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Coryphée

Meghan tossed the black plastic bags onto her bed and sat on the chair next to her desk. “That should be the last of it.” She ran her hands through her hair and gathered the tresses into a bunch. With a few deft moves, she had a band wrapped around the pony tail. “Now, to get to work.”

She dumped the contents on the sky blue bedspread and sorted the items. “Leggings over here and the top over there.” Both items had a navy blue theme with a charcoal color combination. “Hard to believe I found them at different thrift stores.” The next pile was socks, gloves, and a wide belt. “My pouches should clip on the belt.” She bent down and picked up the thin fabric. “This will be my mask.”

Meghan held the cloth over her eyes and wrapped it around her head. A few flips later and it was tied in place. “I shoulda grabbed the marker first.” Turning, she lifted the lower edge over an eye and fumbled over the desk. She picked up a large marker and pulled the top off with her teeth. Removing her thumb, the fabric snapped back over her face. In a slow motion, she outlined both eyes, then removed the fabric. “That should work.” Pulling scissors from a drawer, she cut out the small dots. She exchanged the cutting device for a lighter. Three seconds later and the frayed holes were singed. Her smile brightened and she bounced her eyebrows. “It worked.”

Over the next hour, she attached the different pouches on her belt. Next, she put various items in the newly provided spaces. “Zip strips, marbles, jacks, and pepper spray.” The sounds of snaps closing followed each word. “And a backup battery for my cell.” The last pouch closed. “That should do it.”

“Meghan. Dinner.”

“Coming, Mom.” Meghan pulled off her mask and dropped her belt as she left her room.

An hour later Meghan was back in her room. She had a wig, similar to her hair color spread out on a pillow. Several blankets rolled up and placed on her bed. The bed spread floated over the layout and landed on the bed. “Tuck here and there. Crumple this up. Voila!” Meghan straightened from the bed and spread her hands wide. “Looks like me.” She put her hands on her hips and turned to face the mirror. A few tugs on her belt and her lips curled up at the ends. “The next episode of the Coryphée will be written tonight.” Thumbing the button on her phone, she checked the time. “I just have to wait a few more hours.” A heavy sigh escaped as she plopped in the desk chair.

Turning a page in her notebook, she read her homework assignments. She flipped the chemistry text book open and scribbled a few items next to her homework. Scanning the questions, she checked her answers. Next, she did the same process for trigonometry. A few of her answers were re-written. Last, came English. Her report was typed, double spaced, and had all the notations completed.

“504 in progress,” the flat voice said over the police scanner. “22nd and South Mallard.”

“WOW!” Meghan slapped her gloved hand over her mouth. “That’s on the next block.” She darted her eyes to her bedroom door. “I need to get out there.”

Standing on her chair, she stepped to her desk and slid the window open. The wire faking the sensor stretched as the opening widened. First, her left leg went through the window, then the right. She shimmied and pushed past the sill, and was absorbed by the night. Her gloved hand reached up and pulled the window closed, stopping at the last half inch. “So I can get back inside tonight.”

Meghan skipped out of her lawn and ran down the street. “The extra time in PE is paying off.” Her feet fell into a comfortable stride as she turned the corner. “This is Mallard.” Her head swiveled up and down the road. A loud thump came from her left. “This way,” she said through her smile.

Leaning her head down, she pumped her legs faster. “Got em.”

Two dark figures were on either side of a light gray car. One held a baseball bat and swung at the passenger window. Instead of a thump, the sound a glass breaking reached Meghan’s ears. “I told you,” the dark figure said. His baseball hat jerked forward as he spoke. A jacket covered arm snaked into the shattered window and touched something inside the car.

“I don’t think so.” Meghan ran into the man on the street. She pushed as hard as she could with her hands. The momentum added to her force and the man sprawled across the asphalt. As she stopped, she clenched her fists tight and turned to face the thief on the other side of the car.

“Bitch.” The thief dashed around the front of the car and came up with a hand held high and behind him.

Krav Maga, here we go. As the dark skinned hand came at her, Meghan stepped to her left, taking her closer to the car. Her knees bent in unison, making the swinging appendage pass overhead. She pivoted her hips and sent her right fist into the pudge that stuck out over the waistband of the thief’s jeans. Her fist kept going, taking the thief off his feet. As she retracted her arm, the young man doubled over and fell to all fours. He spat up something and rolled over to his side with a loud groan.

“It worked! Oh my God, it worked.” Meghan shook with adrenaline and her face flushed as her eyes widened behind her mask.

“Stupid cow!” She felt the rough hand slap the side of her head and push. The force carried her into the roof of the car, sending pain to her head and tears in her eyes. Staggering forward, she shifted and pivoted to face the first thief. “Dumbass ho ain’t gonna do shit to me.” The man’s face shone in the street light and Meghan saw a tattoo on a cheek and a gold front tooth. The tanned white face stood in contrast with the black baggy jacket and orange baseball cap. A fist jabbed in on Meghan, making her nose sting and warm fluid flowed over her top lip. Stars danced in her eyes as she brought her ribbon thin arms up for defense.

She blocked the next four blows, wincing at the contact, and sent in a kick of her own. The sole of her black sneakers connected with gut of her attacker and she pushed. The force sent the man against the car, where his hands flew back, exposing his torso to her. Her next two punches nailed the lower ribs of the thief. The second punch made a cracking sound and the thief howled in pain and dropped to the road.

Jumping, she shouted, “I did it. I did it.” She rubbed her mouth and saw the blood. “Oh God.” Her gut tightened and she bent at the waist. Gasping, she supported herself on her knees. “That hurt.” She struggled to an upright position.

“FREEZE!”

The blinking red and blue lights pulled her eyes. Then the three police officers with guns pointed at her pushed all the pain away. “I’m the hero. I thwarted this robbery.”

“Save it, lady.” A burly looking woman cop stepped forward. “You’re the one wearing a mask. Plus, let’s face it. As skinny as you are, no one will believe you stopped these two.”

“That’s right,” the thief holding his ribs said. “She had that baseball bat when Jonny and I stopped her.”

“WHAT! NO!”

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