Raven & Josie – Chapter 4
Written by Glaazius :: [Saturday, 19 August 2023 20:40] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 19 August 2023 22:16]
Josie is off training with Cedric.
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"Here, put these on," Cedric threw Josie a few pieces of clothing he fished out of a bag stashed in his locker. "Those belong to my kid sister who indented to train with me for her New Year's resolutions. Unfortunately, I have never seen her to this very day. She is your junior by two years but quite tall for her age, so it should be able to fit you well."
"Not so sporty?" Josie asked while examining the black jogging shorts and grey shirt belonging to Cedric's sister, which still looked too baggy despite their age gap.
Cedric chuckled while closing his locker. "Truth be known that the girl is even more enthusiastic than me. She's just more of a track-and-field type. She's quite renowned in pole vaulting nowadays."
Josie frowned. "If she's already so active, why the News Years resolutions?"
"One word. Bully. Chrissie only wanted to learn how she could punch someone on the nose."
"What about her brother?" Josie asked. "Shouldn't you be the one to protect her?"
"I rather not punch girls on the nose, to be honest. And besides, it would be better for herself in the long run if she could protect herself. Come this way." Cedric showed Josie where they could change themselves and guided her toward the training area.
They entered a hall that wore the pungent smell of old sweat mixed with a whiff of peppermint muscle spray. On one side of the hall hung a row of neatly arranged boxing bags attached to the ceiling with thick chains, while the opposite wall was lined with shimmery mirrors.
A reasonable size of the floor was covered with black training mats. As Josie had imagined, she also saw a boxing ring on a raised platform, ropes included and an octagon fighting cage.
"Is it what you expected?" Cedric asked as he put on some gloves and landed a few combos on one of the punching bags, making its chain rattle.
Josie nodded. "Yeah, sort of. But what's with all the mirrors?"
"We use it for shadowboxing. To fine-tune our technique. Seeing yourself while throwing a punch or a kick makes it the best tool for self-correction."
"Sounds cool," Josie said.
"Wanna try?" Cedric said after landing a powerful kick against the punching bag.
"Certainly!" Josie walked eagerly over to the mirrors.
"Have you ever done anything like this before?" Cedric walked up to her. "I mean, have you ever done any martial arts or fought before?"
"Uhm, I fought my sister on a few occasions when we were little."
"Okay, I guess that will do. Now," Cedric took hold of Josie's shoulders – which ignited an electrical sensation to crackle along her spine – and spun her so that she was facing herself in the mirror. "that is your opponent. It always is. Take a fighting pose and start throwing some random punches and kicks."
Josie gazed up, puzzled. "You want me to wreck the mirror?"
Cedric chuckled. "God, no! The coach would have my head for that. He would never allow me private time in his gym ever again. Just wreck up the air, but keep your attention focused on your own image. Yeah, that's it. Nice! Good one! And try to maintain your…."
Cedric ceased talking when he saw something he did not expect to see while watching a novice practicing in front of the mirror for the first time.
Cedric looked askance at Josie. "Have you lied to me?"
"Huh?" Josie huffed while throwing a jab, jab, left hook.
"You look like adamnprofessional! Your technique is flawless! Even your fighting stance shows you're a seasoned warrior."
"Really!" Josie said, feeling frankly flattered. She smiled mischievously. "Wanna take it in the ring with me, mister?"
"Ha! And let myself be beheaded by one of your super-powered thrusts? No, thank you."
Josie looked at him, baffled.
"Yeah, sorry." Cedric scratched his head. "I knew all along that you were Infinite woman's daughter."
Cedric shrugged. "Simple. My best friend dates your sister."
"And she revealed it to him?!" Josie asked.
"Yep, right on the first date, from what I heard. Raven flew them to the top of the United Nations HQ while a meeting was taking place, where they snogged for three straight hours beneath the blue glare of a full moon."
Josie clenched her fist. "That holier-than-thou emo!" Cedric lost his footing when Josie's foot slammed on the floor in frustration, causing a slight tremor to ripple outwards. Numerous mirrors shook dangerously as if about to come rattling off the walls.
