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Battle of the Crosswalk

by on January 15, 2020

It was dark in Edison City. It usually is, at three in the morning. One lone traffic light bravely glowed above the one-way straight, doing its best to maintain a small sense of order in the dark. The traffic light clicked methodically through its eternal sequence of green, yellow, red, then green, yellow, red. No one noticed, not that the traffic light cared. Order was preserved.

Then, someone came strolling up to the corner. They paused. The traffic light had, just at that moment, clicked over to green. Accordingly, the person on the corner should, by all the laws of the road, wait until the light clicked back to red before crossing. The night was silent. The dark figure looked left and right. Not a car was in sight, not even another human being. The man smirked, and started across.

He kept to the crosswalk, at first. Then, as if to compound his actions, he strode away from the pale white lines right into the center of the road. Still no car came. All was silent. He smirked again. There wasn’t even so much as the snap of an automatic traffic camera, just the disappointed green glow of the traffic light.

Then, a swoosh of cape. A black Starfleet-style boot slammed to the ground. A blast of flame scored the night air. Before the man could do anything, the new arrival had slammed him up against the traffic pole. “Isn’t it past your bedtime?” an intense voice said.

“Who the-“

“I’ll ask the questions. Who’re you?”

“I’m… I’m Phil.”

“Never heard of you. You’re not my usual. Crudmuffin I know. Behemoth Bob, Hiccup Holly, the Malevolent Med-Student, they’re all big leagues. But you’re new.”

“Maybe,” said Phil. “You know me by my big city name. Back home they called me… the Rogue Jaywalker.”

There was an audible snort. “You’re kidding.”

“It’s what I do,” Phil said defensively. “I’ve got no superpowers, I’m not a billionaire, I’m not a mad scientist, so…”

“Whatever. This is stupid. Just head on home, will you? And mind the signal.”

Phil was shoved away, in obvious dismissal. He turned back, one question still on his mind. “Hey, who the hell are you?”

” Me?” she said. “I’m Gaseous Girl.”

She took off in a blast of flame. Phil stared. The traffic light quickly clicked over to red.

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7 Comments
  1. This was a fun response to this weeks prompt! I love all the names for the different lawbreakers! Nicely done!

  2. Ruby Manchanda permalink

    Great work

  3. The serious tone this took over a case of jaywalking was hysterical.

  4. Jen Mierisch permalink

    I loved the noir-ish intro and the confrontation. Very funny!

  5. Haha! Still smiling!

  6. I love the satirical humor in this piece (and in your writing in general), and also the anthropomorphi…cation…ism.. how you made the streetlights like people. Great piece!

  7. When you have no superpowers and no billions, your options are honestly quite limited. Phil is doing the best he can with a raw deal. 🙂

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