His real name!
Not that annoying fake ass superhero name.
When he first
came in to my café I knew he would be trouble. He had just got out of the Army.
That was warning enough... He was cocky, arrogant, full of himself, the words
all mean the same, but he about clubbed people on their heads with his self-righteous
goodness. For sure no shades of grey with that man.
What I would
find out later was that he was literally a hero.
what is a hero? Nobody is born a hero. They are made that way.
Sometimes, it is
just the choices they make that taking one event that could destroy them and
turning it into a fuel for their righteousness. For their desire to save
everyone. Generally, because they couldn’t save the one that meant the most to
That is all it
takes. One event. Good or Evil. That is all it will ever take is one event to
decide what side of the war you are on. Good, Evil, and those poor idiots that
are in the middle, like me.
Rather the event
takes seconds, days, weeks, months, or years, a hero will become a beacon of
all that is good, that people forget they are human.
sometimes, it can take one person to remind them they are human. And save their
soul before the pressure of being perfect gets to them.
villain doesn’t need to be saved; but a hero always needs to be saved.
And maybe it
takes a villain to do the saving…
The first meet
was something else. He walked in and seemed to zero in on my ass. Or at least
that is how Daniel tells it. What I remembered was a bit similar.
I had been
cleaning a table, not far from Daniel; some kids dumped their hot chocolate,
when I felt a hand slap my ass. I of course dropped the rag and pivoted on my
heel and punched the person. I felt the pain in my knuckle but years of
fighting to survive I ignored it and waited for a blow back.
The man in
question held up his hand and another on his nose that I had broken. “Sorry.”
He said through his nose. “I thought you were someone else.”
I heard Daniel
snort. I ignored him and raised an eyebrow to the man. “Yes, because everyone
is dressed like an employee here.” I rolled my eyes.
“Just saw the
tight black pants actually sweetheart.”
I rolled my eyes.
“No.” I stated.
“This here is Switzerland.”
“Weird name. But
whatever, I am Ryan.” He held out his hand.
I handed him a
box of tissue. “Clean up. And then come place your order. This here is neutral
territory. Read the rules.” I pointed to a sign and moved back behind the
Ryan looked to
Daniel after I left; I always made sure I could hear all going on in my place.
“Is she serious? And what is her real name?” I heard him ask.
“we call her Switzerland. Not quite sure on her real name. She is a former
Marine, and she never wears anything with her name on it. She is always in
black pants, and an Insomnia Café tee. As for the rules, she is dead serious
about them. They are like a religion here. Learn them. Or don’t come back.”
Daniel pointed to the sign again. “She enforces them.”
Ryan moved to
read the sign.
Simple and Few
1)This is NEUTRAL
Sanctuary is given to ALL
Religion, Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation, Abilities, Etc. none of that
matters here. We are all beings under this roof and will be treated the same-
Good, Evil, or In Between.
2)YOU BREAK IT YOU BUY,
FIX, OR REPAIR IT! END OF STORY!
3)Three (3) Warningswill be given before you are banned for
have a Witch on retainer, don’t test me!
I DON’T CARE IF YOU ARE
GOD, ANGEL, DEMON, DEVIL,
HERO, VILLAIN, COP,
MOB, HUMAN, OR OTHER!
YOU WILL OBEY MY RULES
OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!
~The Owner(AKA Switzerland)
last part was added by Daniel when I first put up the sign. Because of a fight
between a cop and some thug.
Ryan sat down and blinked. “Other?
Are all these beings real?
Daniel sipped his tea. “Of course,
we say Other here instead of Alien, some of them loathe that word.”
Ryan looked at him. “So…” He rubbed
the back of his neck. “Villains, Angels, Demons, all that exists?”
“Yep. You must be new to the city.”
Daniel handed him a cup of coffee and took the refill of tea that I put on
“I am from the country. We grow up,
join the military, and go back to the farm. But I didn’t want to go back, so I
moved to the city. Is it just a city thing?”
“No, but cities draw more beings as
it gives off more energies. Cities tend to draw people with abilities as well,
because it is easier to blend in the city. And well, Switzerland gives every
sanctuary. She helps them find a place to live, to work, and to just make a
life. She says she has no heart, and a black soul, but in this city she is our
“But to give sanctuary to villains,
bad guys, should she be the Marine she was and destroy them, not help them?”
Ryan drained the cup of coffee. I knew I would be jumping in soon.
Daniel blinked. “Why do you think
“Well, she is hero material, why not
play the hero, I mean, all military people are heroes, why not continue that?”
So he thought himself a hero because he was in the
military. He was a good man, I admit from listening to him. White and Black.
Right and Wrong.
I came over with coffee. “Because I see too much
gray. And I was taught to fight for everybody. The things I did in the Marines
would give you nightmares Solider. So learn the rules, respect them, or don’t
come back.” I walked away.
I shouldn’t have been shocked to hear that just a
couple days later the man saved a little girl from getting hit by a car. It
kind of ousted his ability to take a hit by a tank and still keep going. I
would learn his story when he came to me asking me about a super hero outfit,
or where he could go to get one.
