In this chapter, Andrew meta-morphs for the first time and learns a little bit about the drug-lord, Hidishi. Warning: the editing errors you read were made on purpose for my current story. This is the first book in a 6-part (maybe 7) book series.
“What in the world happened?” Lily asked Andrew, touching his face.
“Mark and I got jumped by some thugs,” Andrew answered, freeing himself from her motherly grip. “We sent them running, so everything’s okay.”
“No, it’s not! You could’ve been killed. You don’t know if they have guns or knives. Please, don’t fight them. I don’t want to lose you.”
Andrew’s heart sank. This was first time he ever saw Lily sob. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she struggled to keep her voice to a minimum. Andrew quickly embraced her with her head buried in his chest.
“I’m sorry, mom. It won’t happen again.”
Mark and Andrew headed for Bay Plaza Cinemas, next to Co-op City, on a clear Saturday night to see Thunder-man.
Bay Plaza was sort of a mall, but more like an outlet center. Originally, it was the size of a small baseball stadium with twenty small stores, including an enormous supermarket. Since then, it has developed. They have added big department stores likeSchwann andS-Mart, a popular toy store, Toys & Joys, and Books & Narples, one of the larger bookstores. Even popular restaurants, like Rib Shack andSilver Spoon, have claimed a spot in the now spacious Bay Plaza.At least Lily doesn’t have to go to White Plains as much as she did.
As usual, Mark would scope the girls while Andrew got the tickets. The line wasn’t too long and was filled with mostly high schoolers. There were a few diehard fans, either dressed up as the characters or just reciting lines from the comic. While waiting, Andrew admired the interior.
Bay Plaza Cinemas was a pretty spacious place. Originally, it was a three floored parking deck for the water treatment plant across the street. Ten years ago, the mayor decided to remodel the old parking deck, changing it into the cinema. Andrew had to admit, the architect and designers really outdid themselves. Because of the original design, twelve medium-sized screen rooms were able to fit nicely and still have room for a large game roomand concession stand.
Suddenly, Andrew felt a hard tap on his shoulder. It was Mark, who wasn’t even looking at Andrew while he tapped him.
“What?” Andrew asked as he took the tickets from the dealer.
“There she is,” Mark said sort of pointing at her.
Andrew looked closely and noticed that it was the same girl Mark tried to holla at when they were at the football game. She seemed to be with a group of girls, giggling and talking amongst themselves.
“Go for it.”
“You crazy? You don’t tell a brotha what to do. He has to do it on his own.”
“So what’s stopping you?”
“Nothing, a’ight,” Mark answered blushing, “I’m…uh…I’m…”
“I ain’t scared,” Mark replied, trying not to look at the girl. “Yo, when does the movie start?”
“Hey guys!” someone called out to them.
Mark and Andrew turned their heads over to their right and saw Rosa Sanchez waving at them. She came up to them and slapped fists.
Andrew knew Rosa ever since he came to the Bronx. She was a fine Spanish chick. Her body was what most guys consider perfect. Her slender body was able to support her curvy butt and cantaloupe-sized breasts. Her long brown hair always smelled like lavender and her hazel eyes shined brightly in the light.
“Well aren’t we dressed up,” Andrew said with a smile.
Rosa attire was a bit dressed up. She wore these dark blue curvy jeans that seem to cling to her. Her yellow top was wide and puffy-looking. It had a low U-shaped neck that exposed her cleavage. The only thing that looked normal was her brown sneakers.
Rosa blushed. “I have a right to dress up.”
“Trying to pick up a guy or something?” Marked asked, winking at Andrew.
“Anyway, what movie are you gonna see?” she asked, dodging Mark’s question.
“Thunder-man,” Andrew answered, “You?”
“Well, we better bounce,” Mark said leading the way, “the movie’s about to start.
Man, was it packed. The room was flooded with people of various ages. Small pockets of empty seats were scattered throughout the room and was a battle to get to them. Andrew watched a young couple desperately squeeze through the middle aisle as various heavy people blocked their path. Suddenly, Rosa spotted some seats, next to two familiar faces. They scurried towards the middle section and began their fight for their rightful seats. Moments later, they sat down. Emily and Josh looked at them and waved.
