In the Arms of the Angel

Chapter 1- Roxanne

In an underground arena, away from the watchful eyes of the police, a fight is about to take place. Though some may not be able to see it, but the floor of the caged arena was painted red with the blood of innocent dogs that were twisted and turned into killing machines trained to fight by their sadistic owners. One such dog was a black pitbull, entering the arena amid the cheers of the mob for the first time. For many of these canine gladiators going through the tunnel, every fight in the cage could be their last.

The bell rang, and the fight began, but this dog was new to the arena and did not know the ropes. Pain was to be her teacher in a lesson where the only things that mattered were victory or defeat, money or shame. From the first pounce, he got a jump on her growling and snarling to gnashing teeth biting into flesh and bone, the dog proved no match for the arena's champion named 'Boss'. She fought back the best she could, but it was in vain much to the dismay of her so called 'owner' watching from the stands.

She could hear laughter echoing of the crowd in her ears as her vision dimmed to the sight of her embarrassed owner. "You know how much you just cost me?" She could hear her 'master's' angry voice, "that's all you are, just a waste of money, a poor waste of my precious money!" he snarled and kicked her in the stomach to make her yelp. A wealthy crime lord named Sykes was also present. He looked down at the defeated challenger to the 'Boss'. There seemed to be no remorse in his eye to match his voice.

"Pity," Sykes said blowing smoke from his cigar which surrounded him like an evil aura, "she had potential here, didn't she?" He asked her master, he nodded to him, but like he said to her, she was nothing but a waist of money to him. "poor thing you know to do," he said, his words of pity seemed laced with cyanide as he was making his leave. Thinking she was dead, he took her body out of the cage. In fact, she was still alive but tired from the fight. She had bleeding wounds on her back and her sides from 'Boss'.

She was slammed into the trunk of a black Cadillac Coupe De Ville that was then driven over to the local harbor. There upon arrival, she was taken out of the trunk and discarded into the waters of the bay. The car drove away, and left her to die. The salt from the water's of the bay stung her wounds with an intense pain that burned like fire. From the pain she found strength and began to swim. She had been left for dead, now she had a new drive inside her. The thing is, many dogs don't live long on the street.

As she reached the rocky shore, she climbed up to the street. Her claws scratched against the concrete sidewalk. As the trotted along the streets at night, she came across the very warehouse where the fights take place. She looked up, and began to chew off her spiked collar until it fell from her neck. There she made a vow, "Never again," she said to herself, now she had a different fight, one for survival. She shook off her fur which was mixed with salt water and blood from her wounds. The salt helped heel her.

She was now a stray wondering the streets searching for food, and even that did not come everyday. From Red Hook, she made the trek to Jay Street and Borough Hall. If she was lucky, she was get a piece of chicken from the local Popeye's or a pizza crust from a passerby. That rarely happened though. Yet there was something more that she wanted; something more precious than a scrap of food. From the alleyways, she would watch as happy people passed by. Some with loved ones, and others with children.

She escaped the city animal control units time and time again as she became one of Brooklyn's most elusive street dogs. She was the one that cannot be caught. Her scars healed over time, but the pain lingered in the form of her memories in the cage. When she did find shelter be it under the bench in a subway station or in a dark alleyway, she stopped and watched the faces of people going by. People were either talking on cellphones, or teenagers gossiping about music or boys. The normal human stuff to her.

Sometimes a child would go up to pet her. Often before she could thank her with kisses, the child would be pulled away by her parents and tell her that she is a 'bad dog' or how she could hurt her or even kill her seeing from the stories of pitbull attacks in newspapers and on TV. Her whimpers and whines often fell on ears that refused to listen. That was until someone came into her life she did not expect. She saw a little girl being pushed into a train by the crowds of people trying to get to wherever they need to go.

As she was resting under the bench at the Borough Hall station, she awoke to the sound of footsteps coming toward her. Yet they were not the footsteps of a human, they were light like those of a cat. It was an orange tabby that got pushed out of the '5' train heading to Manhattan. She heard the kitten sigh as he was stuck in Brooklyn, "Quite a stroke of bad lucky, eh Kitty?" said the resting pitbull (voiced by Queen Latifah), "hey that kind of stuff happens to everyone," she told him, having seen it happen a lot.

The pitbull went up to the orange kitten, "Who...who are you?" the kitten asked stuttering as the dog approached him. She sat down, and scratched an itch she had behind her ear. The size difference between the two of them was quickly apparent, "please...please don't hurt me, I am lost and...and I just want to go home," the little kitten pleaded to the pitbull. Her brown eyes softened at the kitten. She remembered when she was like him. She was a gift for a child on Christmas, but the kid didn't want her.

She was left on the side of the ride in a cardboard box on a winter's day. This is why she is saddest during the holidays, "You and me both, brother," the pitbull replied as she wanted the kind of life he had. All she wanted was a family, but she saw something in that kitten; something special that old her she had to help him out, "you best not know my name, it would better your chances of getting hurt by others, not by me," some of the cats in the area were brutal and territorial. To them, the kitten would be a snack.

"I'm Oliver," the kitten said bravely standing up to the pitbull. She knew she had to get the kitten home knowing he wouldn't last long out on these streets. From his tone of voice, the pitbull knew this she could trust Oliver. She wanted to get him back to his home, and maybe even find a home of her own on the other side of the bridge. It was a long trip from Borough Hall to Manhattan which meant crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. The black pitbull, and gestured Oliver to follow her, "wait, you didn't tell me your name,"

The pitbull sighed. Everyone that knew her name ended up getting hurt. She did not want the same thing to happen to Oliver, but she had a task to uphold. She had to bring this kitten back to his home by any means necessary, "Roxanne," she replied, from that a smile slowly formed, along with something she thought would never happen to her, a bond. It was at this moment that the kitten she was taking back home to Manhattan would change her life from that day onward, "c'mon Ollie, we have a long way to go,"