Punk and the Princess.
Punk woke with a start. Rain was falling on his face.
As he glanced up in confusion, a raindrop hit him square in the eye.
Muttering to himself in anger, he wrapped himself back up in his oversized jacket and grabbed the half-empty water bottle near his feet. He got to his feet slowly, one particular crack from his back making him wince.
He was dry, now, having ducked under the awning of a nearby shop. Punk had noticed on his way down the street that the main shopping mall entrance was about a hundred metres away – what the hey, Punk said to himself. “Might as well be dry inside,” he said out loud, drawing a dirty glare from a woman that looked older than his grandmother. His grandmother had died of old age quite a long time ago.
Even where he stood, the wind whipped rain into him like an exceptionally angry old farmer with a pail of water.
Punk paused for another second before dashing out into the rain, his old shoes getting soaked through within a millisecond of being exposed. His jacket blew open from a particularly solid sheet of wind and Punk got soaked to the skin.
It was only a matter of seconds later when he slid, dripping, into the hallway of the shopping centre. Already his hair was plastered to his face, what remained in his ponytail hanging soggily down his back. The sudden extra chill of air conditioning on wet skin made him shiver.
Punk plopped down on one of the benches nearest the door, figuring he’d wait out the shower. At least until it slowed down a little and he didn’t get sopping wet after half a second.
He watched the ground, a pool of water from his saturated trainers slowly seeping a river over the shiny polished floors and meeting the growing pool near the doorway where other people caught in the rain had trudged, shaking out hair and clothing with a muttered, “Geez…it’s really coming down out there.”
“E’scuse me, mister.”
Punk glanced up and raised an eyebrow.
A little girl, no more than six, was standing in front of him. She wore a dainty little pink dress, and her hair was in pigtails. She looked like she belonged on a ‘Congratulations! It’s a girl!’ Hallmark card.
“You’re excused, baby,” Punk replied, old, forgotten manners drilled into him by scores of nurses and governesses and tutors and who knew who else re-emerging in the face of this little princess.
She tilted her head to the side, probably not understanding the play on words. Deciding to forget what this strange guy had said, she ploughed on with the tact of a steamroller. “What’re those things?”
She was pointing at his hands, and Punk debated on giving a smart-alecky answer. Then he noticed exactly what she was indicating.
“This little guy?” he asked, running a finger from his wrist to the end of his ring finger.
She nodded, her pigtails bobbing.
“That’s my lucky dragon.” Punk pulled up the sleeve of his jacket to show her the rest of the serpent climbing his arm.
“But what is it?”
Punk suddenly realised exactly what she meant. This little one looked like she’d come from the higher class of society than he was used to – recently, at least. She’d probably never seen a tattoo in her entire life.
“It’s called a tattoo, baby girl. It’s like a special kind of paint you put under your skin and you can get all kind of pictures.”
She wrinkled her nose. “Why would you want to paint on yourself?”
Punk shrugged. “I like dragons. And this guy’s been with me through a lot of things, good and bad.”
“Have you got any more?”
The man grinned, debating on which one to show her.
He made up his mind quickly, unzipping his jacket with one hand and pulling his button-up shirt down his shoulder.
Her mouth fell open. “Wow…” She reached up and touched the skin lightly. Then she withdrew her hand and looked at it.
“It doesn’t come off,” he reassured her. Punk lightly scratched the top of it and showed her his nails. Dirty as they were, they didn’t hold any colour. “See?”
She hesitantly raised her hand again and traced the colours.
“I like waterfalls,” she confided in him, her fingers still tracing the off-blues of the water and the red stones where the motionless water crashed.
“Angela! Angela, darling – “ The woman stopped short upon seeing the little girl running a finger over the arm of some random man.
The little girl turned and grinned at her mother. “The man’s painted!” she exclaimed, nearly in glee over this new find.
