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    Katya Dee
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The First Lock - 8. Chapter 8

- VIII -

 

Next day, Katrena was sitting in the car, waiting for the twins, while sucking on yet another lollipop. “At least these things don’t make me nauseous,” she thought melancholically, after remembering Mandy’s remark about teeth last night.

Finally, she saw the twins and turned the car on. Dawnie got in the back seat as usual; Danny, however, threw his skinny frame into the front seat. His expression was gloomier than ever.

“What’s up, Danny?” Katrena asked him while he was fumbling with the seat belt.

“Nothing,” he muttered.

“He got into a fight,” Dawnie immediately informed her from the back seat.

Danny left the seat belt alone and whirled towards his sister.

“Shut up!” he hissed.

Katrena let out a low whistle when she saw an impressive size bruise blooming around Danny’s right eye.

“Holy cow, kid,” she said and slowly drove out of the parking lot, completely ignoring the traffic. “That’s a hell of a bruise...”

Danny mumbled something unintelligible, and finally, clicked his seat belt secured. Then he stared out of the window in complete silence.

“He fought with Timmy,” Dawnie said, and her brother looked downright murderous right now.

“I said, shut up!” he hissed again.

“Well,” Dawnie completely ignored him. “He didn’t fight, really... Timmy just beat all poop out of him...”

“I am going to kill you,” Danny promised in a low voice.

“Who is Timmy?” Katrena asked seriously, when Timmy’s victim stared out of the window again.

“Timmy Barker,” Dawnie sighed. “He is in our class... He is older though, because he had to retake a year... He is big, and he is mean...”

“Big,” Katrena repeated. “As in ‘fat’ or as in ‘tall’?”

“I guess both,” Dawnie said uncertainly. “Danny wouldn’t give him the answers to the test, so he punched him...” she finished.

“All the right reasons...” Katrena muttered.

“Huh?” Dawnie sounded confused.

“Talking to myself,” Katrena shook her head. “What happened to Timmy?”

“Nothing,” Dawnie sighed again. “Teachers didn’t see anything, ‘cause he did it in the boys’ room, and Danny just said that he fell... I want a lollipop...”

Katrena handed her one.

“Thank you,” Dawnie said lightly. “And Timmy said that he’d kill Danny if he said anything... Timmy would kill him, you know...” she said thoughtfully. “He is really mean... He is strong too.”

“Huh,” Katrena glanced at Danny who was fuming right now.

They drove the rest of the way in silence. When they got home, Dawnie immediately plopped down in front of the computer, and Danny stormed into the kitchen. Katrena followed him. He was digging in the fridge, his movements jerky because of his anger and humiliation.

“Danny,” Katrena said quietly. “Danny!” she called again when he didn’t respond.

“What?” he turned around and slammed the door of the fridge shut. “You gonna tell me that I should go to the teacher? That I should just whine about it? That I should...”

“There are quite a few weak spots on the human body,” she said in the same quiet voice and Danny stopped talking. “Just because someone is bigger or stronger than you, doesn’t mean you can’t make them crawl beneath your feet... I am not going to tell you about every single spot, but I am going to tell you about a few of them.”

Now Danny looked confused.

“Okay,” Katrena sounded like she was telling him about some math solution. “Spot one, your temple...” she lightly tapped her finger on her own temple. “That one is dangerous because if you hit it too hard, you can actually kill someone. I know that you hate that guy... Timmy... You hate him like no other right now, but you don’t want to kill him, believe me... Try avoiding hitting him on the temple, okay?”

Danny was mute. Katrena nodded, as if she just confirmed something.

“Spot two,” she continued. “Your neck... Now, on the neck there are several spots actually. This one...” she pointed at the hollow of her throat. “This one...” she ran her finger along the side of her throat beginning right beneath the ear. “And then there are some more, but they are harder to find... Be careful with this...” she touched the hollow of her throat again. “Just like the temple, if you hit it too hard, you might seriously injure someone, or even kill them... If you aim right here...” she turned her head and slightly tapped her finger right underneath her earlobe. “There is a very good chance of you knocking him out...”

She walked up to the fridge and opened the door. Danny remained mute and wide-eyed. Katrena pulled out a bottle of water and closed the fridge.

