Given my state, I threw it as hard as I could and, just then, I fell on my knees before witnessing the real power of my baton. And I’d never seen something like that.
The hit wasn’t all. Once it touched the monster, this one exploded with a huge blinding light that expanded all over the city, trapping me into it and ending in a kind of bright shower of sparkles, like the ones from fireworks, with glitter falling down like rain and disappearing into thin air. I saw that at the end when I opened my eyes again and discovered that I was alive. However, my bounds weren’t completely healed and I still could feel pain in my ribs.
“You did it girl! YOU DID IT!!!” Pipoh descended to my position, placed the baton in my lap and hugged my cheek, for his little hands could reach further.
I did it… I wasn’t aware of it until my conscience hit me. “I did it… Oh my gawd, I… I did it!” I was about to get up and the pain stroke again, forbidding me to move for another minute. “Argh!”
“Easy, now….” He patted my head gently.
“I can’t believe I’m still alive…” I muttered.
“Well, you did have it bad in the beginning... but you did great. I’m really proud of you.”
“Thanks… I guess.”
“You’ve been lucky that it wasn’t a stronger opponent, though. The Dreamer must have a weaker will…”
“Weaker?” I looked at him open-mouthed. “You call THAT weak?”
“Not weak… but not as powerful as it could be.” He specified. “I don’t want you to panic, but Jester’s powers are a big deal. If he had chosen someone with a stronger spirit or willpower… well, it could have been much worse.”
“And you tell me that now?” I sighed in anger. “I could be dead….”
“But you aren’t. And believe me, you can do much more than you think. You just proved it; and not only to me. I’m really proud to call you Majorette.”
You do have the gift of the gab. I thought while taking some deep breaths before trying again and get up, slowly. “I’ll need some time to recover…”
“Yeah… you will. However…” He suddenly turned invisible without leaving my side “we gonna have to leave before somebody starts asking questions.”
I looked around and saw some faces shyly approach. Curious people and… smartphones that had been recording my actions for a while.
I hadn’t thought about this in the first place, but Pipoh was right, I had to avoid unnecessary contact. I was wearing a mask and my uniform, but you never know who could actually recognize you. Moreover, I wasn’t ready to face anybody; not with my bounds and mood. I felt uneasy and dizzy, a bad combo to talk with individuals who probably saw me as a new attraction.
I clenched my fists around the baton and located a spot on top a building to run away to. I didn’t care about the attention, I just wanted to leave that place and take my uniform off.
The baton lifted me up over the trees of the park and I reached the last floor while all those strangers flashed their cameras at my back.
I walked a bit and sat down again while resting my back against the wall of the rooftop’s access door.
“I need a rest…”
“And going back to your high school.” Pipoh reminded me. “Your friends must be wondering where you are.”
“You’re right…” I got up again and groaned. “But I… think I’ve gotta call it a day and skip class.”
“Wouldn’t that be suspicious?”
“Well, I don’t feel like jumping back to my high school...”
Pipoh looked at me with compassion and breathed deeply before beginning a weird dance. Waving softly into the air, he created a kind of whirlwind —like a mini cyclone —and placed it in front of me.
“I don’t have as much power as you have, but I do keep a little trick up my sleeve.”
I looked at it and back at him, not completely understanding what he meant.
“What is that for…?”
“Isn’t it obvious? You’re gonna ride it.”
Ride it? Had I heard correctly?
“What do you mean, ‘ride it’? It’s just a wind swirl…”
“And the fastest means of transportation right now.” He insisted. “C’mon, you’ve just confronted a monster. Don’t tell me you’re afraid of a little wind. Moreover, we have to get you back there before anybody notices you’re gone.”
I still doubted a little… but he had a point. It couldn’t be worse than what I’d gone through.
I slowly stepped inside and felt weird when my body began to float half a meter above the ground. It was like being hold by an invisible force without being touched. Strange… but comfortable in the end.
“How am I supposed to drive it?” I asked.
“Leave that to me for now. You’re already tired and I’ll handle it better”.
He moved his tiny hands and we started to move forward. When we had to cross to another building, the swirl became longer and took me up front before gently jumping to the other side. I gotta admit I enjoyed the experience, feeling a little like Peter Pan while getting a nice view of the city.
I was also able to verify that the damage caused by the nightmare had been undone as Pipoh had told me. I heard a couple of ambulances along the streets but I hoped it wasn’t for severe injuries. I had managed to save the helicopter pilots, but I didn’t know if the creature had caused further harm anywhere else before taking it down.
Finally, we made it to the High school flat roof and the promenade was over.
“Thanks. I think I’ll be able to walk to the classroom.”
“Ok, but take care and go see someone to check up on your bounds. Make up an excuse, though.”
“I was counting on that, don’t worry.” I answered. “I’m the first interested in keeping this a secret.”
“Remember to take your mask off to detransform. I’ll see you back home later.”
“Ok. Bye.” And so, he became invisible again and I entered the building. I had to check out the stairs before detransforming and put the baton —again a bracelet —back into my wrist.
I still didn’t feel well, but unwearing the responsibility of my uniform was a little less painful for my heart. I heard a lot of voices going up and down the halls and I slipped out of sight to a lonely bathroom to verify my face. Everything seemed normal and the bruises in my body were well hidden… except for a visible one in my right arm. I thought about what could I say and prayed for my friends not to find out when I walked back to my classroom. There were a lot of students in the corridors and not a teacher in sight, which made me think they would have launched an emergency meeting or something while keeping everybody locked in the building. I wasn’t wrong.
