Kitsune Arrives

Okay, so, they call it Millennium City now.  Still Detroit to me and I can’t say I was sorry to see it rubbled.  The loss of life part sucked but I wasn’t there since I hadn’t discovered my powers yet.  I guess I’ll be ready for it the next time but knowing my luck it’ll be someplace like Atlanta.

Anyway, 2300 miles, downtown LA to someplace in Detr … Millennium City.  Seven minutes, maybe eight, tops.  The problem with traveling like I do is carry-on luggage.  Not a lot of room in a hard shell conformal backpack.  A couple bottles of energy drink, a box or two of power bars, couple of bags of lollypops and my clothes.  Even that’s pretty minimal. Loose fitting jeans, 2 pairs, couple of tops, socks, a dozen pairs of panties and a spare bra.  That’s it and that’s packing tight.

The biggest problem with cruisin’ the highways and byways of America is towns and cars.  Get rid of those and I can open up, but since we can’t, the trip takes longer with all the detours to get around stuff that breaks easily. Actually took me about a whole hour, what with getting out of LA proper, and into Millennium City proper, with buildings and traffic around. Movin’ at sixty with people around sorta gets you noticed. Not so much in LA since they’re used to the weird but seemed like a lot more spotted me once I got to MC.

I came in with three priorities; two I’d covered from LA, a job, and a place to live.  The third was a bike. The place I’d found was north of MC, across the street from one of those omnipresent ‘Zion’ churches that seemed to be popular.  It was a brick building, two stories, with a lawn that needed mowing and what was left of a fence once someone came in and ripped off the cyclone mesh.  Just three foot high steel poles.  There were three large windows on the front of the place, one on either side of the front door with the third positioned on the second floor directly over the entrance.  It was on a corner with the front facing Reimanville Ave and one side on Pasadena Ave in an area called Ferndale.  It may not have been upscale or even middle class but it was a far cry from cardboard boxes and winos for blocks.

The landlady, a heavy set black woman in her sixties met me on the steps and we exchanged a few words, a set of keys and some cash.  She told me to call her Miss Zenobia and reminded me the place was unfurnished but that was no problem since I wouldn’t have to be ripping out cheap carpet to keep from zapping myself every time I touched something metal.  It did have a stove, a fridge, surprisingly clean, and an old dishwasher, which made me laugh, and a private bath.  The power was on, the water ran clear and there was even a wheezing old AC unit in the back window.  It was noisy, so I’d replace that.

Next on the agenda?  An inflatable mattress, sheets and a blanket, then I’d go pick up my bike.  The trip to Walmart surprised me a little.  I was used to California laws that prohibited the all-in-one super store thing. I had to call a taxi to get everything back to my room, not something I was used to but I was trying to avoid anyone finding out I move at Mach 36.

Bought the bedding and a single set of dishes, a couple of cheap pots and pans and a single set of flatware and bath stuff.  Got off pretty cheap, I thought.  After setting up the bed, I pulled out my cell to made sure the bike was ready then it was off to see Millennium City … slowly.  Well, sorta.  I put on the armor, and helmet and was gone in a flash … is that a copyright infringement?

It had taken me a couple days to set up my bike sale because I didn’t know the area but after browsing the internet, I finally located a shop that carried very high-end folding bikes.  Dressed in my street clothes, a thousand bucks lighter, I unfolded my new transport and headed back to my room.

You’d think traffic in a city would pretty much be the same everywhere.  Guess you never lived in LA.  Cruisin’ Millennium City streets was like a Sunday ride through the park.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still people that think they own the road and bicyclists are nothing more than a target but when you’ve got my reflexes … no problem.  Like LA though, there was the expected honks, cat calls and lewd proposition but the one that started following me, well, that one got annoying.

