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Vigilante Angels

Gary Davis


Vigilante Angels:

Linda's Posse
Linda's Family


Gary Davis

All rights reserved © 2018


This book contains the following stories:


Linda's Posse

Linda's Family

Linda and the Talent Show

(a bonus short story)


This is a work of fiction. All of the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. All rights are reserved by the author, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

Product names, brands, and other trademarks referred to within this book are the property of their respective trademark holders. Unless otherwise specified there is no association between the author and any trademark holder, nor are any expressed or implied. Nor does it express any endorsement by them, or of them. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark, service mark, or registered trademark.

Cover Art

The background image is Playa Dorada Golf - Tee-2.jpg by Fanny S Forsdik, A visit to Nara, the ancient capital of Japan (7391288036).jpg by John Gillespie, and At the beach, different crop (3947971584).jpg by Sander van der Wel with all of the images being used under Creative Commons Attribution license. The adding of text, trimming, manipulation and merging is done by Ernest Bywater. All rights to the cover image are reserved by the copyright owners.

10 March 2018 edition

Published by Ernest Bywater

ISBN: 978-1-387-64715-6


The titles in use are a Story, a Chapter, a Sub-chapter, and a section.




Gary Davis

All rights reserved © 2018

Chapter 01 - A Vigilante is Born

Linda sat at the bus stop, waiting for the number nine headed downtown. Two suitcases, a backpack, and her purse were all the worldly goods she owned. At least she managed to track down a cheap place to live. Unfortunately, it was a rat-trap hotel in what would have been called skid-row years ago. Now it was plagued by drunks, prostitutes, homeless people and drug dealers. Come to think of it, that's probably the same way it was 'years ago.' Beggars as they say, can't be choosers, as you get what you pay for, to mix metaphors.

The bus arrived in due time. Linda climbed on and dropped the fare into the meter-bowl then grabbed the first available empty seat, sat next to the window and dumped her suitcases into the aisle seat. She let out a sigh and looked around.

The man sitting across the aisle from her leered at her, “New in town, Missy?”

Linda could feel his thoughts crawling over her mind just as his eyes were crawling over her skin. He thought that while she wasn't great looking, she could still pull john's for blow jobs and make him a few bucks. She didn't bother wondering how she tuned in to his thoughts. Anytime someone had evil ideas about her, she just 'knew.' It didn't even come across as thoughts, just feelings she attributed to them.

Linda didn't bother answering Mr. Bus Perv, just turned her face to the window and ignored him. Maybe with any luck he would take the hint. No chance of that happening, of course. Just not a great day for girls named Linda.

“Come on now baby, don't be like that. I just want to help you out, maybe give you a job and a place to sleep.”

Linda glanced at him. He was short and thin, dirty T-shirt and faded jeans. Mr. Bus Perv sported a thin face with a pointed chin, beady eyes and a Hitler 'stache.

Linda spun, glaring at him, “Shut the fuck up, asswipe! I'm not your baby, and have no intention of turning tricks for you or anyone else.”

Mr. Bus Perv turned away, and muttered, “Bitch.” Linda just ignored his thoughts and turned back to the window, glad to get her privacy back.

The bus arrived near her planned hotel, and she pulled the cord to signal a stop. The driver stopped and let Linda off. As she stepped out on the sidewalk Linda glanced around. The Wilson Hotel was just half a block away, so she grabbed her suitcases and trudged off.

Walking in the door Linda saw a small lobby with some very well worn couches and chairs, and a front desk with an old clerk sitting behind it reading a girlie magazine. Some blonde bimbo on the back cover was sucking a guy's dick. The room smelled of sweat, stale beer and cigarettes. A couple of men sat on chairs watching the old fashioned tube-style TV and smoking. Another man in the corner read the newspaper. She walked up and dropped her suitcases, startling the clerk.

“Need a room, honey?”

“Yes I do, but I don't have much money,” Linda replied.

The clerk turned and swept his arm around the room “Honey, take a look, this ain't the Ritz. Ten bucks a day or forty a week. Towels included. Each floor has a bathroom with a shower. I suggest wearing flip-flops to keep from getting any fungus on your feet and lock the door. Most of our clientele are male and not terribly polite... if you catch my drift. Pay in advance, cash only. We don't accept credit cards. Burned too many times. No bogus checks either.”

“I'll take a week's lodging then.” Linda dug in her purse for her wallet and withdrew two twenties and handed them to the clerk. “I'd like a receipt, please.”

“Sure, sure no problem. No need to get your panties in a twist. Here's your receipt and your key. Room 312. That's on the third floor. Oh, and the elevator don't always line up with the floor. Nothing to worry about, just hop down, or up – whichever. Try not to fall into the elevator shaft. Too much paperwork.”

Linda dragged her suitcases over to the elevator and pushed the call button. Her arms were getting tired from lugging all her stuff around. She could hear the creaky rattling elevator slowly work its way down. Upon arrival, she found it necessary to manually open the sliding door before stepping in and pushing the button for the 3rd floor. The elevator didn't move.

“You have to pull the door closed, honey, or it just sits there,” yelled the clerk.

With a grimace, Linda reached out for the door handle and jerked the recalcitrant door closed. After a groan and some moaning the old elevator rode on up to the third floor. Contrary to what the clerk had said, it stopped just fine and was level with the hallway. The door even slid open, slowly but surely.

Linda sat on the only chair in the dingy hotel room. After putting her clothes away in the dresser, she took her wallet out of her purse and counted her remaining money, carefully fingering each bill to make sure nothing was missed. $482.53 was all that stood between her and living in a homeless shelter. The room at the end-of-the-road hotel was going to take forty dollars a week. Food? Well, you can survive indefinitely on ramen noodles. College students did.

At eighteen years old, Linda was finally out of the foster care system that claimed the last sixteen years of her young life. Mom and Dad were killed by a drunk driver when she was two. She didn't remember them. All she had left were a couple of wedding pictures. One with them dancing, staring into each others eyes with big smiles on their faces. Mom in her white wedding gown and Dad in his tux. The other picture was of Mom stuffing a piece of wedding cake into her Dad's mouth. Nothing else remained of her parents. She didn't even know where their graves were located, although now that she was on her own she could probably find them. Internet search. Whenever she finally got access and some kind of computer.

With no known living relatives she ended up a foster child and had a long standing hatred of drunk drivers. Foster care was one of the worst things that could happen to a child. At least it was for her. As it turned out, some foster parents were just as bad as drunk drivers.

At age two, of course, she didn't realize much and remembered even less. Her earliest memories of foster care were from around four or five. She remembered being hungry all the time, and always being ignored. Unloved. Even at five years old, she had chores to do and was beaten if they weren't done properly. She had to keep her own room clean. She remembered cleaning the bathtub. And being spanked for not making her bed properly. If she was a bad girl she had to clean the kitchen floor with an old toothbrush.

Most foster parents were only looking for an extra payday and couldn't care less about the kids entrusted to them. She did run into a couple good ones, but they were the outliers, rather than the norm.

The first foster parents she did remember were Bill and Kathy. She must have been about six or seven by then. She remembered Bill always smelled like cheap beer and cigars. Kathy always smelled sour. She was fat, sweated too much and seldom bathed. Other than that, she didn't really remember them.

When she was about eight, Child Protective Services moved her to another family. Ted and Shirley. They had two kids of their own, both younger than her. She ended up doing most of the chores in the house, as they insisted she set a good example for their own kids, who they never bothered correcting. Babysitting, dishes, laundry, vacuuming and anything else that Shirley didn't want to do. She even had her own stool to stand on for washing the dishes. Slavery didn't end after the Civil War, it just got a new name; Foster Care. That lasted for a year. It ended when she woke up one night to find Ted in a drunken daze trying to climb into her bed, naked. She screamed, Shirley ran into the room, and the next day Child Services came and picked her up.

School wasn't easy either. All the other kids had decent clothing and school supplies. At nine years old Linda was just beginning to realize how different her situation was from that of the other kids. That's when she started to disappear. Not really invisible, but no one paid attention to her. She just seemed to fade into the background wherever she went. By the time she graduated high school, she was an expert at it. She called her disappearing persona, 'Ms. Mouse.'

Her first rape was by a man named Bob. His wife watched and did nothing. Said nothing. Just watched. Foster parents. She complained to her case worker, but it turned into a he said / she said and there were two of them against one of her. Still, Child Services had to move her. Before they did, Bob beat her for reporting them. He was experienced at beating kids, and didn't leave a mark on her body. She ached all over for several days afterwards. That was the last time she complained to Child Services about rape, or foster parents in general. She was fourteen years old.

The next foster parents were actually quite decent. While they didn't love her, shaking their heads when she didn't act as they expected, they also didn't mistreat her. She still had her share of chores, and even learned how to cook a few simple dishes. Jack and his wife Barbara both worked during the day and she would try to have something for them to eat when they got home. For the first time she remembered, some of the Child Services money was actually spent on clothing and school supplies, instead of booze and smokes for the foster parents. Goodwill clothing, but still it was something. Usually she got stuck with hand-me-downs from whoever lived there before her. Jack got a promotion when Linda was sixteen and they had to move away. Time for another set of foster parents.

In high school only one boy tried to molest her. Linda was seventeen. She didn't cry or scream or make any normal girl responses. She just stared at him as he groped her. Then the boy did something odd. He stepped back and grabbed his groin, fell on the floor and curled into a ball, sobbing in pain. Linda nodded and walked to the lunch room. She had no idea what just happened, and didn't care. As long as the creep left her alone the reason didn't matter to her.