“I’m surprised you guys got in here,” Emily said.
“Yeah, we got here three hours earlier,” Josh added and then pointed to front section. “When we got in, that whole section was already filled up.”
“Damn,” Mark replied with a surprised look. “See, I knew I should’ve waited ‘til next week.”
“And miss all this fun?” Andrew asked sarcastically.
“Quiet, you two,” Rosa said with her finger over her lips. “The movie is about to start.”
As if on cue, the lights began to dim and the blank screen became bright.
The movie finished around eleven. Hungry, they headed for Yonald’s. Andrew ordered a Big Zac with medium fries and a large soda. Mark ordered the usual: two cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, super size fries and a large soda. Andrew watched Mark munch happily on his food. Even to this day, Andrew wondered where all that food went. As they ate, Rosa kept on talking about the movie.
“That was a big waste of my time.”
Andrew’s eyebrows rose. “What’s wrong with the movie?”
“First off,” Rosa began, “there wasn’t much character development with all the characters, especially Thunder-man. If the movie is supposed to cover the first five issues, then why did it seem so bland?”
“You know how Hollywood is,” Mark answered after swallowing the bit of his food. “Any time they make a movie from a novel or comic, they always shorten it to fit that two or three hour slot. I get what you’re saying, but it still rocked.”
“The only thing that rocked was the sound effects,” Rosa replied. “And what’s up with Kristina Duncan? Is it just me or did she look like a stick in the movie? I know Sue Derryton is supposed to be slender, but Kristina made her look anorexic.”
“Again, Hollywood’s interpretation of the comic,” Mark said and then sipped some of his drink.
The conversation continued for another thirty minutes, filled with laughing and a bit of arguing.
The streets were quiet, a little too quiet. Torn fliers and loitered trash jaywalked across the cracked street as the cries of the alley cats filled the air. A chill went down Andrew’s spine. Usually, prostitutes and drug-dealers would be walking the streets around this time, trying to make a quick buck. Something didn’t seem right. Even Mark knew something was off.Without thinking, Andrew grabbed Rosa’s wrist and stayed close to her. The scent of his cologne was much stronger up close. Rosa blushed, gazing at his serious look. Confused, she let go of his grasp and stepped backwards. Suddenly, footsteps from a nearby alley began to get louder. Morphing from out of the shadows, ten guys dressed in suits stood near the alley with evil intentions. Each of them had some sort of weapon in their muscular hands.
“You kids shouldn’t be out here this time of night,” one of them said grinning.
“Yeah, just for that, you should pay a fee,” another guy said pointing to them with an aluminum bat.
They were surrounded. Andrew gazed at their Hulk-like bodies. This was one fight he wished he didn’t walk into.
“Maybe you can give me some tender love and care,” a tall guy said to Rosa grabbing her by her waist.
“Let go you bastard,” Rosa said elbowing him in the stomach.
“Little…bitch,” he managed to say, clenching his stomach.
“What do we do?” asked Mark.
“We have to do something,” Andrew said trying to come up with a plan.
SMACK! Rosa’s eyes widened as her whole body was overcome by pain. She dropped to her knees, clenching her stomach and gasping for air. Andrew quickly charged towards the guy and swung, aiming for the face. The guy flew backwards. He tumbled to the ground, but quickly regained his balance. The guy wiped the blood from his and grinned. WHACK! Andrew was hit from behind. He felt gravity suck him towards the ground. His face met the ground, scratching his skin up. Blood slowly oozed out from the small torn up skin patches on his face. Andrew tried to get up, but was attacked from both sides. He felt every kick, stomp and punch they threw. His forehead began to bleed as the blood splattered on the ground. Mark tried to save Andrew, but his effort was useless. One of the other guys quickly grabbed Mark by the throat and slammed him into a wall. Mark cried in pain as his entire back cracked the wall and sent pain all over his body. POW! Mark’s eyes widened as the sounds of his ribs cracking filled his eardrums. He coughed up blood. The guy tossed Mark aside like a rag doll, watching him crash into the pile of garbage.
