Monday, July 30, 2012

Marcy Flair

It was late afternoon and the room was mostly dark. The blinds were pulled so that only little beams of light stabbed the darkness here and there. Sitting in a chair in front of a small wooden desk, a little girl was hunched over a magnifying glass. Arts and crafts boxes surrounded her both on the floor as well as the periphery of her desktop. This was Marcy. She was almost fifteen years old. She loved sparkles of color, twinkles of rhinestones, and the precise edges along the facets of newly cut gemstones. She loved other things too. In fact, it was a testament to her creativity that Marcy had found a way to combine her loves.

Marcy squinted at her work. Pink sparkles surrounding a flat cat's-eye-blue plastic gem arranged like a constellation of beauty on a small triangular feather. She turned the otherwise white feather over, and blew gently on the afterfeather. Little wisps of powder-soft fingers waved at her nose. She smiled and arranged the feather on her desk, gem-side up next to a row of similarly adorned feathers, to let the glue dry undisturbed.

Next, Marcy reached for the glue gun, hot with a sticky trail of amber leaking from its nozzle. She pressed the trigger lightly to smear a narrow line of glue along the thin metal rod in front of her. It was just then that a flop of her bangs waggled down from her forehead and tried to play peek-a-boo with her eye. Bad timing! With a quick flick of her head, she tossed the curl to the top of her head long enough out of the way for her to quickly align a foil lightning bolt on the glue. She held it steady until the bright decoration adhered tightly despite the hot burning on her thumb where some of the glue had squished around to her skin.

Tiny creative fingers lifted the metal rod so that the slight bit of sunlight piercing the blinds could reflect off all of the foil lightning bolts decorating the titanium bar. Not quite satisfied, she held one end of the rod between her fingers so she could rotate the shaft more easily. Lifting an aerosol can she sprayed a puff of glue into the air, and then twirled the rod through it. Before the glue dried, she picked up a shaker of multi-colored sprinkles and shook tiny sparkles all over the now festive pole.

While these projects rested, Marcy turned her attention to the pink plastic handles she'd attached, each to one end of two solid aluminum bars. The bars were connected at the other end by a braided nylon and steel flex-cord. They looked so plain. Reaching under the desk, she pulled up a flimsy plastic shopping bag. Inside was a cardboard and cellophane package containing purple and red handlebar streamers. They were designed for bicycles, but they were going to work wonderfully for this project. She attached the streamers to the handles, as instructed in the directions, then modified them to better suit her needs. Hidden inside the streamers of one handle, she inserted a super-sized fishing hook designed to resemble something better suited to grappling. Once that was done, Marcy pulled open one of the drawers of the desk and carefully pulled out four long narrow razor blades. These were attached to a metal ring by small hoops that allowed the blades to move freely - much like the streamers. The metal ring was attached to the other pink handle so as to allow the razors to mingle with the streamers. She paused for a moment and wondered if the blades might eventually ruin the streamers. She made a note to herself to color the sides of the razors pink and maybe later simply replace all of the flimsy plastic with the thin slices of steel.

By now, the feathers and rods Marcy had been working on were ready to be assembled. She glued the feathers into the slots at the ends of the rods, and then carefully screwed in the arrow heads. She had quite a variety of arrow tips. The heavy bodkin tips were lightly dusted with glow-in-the-dark powder. The barbed tips were lightly sprayed with red paint, while the viper tips were dusted with orange day-glow paint. Marcy hefted one of the arrows in her hand. It held her only half-moon bladeā€¦ just in case. Each of the arrows was carefully lowered into their slots in her home made quiver. She would know any of her arrows by the slightest touch of a feather.

Outside she heard some neighborhood children screaming as they danced through Mrs. Arnold's sprinkler. Marcy had a hard time understanding how they could get so much pleasure out of something so mundane. Shaking her head slightly, she reached for her pink glock. This was still somewhat of a puzzle. Although the outside of the gun had a few small crystals glued to it, she'd found out the hard way that the bullets did not take too well to any of the prettifications she'd tried so far. Even the very light coating of paint she'd tried out had ended badly. She was sad about losing her purple glock, but the pink had been her favorite anyway. Even the crystals on the gun had to be placed carefully as they otherwise tended to get in the way of the holster when she practiced her fast draw.

