Vigilante / Justice / Romance
Foxxy: The Equalizer: Book 2
Author: Allyson R Abbott
The New Series from Award Winning and Bestselling
Nobody took any notice of the old lady sitting in the park with an open book in her hand. If they had they may have thought it
a little odd given that it was cold, but she seemed well wrapped up. Even though it was chilly the sun was out, so maybe they
would decide she was catching the warmth in the rays.
If they had been watching her they might have seen her lift her head, hidden under a big hat, in response to the cries of the
small girl and boy over in the play area. The observer may have even thought she was their charge, due to the concern in
her eyes. But the anxious pensioner then look towards another bench where a young woman sat with a cigarette between
her fingers, her eyes mostly on her cell; only occasionally lifting her head to yell at the boy.
If anyone was witnessing the scene they would have noted the elderly lady fidgeting, getting restless, or maybe they would
decide it was the hard seat. Her bones just not used to the bare wood. Maybe even felt sorry for her.
The old woman sat up a bit, closed the book and then stuffed it into her shoulder bag, now too engrossed in the young family
to allow her to read her book in peace. She watched keenly the interaction, waiting to see how this scenario would play out.
The boy, who was smaller than the girl, was obviously the one in charge of the play arrangements. The girl seemed torn between
looking after him and protecting herself. She kept looking towards her mother for help, but nothing was forth coming,
The old lady was getting angrier and angrier as she watched the boy teasing and bullying the girl; making her cry. It wasn’t so much
what he was doing that caused the building annoyance, but the fact that he was getting away with it. The mother of the two did
nothing. Every now and again she’d shout out an order which fell on deaf ears. “Jakey, honey, don’t upset Maisy! “Jakey babe, don’t pinch your sister!” “Jakey, let Maisy down the slide!”
The old lady shuddered, chill out she told herself they’re only children, playing, having fun. But couldn’t help remembering her childhood of bullying, being picked on and not having anyone to look out for her. She glanced again to the mother wanting to scream Come on, help your daughter out here…what is wrong with you, she needs your support. But the woman was sucking nervously on a cigarette, hugging her thin jacket around herself as if holding her body together rather than to keep warm.
The older lady had heat to spare. She was sweating inside three layers of clothing, a big thick long woollen tweed coat, a warm hat and a chunky woollen scarf around her neck. The winter ribbed tights, which were wrinkled around her ankles, perfected the old lady image. She’d only come to the park for a quick break. She was tailing someone and her mark was now in a meeting. She smiled to herself at the terminology, she was really getting to grips with this spying stuff. Her mark’s name was Larry, the husband of Jacquie, a newly acquired friend, and this old lady was very loyal to her friends; especially as she didn’t have that many.
“Jakey, don’t throw that stone!”
Her troubled eyes focused on the new action, waiting and getting hotter under the collar, not from the clothes but from anger,
The boy still took no notice. Luckily the girl had seen it coming and ducked out of the way.
That could have been a nasty accident. The old woman realised she was bouncing her foot up and down; itching to stop the boy, or at least say something to their mother. Mostly she wanted to put her arm around the little girl and tell her everything will be okay.
She pulled her overly large bag on to her lap gripping the handles tightly as she watched the boy pick up another stone. That is one stone too many.
Making a few loud grunting noises to get a bit of attention, the lady heaved up her body and started shuffling towards Jakey; who watched her progress carefully. The stone still in his hand. The mother had not noticed.
Reaching him she bent down low from the waist to his level, they were now eye to eye. “Why don’t you put that stone down honey, like your mother told you too, there’s a good boy.”
“Fuck off you old bat. Ma” He yelled, “Ma, this old woman is coming onto me. She’s a perv.”
Shocked by his language and rude outburst from such a small child, the old woman straightened up immediately.
“Get away from him, or I‘ll call the cops.” The mother was scurrying over to them. “Leave him alone.”
Great. Now she moves. The stunned old lady decided to try the nice approach. “Hello, my name is Anna, I was just telling Jakey that he should listen to you when you tell him not to___” She suddenly noticing the mothers face. It was covered in bruises. Her right eye was cut and swollen. “Oh, my dear! Are you alright? What happened? Who did that to you?”
“What’s it got to do with you? Leave my kids alone or Brett will be after you. He won’t need no cops to stop you from interfering. Now piss off.” She grabbed Jakey’s hand and pulled him towards the bench, leaving Maisy staring after them.
The lady looked down at the girl and smiled. “Are you okay, Maisy?”
The girl wiped her nose on the back of her hand, smearing the tracks of tears which had run down her grubby face. The child’s eyes, brown and huge, stared up at her. No sound left her small mouth but a slight nod gave her answer.
Swinging the bag from her shoulder, the gloved hand rootled around and found a tissue and a candy, both she held out to Maisy. The child looked nervously towards her mother, who was still busy with her brother and quickly snatched the items and stuffed them in her pocket.
“Is Brett your daddy?” The woman suddenly asked. The girl shook her head, but her eyes looked towards Jakey. “Oh, is he Jakey’s daddy?” The child nodded. “Did he make those bruises on your mommy?” Tears welled up in the little girls eyes, which trickled over the lids to deepen the tracks down to her jaw.
Sighing in resignation the woman looked towards the mother and son before squatting down by the girl, putting her bag on the ground. Rummaging through the contents, with two hands for speed, only stopping when she came to a small silver broach. She handed the shiny pin to the little girl and spoke softly. “I know your life is not good at the moment, Maisy, but please hang in there. Things will improve, I promise. Here is a little present. Keep it safe, it’s our secret. But when things make you cry, look at the badge and remember it will get better.”
“Hey, what you doing with my Maisy, Get away from her!” The mother shouted, but not bothering to move.
