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     Teen Cops 'A Time for Redemption', p.2

       D Rossmaur / Actions & Adventure / Mystery & Detective
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Chapter 2
Aged just 17, I was saying au revoir to my native California and boarding the prison bus, carrying what little possessions I had in a rucksack. My ride to Gresham was certainly an experience. The bus was full of mature criminals being transported to various prisons across the state of Oregon and it was just my luck Gresham was on route.
One of the toughest looking criminals I’d ever seen, a man by the name of Victor Martinez was sitting directly opposite and kept staring at me. I tried hiding my face and pretended to be asleep for most of the journey in the hope that he would leave me alone. I avoided eye contact at all cost, but it was proving to be too difficult and I thought please don’t try to strike up a conversation Mr Martinez.
‘Hey pretty boy, what you doin on my bus?’ Martinez asked with a gravelly voice.
‘Oh terrific,’ I sighed.
I ignored the question at first as I was in no mood to make small talk with a psycho.
‘Don’t ignore me boy. I asked you a question,’ he repeated.
He was clearly agitated and kicked out at my leg with his heavy prison issue boots. Thankfully the strong chains tethering his lower half to the bench seat restricted the height of his kick to my knee area only. Any higher and I might have needed to protect my prime assets. I sat up and stretched my arms out to make it look like I’d just woken. The pain in my leg was killing me but I had to pretend otherwise. I looked away again, which was obviously error number two in the ‘book of prison bus etiquette.’
Now Martinez was staring straight at me with a really ticked off expression. The commotion made some of the other hard nosed criminals sit up and take note so now I had an audience. Suddenly Martinez bellowed out a loud bear-like roar of frustration and I could feel the bus rock from the after shock. The guard sitting at the front of the bus finally decided to stroll back towards Martinez to try to quieten him down.
‘Would you two cut it out before I throw you both off the bus,’ the guard threatened.
‘You two,’ I said with indignation.
Martinez growled for a second time and the guard tapped his gun holster as a warning to calm down.
‘Behave Martinez and leave the kid alone,’ said the guard.
‘Poor kid, are you missing your mummy?’ Martinez snarled as he sat back out of the guards’ view.
I tried to stop myself from reacting at that point, I had a pretty mean temper, but I felt something had to be said.
‘That’s very funny big guy.’
Martinez went quiet for a moment, but I knew this wasn’t the end. He looked out the window, obviously contemplating his next move. I looked around at the other prisoners and smiled cockily as if to say ‘who’s the daddy’. Then Martinez looked back at me and went to spit. Thankfully the guard ran back down the bus and stopped him.
‘Martinez, you still causing trouble?’ the guard asked with his stick pointing at Martinez face. ‘I think it’s best if I move you to the front of the bus, where I can keep a close eye on you.’
Not the brightest move, I thought as I leant back to avoid the inevitable reaction from Martinez. And sure enough as the guard unlocked the chains around Martinez legs, it felt like the devil beast himself had just been unleashed. Martinez sprung up off his seat, knocking the guard over in the process and lunged straight for me with both hands stretched out in the strangulation position.
‘I’ve already killed two men with my bare hands and now it’s your turn boy,’ Martinez screamed.
Bad time for a confessional I thought. Somehow I had to make sure I wasn’t victim number three. Unfortunately for Martinez he had no way of knowing I was once California Junior State Wrestling Champion. Money well spent by my father on expensive wrestling lessons. Martinez continued to lunge forward as I ducked to one side, causing him to miss and land face down in my seat. I quickly grabbed his head from behind, put my arms up and under his chin and lifted Martinez off the seat in a half nelson lock. It was time I’m afraid for what is now known as ‘the Martinez slam dunk,’ and Bam! He was out cold lying lifeless on the steel floor of the bus.
‘It’s all over,’ the commentator’s voice said in my head and I could almost hear a roar from the crowd.
I helped the guard to his feet and dusted him off to make sure I was still in his good books. After all I didn’t want to be sent straight back to California on the next bus.
‘Thanks kid,’ said the guard.
‘My pleasure,’ I said still trying to ingratiate myself with him.
I took a bow as the other prisoners applauded from the rear of the bus and hopefully now no one else would dare to mess with me for the remainder of the journey. It was better for everyone if we left Martinez to sleep it off on the floor.

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