"Wooow! Slow the roll there, please!" Cedric held his hands up while glaring concerned at the mirrors.
Josie simmered down. "Sorry," she said with the voice of a mouse.
"It is okay. I guess you cannot help your own strength. Hey, listen, sorry for being so blunt," Cedric said. "but I'm curious. And I may never get the chance again. But how much is it what you can actually lift?"
Josie shrugged. "Beats me. I’ve never tested my limits. Uhm, I lifted my Dad's tractor once as it was stuck in the mud when I was eleven."
"A whole tractor!" Cedric's eyes bulged. "With those scrawny arms that were even scrawnier when you were eleven?"
"One arm, actually." Josie beamed while flexing her bicep. "I only used one hand."
"That must have been a tremendous effort for you, huh?"
Josie shook her head. "It was no big deal, actually. It felt no different than lifting a glass of milk from the table.
Cedric's already widened eyes stretched even further. "What more can you do? Of course, besides flying and shooting laser beams from your eyes." He smiled. "Those are things I have seen your mother doing and I assume you can do them too."
"That's right," Josie nodded and smiled in return, melting a bit from the inside upon seeing Cedric's twinkling blue eyes. "Well, uhm, pretty much everything my mom can. I assume you have seen her in action on television once?"
"Definitely! That woman is remarkable!" Cedric beamed. "She even ended a long, drawn-out conflict by subjugating a whole warmongering nation single-handedly in a day! Are you also bulletproof?"
Josie shrugged. "My sister thinks we are. She even believes that we are invulnerable."
"Oh, my God! Do you even realize how dangerous you are?" Cedric replied with bulged eyes. "You could be an unstoppable force if the desire was there! Are there more things you can do that your mother did not showcase on television?"
"I, uhm, I can move things without touching them," Josie said.
“You mean, telekinesis?”
"Yeah, that's the one! I could not come up with the word."
"Show," Cedric rubbed his hands, eagerly to see another one of Josie's powers.
Josie looked around in search of some object she could use. She focused on a pair of gloves lying on the floor and strained her eyes.
"Wicked!" Cedric said as he saw a pair of black boxing gloves lift off, soaring their way.
"Think fast!" Josie said as she used her mental powers to order the boxing gloves to assault Cedric like they were worn by a real invisible person.
As a true martial artist, Cedric responded accordingly and blocked and evaded several punches 'Josie' was throwing at him. "The hell, girl! What am I supposed to hit here?" He stepped back and forth through the hall, trying vainly to take out the flying gloves by hitting them with hard hooks and uppercuts, sending loud bangs echoing through the hall. It only seemed to anger the gloves. Josie laughed exuberantly from the sideline while observing it with her arms crossed.
"Mercy, tough boy! Let me hear you say it!" Josie quipped as her mind compelled the gloves to hand out a striking combo that hit Cedric in the stomach, knocking him to the ground where he struggled to breathe.
"Mercy. Mercy!" He gasped, holding up his muscular arm. Josie chuckled, let the gloves fall to the floor, and walked up to him. She took hold of his hand and hoisted him up, whereby she used slightly too much of her superpower so that the big guy flew up and bounced against Josie's meager yet unyielding body. Their eyes met in an intense stare.
"You look remarkably like your mother, you know that? She had truly stunning eyes." Cedric said as he stared dreamily into Josie's lake-blue eyes. "I had a crush on her, you know? When I was just a sprout."
Josie blushed and averted her eyes. "What's with you and Kim, anyway?" she deftly changed the topic. "The atmosphere between you two was pretty tense. You must have a pretty interesting history together."
Cedric sighed, sat down on a bench and removed his boxing gloves. "Kim and I had a thing together, but it didn't work out. I am the only guy who has ever broken up with her. Usually, it is she who does the breaking."
"And that's the reason why she hates you?"
Josie clapped in her hands. "That's brilliant!" she chuckled.
Cedric chuckled faintly. "Yeah, I guess it is. Say, that thing with Kim choking on her drink. Was that your doing?"