Betty and her husband Lurch (his name wasn't really Lurch, but God, he looked just like the Addams Family's butler) were an odd couple to say the least. She was extremely thin and Lurch was, well, Lurch. This time she was sexually abused by the wife, not the clueless husband. Betty was a lesbian posing as a wife so she wouldn't have to work for a living. Lurch just went to work, did his job, came home for dinner and TV, then went to bed. Apparently, Betty's job consisted of telling Linda how to clean the house. After Lurch passed out Betty would come to Linda's room and force her to lick that nasty gash between her legs. Now Linda had tasted her own pussy juices out of curiosity and it wasn't bad. Betty however had the sourest tasting cunt you can imagine. After Betty got off and returned to her own bedroom, Linda would gargle and wash her face and hands over and over to get rid of the stink and the vile taste. She knew better than to refuse. It would just gain her another beating.

Betty and Lurch lasted until Linda's senior year in high school. Then Lurch just left. One day he was there, next day... poof, gone. Maybe he wasn't clueless anymore. With only one 'parent' in the house, Child Services had no choice but to move her again. This time she ended up in a different high school where she didn't know anyone. Not that she had any real friends at the old school, but at least the faces and cliques were familiar and she knew who to avoid. After changing schools, she just avoided everyone.

The new set of parents were completely unremarkable. She thought of them as Mr. and Mrs. Robot. They stayed out of her life and collected their monthly checks from Child Protective Services. Linda was free to do whatever she wanted as long as she kept her share of the household chores done and was home at a reasonable hour. They barely spoke to her the entire time she lived there.

Thinking about her future, Linda got a part-time job at the local McDonald's. It wasn't much, but she knew that when she turned eighteen and high school was in the rear-view-mirror, Child Protective Services would boot her out on the street. She'd need cash money if she didn't want to end up 'working' street corners and giving blow jobs, the property of some pimp, or living in a homeless shelter and begging passing drivers for money.

It was during her senior year that odd things began to happen around her. One time at work, she dropped a kid's happy meal and it stopped in mid-air.

It just stopped, hanging about halfway to the floor!

She reached down and grabbed it before it fell again. Now, happy meals didn't do that. Normally, they came back up, right after the kids ate them. Didn't matter how happy they were, they did not float! Probably, McD's could sell a hell of a lot more of them if they did. Thank God no one noticed. This gave her many sleepless nights of wondering just what happened, but she couldn't explain it. She also didn't connect the floating-happy-meal to the teenage molester at school. He never floated. At least not when Linda was watching.

Her mental radar was improving. She was getting clearer mental pictures from other people when they thought about her, but only when they were ugly thoughts. The kind of thoughts you really don't want bouncing around in your head. She had always been able to 'feel' negative, dangerous emotions, but this was a whole new level. It was alarming to realize just how many boys in high school thought about sex all day. No one else seemed to ever have such mental pictures. At least, if they did, they never talked about it. Linda found she had to concentrate to 'receive' anything, but it was definitely there. They weren't really words, just feelings and vague concepts.

Oh, well. Enough with her recollections. What happened, happened. She had to get on with her life and moaning about the past wouldn't pay for any ramen noodles.

She stood up and looked in the slightly grayish mirror above the dresser and took stock of her assets. She had everything any other girl of eighteen had. All the right parts in the right places, just nothing remarkable. Smallish B-cup boobs on a thin frame. Slim hips, short legs, and stringy brown hair. Her lips were maybe larger than most, but so was her nose. Eyebrows too thick. Nearsighted, so she had to wear glasses. Child Protective Services had paid for routine dental care so her teeth were healthy just not straight. Braces for foster kids were not in the budget. With a sigh, Linda realized she was, in a word, mousy. Just one more of the faceless mobs of people living in a moderate sized city. No one who passed her in the street would ever think twice about her, or remember what she looked like. Total and complete anonymity. Ms. Mouse indeed.

So, with her physical limitations once again noted, Linda considered her prospects. She had a high school education, paid for by the state. Thanks for nothing, Virginia. A sharp and inquisitive mind, and a willingness to work hard. No chance of college. Her grades had been okay but not scholarship quality, and girls from foster care seldom went on to university. So, time to get a job and get on with her life.

Her first option was probably waitressing. It wouldn't get her anything more than a subsistence living. At least she could supplement her noodle menu now and then, maybe even get some freebies at the restaurant. She also wouldn't end up on the street - a target of all the city's pimps and pervs.

She wouldn't cry. All those years in foster care had dried up her tear ducts, just as the occasional rape by a foster parent had ruined any thought of romance.

Linda went down the hall to the communal bathroom. Finding it empty, she went in and did the necessaries, then splashed cold water on her face. No time like the present to start the job hunt. Back in her room Linda dressed in her nicest jeans and a white blouse, brushed out her hair and added just a touch of lipstick. No way to tell just how long this one tube needed to last.

Downstairs in the lobby Linda picked up a discarded newspaper and sat down to peruse the help wanted ads. Several jobs were listed under 'wait staff wanted' but most asked for experience. Other than a summer and most of her senior year spent at McDonald's, she didn't have any food service experience. Linda had quit her McDonald's job when the happy meals became too happy.

She circled three possible jobs she could call later and decided to go for a walk. Maybe someplace would have a help-wanted sign in the window, and she could apply in person.

When she stood someone touched her shoulder. "Hey, Miss, if you looking for work, ya might try up at the Nordquist Diner on 7th. I heard they're looking for people," said the hotel clerk.

“Thanks so much. I'll look into that.” She liked the elderly clerk. He had been nothing but nice to her ever since her arrival that morning, despite his questionable reading material.

“Good luck, honey,” he added, winking at her and giving her a thumbs up with his gnarled and liver-spotted hand.

As she left the lobby Linda got a creepy feeling on the back of her neck. There was a man slouched on one of the ratty couches, and he paid her unwanted attention as she exited. Yet again, her weird sort of sense told her when someone paid any kind of surreptitious attention to her, and it tingled now. She never seemed to notice anything good, only the bad intentions. It was almost as if she could 'feel' their thoughts. She shrugged it off as she exited the hotel, but remained wary as she headed down the sidewalk.

As Linda walked down 1st street she carefully examined each shop window, restaurant and business looking for that help-wanted sign she desperately needed to locate. With her attention focused on finding a job, Linda was easy prey for the man tailing her.

Linda's first clue she was in danger was from a strong arm grabbing her from behind, around the waist, trapping her left arm against her body and grabbing her right wrist. His other hand covered her mouth to prevent any screams. She found herself being dragged backwards into a filthy alley by someone, obviously a man, taller and stronger than her. She tried to bite his hand but couldn't get any purchase on it. Linda dropped her purse in the struggle, and she saw her wallet spill out onto the dirty alley floor. Oh God! That had all her money in it!

Linda managed to get out a muffled "No!" when the man shifted his grip, but he just smacked her face and covered her mouth again. The hand around her waist moved up to her boobs and started painfully squeezing and twisting them. He was trying to lick and bite her neck. Linda knew without a doubt what his intentions were. He would rape her, rob her, and leave her for dead in the alley. She could feel the malevolence dripping from his mind, and it felt like his thoughts were assaulting her brain. Desperately, Linda tried to fight him even as she felt her blouse being ripped by the hand squeezing her tits. Buttons flew everywhere.

She snapped. Something in Linda's mind exploded from dormant to alive. The man was flung off her back with tremendous force and she was free!

Turning around, ready to continue fighting for her life, Linda gasped as she saw the clearly dead body of her would-be rapist. He'd been flung back against the wall and his head smashed against the bricks, crushing the back of his skull. His now dead body slowly slid down the brick wall to sprawl on the alley floor. Blood covered the back of his head and oozed out onto the ground. His eyes stared lifelessly at her, and she smelled the stench as his bowels released.

Anyone else would have stood there in shock or started screaming for help. Linda just started kicking the dead man. In the face. In his chest. In the stomach; and finally, stomping on his dick.

Linda snarled, “Don't fuck with me, you son-of-a bitch! Linda will kick your dead ass!”

The dead guy wasn't bothered, but Linda's feet were. Apparently sneakers were not the best toe-protection when kicking dead people. Who knew? The manufacturer should include a legal disclaimer: 'Kicking dead guys can hurt your toes. Seek immediate medical attention if the swelling lasts over four hours.' She did feel better though.

Having gotten her immediate rage out of her system, Linda looked around and took stock of her situation. No one else was in the alley, and there was no one yelling about a bloody dead man on the ground. She was safe for the moment. Linda took a look at the body, and realized this was the guy from the hotel lobby.

She bent down to examine him. Carefully patting down his pockets to check for needles and any other nasty pointy things, she felt a lump in his front left pocket, a wallet in the left rear, and some keys in the right front. Linda carefully pulled the front left pocket open to peek inside. She saw a roll of bills and some small clear plastic bags. Yep, those were obvious drugs of some kind, probably coke or heroin. So the dead guy was also a dead dealer. The money, though, that could help. The trick was to get it out of his pocket without touching the drug baggies and leaving any prints.

Linda reached out her hand for the roll of money and it leapt into her hand.

“Oh damn,” Linda said. First happy meals then dead guys and now money. Something was definitely lala in Linda Land. Something to sort out later in her room. Right now, she needed to get his wallet and that key, retrieve her own purse and wallet, then get the hell out of there.