She turned the gun over in her hands for a few minutes and then put it aside to inspect the holster. It was already well decorated with gems, reflective lightning bolts and a few sparkly purple and green turtle stickers. She'd slightly modified the placement of the gems to spell out a cursive looking MF, and it didn't really look like there was room to do anything else. Although her eyes hesitated a bit on the streamers of her nunchucks. Maybe she could repurpose them when she got some more razor blades. Note to self!

From the diming light leaking from the sides of the curtains and the fading laughter of the children at play outside, Marcy knew that she was running out of time to prepare much more for tonight's excursions. She walked to her closet and opened the door. Inside were some dresses and shoes as well as a tall cardboard box that she'd decorated. The box opened like another smaller closet, and inside were her home made night excursion suits. She pulled out the midnight blue spandex body suit and she could hear some of the Kevlar panels sewn inside clack together. It was a comforting sound. She tossed the suit onto the bed and then reached in for her goggles. She preferred the dovetails, but tonight she was going to use the rhino style. It was the only one she had that would stay tightly enough on her head while she rode her bike through the back woods trails.

Marcy also pulled out her modified footwear. She'd never liked the steel toe shoes her father had gotten her for her birthday. They looked too masculine. Not pretty at all! So she'd looked around and found some acceptable sport shoes, and using her father's credit card, ordered a pair of Cats. They had a nice gel insole, plus they didn't complain about her color enhancements and glitter accents. And double-plus, they accepted the attachable pink heel skate rollers with flashing lights! Flashing lights! She was thrilled when she first discovered them!

Unfortunately, she hadn't yet finished making her chain mail leggings and shirt. Marcy had been dragging her feet on that project because she was feeling pretty weighted down as it was. At least she had the neck bib and gloves.

It being a school night, Marcy had to be careful about getting everything through the house and past the guards. Mom and dad would host a conniption if they caught her going out again. So she packed as much as she could into her hello kitty backpack and heaved it out the window. It was a bit of a risk doing it now since it was still plenty light outside, but she would need some time dressing behind the garage. She didn't want to be late.

Speaking of which, she went over to her computer and pushed the mouse to wake up the screen. She logged in and double checked the time and location. She then logged into her account and checked for messages. Nobody had cancelled. That was good. Otherwise, there was no sense going if she was going to be the only one there.

Marcy Flair stood in the center of her room and looked around. It felt like she was forgetting something. She looked at her craft station and saw that the glue gun had been unplugged. She mentally stepped through everything she'd put in her backpack. She'd packed it dozens of times and knew that everything was in it as usual. Then she walked through her plans for the evening, rehearsing the moves she expected to make. That was when she remembered!

"Of course! I wanted to try out the darts!" She said that loudly enough that her little brother knocked on the door and asked if she had called for him. She opened the door, kissed Scottie on the forehead and scooted him back to his room. To get there, Marcy had to duck under the police tape spider webbing across his bedroom doorway. Bright yellow "Property of Scott - DO NOT ENTER" tape that tore easily enough but that Scottie loved to wrap things in. She walked him to his bed to tuck him in. As she reached out to peel away the covers, she noticed a bright green oval sticker on her arm, "Property of Scott" that Scottie had somehow placed without her noticing. Looking around the room, every toy, book, and piece of clothing had some type of "Property of Scott" or "Scott's DO NOT TOUCH" sticker on it. She smiled and peeled the label carefully from her arm and stuck it on his forehead. He giggled and hopped into bed and lifted his arms for a hug. She couldn't resist, he was such a cutie-pie! She bent over and told him to go to sleep, he nuzzled into her neck and squeezed hard. "Ow! Scottie! You're pulling my hair!"

She pulled away and started to reach for her head to rub away the slight pain but Scottie grabbed her hands, "Will you read me a story?" She closed her hands together around his and leaned in again to give him butterfly kisses with her eyelashes.

"Not tonight, Scottie. Sorry. But tomorrow for sure, ok?"