Josie gave him a telling smile.
"That girl is exceedingly wise in choosing her adversaries, don't you think?" Cedric chortled. "Kim should be concerned about ruffling the feathers of someone like you. It's fortunate for the world that you two fine young ladies have been endowed with such remarkable abilities and not Kim. I shudder to think what a person like her might have done with these powers."
"We're not so squeaky clean as you might think," Josie said meekly while staring guilt-ridden at the ‘borrowed’ Rolex watch still clasped around her wrist.
Cedric snorted. "No one is! And you still have your mom to guide you, right? The all-powerful and wise Infinity woman. Or wait… She took a sabbatical, didn't she? At least, that's what I heard them saying on the news."
Josie's eyes saddened. "She's not with us anymore, at least not on this planet. She's been called up for some job on her home planet. She's gone for at least six months."
"Six months?" Cedric's eyes widened. "So if things hit the fan with you and your sister, there is no force on the planet that can stave off catastrophe?"
"Well, that's a very comforting thought." Cedric laughed ruefully. "Good thing you gals are nothing like Kim."
"Hey, Can you show me some moves" Josie's bright eyes shone with anticipation.
Cedric took a thinking pose. "Uhm… Ah! Here is a dirty move to parry an even dirtier assault."
"Ooh!" Josie exclaimed, rubbing her hands together with excitement. "I like that," she whispered.
"I thought you would. Grab that stool there, please," Cedric said, gesturing towards a wooden chair standing in a corner.
Confusion crossed Josie's face. "What for?"
"For me to show it, you must choke me from behind. But seeming your height, well..." Cedric gestured with his hands, implying the gap between them.
Josie snorted, looking mortified. Her feet lifted off the ground as she hovered behind him, ready to choke him.
"Of course. Sorry, my bad." Cedric said, scratching his head.
As Josie wrapped her slender arms around Cedric's neck, he initially felt like he should reassure her that he would be careful since he was much bigger than her.
However, he quickly realized the foolishness of such words as he knew he could never harm Josie, even if he wanted to.
Cedric once again contemplated Josie's arms as he wrapped his fingers around them. They felt so delicate and thin, the touch of a slender teenage girl's arm. Yet, when Cerdric's fingers tried to push a little beyond the softness of her skin, he could feel her arm's unyielding power. He knew he could never move it for even an inch without her permission.
The touch of Josie's warm skin, her scent, and the hot breath breezing against his neck aroused Cedric slightly. On the other hand, there was also the knowledge that this very same slender arm could effortlessly crush his entire skull – hell, lift even an entire oil tanker for all he knew – it made Cedric feel a bit anxious.
He prayed silently that she could not read his mind, though he was confident she couldn't.
"Okay, normally, when I do this with people, their bodies react to my moves." Cedric continued his explanation. "but since you have super strength," he said, his voice low and controlled, "I kindly ask you to move along with me. Try to make your body respond in the same way as if an equal-powered person would assault you. As if your sister is doing this to you, okay?"
Josie nodded. "Okay, I can work with that," she said.
"Alright, here it goes. The first thing you do to give yourself some space is yanking hard by using downward force with both hands on your opponent's arm. It will loosen your opponent's grip around your neck and gives you some air. Then, with your left hand, thrust backward as hard as you can while hitting the groin and squeezing and twisting as violently as possible."
"Ha! Nasty indeed!" Josie chuckled, her eyes glittering with excitement.
"Told ya. Then, that same hand, together with your other, flies upwards over your shoulders to gouge your opponent's eyes."
"Ouch!" Josie said.
"As final, You hipthrow your stunned opponent. Choke him into submission with your knee while he lies on the ground and wrist-lock him, and he'll be at your mercy."
"That issocool!" Josie said while looking up at Cedric from a supine position.
Then Cedric's phone went off.
"Yeah, Rob, speak! Riiiiight. Right right. Okay. Be there in a jiffy." Cedric put his phone away. "Care to join my friends and me in going to CJ's party? We can meet up with your sister there."
"Sure! Let me get dressed first." Josie said.