(Note: The three prompts drawn by Cait Gordon this month were an Action/Adventure involving a silk garment at a Fandom Gathering. I actually had a sequel made to order for an earlier story. Here it is!)
The Further Adventures of Compost Boy
By Jeff Baker
He’d posed for pictures, answered about a zillion questions, said his famous catch phrase about a zillion more times and signed probably about a hundred copies of his book: “Life In The Compost Pile, or My Life as Compost Boy by Benjy Howard” Now he had to go to the bathroom. He was glad he’d made sure this convention hall had a dressing room with a toilet. As he walked down the back hallway he realized he was answering all the questions in his sleep. According to his last two boyfriends, he was answering them in his sleep.
Which was easy, people always asked the same questions. Like;
What was it like playing a superhero on T.V. and being a real one in real life? (Answer: the studio paid to replace our costumes, in real life we had to do it ourselves: Silk capes aren’t cheap!)
How did you become a superhero anyway? (Answer: after I drank the experimental Ecco-Dominae serum by accident thinking it was gin. It was either pay for the serum or become a superhero.)
Whatever happened to your partner Captain Ecology? (Answer: he got sick of the grind and of replacing his costumes.)
Did you make a lot of money doing the show? (Answer: If I had I wouldn’t be doing all these convention appearances hawking a ghostwritten book, wearing this goofy costume.)
How old are you, really? (Answer: I’ll get back to you on that.)
Benjamin “Benjy” Howard, a.k.a. Compost Boy stared at himself in the bathroom mirror. Not bad, even considering the serum kept him from aging as fast. He looked like he was in his 20s, but still needed to work out. Not bad for a guy who was born in 1951. He grinned, the dark-haired kid in the mirror grinned back. Maybe that was the best thing about having been Compost Boy.
There was a loud crash from outside, accompanied by screams and maniacal laughter.
The worst thing was that supervillains kept finding him. Benjy Howard rushed out the back door. Just as he thought; somebody in a cape and globe-shaped helmet stomping a parked car into tinfoil. He’d hoped it was just an overenthusiastic cosplayer. Damn! Still, not his job.
The amplified voice reached Benjy’s ears.
“First I crush all the cars in this parking lot, and then I take over the world!”
Again, damn! A supervillain. Maybe he could slip back inside quietly.
“I will crush you, Compost Boy, as easily as I crush this Tarantula roaster!”
Benjy, alias Compost Boy, jerked into awareness; every muscle tensed for battle.
“My car!” Compost Boy shouted. He vaulted across the hood of the nearest car and did a mid-air flip. (“Thank you enhanced agility,” he breathed.) He landed with a CLUNK! In front of the masked villain. He stared down; he’d swiped the hood of his car and knocked off the antique hood ornament.
“I am Belaphrion,” he said. “Master of the force of inertia, mega-genius and future ruler of the world.”
“Register for the Primary, like everybody else!” Compost Boy quipped.
Belaphrion ripped off the hood of another car and used it to swipe at Compost Boy’s head, but he jumped over Belaphrion, landing lightly on the car’s roof, the green cape that matched his green tights falling over his head. He pulled the cape off his face in time to see the car hood tossed at his head. He ducked, but the hood clipped his right shoulder and he fell to the asphalt.
“Holeee FFFFF…” he started to say, then he bit his tongue; kids might be around. He’d be damned if he was going to spout out “Golly, Captain Ecology” again. You could get a plush doll of him which said it in his voice. He realized he was staring at a silvery object hanging in mid-air: he squinted. Enhanced reflexes tended to slow things down when he was hyper, like when somebody was trying to kill him. He recognized the silvery object as a metal hubcap and quickly rolled out of the way. The hubcap smacked the pavement where his head had been a moment later. He jumped up, only to see Belaphrion throwing another hubcap at him like a discus.
Compost Boy was ready. He jumped straight up, bending his legs under him in mid-air; the hubcap missing him by inches. As he fell back, he executed a pretty good kick, clipping Belaphrion’s jaw, as the villain darted his head back. The villain grabbed for Compost Boy who did another backflip onto the hood of another car, the villain’s clutching hand grabbing and ripping the hero’s cape. In that instant, Compost Boy glanced at his car and realized Belaphrion had been using his hubcaps like a discus, and his tires were flat; the rims ripped, the rubber torn.
“That costs money, dude!” Compost Boy snarled. Finesse be damned; he kicked Belaphrion in the crotch. Belaphrion doubled over and Compost Boy gave him a plain old punch.
In a few minutes, Belaphrion was laying on the ground, tied hand and foot with Compost Boy’s ripped, silken cape. Compost Boy pulled out his cellphone and called the police. He glared at the villain
. “And the price of that cape is coming out of your pocket, dude!” Compost Boy said.
After the police left with Belaphrion, Compost Boy called his insurance company. Belaphrion had escaped from a maximum-security psychiatric facility; he probably wasn’t going to be held liable, and Compost Boy’s policy didn’t cover damage by super-megalomaniacs. He sighed. He’d better go back in and sell a few more autographs. As he walked back into the convention center, he saw a small crowd that had witnessed the fight.
They were applauding. Applauding him.
Compost Boy smiled to himself.
Oh well, he thought. I guess this day isn’t all bad.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: A follow-up to “Captain Ecology and the Cavern of Doom,” which appeared here and on Monday Flash Fics February 4, 2018. Click the tag to the right for “Captain Ecology and Compost Boy.”
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