She tried the jumping item trick again on the wallet and keys. Nada. Didn't work. So she fished the wallet out with her fingers and dumped it in her purse. Same thing with the key. The key looked like the same kind she had for her room and came with a Rm 504 tag attached. Worth checking out later. Into the purse with that too.

Okay. Calm. Deep cleansing breath. Fuck, this alley and the body smelled so bad the air was probably toxic. Forget the whole cleansing breath crap!

Linda stood and looked around to ensure she hadn't forgotten anything. Everything looked okay, except for a dead man bleeding on the ground, so she headed for the street. She peeked around the corner, looking left and right when she remembered her blouse was ripped open. She still wore her bra, thank God; but walking around with a ripped blouse would seriously impact her anonymous status. Even Ms. Mouse would have trouble with that. There was no way she wanted anyone to connect her with the dead guy in the alley. While the fight was self-defense, Linda didn't want to give up the roll of cash in her purse. Besides, trying to explain exactly 'how' he died could get awkward as all hell. Looking down at her bare stomach and newly revealed cleavage, Linda decided to take the bra off and stuff it into her purse, then just tie off the shirt tails under her boobs and walk back to the hotel the way she normally would. She'd rely on Ms. Mouse to cover for her. Oh, and remember to keep her head down and avoid any surveillance cameras. Might be too late for that though, if she was on tape being dragged into the alley. With any luck, dead guy was familiar with the area and picked a spot with no cameras. Just have to trust her luck on that one. In this neighborhood, most of the cameras weren't the best quality anyway. If they even worked at all.

As she walked Linda concentrated on being small and unimportant. Nothing to see here, move along. Jedi mind tricks at work. It seemed to do the job, as it always did. All the way through high school no one gave her a second glance, except that one desperate, would-be molester. Since this was normal in Linda's world, she didn't think about it either. Just march on, thinking invisible thoughts.

Arriving back at the hotel Linda pushed open the swinging dingy doors and walked in still projecting her invisible mantra. The elderly clerk never even glanced up from whatever he was reading this time. Neither did the three guys gathered around the TV. She made her way over to the elevator, which was sitting with the door open, entered, pulled the sliding door closed and pressed the third floor button. The button light didn't come on. No surprise there, but the elevator did start its herky-jerky trip up to Linda's floor.

Sitting in her room, Linda took a deep breath. Stale air and the window was stuck closed but better than that damned alley.

First things first. Count the wad of money. Linda unrolled it and sorted the money out in denomination piles on the bed. Largest pile seemed to be tens, followed by fives. Ones and twenties made up the rest of her new bank account. She was ecstatic. Dead guy was definitely a low level drug dealer. After counting it all up, Linda found that she had gained $816. Lots of ramen noodles in that stash. Possibly even an apple or two. This could even be a part time job. Killing drug dealers and taking their loot.

Linda started giggling and couldn't stop. All she could think about was filling out her 1040 tax form and listing drug-dealer-killer as her job. Hard to get a job reference for future more conventional jobs, though. Since her personal references would all be dead. Maybe just list herself as 'self-employed.'

After the adrenaline wore off and the giggles stopped, Linda thought about her next step. Oh, right. The key. She fished it out of her purse and examined it. It was from this hotel alright. And the room 504 tag on it pointed the way to dead guy's room. Worth a look if she could remain Ms. Mouse en-route.

Linda changed into a gray T-shirt and a pair of shorts, dumping the ripped blouse into a grocery store plastic bag for later disposal by Ms. Mouse. She scooped up the cash from her bed and stuffed it into her purse, left the room after locking the door behind her, then headed for the stairs. No creaky, noisy, slow elevator this time.

Arriving on the fifth floor Ms. Mouse peaked out into the hallway. All clear. Didn't seem to be anyone wandering around this afternoon.

Room 504 was easy to find. It was beside room 503. Duh. Key fit and Linda opened the door to an empty room. That was one worry out of the way. Mr. Dead Guy didn't have a roomie. Entering the room she closed and locked the door behind herself. Linda then began a quick search. Nothing but mostly dirty clothing in the chest of drawers standing on wobbly legs. Except for the bed and a mismatched chair, a table with a microwave sitting on it and a small TV, the rest of the room was empty. She looked at the bed. No way he would go all cliché on her and hide anything under the mattress. Then again, he was a stupid-ass drug dealer. Nothing ventured nothing gained, so Linda lifted up the edge of the mattress and looked.

Oh fuck! Enough money to choke Chase Manhattan Bank!

Linda had never in her life seen so much money. It was just lying there in rolls like the one in dead guy's pocket. It seemed like she stared for minutes but it was probably only 30 seconds or so. She snatched the dirty pillowcase off the pillow and scooped the money inside. After walking over to the door Linda cracked it open and peeked out into the hall. No one around, still. She summoned Ms. Mouse and scooted out the door and hurried over to the stairwell.

Back safely in her room on the third floor Linda dumped the money out on the bed. She went back out into the hallway and stashed the soiled pillowcase into the third floor laundry hamper; then returned to her room, locking the door behind her.

She was almost giddy with excitement; but quickly enough, Linda realized she needed to think today over, very carefully. Her entire life had changed rather significantly and if she didn't want trouble, it was time to plan every step. After all, the dead guy was, well, dead because of her. Somehow, in her anger and panic something had happened in that alley. Something in her brain had 'clicked' and she had fought back with the only weapon available, her mind. Other than being panicked and desperate, Linda had no idea how she'd flung the dead guy against that wall.

Back to the practical matters at hand. Once again, it was time to count money. This was for sure getting to be one of her favorite things to do in the whole world. Especially since it was her money. At least, now it was.

After separating and counting, (five times, but who keeps track) Linda had $5,280. Together with her haul from the dead guys pants pocket and her own money she had a new total of $6,578.53. This may not be much in the normal turning of the world, but for Linda, it was a small fortune.

Linda decided to look at drug dealers as potential paydays. Pimps too, probably. No, put pimps on the definite list. They were evil, and carried cash around all the time. She would have no ethical problem taking out human trash and profiting from her efforts. Now, if she could just figure out how to duplicate the smashing a male body against a brick wall trick. Before she could work on future money-making opportunities though, she had to get herself and her money into a safer situation. The hotel room door was not secure enough to protect anything or anyone from a determined thief or rapist, or even a semi-determined one.


Chapter 02 - Ms Mouse Roars

Linda realized she was hungry. She was pretty sure this low-class hotel was lacking room service so she would need to leave on a food run. From her earlier walk she remembered a sandwich shop a block away that would suffice for dinner. Maybe a nice takeout six inch sub sandwich and chips. Not wanting to leave her new found cash in the room she dumped most of the junk in her large purse onto the bed. Linda stuffed the money into her purse and looked at her bed. What a mess. How did her purse get so full of stuff? One of these days, she promised herself for the umpteenth time, she would clean out the unnecessary junk. Yeah, right, and one day politicians would serve the public who elected them, cops would be impartial enforcing the law, and lawyers would tell the truth; and someday, pigs would fly, or whatever.

Damn, there was dead guy's wallet. Better check that out too. After opening the wallet up, Linda sorted through a miscellaneous assortment of business cards and receipts, dead guy's driver's license and junk. It did contain another $33. That would cover meals for tonight and tomorrow. No ramen noodles in her immediate future. Thanks, dead guy. The rest was trash to be dropped off someplace no one would find it. One of the drain holes for storm run-off on the side of the street would work just fine. Ms. Mouse could drop it in the sewer water and no one would even notice.

Not wanting to get stuck on the ancient elevator with a purse full of money, Linda took the stairs down to the lobby. There were several cops in the lobby talking to the night clerk and other residents of the hotel. That was fast. Someone had figured out pretty quickly where dead guy lived. Maybe he had friends on the force, or maybe they just kept track of known drug dealers. Or maybe she didn't have a clue. The night clerk didn't know her at all, so Linda quickly and quietly slipped out the main entrance and headed up the sidewalk to the sandwich shop.

Normally, Linda's danger warning radar would have gone off, but she was concentrating on the ramifications of the police presence at the hotel and trying to figure out if she had forgotten anything that could lead them to her.

Someone bumped her violently from behind and spun her to the ground but not before he wrenched her purse off her shoulder. Linda, lying on the sidewalk, looked up to see a man running away as fast as he could go, carrying her purse clutched in one hand.

Linda's anger spiked immediately. No bastard thief was going to steal her money! “No way, motherfucker!” she yelled. Her mind surged with power and the running man was slammed down to the ground. His breath whooshed out and he lay there dazed and moaning. Anyone watching would assume he'd just tripped and fell, but she knew better. Body-slamming seemed to be another of her new talents. Hmmm, maybe a job at WWE? Linda got up, walked over and grabbed her purse, then spit on him and gave him one of her signature killer-sneaker kicks to the ribs.

“Ouch! Shit! I've got to get better shoes or stop kicking douche-bags,” Linda exclaimed. Some bystanders laughed and then continued on with their own personal business. She giggled at the mental picture of kicking an actual douche-bag. She turned and headed into the sandwich shop a few feet away leaving Mr. Douche-Bag laying there. 'Forget about the small perps' she thought to herself. Probably a druggie looking for some cash to buy his next fix, anyway. If he didn't soak that shirt in cold water soon, the blood from his nose was going to cause one hell of a nasty stain.

Inside the shop, Linda decided on a half-size Italian BMT sub, chips, and a Pepsi to go. Her order was quickly filled. She paid for her food, added some paper napkins and headed back to the hotel. The purse snatcher was long gone.

