Damn. I was late.
"Kelsey Avenue, and step on it," I yelled to the driver, even as I dived into his cab. The grizzled veteran of the roads nodded his acknowledgement and began the long ride through New York City. Satisfied that the cab couldn't go any further without severe risk to life and limb, I leaned back on the seat and started thinking.
Thinking about Maddie, the love of my life, the light at the end of my darkness, the blooming flower in the midst of the tundra, the woman who was going to murder me on sight.
Thinking about what I was going to say to her, how I would phrase it such that she didn't get any wrong ideas, what I could do to prove that nothing else meant more to me than she did.
Thinking about what had just happened in the past hour, and how it would be the most memorable time of my life. I smiled and added 'after my future marriage to Maddie, of course'.
Thinking about how he ought to make a difference in the world, just like the heroes of New York City. Just like the costumed men and women who risked their lives for the sake of the people. The ones who swore to protect New York, the United States, even the world if necessary, from evil.
They were usually only seen on the news, or written about in the papers, but today was different, was special.
I saw Captain America.
It began like any other Saturday began. No school for the weekend and no chores to do for Mother meant that I could have whole day to myself. First, there was the usual Tai Chi practice out in Central Park, then go out with Maddie and spend a few hours of quality time with her. At night, ah, to work on that battleship model I started on the day before.
It was a plan. A good plan. However, as all good plans go, this one was ruined, when a cheap Honda went flying past my head, courtesy of a "supervillian" called the Porcupine.
"It’s no use, my dear people! I’m here to take care of the man called Captain America, but I’ll have to attract his attention first. Unfortunately, the only way these costumed goody-two-shoes seem to take notice of anything is when there are innocents at risk. So I guess you’re all... bait. I apologise in advance for the slight discomfort you might feel."
With that, he shot out several of his quills, injuring those bystanders that were unlucky enough to be in the line of fire. Those that were hit lost consciousness almost immediately, some experiencing spasms for a couple of seconds before becoming inert.
I was "lucky". A rather obese teenager had been in front of me when the quills hit. Kneeling down quickly, I checked for a pulse, and finding a faint one, quickly shouted for someone to dial for an ambulance. The Porcupine, however, had noticed this chain of events, and in his rage, picked up a nearby Kawasaki and hurled it in my direction.
I wasn't the athletic kind, but the adrenaline rush give me somewhat heroic agility, and I picked up the body of the teen, and tried to leap out of the way of the incoming car. Unfortunately, I misjudged his weight, and mistimed my jump. The automobile landed squarely on my right leg, crushing it. I screamed in pain and blacked out.
When I came to, the pain was still intense, but the car had been removed by a tow truck and an EMT was currently attending to me. Glancing around at the scene, I wondered where the Porcupine had gone to, but that curiosity was overtaken by the immense sense of awe that I felt seconds later.
For above, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, was the Sentinel of Liberty himself. Captain America.
The blue costume of New York’s most admired hero was a blur as he descended quickly to the ground and rounded the corner into an alley.
Such superhuman speed, I thought. The man's practically a legend! I wonder what could be in that alley? Could it be possible that Cap noticed the Porcupine escaping?
With so many thoughts in mind, and an eagerness to see Captain America in action, I tried to get up, but the pain in my right leg prevented me from doing anything. Nonetheless, I managed to catch a little of what was going on.
"Alright, stop right there, we’ve got you trapped!" I heard Captain America yell.
We’ve? I wondered, but that question was soon answered, for above them on the rooftop was the perched form of the Falcon. All right! Two good guys versus one bad guy are always decent odds!
The Porcupine replied with a hail of quills directed at Cap. Those paying close attention to Cap realised that although his initial instinct was to dodge the quills, the group of people blocking the entrance to the alley was his first concern. He motioned to the Falcon, who acknowledged the behest and headed for the alleyway to shoo the people away from the battle.
Just like superheroes to think of the innocent bystander, I mused, despite enjoying this golden opportunity to see the two in real life.
The Porcupine didn’t seem to stop firing his quills at Cap, who simply deflected all of them with his shield. Suddenly, without any warning at all, the Porcupine fired his laser beams at the two buildings that the alley was between. To the horror of the people and the Falcon, Cap was buried underneath the bricks that fell from where the laser had struck the buildings.
Without much hesitation, Falcon immediately leaped into battle, amidst the cheers of the people around him. After landing several blows on the Porcupine, Falcon seemed to have defeated the enemy. Porcupine seemed relatively unfazed as he got back to his feet, though, and the battle seemed to go nowhere, until Captain America escaped from underneath the brick pile.
With the cheers of the people getting louder, Captain America swung his shield twice at the Porcupine’s head, knocking the villain hard. In a last ditch effort, the Porcupine leaped for the throats of his opponent, only to be slammed on the back by the Falcon.
I joined the rest in applauding the heroes for another respectable victory. It was the least I could do to show his appreciation for the amazing effort the heroes had put in, today and everyday.
This was originally a story I wrote 3 years ago for the fan-fiction site MV1 (http://www.transload.net/~hawkeye_archer/mv1/). It was based on a story written by Mark Bosquet for the same site. I hope you enjoyed it.