This story was originally a part of the Red Phone Box collaborative anthology, pending publication.
The door of the red phone box shatters as Mondo Xang crashes through, tumbling in a ball of expletives to the ground, his green cape wrapping in a bulletproof cocoon around him at the sign of danger.
Sputtering, Mondo punches the cape, curses as he bruises his hand. Again. “For the love of anal sex, I’m fucking safe you idiotic thing!” The cape retracts to its smallest size. “Oh don’t tell me I’ve hurt capey-wapey’s feelings.” The cape gets even smaller. “Jesus Christ throws up. Remind me to ask The Deity for a man’s cape next time.”
Remembering where he is Mondo jumps to his feet, paws raised in fists, staring into the booth. Waiting.
“Come and get me, Orchis Morio, you sorry excuse for a rat turd!”
Mondo counts off ten. The phone box remains a broken void. Mondo puts down his dukes. “Hah! Take that, bootlicker!.” Satisfied, smirking, he turns and walks away assessing his surroundings. Back in London. Good. Late night or early morning. Park. A streetlight flickers. A cat glares at Mondo as it saunters off, annoyed that the streets no longer belong to him alone.
Picking at the crotch of his gray kevlar suit, Mondo grimaces. “And remind me to tell her to put some goddamn room around my jewels. I can feel the ball sweat dripping down my leg.”
The cape is silent, but Mondo knows it’s listening.
He looks left and right, trees moan under the weight of the wind. “Who’s ass do I need to kick next?”
A body slams into him from behind, biting and scratching at his face. Staggering under the weight, Mondo throws a sharp elbow, hears a grunt as he hits home. A thud as the body falls to the ground whimpering.
Mondo turns. A naked woman, fetal position, blood oozing from her mouth.
Oh fuck, I just hit a girl. I’m so gonna pay for this, Mondo thinks, making sure to keep his eyes on face and not her bare expanse of tightly toned flesh.
“Cape! Blanket!” The cape shivers and out spits a coarse woolen blanket. Mondo fingers its rough weave. “This!? THis is the best you could do you ineffectual piece of cheese mold?!” The cape shudders and retracts, wishing it had been a better person in its last incarnation to not have been stuck with this asshole.
Mondo covers the girl, not before noticing the already blossoming bruise in her side from his kevlared elbow. Mondo winces and apologises to The Deity.
“Don’t apologise to me, you moron, apologise to HER!” The Voice screams.
“Okay, alright! Jeez!” Mondo looks down. “Lady, I’m sorry! But why the hell did you attack me like that?! And from behind?!”
She’s out cold, shallow breathing. Mondo wraps her in the blanket and picks her up. She weighs just a tad more than a feather. Is she human? Mondo can’t tell. Too many shapeshifters these days, easy to take on a human form, appear weak and then BAM! Nuts in a sack. Like the child he rescued from slorgs in the Calaris Dimension. Little shit. Turned out to be a seeker for the flesh-eating Andronican Tribe. Would have been more than nuts in a sack if The Deity hadn’t intervened. Mondo shudders at the memory and how close he had been to returning to that foul dead man status. Never again, he vows.
Mondo walks away from the phone box, towards the flickering light street. The nearer he gets the more it feels as if his feet are encased in cement. Like a rubber band has stretched across his chest, pulling slingshot tighter with every step forward. With a SNAP Mondo is jerked backwards, smashing into the red phone box, annihilating what little bit of glass remains and further caving in the already crumpled door.
“Mohammed on a fucking pogo stick!” Mondo screams, his back cracking against the metal. He could not hold on to the woman, she thumps to the floor with a dead sound, her pale skin dotting with blood as she lands in the remnants of the phone box windows. Not even a moan.
The phone rings and Mondo screams again, recovers and slaps himself across the face. “Buck the fuck up, you fucking Nancy, for the love of orgies!” The peal of the phone is strident against the quiet chirping of the night. Insistent. Mondo considers letting it ring, but like whatever magnetic pull the phone box had he finds himself unable to stop reaching for it. His cape flutters around him, sensing imminent danger, but Mondo cannot heed the warning. Mondo picks through the phone box as the incessant clanging continues, his arm almost pulling out of its socket to reach and release the glittering black handle from its perch.
“Hello?” Mondo hears his own voice, echoing infinitely. “Hello!?” A more insistent and slightly desperate echo. “HELLO!”
On the shimmering sidewalk, the naked woman cracks open one eye and a cruel smile makes its way from her eyes down to her mouth. “Just you wait,” Orchis Morio thinks from inside the captive body. “Our ride is just beginning, you lizard liver thief.”
As Mondo Xang screams hysterically into the phone, Orchis Morio closes his eyes and continues feigning comatose.
To be continued.