❯ Living in Gotham – Encounter 3 ( Chapter 4 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Once I shared a cab with Poison Ivy
Every spring there is an annual fundraiser for Gotham University; a celebration of the University’s successes for the year, and an acknowledgement of those who have generously given their time and resources to support its future achievements. What it really equates to is a yearly ass kissing of prominent alumni. The event has come to be known as The Coquetry, no doubt a result of the night’s flirtatious nature.
One year I was invited to share my research. Unforgettably elegant, down to the last detail, I left The Coquetry on a cloud. Dressed in a black gown, diamonds around my neck, every hair perfectly placed, and looking like a mugger’s wet dream, I stepped out into the night air elated and due to the time being a little past midnight, desperate to get a cab.
I lightly walk out into the street and rose my hand to wave down a taxi. The first taxi passed without even the slightest bit of hesitation. I put down my hand and studied the oncoming traffic. Ah-ha! Another taxi came down the street. I quickly reasserted my hand and watched it roll right by. I persevered and turned my attention back to the cars whizzing pass. This time I was changing my game plan. When I finally spotted then next cab I waved my hand and yelled out “Taxi!” Unfortunately, I experienced the same result, except this time I barely dodged a wave of rainwater that came off the tires. Now, fairly annoyed, I returned to sidewalk with a renewed sense of purpose, and vigilantly watched for yellow cars. As luck would have it, I found one barreling down the street. I gathered the hem of my dress and jogged out into the lane.
“Taxi!” I demanded, and to my great satisfaction it stopped and pulled over. However my small success was not long lived, as when I was reached for the door handle, a man jetting out from The Coquetry, opened the door and slipped in the taxi. I was not completely sure what was happening, but my suspicions were confirmed when the taxi took off without me in it.
“Bastard.” I whispered to myself. All right that was it; I was sufficiently pissed. Resolved to get myself a taxi I pulled out my phone, but before I could dial, my eye caught a yellow cab coming my direction. I passively held out my hand expecting it to go right by, but it stopped. Relieved at the arrival of the fortuitous cab, I pulled the door open but paused when I heard more than one latch unlock. Whipping my head up to examine why I would hear more than the appropriate number of doors, I saw a man opposite me. He was tall, fair completion, and sturdily built. Even though it was plainly evident that there was ample strength at his disposal, he looked drained and week. His eyelids were heavy, and swollen. He was bracing his body on the roof of the cab.
Great… a drunk.
“We could share.” He slowly and methodically stated.
As a general rule for health and safety I don’t share cabs, however, the prospect of waiting longer for a taxi was so hatful that I thought to myself…I could take him. So with that momentary lapse in good judgment I chirped, “Sure.”
I ducked in the taxi and immediately started to regret my delusion of self-defense skills. Nervousness flooded my belly as I situated my gown around my body and waited for my newly acquired companion. I was joined shortly but not by the pair of trousers I was expecting.
What slid into my view was a pair of beautiful black stilettos encrusted with deep green gems that formed organic shapes. Inside the shoe was a perfect little foot that looked like it belonged to an ethereal being. My eyes followed the foot to a pair of legs that were only matched by the body that they were connected to, which was slender and curvaceous. I would have been green with envy had I not been stupefied by her presence. She was stunning, one of the most gorgeous women I had ever seen. Crowning her head was a mass of ravishing red hair that poured over her shoulders.
The green strapless evening dress that she was wearing was equally striking. Covered in tiny emerald crystals, the dress caught the dim light at her slightest move. And while it was full length, the sides were slit to her high mid thigh revealing her flawless legs.
“That’s seriously unfair.” I chuckled to myself, and mused over how well I had previously thought I looked. As I continued to covertly marvel at the women next to me, the man flopped into the cab closing the door behind him. It was quiet until the cabby called out, “Where to?”
“23rd and Gought.” said the creature next to me. With that the taxi started to roll away from The Coquetry.
We had not been in the car for more than a minute when I was jarred from my sly surveillance by a short and annoyed, “What?”
“I’m sorry,” I apologized, “I was… I was just thinking of Jessica Rabbit.” I mentally gave myself a slap.
“Uhh, Jessica Rabbit,” I was desperately trying to pull the foot out of my mouth but I continued, “th… the bomb shell that’s umm… married to Roger Rabbit. Not that you go home and play patty cake… with a… cartoon rabbit… it was meant as a complement.” I turned my face away and rolled my eyes, quietly berating myself for my remarkable discourse.
“Oh.” She said flatly.
Apparently I like the taste of toes, so I made a second attempt at reasonably civilized conversation.
“Your dress is beautiful. It reminds me of a mermaid.”
“Really? It reminds me of leaves glittering in sunlight.” She said as though she had some how trumped my observation. I nodded like I saw her point. The man next to her let out a soft moan, but was quieted when she gently placed her hand on his thigh.
“Is he ok?” I asked.
“To much to drink.”
“I have to apologize, I haven’t been very eloquent. Must have had a little to much myself.”