Linda summoned Ms. Mouse, and pretending to tie her sneaker at the curb, Linda wrapped the dead guy's wallet in one of the napkins and adroitly slipped it into the storm drainage slot. Ms. Mouse at her best. Linda waited a moment till she heard the wallet splash in the sewer water. No one noticed a thing.

Once inside the hotel, she wanted to run up to her room and hide out, but the TV was on in the lobby and the newsman was talking about “The Back Alley Killer.” She stopped to listen.

“There are still no clues in the murder earlier today that left a known drug dealer dead of massive head injuries and a lot of questions,” the smarmy reporter stated, obviously reading from a prepared statement. “Police are currently searching his room at the old Wilson Hotel on 1st Street, and expect an early resolution to this case.”

Linda had heard enough, and not wanting to draw attention to herself she climbed the stairs up to her room on the third floor. After entering and locking the door behind her, Linda sat down on her wooden chair and put her meal and drink on the small table.

As she ate her now tasteless supper Linda worried that she had forgotten something. Backtracking mentally through the day, she suddenly sat up straight, and said “Oh, fuck me.” Fingerprints in room 504. She forgot to use gloves. Note to self: invest in a large box of disposable latex gloves. Soon.

At least now she had time to plan what to say, just in case the detectives showed up asking questions.

Linda knew, as a foster child, her fingerprints would be on file in the state records.

It was even more important now that she get all her money squirreled away safely so the cops didn't stumble on it. Hard to explain an eighteen year old girl, fresh out of foster care, with over $6,000 in her purse the same day a drug dealer living in the same hotel was violently killed. Yet another thing to take care of tomorrow. After she had her money safe, time to look into a change of address, too.

After stuffing the money into her backpack, she replaced all the items dumped on the bed back into her purse and lay down, back propped up on her pillow against the wall. She clutched the backpack to her chest. Linda didn't plan on sleeping at all that night, but with all the stress of the day, she nodded off. Waking with a start, she looked at her watch and saw it was already after seven in the morning.

Time to get moving girl! she thought.

Stretching out her stiff muscles Linda grabbed up her toiletries along with a cleanish towel and headed for the facilities. Luck was with her and the bathroom was empty. At least no humans were present. She did see a roach scuttle off and wiggle under a crack in the baseboard. Ugh.

Linda relieved her bladder and turned on the shower, adjusting the temperature to perfect, and stepped in. She had just started to shampoo her hair when the fucking door opened and a man stepped into the room.

“Dammit, get out of here,” Linda screamed at the man while trying to cover all her naughty bits.

He just stood there looking pleased with himself. “You forgot to lock the door. Don't worry, girlie, I won't touch you. However, if you want to give free nudie shows, count me in.”

“Get the fuck out of here, you perv,” Linda said with some steel in her voice.

The fat guy just stood there, leaned against the door and laughed at her.

All Linda could think about was, As fat as this guy is, he would probably have a heart attack if I really put on a show for him. As she thought about his heart, she found it actually being visible in her mind, pumping the blood through his clogged arteries.

Fat guy just smirked at her and started stroking his short thin dick. Looks like an Oscar Mayer wiener, Linda decided.

Linda's mind boiled. She reached out with her senses and squeezed the man's heart. Not enough to kill him, but enough to hurt.

Both of them were shocked. Linda because yet another talent was discovered. Internal heart squeezing! The fat man because of the sudden serious pain, as he clutched at his chest. Linda just stared at him.

“Now, Fattie, when I say get the fuck out, you'd better seriously consider listening to me! Now go! Lock the damn door behind you too,” Linda smirked. The old saying 'If looks could kill' popped into her mind. How true!

Fattie left. Quickly.

After he was gone Linda started shaking from the adrenaline coursing through her body, and no means of draining it off. She just stood there and sobbed as the hot water pounded down on her body. She had almost killed a man just for staring at her naked body in the shower. And how in hell did she squeeze his heart? Yet more things to put on her to-do list. Figure out the whole heart-squeezing thingy. Maybe it will work with other body parts too!

Ten minutes later Linda had finished her shower, rinsed off and stepped out. Drying herself off, she considered all the recent changes happening around her. Things were getting really strange and she needed to get a handle on this soon. Like, yesterday.

When safely back in her room Linda decided to write down a plan for the day's activities. Taking a small note-pad out of her purse and a pen she started writing:

1. Grab today's newspaper

2. Breakfast. Coffee. Search paper for rooms to rent, and cheap apartments.

3. Oh, and check for news about 'The Back Alley Killer.'

4. Go to the downtown main branch of her credit union and open an adult account with her own Visa Debit card.

5. Deposit some of her money in checking and some in savings at the credit union. $1,000 in each.

6. Either get a safety deposit box at 'My Credit Union' or get a storage locker at the train station to stash her backpack and most of the money. Or get both of them and split the money up.

“Yeah, that's a better idea. Split the cash up, $2,000 in each location,” Linda mumbled to herself.

7. Follow-up on those rentals from the paper and try to find something suitable.

8. Research just what her new-found talents were. Slamming men into walls and sidewalks, and squeezing hearts seemed to be just the beginning. How far could she take this? Practice!

9. Box of disposable latex gloves. Family size box. Add alcohol wipes. To clean blood off shoes.

10. Shoes! Cute Women's shoes. Flats or maybe a two inch heel max. *With Steel Toes

Linda added the star. Did anyone even make steel-toed women's shoes? Maybe work boots. Ugh.

After dressing in shorts and a tank top with her attack-sneakers on, Linda took the elevator down to the lobby, and walked over to the friendly desk clerk. At least he wasn't looking at naked women in a magazine this time.

“How much for a paper?”

“One dollar each. Inflation. I remember when they cost a dime.”

Linda handed him a dollar, and asked “Any place around here to get some coffee and a scone or doughnut?”

“There's a Starbucks up on 3rd. Just take a right out the door and another right at the first corner, walk up two blocks and it's there. Can't miss it,” he said. “Oh, by the way, did you hear about Petey? He got his fool-self killed yesterday in some alley, three blocks away.”


“Right! Mr Peterson in 504. His name's Ed but everyone calls him Petey. Cops were all over the place here last night askin' questions and checking out his room 'n' stuff. Night clerk told me all about it when I came in for work. One of the cops tol' me something really odd about the murder, this morning. By the way, my name is Tommy. Pleased ta meetcha, Ma'am.”

“Same here, Tommy. Now, something odd? What was that?”

“Well, it seems as if the spot where Petey's head connected with the wall was eight feet off the ground. Now Petey is about five feet ten, or thereabouts. So the cops are all 'speculatin' that it must have been a really strong, tall guy to shove him that hard against the wall that far up. They're lookin' for a muscle guy close to seven feet tall,” Tommy nodded. “Be sure to keep that to yourself, though, it's not common knowledge yet.”

“Sure thing, Tommy. Mums the word. I'm going to go get some coffee and breakfast now. See you a bit later on.”

“Be careful out there, honey. If you see some seven foot tall giant, cross-over to the other side of the street.”

Linda left the hotel and turned right, walked a block, and turned right again. Tommy was spot on. Two blocks ahead she could see the familiar 'Starbucks' logo. When she got to 3rd Street she went inside and ordered a Latte with extra foam and a couple strawberry scones. After paying she waited just a moment for her order, then took it to an empty table and opened the paper. Front page was full of speculation about 'The Back Alley Killer' but pretty short on facts. The detectives in charge of the investigation were 'confident of an early resolution to this case.' Sounded like the paper cribbed from the TV reporter last night. Anyway, thought Linda, how many seven-foot-tall muscle men live in Cauthen City? She started to laugh and snorted some coffee through her nose and onto her scone. Picking it up, she wiped it off with her napkin and took a bite. Mmmmm, delicious. Nose snorting wasn't as good as dunking, though.

Checking her watch she saw it was after 9 a.m. now, and credit union hours, Monday through Thursday, were from 9 to 6. The downtown branch was over on 5th Street and a couple blocks further north. She could research a place to live later, back in her room. Linda got up, disposed of her trash and headed out the door.

Walking across the street Linda got a strong mental shot of evil intent directed at her. Looking up, she made eye contact with a tall skinny black guy wearing gold chains, a gold ring, gold tooth, you get the picture, a pimp. Guy must watch too many Hollywood pimp movies. Putting a little more sway in her hips, Linda walked up close to where he was standing near the corner and looked around, like she was waiting on someone.

“Hey there, young bitch, don't go thinking of working my corner without you and me coming to an agreement,” snarled Mr. Tall and Skinny.

“You must be the local employment officer,” said Linda, trying to smile sexily.

“Das right. I'm the employment officer and dis here is my street. No hoes work here 'ceptin' they gots my permission and pays a commission.”

“Got some place close by we can go and negotiate? You might want to give me a qualifications test drive too.” Linda batted her eyelashes at the pimp.

“Yeah, I gots a place, right next door. Come on in and let's get better acquainted. Show me the merchandise. We can talk some bizness too.”

The pimp took Linda by the elbow and steered her into the entrance to some small apartments above the first floor businesses here. Upstairs, he unlocked the door to apartment C and ushered Linda inside.

