The Set Up and the take down

Stepping out into the street, Contessa McLaren (Tess to people who valued their life)  shook her head. The sudden lack of club music was shocking to her ears. She waited for them to stop ringing and for her eyes to adjust to the dingy light from the over head street lamp. The night was a complete bust. She was going to have a talk with Monique on Monday when she got into the office. Why Monique had thought she could go for that guy was a mystery. Tess supposed he could be called handsome. He had a chiseled jaw, strong high cheek bones and that thick black hair….Superman hair she thought. The over usage of expensive cologne could have been overlooked, but it was his arrogant attitude and overwhelming sense of ambition and hunger for power that had her leaving early and alone. 

She could almost taste his ambition as she sat across from him. Lots of money and a six pack was not the only thing Tess needed in a man these days. He had insisted on ordering her a girly drink when what she wanted was a glass of whiskey – neat.  Then there was that hand that kept landing on her leg, no matter how far back she scooted up her seat.  The final straw was that he kept telling her how lucky she was to be out with him, since he had his pick of women.   She activated Escape Plan A.   With her left hand she hit the auto dial button on her black berry , conveniently sitting next to her on her purse strap.  Calling her cell phone which resided in her coat pocket, she reached over with an “I am so sorry look” and answered it.  The appropriate sounds of “on no” and “I will be right there” were uttered and she hung up, a look of worry on her face. “My sister needs me – one of the babies is pretty sick, I have to go”. And with a thank you for the evening she was out the door.

Sighing, Tess stepped out into the street and headed toward her car.  She can’t believe she let Mo set her up.  That wouldn’t be happening again.  You think a women named after a romance novel  would have a more romantic life.   Yet, Tess feared her happy ever after was at the bottom of an ice cream carton and not with the man of her dreams, at least for tonight.  She set off in the direction of her car,  heels echoing off the sidewalk with a ringing staccato.  Just as she neared her car she caught movement out of the corner of her eye.  Turning she expected to see superman hair following her.  Instead, a man moved out of the alley way towards her.  Her initial reaction of surprise turned to a look of fear as she saw a flash of light off of his knife.  “Oh Crap, where is superman when you need him” was her first thought.

He smirked.  She noticed he was excited by her fear.  “Okay buddy” she thought ” you like scared and timid?”  Moving away from her car she allowed the look of fear to wash across her face, brows pinched, eyes opening wide and mouth slightly agape.  But inside she felt her mind go still.  With each breath she prepared herself. 

“The purse lady, and no screaming – but ya can beg if ya want”.  Tess considered the man, 6 foot something, 240 – 260.  If he got ahold of her she was done.  Her four inch heels brought her 5’6″ frame up to his eye level.  She could just give him her purse.  She wasn’t dressed for this kinda thing.  But something in his manner made her think this wasnt about the purse at all.

Slowly she starts to hand the purse over, “but its Coach and and my sister (sob)  gave it to me…its the first one I have ever owned” she stammers.  With his free hand he reaches down and grabbes his crotch and leers.  The man is actually getting off on this.  Anger rushes through her veins, like rocket fuel.  

Pulling the purse back towards herself, she works a tear down her cheek. The crying was a reaction to her anger, not weakness.  Seeing the tear he reaches out with the knife hand to take the purse.   Swinging the purse out as hard as possible towards the knife with her left hand, she knocks it aside.  Tess was glad she had opted tonight for the purse with everything in it, including her overdue library book.  She allows her body to continue twisting and brings her right elbow up, hand down in the same way Gabe had drilled her millions of times before.  Tess slashes her forearm across his face, with all the force of her 180 lb frame behind it and a snap of her hip that would have had Gabe and her belly dance teacher proud.   She drops the purse and reaching across with both hands she grabs his knife hand and slams her knee into his wrist, causing the knife to clatter to the sidewalk.  Not wanting him to regain his wits until she is far away, she steps into his body, bringing her left forearm back across the other side of his head.  He is bent over grabbing his face, but she could feel his right arm coming up to grab at her. 

Quickly, gripping the back of his head, she rams her left knee up into his face as hard as she can. Then, stepping into him again, she shoves him backwards over the curb away from her.  He sprawls backwards onto his back.  Now she was breathing heavy.  Perhaps more time on the treadmill and less time looking for Mr. Right at the bottom of an ice cream container was in order.  She scoops her purse up, and his knife…and backs away quickly to her car. 

Opening it up her car she sees him get up and start to approach her again.  With a jerk of his head he looks up the street and takes off.  Turning, she sees what made him leave.  Mouth wide open, astonishment awash on his face, her date stands 100 yards away with a women hanging on his arm.   “Great, NOW superman shows up” Tess sighs. 

Locking the door she pauses to look at her forearms.  The soft purple stain of a nasty bruise has already began to appear.  This was gonna be hard to explain to Mo.  As the adrenaline wears off,  Tess considers throwing up but decides against it.  She puts the car in gear and drives to the local police station, her attacker’s knife beside her.  That a-hole got blood on her favorite dress.  Tess was totally pressing charges.  Then she would buy the biggest bottle of bourban she could find for Gabe, her boxing instructor.


4 thoughts on “The Set Up and the take down

  1. Hi Davida – Congrats on “putting it out there”! I really liked the piece!
    I like that you establish that she’s 180lbs and has a boxing instructor.
    A+ for not falling for these arrogant lotharios, girlfriend.
    I loved that she got ticked about the blood on her dress and was “totally pressing charges.” That made me laugh…makes me think she would have just shrugged it off as a girl’s-got-to-do-what-a-girl’s-got-to-do night and gone to bed were it not for this inconsiderate jerk ruining her favorite dress! Love it.
    Here’s the nitpicking part! Sorry- it’s not meant to bruise your ego (Facebook)…I know that you really are looking for another perspective to catch any typos. I guess I will be the analytical jerky jerk.
    “agap” s/b “agape” (P4)
    “over due” s/b “overdue” (P7)
    would “of” had s/b would “have” had (p7)
    “keft” forearm s/b “left” forearm
    “attackers” s/b “attacker’s” (last P)

    That’s all I’d change but they’re only suggestions! (well, except for the ‘keft’ thing!)
    Keep writing, please keep sharing!


  2. Thanks BD – I made the suggested changes. the “keft” thing had actually been right – but then I worked through the body mechanics one more time with my husband, and discovered that left would put her in the right position for the left knee. Changed it on the fly this morning between diaper changes and cereal spills. I got all five kids today – fitting the writing in between the boys disolving into brawls (four boys and one girl).

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