“I doubt that.”
“Pardon?” I was surprised at her retort.
“I doubt that you’ve ever have to much to drink. You might be wearing black Angel, but I see that halo on top of that golden little head of yours.”
“Good, I pinned it in just for tonight.” I was getting a little bitter that everyone seemed to be able to call out my good nature, “And thanks for calling my hair golden.” There didn’t seem any reason to be rude though.
She actually broke into a small smile.
“You must be heading home from The Coquetry.” She said with a small laugh.
“Meet anyone worthwhile?”
“Ahh, the jungle that is academia.”
“You familiar with academia?”
“What school did you go to?”
Before she could answer my question the man next to her writhed and then groaned, “Iiivvy”
I looked over at him. His eyes were squinted and his lips were tightly pinched together. He looked uncomfortable. Trying guess what he meant I asked, “Did you go to an Ivy League school?”
The creature tossed her head back in a mild giggle.
“No.” she said.
The man next to her struggled more and once again moaned, “Iiivvyyy.”
She turned and quietly whispered in his ear, “Shh darling, you’ll scare our new friend.” When she had finished speaking, she lightly placed a kiss on the corner of his mouth. He fell silent and motionless.
I watched the strange display and felt eerie. The man was more than drunk, he looked seriously ill, and I started to worry for his wellbeing. Meanwhile the creature next to me started to look less beautiful and more threatening with every second that passed. I could not sense where my trepidation was coming from. Curiosity goaded me to find out.
“What do you do?” I asked without the slightest bit of uncertainty.
“I’m an advocate.” She replied with the same confidence that I had just asserted.
“For beings that can not speak for themselves.”
“So your an animal rights activist?”
“Don’t be so base,” she said disgusted, “I represent an ancient and supreme organism.”
Nothing felt right. I glanced back at the man to assess his condition, but before I could the creature slid her face in front of my view.
“Do you want to know what he does?” she taunted.
“What does he do?” I challenged.
“He is the head of a major oil conglomeration. Right now he is trying to drill in one of Ecuador’s most pristine rainforests.” She venomously declared. Hate radiated off of her in waves. She moved slightly allowing me to view his face without any obstruction. His jaw was now slack, eyes wide open, and his skin sallow. The eyes that had once been blue were now a milky white, and streaming out of his mouth and down his chin was a opaque foam.
“What did he drink? Arsenic?” As soon as the word arsenic left my mouth I wondered why I named a poison. And then the horribly obvious clues fell into place; the green and red, the glittering leaves, jungles of academia, `I’m an advocate’, not to mention the man moaning Ivy… how dense am I. The woman sitting next to me was Poison Ivy. I was fuming at my stupidity and hating my curiosity.
“Is he dead?” I asked.
“Oh no. This is just the beginning. I have more in store for him. He’s going to pay for his crimes”
“You think that what he does for a living absolves you from the crimes you’re committing?”
“If I don’t punish him who will. Commit a crime against humanity and people are up in arms. But serially rape the earth and no one even bats an eyelash. It wrong.” She exclaimed.
“I agree, but there are better ways to advocate for the rainforest than torturing this man.”
“You know you should consider moving to Berkley. You would be almost normal.” I reproached.
“Well Angel, what will you do now? Call The Batman?” She turned to the man next to her and seductively breathed in his ear, “Don’t worry my love, she can’t stop us from running away together, she doesn’t know your name, or where we’re going, we will be together soon.”
I was frightened of her. I was fully aware that she could drop me at any moment, but it would have been wrong to not do anything. So I pulled out my cell phone and dialed 911.
“Yes, I would like to report a sighting of Poison Ivy.” I told the dispatch. Ivy turned and smiled at me.
“No she is not alone. She has drugged a man and is planning on eventually torturing and killing him… They will be at the corner of 23rd and Gought in roughly three minutes.” I continued as Ivy giggled, “Uhh what do you mean… How do I know they will be at 23rd and Gought, I’m sharing a cab with her… No I am not an accomplice… At the moment I am unharmed, that might change in the next tree minutes though.” The laughter got a little louder.
“Here give it to me.” She demanded. I gave her the phone and she took it with much excitement. “The angel is telling the truth. Come and get me.” And with that she hung up the phone, “Very brave. I personally love strong women. So there is a glimmer of integrity in the city that exports corruption. It is to be admired… and this is where I leave you little angel.”
I felt the car stop. She leaned over the man next to her and opened the door. I had this strange urge to ask her if she need help getting her victim out of the car. Thankfully she completed the task with little effort. To my amazement she was able to support all his weight. I debated what to do next, whether to wait for the police or get out and follow her. I looked down at my present condition; I really wasn’t prepared for crime fighting. I was more prepared to have a crime committed against me. My decision was made for me for when I returned my attention back to Ivy, she and the man had vanished. I had done all that I could, it was time to go home, but I did not feel good about leaving.
“Cherry Street please.”
The cab began to roll away, and about a minute later I could hear the sound of sirens in the distance. I exhaled and felt relieved.