When I entered the classroom, Mar spotted me.
“BB! Oh my god, where have you been? I was worried...! And what’s with that bruise?!” She freaked out at that point.
“Sorry… I’m ok. It’s just...” I thought about the excuse I’d been planning to say and hoped it’d work. “I wanted to see that thing better so… I went to the rooftop. Unfortunately, I… slipped and fell down the stairs.”
“Have you gone to the infirmary yet?” Pooja and Rita approached us.
“No… I em… passed out and woke up a few minutes ago.” I smiled to appease the tension but it didn’t work.
“WHAT?!” Mar grabbed me by the arm. “I’ll take you there right now!”
“W-wait, the class….”
“No class.” Replied Rita, taking me by the other arm and gesticulating. “The teachers have been this close to evacuate the whole high school and the lessons have been delayed for now. Isn’t it awesome?”
“Ah… really?” I wasn’t surprised. If I had been the principal, that would have been my choice.
“That thing was so huge!” Added Pooja, also accompanying us. “Just like in the movies. I wonder where did it come from…”
“Right but, for me, the real wonder was that mysterious girl.” Said Rita.
“Oh yeah, the one with the uniform!” Mar patted my shoulder. “She appeared from nowhere and defeated that monster.”
“And believe it, she even has a magic wand!” Rita passed her arm behind my back —making me wince —while opening Viewtube on her phone.
“It’s not a wand”. Replied Mar. “It’s a baton; and they called her Majorette. Isn’t it such a coincidence?” She looked at me with amusement in her eyes. “Just like us!”
“It is, indeed…” Coincidence? YOU WISH! I cried inside, trying to conceal my pain.
“Ah, Ms. Martínez!” Rita saw the nurse out the infirmary and pushed me in her direction, still not noticing about the results on my aching body. “We’ve got a fall-off-the-stairs.”
The kind woman took charge of me and let them all stay in the room as long as they behaved. I felt safer in her hands. She healed my bruises with some ointment and checked out my ribs with her experienced hands. Even though they seemed alright, she asked me to go to the hospital later to be sure. After that, she told me to rest for a bit in the bed while the girls showed me all the videos they could find about the mysterious new heroine.
It was amazing how fast the news had spread. And not only that; Instaframe and Acebook were collapsed with photos and theories. In less than an hour, the whole world knew I existed… well, the Majorette. And with all of that, I couldn’t help thinking how much further would it go or whether they would forget about it as soon. It was a relief they had chosen the right name, though.
Jester was right above, on the roof. He had been standing there for a while now… maybe some hours, thinking about the whole situation and resting.
Indeed, Pipoh had found a new Majorette. A much weaker one than the original, that’s sure… but still strong enough to fight.
He had followed her until she had entered the building —such an irony that he’d been there in the morning without a clue —and when he was going to intercept her, a wild sudden headache had stopped him. Just then, his energy had slightly faded away and even his breath. Bad luck… or not. He already knew what it meant, but his mission wasn’t over and time was running out. He had to get the baton and go back to Circussa, or else she…
He groaned, angry at himself. If only Majorette had cooperated, nothing of this would have been necessary.
And now he was facing another problem. Even if he knew the new Majorette was in that place… where exactly would she be? He’d taken a peek at the corridors and had found nothing but humans. Most of them, young. Very young in fact. If she was one of them, it would be impossible to distinguish her from the rest. They all looked the same except for their gender, and still…
“I can’t do it like this.” He muttered.
Looking at other possibilities, he could always try to disguise himself… try to blend in. However, Pipoh would be there too and he would surely warn her about him. No, this needed a better strategy. Moreover, he despised humans. They were weak and frail; nothing to do with Circussians…
The sudden sound of the bell made him flinch and he got desperate when he saw all those humans go away from the building. Were they leaving? For real?! But then, Majorette would be gone too!
He then heard a pair of girls saying goodbye to each other until next day and relaxed a bit. They’ll be back, then. Good. He thought, massaging his forehead. Still, I have to find a way. I can’t touch the baton so I’ll have to deal with Majorette’s copy personally or…
A bunch of laughs reached his ear and had a déjà-vu when he spotted a familiar face at the center of a group, not far from the main entrance. He recognized the kid fast. It was the same he’d seen in the morning. This time, he was on the ground, his belongings spread, surrounded by the same three idiots as before and some other girls and boys who were laughing at him. One of them even kicked the bag he was carrying and Jester had a slight moment of disgust. Back in Circussa, he protected those in need. Humans were none of his business, but their looks reminded him a lot of his people; and that guy… well, it wasn’t fair for anybody to be threatened if it couldn’t defend itself. Was it? Jester was sure that he’d be able to kick their butts if having the right strength…
Then it hit him. He couldn’t touch the baton but… what if someone actually did it for him?
The bullies left and the boy was alone. He didn’t take much time to pack his things up again and also left the area, but Jester began to follow him from above.
The kid took a long walk home among the streets, stopping by some library to glance at a few books and kept his way. Arriving at a tree-lined street, he also stopped a moment to watch the tricks of a juggler who was trying to make a living out of his abilities. When he gave him a coin and left, Jester smiled.
“There are no coincidences in this world. Are there?” He whispered to himself.