Based on the characters created by Frank Robbins and Grant Morrsion
Issue #1 (of 10)
“Welcome to Suicide Slums” Part 1
She shouldn’t be here and she knows it. But, then again, it is a free country.
Taking a breath of confidence, Rachel walks across the bar, taking note of all of the familiar faces as she passes them. Some give her a friendly nod, while others take one look at her and look away as soon as possible. She doesn’t care about them and keeps walking until she takes a seat at the counter.
“Evening, Nicky.” She greets the bartender. A large ball of a man, Nicky gives Rachel his regular salutary grunt as he polishes off a glass from his barstool. “My usual.”
Rachel grimaces at the familiar voice. She turns around to see the greasy haired Tony and his friends walk up to her from their table. Tony looks at her with slight annoyance at her being here, “We don’t want you here, Rach. You’re too much trouble.”
“I’m not here to cause trouble, Tony,” Rachel says, taking a beer that Nicky hands her. “He’s not going to come looking for me tonight, we broke it off clean a week ago.”
“And you spent that week hiding,” Tony retorts, leaning against the counter. “Guy like Jaeger doesn’t get over a girl in just a week. And me and my buddies don’t want him coming round our little hole-in-the-wall.”
“Everything is fine, Tony.” Rachel says sternly, going for a sip.
Tony grabs her arm and jerks her from her barstool, his characteristic temper flaring up. “I don’t think so. Get out. Go home. Now.”
“Got a problem here, Tony?”
Rachel turns to the sound of the voice and sees a man wearing sunglasses come from the back of the bar carrying a box. She feels Tony’s grip loosen on her arm, but not by much.
“This girl’s trouble, Reardon,” Tony says. “You don’t want her here.”
“If she’s a paying customer I think I do,” Reardon says, carefully putting the box of beer on the counter. “And I don’t like people kicking customers out.”
Tony lets go of Rachel’s arm and walks towards Reardon. He sticks his finger at Reardon as he does. “Now I know you think you’re some kinda badass, Reardon, but I’m not afraid of hitting no blind man who doesn’t know his place.”
“And I’m not afraid of beating the crap out of a wannabe Greaser from the 80’s.” Reardon takes a step towards Tony boldly. Rachel watches as the two stand face to face. Reardon’s obviously bigger than Tony by a good 40 pounds of muscle and she sees his body tense up as Tony edges closer. Reardon laughs, “I could smell that hair gel of yours from across the street.”
Tony throws a quick and wild punch at Reardon’s head that the blind man easily dodges. He ducks down, punches Tony in the stomach, and uppercuts him as he doubles over in pain. Tony falls backwards and lands on the floor, groaning as he clutches his bleeding nose.
Reardon stands over Tony dominantly, the fight clearly over. He says to Tony’s friends watching dumbfounded a few feet away, “Get him out of here.”
They quickly drag Tony out of the bar and Reardon picks the box of beer back up and takes it over the counter. As if nothing happened, Reardon starts to unpack the box and stock the icebox.
Rachel watches him closely, hardly believing that this blind man just beat a regular man in five second fight. She sips her beer and clears her throat, “Uh, thanks for that.”
“No problem,” Reardon says, looking in her general direction as his gloved hands mechanically keep stocking. “I’ve been looking for a reason to teach Tony a lesson since I came here.”
“When’d you start working here?”
“Last week. Same time I moved here.”
“You purposely moved here?” Rachel is generally surprised, “Got a death wish?”
Reardon smiles, “When you spend so much time in Gotham, you get used to a certain lifestyle I guess. Had to find the next best place when I moved out, I guess.”
“Where’re you staying?” Rachel asks, taking another sip.
“Upstairs,” Reardon says, pointing his thumb up at the ceiling. “Nicky lets me stay up there for as long as I don’t break any bottles.”
“Why’d you move out of Gotham?”
Reardon stops moving for a second. “Had to get a change of scenery,” he says quickly and goes back to stocking. “So, what’s your name?”
“Rachel,” she says. “Rachel Wilson.”
“Hi, Rachel,” he says, extending his gloved hand. “I’m Phil Reardon.”
She shakes his hand and immediately gets a chill from the ice covered glove. “Ouch, that’s cold.”
Phil laughs, “Why do you think I wear gloves?”
Rachel smiles and takes a final sip from her beer. “Well, that was more excitement than I needed for tonight. I’m heading out, thanks for the assist.”
“Anytime,” Phil smiles. “Ever need someone beat down just come to me, I need a work out now and again.”
Rachel laughs, grabs her purse, and walks back across the bar. Looking back, she sees Phil leaning against the wall of the bar, his head pointed in her direction, as if watching her go out. She smiles and calls across the bar, “Welcome to Suicide Slums!”
Phil waves at her in response, and she walks out into the streets.
To be continued