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Oh, Crime

by on January 29, 2015

One of the interesting aspects of life in a superhero city is the position of low-level criminals. They’re not the scenery-chewing supervillains with the maniacal laughs and the plots to destroy the world. They’re often minor burglars or shoplifters or some other kind of petty criminal, just trying not to get caught. They never have henchpersons. At best, they’d get public defenders

The one thing a low-level criminal doesn’t want is the attention of a superhero. When you have no superpowers, you don’t look forward to going up against someone who can lift a garbage truck and swat you with it. A superhero will look at stopping their small act of lawlessless as a mere diversion, an opening scene to establish their character before they go charging off after the apocalyptic threat. Worse, however, are the superheroes who devote themselves entirely to stopping small crimes, the night-time vigilantes with expensive gadgets and jet-powered cars. These can pose real difficulties for criminals operating on limited budgets.

Lionel was such a person. He had engaged in a bit of burglary, nothing fancy, just a smash and grab from a jewelry store. The police were on their way, he knew, but he had a fast car and a head start, and he knew his escape route down cold. Then, as he barreled down a side-street, something thudded into the roof of his car. Lionel knew all too well what that thud meant. It sounded like boots. Superhero boots.

He slammed to a stop, hoping to fling the person atop his car away. It didn’t work. Instead, an arm clad in purple spandex smashed through his window. Lionel was pulled right outside and flung to the sidewalk. A figure in purple and black towered above him. “Right, you,” Gaseous Girl said. “You’re about to be the dissolving criminal cornstarch in the Stew of Justice!”

“What?” Lionel said.

Madeleine winced. “Yeah, I know. It’s a lousy metaphor. Sorry. Long day. I’ve been wiped from existence, you know. Time paradoxes, Shrieking Tree Demons, resurrections, oy. I don’t get paid enough for this. Anyway, why don’t you surrender before I have to make another speech, okay?”

Lionel reached for his gun. Madeleine melted it in his hand. More fire blazed around her. “Okay. Last warning. Surrender, or I put you in the cemetery.”

Maybe she was bluffing, Lionel thought, but maybe she wasn’t. He didn’t know her. She could be the vigilante type that crossed the line and killed punks like him, or the antihero with a heart of gold type that talked tough but showed mercy in hopes that he would reform. He was unarmed, and she was a flying brick with flame-blasts. Lionel didn’t want to bet on the antihero type and be wrong. He surrendered.

Madeleine flagged down a passing police cruiser, and soon Lionel had been whisked away to disappear into the state penal system. Having wrapped that up, Madeleine was about to fly away again when she heard a loud boom in the distance. A very loud boom. “The never-ending battle,” Madeleine sighed.

This story was written as part of the Grammar Ghoul Mutant 750 writing challenge, and is part of the ongoing series involving Gaseous Girl. Thanks for reading!

  1. “…the dissolving criminal cornstarch in the Stew of Justice!” Oh, my. What a great line! And then, “…she was a flying brick with flame-blasts.” Genius writing! Well done!

  2. It’s like Hit Girl joined the Mystery Men and got even cooler 😉

  3. I’m not familiar with Hit Girl, but Mystery Men is one of my favorite films ever. Ballerina Man cracks me up, every time.

  4. Love it. Gaseous girl now has a spandex outfit. That’s the mark of a real superhero. The metaphor she pulled on him was hysterical, especially Lionel’s reaction to it. Another fun one with Gaseous Girl!

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