He smiled and turned over, burying his head into the pillow and allowing her to tuck the blankets up over his ears. "Ok Barfie!" He giggled at his favorite play on her name. She gave him a pinch on the little bit of exposed earlobe and swatted him on the butt before leaving.

Marcy closed his door, ducked under the tape and quickly returned to the foot of her bed. It was getting late, but she reached underneath for the package that had been delivered only yesterday. Marcy had been so busy restocking her arrows and adjusting her other more familiar weapons that she's completely forgotten her new toys! Opening the box, she took out the wrist bands and strapped one around her right hand. On the strap were four metal locking rings which allowed her to secure a small metal box. The box contained twelve small holes that aimed in the direction her fingers pointed. On the side of the box, and furthest away from the holes, was one large indentation where the compressed gas canister was supposed to nestle. Placing it all on her wrist, it felt very heavy and the darts hadn't even been inserted yet. She considered moving the contraption back to her elbow, but she decided that there wasn't enough time after all. She would have to try it out another day. Besides, she wanted to practice with the device, although she felt that she would have no trouble mastering it. Carefully she packed it away. It wouldn't have been right to equip it until it looked pretty enough to use.

She closed the box and slid it back under the bed. Enough time wasted, she needed to get outside without drawing suspicion, and she knew exactly how to do it. Skipping down the stairs loudly and then walking through the living room, briefly blocking her parents' view of the television, she hummed her way to the kitchen. Once there, she grabbed a package of gummie fruits, a small pudding pack, and a juice box. Then she twirled back into the living room to pester her parents.

Munching loudly on a fist full of gummies, she asked, "What are we watching?"

"Just a show, Marcy. Please sit quietly and watch it."

"What is that guy doing there?" Marcy asked innocently while popping open the pudding lid.

"He's about to get into some trouble, just like someone in here if that someone doesn't quiet down."

Marcy crumpled up the now empty gummie bag and stuffed it part way into the barely eaten pudding cup. Slurping loudly through the tiny straw she wondered aloud, "Why do they make these straws so small?" To which her parents replied with annoyed silence. The show was reaching a critical moment, so Marcy knew that a commercial break was almost upon them. She had to time this just right. Taking another long drag on the straw, she reached empty just as some critical dialogue ushered in the commercial break. Her parents hadn't quite heard the last few words due to the empty juice box straw sucking sound and her mother turned an annoyed look to her daughter, "Marcy! Really?" Dad reached for the remote control to rewind back to the end of the scene.

Knowing that the timing was perfect, Marcy put her best hurt pout on and said, "Fine, I'll leave you to your precious show!" She stood, and started to walk back to the stairway as if she were going back to her bedroom. In the meantime, the crackly gummie bag that had been stuffed partway into the pudding cup had expanded enough to pop out of the container and drop first to the coffee table, and then to the floor. There was just enough pudding on it to leave a slight trail. The movement had caught both her parents' eyes and when they saw their daughter leaving behind the mess, mom's temper boiled a bit, "Marcy! Young lady you know better than to leave your trash. You march back here and pick that up. In fact, you can take the trash right out to the garage."

"But mooooom! That's not fair! It's Scottie's turn to do the trash!"

"I don't care! You pick this mess up and then take the trash out, Don't forget to replace the bag in the trash bin this time."

Marcy was again trying to time things to the television. She had to make certain that the commercial break would be over and her parents would be distracted by the show to notice that she never came back in from the garage. So she made a show of picking up every little bit of trash and mumbled her complaints as she walked slowly into the kitchen. She heard the television start up again and her parents re-watched the last of the scene they'd missed. Then her father started to fast-forward through as much of the commercials as possible before catching up to regular programming.

It was a fast job to get the trash ready to go, but Marcy still worried that her parents might miss her. So just as the show started up again, Marcy poked her head into the living room, "Mom? Dad?"

Her father hit the pause button, "Marcy? What is it?"

"I got the trash all set, do you guys want a snack or anything? I'll bring it in to you?"

Their slight annoyance melted away to smiles, "No Marcy, thank you, we're fine." Then the show started again and they were quickly mesmerized.

