Untitled (for now)

The sunlight glinted off of the switchblades that the four men were carrying. They walked down the sidewalk, taking great strides. They all had black leather jackets on, with the collars flipped up. One of them had a cigarette in his mouth. His name was Jackson, and he was the leader of their gang. They were four brothers. Jackson and his twin brother Luke were the middle children. The eldest’s name was Lind, and the youngest name was Lucky. That was his actual name, Lucky! Anyway, this was in the summer of 1957, and they were going to fight a rival gang. They had arranged it four nights ago, and there were no rules, except not to kill. Those switchblades were just for decoration, though they could cut someone up pretty good if they needed to. Jackson strutted down the sidewalk, thinking, Heh, another day in the life of a hood…

He looked towards his brothers and said in his slow, deep voice, “Hey boys, ya ready fer this? Ya could get hurt.”

They looked at him incredulously, and they all started to laugh. “When did you start to care about whether we got hurt or not, Jacky? We gonna go to this fight, and you ain’t gonna stop us.”

“Yeah, I know, I was just messin’ with ya.”

They arrived in the abandoned factory where the fight would take place. It was seemingly empty. The rival gang was probably hiding somewhere in the shadows. Jackson looked around, surveying the place. Suddenly, a fist came out of the shadows in front of him, hitting him in the chest and knocking the wind out of him. He staggered, and then got up, swearing. Lucky pounced on Jackson’s assailant, knocking him down and starting to pound on his face with his fists. Jackson engaged the person next to him immediately after he emerged from the shadows. He kneed him in the stomach, and as he doubled over, he elbowed him in his back, knocking him to the stone floor with a thud. That’ll hurt in the mornin’, Jackson thought. He saw Luke get punched in the nose, and blood spurted from it. Probably broken… Jackson ducked as one of the enemies swung at him, grabbed his attacker’s ankles, and tipped ‘em over. He then started to kick him in the sides, until there was a steady stream of blood running from his mouth. The rival gang started to run, stumbling out of the warehouse doors. Jackson’s boys had won!

Back at their home, they sat around a dimly lit table, smoking cigarettes and playing Texas Hold’em. They all started to laugh about a joke that Lenny had made. Lenny was the joker of the group, and he could always make you smile at the worst of times. They started to talk about the gangs. It was pretty much all-out war, with a fight breaking out every other night. Several people had died already, all of them under the age of 20. Twelve had died, last time Jackson had counted. They played poker deep into the night, thinking about who would fight tomorrow, and who would lose.

The next morning, Jackson was the first up, yawning. He padded into their dingy little kitchen, and started to make some eggs. He didn’t particularly like eggs, but they would have to do. By the time breakfast was done everyone had woken up and had put the perfect amount of grease in their hair. They sat down to the table, but just as Jackson sat down and said, “Let’s hope that this breakfast goes uninterrupted.” The phone rang. He got up with a sigh and picked it up.

“Hello?”

“Hi. I’m Johnny, the leader of the gang in control of Randall Avenue. One of our members died last night, and we’re callin’ a meetin’. Ya wanna come? Maybe we could work out all o’ this fightin’.”

Jackson doubted it, but he said, “Sure, we’ll be there, and hey, no tricks, cause I heard that ya can be pretty slick.”

“No, no tricks man. No tricks.

Jackson hung up and told the boys about the meeting. They all started to nod. They were looking forward to hopefully putting an end to the violence, though each one of them knew that the fights would go on, until there was no one left to fight.

Jackson and his brothers were walking to the meeting place the next day, cigarettes in mouth. They made it to the place, and saw all the other street gangs in this city. They all looked up at Jackson’s boys.

“You’re late,” one of the others said.

