“You need to stop screaming. You’re causing a scene.”
Up ahead was a young woman who had been listening to a pair of headphones, but had slid them into her pocket in favor of yelling at the grotesque creature. She was tall with flawless, dark skin and braids that went down her back. There was a piercing in her nose and several along one of her eyebrows, her wrists proudly equipped with rainbow armbands. Dressed like she’d just come from the gym, she was built with muscled abs and toned legs.
“Get to safety! Don’t provoke it!” Marianna didn’t care about how strong this girl appeared to be, the last thing she needed was a casualty from someone trying to play heroine.
“Another stupid little girl who can’t keep her mouth shut.” But it was too late. The creature already had its sights on the new girl.
As foolish as Marianna thought this girl was being, she realized that she now had an opening. She used the distraction to whisper to the people behind them to start slowly walking into the store. Torrence was at the entrance and ushered the people inside, both him and Marianna working together to use the moment to their advantage.
“Come on, Dana,” Carlos whispered, but Dana wouldn’t move. She couldn’t stop staring at the monster up ahead. “Sis, please?”
“W-why aren’t they here? They’re supposed to be here.”
Marianna winced but forced herself to shove aside the curdled feeling of guilt in her stomach. “We need to get you to safety.”
“And make her fight by herself?!”
“I think she’ll be all right,” Kayla said as she headed toward the store with Bree.
“How can you say that?! That creature is gonna to tear her to shreds!”
Kayla shook her head as she nodded over to the mystery girl, who was eerily calm despite the situation. In fact, she was now standing in a fighting stance. Fists up and ready, legs long and powerful, she was ready for a fight and wasn’t at all intimidated by the supernatural creature in front of her. “I know her,” Kayla said. “She’s in one of my classes.”
“Who is she?” Bree asked.
“Her name is Lonnie Knox and she’s a kick ass kickboxer.”
Everything that happened after that felt like someone had hit the fast-forward button. The monster shouted at Lonnie, the force coming out in a destructive wave that crushed the garbage cans in the walkway and shattered the glass from the stores in its path. Lonnie jumped out of the way, then dodged another attack, and another, making it look as easy as playing a game of hopscotch. As the creature’s voice became strained from screaming, Lonnie launched herself forward. With a mighty kick, her foot left an indent in the creature’s stomach as if it were as soft as a bean bag. The monster stumbled back and let out a harsh cough, but Lonnie didn’t give it a chance to recover. One punch to the face, followed by a second, and a third. All Marianna and Bree could do was stare as Lonnie continued to hit her opponent so hard that they could hear her fists bursting the bubbles, disgusting splashes of puss and blood hitting the ground and covering her fists. Finally, Lonnie landed a swift kick across the monster’s cheek. The power in her kick was so hard that the creature was knocked out cold, its body adding a final crack to the floor.
“Holy shit,” Bree whispered. The creature’s face was now bruised beyond recognition, and it didn’t look like it was going to get up anytime soon. Mouth wide open, stomach caved in from Lonnie’s knee, Marianna looked just as bewildered as Bree. Neither girl had time to dwell on it. Dana was already cheering for Lonnie, and the group that had gone inside the store was stepping outside to see the aftermath of the one-sided battle. The rest of the crowd joined Dana in cheering for Lonnie, who stood there and smiled an embarrassed little smile. Both Marianna and Bree looked at each other and quietly wondered the same thing.
Had Blaze sent in a new magical girl?
Also check out this companion piece that goes with this scene by Dave Branch! It is also inside of the book itself!