Mitch grinned as he pressed down hard on the top of the spray-paint can. He could feel the light vibration as the paint escaped through the tiny nozzle as he waved it across the old brick wall he was crouched in front of. He loved that feeling, the feeling of making a mark on the world. It was the power to change the world at his fingertip. Everybody would see this big black tree from the road below, they would admire it. They would admire him. Suddenly, as they sun began to set Mitch saw the flash of lightning and heard the crack of thunder. Aw, come on. Just a bit longer. I’m almost done. The heavens ignored his pleas as they sky opened up and the rain began to fall relentlessly. No! Aw no. Come on! Damn it! He cursed as they rain began to steadily increase. “Naw, screw you. I’m finishing.” He proudly declared as he continued trying to paint the wall.
A few minutes later he gave up, the rain was just too much. He decided to leave the paint cans were they were, and just get out. Getting up he jogged over to the edge of the building and jumped down onto the fire escape. It took him a few seconds to get down. When he made it to the sidewalk he looked up at the lights that were slowly beginning to come on. The surrounding buildings were better much better than the cheap Christmas tree lights that Mitch remembered from his childhood. Avalon always looked pretty at night. Walking down the street he took his time, he was already soaked so he might as well enjoy his trip to Avalon while he walked back.
When he got back to his apartment in Xibala he threw his soaked clothes in the hamper, though he made sure to hang up his hoodie. He didn’t want it getting moldy, even if he did have two others just like it. The apartment wasn’t the worst one in the city, but it certainly wasn’t the best either. There was a small main room with an attached kitchen that was more like a hallway and there was a small bed room with basically just a mattress. He kept the place clean enough, never left food out, but there were clothes in random places and quite a few stains on the carpet. All in all the place was probably pretty high standard for Xibala and Mitch certainly felt at home in it.
After a hot shower, he raided the fridge and found a day old burger and a coke. He left the fries for a midnight snack. Putting some jeans on to warm up he munched on the meat sandwich and watched some television on the old analogue he had set up in front of the couch. When he finished he nodded off for a bit. At the sound of a large thunder clap, Mitch jolted awake. The TV seemed to be fuzzin’ out again so he turned it off. Getting up, the threw away the coke can and the wrapper from the burger. Out of entertainment, he walked over to the window and looked outside. What he saw was something rather strange, well probably not “that” strange, this was Xibala and it was night. Regardless Mitch watched with curiosity as he saw a girl run down the street and into the alleyway beside the apartment building. The he saw three tough looking guys run in after her.
Mitch walked back over to the couch and sat down, putting his feet up on the small cluttered coffee table in front of it. Well, she’s screwed. He thought to himself. He looked at his reflection in the black TV screen. “Hey man, don’t look at me like that. There’s three of them and one of me. They prolly each got knives, and maybe a gun. What am I gunna do? Rush ‘em with a baseball bat?” He said out loud, trying to convince himself. “Hell, that one in the front even looked like Ted, and he’s one tough son of a……wait a minute.” Mitch trailed off, recalling the face of the lead chaser. Jumping up quickly, he threw on the still damp hoodie and slipped on his tennis shoes. He was down and out of the apartment building in under ten seconds, he even left his apartment door wide open.
As he turned the corner into the alley, he hear the girl scream. “SOMEONE! PLEASE HELP ME!!” Her voice pierced through the rain.“Come on now, don’t be like that. We just wanna’ have a little fun, that’s all.” The man closest to the girl said as he stepped forward a little, his hands reaching forward. Mitch gulped and hoped he had been right in identifying the man, it sure sounded like him at least. Gathering his courage he stepped forward and called out, a little awkwardly. “Yo! Ted? Is that you. Whatcha doin’? I was just headin’ into my apartment when I thought I saw you run by. Shit, I haven’t seen you in weeks.” He finished, the rain pelting his face and head. “Tha hell?” The three men turned around, as the one closest to the girl who was now pressed firmly against the back fence responded to Mitch’s statement. “Tha fuck, you say kid?” He said walking away from the girl, between the two others and up to Mitch.