A worried look crossed Maisy’s brow. “Go on Maisy. You go to your Mamma, but try not to worry and keep that pin safe; and away from Jakey you hear?” The badge was quickly put in the pocket as the little girl ran towards the bench. Her mother grabbing her arm and telling her not to talk to strangers.
Deciding to give it one more try the lady stood, noisily stretched out her back with groans, then started towards the family. “I’m sorry,” she croaked, “I was only trying to help. I’ve got four grandchildren of my own and know they can be a handful at times.”
“Well you should keep your nose out.” The words were harsh but the fight had gone from the tone.
“You’re right. My children are always telling me to mind my own business and I should, but hey, I’m never one to sit and do nothing, if there’s something to be done.” She’d shuffled a bit closer to them, smiling; as if to say, I come in peace.
Damn! Out the corner of her eye she notice Larry coming out of the building opposite. So much for helping her friend today. Oh well, she knew where he lived and worked, and could easily find him again tomorrow. Today she decided, she was needed here.
“Any room on that bench for an old lady, she cackled. “My back is giving me some pain today and my legs are killing me”. She leaned over and held the arm rest waiting for a space.
“Maisy, let her sit down.” The little girl stood and slowly went back over to the play area. “Thank you, Maisy”. The lady shouted as she took the space offered. “You’re a good girl.”
The three of them watched as Maisy started the slow ascent of the steps to the slide. Jakey could watch no longer and rushed over to run up the slippery slope to beat his sister to the top. Swinging out his foot when getting there, only just missing her head.
“Jakey, be careful!” The woman yelled but then slumped back on the bench. “I don’t know why I waste my breath, he doesn’t listen.”
“He’s definitely got character, that one. I expect the only person he listens to is his dad.”
A snort shot out of the young woman’s mouth. “Yer got that right. He copies his every move and laps up his instructions.”
They both sat in silence for a while, watching Maisy trying to avoid the foot as it swung nearer and nearer to her head. “Is it the dad who’s the artist of your face?” The old lady spoke quietly and unthreateningly.
The bruised face turned her way and the defeated eyes said everything. “He can’t help it. He has too much to drink and then I can’t cook his meals the way he likes them and he just…” Her voice faded away, there was no need for her to say anything else.
They watched the children again. In silence as thoughts tumbling around in the mature woman’s head. Eventually she said, “Would you leave him if you could?”
“I ain’t got nowhere to go and even if I did he would find me and take Jakey. I know the boy has his problems but he don’t deserve to be left with his Dad.”
“What about Maisy?”
“He don’t care about her, but I wouldn’t trust him to look after her. Her Dad is in jail. More’s the pity. He’s a good guy, just a bit stupid.” She stood up abruptly. “Sorry for shouting at you earlier. But if his dad finds out about you, and Jakes probably going to tell him anyway, I’ll be in trouble for not looking after him properly.”
“I hope I don’t cause you any more trouble. You seem to have your hands full already.”
“Come on kids, we’re going.” The weary mother shouted across to the slide.
Again the large bag was opened up and the gloved hand pulled out a business card, handing it to the woman. “If you ever need any help, just call that number. You don’t need to put up with a life like that. I know. You can have better. Call that number!”
The sound of laughter was at odds coming from the battered face. “Nobody can help me, especially an old woman. What a joke, but thanks. It was good to laugh for once”. She glanced at the card and then towards the rumpled figure hugging her bag as if her life depended on it, and then the bony fingers slipped the card into her jacket pocket. “When I need a smile I will look at that card and remember this day.”
“Good.” The pensioner said. “Because this day is the first day of the rest of your life and your life is worth more than what you have at the moment”.
“Nice words lady, but in reality, this life is all I’ve got. Come on kids”. She turned and walked away. Only glancing over her shoulder once at the woman on the bench, then ignoring the two squabbling children as she hurried them out of the park.
A calmness washed over the woman as she relaxed back into the seat. Anyone who was watching would see the frowned expression as if working out a problem. Eventually she took out her cell and pressed a speed dial button.
“Hi honey, I hope you’re calling me to tell me you are on the way home.” Richard’s voice never failed to give her a warm glow. “Because I have some very interesting plans for your body tonight.” He growled in his best and sexiest voice.
“Hmm, that sounds really good, my darling. Are we eating at home first?” She asked casually.
“Well, let’s not go overboard on enthusiasm, shall we? He chuckled. “I know that tone. What’s up?”
She smiled. Loving the fact that he knew her so well. “I was kind of wondering if Jerry was around. I need to pick his brain about something and follow up on a new case.”
“New case?” What new case?” His interest instantly peaked.
“It’s so new, I don’t have any details yet, but believe me someone is going to wish he kept his anger in check and his hands in his pockets.”
“Oh. That sort of case. I’ll call Jerry and arrange for us to have dinner together, but then I get your body for my interesting plans. Okay?”
“Of course darling. I want to know all about your plans as much as you want to hear about mine. I’m sure both will get us a bit hot under the collar. Although,” she laughed, “I’m a bit hot and sweaty now, this silicone mask definitely keeps the heat in.”
“Well in that case, my love. How about we rendezvous in the shower in one hour.”
“Yours or mine?”
“Definitely yours. There’s much more privacy.” He laughed. “See you in an hour”.
After cutting the connection the woman opened up an app and pressed a few buttons. Soon she was watching a small flashing dot slowly making progress down a nearby street. Don’t lose that pin, Maisy. She whispered to herself.
She slid the phone back into her bag, taking another business card out and turning in her hand as she studied the small fox on the front. “You, Brett,” She said a bit louder as she ran her gloved finger across the silver embossed lettering “Are definitely going to be Out Foxxed!”Anyone who was watching would suddenly be surprised at the energy and pace of the old woman when she stood up and jogged out of the park.