Goodnight in the Town
I held my breath from my side of the room as I heard the window opening, the painted wood rubbing against one another, before I heard it close once more. Sitting up, I managed to catch the tail end of my sister’s form as she jumped from the roof of the house. Surprisingly, that stunt worried me less than I thought it would. Getting out of bed, I quickly began to get ready myself, taking out my costume, the cheap, yet effective bright fabric with it’s bright red color coupled with the yellow polka dots. Putting my legs into it first, and pulling the rest of it on with my arms, I was beginning to look like a jester ready for bed. Putting on some white gloves and a pair of bright blue shoes, I was ready for make up.
I closed my eyes as I went through the mostly practiced, if a slightly bit shaky actions of putting the white makeup on, covering not only my face, but my neck as well. Finishing up and pulling my hair up into pigtails, I decided that this was enough for now. Now it was time to go get her sister before she did something stupid. Climbing out the window, I stepped out, getting a good footing, before I closed the window and jumped down to the ground. Most would have screamed, but I simply floated until I felt ground brush against the soles of my shoes. I wasn’t sure where she planned on going, but I was pretty sure I knew where she was going to stop before she got there. Picking up the pace, I made my way down the block, sticking to the shadows until I got to the more urban areas. Wouldn’t do much good for someone to see the resident villain stalking the neighborhood.
Reaching Midas Park, I quickly saw what I had expected, and dreaded for a while. My sister and her little friends dressed up and ready to go superheroing. It was like a really sucky halloween, really. I couldn’t make out who was who, but my sister was pretty short, so I could see the rough shadowy blur that was definitely Ashley Pierot. She was surrounded by 3 other kids, and really, I wasn’t surprised that so many Super Mundanes had popped up around here. While it wasn’t an uncommon thing, there were areas of the world where, well, you just saw them more. The state of New York had one of the highest percentages of Super Mundanes among its general populace. Hunkering down by a trashcan, I waited and watched the kids do what they came to do, which looked like talking, but before I could get my hopes up, they started to walk in the same direction, specifically, the area that I had been planning to clear out next holiday break.
Stanlow was a nice town, but with the surplus of villains and heroes of nearby New York City a lot of Super Mundanes with less than amiable agendas found themselves prospering far better in the surrounding towns. Sure, there were heroes that would come just as frequently to clear up the mess, but they didn’t stay, and their visits were less than permanent, while villains just found themselves a nice little plot of ground to sink their roots into. This month’s weed, ironically, was an Aries with a minor specialty in drug making. Forums had it down to that or assembly. The frequency of his stuff in the small underground market of Stanlow pointed to the latter, but from what I had seen from those who partook of the deadly dealings, I was leaning to the former.
Crank, the Aries drug maker, was harmless in a physical sense, not too big of a problem, especially since he wasn’t prone to sampling the merchandise.Well, that would have been the case if he hadn’t brought grade A thugs from the Big Apple. Normal guys, sure, but anyone hopped up on drugs and armed with guns were dangerous to some degree. I floated a bit off the ground, making sure I didn’t make too much noise as I followed the small team across Stanlow. It was hard to stick to the alleyways to remain unseen when they had the exact same idea, so I had to make my way across the rooftops, wondering what exactly my little sister had gotten in the power lottery that was the Zodiac Theory. She was born on the tenth of May, so she probably had some sort of strength related powers. Well that could get interesting, and it was definitely a relief that at least to some degree, my sister was safe from the bullets they seemed to be dead set on meeting. Now her three friends were different.
If I knew who they were, I could probably figure out what powers to expect, but they didn’t seem apt to speak loud enough for her to hear them from up on the roof top. None of them looked like Leos though, or at least the obvious ones. Even if I was making sure to be cautious of where I flung myself, I was still worried about getting found out.
I wanted to just wanted to fling myself into a fire when I heard my little sister’s voice, though a bit higher than usual, yell, “We see you roof jumper! Come down here face justice!”
I obviously wasn’t going to cast aside my cover so soon, but man did I want to start laughing at little sister on her first night out being a superhero. And as I heard some frustrated mumbles from down below, I decided, heck, I will laugh! So I did, and with a little flourish of my legs over the side of the building, I was floating down. I still couldn’t make out who her compatriots were, identity wise, but their outfits had me bust another gut in a way that out of costume I would have been embarrassed. One guy had a dark green bathrobe on with a concealing airsoft mask, a taller female wore a what looked to be futuristic gymnast clothes with a mask made of the same material, and the last guy had a bandanna over his mouth, common looking sports clothes, and an genuine looking power glove..
They all looked pretty funny, but it was my sister that I thought was just too cute. She was wearing pajamas, but not just any pajamas, my old pajamas that she had to wear for a few months back when she thought I was the coolest thing ever. I’m still pretty cool, of course. It had little patterns of dalmatians on it , staring up at me as the dark blue background of the fabric just emphasised how each and everyone of them was huggable. It was made even better with the motorcycle helmet that she wore. Made slightly less better with how I could suddenly feel the tension in the air. I should have guessed this would happen. For the past few months, I had been most common Super Mundane to wreak havoc on Stanlow. I was pretty amiable in my appearances if you asked me, but apparently that just freaked out people more. Didn’t make me stop though.
I slowly breathed out and in, taking big gulps as I waited for whatever was supposed to happen, calming myself down from the laughter I had done. What I had to do was pretty obvious. These kids, only in middle school from the looks of it, were going to get themselves killed if I let them just try and take on Crank. As a girl with her own reputation to look out for, I also couldn’t just up and help them, though they would probably refuse, so I was stuck with a bittersweet medium. I was going to beat up my sister and her friends until they had to go home.
