He looked like a lanky, pinstripe-wearing Emo. His sunglasses were missing the lenses, leaving red rimmed blue eyes peering forward into the crowd of spectators. Maybe he had shown up here expecting some contest, some kind of Mental-Maniac-Death-Match, but things had gone awry with the appearance of Mighty Pete. His sneakers scuffed along the plywood stage; decorated with hand-drawn, permanent marker checker board, and they were squeaking under his ridiculous duck-like swagger. He kept his eyes fixed intently on the crowd, his head swiveling like an owls as he walked around and then down off the stage, and into the crowd.
Mighty Pete stalked, stork-like now that he could show off his height, through the gathered, staring at them as though they were mud-covered heathens begging at his palace gate for some scrap of food, some hint of charity. He turned, sharply, as though stung or bitten by a wasp, his black hair swiveling across his head to hang dismally across his white forehead, clinging to the frames of incomplete sunglasses.
“You There” he says, and the crowd parts like the Red Sea, awaiting the second coming of Moses. Someone’s been singled out, but none of those someone’s knows who that someone is.
Mighty Pete moves, turning his frame as though he were a rubix cube, and he takes two giant steps forward into the parted tide of Hollister Junkies and Abercrombie Addicts to a girl no older than 12 who’s taking giants bites out of a blue sno-cone. Her hair is blond, pulled up in a sporty ponytail to go with her gym shorts and tanktop. She gives him a stare and he stares back, bending at the hips so his thin bones stick out at odd angles as he observes her closer. Perhaps its that he’s so tall and she’s so short that the crowd is baffled by this strange Dali-ian picture.
“Do You know who I am?” The Mighty Pete asks, and the girl gives a sarcastic roll of her eyes, grabs his shirt, yanks down on its black and white stripeage, and shoves her blue snocone straight down against his hairless chest.
The Mighty Pete squeals as the girls gives a whip of her hair and stalks off as the Great and Powerful reels and yelps, yanking and tearing at clothes, trying to save himself from this icy blue slug of doom that has infiltrated his defenses. The crowd runs away, broken and panicked like a mob struck with acid. Screams peal through the atmosphere amidst the pounding rhythm of flip-flops and tennis shoes. The Mighty Pete is run over, and falls on his back into the dirt, a hand gets crushed in the fray and he yowls again, feeling the cold sting as the snowcone takes a momentary rest in his belly button. For a minute he is a great contortionist, curling and uncurling, folding himself in and out as though stuck in a world of pure vertigo. For a moment a person would almost expect him to explode, or to groan like a
zombie hungering for human meat, but he lies still, eyes shut behind the shadeless shades.
Someone grabs him up in that last dire moment of helplessness, and slings him back onto his feet as though he were a mime and this was all an act. Red eyes open as though first seeing the sun, someone’s smiling, surrounded by other companions all laughing “Don’t laugh at me, I’m the Mighty Pete” he tells them, finding himself unable to see their faces through the fog of tears in his eyes.
“This might hurt, young man.” replies a voice, and Mighty Pete wants to strike out and then run, the icy coolness traveling southwards for unknown territories and making him squirm around.
“Grab him.” someone says and The Mighty Pete is back in the White Walls, cloaked in humiliation, staring about the small room like a rat whose discovered his predicament. Someone shoves a needle in his neck and he’s falling asleep.
The crowd is gone. The pain remains, the cold, and he hears footsteps. Above him, the blond girl leans over him to ask “Why do they call you the Mighty Pete?”