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Chapter 23 – African American Woman

May 9, 2012

Chapter 23 – “African American Woman”

September 12, 1973 – Outside Eli’s Apartment, Greenwich Village, New York, New York

Maya got the address out of Risto. After she realized what had happened she felt terrible.

The sensei (or karate coach, as some referred to him) had paired her up with a cocky, wirey, nerdy young man named Eli. The very first day they were allowed to spar with each other, full contact, and this had happened.

Her gi was misadjusted. She had gotten used to training without a bra and had never, despite her size, had this kind of problem. She was so focused on…what?

She had to admit to herself that she was angry. That was part of training as well, to find inner peace, to prevent distractions—even one’s own emotions—from interfering with awareness of your surroundings, of your opponent, of your own body… To be balanced.

Eli, rather than provide himself an adequate defense, had been trying to point out to Maya that her left breast was showing…completely bare. She had not only failed to notice that, she misunderstood Eli’s pointing and speech as some sort of diversionary tactic. Fist and foot first, listen later had been what she did. She felt awful. Eli had been taken down and pinned within seconds, then flipped, thrown, twisted and pinned again. She had used the young man as a punching bag, thrown him around like a rag doll, and it had clearly hurt his pride far more than hitting the matt had.

She was pissed and took it out on someone who did not deserve it. It was that simple.

The fencer, Risto, was known mostly for his wins on the fencing team which Eli was also a member of. Risto had told her that Eli didn’t like girls in that way. She was mystified as to why he’d say that. She just wanted to apologize and thank Eli for his gentlemanly concern over her wardrobe malfunction.

It turned out to be a loft in a building that used to be a warehouse. The door was propped open. Someone must be moving in or out, though there was no moving truck nearby.

She walked up the front steps to the main floor. Apartment 1 had it’s own entrance next to the hall that lead to the rest of the building, was what Risto told her.


“Not so smart now, are ya? Who’s tied to the chair, dummy?”

“That’s because there are three of you. I suspect there would be more in your little group of hoodlums, but once you go above three I’m guessing there’s a problem with the math.”

Truth be told, Iggy had no idea what Eli meant by that. However, he knew it was supposed to be an insult because Schneider had a smartass look on his face and he could hear it in his voice.

“Oooohhhh…really?!? Now I’m gonna ask you one more time, Jew-boy. Where’s the shocking stick? C’mon, ya mamaloo, it’s only fair. You need a dose of your own medicine. Let us have it, we’ll get you wittit once, then we’ll leave!”

“Let me tell you what you’re really planning to do with it. You think it’ll make stealing purses, wallets and jewelry off of passersby easier. Knocking little old ladies down with it, catching them outside the bank after cashing their social security checks. Maybe move up to some bankers and lawyers down on Wall Street…take their wallets, money clips, rings, and watches. Heck, maybe even hit an armored car if you decide that you can paralyze the guards quick enough.”

This time it was Johnny, who had been looking in the cupboard for the shocky thingy, who spoke up.

“How did he know that, Iggy? Was he listening’ to our—”

“Shuddup, Johnny! Where is it, Schneider?”

“I found it!”

Louie ran out of the bedroom he had been searching and into the main living area. He waved the battery-powered weapon in the air. It had been not under the bed where he suspected it would be, but rather tucked in a hole in the side of the box springs. Now the three of them could concentrate on getting some revenge on Schneider and making off with it.

“Bring it here, Louie. Whatcha gonna say now, smartass? You’re gonna dance and jiggle like you did to me and my boy here.”

“I would say, ‘Look behind you’, but you’d never fall for that old trick.”

Iggy actually did look around. Schneider had misunderestimated his stupidity.


There was a beautiful black woman standing in front of the open doorway, smiling. Iggy seemed to forget his desire for revenge on Schneider and dreams for quick, easy cash for the moment.

“You guys thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’? Now it’s a party!”

Louie understood. A paralyzed chick did not struggle. He held the stick up and looked for the button. Then he approached Maya, who slid her backpack slowly and easily to the side and to the ground out of the way.

“A party? First, we’re gonna have a ball!!”

When Maya’s shin made contact, the stick went up and Louie went down holding his crotch, moaning for his other two companions.

“Get her…”

“Saw that in a movie!” she smiled at the other two.


Johnny ran for the stick before it hit the ground. He tried a home plate slide to catch it as it fell. As he stuck his hand out and slid across the floor, a spike-heeled boot came down sharply on his wrist before he completed the maneuver, a mere foot short of the catch. There were some torn tendons and he grasped his wrist with the other hand and moaned. The baton hit the floor. Maya’s other boot slid it across the floor out of reach.

“Man, f*** dis!”

Iggy ran for the door. Maya stepped back and edged the door at the angle that Iggy was running toward it. He hit his head with some force, but that didn’t take him down, merely stopped his momentum. Maya swung the door three times quickly against alternating sides of his head and he joined his friends on the floor.

Schneider was smiling in appreciation of Maya’s abilities and maybe just a little sympathy for what the three had just endured as evidenced by his ball-pain-empathy posture in the chair. He also seemed a bit sheepish over his own recent loss to this same amazing combatant.

“Couldn’t have happened to a nicer trio! There’s a knife in the kitchen. You can cut the ropes with that.”

“Oh. I just came by to apologize for earlier. And…”

She stopped just five feet in front of him. She started unbuttoning her blouse.

“I heard there was something you wanted to tell me about my breast…”

She threw her blouse on the kitchen counter and popped off the braw.

“I can always untie you later.”

She giggled. Schneider was dumbfounded. He wasn’t supposed to be feeling what he was feeling, but there was something about her. This woman kicked ass. He could not explain it logically. Was she the exception that proved the rule? Whatever was happening, it was…different, a new experience for him.

Maya moved closer and straddled his legs. For the next several minutes, there would be five people moaning in the loft. That for three of them, pain was the only motivator did not matter to the other two. It was less than an hour of ecstasy for them and the rest of the world did not exist during that time.


©2011, 2012 Christopher C. Knall

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