Good, thought Marcy. Now when they think back to whether Marcy had come back after doing the trash, they'll remember her asking if they needed a snack. They won't figure out she's gone until too late, or never at all if she can sneak back in later undetected.

Outside, the day was mostly over. Dusk would end soon and by then Marcy would be to her first rendezvous location. That would be the small dirt trail that formed a hairpin just above the small creek. Marcy knew that her wheel attachments wouldn't do her any good there, so she put them in the basket of her bicycle. The basket was latched with a bright red thumb lock in the shape of a heart. Marcy noticed that it would need to be re-glittered soon. In the basket she also had accessories belts. There was a nice wide one that hugged the top of her hips. It had spots for a stun gun, some gorgeous pearl handled butterfly knives, four different canisters of pepper sprays, and a holster for her glock. She pushed that one aside and instead withdrew the two extra-long belts that she wore crisscross over her chest. This was her favorite, but her recent growth in that area was making it less comfortable to wear. Soon she would retire this one and stick with just the hip hugger.

Sitting on the top of her basket of goodies was her problem-solving box, about the size of a portable first aid kit, and the current love of her life, Piggy-Bear. This was Marcy's special teddy bear. She took it out briefly, made sure that Piggy was ok, then gave it a quick hug and a kiss before checking that her problem-solving box was secure. She then closed her basket with a pleased sigh.

While straddling her bicycle, Marcy loaded up her accessories. Her favorite new add-on to the belt was a small elastic fabric band that held the crossing belts tighter to the small of her back where she had two knuckle knives tucked in secret pockets. It was a double-win because feeling the knives there made her feel stronger, plus, the fabric she used was from the Princess Pony cartoon she used to love to watch. Just like the pony, it was cute to look at, but it hid a nasty kick.

As Marcy double checked that all of her gear was secure, she stood on her left peddle to head down the driveway. There she looked over her shoulder at the house. The only evidence of activity came from the flickering bluish light from the television where her parents were cuddling on the couch. Smiling, she was about to peddle away when she thought she heard a noise. It was almost like a bug had just flown past her ear. Holding her breath, she pulled her goggles down over her eyes and switched them on. She looked up and down the cul-de-sac but saw nothing. Must have been a bug. Or maybe a bat? Either way it wasn't a big deal, besides, it was getting late and Ms. Flair had an appointment to keep. She switched off the goggles and slid them back up to the top of her helmet before pedaling down the road.

The ride to the small dirt hill was an easy one as the three miles of road were almost all either downhill or level. But it was a little surprising that no cars had passed her. It was a slight relief as well, though. She didn't want to draw any attention to herself. The sparkles and streamers decorating the bike tended to pull the eye away from the few weapons that she had holstered here and there. The overall impression people got from a quick look was that she was a little girl riding on her bike and carrying a bunch of toys.

Marcy turned off of the main streets between the two trees that marked the entrance to the small dirt access road. She coasted to the first turn and stopped to listen. There were the usual sounds of crickets and other nightly wildlife in the small woods. The quarter moon was mostly covered by clouds, so visibility was poor. Nonetheless, she liked her eyes to the dark before relying on her goggles. She also sniffed at the air. It was amazing how stupid some men can be. They think they are being so sneaky in their clever hiding spots, but then they can't help themselves but to light up a cigarette. Gives them away almost all the time. Although Marcy thought she could detect a hint of smoke, it wasn't enough to tell her anything useful tonight. So she got off her bike and walked slowly down the side of the gravel road as quietly as she could.

Every few feet, Marcy would pause and just listen. She had kept her eyes on the general spot through the woods where she was supposed to meet him, but couldn't see anything there yet. He must have a really dark car. Because she was getting so close without having any solid information yet, she decided to do a sweep of the area with her night goggles. She was glad she did. Not only was she able to see her appointment standing beside a sleek dark convertible, but settled more deeply in the woods, she could also see a van with two people inside. One was smoking. She wondered if there were more in the van. Her first thought as the sudden adrenaline evened out in her system was that this was going to be a blast!