“That’s…very nice honey…but we have to get going.” The woman’s voice was tight, and her eyes darted from side to side as if she was afraid of anyone looking.
Punk took pity on the woman. After all, it wasn’t every day that your daughter walked up to a random stranger and learned about tattoos. At least, he didn’t think so. It wasn’t like he’d had any kind of experience with this kind of thing.
“You’d better go with your mother, baby girl,” Punk said softly.
She drew her finger over the red stones the last time before smiling at him. “Seeya mister.” Angela grabbed her mother’s hand and waited for the woman to lead her home – to a warm bed, safety, and dinner on the table at six o’clock sharp.
The older woman hesitated, then grudgingly reached into her purse and pulled out a crisp, folded note. She dropped it into his lap cautiously, as if she would be infected with a horrible disease if, God forbid, she touched him, before whirling around and leading the little princess away.
Angela waved at her new friend, and Punk fluttered his fingers at her, deliberately making the dragon tail squirm and writhe. She gave him another princess-worthy grin before turning back to her mother and chattering excitedly.
Punk looked down at the ten-dollar note lying on his jeans, before carefully placing it in the safest jacket pocket he had. He glanced after the little girl and envied her. Envied her innocence and faith in her mother, in the people around her.
He only wished he still had that faith. His mother had thrown him out of the house a few days before his eighteenth birthday in one of her rages. His stepfather had, as usual, been passed out on the couch, and he remembered with startling clarity the way he snored, a noise that haunted him even now.
The only thing he’d been thankful to his parents for was never getting along for long enough to have another child. He’d wished for one so badly when he was a kid himself. A little sister he could protect and play with, who he could watch grow up and then threaten all her boyfriends with baseball bats. A girl he’d spoil rotten beyond what even his parents could give her, with all their investments that put ‘stress’ in their lives and made them ignore their only son.
Punk had imagined a little girl with a pink dress and pigtails, and who would giggle when he insisted upon ignoring the name his mother gave him and using a nickname, and would smile in wonder when he showed off a new tattoo.
But that little girl had never existed. Even if she had, she wouldn’t be in much of a better position than he was now.
Just a punk without a home.
Yesterday I spectacularly failed my maths test. I can only hope that my assignment gets a half-decent mark and I therefore pass by the skin of my teeth. 'Cause really, who outside of Pythagoras has that much of a hardon for triangles and indicies?
The HMS Dreadnought from WWI only had four screws. And only one dinghy, for 700+ people.
Emma's beside me reeling off these things, and I'm just copying the interesting ones.
The hardet part of painting the Dreadnought was choosing the colour. Really...you'd think painting a HONKING HUGE BATTLESHIP would be the hardest part of painting, but I suppose not.
Yep. So now I should really be doing something for Modern History, 'cause otherwise I'm so failing. Oh well, it's not like this term counts for an OP. Or maybe I'm just trying to reassure myself that procrastination is really kind of okay and that I won't be doomed to work at Coles until I'm forty and marry myself off to some old guy that wants spongebaths every ten minutes.
In other news, I'm buying new shoes this afternoon. Nick didn't know what a gumnut was. I showed him a few when I opened my sole. Plus a few rocks, but who's counting. By virtue of the fact I can actually do that, I need new shoes.
You know it's too hot when you start singing 'We all live in a German submarine, a German submarine, a German submarine...' in the rhythm of that trippy yellow submarine song.
In a matter of days, I shall be the only person in Brisbane, quite possibly Queensland, less possibly Australia, and less possibly Australasia wearing the CM Punk Straightedge shirt. So come up and say hi. Or not, because I'll possibly slap you over the head screaming harrassment.
There's something wrong with these bloody ships today.
The only person on either side that could lose the war in an afternoon.
The sun never sets on the British empire because God don't trust no Englishmen in the dark.
All sayings that we've found on our searches for 'HMS Dreadnought', 'World War I' and 'David Beatty'.
|comments: Promo time?|