Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Incredible Comics #2

It never ceased to amaze Harold that Maggie was always up before him--even before the pregnancy. She made a quick breakfast of eggs and toast and helped Harold figure out what to wear. Harold slid the sundial into his pants pocket and kissed Maggie before leaving their apartment. Instead of heading downstairs, he went to the roof where he stood near the edge of the building and slid on the sundial. The yellow cape and blue body suit reappeared and Harold leapt into the air and began flying about the busy city streets. Men, women and children looked up and pointed in awe as he went over.

As Harold flew toward Reznicek’s Fix-It Shop, he heard two gunshots coming from below. He looked down and saw a car driving erratically along the streets with a police car attempting to keep up with it. Harold glanced at the sundial. “Time to see what this can do,” he smiled and made a small turn of the dial.

Time stopped. Only Harold continued moving. He flew down to the car and opened the doors, taking the guns away from the men and pulling them out of the car, setting them on the street. He then picked up the car over his head and smashed the front of it into the street. Harold then put all of the men together and turned the dial back. Everything started moving again and the police car came to screeching halt. The men were on the street, confused. The two policemen stepped out of their car and looked at the men and at Harold.

“What…? Who are you?” one of them asked.

“I’m...Time Man. I thought I would help you out,” Harold answered.

The officers pointed their guns at him. “I’m going to have to ask you to put your hands up and come with us.”

“I was just helping. I’m like one of those comic book characters with the powers. I’m not going to do anything wrong. I’m one of the good guys.”

“Put your hands up and get on the ground.”

“All right, I see what I have to do here,” Harold slowly raised his hands but then turned the sundial and time froze again. “Maybe I should have just used this thing in secret.”

He flew away and when he couldn’t see the smashed car anymore, he unfroze time and continued to the roof of Reznicek’s building. He took off the sundial and the blue and yellow suit disappeared. He took the fire escape down to the street and entered through the front door. When Harold entered, Reznicek was at the pawn shop counter reading a newspaper.

“You’re early,” he grumbled.

“It’s my first day of work. I’m excited,” Harold said.

“I will be upstairs finishing my paper. You can watch the store until lunch.”

“When do you want me to take lunch?”

“At lunch,” Reznicek grumbled.

A couple hours after Harold took over, a black woman walked in. She was dressed in a yellow and red flowery sun dress and had her hair pulled back into a bun. “Good morning, how can I help you today?”

“I have something to pawn. I desperately need the money,” she said.

“What do you have?”

The woman placed a handkerchief in the counter and unwrapped it. Inside was diamond necklace with amethyst accents and baubles. “This was my gram-mauma’s. She got it from her mistress after Lincoln’s emancipation. It was a parting gift. It’s the only thing I have that’s worth money.”

Harold looked at the necklace. It was beautiful, worth a couple hundred at least but Harold didn’t want to take it. “How much do you need?”

“Six hundred,” the woman said.

“What for, if you don’t mind me asking.”

“It’s a tad embarrassing but my husband, Martin, is a good man but he does have his vices. He got into gambling a couple years ago and he was winning but lately lady luck hasn’t been smiling down on him. He owes these men 600 dollars and if he don’t pay up, they’ll kill him. We tried everything to get the money but we don’t have it and time has run out.”

Harold looked at her. “Look, Ms., um…”

“Hogue. Shirley Hogue.”

“Mrs. Hogue, this is a beautiful necklace but I’m not sure I can take it. Do you know who the men are your husband has his debt with?”

“I don’t know, Martin never told me any names. They have offices on West 73rd in the tall brick building near the river. Martin’s there now trying to get more time.”

“Mrs. Hogue, can you give me an hour? I have an idea on how to get Martin out from under this debt without having to pawn a family heirloom like this.”

Shirley Hogue went to nearby Tammerack Park to sit and wait while Harold told Reznicek that he was taking lunch. Reznicek grumbled and went downstairs as Harold left the shop, climbed up the fire escape to the roof and slid on the sundial. Time Man headed the few blocks to the south. The brick building stood out like a sore thumb, towering over the small garages that dotted the area below it. He hovered near windows and attempted to peer in, trying to find Martin. On the seventh floor, he found him. Two men stood on either side, smoking. Time Man then landed in the alley and took off the sundial reverting to Harold and went into the building and went up to the seventh floor. He slid the sundial back on and then crashed through the door. The wood splintered and the two men began pulling their guns. Time Man turned the dial and time stopped. Time Man took their guns away from them and pinched the muzzles closed. He then unfroze time and the two men stood there, holding nothing.

“What…? Our guns,” one exclaimed.

“Who needs guns? It’s just some moron dressed like a freak from the circus,” the other said.

The two men rushed Time Man who easily got one man in the jaw and the other in the stomach. “Gambling is illegal in this city. I’m sure the police would love to search these offices,” Time Man said. “Martin, are you all right?”

“I’m fine. Who are you?”

“I’m Time Man. Your wife was worried about you. Let me call the police and I’ll take you away from here. These men won’t be bothering you about your debt anymore.”

Time Man and Martin stood on the roof the building as the police searched the office and arrested the two men. The search led to several other arrests and recovering nearly a million dollars in gambling payouts.

“I wish I never got into gambling,” Martin sighed. “But I started out winning and I just wanted to better provide for my wife.”

“Do you currently work?”

“I used to work at the fish factory slitting them open but I was laid off a few months ago. Been looking since.”

“Do you know where Reznicek’s Fix-It Shop is?”

“That old man’s place? Everyone know where that is. Why?”

“Stop by tomorrow. I think they may have a job opportunity for you.”

“Really? How do you know?”

“Let’s just say that I know Reznicek’s new apprentice,” Time Man smiled. “Come on, I’ll take you back down to the street.”