After re-locking the door, the pimp turned around to check out his future whore and grabbed his head with both hands. Pain, like he never felt before exploded in his head as several blood vessels shattered causing a massive stroke. The pimp fell to his knees, staring at Linda, then slumped over and dropped to the floor. He was dead before he hit the ground. She started to give him her trademark kick but changed her mind. The satisfaction of kicking the pimp wasn't worth a painful toe. She still had to walk the rest of the way to the credit union. I need to find cute, steel-toed shoes someplace, she thought. Maybe searching the internet would work.

Linda quickly pulled his wallet and money clip out of his pockets and dropped them in her purse. She ignored the gold jewelry, worrying it might somehow be traceable. She made a fast search of the room and found nothing she wanted to take with her. This time she was very careful about fingerprints. After wrapping her hand in a small towel she opened the deadbolt lock and then the door. She tossed the towel on the bed and walked out, pushing the door closed with her elbow. Glancing around she saw no one so she headed down the stairs and back outside.

Linda was rather shocked at how brazenly she had just killed a man. These spur of the moment jobs were going to get her in trouble. She resolved not to do this again, unless it was a life and death situation. Her life. Someone else's death. Add massive brain hemorrhages to her growing repertoire. Looked just like a stroke. That could come in handy, lots of people died from strokes.

Linda made it the rest of the way to the credit union main branch without further incident. Walking inside she saw a sign-up form to request help from a new accounts clerk. She listed her name and the time, then sat down to wait. Within ten minutes a middle-aged lady walked up, picked up the clipboard, and said, “Ms. Spencer?”

Linda stood, and said, “That would be me; but please, just call me Linda.”

The lady nodded. Her name-tag informed the world she was Loretta. “Come with me please,” and led her to a semi-private office where she motioned for Linda to sit down. After walking around the desk to her own chair, Loretta added, “Now, how can I help you, Linda?”

“I already have a juvenile account with the credit union branch in the Broadmore district, but I'm legally an adult now. I want to upgrade my account and move it here to the main branch. I also need a Visa Debit card and I want to rent a safe deposit box. I'll need to add some money to my savings account and add a checking account too.”

“I can handle all that for you. I just need to see some identification and here are some forms for you to fill out for the deposit box, checking account and debit card. Credit unions also offer credit cards secured by a savings account with a very low interest rate, to help people establish credit. Just let me know when you're ready to start working on your credit rating.”

Loretta got up to check on things while Linda filled forms out. When Loretta returned Linda handed her the paperwork and her driver's license.

“I see you don't have a permanent address listed yet.”

“Not yet,” Linda said, “I just moved out on my own, and I'm planning to check on some rentals later this afternoon.”

“That's fine, dear, we can just have your debit card delivered here for pickup at a teller's window in a couple of days. You'll get a checkbook with temporary checks until you have an address, then we can order normal checks for you. Now, how much did you want to deposit to your accounts?”

“One thousand into checking and savings each.” Linda counted out the two thousand dollars, and handed the stack to Loretta.

Loretta smiled, “I'll be right back with your receipts,” and walked over to one of the tellers and handed her the money. Then, she turned and beckoned to Linda.

“Here are your receipts, and these are your temporary checks. We'll order new checks for you with your address and phone number on them once you get settled down. Melody over there will handle setting you up with a safety deposit box.”

Linda thanked Loretta, then put the checkbook and receipts in her purse. She walked over to Melody, whose desk sat behind a low railing, fencing her in.

“Hi, my name is Linda. Loretta said you could help me get a deposit box?”

“Certainly, Linda. Loretta already gave me all the necessary paperwork. I have your box all ready for you,” Melody said as she shook Linda's hand. “Just sign here and here. This is your key and I keep the other one here, in the credit union. It takes both keys to lock or unlock the box, for your safety and protection. Now I need the first month's rent, that would be ten dollars, and then every month another ten. We can take that directly from your checking account each month, if you prefer.”

“Yes, that would work perfectly. Just take the monthly payment straight out of my account.”

Linda signed the two forms, and handed ten dollars to Melody. Melody handed her one more form to sign, authorizing the automatic payments on her safety deposit box and a receipt for the first month's box rental. Then the two ladies walked back into the secure area. Using both keys, Melody unlocked her box and carried the empty box to a metal table on wheels, where she set it down.

“You can take the table back into that small room over there, so you have some privacy,” Melody told her.

“Just call me when you're done and we'll lock it back up, safe and sound.”

Linda waited until Melody had left the room, then took off her backpack, unzipped the center section took out half the money, and placed it in the deposit box. She also fished out the pimp's money clip and added that cash to the box before placing the silver clip back in her purse. Ms. Mouse could dispose of it later. Without counting it Linda estimated another thousand or more from the pimp. While searching the wallet Linda found credit cards and more cash, $520, which she added to her own wallet. Using a dead pimp's credit card would be a good way to get caught, so she left those in the wallet, dropping it back in her purse for later disposal. She closed the lid and latched it, then went to find Melody.

When she got to the entrance of the security area Linda saw three men with guns and wearing masks. Everyone else, customers and employees alike, were laying on the floor. One man watched them, one man was trying to intimidate what appeared to be the credit union manager, and a third man was emptying teller drawers into a big, green trash bag.

Linda flexed her fingers and mumbled, “Time for Ms. Mouse to roar.” She pictured the heart of thug #1, and zapped him, crushing it with her mind. He grabbed his chest and fell to the ground, dropping his gun on the floor. Thug #3 got his windpipe smashed and started gasping for breath, with his hands wrapped around his own throat. Turning blue from lack of oxygen, he also succumbed to Linda's assault and crumbled to the floor of the credit union.

Thug #2 had his gun to the managers head, and Linda didn't want him to kill the manager in a reflex motion, so she froze control of his body by severing his spinal cord, effectively paralyzing him. The man dropped like a rock to the floor and she saw the manager grab the gun. Seeing everything under control Linda slipped back into the safe deposit box area to wait for someone to inform her it was alright to come out. Hmm, more new talents to study. Snapping spinal cords, crushing throats and the now blasé heart squeeze. Linda felt inordinately proud of herself and her new skills.

By the time all the waiting and police interviews were done it was almost 6 p.m. Since she had 'officially' been back in the safe deposit area the entire time of the attempted robbery the police decided there wasn't much she could add to the investigation. No one had spotted Ms. Mouse peeking around the corner. She overheard someone say the security cameras had been disabled shortly after the robbery began by flipping a switch on the manager's desk. Sounded like an inside job to Linda, but that was the cop's problem, not hers.

Linda left and caught the free downtown trolley to the train station. Before entering the station Linda summoned Ms. Mouse again, slipped the pimp's wallet and money-clip into a folded up napkin, and dropped the whole thing into the storm-drain slot on the curb. Splash. Piece of cake. Inside the station she made her way over to a snack bar and bought a soft drink. She asked for two dollars worth of quarters as part of her change. Sipping her drink she casually strolled over to the locker area, opened a vacant locker and stuffed her backpack containing the second two grand inside and closed the locker. After sliding the two dollars in quarters into the payment slot, she twisted the locking key and pulled it out. Then she slipped the key onto her key-ring with the credit union's lock-box key and her hotel room key, and put it all back into the pocket of her jeans. The two dollars would keep this box locked up for two days before the time expired. Then she would need to transfer the money to her new home, or renew the rent on the box.

After grabbing a hotdog with mustard and onions at the snack bar and another bag of chips, Linda sat down and had a brief supper. Outside, she caught a trolley ride back downtown and, on a whim, decided to hop into a small neighborhood grocery store. Walking the narrow aisles she found the box of disposable gloves she needed and grabbed a couple of apples and some alcohol wipes. After she paid the cashier she walked casually into the early evening city and headed for her hotel.

Linda pushed the dingy hotel's front door open and stepped inside. The lobby was empty except for an old woman watching something on the TV, and the desk clerk. The night clerk was on duty and they nodded at each other as Linda went upstairs to her room. The old woman ignored her.

It was too late in the day to call about rooms for rent but she could handle that tomorrow. Linda put the box of gloves in her dresser drawer and the alcohol wipes in her purse. The plastic shopping bag with two apples inside went on the small table. Just as she started to relax, there was a knock on her door.

Opening the door Linda saw two men standing there in cheap, rumpled suits. They both flipped open ID badges to her and the shorter guy said, “I'm Detective Rice and this is my partner, Detective Sanders. We're investigating the Peterson murder. Mind if we come in and ask a few questions?”

Linda said “Of course not, please come in. Sorry I can't offer coffee or anything, I just moved in yesterday.”

“Nothing to worry about, Ma'am. We won't be long. My partner and I just have a few routine questions for you,” Detective Rice said.

Sanders asked her “Ms. Linda Spencer, correct?”

Linda nodded her head, mind going a mile a minute. 'How much do these guys know?' she asked herself.

“Ms. Spencer, do you mind if I record this? Saves me from having to write everything down,” said Rice.

“No detective, I have no problem with that.”

Ms. Spencer can you tell us where you were at 4 p.m. yesterday?” asked Rice.

“I was out walking the streets of downtown, looking for help-wanted signs. I need a job.”

“Is there anyone who can corroborate that?”

“Well... no, probably not. I was alone, and I don't get noticed much when I'm out and about.”

“How long have you been unemployed?” asked Sanders.

“I just got out of high school. I was in foster care, and when you graduate from school and turn eighteen, its time to hit the road. I would prefer not to live in homeless shelters, so I have to find work,” Linda answered.

“Did you know Mr. Peterson?” asked Rice.