“We can’t…fight them…” Mark moaned, trying sit up. “These guys are too strong.”
Andrew wanted to help them, but he couldn’t even protect himself. He struggled to get a good grip with the ground, but soon realized it was pointless. His body was too battered and bruised to move. He slowly looked to his right and saw Mark struggling to breathe. He slowly looked to his left and saw Rosa laying still. Andrew clenched his fist tightly and gnashed his teeth. All Andrew could think about was protecting Mark and Rosa. He didn’t care how it was done, he just wanted a miracle.
“Seek the wolf inside of you,” a voice called out to him.
What did the voice mean? Seek what wolf?
Andrew suddenly remembered the tattoo on his back. The tattoo was a picture of a wolf. Maybe the voice was telling him to do something with the tattoo. At this point, Andrew didn’t care. He just wanted that miracle. Andrew mustered all his strengthto getting up. With all his weight on his left leg, Andrew stared down at the men with a slight wheeze.Suddenly, a massive wave of light exploded from below, blinding everyone. The light faded. Everyone was both awestruck and frightened at Andrew’s appearance.
Andrew’s muscles had bulged and his back hunched a little. His body was covered in brown fur and he grew a bushy tail. Andrew still stood on two legs but his feet were in a tiptoe position. Andrew’s nose and mouth were extended and his ears had shifted upwards and changed to a triangular shape. Andrew had razor-sharp claws, glowing yellow eyes and drooling sharp fangs.
He stared at his claws for a moment, wondering what he’d become. He noticed his reflection on the glass window and was in shock. He’d become a werewolf. This wasn’t the miracle he had in mind, but it was good enough.
“Touch my friends and I will kill you,” Andrew growled angrily.
“S-Stay away, you freak!” The guy with the bat said.
“Not until you tell me who you are and who your boss is,” Andrew said.
“I ain’t telling you nothing,” he said and then charged at Andrew.
“Fine, we’ll do it the hard way,” said Andrew.
The guy swung the bat, but Andrew caught it just inches from his face. Without any effort, he snapped the bat in two. The guy’s eyes widened as Andrew threw the top part of the bat aside. Andrew grabbed the guy by his neck and held him in mid-air.
“Tell me or die,” Andrew said staring at the guy with his glowing yellow eyes.
Fear took over the guy as tears rolled down his cheeks and the smell of urine filled Andrew’s highly sensitive nose. Andrew ignored it and continued his interrogation. Suddenly,the sound of a car roaring filled Andrew’s ears. He turned around and saw a black sedan coming towards him. Andrew hesitated. He was at a loss of what to do next. Winging the situation, Andrew leaped over the speeding sedan, throwing the guy in front of it. The guy’s body made a loud thud against the windshield. The sedanskidded as it tried to stop. It tumbled several times, slowly crushing the roof and both sides. A loud boom filled the air as the sedan crashed into the wall, killing everyone. Flames sprouted from inside the sedan. BOOM! The sedan lit up like a Christmas tree. Andrew stared at the flames with a small grin. He never felt so powerful. The flame in his heart burned bright as his eagerness to fight grew. His ears twitched with excitement as another sedan approached.Andrew got down into a track runner’s pose, waiting.
“What the hell are you doing?!” Mark cried with his eyes wide open.
“Trust me,” said Andrew.
