One night, a boy walked out of a Speedway gas station clutching a crumpled, white paper bag. It was a warm August night and the city of Oakland, California was still buzzing with activity. He could hear car horns in the distance and saw many people still out and about. Although he loved the city hustle and bustle, he would rather have seen it from a distance.
He blinked, and his eyes changed color from deep blue to bright, neon green. He walked away from the gas station into a dark alley. The alley was littered with trash, like just about everywhere else in the city. Then, once he was sure no one could see him, he jumped up onto the side of one of the buildings. Then he pushed off onto the side of the other, climbing higher and higher as easily as a cat. Soon he was on top of the first building. Then he leaped from the roof top onto another building, and then another. Moments later he was about a block from the Speedway where he had started, at a much quieter, less lively area.
He sat down on the rooftop of the abandoned building, and pulled a hotdog out of the paper bag. It was pretty greasy, and had ketchup, mustard, and a little bit of pickle relish on it. It wasn't exactly a quality meal, but the boy hadn't had anything this good to eat in a while.
“A few months ago, I might have stolen this”, he said to himself, with a little pride in his tone. He put the hotdog back down for a moment to take in his surroundings. This was his favorite spot in town, it had a nice view. From there he had a perfect view of the Oakland skyline, which he felt was best seen at night. He could see many bright lights against a dark, bare sky. He would have fallen asleep there, if it weren't for his grumbling stomach.
As he took the first bite of his hotdog, he noticed a girl walking on the street below him. He could see that she had a long dark braid that went all the way down her back, and she was looking around in a state of paranoia.
“Is she crazy? What is that girl doing out here alone at night?” he thought. No sooner had he thought this than a stranger walked out of another building only a few feet behind the girl. The man was big, a lot bigger than her. She quickened her pace when she noticed him following her; the stranger sped up too. He soon had her backed into an alley, an alley on the side of the building the boy sat on top of. The boy saw that three other strangers were there too. The others weren’t as big as the first man, but still bigger than the girl. As if this weren't enough, there were four of them and only one of her. She was completely surrounded by them; one behind her, one facing her, and one on either side of her.
The boy decided that this was a good time to step in for a rescue mission. He wasn't sure that he could actually take on all four at once, but that was beside the point. Just as he was about to reveal himself, the girl raised her fists into a defensive position, ready for a fight, and said calmly, ---
“If you don't let me walk out of here now, I'm going to make you regret it.”
The boy, and the men for that matter, were taken aback by the girl's warning. The boy was worried that she was bluffing, because he knew these guys would definitely call her bluff. He wanted to step in and help, but at the same time he wanted to see if this girl had the walk to match her talk.
Suddenly, the man who was behind the girl grabbed her by the arm. The girl grabbed his hand and whirled around, throwing him into one of the other men in the process. Then the girl turned to face the two attackers remaining.
“Now, who else wants to do this the hard way?” The girl said confidently.
“I guess she can walk the walk.” the boy mumbled to himself.
There was a flash of movement and the girl was being wrestled to the ground by a fifth man, who had been waiting patiently in the shadows. The girl punched him in the face, but he didn't give up easily. The boy saw the small knife in the man's hand, as it came down on the girl. She screamed as the knife pierced her skin, and then went limp. The man dug through the girl's pockets, nabbed her wallet, and dashed off down the alley.