They didn't even want anything.
Theft, Tommy could understand. He hadn't much to take, but the banged-up cellphone would go for ten dollars, and his shoes at least thirty. Others would have stolen them and pretty much left him alone.
Four blows in, each one sending him stumbling, and they hadn't asked for anything.
The fifth shattered his glasses and his nose; he fell back against rusting chain-link, blinking glass and breathing blood. The biggest kid loomed in triplicate, three clones hazing in and out of one another, and Tommy watched three size-nine feet wind back to kick.
Tommy looked toward the voice. She sat on the edge of the basketball court and looked smaller than him, swimming in a grey sweatshirt face half hidden by the hood. Her chest, in faded black letters, read BLAM. "He's mine."
"Sam--" whined the biggest kid, foot still poised.
The court clattered with the sound of running feet and he was alone with the girl who terrified the biggest kid.
The helping hand up to his feet was therefore a bit unexpected.