It became a game of chicken as the sedan sped towards him. Andrew dashed, vanishing from their eyes. The driver mashed the brakes, skidding to a stop. He slowly got out of the sedan, looking around. His heart raced as beads of sweat formed on his forehead. Suddenly, something caught his ear. The sound of a soft whistle filled the air. The driver spun around trying to locate the sound. The sound grew louder with every passing second. WHAM! A brownish object came crashing down onto the sedan’s roof. The driver watched as metal and glass scattered everywhere and the sedan’s middle caved in. The sound of his comrade’s cries rang in his ears as blood and a few body parts flew out of the sedan. To him, it was like watching someone bite into a cream-filled doughnut with cream gushing out the other side. Andrew’s yellow eyes glared at the driver as the driver slowly backed away. The driver spun around and dashed. He smacked into something hard, falling backwards. He looked up and saw those same pair of yellow eyes stare him down. Fear took over. His body froze and his pants became wet. He wanted to scream, but no sound came out. Andrew grabbed him by his shirt and held him up in the air.
“Tell me now and I’ll spare your life,” Andrew said angrily.
“Alright! Alright!” he said covering his face. “We work for Mr. Hidishi. He is a notorious drug-lord in Japan.”
“Why is he here?”
“He wants to use the Bronx as a base for his drug shipping. Why do you think all the other drug-lords here are gone? We freaking killed them. He wants his company to be a monopoly. He already owns Japan. Other countries have heard of him and do business with him. The U.S. is the only place that hasn’t been invaded by him yet. But you can’t stop him. Mr. Hidishi is a very powerful man. Your power alone can’t stop him.”
“Perhaps, but I will still try. Tell Mr. Hidishi that a new force is in town and ready to kick his Japanese ass. Now, get out of my sight.”
Andrew let him go and watched as the driver ran down the street. Mark clenched his stomach as he slowly came up to Andrew. Andrew could see how much pain Mark was in and quickly grabbed Mark’s arm, placing it around his neck. Mark looked at him and smiled.
“That was tight dawg. Now, we have a fighting chance.”
“Yeah, but I don’t know where to start,” Andrew said as they slowly walked towards Rosa.
Mark stopped. “Uh, Drew, you do know how to de-transform?”
“Well, I don’t know either.”
“Thanks,” Andrew replied sarcastically.
“I didn’t mean it like that. Maybe you could try thinking of yourself as a human.”
“It’s better than nothing.”
Andrew shut his eyes, picturing himself as the scrawny kid he once was. He thought about his brown hair and green eyes, his average height and weight, and his handsome smile. He opened his eyes.He looked down at his hands and saw fingers, not claws. Andrew was back to normal. Andrew gave a sigh of relief and then saw Rosa lying on the ground. He walked over to her and then crouched down next to her. Andrew blushed as he stared at her. Rosa’s skin gleamed under the street light as her chest rose and fell rhythmically. For the first time, Andrew saw Rosa as a beautiful woman. His heart raced and his face flushed bright red. He quickly shook his head and scanned her for any injuries. A small smile sprouted on his face as he saw no injuries towards her.Andrew placed his hand on her warm cheek and gently woke her up. Her eyelids fluttered a little and opened. She stared at Andrew for a moment.
“What…happened?” she asked sitting up.
“Well…” Andrew began as he helped her up.
“This brotha came out of nowhere and saved us,” Mark filled in, slowly walking towards them.
“What’s his name?” Rosa asked.
“I don’t know. Drew, do you know?”
“I think he called himself, Ōkami.”
“We better get Mark to a hospital,” Rosa said grabbing Mark’s other arm.
“You ain’t taking me to a hospital,” Mark replied, freeing himself from her grip.
“Mark, you’re injured,” Rosa said, grabbing his arm again. “We don’t have time to argue.”
Sirens filled the streets.
“She’s right, Mark,” replied Andrew. “We better act fast or face the police.”
Admitting Mark to the hospital was the easy part. But when Lily and Mike came to pick up Andrew and Rosa, explaining what happened was brutal. The entire car ride home was an interrogation scene out of a detective movie. Although they bought Andrew’s “mysterious person saved them” explanation, Andrew could feel Lily’s worries mount up. He hung his head low until he got home.
At home, Andrew stared at the ceiling in his room for a moment, wondering how he became Ōkami. It was something he never experience before. He felt powerful and fierce. He could feel the animal instincts within his veins. But one question still puzzled him: Where would Mr. Hidishi hide?