Mitch managed a soft gulp. The man easily had a foot on him, and probably could easily lift him above his head. “Come on, Ted. It’s me, Mitch. Mitch Douglass.” He said, trying to sound friendly. “Hey yea. Your Rick’s kid!” Mitch felt relief spread through his body as one of the other two piped up. “Naw dipshit. Rick ain’t got no kids.” The other gave his input. Mitch answered the claim, a little more at ease now. “Come on guys, I’m Rick’s nephew! I saw Ted here just a few weeks ago when uncle Rick had that party. You know, the one with the stripper with the leopard outfit?” He hoped Ted remembered, a lot of the people at that party had been messed up bad that night.
The large man lifted his arms up above his head. “OH SHIT! Little Mitch, Ha ha." He let out a deep, creepy laugh as he grabbed Mitch’s shoulders. “Yeah, I remember that whore, she went ape shit when we started throwing beer bottles at her!” Mitch forced a chuckle. ‘Heh, yea…” The big man put his arm around Mitch and turned himself and the kid towards the two others and the girl. “You know Freddy, and Vlad right.” The over sized thug asked the kid. “Yeah, yeah, friends of uncle Rick right?” Stupid question. “Yup!“ The man answered. Everybody in this part of Xibala knew Rick, talk to Rick for a fix or so they say. “We were just about to plow some soil if you get my drift. Care to join us?” The big man said grinning, as he pointed to the girl. “Well I’m kind of waiting for my girlfriend to stop by actually…..hey wait.” Mitch did his best to fake surprise as he squinted and moved his head to make it look like he was getting a closer look at the girl. “Sally? Sally is….HOLY SHIT! That is you!”
Mitch wiggled his way out of the surprised mans arm and walked over to the girl. “Hell, you went to far Sally, how many times do I have give you directions. And what did I tell you about taking the bus up to the stoop, don’t just walk through here at night!” Freddy and Vlad let out a few disgruntled noises. “Shit little Mitch! You lucky sonofabitch!” The Big man said loudly. “Wish I coulda’ gotten ass like that when I was your age!” Mitch put his arm around the girl and pulled her close, he felt the previous tension slip away. ”Heh, yeah. I don’t know what it is but she just keeps begging for it. This is the eighth time this week. Hell, the other day, she made me sneak into her school for it.” Mitch began walking the girl past the three thugs, grinning brilliantly at Ted. “Well shit, and here I was thinking were gunna have a lucky night. Say, shes not into kinky stuff is she? Care if we join in?” The man asked as Mitch hurried the girl past the three. “Naw she’s still kinda shy about stuff like that. She’ll come around though.” Mitch lightly slapped the girls butt.” you guys will be the first I call when we are ready to party.” Mitch and the girl had made it past the three and were now exiting the alleyway and heading for the apartment building. “Hey, I’ll tell uncle Rick to give you a discount when I see him. Later!” He yelled back as they began to walk up the stoop. “God damn it Ted, tha fuck joo let her away for!” “Shut the fuck up Vald! Life’s hard enough without the Machiavellies’ breathin’ up our ….” The door to the apartment building shut behind them.
Mitch walked the girl up to his apartment and led her in, she might have said something on the way up but Mitch would have been too deep in thought to notice. "What now?" He asked himself. No answers came. When the got in the apartment Mitch closed the door and bolted it. After taking off his soaked hoodie, he pointed to the small bathroom. “Shower’s in there. Not good to stay cold like that.” He said flatly, glancing at her wet chest for a moment before he kicked off his shoes and slumped down on the couch. Putting his feet up on the coffee table again, his wet jeans began to soak into the couch. Damn it, why do I never know what to say? He asked himself in his head as he stared at the black screen of the TV, trying to ignore the soaked girl and her long, pretty hair.