Yet, I decided diplomacy was the better way to deal with the problem at hand, “Heya, kids! I was just hopping through town preparing, for tomorrow will be bright and shiny as always, when I saw some young trick or treaters wandering through the park. Now, I don’t want to alarm you, but you missed ole’ Hallows Eve by a tiny margin.” I hoped my grin looked friendly enough, but if it didn’t, I hoped it looked creepy at least.
My sister opened her mouth to say something, hopefully as cliche as last time, but her taller friend beat her to the punch, “We’re looking for the drug dealer that’s been stinking up the street with his product. Although, I’m sure none of us mind taking out the local clown who’s been causing chaos.”
I put my hands to my cheeks, looking down, “Ah, kids would take the time to deal with little ole’ Whiteface? I’m flattered, I tell you, simply flattered.”
The kid in the bathrobe muffled out behind his mask, his body shifting into an awkward attempt at a fighting stance, “You won’t be flattered when you have some black and blue to go with the colorless face of yours.” The others seemed to also try and prepare for whatever I had up my sleeve, which wasn’t much in the physical sense. I was kind of proud as my sister seemed to be the most prepared for a fight. Either she was just more naturally inclined or someone used the internet. Either way, I simply stood there and made my first and final move of the night. I started to clap.
They seemed shocked at the unexpected action, my little sister finally getting another word out, “What are you doi-wait, why is my voice so squeaky?” And it was, very much so. It sounded like a squeak toy had become sentient and was trying to communicate. Her question as to why, would never be answered, as she and her friends quickly fell down on the ground unconscious. Ripping away Helium once they were down, I quickly made sure to draw back all of the Oxygen depriving element, carefully manipulating it out of the children’s body, and after a few check ups, I gave them the seal of approval. Gathering the Helium around them again, but leaving enough room for Oxygen, I began to stack the now almost weightless children on top of one another over my shoulders, a soft whistling as I began to make my way back down the alley to a safer place. I could always drop them by the hospital just to be sure, but I still had my reputation as a villain to keep up. Quite a conundrum I had on my hands.
About an hour later, I was stepping through my window once more, already taking my costume off for the night. Everything had been settled quite easily once I simply threw a rock through a random shop window and some alarms were raised. Police would arrive, then paramedics for the knocked out kids, then I would know that my little sister was fine. Right now though, I was ready to fall asleep, and as I rubbed the last of the white makeup off of my face and neck, I plopped down on my bed and closed my eyes, getting some much needed shut eye.
You know when you have those dreams about falling asleep? You dream of getting under the covers, turning out the lights, and then right before you close your eyes you’re suddenly woken up? It’s quite jarring.
I yawned heavily as I picked myself up, willing away the helium that had managed to stay inside of my room while I was asleep. If my mom had noticed the change of actually breathing Oxygen instead of a suffocating substitute, she didn’t act like it, “Nikki, Nikki, your sister’s in the hospital, the hospital! Oh my god, how did she even get out of the room!?”
I shook my head, still waking up, “Hold up, what happened to Ashley? Is she ok, did something happen?” I mentally patted myself on the back for at least trying to sound genuine. Luckily, my mom seemed to worried to notice the less than stellar performance.
“I-I don’t know. Oh lord, you’re father’s gone to pick her up, and I don’t even know what’s wrong with her. What if she got drugged up? That new criminal could have gotten to her! Oh god, oh god, my sweet little baby girl getting high!”
I stood up from my bed, “Woh, woh, mom. Just calm down. Think about it, if she’s being allowed to come home so soon, she’s got to be relatively ok, right?”
My mother was intensely twirling her hair, “I guess, I don’t know. Your father was called, and I only managed to hear that she was with friends. I hope she’s ok. With villains like Whiteface and Crank around, I wish we could just get some Super Mundanes on our side for once.”
I admit, it would make things more fun. Yet, for an up and coming villainess with no stable hero around to stop me all the time, thinking that sounded too much like looking a gift horse in the mouth. The local police was surprisingly efficient with the crime rate around Stanlow, and the guest good guys helped out if the men in blue found themselves pitted against too many Super Mundanes to deal with.
I cleared some of the sleep out of my throat with a cough, “Well, all we can do is hope that she didn’t dig herself into too big of a hole.” I tried to seem at least a little worried, but I was sure that my plan had worked. Why wouldn’t it? It all made sense. The police would have gotten there before any sort of incident. I talked my mother down from her frenzy, but she wanted me to get ready for Ashley’s return. I had been hoping to sleep in on the weekends, but I got up without even a slip of a complaint.
Aside from my mother’s worrying and the absence of my sister, it was beginning to seem like any other saturday morning. I plopped down in my chair, ate my warm toast, and just began to absently think of everything, my mind only keeping the Helium out of the air by pure habit. Taking a gulp of my milk, I watched as my mother bit her fingernails as she looked out the window, her eyes furrowed as she waited to see dad’s truck drive up. I watched her for a while, looking at her short brown hair. She was much taller, but besides that, she was definitely the spitting image of Ashley. And with her brown eyes, it was also easy to say that she was related to dad too.
I picked up the remote beside me, finishing off the rest of the milk, before I turned at the table, and turned the T.V. on without much more than a simple push of a button. Ah, technology. I lost myself in the documentaries of animals attacking until I heard the sound of a truck pulling up. Standing up, I scurried over to where my mom was looking out, appearing far more relieved that she had a second before, and looked out myself. I felt myself stop in my tracks as I saw who exactly just parked in front of the car. There, standing aware and perceptive, was none other than semi-resident hero, Shift.