A short story about an unlikely hero.
|Anybody who knew Benny Brackett would never have thought of him as a hero. Most people thought he was odd. Even his favorite saying, "Always make water when you can” was odd. Benny produced drum beats, rhythms, and musical sounds using his mouth. Beatboxing had started out as a hobby which led to entertaining at a hip-hop & dance club.
Benny was 48 years old, and had lived in Corpus Christi all his life. After graduating from the Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree, he had started working at a company in town as a nuclear engineer.
On a crisp fall evening in 1990 Benny had finished his act, and was sitting at a table enjoying a beer. Music was playing, and people were dancing. His blue eyes scanned the crowd. Gloria Scott, a waitress at the club, was moving from table to table. She was a beautiful young woman with long blond hair falling to her shoulders from a side part. Her blue, grey eyes met his, and she flashed him a dazzling smile. Benny worried about her sometimes. He thought she was a bit naive and easily led by her friends.
Benny noticed Richard Lewis, an airline pilot, was also watching Gloria. He was impeccably dressed, wearing a light blue shirt open at the neck, beige pants, and a black wool jacket. Several empty glasses sat in front of him at the table.
Gloria saw the pilot watching her. His dark eyes seemed to bore into her. He could have been good looking with his black hair combed back from his forehead, thick eyebrows, and long eyelashes. There was something menacing about him, though, and he made Gloria feel uncomfortable.
She tried to forget about the pilot and her gaze settled once again on Benny. Although he was a few years older than her, she found him attractive. She liked his sporty style, the dimple in his chin, and his short light brown hair with natural blond streaks from the sun.
He could be lewd at times, making sexual innuendos, dirty jokes, and cursing at some of the other regulars, especially when he had a drink or two in him. Thankfully, it didn’t happen often.
On her break Gloria went out the back door to smoke. Benny saw Richard Lewis follow her, and knew this probably meant trouble because Lewis had been drinking heavily. Benny stood up and ambled toward the back door.
As he stepped out into the alley, he saw Gloria struggling to get out of Lewis’ embrace.
“Hey Asshole leave her alone,” Benny shouted.
The pilot looked up in surprise. Gloria managed to break free of his grip. She fumbled for her cell phone and dialed 911.
Adrenaline pumped through Benny’s veins as he charged Lewis. His head made contact with the pilot’s gut. Lewis lost his balance and crashed to the ground. Before he could get up Benny was on top of him. He punched the pilot in the nose, and blood dribbled down the side of Lewis’ face. Benny pulled him to his feet and shoved him into the brick wall.
During the scuffle several objects had fallen from the pilot’s pocket. The last piece of change, a dime, hit the ground and rolled slowly toward the wall.
Two police officers ran into the alley. “If you don’t want a piece of lead in your leg I suggest you put your hands behind your back and face the wall.” one of the officers shouted.
The other officer cuffed him. “Come on buddy, you’ll be spending the night at San Patricio County Jail. We will see if the lady wants to press charges”
Gloria glared at Lewis before replying. “To be truthful, I don’t want to waste my time sitting in a courtroom because of this jerk.”
Maybe Gloria isn’t as gullible as I thought Benny reflected. He had always been inventive, so it was easy for him to come up with a plan. He looked at Gloria and asked, “Would you like to grab a bite to eat after your shift ends?”
“I’d love to; all this excitement has worked up an appetite” Benny wondered idly if Gloria could cook. If worse came to worse, he could always fall back on his second bachelor's degree in nutrition science he thought with a chuckle.