“Moving on,” she said after a minute. “Solar plexus...” she pushed her finger slightly into the middle of her upper torso, right between the ribs. “This one is tricky, however... You have to know the exact location before you land your blow, otherwise, you’ll end up hitting him on the chest, and I am afraid that in Timmy’s case, that would be futile. If executed correctly, however, he’ll have all air knocked out of him... It’ll hurt like hell too,” she added with a small smile. “Moving on...”

She gulped some water.

“Groin,” she said finally. “That one is obvious,” she shrugged when Danny snorted at the word ‘groin.’ “You have to be swift with that one. Make sure that your knee goes right... Well,” now she was the one who snorted. “There,” she finished, and Danny actually cracked a smile. “The next one is the knee,” Katrena continued. “If you land a nice kick right here...” she pushed her finger into the middle of her knee, right on the kneecap. “He’ll be crying like a baby, and he won’t be able to stand upright. The next one...” she paused. “I’ll make it the last one... The top of your foot. Especially closer to the toes. Stomp on that with a heavy boot and...” she smiled. “You’ll like the result,” she finished.

Danny stared at her as if she was God incarnate. Finally, he coughed.

“Could you...” he coughed again. “Could you show me how... Ummm... How to hit them right? I mean...” now he was bright-red. “I don’t really know how to punch someone...” he finished in a smaller voice.

“Yeah,” Katrena nodded without even a hint of a smile. “First of all, make sure that you make a fist the right way...”

Danny snorted at that.

“I know how to make a fist,” he rolled his eyes.

“Show me,” Katrena said calmly.

Danny rolled his eyes again and made a fist. Katrena hemmed.

“Danny...” she said softly. “Thumb goes on the outside...”

The kid blinked and looked at his hand.

“Oh...” he said finally, his shade of red deepening with each second.

“The position of the thumb doesn’t matter, really,” Katrena shrugged, as if she didn’t notice Danny’s flaming ears and neck. “I found this one the easiest...” she demonstrated her own fist, thumb pressed against the knuckle of the middle finger. “Now,” she continued. “Don’t stretch the knuckles... Press them together instead... Like you are trying to make them into one single thing, you know? Not just separate fingers... Yeah,” she nodded at Danny’s another attempt. “Much better... Now, make sure that your thumb isn’t locked...”

“Locked?” Danny frowned.

“It should be flexible, you know? Not limp, but not too tense either. Because if it’s too tense, you’ll end up locking up the entire wrist and that can actually damage it...”

“How do you know all this stuff?” Danny asked incredulously.

“I learned it,” Katrena shrugged. “Now, Danny...” she drank more water. “I am not sure if your mother would appreciate me teaching you all this... Maybe she would but I don’t know... So let’s just keep it between us, okay?”

“Totally!” the kid nodded, his eyes glued to Katrena’s face.

Katrena let out a very small sigh. She knew that look; she had seen it before. It was pure adoration. She knew that from now on, she was going to be Danny’s own personal idol. “Well,” she thought melancholically. “Might as well figure out how to deal with kids even though he is eleven... As long as he doesn’t pester me every single minute, it’s all good...”

 

****

 

It was almost six in the evening, and Katrena was watching TV while absent-mindedly munching on baby-carrots. It seemed to her that if she ate something else besides vegetables or those lollipops, she had to run to the nearest bathroom almost immediately. She hated this arrangement because right now, she would gladly kill for a nice, juicy steak. Unfortunately, steak was out of the question because she knew that even the smell of meat was going to send her to hug the toilet. Even some fruits made her queasy.

“Damn monkey,” she muttered under her breath and took another carrot. She looked at it with disgust before finally shoving it into her mouth. “After you are born...” she looked at her stomach pointedly. “I am getting a steak... No, forget that... I am getting the entire meat menu in Applebees! And I am going to get a hell of a milkshake!” She stopped talking for two reasons. One was the fact that even imagining the meals she just fantasized about was enough to make her stomach splash with nausea. The second reason was the fact that she realized that she just talked to that unborn monkey. Talked out loud.

“Oh dear God...” she thought and closed her eyes.

A sudden, shrill ring of the phone made her jump.

“Katrena, could you get that please?” Mandy’s voice sounded somewhat muffled. “I am in the bathroom!”

“Sure!” Katrena called loudly. “Danny, could you get that please?” she said in a softer voice.

“Totally!” the kid didn’t even blink.

