Earthbound: A Hero Chosen (book 1)

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PSY 08: Arcade Games

PSY 08 - Arcade Games


I didn't need a map to know how to get to the arcade. I knew the place to be in the southern tip of Onett. That was exactly where the Sharks would be hanging out.


As I marched down the street an ominous feeling of doom washed over me. My quest already required me to head into serious danger. I was going to talk to a violent street gang to ask if they would leave Onett. I knew exactly how that was going to go. Bad. They would more likely beat the scrap out of me and send me to the emergency room. The Sharks were at least a dozen strong and all teenagers so I suspected, but did that mean I could best even a single one of them? The opponents I had faced thus far were animals... well there was the Starman but then I had Buzz Buzz to help me. Could the police help, I wondered? Even if they did I wouldn't be able to get in Mayor Pirkle's good graces and then he wouldn't unlock Giant's Step for me. It really did seem like I would have to go it alone.


The hospital was on the next corner at the end of the block. I tried not to look at it. Doing so could jinx myself and land me a room there. So I turned the corner and onto the final street in Onett. And there it was, the GAME arcade, and there they were. The Sharks. I spotted three at least that were in sight. They all hung out in front of Mach's Pizza Parlor. It hadn't opened yet and still bore the 'coming soon' sign. Once that had started its business the number of Sharks would multiply, or at least they would take over the joint too, just like the arcade.


As I said there were three of the gang. All wearing crazy colorful outfits, and goodies or air pilot helmets with the visors. Each had the same thing in common they all were topped with a shark fin. They were also eating burgers which made me realize I should have eaten before I left the area uptown. Too late now.


The trio turned to rechargeable, chewing away with wide eyes. I had just interrupted an conversation it seemed because they all shoved the burgers back in bags and stuffed them behind the trash can on which sat. I swallows hard. Here it goes, I thought. I brought out my Tee Ball Bat and gripped the handle so tight my knuckles ached and my palms began to sweat. These guys didn't look so tough I tried to tell myself. The only dangerous one could be the guy on the trash can. He held a skate board across his lap while the others... had a pogo stick and hula hoop.


The leader of the small sect hopped down from the garbage.

"Do you want to start a fight or what?" The gang member asked, adjusting his ridiculous pilot headgear. I almost laughed and how big it seemed yo be on his shoulders. How did his head hold such a thing in place? My thoughts had distracted me, the skate punk stomped his foot, flipping up his skateboard and jumped on. He kicked off and shredded toward me. I didn't get the chance to react before his right hook caught me in the jaw. I staggered and fell to one knee. As I watched him skate back around to his friends I tasted salty copper  in my mouth.


"Hehehe!" The skate punk squealed.


I reached up and felt the hot sticky liquid running from my nose. The jerk had bloodied my nose. I rose to my feet and the Pogo punk stepped forward.

"Do you want to meet Frank?" He asked.


I replied, "Yeah, I want to talk to him about some stuff."


I squeezed my bat tighter.


"You don't want Frank to beat you up do you?" The pogo smiled from under his green hoody and stepped up to me.


A growl escaped my lips and I swung at him. He used his pogo stick as a shield and blocked my assault. His fist came out and landed right in the cavity of my chest, knocking me back and sending my breath away.


"Whoo hoo!" The hula hoop punk cheered, "Let's tear him a new one!"


I was only able to shove the guy with the Pogo away before hula jerk waddled toward me like an obese penguin. Snapping the bat back up I aimed right for his side. WHACK. The steel pogo came out of nowhere and swept my legs out from under me. The ground shot up to meet me hard. I cried out and reached for my bat but they kicked it away. Cheap, I realized , I was in deep trouble. Pain exploded into my side, then my back, then my side again. I curled into a ball and covered my head, a pathetic last defense. They kicked and stomped me and I cried out in pain with each blow. My plan had gone bald and I was  paying for it. I screamed and probably sounded like a little child but it didn't bring any help. The next kick landed in the side of my head and everything went white with hot flashes all around.  Somehow I clung to consciousness.


A voice called to me hen. Somewhere far off.

"The father of a hero  anyway." It said.

Dad!? His voice brought courage and I became determined. NOT only he believed in me but so did Mom and Tracy! I couldn't go down like a nothing. I was destined to save the world wasn't I?


"No!" I shouted, my eyes flying open.


The Sharks had walked away leaving me in the road. The three guys turned and upon seeing me looked shocked I still was awake. My landed on my bat a couple yards away. Skate punk follows my gaze and the race began. I was up faster than I knew I could move and my legs pounded under me. Skate Punk shredded at me but I probed quicker and ducked down scooping up the bat. I spun and swung. SMASH. The crack echoed off the nearby buildings and the skater crashed to the pavement, head bouncing off the curb of the sidewalk. His helmet had prevented serious injury but he was out cold.

Jake A. Strife

Edited: 15.10.2019

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