The dust settled on the fallen el train.
Those 60-year-old supports of the electric track finally gave and about 30 plus passengers were clinging for their lives, scared to death when the vessel went vertical and smashed onto the unforgiving asphalt below.
The damaged car was full of second shifters trying to get home and late night workers heading to their jobs. About half of them remained unscathed even after the four-story drop. Their strategic seating decisions allowed for the ideal buffers from serious injury. Others weren't so lucky. One older man had his herniated disc aggravated when it came into direct contact with a pole. Several other men and women had minor fractures in everything from ribs to arms.
What none of them saw was the calamity that was occurring outside.
At the precise moment the el dove down, it intercepted a minivan heading westbound on the street below the tracks. The mother of two was coming home from the store and hoping to relieve the babysitter but fate, it seemed, had other plans. She was horribly pinned by the crumpled-in dashboard. From the outside, it looked like someone tried to fold the car. The pain was devastating; she tried to withhold her panic even when she was seeing the blood.
Her cell was on the passenger seat far away enough for it to be out of reach. Fear was setting in when each second flew by and she still couldn't feel her legs. She shook her head and held on to the possibility that she's just in shock.
She had to be in shock, she thought to herself. How else could she be looking at a dark-haired young lady ripping the side of the el apart like it was cardboard. Then passengers were being carried out, as much as two at a time. The mother's heart was racing when the super strong woman made her way toward the car.
"CLOSE YOUR EYES!" she was apparently yelling from outside. The driver obliged and heard the deafening crack of the windshield. She didn't catch the name of the mysterious stranger so she would refer to her as Snow White, with her pale skin and raven-dark hair.
Snow peered inside and saw that the driver was indeed trapped. She scaled the roof and pulled it off like she was the jaws of life. Snow gets beside the driver and pushes on the dash with her hands and the crumpled mess of thick plastic and wires and bulbs pushed back out. The driver was free and the pale girl carefully lifted the woman out of the damaged vehicle. Snow then laid her down on the ground flat and told her to wait for the EMT's.
Sirens were audible in the distance and Snow White vanished. The shaken mother, when finally able to speak intelligibly again, would go on to tell police that her guardian angel must have been the one who saved her. The victim, in the opinion of the police, had a "long day" and was "going through a lot." Similar fantastic claims would also be brushed off from the el train survivors. All of them made it.
The usual press showed up at the scene when the accident was blaring all over the police and emergency bandwidths. One reporter, however, was very interested in the "exaggerated claims" of the surviving victims. The dolled-up, curly-haired journalist along with her lanky, poodle-haired cameraman eagerly interviewed who they could at the scene. The critically injured were trucked off to the hospital long before the media got there.
"Excuse me," the chocolate brown hair lady said, leaning over the police barricades. "Trina Vega, KRGR Action News, can I get a statement?"
"No," a uniformed officer raising his hand to the camera lens.
"Wait, hold on." The reporter was getting antsy but the authorities were being tightlipped and very protective of the hurt citizens.
"Damn it, officer!" Miss. Vega called out. "The people have a right to know what happened here. These people have families, wondering where the hell they are."
"Family members and others will be contacted," a highly-decorated cop says. "In time. For right now, you will have to wait for our official statement which will be sometime tomorrow after we assess the situation."
"Shit," Trina mumbles as she storms away. Her faithful cameraman, Sinjin, follows like a dog.
"Trina," he began. "I got what I could but I think a lot of them got similar angles."
Trina waves her hand at the tall, skinny guy. "Forget it. This story's dead. Everyone will be reporting on the accident. But the cops want to cover up everything about this heroine."
"They say she ripped off metal like it was nothing," Sinjin sounding very impressed.
"I know. You would think that something that unlikely they would be interested in." Her eyes widen and she grins a devilish grin. "They're hiding something; I know it!"
The construction site was deserted; the workers leaving their gargantuan tools behind like prehistoric animals in the tar pits. It was completely dark, save for one area a few yards from the main entrance which was illuminated by one of the portable lights.
Sid Chisom stood outside his fancy black SUV before a beat-up Cadillac Seville pulls up. A large bald man walks out, walks around the vehicle and pulls out a teary-eyed girl of about fifteen.
"Well, what do we have here?" Sid grimaced.
"A fresh one. Says her name is Paige."
Sid moved closer to better regard the newcomer in question, restrained by the bald man. "Pretty. Maybe beautiful one day." He cups her face. "Now tell me, how long ago did you run away, Paige?"
She chokes before answering. "Two…weeks."
"I'll bet this is your first time in the big, scary city." His tone was mocking sympathy.
"Well you know," he mutters stroking her hair. "It doesn't have to be so big and so scary. In fact, I have jobs lined up for enterprising, attractive young girls like yourself." Sid then grips her arms tightly like he was testing her blood pressure. It was probably high right now. "And I take good care of my employees."
Sid gazes up at her escort and smiles.
"You know, I think if my memory serves me that yesterday was Marv here's birthday. And I completely forgot."
The large man addressed as Marv snorts, knowing where he was going with this.
"So maybe," Sid taking Paige by the shoulders and forcing her on her knees. "Maybe we could kill two birds with one stone. I see what you really got and good old Marv here gets a little something special."
Paige's eyes were bloodshot with sobbing. "Please, don't…I can't…"
Marv's fly unzipping and the clicking of Sid's gun happened almost simultaneously.
"Now, don't be a chicksh…" Sid's words were interrupted by the light shattering and the whole place now becoming pitch black.
Marv fumbles for a mag lite and once locating one, points it in front of his face. He saw a torrent of black hair and sharp fingernails before it got dark again.
Sid heard the shouting of his cohort, however brief, and grabs the distraught girl.
"We're getting the fuck out of here!"
He throws her into the SUV and drives off. A dark-haired girl is standing just behind the car, making Sid slam on the brakes. He shakes his head, wondering why she's just standing there. In one second, he makes a decision and plows in reverse, nailing the female. After thinking he killed her, he looks out and a look of horror washes over his face when she rises up and grins like she has the upper hand.
Unbeknownst to Sid, she did.
The car skidded away but Sid was soon eye-to-eye with the mysterious girl that survived a dead-on hit and run, clinging to the car despite the speed. She punches through the driver's-side window and grabs the wheel, turning it furiously. This in turn makes the sports utility vehicle flip over to its side.
It lands on the driver's side. The woman rips off the passenger door and pulls out Paige.
She hands the runaway a cell with a purple case. "Is this your phone?" the stranger asks the girl.
She nods. But Paige could have sworn that Marv confiscated her cell. Little did she know that Marv was resting very uncomfortably in the raised scoop of a bulldozer.
"Call the police, bring them here."
"Just get your ass home. And don't let me catch you on these streets again."
Paige nods, wiping her tears and runs away.
Sid looks with his eyes because his neck is broken. All he could see was that girl he tried to hit crawling into he car from above. He felt like a fly in a spider's web.
When police arrived at the scene, they found would-be pimp Sid Chisom. Ironically, he was dangling very much like a spider at that moment only it was from the hook of a crane.