They ate while watching the TV. Dareen permitted herself a sigh -- again, the Cobb News Network. This time the chicken clucking sounds were accompanying footage of a politician who had opposed the war with Iraq. He walked with a limp. They didn’t say this, but it was because he lost part of his leg while fighting in Vietnam as a young man.
Now the local news. And not your typical beginning. A cartoonist’s rendition of a girl flying through the air, naked except for a mask and thigh-high boots, and the fanfare of movie music. The girl was turned a little so her breasts can’t be seen, nor her crotch. “She must be a super hero,” the anchor man began. “Folks, this cannot be believed but it’s been corroborated and must be true. A rape and mugging in progress in the East Downtown area was foiled by a NUDE woman who, and this again is corroborated and true folks, FLEW without the aid of any visible means of propulsion, stopped the crime before it began, and carried the perpetrators to the Ninth Precinct House.” Now mug shots of two shady-looking black men. “Kendrease Johnstone and Taurus Hankins, men with a long previous criminal history, have been charged and are being held without bail. Before being incarcerated they confirmed the story, as has Sergeant Philip McMickle.”
A wrinkly old cop, shaking his head as he tells his story to the microphone, trying as best he can to maintain his standard this-is-how-you-talk-to-the-press copspeak. “The, uh, perpetrators were brought in by a, young female, uh, without clothes. She then jumped off the front step of the precinct house and I saw her achieve a, uh, flight over the Barnham Building. The flight was witnessed also,” he added quickly, “by Officer Spinella who was outside.”
The newscaster continued, “This is believed to be connected to the incident of last week, when the perpetrator of a convenience store robbery in the Alpharetta area turned himself in after reporting being apprehended by a flying nude woman. That man, currently under observation at Modoc Psychiatric Center, is being questioned again. So are the two suspects from last night. None of them has been assigned a lawyer, federal authorities having taken charge of the prosecutions under the Patriot Act.
“In addition, there was an incident later last week when a nude woman was seen lying in the garden in the middle of the Perimeter Center Traffic Circle and then flew into the air and out of sight. The officers who were about to apprehend her on the obvious charge, indecent exposure, have now come forward with that story.
“To return to last night’s attempted crime, the victim, Isabel Cortes-Hernandez, reported the incident independently, confirming the relevant details.” A middle-aged Hispanic woman, speaking in a thick accent, “She saved me. She was desnuda. And she flew.” The woman then crossed herself and brought up the crucifix that had been around her neck and kissed it. “Gracias a dios, she saved me.” She was close to tears. Now a man hugging her, her husband.
“The mystery super hero has not been identified,” the newscaster said, breaking into a smile, “because none of the seven persons known to have seen her have been able to describe her face. Evidently they were all distracted by her, uh, endowments.
“Still, whoever she is, we have a super hero in the Atlanta area. For lack of any better name, NakedGirl.” And the word “NakedGirl” was emblazoned in brave block letters across the cartoon of the nude woman.
Elly looked at Dareen. Dareen’s silent eyes looked at Elly with a deep sense of seriousness. She was not conscious of it but she turned slightly, the balloon-like breasts turning too, as it happened causing one of her nipples to point directly at her roommate.