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After the Caper

by on April 25, 2018

The light clicked on, startling him badly. He whirled. There she stood, framed in the glow from the hallway. She looked tired. “Okay. Where’d you put it?”

“Put what?” he said, rather lamely.

“You know what,” she said. “Jupiter. Great big planet, big red dot. Where’d you put it?”

“Honestly, Min, I don’t know what you’re-”

“Oh, yes, you do,” she shot back, and now she sounded angry rather than tired. “I checked, okay? I’ve got friends at NASA who’ll still speak to me. They’re flipping out because they lost a freakin’ planet. One of them told me they picked up some sort of funny radiation. You don’t think I know what that means? I helped you build the Shrink-O-Mater, genius. I know it runs on terseron particles.”

“So someone stole Jupiter,” he said defensively. “Why do you assume it’s me? Plenty of supervillains out there. The Red Mushroom, Crudmuffin, the Rogue Jaywalker-”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh, please. Like that guy could steal a planet. Anyway, none of them have a fully functional Shrink-O-Mater, which, funny thing, isn’t in the vault downstairs. I checked, I said.”

He knew the game was up. “Fine,” he said. “Yeah. I stole Jupiter. Shrunk it, stashed it.”

“Where exactly?”

His eyes flickered towards the crib. She looked that way too. Then she looked back at him. “What…” she said slowly. “What did you put in that diaper?”

“Well…”

“Tell me you didn’t put the King of Planets in our baby’s diaper.”

He shrugged. “There’s plenty of room in there. We just went up a size in Pampers, remember?”

“But…” she asked plaintively. “Why? The hell, why?”

“Seemed like a good place for it?”

There was a long silence. “Okay,” she said. “You’re going to put Jupiter back. Now, before the Great Red Spot becomes the Great Brown Spot. You’re going to put the Shrink-O-Mater back downstairs. And in the morning, you and I are going to have a talk.”

“Yes, dear,” he said, reaching for the diaper. Next time, he decided, he would swipe Saturn. Min liked rings, he knew. She’d swiped more than a few in her day. And Saturn, he decided, would be a perfect “I’m sorry I stole a planet” present.

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8 Comments
  1. Hi! In honor of YeahWrite’s 7th birthday, we’re spreading the love. Love LETTERS, that is. The letter you’d get in a moderated week if your work needed a little help, but for everyone! If you’d rather NOT receive a love letter from us this week, let me know here (or by email to rowan@yeahwrite.me); otherwise you’ll get an email tomorrow with a brief editorial review of your entry, including what’s working well and what could use a gentle massage. Good luck in the vote!

  2. As someone who’s impatiently waiting for the new Avengers (though not enough to brave the theater this weekend), I loved this anti-hero tale. Fun and silly and can we talk about the supervillains? Crudmuffin? I’m trying to read this at work while looking serious!

    • True story: I attended a comedian performance in which one of his routines was a list of one hundred clean curse words, things like “Shut the front door!”, “Great Caesar’s ghost!” and “Dagnabbit!” Crudmuffin was one of the entries. I thought that this would be a good supervillain name. And so it was. 🙂

      • There was a totally trashy novel I read several years ago about a modern day superhero, and it had this sort of feel to it. It wasn’t a great story and it wasn’t that well written, but it was just so fun! This was too, and well written.

  3. Getting a little autobiographical? I hear Pluto was robbed of its planethood; did you do that? I wanted to know what his game plan was. Was he a cosmic klepto? Was he hiding it from someone and thought the baby’s diaper was the last place villain would look? Am I overthinking a story meant to just be entertaining?

    • Nate, you live in Chicago. Illinois legislated Pluto’s planethood. Keep up 🙂

  4. This was a lot of fun. Very funny and great use of the prompts.

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