left hand. But it was a bow like she’d never seen. It was newer, and had laser pointers, and on one edge was a small light that appeared to be a camera.
Niwt wasn’t afraid though. This person, this young lady, got the first kill. But Mr. Scopes was already dying. But not from me, she thought, but from Beast.
And then right behind the young woman with the bow was another woman. Another young woman. She wasn’t visibly armed, but she held a camera, note pad, laptop bag, and goggles on top of her head.
And she was smiling.
What the hell was happening?, Niwt thought and said quietly to herself.
Just then Beast walked up and stood next to Niwt.
Niwt said: “You poisoned him.” It was a statement, not a question.
“I told you I wanted the first kill, didn’t I?” Beast answered emphatically.
“Well, neither you nor I got the kill. She did.” Niwt said, pointing toward the young lady who was now just about twenty feet from them, with the other young lady a few feet behind her.
“This is a fucking girls night out” Beast said, as she prepared to fight the two unknown ladies walking toward them.
“I don’t do girls night out” Niwt said, as she readied herself with her Kukri knife held chest high in her right hand.
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