I have been put on this Earth for a purpose. I am justice. I am vengeance. I am the lone sword of lawfulness that shines in a black cloud of despair. I am the protector of the weak. I am the shepherd of the lost. I am the last bastion of truth! I am-
“Honey! Do you want me to do a load of undies, or are you all set for next week?”
“IM FINE, MOM!”
Dang! She always manages to chime in when I’m rehearsing. I almost had my speech down too, but no. She just has to interrupt me asking about my underwear. I never ask her about her underpants! Not that I ever would, because, like, she’s my mom. Besides, who can really call those underwear? There’s not enough fabric to cover one of my hands…not that I would know. Because that’s gross. But, I mean, seriously, those have to be uncomfortable, with that string riding up your butt all day. I don’t understand. Whatever.
Mom and I don’t really talk all that much. I mean, yeah, we eat dinner together, and breakfast, and on the weekends lunch, unless I go over to a friends house. And sure, we watch TV together, because we both like that new super hero show. But I mean, outside of that, and the rides to and from school, we never talk. She’s been weird since my dad left. He went out for milk and never came home. I mean, this was after the divorce, and the packing, and the crying (mostly by mom, I’m a man and I don’t cry). But still, one second he’s here, then: poof. Gone. He was a cop. Prob’ly still is a cop. I don’t know. I haven’t talked to him in ages. Since, like, June. And now it‘s almost a month since Independence Day. Anywho, he’s the one who got me into the detective stuff. But I took it a step further and became The-
“Dinner is going to be done in ten, hun!”
Shoot! Always when I’m trying to explain myself. Oh well, it wouldn’t be much of a hidden identity if everyone knew who I was at night! Speaking of, I finally solved a crime! All that’s left is to finalize and get my man. It wont be easy, and it will be dangerous, and death defying, and totally scary, but it’s all in a days work for The… wait, I almost spilled the beans. Lemme explain:
I got the regal position of “Library Helper” at school. This noble title meant that while the rest of the losers were in line waiting to check out wavy copies of Harry Potter, the pages crumpled and stained with grease, I was behind the counter, doing all of the hard work. The librarian would have me slave over the demagnetizer and it was my sworn duty to ensure that the wicked alarm never went off. In my days of service, not once did the wailing cat of an alarm sound without warrant. Sure, sometimes the stupid demagnetizer didn’t work all that great, but that wasn’t my fault. There was one class where it went off at least five times due to technical difficulties. But whatever, if they wanted it to work they would buy a new one. That what mom does when her car stops working. We’re basically rich so she just buys the same car in the same color. She likes it a lot I guess, so we never get anything different. She said that I can have a Ferrari when I turn 16. Or maybe a Porsche. Or I could just get my own private jet, because I wont even want to drive, I can just fly to my friends houses. It’s going to be pretty awesome. But anyway…
The most important thing that I do at the library is make sure all the books come back. I could do it on the computer, because I’m a computer genius, but I do it by hand because I don’t want to make Mrs. Shu, the librarian, feel dumb. She’s old and she kind of looks like a new baby, all gross and veiny and wrinkly. But with more hair. My friend Kevin had a baby sister not too long ago and I told him it looked more like a naked mole rat than a baby. So I have a list of every book that everyone checks out and when they are due back. Usually it’s only a week, which is good for me because I read whole chapter books in an hour. But some of the other kids aren’t quite as fast as I am. Some even need longer and check out the same book twice in a row. But some kids forget their books and cant check them back out. These kids are the bane of society. There’s a girl Julie, who totally has cooties, that forgot her book this week. She said that she didn’t know where it was. Mrs. Shu said that she could have a couple days to try to find it, but if she didn’t she would have to pay at least a million dollars in late fees. I don’t think Julie lost the book at all. I think she’s hiding it. And I think this is a job for me, The… almost did it again! Maybe I will say it some day, but for now it’s still a secret. I went to Julie at recess, after getting a new cootie shot, and asked her about the book.
“So where is it, you thieving wench?” I demanded.
“Where is what, weirdo?” She snapped back. I could detect a slight quiver in her voice, so I knew she knew exactly what I was talking about. I learned that trick from the show I watch with my mom. The hero always can tell when someone is lying. It’s a power that he and I share.
“The book, you foul criminal! I know you know where it is, and if I have to find it there will be some serious consequences!”
“Knock it off Felix! I don’t know where I put that stupid book. It wasn’t even that good.”
“That’s just what you would say. I know you have it, and I don’t intend to rest until it is back in the safety of the library!”
“Whatever, freak. Why don’t you go away now?” She was terrified of me finding the book. She would probably end up in jail, probably serving life. Theft is a serious crime. But for now I knew it was better to back off and keep an eye out.
This is the crime I knew I could solve. I knew exactly where that book was. It was in her house. Most likely behind some painting in a secret safe. So I waited and waited, and when it was dark out I put on my costume, all black with a mask and my secret symbol in silver on the chest, and headed out to Julie’s house to return the stolen book!
The streetlights are on. This makes my journey more difficult. There aren’t quite as many shadows that I can hide behind. But Julie only lives a couple of blocks away, so I dart between the well kept shrubs and the blue mail boxes, stopping between the cul-de-sacs and the main road to make sure there aren’t any other crimes that need stopping. After another couple minutes of sneaking and rolling, I find myself at Julie’s front door. But only fools go in the front door. If she knows that I’m coming, she will have laid a trap for sure. It’s safer to try to find an open window in the back. So I crawl around the side of the house, and make my way into the back yard. I was right! There is an open window that looks perfect for me. Working quickly I make my way through the window and into the kitchen. The house is dark, and still. I walk into the dining room, and the floor boards squeak under my footsteps. Not too big of a deal, I think, it was pretty quiet. As I scan the walls for paintings I see a picture of Julie and her Dad. Her dad is a cop, just like my dad. I hold the photo in my hands. The cold metal frame picks up a glint from the lights outside. I wonder why my dad had to leave us. Why couldn’t he have just worked things out with my mom? Why did they have to fight all the time? I bet they were happy before I came around. I bet I ruined everything. The whole time they were talking about moving and whatever, they kept telling me that it wasn’t my fault, but I didn’t believe them. Sometimes I think about where my dad is. He only lives a town over, and I talk to him on the phone all the time, but he was busy with police things, and cant ever come to see me. I wonder if Julie’s dad ever sees my dad. I bet, after I get this book back, that when I see her next she will understand why I had to steal the book back from her. Maybe I can then talk to her dad and ask him to talk to my dad and tell him to call me. Maybe Dad could take me to a baseball game like we used to.
I hear some steps behind me and my cover is blown! I turn around to see my would be captors, prepared to fight my way out. But all I can see in the light from the street is a very large shape, with a matching shine from something metal in it’s hand. Before I can make heads or tails of what’s going on, I hear a huge boom! My chest hurts. It’s on fire. Then another boom! I cant breathe all that well. I don’t feel good, and I keep coughing up something wet and warm. I feel dizzy; something’s wrong. The lights are on now. Someone keeps screaming “oh my God, oh my God!” over and over again. I cant see much more than blurs. I think they got me. I don’t think I can get that book back to Mrs. Shu. I don’t think I’m much of a superhero, or even a detective, or even just a police officer like my dad. I think I might fall asleep, even though someone keeps telling me to hold on. But I’m so tired. Evil might have… won this battle… but the war… will…