Domonique sat looking at her tablet. There was so much crime she couldn’t stop all of it, but she would try for damn sure with Uncle Vic’s help. Picking up her gym bag, she pulled out her uniform and began to dress. It was nearly 10 PM. She worked overtime finishing a book she was assigned to edit by the publishing company where she worked. It was a book of experimentally unstructured poems that gave her a headache but was now gone.
After dressing, she looked at her reflection in the mirror; everything was perfect. Domonique was tall, slender, and shapely. Her complexion was rich dark brown, although she covered half of her face with a mask. She wore her hair natural, cascading below her shoulders. Her attire: a brown leotard, matching leggings, brown leather gloves, and her prize procession: a pair of kick-ass Nike SFB Gen, brown leather boots. Based on witness descriptions, the police gave her the moniker, The Chocolate Drop. Not only because of her attire, but also because she had a calling card, a single chocolate drop piece of candy left at every crime scene on the forehead of the criminals she apprehended. However, she was a Person of Interest; the authorities didn’t want a vigilante patrolling the streets.
Domonique always wore an amber necklace given to her by her late Uncle Vic, which she carefully tucked inside her leotard. It was among the many gifts he gave her when she graduated from college. He told her amber contained electric energy, acting directly on the human energy system, and psychic circuitry. Her uncle also told her the stone soothes, calms, heals, and, most importantly, protects. Domonique had no idea what this meant or why Uncle Vic insisted she wear the necklace at all times, in time she learned why.
She went to the kitchen to retrieve her small brown back-sling bag, filling it with a handful of chocolate drop candy and restraining ties. Everything about her secret persona, including the candy, was inspired by Uncle Vic. When she was a kid, he said she was as sweet as a chocolate drop and always had a few in his pocket when he came to visit. Uncle Vic was her mother’s younger brother, only 18 months apart. He was a substitute father as her natural father walked out before she was born. Uncle Vic was the family’s go-to guy, taking her to movies, amusement parks, and museums, giving her books, and sharing his wealth of knowledge. To say she loved him wasn’t nearly enough. She revered him.
When Domonique was 22, Uncle Vic died from injuries from a carjacking. It was a few months after graduation. He was distinguishingly handsome, well dressed, and drove sporty luxury cars, which made him a target on the violent streets. His death was a devastating blow to Dominque and her mother. Dominique vowed to avenge him and prevent other innocent people from having the same fate that took Uncle Vic from her. She started training in martial arts before she was in her teens, something Uncle Vic insisted upon and promoted, paying for all of her training. I have plans for you, he told her, now calling her ‘Drop.’ By the time she was 20, she was a master in Mixed Martial Arts; Judo, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Karate, Kickboxing, and Wrestling. This was something she didn’t share with her friends or co-workers; even her mother didn’t know how advanced she had become. Perhaps she was predetermined to live this secret dual life? Although Uncle Vic was no longer alive, he would come to her, not in dreams, but his spirit appeared when her help was needed in those mean streets. This was another secret she didn’t share with her mother.
As she walked out down the stairwell of her apartment building, there was Uncle Vic.
“What took so long, Drop?” he asked, “Someone needs you over on 8th.”
“I’m on my way, Uncle Vic,” she answered without hesitating, running down the steps, and out the rear-entry door. Uncle Vic was still beside her.
“There are two of them in a dark blue van trying to snatch a girl on her way home from the library.”
“I got it, Uncle Vic.”
Domonique ran faster than a cheetah in the direction Uncle Vic pointed. She was there in seconds and saw two men dragging a girl about 15 into a van. They didn’t even see Domonique coming when she rose from the ground and drop kicked both in the face with her Nike boots. They were knocked out cold. The girl looked on in astonishment as she wiped tears from her eyes.
“Who are you, where did you come from, how did you do that?” the girl asked, her words running together, looking from the two kidnappers, then back to Domonique.
“You shouldn’t be out this late, let me get you home,” Domonique responded without answering the girl’s questions. “What are you doing out so late by yourself?”
“My brother was supposed to pick me up, but he didn’t show when the library closed. I thought I’d be ok. I just live a couple blocks away,” the girl said, still sniffing from her tears.
Domonique pulled a cellphone from one of the assailant’s jacket pockets, both were still out cold. Tying their hands and feet together with zip ties, she rolled them over on their backs. She placed a chocolate candy drop on each of their foreheads, took a photo, and sent it to the nearest precinct. She then took the girl under her arm and was off running. Her name was Sheila, and Domonique had her home in front of her building in less than a minute. Sheila was bewildered and couldn’t grasp what took place in the last few minutes and the swiftness of Domonique’s running feet.
