Post 13: Sandwiches

Today’s prompt once again comes from the Inspiration for Writers Facebook page (I can’t help it; they put up a ton of fun stuff).

Prompt:

The villain frowned. “You’re… not going to try to stop me?”

The hero rubbed their eyes and gave a long-suffering sigh. “Look, I’ve had one hell of a week, and what you’re doing isn’t *that* bad. So I’m just gonna go. I’ve got too much going on right now to worry about this little stunt to get attention.”

The villain stood awkwardly, the remote still clutched in their hand. “Do you… do you want to talk about it?”

***

Sandwiches

The villain frowned. “You’re… not going to try to stop me?”

Mr. Intangible rubbed his eyes and gave a long-suffering sigh. “Look, I’ve had one hell of a week, and what you’re doing isn’t that bad. So I’m just gonna go. I’ve got too much going on right now to worry about this little stunt to get attention.”

Standing awkwardly, the remote still clutched in his hand, the professional criminal asked “Do you… do you want to talk about it?”

“I don’t know. I’m pretty tired.”

The villain who called himself The Bread Maker hopped down from his perch and set a couple of barrels on their ends. He patted one and sat on the other. “Come on, man. You’ve gotta let some of that out. Have a seat. Tell me what’s going on.”

“Well…. I guess it wouldn’t hurt…” Mr. Intangible took the offered makeshift seat. “It started last week when Constable Ciabato called me. Seems like it always starts like that. The Constable calls me, tells me there’s a ‘situation’ and I roar in to save the day.”

The Bread Maker nodded.

“Well, I got the call, and I show up at the scene, and do you know what the Constable was calling a ‘situation’ that day?”

“Uh, no. What?”

“A little girl was trying to sell scout cookies in the park.”

“But, that’s not a crime. Is it?”

“If it is, it shouldn’t be.”

“So why did the good Constable call you for that?”

Mr. Intangible sighed. “Someone in the park knew the girl’s father; a villain who goes by the name Demolisher.”

“Hey, I know him. He’s part of the guild I’m in.”

“Constable wanted me to scare her out of the park. Said her presence was making the public uncomfortable. If I did it, rather than the police officers, Demolisher would be less likely to go after the department for terrifying his kid.”

“Hold up,” the Bread Maker said, holding up a hand. “That’s not fair to you at all.”

Mr. Intangible shrugged his shoulders. “I go after his underlings all the time. Same type of thing. They could take care of it. But they call me instead because then, if there’s retaliation, there’s only one person at risk rather than many.”

“I still don’t think it’s fair.” The Bread Maker crossed his arms.

“I know! She’s just a kid. Just a kid trying to sell cookies. It shouldn’t matter who her father is. Selling cookies doesn’t hurt anybody!”

The Bread Maker opened his mouth to explain that that wasn’t what he’d meant, but Mr. Intangible kept going.

“Know what I found out about Demolisher? He didn’t want to be a villain. The city turned him into that. What he wanted was to tear down old falling down houses and salvage anything that was reusable. He offered to do this for the city, for free, as long as he could keep the materials. He was worried about people getting hurt in them.”

“I think I remember reading about that. He started out by tearing down abandoned houses people had been hurt or killed in.”

Mr. Intangible nodded. “A noble cause, I think. And here I am, forced to frighten his daughter who is doing nothing to harm anyone.”

The Bread Maker grunted. He didn’t really know what to say, but he could tell Mr. Intangible had more to say.

“So then I started thinking,” Mr. Intangible continued. “Demolisher’s not out here to be a bad guy. He just wants to keep people safe. But what about the others in your club or coalition or whatever you guys call yourselves.”

“Guild,” the Bread Maker provided.

“Yes, that. So I did some digging. The Insulator? Just wants to provide insulin to people who need it but can’t afford it. Mall Man? He used to be a store clerk who was tired of people shoplifting, so he started doing something about it. And you…”

“I just wanted to make sure our homeless community got some food every once in a while. Turns out handing out sandwiches for free in the middle of the park is illegal.”

“But it shouldn’t be! It isn’t wrong for people to be safe, or fed. And a little girl should be able to sell cookies without having to worry that a big scary man in tights is going to show up out of nowhere and start chasing her.”

The Bread Maker looked down at the remote he still had in his hand, then held it out to Mr. Intangible. “Wanna try? It’s very cathartic.”

Mr. Intangible looked at the little device for a moment.

“It’s not going to hurt anyone, I promise. Guild honor. But it does come with a big boom. I think it might help.” He put it into the hero’s hands. “Go ahead.”

“Okay. But just this once.” Mr. Intangible pressed the button.

The van-sized rocket roared to life and flew through the open roof of the warehouse. The Bread Maker hopped off his barrel and ran to a window, opening it wide. Mr. Intangible followed and looked out, trying to find where the rocket had gone.

“Here it comes!” The Bread Maker bounced up and down.

The rocket exploded above the city and hundreds of little parachutes filled the sky. Mr. Intangible unhooked a set of tiny binoculars from his utility belt and lifted them to his eyes.

“Are those…”

“Sandwiches? You bet.”

“Huh…” Mr. Intangible pulled back from the window and looked at the remote he still held in his hand. “You know what? I think that did help. Thanks.”

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