Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Incredible Comics #3

Martin Hogue came into the Fix-It Shop and wiped his brow with a handkerchief. “It’s hot out there this morning,” he said to Harold, who was tinkering with something over at the counter. “What’cha working on?”

“This weird clock thing,” Harold sighed. “I’m afraid that it’s getting the better of me and I’ll have to have Mr. Reznicek show me how to do it. I haven’t seen you all morning, Martin. A lot of deliveries?”

“Nearly a dozen and I still have two more. I just stopped in for a break and to see if there were any more.”

“Not to my knowledge. You can go up and ask Mr. Reznicek,” Harold said.

Martin thought for a second. “Nah, I’ll just take these two things and come back after lunch. Mr. Banner…”

“You can call me Harold, Martin.”

“Harold, do you believe in ghosts?”

“Ghosts? Not really but I’m open to suggestion. Why?”

“I live on the fifth floor of an apartment building and there is an apartment on the third floor that always has voices coming from it. Normally, that’s not an issue because the walls and doors are very thin and everybody can hear everybody’s business. But, no one lives in this apartment, we never see anyone go in or out. Because we hear voices and noises but don’t see anyone, we consider the apartment haunted,” Martin explained.

“I don’t think the apartment is haunted, Martin. Someone probably just moved in and no one has seen anyone yet.”

“I don’t know. Amos the Wino, he sleeps on the stairs between the first and second floor, is there every day, all day, and he’s never seen anybody who looks new.”

“No offense but I don’t think a person called ‘Amos the Wino’ is someone with heightened monitoring skills. If you or your neighbors are so concerned, just let the police know,” Harold said.

“The police? Cops ain’t been in my neighborhood in months. I have to go deliver these last two packages. I’ll see you this afternoon,” Martin chuckled a bit and left the store. He hopped on his bicycle and pedaled away.

Harold put down his tools and rubbed his chin with his finger. That night, after Ellie had been asleep for more than an hour, Harold snuck out onto their fire escape and put on the sundial, the blue and yellow uniform appearing. He flew over to Martin’s apartment building, a run-down looking brick building with numerous broken windows with plywood nailed over them. Numerous vagrants meandered along the street and sidewalk but none detected Time Man hovering above them.

He figured out which window went to the alleged haunted apartment and softly landed on the fire escape and tried to peer in. The apartment was dark and he couldn’t see anything. He hopped off the fire escape and landed softly in the alley. He removed the sundial and returned to his own clothes. He entered the apartment building can began going upstairs. He saw who he assumed was Amos the Wino on the landing between the first and second floors, fast asleep with a bottle of alcohol. He went to the apartment that was empty and attempted to turn the knob but it was locked.

He looked around and slid on the sundial changing into Time Man. He turned the knob until it broke and the door creaked open. He walked in and the apartment was definitely not being lived in but there was a table with papers in the middle of the living room. Under the table were locked crates. Time Man took one of the crates and sat it on top of the table. He squeezed the lock until it shattered in his hand. He opened the crate and saw possibly hundreds of jewels. He let out a small gasp as he saw all of the jewels ranging from diamonds to rubies to emeralds and a lot he didn’t even know.

“This door’s open,” someone said from the hallway. “Someone’s in there.”

Time Man quickly closed the crate and two men came through the door, saw Time Man standing at the table and shot at him. His hand, already near the sundial, pressed the button on the side, and time froze. Time Man casually walked past the bullets in midair, swatting them down onto the ground, and took the guns away from the men. He went back to the table and laid the guns down and went back to the men, he stood behind them and unfroze time. He grabbed the men’s collars and lifted them up. “You’re coming with me,” Time Man said.

“What the…?”

“What happened?” the men said.

Time Man brought the men to a police station and told them about the apartment and jewels and within minutes, the apartment was being raided. People suddenly knew about Time Man. He was mentioned by police to reporters who included his name in their articles and radio broadcasts.

“A superhero,” Alderman Lucius Goebel sneered at the newspaper. “Probably just some idiot who reads too many of those ten cent wastes of time and has too much time on his hands.”

“What will we do about the trafficking?” Harlan Grant, owner of the apartment building, said. “We’ll need a new place.”

“We’ll keep using yours,” Alderman Goebel said. “But we need to make sure there aren’t people meddling about. If something were to happen to that building, you wouldn’t complain, would you?”

“What exactly do you have in mind?”