“Why be a hero?” I asked as I looked through my
“Why do this?” He waved his hand. It was three in
the morning; cops, homeless, late shift workers, Daniel, and anybody who just
didn’t want to be at home were all about the café. “You take care of them. You
pretend you don’t have a heart, but…” He waved his hand around.
I chuckled. “Fine. Tit for Tat.” I poured him a
coffee. “I will tell you why I did this…” I waved my hand around. “And you tell
me why the hero drive?”
Ryan rubbed the back of his head. “Well, I guess it
started when I was a teen.” He started his story.
Ryan was fourteen, high school. He went to the
Catholic High School. It was the closest thing to private and his mama, God
rest her soul, wanted him to have every advantage the rich kids did in their
small farming state. He worked the farm before and after school, but he wasn’t
very athletic or muscular. He was a bit of runt actually. He and his twin walked
to school every day and walked home every afternoon. It was a three mile trip.
There was a group of older boys who would always yell
and throw things at them. Ryan would try to protect, Charli, mostly taking the
hits instead of allowing the items to hit her.
The bullying continues. It always does. He and his
sister are the only people of color in the high school. They are one of the few
families of color in the town. They are from a poor farming family. Majority of
the kids they go to school are rich and privileged. The students get away with
the bullying. Some of it becoming physical; more than once Ryan goes home with
a black eye, when he fights back he is punished. So he takes the hits.
Protecting Charli. Always protecting Charli.
It was coming on harvest season, and with their
father sick, Ryan made the choice to skip school. He had asked that Charli
called in as well, but she had an AP test that morning and she needed to go to
school. Ryan walked her to school, he told her to wait until he came to pick
her up. He asked her to wait. And he went back home to start the harvest.
Ryan spent the day in the field. He had lost track
of time. He was startled from his work when he heard sirens. He looked at his
watch and cursed. It was a quarter until four! He took off running. Praying
that the sirens had nothing to do with his sister. Praying she waited for him
even if he was late. He prayed to a God that he had no doubt in.Until the moment he came upon the ambulance and
the police cars.
He came to a stop and saw his sister on a gurney. “CHARLI!”
The police officer stopped him. “Son, let the EMTs
do their job. She was hurt bad, son.”
Ryan looked up and saw it was Officer Williams. He
always was kind to him and Charli. “Sir…” He choked back a sob. “What…Who…”
Williams rubbed the back of his neck. “The Miller
and Richards boys. They attacked her, sexually assaulted her. The widow down
the road heard her screaming and called the cops, but we were too late to save
her the worst. They beat her up pretty badly too. Go on with your sister. We
got the boys.”
Ryan closed his eyes and took a breath. He had to be
strong for Charli. He moved and jumped into the ambulance and grabbed Charli’s
hand. “I am so sorry baby girl. I am so, so sorry.”
Charli’s face was all bruised she looked up to see
Ryan and started to cry. She curled into him.
Ryan swore he would never be too weak to protect his
sister again. He stayed with her in the hospital. He took an after school job
to pay for the medical care. For her mental health care. He thought with the
therapist she was getting better. One day, about four months after the attack,
she stated she wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t going to go to school.
Ryan kissed her head. “Get some sleep. I will be
late after school, Coach Fox has agreed to train me.”
Charli looked up him and smiled. “I love you Ryan.”
She kissed his hand. “Never forget that, promise.”
Ryan was confused. “Of course. I love you too, baby
Charli accepted another kiss to the head, and let
Ryan went through the school day. He got out of
classes to meet Coach Fox and the Coach was talking to Officer Williams. “Officer?
Williams and Fox looked at him with expressions of
pure grief. “Ryan, let’s sit down son.” Williams stated.
“What is going on? Is something wrong with my dad?
With Charli?” So many horrible things were going through his head.
“Son, we got a call to your house about fifteen
minutes ago. Son, there is no easy way to say this… Charli is gone, son. She
left you a letter.” Williams handed over the letter in an evidence bag.
‘My Dearest Brother,
This has nothing to do with you. And all to do with me
and my mind. My mind was shattered. I couldn’t keep faking getting better, not
even for you. I couldn’t live with the shame, pain, dirtiness , I felt from the
attack. I timed it so dad would find me. I didn’t want you to find me. You have
done so much trying to protect me. But you couldn’t protect me from my own
demons. I want you to never blame yourself. I want you to live. I want you to
be happy. I wish I could have fought harder, but the demons were stronger. I am
sorry. I love you.
Your baby sister,
Ryan dropped the letter and pushed his seat back. He
took deep breathes. His sister was gone. Killed herself, because he couldn’t
protect her. He didn’t remember the calling of his name, he didn’t remember
much but his chest getting tight, and then blackness.
“I woke up in the hospital.” Ryan shook his head as
he took a sip of his coffee. “I swore never again would someone under my
protection have to face demons like that. I know I can’t save everyone, but I
can try. From there I trained, and pushed myself. I had a growth spurt, and
then joined the Army. When an chemical accident when I was eighteen made it so
I was basically unbreakable, I knew I would be able to help people one day.
