THE MENAGERIE

WEAPON

Wendy mayer stood blankly in  front of the movie store… an add for a new classics collection was playing on the large flat screened television hanging from the ceiling of the store… beckoning all shoppers to come inside and catch a glimpse of the magic of Hollywood… perhaps even buy a little… take it home with them.  Now that’s entertainment.

“Lets go inside Wendy.” The asian eyes grew wide with anticipation…. “They’re playing your mother’s promo again.”

“Not interested kim.” Wendy raised an eyebrow as kim undetoured grabbed Wendy’s arm.

“Stop being so childish Wendy…. These movies pay for your home in the West Hills… You’re mom’s a star… you should be proud of her.” Kim smiled wide; her eyes reflecting back at herself in Wendy’s thick cold glasses.

“I think your probably proud enough for the both of us…” Wendy snarled under her breath. Then resolving to herself to get the experience over with, she started for the door. 

Entering the movie store was like entering a new world. The cold recirculated air blasted a slight fog onto Wendy’s glasses, and the sweat on her forehead was cooled from the near boiling temperature outside. It was a welcome change. It wouldn’t have taken Wendy nearly as much time to reach the donut store next to the movie store if she hadn’t had brought Kim with her. But her psycho of a mother insisted that Kim needed friends, and wouldn’t have Wendy galavanting around the city without her jujitsu trained, new housemate. 

Kim’s knowledge of martial arts was about the only thing that Wendy found interesting about Kim. But the one thing that would’ve saved both girls time, and bus fare, would’ve been a quick ride through the back streets of Grand Mall avenue on a pair of skateboards. Ironically for all of Kim’s skills in the martial arts, her balance was never good enough to grind the concrete jungle. Knowing Joe’s rules for his store, Wendy checked her backpack at the counter and raised an eyebrow at her skateboard neatly tucked under the flap. A self drawn portrait of David Bowie on the underside of the board stared back at her like he knew her pain… hardly Bowie… hardly.

Kim snapped her back to reality.

“Listen Dee.  You hear that?” her pupils dialated with excitement. The sound of Wendy’s mother’s voice resonated in laughter across the store. A famous scene from a famous piece of trash that her famous mother had shot back in her hey day was playing on the big screens.

“you know what that is Wendy?” Wendy didn’t have time to answer. Kim Chi, never asked a question to hear its response. She only wanted to know that you were listening. “It’s “The Puerto Rican Sunrise” Dee.” That’s the movie where your mom has to stay alive till morning, or she will be killed by those assasins…. The one with the famous guy… Dean Maxwell… ya know… the guy from all the detective movies… he was hot.”

“He’s like old and grey kim, besides… he was an asswipe… he treated my mom like shit.” Wendy’s eyebrow raised as she scanned the room for better topics, and new editions to her collection.

“dude… Bowie’s old and grey too…. Besides, weren’t people saying Maxwell’s  your father?” Kim smirked waiting for Wendy to react. Wendy spun her body backward, landing her fist into Kim’s face. Kim fell back into a rack of ninety nine cent cassettes and knocked it over spilling REO Speedwagon and Atlantic Starr on to the linoleum along with Kim herself.

“Back off Bitch…. Its none of your business who my father is!” The man at the cash register looked at Wendy with knowing eyes, and smiled at her. He walked out from behind the counter and helped Kim to her feet, turning to her, he said,

“Wendy… you gotta clean this up.”

“I know Joe… I just got some issues… can I get a donut for you from next door, and then come back and clean this up…. I promise to behave.” She managed a half smile… she wasn’t angry at Joe… in the years she had known him, he had always been good to her.

“Yeah, donuts on me…” he reached into his pocket and threw her a waded up five… “Be back quick… Speedwagon’s a big seller.” Wendy turned to the glaring Kim and held up a finger in defiance.

“Don’t fuck with Bowie bitch.” The door shut hard behind her… and Kim Chi glared at her in disgust.

“I don’t know why you put up with her Joe.” She looked at Joe as if wanting an answer, but Joe knew better. “I swear she’s got some power over you men.” Kim picked herself up and strutted toward the door like a princess… the rush of hot air as she opened it, only solidified the thought in Joe’s mind about her origin. “I don’t have to take this treatment. If the street rat wishes to be in my presence, have her call my cell.” She threw her head up and never looked back. The door closed behind her and the temperature became cool again.

“Don’t worry princess, she won’t.” Joe waited for his donut patiently… it occurred to him that this was the fifth time this month that Wendy had decided to use his store as a boxing ring. “She must have some power over me he thought.” A thought which was immediately followed by the thought, “Oh well, I wonder what type of Donut she got me.”

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