|A Christmas Card From The Middleman - 2012
||[Dec. 19th, 2012|11:08 pm]
HIGBEE'S CHRISTMAS PARADE - DOWNTOWN
10:00 AM IN A CANONICAL, CREATOR-OWNED REALITY
In the past twelve months, The Middleman had gotten used to the feeling of utter, unadulterated and - frankly - de-goshdarn-lightful pride at the progress of his young apprentice. Without fail, the art student who had come under his tutelage a snarky, vinegar-veined quipper had turned into a reliable - if sometimes idiosyncratic - Middleman-to-be. Today was no exception - even if its events were causing him to suck air in a mad canter toward The Middlemobile, where - at the beck and call of a signal from his Middlewatch - the trunk would soon pop open to grant him access to the seldom-used-but-always-at-the-ready Middlejetpack.
The Middleman disliked the Middlejetpack: an archaic contraption harkening back to the days when former Middleman Guy Goddard - his sexual promiscuity as overt as his appetite for vehicular carnage in exotic locales - rode the thing in a green smoking jacket with a Beretta in one hand and a highball of Fleming's Commander Jamaica Rum in the other...but desperate times called for desperate measures, and flingety-flangety-foom, this time was more desperate than a Portland vegan at a Texas barbecue.
In the past twelve months, Wendy Watson had honed the cool and sardonic demeanor that first got her this job into a weapon as powerful as a 30-Megahurt Definit-Kil Photrazon cannon. Even now, as she made an uncontrolled ascent over the city, hands white-knuckling one of the control lines of a massive helium balloon in the shape of one of the adorable characters from "Ferrets of Fury" - the almost criminally popular game app that had taken the country's tablet and smartphone users by storm - her thoughts ricocheted with their usual post-modern tangentiality...but even as her mind ameliorated all the synaptic red alerts over her current predicament by busily trying to replace the lyric "high adventure beyond compare" from the theme to the old "Gummi Bears" cartoon show with the more descriptive "they're gelatinous with sucrose to spare" she truly could not tune out the screams of the fourteen year-old boy clutched beside her in the inflatable paws of this once adorable video game creation turned hateful harbinger of helium-filled hatred.
Wendy disliked it when the people targeted by the many villains she and The Middleman were tasked with neutralizing blew their Huggies in the face of danger, but even she had to cut this kid some slack: not only had he been put in the crosshairs by a time-traveling superbeing from three hundred years in an alternate future, he had also seen his first day volunteering at the Higbee's Department Store Christmas Parade turn into a Grand Guignol of mayhem at the hands of a hundred foot long inflatable ferret. Also, he'd grown up with the incredibly misguided name "Tiberius Davis." Poor kid, his parents really should have shown him mercy.
( Read more...Collapse )