Michael Winter sat alone at the table in his gloomy apartment. Loose tie, shirt sleeves rolled up he stared at his bowl of watery soup. One hand propped up his weary head, strands of hair sprouted between his fingers. The other slowly shovelled soup into his mouth, pausing frequently for yawns. The T.V provided the only light in the room, a man raved on the nightly news. The torrential rain outside drowned out the sound.Suddenly a mobile phone on the table burst to life, beeping and bathing the table in a red glow momentarily." No! " Michael shouted and slammed the table. He buried his face in his hands and began shaking.

" Not tonight " he moaned. " Not tonight, not tonight, not tonight "
Michael angrily swept the phone to the floor and stood up kicking his chair over in the process. He turned on his heel stormed into the dark hallway. An anger had been simmering away inside Michael for weeks now and it scared him.
When he emerged minutes later he was Michael no more. He was dressed entirely in black. Boots, tights, vest and mask. The vest had a large red M in the middle of it as did the mask. Michael had become Marvello, crime fighter, defender of the good, the people’s protector. Super hero. Marvello strode past his cold soup, threw open the curtain and slid open the window. Sounds of wet tyres, horns and screeching brakes flooded the apartment. The storm rushed in whipping the curtains into a frenzy, rustling and hassling loose papers. Marvello stepped out the window and he was gone. Swallowed by the night.

The night was still and clammy after the storm. Alive with the song of crickets and the rumble of thunder left behind. Newton’s Auto Repairs was normally deserted at this time of night. Normally.

Three shady characters lurked around a Ute parked on the drive way in front of Newton’s. The drive lead to a roller door with Newton’s written on it in peeling paint. A grossly over weight man wearing an expensive suit paced in front of the door. A mobile phone was jammed into a crevice of fat in his neck. Sweat glistened on his sickly, pale bald head as he shouted into the phone.
A skinny gaunt man leaned on the Ute. His wiry arms, covered in sorrowful tattoos hung out of a loose black singlet. Long knuckly fingers full of cheap chunky rings rings plucked a cigarette from between his thin lips and a cloud of smoke engulfed his greasy grey hair. A younger man, short and stocky jumped and bounced around the smoking man. Unleashing fearsome combinations of kicks and punches on imaginary enemies, whilst the smoking man eyed him warily.
Suddenly Jumpy launched into a frenzy of punches and kicks. His gloved hands sliced through the air in a flurry of speed and aggression barely missing the other man’s head.
" Ah ha , coulda jus killed you three times Wayne !" Jumpy taunted, his face lit up with delight. Wayne looked unimpressed " You cant kill someone three times you …. " Wayne’s voice trailed off as something behind Jumpy had caught his eye. Across the road a figure emerged, dressed all in black. It was as if part of the night had broken off and taken the form of a man. " Marvello " Wayne whispered. The fat man had seen it too and he had hastily waddled inside the auto repair shop.
Jumpy charged down the driveway to meet Marvello who was striding toward them. They met at the bottom of the drive way and immediately Jumpy threw a lightning quick left with an uppercut following close behind. Marvello weaved under the wild left with ease but he was slow tonight and the uppercut grazed his chin sending him staggering backwards. An evil grin creased Jumpy’s face. He narrowed his squinty eyes and snorted, a slug of green snot flew from his nostrils.
Marvello saw it just in time, a flicker of movement in Jumpy’s left hip and knee. A kick exploded out from Jumpy’s hip like a cobra striking straight for Marvello’s head. Marvello caught the boot in two hands mere millimetres from his ear. All the grin and colour drained from Jumpy’s face as he hopped waving his arms for balance. Marvello gave the foot a viscous jerking twist and a foul crack echoed throughout the street. The foot went limp, the ankle like jelly as Jumpy collapsed into the gutter amidst his screams of agony. Marvello sensed movement behind him and turned to find Wayne armed with a baseball bat. But the super hero was too quick, he clamped his hand over Wayne’s throat before he could even take a swing. He lifted him into the air before sending him crashing to the road, his head bounced grotesquely. The man’s eyelids began flickering wildly trying to fight off the enclosing darkness. Marvello rose his boot to deliver unconsciousness to his defeated foe. Then the eyes were still. The rage was rising within him like a tide, he swallowed hard to keep it down. Now for the fat man.

Marvello found himself standing in a filthy run down reception area. The carpet was threadbare and there was grubby old car seats for waiting chairs. Magazines spilled off a small coffee table, tattered and old. He crept across the reception area to an open door which lead to the workshop. The workshop was in total darkness except for two large pools of moonlight pouring in through the windows. He could make out the shape of two raised cars at the far end of the workshop. He felt the quiet rage beginning to grow louder, begging to be set free. Then he saw them. Footprints, oily and shiny making a neat track through the large squares of moonlight in the middle of the workshop. " Fool " .Wary of a trap Marvello cautiously followed the prints straight to the back of the workshop, past the cars, and the work benches to a door with TOILET written on it. He allowed himself a grin as he gripped the handle and opened the door. Waves of panic swept through Marvello as he spotted the fat man’s oily shoes at the base of the toilet. No one was in them ! He whirled around to see a rusty crow bar coming straight for him. The bar struck him across the brow sending pulses of pain jolting through his body. Marvello reeled backwards hitting the toilet wall and slumping to the floor. Star bursts exploded in his eyes and the pain felt like boiling water coursing through his skull. Now the rage was free, fed by the pain it had broken free from its shackles. Marvello lunged at the fat man, colliding with him and bringing him down.

He started to scream as he sat on the fat man and started punching. And punching. And punching. His fists rained down on his enemy making a wet slapping sound as they landed. The seed and result of his anger lay before him, broken and beaten. Bloody and horrific. Marvello rose to feet, his chest heaving. He slowly peeled off his mask and threw it down on the battered carcase. His face was bruised and swollen, streaked with blood and tears. But Michael hurt the most inside. Michael Winter slipped out the back door and melted into the night. Marvello would die with the fat man.

Journal Comments

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