On foot, I can hit 55, easy, on the bike? Seventy.  Problem is, no girl on a bike can do speed like that, so, I darted around a couple blind corners and blinked into someone’s yard.  I gave them a couple of minutes, then walked the bike back onto the street and continued my journey.  I know, what the heck is ‘blinked’? Speedster-speak for moving from point A to point B in a nanosecond.  I can cover about 50 yards like that but I use it mostly for the reason just described.  I hate getting cornered by some jerk that thinks just because I’m smaller than they are, or female, they can take or do what they want … so it is either the blink or getting violent. I prefer to avoid hitting people, even if they deserve it.

Back out on the street I kept one eye out for my ‘admirers’ and scoped out the lay of the land.  Things that interested me were the local hospital, the local precinct, and the local fire station.  Why? ‘Cuz I’m libel to end up using all three in the course of a week or so.  I don’t go out looking for trouble, or problems, but I always seem to run into them. So, hospital for bleeding things, police for those that need a cage and the fire guys because I’ve got this fireman calendar … Nah, gotta have some idea how long it takes from them to answer an alarm. And they have EMTs.

I was just getting settled in my new place when a glaring problem intruded … and huge window over the front door.  Having lived in a basement for a while, a huge window on to the world had never been a problem but when I started to peel out of my clothes, I got the feeling I was being watched.  A quick glance out to the street told me the only building tall enough, two floors, to see into my room was the church. Yeah, that was where the vibe was coming from.

Don’t get excited, I don’t have spider senses, is that copyright infringement?  But, a girl can sort of feel eyes on her when she’s getting naked in front of a window.  No problem, I just hung my new top sheet over the window and felt better so I finished stripping down. A shower was gonna feel real good … only … the fridge was spotless, not so the bathroom.  Back into street clothes.  I had notice one of those German grocery store chains just up the street and got there in about three minutes on my new bike … I kept it down to like 40.

Cleaning supplies, and I figured, something to eat, with snacks.  Ended up with a couple of those reusable cloth grocery bags full.  Had to ride with two on each arm.  I felt the eyes again but this time it wasn’t so much creepy as expected.  What the hell was a white teenage girl on a bicycle doing in this part of town? And … the cat calls and comments began.  I figured I’d best get used to it and didn’t freak out into a blink. Someone called someone and someone else got out the cell phone and I am sure my little movie was all over the neighborhood before I got back to my room.

Took me about three seconds to scrub down the bathroom, floor to ceiling, wall to wall and when it was spotless I took my shower.  I'm fast at about everything but water only flows so fast and the shower took me about ten minutes.  Drying was simple, and fast, then into clean clothes.  As I moved into the little kitchen area I heard someone banging on the door down stairs and Miss Zenobia’s response of “Wait a damn minute!”

One thing to kinda learn living in various foster homes is how to listen.  It soundly like a couple of guys expressing concern to Miss Zenobia about a white girl living in her house.  Really? I never thought of myself as a huge threat to anyone but they seemed a little concerned about my well-being.  And I don’t mean in a laced-with-inuendo fashion. I only caught a word here and there but they appeared to be saying it would be dangerous for her if some of the neighorhood boys decided to come over for a visit.

Hmm … That was new.  In LA I guess things were a lot more … diversified and I’d had black, Hispanic, Asian and white neighbors without problems.  Well, the usual if you’re a girl, but for the most part no one got too aggressive.

“You tell them boys they come in here or bother that girl, I’ll take a stick to ‘em!” Miss Zenobia was standing on her front stoop appearently addressing the neighorhood in general.  I peeked out the window from behind the sheet.  There must have been a dozen young guys hanging around on the corners, in two groups.  With certain colors prominent on each.  Not good.  I didn’t want to start up my new life in Detroit fighting with a couple of gangs and running the risk of getting myself raped.

I flopped down onto the bed and honestly pouted. This wasn’t going to be a breeze like I thought. I considered stuffing my usual junk back into my backpack ... I could leave everything else, except the bike.   That I’d blink away with until I got to a good spot, then I’d ride it, looking for a nice motel. But, I’d paid for two months and I wasn’t made of money so Ifigured I stick it out and see what happened.

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