Linda responded, “Barely. I met him in the hallway yesterday morning. He invited me back to his room to let me use his computer for some internet job searching. Call me naive but, when we got there, the computer didn't exist. Instead, Mr. Peterson tried to kiss me and grope me. I pushed back and he spun me around and pressed me up against the dresser in his room and started to fondle me from behind. I was less than enthusiastic about his technique, and elbowed him in the ribs, then stomped on his foot. I turned around and slapped his face, then kneed him in the balls. As he lay there on the floor, I could have hurt him more, but all I wanted to do was escape. I grabbed my purse, ran back to my room, and locked the door.”

The two men looked at each other and nodded.

“Why didn't you report this assault to the police?” asked Rice.

“Would it do any good, detective?”

“Probably not. Any witnesses?” Sanders asked.

“No, it happened in his room, and no one saw us enter, or saw me leave. We were alone the entire time.”

“Probably wouldn't do any good then, except to get it on record, just in case something happened in the future,” said Rice.

'Like a dead guy in an alley,' Linda thought to herself.

“Have you seen any tall, muscular men hanging around the area?” asked Sanders.

“Well, detective, like I said, yesterday was my first day here. Just how large and tall are we talking about?”

“Over six feet eight inches tall and well-built,” said Rice.

Linda laughed, “No detective, I've never seen anyone that tall except on TV, and they played football or basketball. No one's even close to that description in the couple days I've been here.”

Detective Rice looked over at Sanders who shrugged and nodded his head again.

“Ms. Spencer, please take my card and call me if you think of anything that might help us in our investigation. If you happen to see a very tall, muscular man in the area, don't approach him for any reason, and call me right away,” said Rice.

“Is this man a suspect?”

“We can't answer questions like that,” answered Sanders. “He is someone we would be very interested in talking with, however. Call him a person-of-interest.”

“Good evening, Ma'am, and thanks for your cooperation,” said Rice.

The two detectives left her room and Linda locked the door behind them. They were really looking for Mr. Tall and Powerful. Ms. Mouse hardly qualified. Five feet six inches tall and a robust one hundred ten pounds didn't meet the suspect criteria here.

She hadn't gotten any mental vibes that she was under any kind of suspicion from the two detectives in the murder of dead guy either. Apparently, for now at least, they bought her story. Getting pushed against the dresser would explain any fingerprints. They must have found prints or there would be no reason to question her. The struggle where she hit and kneed him might explain any physical damage on the body. Maybe. Hopefully. Shit. Got to remember to dump that blouse.

Linda got up and slowly undressed, putting her soiled clothing into a laundry bag from her suitcase, then put on her nightgown. Ankle length, opaque, cotton. She had three of them in three different pastel colors. There was no need to give pervy foster parents any ideas.

As she drifted off to sleep, Linda mused, “I'll need to make a new list tomorrow.” Then Morpheus claimed her and she slept.


Chapter 03 - The Weasel, the FBI, and a Doctor

In the morning, Linda awoke and sat up in bed feeling refreshed for the first time in days. The stress of not having enough money, no job, and no safe place to live was slowly fading. She could work on her living arrangements today. First things first though. Her empty tummy and caffeine deprived brain were both clamoring for attention.

After morning wake up detail in the bathroom, Linda donned a clean pair of shorts and a T-shirt, pair of socks and her soon to be copyrighted attack-sneakers. Linda headed downstairs, locking the door behind her.

An older woman, about fifty as a guess, was manning the front desk today.

Linda asked, “Where's Tommy?” as she handed the woman a dollar and picked up today's paper.

“This is his day off,” was the surly response.

The woman snatched the dollar out of Linda's hand and it disappeared from view as the she returned to reading what appeared to be a trashy romance novel. At least with a name like 'The Pirate and the Governor's Daughter' with a lurid front cover of some handsome half-naked pirate, arm around a busty blonde showing lots of cleavage suggested.

Linda just rolled her eyes, tucked the paper up under her arm and headed out for coffee and a doughnut. Walking up to Starbucks, she received no mental warnings of danger, so she relaxed and looked around. Not much of interest on the two and a half block walk up to breakfast. Just normal people going about the start of a routine work day.

She did look around to see if the tall monster-man was around anywhere. No luck today. He must be in hiding. Linda giggled to herself.

At Starbucks, she treated herself to another Latte, with extra foam, and picked out a glazed doughnut today. Choosing a seat at an empty table, Linda opened the paper and began reading. 'The Back Alley Killer' still took up space on the front cover of the news. This time, it did mention the police were looking for a tall, muscular man as a 'person of interest.' No explanation as to why they were looking for him though. Someone at Police Headquarters must have leaked the story. Looks like the President wasn't the only one dealing with leaks. She wondered what would happen if she called the story 'Fake News' and laughed. Got to take our giggles where we find them.

Turning to the rooms for rent section, Linda saw several possibilities. The most promising, so far, was an ad for a furnished room, non-smoker, ladies only, with a phone number. Five hundred fifty dollars a month, no pets.

Linda got out her cheap pay-by-the-month phone and dialed the number. A woman answered on the fourth ring.

“Hello, I'm calling about your room for rent in today's paper,” Linda said. “My name is Linda Spencer.”

The woman on the other end said “The room is still available. I'm picky about who I allow in my house. Too many perverts and jerks out there nowadays. You do understand it's five hundred fifty a month? There's a two hundred dollar cleaning and damage deposit. No smoking, no pets, no drugs and no loud music. Make that no loud boyfriends in the house either. It does include breakfast, if you wake up on time in the morning. The room is furnished with a double bed, two chairs, a vanity and chest-of-drawers. You have one shelf in the refrigerator and cooking privileges as long as you clean up after yourself. There's also an attached private bathroom. The room is on the second floor. I live on the main floor. Two other bedrooms upstairs are already rented out to college girls.”

“Sounds just about perfect. I'm eighteen years old and just graduated from high school. No money for college, so I'm going to work for a living. I have enough money already to survive for a few months or so while I look for work, but I plan to be employed as quickly as I can find a job. I've never smoked, I don't drink or use drugs, no boyfriend and no pets.”

“The address is 810 Prospect Street. I'll have to interview you in person, but so far we might have an agreement here,” the potential landlady said.

“I can make it out there before lunch time, if that's convenient?”

“Yes, that will work fine. I'll even feed you lunch if you don't mind soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.”

“I'll be there.”

After hanging up the phone, Linda smiled. Things were definitely looking up. The furnished room sounded just right and with her new influx of money, the price was acceptable.

After finishing her breakfast and Latte, Linda caught the trolley to the credit union. She was going to need some more cash with a first and last plus deposit for the room. Thirteen hundred dollars total if the lady wanted both. She hadn't said, but it was better to go prepared. She didn't want to lose the room just because she was short on money.

In the credit union Linda decided to take the funds out of her deposit box instead of checking or savings. Leave the visible cash where it is, and use the hidden cash when she could. Sounded like her own version of money laundering to Linda. She wondered idly while waiting for Melody to return from somewhere, if the local community college taught classes on money laundering. Probably not. At least not as a credit course anyway. When she got a computer and internet access, maybe Mr. Google could help.

All Melody could talk about was the attempted robbery the day before. Linda just nodded her head at appropriate moments and listened.

“I was so scared,” said Melody. “I thought for sure they were going to kill us all. Kathy even peed her pants. Mr. Sullivan was crying, too. I was silently begging the boss to just open the damn vault and give them what they wanted so they could leave. Then they all started dying. No one has any idea what happened. First one guy falls down holding his chest, then the other guy behind the teller cage grabs his throat and starts flopping around. The guy with the manager was the strangest of all. He just collapsed completely on the floor and couldn't move. He lived for a bit, but he just died staring at the manager. Took him a couple minutes too. I overheard one of the cops say it looked like the guy was paralyzed. I wanted to go over and kick him, for scaring me so much, but I didn't.”

Linda had been there so she already knew what happened but realized Melody just needed to vent. “Good idea. Kicking dead men probably hurts your toes. You're right, though, a very strange bank robbery indeed.” 'Maybe I can design fashionable steel-toed loafers. Must be a market for that,' Linda mused.

“Yes, even the police were baffled. You already know, since you were here. They kept questioning us over and over. Trying to get someone to change the story. Facts are facts though. Can't change the truth. I heard one guy had a crushed throat, the other one a massive total heart attack and the third guy, like I said, was paralyzed. Imagine that. How could something like that ever happen?”

“Maybe the credit union has protective ghosts.”

Melody looked around the room with big, worried eyes. “You think so?” She whispered. So the 'ghosts' wouldn't hear her.

“I wouldn't be surprised. Nothing else fits the situation, does it?”

“Damn. I'm going to ask for a transfer to another branch. Closer to where I live.”

“Good idea.”

“Alright, let's get your box out so you can get on with your business,” Melody whispered.

“Remember, they are probably friendly, bank protecting ghosts, not dangerous ones.”

“But now, after they killed someone, maybe they aren't protective anymore,” Melody whispered.

They got the deposit box out on the table again and Linda took it to the private room where she removed thirteen hundred dollars. Then she went back out to get Melody so they could lock it back up. Another girl was sitting at Melody's desk.

“Where's Melody?”

“She, umm, was mumbling something about 'Ghost Busters' then got sick and went home,” said the new girl. Her name-tag read 'Kathy”. Linda imagined her wetting her pants, and smiled.

After they replaced the deposit box, Linda waved at Loretta and went out to catch the trolley to the transit center where she could transfer to a bus bound for Prospect Street and hopefully, her new home.

