Wasteland Boy – Chapter 19
There is an expression when one is described to be laughing at another’s face. It is generally an abstract choice of words, used to describe someone’s rude laughter to ridicule another person. However, what Clyde heard was a rather cheerful laugh, pointed a bit too close to his face, as the stranger bent over, wheezing out small particles of saliva.
“Get outta here, kiddo, Carl Sanchez may be old, but he ain’t dumb.” The stranger straightened out again and chuckled one last time. “He would never want a twat like you in his place. Scram! I don’t know why you know his name but I tell you, kiddo, don’t throw it around like that.” He waved Clyde off and returned to his cigar.
Clyde was thrown back. Literally, because a stranger just spat at his face and figuratively, because he felt his status should provoke more respect and recognition. Clyde began quickly walking away. If a person wasn’t convinced instantly, he wasn’t going to be convinced. The boy, once again, came to the conclusion that he only receives respect when he shows up with his caretaker. Carl Sanchez had an unforgettable face of a vulture, the reputation of a man with great power and his initials were stamped on half of the machinery parts in the city. That man had a name for himself that Clyde was now lebeled with. He needed to make one of his own, but what else was there left to do? Frustrated, Clyde sat down on some crate and looked down at the ground. The city was a giant machine. It worked perfectly well and didn’t need much improvement. Clyde’s head jerked up at the sound of someone’s scream.
Driven by curiosity and held back by caution, Clyde gripped the handle of his pocket knife and began to proceed towards the sound. The screaming continued, occasionally transforming into yells and undecipherable words. It was definitely a woman. Clyde peeked around the corner to observe a predator-like man grabbing at some screaming young lady. She was pushing him away, looking around desperately, but there were no audience for the scene, let alone any heroes among them. Clyde adjusted his mask and stepped out onto the light. The screaming stopped. The stranger slowly turned his head to glare at Clyde over his shoulder. The second time this evening, Clyde was told to scram.
“Let go of her for tonight. Some people are trying to sleep here.” He tried to play it cool.
The man chuckled and grabbed the woman’s chin “Look, sweetheart, you got yourself a prince in shining armour.” He grinned, baring a few crowns and a few teeth that required a dentist. Clyde held his breath; This guy was in an aggressive mood. The man locked his glare down and began to slowly stroll towards Clyde, not letting go of the womans wrist. Clyde switched his blade out of his pocket and took another breath to calm down.
“Jesus, are you really gonna attack me with that? Fight me like a man!” The man threw the woman’s wrist down and she quickly backed away. Clyde considered his battle won, but now he had to go through the physical part. He threw his knife on the ground, trying to figure out how drunk the man was. He was stable in his posture, but already hazed in the mind. His movements were slow, but only promised a fast maneuver. Clyde decided to treat him like a snake and that was to dodge and grab.
At the invitation to swing first, Clyde shrugged, turned around and started walking away. He tried to step as lightly as possible to listen to the man’s footsteps. A few shouts at Clyde were made from the same position. The voice caught up slightly and then stopped. In one single second, he heard his approaching wind up and as soon as the man’s steps sounded a metre away, Clyde jumped to the side and kicked low, sending his attacker flying to the ground. Before the man got up, Clyde ran up and kicked him a few times, avoiding the ribs. Soon enough, the man lost any will to continue fighting, Clyde flipped him over on his stomach, put his foot on his back like a hunter does to his prey and leaned down.
“The name is Clyde Shanks. And may god help you if you forget it.”
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