Jackson sat down in the circle with the rest, not saying a word. He looked up at them and said, wearily, “So, what’re we gonna do ‘bout this?” The rest looked at him. One cracked their knuckles, and they pounced. Jackson, who wasn’t very surprised by this, punched one in the jaw, sending him reeling. He jumped up quickly, and rammed his elbow into another’s face, sending blood flying. Lenny roundhouse kicked one, and followed that up with an uppercut, then a right hook, knocking his opponent out on the floor. Lucky picked a 2x4 off of the floor, and swung at one of the enemies with it. Jackson felt a fist going across the side of his face, and he backed up, guarding himself against the frenzied punches of the person attacking him. He was driven to the ground, his attacker still throwing punches. He kicked the attacker in between his legs, and pushed him off. Jackson looked at him, said “Good night,” and punched his lights out. The fight finally dispersed, and Jackson could feel warm blood trickling down his nose. He was bruised all over, and his arms ached. Lucky had it worse, with big gashes all over his face. There were blood stains on his white T-shirt, and bruises on his cheeks. He was holding his arm, which was bent in a very bad direction. It was probably broken, Jackson reckoned. The others didn’t have much besides a few bruises. This was just another day, another fight. They all headed home, to treat their wounds over a few ice-cold Cokes.

The next morning, Jackson was really hurting. Damn, he thought, as he sat up painfully. He swung his legs over the side of the bed, and walked to the fridge, where he poured himself a cup of chocolate milk. He drank it up as the others slowly woke up, one-by-one. Jackson had always been an early riser. He looked at them and said, “Hey, how’d you boys like the rumble last night?”

They looked at him and Luke said, “Hey, its just routine brother.”

Jackson thought about that for a second, and then said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

The gang was enjoying a couple of smoothies at the malt shop when Jackson’s girlfriend, Tricia, walked in through the door. She looked at him with her piercing gray eyes, and said,

“Hey Jackson, how are ya’, baby?”

He looked back at her, smiled, and said, “I’m just fine, hon.”

Tricia was tall, with long, black hair, and emerald green eyes. She had dark skin. She walked up to Jackson, and sat down on the stool next to him.

“I heard about the fight last night. Did anyone get hurt?”

“Well Lucky got banged up pretty bad, but other than that, no.”

Jackson kissed her, and got up. “Come on, boys, let’s go home.”

That night, Jackson and his gang were walking in a tunnel, when they heard a scream echo around them. They turned, and saw a couple of guys holding a woman down. One was holding a piece of splintered wood in his hand. They were laughing.

Jackson looked at his brothers. “We’d better help.”

They flipped their switchblades open, and advanced. The men looked up, and saw Jackson’s gang. They stood up from their victim, and started towards Jackson. Then they started to run towards them.
The one with the piece of wood lifted it, and bashed Lenny in the head with it, instantly knocking him to the floor. Jackson punched one in the face.

“OW!” he yelled as his knuckles bounced off, throbbing with pain. The men were wearing blank metal masks. Lucky took his switchblade and swiped it at one of them. He missed, but the person he was attacking fell to the ground. Lucky got on top of him and started slashing at him. He got up over the still body of his dead opponent.

“LUCKY!” Jackson screamed at him after the long silence that followed. “WHAT DID WE SAY?! NO KILLIN’!!”

Lucky looked at him and said, “I’ve had enough of this fightin’. Well, I’m puttin’ my foot down. Jackson, did you see the face of the woman they were beatin’?” Lucky’s face was shaking with rage.

Jackson walked over the body of the woman. She was breathing very faintly. Jackson bent down to get a better look.

“Oh my God. OH MY GOD!”

Jackson was looking down at the trembling body of Tricia. Blood was trickling from her mouth and nose, and one of her eyes was puffy and black. She had bruises all over her, and her clothes were torn and blood-stained.

“Jackson,” she whispered softly. Then her head fell back onto the pavement, and she lay still.

Jackson got up from the dead body of his girlfriend, and turned around to face her killers. He ran towards one, roaring with blind fury, and slashed his throat with his switchblade. Blood sprayed, and the man fell to the floor. He kneed the last one standing in the stomach, as he drove the blade into his chest. As he got up over the enemy’s body, he sighed. He walked over slowly to Tricia’s body, and picked her up.

As he was about to walk out of the tunnel, he felt a searing pain fill his body. A shot rang out, and then three more followed. He saw Lucky, Lenny and Luke fall to the ground one by one. He saw the fallen enemy with the handgun in his hand finally die, and as his vision faded, he saw the bullet that had gone straight through his heart laying on the ground, smoking.



THE END





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