Well, she thought with a small smile. This is actually quite handy... She turned up the volume a little bit, since the news was almost on; Katrena liked the news. She couldn't care less about some ridiculous game shows or pointless sitcoms – she never bothered watching those; but the news she actually enjoyed.

“Yeah, hold on,” she heard Danny say.

Probably someone for Mandy, she thought, hating these damn carrots.

“Hey, Katrena...” she heard right above her ear and she looked up. “It’s for you,” Danny handed her the phone.

She blinked. Something is wrong with that damn Social Security – that was her first thought, and she gritted her teeth.

“Yeah,” she said tightly into the phone, and then she almost choked on her carrot when she recognized Paul’s voice.

“Hey,” he said carefully, almost cautiously. “It’s...”

“Hey, Paul,” she said, trying to figure out why the hell was she smiling right now.

He hemmed in a somewhat amused way.

“Usually, when I call someone for the first time, the first thing they say is, ‘Who the hell is this?’ you know?”

“Yeah,” she shrugged even though she knew he couldn’t see her. “I am good with voices. What’s up?”

“Need more lollipops?” he asked and she snorted.

“You seriously believe I would finish the entire bag in less than twenty four hours?”

“No,” he said seriously. “But it was the only reason I could come up with before I called...”

There it was again – that smile of hers, stretching her mouth, pushing the carrot out. The last part she actually welcomed. She pulled the rest of the carrot out of her mouth and silently offered it to Rusty the Dog. He sniffed at it somewhat hesitantly at first, but then took it out of her hand and trotted to his spot under the spiral staircase.

“Huh,” she said with amusement, watching the dog munch on the carrot.

“What?” Paul’s voice was back to its first careful cautiousness.

“I just gave a carrot to the dog,” she said. “He is actually eating it...”

“Oh, yeah,” now he sounded more relaxed. “Dogs dig carrots, didn’t you know that?”

“Had no idea,” she said honestly.

“Well, maybe not all dogs... But I used to have a Black Lab... Oh, man, that thing would kill for a carrot... Of course, Black Labs would eat anything...” he coughed, as if realizing that he slipped too far down the dog-discussion road. “Anyway, I was wondering if you maybe wanted to stock up on more lollipops... I mean, I could pick you up, we could go to a store...”

“Nah,” she pushed the bowl with the remaining carrots away and got up. “I don’t need any more lollipops... Not at least until the end of the week...”

“Oh...” he said.

“...but you could still pick me up,” she finished. “Except, we don’t have to go to a store...”

“Oh...” he said again, only now it sounded completely different. “What time do you want me to be there?”

“Aren’t you at work?” she frowned.

“Took an early shift today,” he said casually. “Traded with someone.”

“Oh...” now it was her turn. She realized that and cleared her throat. “How about...” she glanced at the clock; it was 6:05. “Seven?” she offered.

“Sure,” he agreed immediately. “Seven is good...”

“Okay,” she threw a regretful look at the TV. The news was on. “See you at seven then.”

“Yeah,” he said without hanging up the phone.

“Bye,” she smiled again for no reason.

“Yeah,” he said once more. “Bye...” and this time, the line clicked dead.

She looked at the receiver in her hand very thoughtfully for a couple of minutes.

“You okay?” someone said, and she blinked and turned around.

“Oh...” she said and almost winced. “Yeah, I am okay, Danny...”

“Who was that?” the kid sounded genuinely curious.

“That...” she looked at the receiver again. “...was a police sergeant,” she finished, and Danny’s eyes flew wide open.

“A police sergeant?!” he repeated incredulously. “Are you in trouble or something?”

“That’s a very good question,” she muttered and finally replaced the receiver on the cradle. “I gotta go get dressed, Danny.”

“You are dressed,” the kid noted immediately.

“Okay, fine,” she rolled her eyes. “I need to wear something different then... He is picking me up at seven.”

“Why?” now the kid sounded genuinely confused, and Katrena almost laughed.

“We are going to discuss dogs, lollipops, and carrots,” she said and went upstairs, leaving Danny with his mouth hanging slightly open, and his eyes confused.

©Katya Dee; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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I hope Danny uses his new knowledge wisely. Kat now has a groupie, maybe two of you count Paul.

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to stack up on - do you mean to 'stock up on'. This is not actually an error, I just feel 'stock'  is a better word to express your meaning here.

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