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We all have them, our nicknames. It’s what happens when you’re “inducted“. We’re not like every other gang out there. We don’t wear bandannas or jeans half hanging off. We’re more like a pack. Females are equal, are to be loved. Females are to be protected.
I should know, I’m one of them.
Our nicknames are relevant to the time when we came in. I was one of the first, and the reason our girls are treated right. I have one of the “Alice in Wonderland” nicknames: Hatter. Our leader, I nicknamed Caterpillar, for all the weed he smokes. We have Hare, my cousin, and White Rabbit. Always late, never on time. Except for this once, and it cost him. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the twins. Red Queen, the best female fighter in the group. It takes a lot to bring her down, but something did this time.
We have our nicknames, yes. We have them because I give them, as the record-keeper. Which is why this is being recorded, in the Diary of the Death Angels.
I stood, like the rest of them, tied up. The opposing gang in the area, the Dragons, had captured us unaware. We would’ve been content to let them remain had they not started the crime spree. This was our city, these were our people, they were our responsibility.
In a way, we were a good sort of gang. We didn’t clean up the streets, and only some of us did volunteer work at all. I was one of the few. We had our weaknesses, the sticky fingers, the pot smokers, the pill poppers. We had out faults. But we took care of our city. Our parents, our friends. We took care of our own. Even though we were only kids ourselves, halfway through high school. But they came in, and they tried to take over, tried to take our city.
So we fought back.
And then they took us.
I had been with my boyfriend. He’d tried to keep me safe, they’d taken him too. The fact alone that their mark was on my wrist and not his didn’t matter, apparently. He was beside me, absolutely seething. Queenie was across the circle from me, with Dee and Dum, taken from a party, drunk and only just coming to.
Caterpillar was tied up beside me, Hare on his other side, both now sobered up from their bowl smoked earlier.
“Screw you.” Rabbit hissed at the passing guard. “We’ll get you all.”
“What did you say?” The Dragon asked, flexing his muscle so that the dragon tattoo on his bicep danced. He wore a beanie, dirty tank top and baggy jeans. He looked like hell, honestly. Rabbit looked him in the eye and refused to back down. The only time he broke eye contact was when the guy raised a fist, taking a cheap shot to Rabbit’s jaw.
“Not so big now, are you?” he asked Rabbit. Rabbit looked back up sideways at him, then spat the collected blood and saliva at him. He grabbed Rabbit by the front of the shirt and cocked his fist back again. I saw Hare standing up, fidgeting. He wanted a fight so bad. . .
“You son of a b****!” I shouted at the Dragon. “He’s tied up! Leave him alone!” His head snapped in my direction.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t quite hear you.” He walked forward, cracking his knuckles. I narrowed my eyes. He stopped a few inches from my face. “Now, what was that?”
“I said leave him alone.” I snapped. He laughed, turning away and holding his hands outstretched to the others of us tied up.
“You’re feisty!” he said, turning and pointing at me. He walked forward and grabbed my face roughly. “I like feisty.” He pressed his mouth to mine and I wiggled, trying to get away. He finally stepped away, holding my chin in one hand. “I think I’ll keep you. What do you say?” Following Rabbit’s footsteps, I spat, hitting the dragon in the face. I could see my boyfriend out the corner of my eye, trying in vain to escape the bindings.
“Little b****.” he said.
“I’m a Death Angel,” I hissed. “I’ve got my wings and I’m not giving them back.” I could see Queenie and Rabbit grinning; Dee and Dum with their half smiles. My boyfriend was too pissed to do anything.
“Nice.” Hare commented. The Dragon took out his knife and crossed to Hare, pressing the blade against his throat.
“No!” I screamed. A couple more Dragons walked into the room, and the first Dragon turned.
“I want this one.” he said. Two of them helped drag Hare to the middle, where the first one started wailing on hm.
“Stop! Stop it you sons of b*****s!” I screamed at them. Queenie was clawing and pulling at her own bindings, trying to get away too, trying to get into the fight. One good hit to the ribs brought Hare to his knees, and that was when Red Queen really started in, calling them things I’d never heard. She was creative, I’d give her that.
One of the Dragons that had dragged Hare over made the mistake of getting too close and I used the bindings that were holding my hands above me to this post as leverage to pull myself up and kick my feet out.
They went over his shoulders and I pulled back, yanking him off balance. He fell backwards and I started slamming the sharp edges of my converse into his stomach, his chest, his arms, anywhere I could get him. One good stomp to the face and I heard his nose give a sickening crunch. It wasn’t bravery that made me do this, just brash, unthinking stupidity. But Queenie cheered me on, and so I kept hurting him.
Finally they stopped beating Hare long enough to realize that one of their own was being injured and they grabbed his ankles, pulling him out of my reach. I breathed heavily, glaring daggers at them all. Blood covered the Dragon’s face from his broken nose, and it had started leaking down onto his white shirt. My fellow DA members looked on with either curiosity, pride, or both, some even with a little fear.
The first Dragon pulled out his knife and cut me loose, grabbing me by the arm and throwing me to the ground. Then I was theirs to kick. I lost count of how many times they kicked me, but by the time they were finished, I knew I’d be black and blue. I could hear my boyfriend swearing. Out of us all, I guess I’m more of the baby of the group. I’m actually the oldest girl, but at five-foot-nothing and a hundred and twenty pounds soaking wet, I’m the smallest. Which is why I’m the one who they protect more.
Queenie was screaming at them in Spanish, English, and whatever phrases she’d learned in French. I knew what she was saying in French, and none of it was good. I could hear Hare fighting, even with his hands tied. I was not only smaller than him, I was his family. You don’t mess with Hare’s family. Once I could breathe, I pushed myself off the ground and stood. Unsteady and bleeding, dirty, and swaying, I looked back at my attackers, Hare’s attackers.
Everybody else went quiet, watching me, but Hare kept fighting. Queenie, bless her soul, has a mouth on her that you just can’t stop once it gets started. She screamed and swore in three different languages, her focus on our attackers. A gleam in the dirt caught my eye and I saw the Dragon’s knife. The Dragon that I’d went after had left, gone to get reinforcements. Which meant that I had to work fast. I moved towards the fray, Hare fighting off two guys, both his hands still tied. I approached the first one, the one who’d kissed me, and stabbed.
The knife sank to the hilt into the first Dragon’s thigh, bringing him down. He swore at me, but I jerked the knife out and hopped back out of reach, knowing Hare could handle one on his own.
Working quickly, I raced to Caterpillar and cut him loose, then Rabbit, on Hare’s post’s other side. I went around and as I cut my fellow DA’s loose they took off, Hare’s opponent and the first Dragon knocked out now.
My boyfriend was last, and when I cut him loose, he held me tight to him and kissed me.
“He will never touch you again,” he swore to me, and then took my hand, leading me out.
I kept the Dragon’s knife as a reminder of that night. We all knew that The Dragon’s would be coming back for us. We knew it was just a matter of time. But next time, They wouldn’t catch us off guard.
Next time, we’d be ready.