“Are you from Wakanda? Some kind of superhero?” Sheila asked Domonique. She was serious.
“No, I’m not,” Domonique responded, slightly grinning. She did have powers that she attributed to the necklace Uncle Vic gave her. “Get yourself in your apartment, and don’t let me catch you at night on the streets alone again. Do I need to speak to your parents or that brother of yours?”
Sheila shook her head, indicating she understood that nothing like this would happen again. Stopping short of closing the door to her building, she looked into Domonique’s eyes. “I forgot to say thank you, what’s your name?”
“They call me The Chocolate Drop,” she said as she took off.
Domonique heard Uncle Vic’s voice: “Good Work, Drop.”
“What’s next, Uncle Vic?”
“Brighton, over by King, gay kid is about to get the crap beat out of him.”
Domonique and Uncle Vic were there just in time. A young man was shoved against the flower shop wall. Another guy was holding a knife to his throat while three other thugs were egging him on.
“Cut the faggot. Chop off his pecker. We don’t allow no stinking queers!” they shouted.
An old woman was sitting at a bus stop avoiding making eye contact with the thugs, but she saw Domonique moving faster than lightning in their direction. Her body was turning like a whirling dervish, her booted feet flying in a circular motion knocking the three hog-calling thugs to the ground. They were out like a light.
Turning her attention to the knife welding goon, Domonique drop-kicked him in his ass with so much force, air blew from his mouth, causing him to slam to the concrete. Leaning over him, she bitch-slapped him so hard his eyes blinked, and he was out like the other three. It all happened so fast, the guy being attacked didn’t have enough time to move, and the old lady on the bus stop bench sat there with her mouth open. Domonique took some of the restraining ties in her bag and tied the 4 creeps together in a row, and placed a chocolate drop on each of their foreheads. She told the young man standing by to call the cops and asked the old woman if she could stay and report as a witness. The two agreed as they watched her disappear into the night.
When the cops arrived, a news-van joined them. “Looks like The Chocolate Drop has been here,” a police officer called out as he placed the candy in an evidence bag. The thugs were coming to, but were still in a daze. The young man and old lady gave their witness accounts and were interviewed live for a local news channel. The Chocolate Drop was becoming famous, and the authorities were worried something terrible would soon happen to her. This was her tenth rescue in as many days.
When Domonique got home, she was alone, Uncle Vic always left her after their work was done. She threw her clothes in the small stackable washer in her utility closet, wiped off her boots, took a shower, and went to bed. Domonique still had three books sitting on her desk at work that needed editing. She wanted to get an early start, she was finished with the poetry book, and now a memoir and fiction novel were left. Domonique’s degree was in liberal arts, as an avid reader of several genres; fiction, non-fiction, technical, and the arts, hoping one-day to have her own publishing company. Crawling into bed, she turned off the light and went right to sleep.
The next day at work, the talk was all about The Chocolate Drop news accounts from television, newspapers, and social media news outlets. No one would ever suspect that the brown-skinned heroine was Domonique as she always wore her hair in a tight bun, with wire-framed glasses, and slightly oversized clothes. There was only a hint of her beauty beneath her façade and none of her strength and power. It was going to be a long day, but she liked her job and the people she worked with who considered her a little odd. She’d go on breaks or lunches with her co-workers, but never socialized with them after hours. On weekends during the day, she’d visit her mother, treating her to lunch and a movie, always returning home as soon as it got dark. Everyone thought she had a secret lover; this only made her chuckle at her denials.
That night, Uncle Vic was waiting for her in the stairwell of her apartment.
“Liquor store over on Broadway,” he told her, winking
“Let’s go!” she said, smiling as she raced down the steps and out the door. “How many?”
“Does it matter?” he asked
“Nope, not really.”
Aurora M. Lewis is a retiree, having worked in finance for 40 years. In her fifties, she received a Certificate in Creative Writing-General Studies, with Honors from UCLA. Aurora’s recent poems, short stories, and nonfiction were accepted by The Literary Hatchet, Jerry Jazz Musician, The Copperfield Review, Gemini Magazine, to name a few. Now in her early 70s, she self-published her first book, Jazz Poems, Reflections on a Broken Heart in 2021, which is available on Amazon. She is currently working on two collections of essays/poems, and speculative short stories.