The bus to Prospect Street arrived right on schedule and Linda rode it out close to the address Mrs. Landlady gave her. 810 Prospect. Sounded like an omen for her future. Good Prospects.

The bus was mostly empty now that the morning rush was gone. Still, there were seven other people on board, but no one paid attention to Ms. Mouse.

The bus stop was only a short block away from 810 and an easy walk for Linda. She stepped up on the porch and knocked on the door. The house looked clean and well maintained. Yard was in good condition and the street didn't have any junk cars parked in the neighborhood.

The door opened and a chubby, middle aged woman stood behind the screen door and said “Yes? I don't allow any solicitors here. Just go on about your business and leave me alone.”

“Hello, Ma'am. I'm Linda. I called earlier about the room for rent?” Linda offered with a smile.

“Oh, yes, I've been expecting you. Just in time for lunch too. Please come in,” said Mrs. Landlady.

Linda walked into the house. The living room was clean and as well cared for as the outside. Comfortable furniture filled the room without giving the feeling of being crowded. Pictures on the fireplace mantle suggested a husband and three kids. Judging by the apparent age of Mrs. Landlady, the kids were long gone to live their own lives, and start working on providing grandchildren. There was no evidence of a live-in husband. The room just felt feminine without screaming pink and frilly.

Linda followed Mrs. Landlady to the kitchen where two plates were set on the table with spoons, bowls and coffee cups.

Mrs. Landlady said “Please call me Carla. Carla Thomas. How do you take your coffee, Linda?”

“Loaded. Milk, cream, sugar, half-n-half, whatever you have is fine. I prefer adding a little coffee to my milk and sugar.”

Carla brought over the coffee carafe and poured both cups full, just leaving room at the top to add fixin's, then brought a silver serving set for cream and sugar.

“I'll just get our soup and sandwiches. Everything is ready. I hope you like home-made Cream of Potato soup.”

“Sounds delicious,” Linda said as she doctored her cup of coffee.

Carla served lunch and the two ate the good food provided. Linda was impressed. Everything was perfect, and she let Carla know just how fantastic it tasted.

After lunch, Carla said, “I think you will do just fine. Let's go upstairs and you can see the room.”

In the bedroom, Linda was impressed with the furnishings, the carpet, the nice smell of flowers in a clean, well-cared for room. The window was open to the backyard and she could see the origin of the flowery smell in the room. Lots of well tended roses were in the backyard. After checking the bathroom and finding a clean commode, roomy shower and a vanity shelf with sink, Linda said “I would love to live here Mrs. Thomas. Everything is perfect.”

“Good. I'm impressed with you, young lady. When would you like to move in?”

“I need a day or two is all. I don't own much.”

“Let's go downstairs and fill out the rental agreement, figure out the pro-rated first month's rent and the deposit.”

As soon as she stepped out the front door to go back downtown, Linda knew something was wrong. Hunger, sexual hunger. Anger. Fear.

Odd, though. The raw emotions weren't directed at her. They were directed at a little boy, maybe five or six years old, across the street riding his tricycle.

Shit! Pedophile!

Linda saw a white panel van pull up beside the small boy. A man burst from the car, ran around to the rear of the van and opened the double doors. He had on a ski-mask and gloves. Pedophile guy snatched the child, picking him up and covering his mouth to prevent screams from attracting help. The kid kicked and waved his arms around, but to no avail.

It was all happening too fast. Linda looked around quickly. No one was on the street who could save the child. It was all up to her. Ms. Mouse arrived with a vengeance! She was going to terminate Pedophile Man with extreme prejudice. Reaching with her mind, into his body, mentally grabbing his guts, she twisted and broke them. Ripping and tearing at the soft, slimy intestines, bursting them open and filling his body cavity with feces. That would kill him. Terminal sepsis! Now for the fun part. Ms. Mouse crushed his testicles. Both of his nuts turned into Pedophile Hamburger. Now that the child was safe and Mr. Pedophile lay on the street screaming and holding his balls, Linda strolled down to the bus stop and waited for the next ride back to downtown. Even if by some miracle the guy lived, he would never have the gonads to abuse children again.

Ten minutes later, just as her bus pulled up, three police cars came sirening their way up the street, stopping with a screech of tires near Mr. Pedophile. There was already a crowd of people standing around watching him. No one offered any help. The child had been escorted into a home and safety.

As the bus drove past the scene, Linda couldn't help but smile. “My work here is done,” she murmured to herself. Ms. Mouse really can roar!

Ms. Mouse: 6

Bad Guys: 0

Nothing else of interest happened on the way home and Linda entered the hotel and walked up to the female desk clerk. “I will be checking out, tomorrow.”

The lady looked up from her book and checked the register. “That's a bit early. You paid for a full week. No refunds.”

“No worries. Just letting you know I'm leaving.”

Linda went over to the elevator and pushed the button. Nothing. Nada.

“It's broken. Again. Use the stairs.”

After she got back in her room, Linda picked up one of her apples and started munching on it. She was a bit confused about why she felt nothing inside when she killed bad guys, except satisfaction. Linda suspected that wasn't quite normal behavior. Most ordinary folks would get sick and vomit, or freak out screaming and crying 'n' stuff like that. Linda preferred to kick the dead bodies. “Oh snap! I need to go shoe shopping soon. Maybe this afternoon at the mall. I could catch a taxi and run out to South Central Mall,” she said. Never been there before, but I bet they have shoes for sale, Linda thought to herself.

There was a knock at the door. Linda wondered, who the hell could that be? Might be Detectives Dumb and Dumber. Maybe they caught Mr. Tall and Powerful and were coming to let everyone know it was safe to walk in filthy back-alleys now. Linda got up off her chair and walked to the door, slid the deadbolt and opened the door.

Linda's eyes and her mind were immediately assaulted with 'slimy'. The guy in the doorway was short, about five feet seven, expensive suit, shoes, shirt, tie, the whole package. Hair slicked down and perfectly coiffed. Mr. Weasel.

“Linda Spencer?”

“Who wants to know?”

“I'm J. Robert Perkins, esquire. My friends just call me J Rob. My card.”

He offered an expensive looking business card to Linda. It was embossed with raised gold colored lettering and everything. Weasel. Lawyer. Synonyms.

“Alright, Mr. Perkins, what's this all about?”

“May I come in for a moment or two?”

“Yes, I suppose so, but don't touch anything. I just cleaned the place.”

Weasel Guy gave her a funny look, then walked into the room. Linda offered her only chair, but Weasel Guy shook his head no, and remained standing.

“Linda, may I call you Linda?” he didn't pause for an answer. “I was told by the desk clerk that you might be interested in making some money, for very little effort. I have a business proposition for you.”

“Save your breath. I'm not a hooker.”

“No, no, nothing like that. I just need 'volunteers' to show up at Dr. Firestone's clinic in the north-end of town, sit there for several hours, sign some papers and done. That's all there is to it. You earn one thousand dollars a week for three or four hours work. Now, how does that sound?”

“Illegal. Tell me more. Exactly what is this?”

Weasel Guy said, “I could tell you were smarter than you look. See, you just got out of the foster care system. Your medical expenses were all covered by the state and the feds. There is a time frame before the paperwork taking you out of foster care and out into the real world gets processed. I have a colleague in DC who pulls files like yours from the 'pending' file into a 'holding' file. Sort of like limbo. No one else checks that file. Just him. You can remain stuck in the holding file for a couple of years, at least. Meanwhile, the government continues to pay all your medical expenses.”

“I get it. So, I go to Dr. Firestone's office, get some kind of treatment for a few hours, then he files for expensive bills to the feds and they pay off. Our tax dollars at work.”

“Smart girl. The feds are a gravy-train for sharp girls like you. We all profit from this. You, me, Doc and my buddy in DC. Easy-Peasy.”

Linda felt dirty, just listening to Weasel Guy. She also felt Ms. Mouse wanting to squeeze his head like a pimple. Pop!

Instead, Linda said, “Sign me up. What do I need to do? I could sure use an extra grand a week.”

Weasel Guy beamed at her, “Just go visit Dr. Firestone. I already have an appointment for you tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. Here's his card. It has the phone number and address on it.”

Linda reached out mentally and gently nicked several holes in his intestines, and small veins in his brain. Slow but steady death for our Weasel Guy. Any temper-tantrum and he would pop a stroke. No stroke, then sepsis. Dead-man-walking.

Linda took the card from Weasel Guy, glanced at it, and said, “I'll be there. Do we need any contract or anything? How do I get paid?”

“No, of course no contract. This is all under the table so-to-speak. A guy will show up every Friday and give you an envelope with one thousand bucks inside. All cash. We don't want any paper trails leading back to me.”

“What kind of illness am I being treated for?”

“Dr. Firestone usually gives you chemo-therapy, radiation therapy, and maybe surgery for cancer treatments. Also, lots of expensive prescription meds. So, usually treatments are for cancer. Cancer is very lucrative, for the providers. Not so much for the patients,” Weasel Guy grinned.

“No real treatment, though, right?”

“None. You just sit in a room, listen to music or read an epub on a tablet. Three or four hours later, all done.”

“Okay. Count me in.”

Linda shook Weasel Guy's hand and showed him to the door. After the door closed and Linda locked up, she wanted to wash her hands. Fuck. She wanted to take a full body shower. Slimy, greasy, dirty. Lawyers. She remembered a joke she heard once. Probably a very old joke.

'Know how you can tell when a lawyer's lying?'

'His mouth is open.'