Become the hero.” He looked at her. “So, why this?”
“To remember, I wasn’t always so jaded.” I answered.
“To honor the man who taught me to bake. To remember that there is a part of me
that only a bringer of pain and death.” I answered, I laid my hand over his. “It
only took a moment for you to find your calling, Ryan. Don’t let any moment
after ever change you.” I topped off his coffee and squeezed his hand, and
One of my
favorite regulars started coming after I got my liquor license and started
serving as a full bar as well. Her name? Allison ‘Allie’ Baya. She was a known
assassin that loved my place. She was an amazing woman; one would never guess
she was a highly trained assassin. She was tall, with blood red and pink spiked
short hair, her eyes were so dark of brown they looked black, her signature clothing
was black leather pants, leather knee high boots with a six inch stiletto heel,
blood red leather corset style top, and a black leather jacket. We talked about
a lot of nothing, missions we both had been on, the government that denies the
jobs we have done, the lovers in our past, the fact the Unions Baseball team
are creations of Lucifer (he states that was all his dear ole Daddy), and how
the Green Sox (the team Lucifer states was his creation) were preforming that
year. One night, late at night, we were the only ones in the place and she
finally told me her past.
smiled. “Well, I guess you could say I woke up from an abusive relationship…”
did what she was supposed to do, go to school, get married, but the man was
abusive at best, and would kill her one day at worst. He was cheating on her.
But she had been raised to be this man’s wife. She took it until the straw that
broke the camel’s back came falling down.
father had basically sold her to her husband. Any rebellion as a child had been
met with pain. To avoid death she became what she was raised to be, a silent possession
of a man.
each beating it broke her mind more and more. Each rape destroyed her mind bit
by bit. The pain cracked her soul. But as her mind broke the need to get away
when she discovered she was pregnant.
she started to plan. She had to be careful and plot her rebellion.
one night it came to head. She didn’t want to fight. She let him say and do
what he wanted, but he took offence she was no longer fighting and he started
to beat her. And as she tried to protect her unborn child she knew it would end
in her greatest failure. That night her mind finally fully broke along with her
man who called himself her husband had made his last mistake. As she laid in
the hospital she vowed she would make sure he paid for his capital crime. She
had said her last ‘I’m Sorry’ while crawling on the floor in fear and her
looked at the man who had left her black and blue. Who had killed her unborn
child. She picked up the axe; she lifted it above his sleeping form. And with
the weight of the axe and all her power she brought it down on his neck.She took a picture and sent it to her father
who forced her to marry the man. “The King Is Dead! Long Live The Queen!” She
captioned it, showing her hold his head up and a manic smile on her face.
She was found
dancing with his head in his blood by the police an hour later. “It’s a party
in his honor!” She yelled at them. And it was a party in honor of the son she
The man who took
her son’s life, the man almost broke her soul taking her son, was now dead, and
paid for his crime.
But she vowed
that no man would ever get the best of this Queen again!
stood in court and smiled at the female judge. “Your honor, I choose you to
hear my trail. I want to make a statement.” She took a deep breath. “I was
forced into the marriage by my father. He was abusive and was going to kill me.
So I married his friend. But the friend was worse. I was raped on a nightly
basis. He cheated on me. He beat me to an inch of my life. I had to fight for
every breath I have taken in this world. They underestimated me. He beat me to
an inch of my life and killed my unborn child, your honor.” Allie could see the
tears start in the woman’s eyes. “So, I staged my revolution. I evolved past
the meek door mat. My revolution left me bruised, broken, bloody, dying. So, I
took the axe in a moment of desperation. I preformed my final act of defiance.
My mind broke. I killed him. And then danced in his blood as he spilt mine and
my child’s, upon the floor of my prison. Your honor, this was an act of a woman
with nothing left to lose. Of a woman with a broken body and mind, but not
heart or soul, a woman who needed to win her revolution or lose what little she
had left of her soul. Please, forgive me your honor.”
than an hour, actually it was forty-seven minutes, was all it took for the
judge to deliberate and come to her verdict. Allie came out with a not guilty
by reason of temporary insanity. She was free to go. She stood on the steps of
the court house. The Kings that ruled her life were either now arrested in
jail, or dead. And that left her, the Queen, very much alive. She smirked at
the statue of justice. “No lies were told, no secrets left unturned, there are
punishments that fit the crime, but I committed no crime. Look at me in all my
glory, Justice, nobody will ever get this Queen.”
walked off that steps of that court house and found a league of assassins who
taught her, who took her in, who built her back up. Who truly made her ‘The
that is my story.” Allie finished as she finished her Black and Tan. “I was
done, and needed a clean slate. The King is Dead, but The Queen is Very Much
Alive!” She cheered.
topped off her drink, and I raised mine to her. “GOD BLESS THE QUEEN!” I yelled
as I toasted to her. Perhaps, one day, I could tell her my story.