We are a band of girls, and we run the sidewalks. Like the boys who used to run the sidewalks across town, we use guns. But unlike the boys, when we need to make an example of someone, we do so personally. We’re skilled with knives and wire.
After the incident last fall, we run the sidewalks for blocks and blocks. We’ve gained new territory.
In spring, we hold membership drives, and recruit girls from the fourth grade. Sign up with your best friend, and we issue you two dull, rusty blades. The first to draw blood from her friend is in. We have beautiful and many scars from this ceremony.
We hear the boys were much harsher with their recruits-made them fight someone they didn’t know-but we are girls, and sensitive to one another’s loyalties.
Our band of girls is very successful at running the sidewalks, and at the corner stores, we eat egg sandwiches in the mornings. We love egg sandwiches-with cheese-and we guard the stores that make them. We have guns, and we have wires and knives. We’ve discovered threats are for children, and we don’t need them anymore.
Last fall, we were distracted from the start of school by a problem with the boys, a problem the principal and parents, when they first heard of it, blamed on the boys. Girls are sweet and smart, and last fall we were particularly sweet and smart. So smart the principal and parents didn’t know what was coming until they saw it on the sidewalks.
Before last fall, we had let the boys onto our sidewalks, provided they were quiet and did not try to eat egg sandwiches. But last fall we held a meeting and decided a change was necessary. The girls who first suggested it said if we did not get rid of the boys, soon they would get louder and try to kiss us. There were those of us who felt this could never happen, those of us who felt nature should take its course, and those of us who worried the disagreement could tear us apart. Votes were taken, and in the end, we decided the greatest danger was disagreeing with one another. We decided on swift execution.
We love pie, and look forward to the day when we will have it with coffee, after an egg sandwich. And the corner stores in the boys’ territory had the best pie. A bonus to battling the boys.
It all came together quickly. Because once our band of girls makes up its mind, we act.
So some of us met some of them at one of their corner stores. We ordered blackberry pie and while waiting for it to warm, we told the boys-
We don’t want you on our sidewalks anymore. If you come, we will make terror.
When we returned to our sidewalks, our lips and faces stained with the berries we’d soon conquer, the boys followed closely behind, ready to challenge.
We knew this, and we took the wires from our pockets and made sure we knew our knives. And we waited, knew the boys were strategizing. And we, we already had our strategy. While those sweet, stupid boys were thinking of solutions, we sent them notes they mistook for secrets.
We had kept careful track of their numbers, so in our band, we had a girl for every boy. And sensitive to one another’s loyalties, we had chosen our boys. We’d been stalking for weeks.
So we each wrote the same note, one for every boy. We said-It’s against the rules, but I’ve got to see you. I want your hips out of your jeans.
And every boy, so sweet and so stupid, agreed to a meeting he thought was secret, a meeting he thought was singular.
With wire wrapped round their throats, their arms lost strength, and their hands were no trouble, once they were severed. In the spirit of Halloween, which was fast approaching, we carved new faces for our boys, on top of the old ones. And we tied their feet together, and threw them up over telephone wires and tree branches. The feet say-We have something you want.
We have knives and wires, along with guns. We have egg sandwiches, and now we have pie, too. We have each other, and soon we will start drinking coffee.
Our mothers say now we will have no one to marry, but we have each other, and we’re thinking about getting rid of the mothers. We have knives and wires, along with guns, and once our band of girls makes up its mind, -!