Linda asked Ms. Mouse, 'What do I do now?' Ms. Mouse wasn't talking. Probably taking a power nap. For later, if, no when, Linda visited Dr. Firestone.

So, first, Weasel Guy was going to suffer a painful death. No worries there. Dr. Firestone soon would be following his act. Linda wanted to bring in the feds though, to clean this whole mess up. Someone needed to find the bureaucrat in DC and shut-down this whole operation. Linda called in the FBI.

“This is the FBI, Virginia office. How may I direct your call?” said the bored lady's voice on the phone.

“I want to report suspected federal medical fraud,” said Linda.

“Thank you, Miss. I'll connect you to the fraud division.”

Linda waited while the phone played elevator music in her ear. Finally, after what seemed like three days, the phone on the other end of the line picked up and a man's voice said, “Special Agent Thompson.”

“Hello Mr. Thompson. Do you work on medical fraud cases?”

Linda heard a click on the phone.

“Is this call being recorded?”

“It was, and I was about to inform you about that. We are having some internal problems here with medical fraud so I turned the auto-record off.”

“Who am I speaking with?”

“My name is Linda Spencer, and I want to report a scam that I just learned about.”

“Who does this involve, Ms. Spencer?”

“A lawyer named J. Robert Perkins.”

“Are you using a land-line to make this call?”

“No, I have one of those cheap flip-phones where you just buy minutes every month. I usually just pay ten dollars a month that way, why?”

“Does anyone have this phone number, or can anyone trace it to you?”

“I don't think so. I really don't have any friends, so no one calls me. Why are you asking?”

“Like I mentioned, we're having some internal problems here. I'm investigating Perkins personally. Several witnesses that would have put him away have already disappeared, so when I get a call about him I turn off the auto-recorder, and don't officially log the call in. I need to speak with you in person. Where are you at, right now?”

“I'm in room 312, at the Wilson Hotel downtown.”

“I can be there in, say, about twenty minutes. Stay where you are.”

Linda barely got an “Okay” out when the line went dead.

Sure enough, twenty minutes later, there was a knock on her door.

Linda asked, with the door still closed, “Who is it?”

“Thompson. Open the door lady.”

Linda opened the door, and a big, burly looking guy stood there in FBI uniform. Black suit, black tie, black shoes, no smiles. A 'Men in Black' clone.

“Can I please see some identification?”

Thompson flashed his badge at her and brushed past her to enter the room. He held his index finger up to his lips, took out a little electronic gadget, turned it on, and began walking around the room pointing at things.

“Alright, the room isn't bugged. We can talk here.”

Linda was impressed; But, her radar was tingling. Something about this guy was off. Maybe he was 'The Back Alley Killer.' Almost big enough. Got to watch out with this one.

“What's this all about, lady?”

“A guy showed up here an hour ago, and offered to let me in on this scam he's running.”

“What was this guys name?”

“Mr. Weasel, I mean J. Robert Perkins, some kind of lawyer.”

“Some kind of lawyer is correct. We've had our eye on Perkins for over a year now, but can't seem to get the goods on him. Evidence and witnesses seem to disappear.”

“I'm not too worried about that. I only disappear when I want to.”

“Tell me about this scam you mentioned.”

“He contacts people who were covered by government medical programs and have, for whatever reason, recently dropped out of the system. I was just in foster care, for example. Before the paperwork in DC can be processed, some guy of his puts the account in limbo. No one looks at it anymore, maybe for years.”

“Then, Weas, umm, Perkins, sends the person to a Dr. Firestone for medical treatments. He has a clinic in the north-end. The treatments are all bogus. The 'patient' just sits around for a few hours. Firestone then bills the feds for expensive medical treatments. Perkins, Firestone, the fake patient, and the guy in DC, all get a cut of the money.”

“We've had an eye on Firestone for awhile now too. If you could testify against all of them, we could bring down this entire ring!”

“I have no problem with testifying in court. Don't forget the guy in DC too. He holds the key to who knows how many medical files stuck in limbo.”

“Right, we'll nail him, too. Jeff Hendricks. We already have him under surveillance. Tell you what, let's take a walk in the Semper Fidelis park. I want to pick your brain some more about all this, but I could use some fresh air. I have my car parked downstairs.”

Linda's radar went on high alert. Ms. Mouse yawned and woke up. Something about Special Agent Thompson just went hinky as all hell.

Linda picked up her purse and, thanks to a reminder from Ms. Mouse, added a baseball cap, bill pulled down to shield her face from annoying video cameras. “Okay. Let's go.” Ms. Mouse was wide-awake.

Riding in the feds unmarked car, Linda stared out the window. 'Just how far did this scam go?' she wondered. Maybe this agent is involved too. Makes sense. With Thompson in on it, not much chance of solving the case. That would explain the missing witnesses too. They could have ended up in Special Agent Thompson's personal version of 'witness protection.' With her mind concentrating hard on FBI guy, Linda began to pick up thoughts from him. He was planning to kill her in the park! The case wasn't logged in, officially, and her phone was a throw-away. Completely safe for him to off-her at Semper-Fi, Always Faithful park.

Ms. Mouse whispered, That sword cuts both ways.

Arriving at the park, Linda exited the car, and walked up the slight hill toward a stand of oak trees, head carefully looking down, cap shielding her face. Her evil thoughts radar was pinging away. Thompson was definitely not playing for the home team. Ms. Mouse was obscuring Linda all the way.

At the top of the hill, Linda kept walking, but she was very aware that Thompson had paused. She turned around to see what caused him to stop. He was screwing a long tube onto the end of his pistol.

“What's that?”

“A silencer.”

Ms. Mouse was bouncing around on her toes, like a prize fighter waiting for the bell to ring. Special Agent Thompson had no chance.


Ms. Mouse toyed with the man. He looked up from his gun, and Linda was gone! Vanished. There was just no trace of her anywhere. Mr. FBI guy wildly looked around, trying to spot where she could have run off to.

Ms. Mouse pulled his left ear. When he twisted to the left, his gun swinging around, Ms. Mouse tapped his right leg.

Linda, hiding behind a tree, watched Ms. Mouse work. She kept as quiet as a mouse too, doing everything in her power to keep from giggling. This was fun!

“You killed all those witnesses!”

“No, it wasn't me. I swear to God.”

Ms. Mouse whispered to Linda, He Lies.

Ms. Mouse smacked him in the back of the head, enough to make him fall to his knees.

FBI guy started to cry. “What the hell are you?”

Ms. Mouse slapped his face on the left cheek, snapping his head around.

“I would say your worst nightmare, but that sounds so trite, don't you think? How about, I am Shiva! I am Death! The Destroyer of Worlds! Come to exact vengeance against corruption and evil! That sounds much more impressive. I like it.”

“Just arrest me! I'll testify to everything. Send me to jail! For God's sake, I have a wife and two kids.”

Ms. Mouse whispered to Linda, Lies!

Linda said, “I'll send you straight to Hell!”

Ms. Mouse hit Thompson in the solar plexus hard enough to double him over. He lay on the grass puking.

Ms. Mouse wanted to continue torturing FBI guy. After all she reasoned, he was going to kill her with no more remorse than an average person would have about stepping on a spider.

Linda however, reasoned this was no different than the bullies she had avoided her entire life. Time to finish this.

Ms. Mouse snapped his neck with a crack.

FBI guy's eyes glazed over. Blood streamed from his mouth and nose. He lay there on the soft, green grass, face down in his own vomit.

Linda left the body laying there. Physically untouched. She wanted to leave his possessions intact to confuse any investigation, so she didn't take his wallet. She walked back to the car and wiped down every surface she might have touched. Then while whistling the Disney dwarf song 'Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, it's off to work we go.' Linda walked through the park to the opposite end. Ms. Mouse leading the way and singing along. Linda waited at a bus stop for the next bus bound for downtown.

Ms. Mouse? You talked to me! Linda whispered.

Of course I talked to you. I've always been here. I just got tired of being quiet, Ms. Mouse answered.

Linda just accepted Ms. Mouse as a real part of her life now. Linda Land was at peace.

Back at the Central Transit station Linda realized it was still only 4:30. The bus she needed to reach Dr. Firestone's office had just pulled up, and on a whim Linda boarded.

After she reached the block just before the clinic address Linda exited and walked, Ms. Mouse style, up to the Doctor's offices.

There was a bus stop with a convenient bench within sixty feet of the clinic. Linda sat down and waited for the good doctor to leave. It was 5 p.m.

About an hour later, at approximately 6:10, Doctor Firestone pulled out of the parking lot in his Lexus. The aura of evil surrounding him was palpable. Ms. Mouse performed delicate brain surgery weakening the walls of several major blood vessels in Firestone's head. Not enough to cause an immediate and deadly stroke, but enough that if he got incredibly bad news like the death of two co-conspirators, his head would suffer a melt-down and he would die. Stroke city.

Linda caught the next bus going back to the center of town.


Chapter 04 - New Skills and an Angel

Arriving downtown Linda saw an Italian restaurant featuring pizza and grabbed the bus' stop-cord. She realized that hunger pangs were making her cranky. Ms. Mouse agreed. Linda walked into the restaurant and, since it was open seating, she selected an empty table by the front window. She was pleased that the pizza menu allowed customers to order by the slice. Linda ordered two slices of pepperoni pizza and a Pepsi. It was really good pizza. She would definitely return to this place when she was hungry.


That was a preview of Vigilante Angels. To read the rest purchase the book.

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