“This is the city at night. Dark. Dangerous. Deadly. The streets are safe for no one. People sit in their homes behind locked doors and tremble in fear. The city has become a disease ridden hell hole full of scum and villainy. The disease is crime. And I am the cure. I am – “
“Will you knock that off already?”
“Look Ross, when I said I would go along with you on this vigilante thing of yours I did it for two reasons: one – I wanted to do something, anything, to help put this city right, to help fight the crime. God knows the cops ain’t doin’ nothin’. And two – I figured I’d better be here to watch your back so you didn’t get hurt doing something stupid.”
“Yeah, OK. So?”
“Well, it’s just that you go and show up in that, that… outfit. You never said nothin’ about wearing no outfit like some sort of weirdo. I count that as stupid already.”
“I ain’t no weirdo and this outfit ain’t stupid!”
“No? Well you look stupid to me! All dressed in black with those big cowboy boots, your gardening gloves and carrying those sticks. What are they anyway – cut down hockey sticks? Oh your kids’ are gonna love you for that!”
“I’ll have you know Wyatt, that this outfit causes fear in the hearts of the criminal element of this city. When I show up looking like this, brandishing my Sticks of Justice, criminals will think twice before attacking me!”
“Yeah, they gotta think twice, the first time they were thinking – What the fuck is that? and trying not to laugh their asses off!”
“Right back atcha pal.”
“Have you been watching the bar across the street or just thinking of ways to insult me?”
“I’ve been watchin’. They just closed a few minutes ago.”
“Oh yeah? Then how come that van just pulled up and those six guys just went in?”
“Oh shit! It looks like that tip you got from that junkie was actually good! They’re gonna rob the place!”
“Not tonight they’re not! For I, Street Judge, along with you, my faithful sidekick – . Wait. Do you have a name for this?”
“What? Me? I don’t even have a costume man, leave me out of it. Especially if I have to be a sidekick to you.”
“OK, fine. For I, Street Judge, using my Sticks of Justice, will prevent this atrocity and save those people inside!”
“Are you finished?”
“Let’s get going then. They’ve had enough time to rob three bars by now.”
The two men slipped out of the car and slinked across the street, trying not to be seen. Once they reached the front doors of the bar, Wyatt looked at Ross.
“What now oh mighty Street Judge?”
“Simple, element of surprise and all that!”
Ross stood up to his full height of five foot six, kicked open the front doors to the bar and shouted “Beware criminals! Street Judge is here to render verdict upon you! Leave now or feel the Sticks of Justice!” The doors slowly swung shut behind him.
There was a stunned silence in the room as twelve heads all turned to look at him standing there, twirling his cut off hockey sticks. Four men were sitting at a table in the middle of the bar, obviously just having been deep in a conversation. They were flanked on both sides and behind by the other eight men who were quite obviously there to protect them. In a flash Ross saw that this was no robbery but that he had interrupted some sort of high level crime meeting.
“Aw crap,” was all he managed to say before all hell broke loose in the bar.
The four men at the table all dove for cover in various directions while their bodyguards all reached for guns which were strapped to their bodies in various locations. Just as Ross was dropping to the floor, the first shots rang out, missing him by mere inches.
“What the hell is going on in there?” screamed Wyatt, who was still crouched outside and who just now realized that he had failed to bring any sort of weapon with him.
“We’ve made a small miscalculation!” Ross hollered back. “Not a robbery! Some sort of deal was going down and we screwed it up!”
Bullets were now pinging against the doors and around the frames, making Wyatt lean back out further into the street.
“We? WE? I didn’t make any mistakes! I didn’t even go inside!” he yelled at his friend.
“Yeah well, I don’t think they care about that do you?”
Ross was desperately trying to find a way to get back outside before the guys with the guns could get into a position to shoot him. Standing up was out of the question though so the best he could do was a weird sort of backwards wiggle towards the doors.
He looked up to see how far he had to go and found himself facing straight into the barrel of a shotgun in the hands of a very angry looking and ugly man. Just then, all the lights in the bar went out.
Ross had the foresight to roll to his left and it was a good thing he did as the man with the shotgun pulled the trigger and blew a nice big hole in the carpet right where Ross used to be moments before.
The bar lit up with flashes of gunfire and filled with the sounds of men screaming in pain. Eventually there was silence. Then the lights came back on.
Standing in the middle of the bar surrounded by either dead or unconscious men, Ross couldn’t tell which, was a woman dressed all in tight black leather and wearing a red mask and a red cape.
“You looked like you could use some help,” she said.
“Uh, thanks,” said Ross as he stared at her.
Wyatt had gotten up his courage at the lack of noise and entered the bar. He stared at the woman surrounded by all the carnage.
“I’m The Night Stalker. At least that’s what I call myself,” she said. “Did I hear you call yourself Street Judge? I like it.”
“Please,” said Wyatt, “don’t encourage him.”
“You did all this? By yourself?” asked Ross.
“Yeah. No biggie. There were only twelve guys. And the lights were off.”
“Uhm, yeah. No biggie,” muttered Wyatt.
“Let me guess, this is your first time out, right boys?” she asked.
They didn’t say anything.
“I thought so. Look, if you are going to keep doing this, you’ll need a lot more training and some better weapons. It’s not all about heart. I wish it was, but it isn’t.”
“Actually, I don’t think I’ll be doing this anymore,” said Ross, looking down at the hole in the carpet.
“Me either,” added Wyatt.
“That’s probably for the best boys. You should leave, the cops are coming.”
As she watched the two men run for their car and speed away she looked around the room.
“This is the city at night. Dark. Dangerous. Deadly. The streets are safe for no one. People sit in their homes behind locked doors and tremble in fear. The city has become a disease ridden hell hole full of scum and villainy. The disease is crime. And I am the cure. I am The Night Stalker!” she said.
Laughing, she slipped away into the night.
Note: Every week we choose from four topics to write about. This week one of the topics was “Good VS Bad: Things in the City” and I chose that for inspiration.
Your comments and creative criticism are more than welcome.