DARKNESS FELL UPON THE city as night descended with all the subtlety of a backup dancer suffering from delusions of grandeur.
The Mighty Piñata stepped out onto the rooftop of the hospital and paused, sniffing at the air. The scent of cheeseburgers and fried food from the Burger Den across the street rolled gently over him, embracing the Piñata like a long lost friend.
“Hey, buddy,” the aroma seemed to say. “Where have you been? I’ve missed you.”
“Not now, cheeseburger,” the Piñata said. “The only thing on the menu tonight is justice.”
He felt most at home on rooftops. Where else can one observe the pulse of the city and find those in need of his particular set of skills? He found moving about the city easier from up here as well. Leaping from building to building in defiance of the gravity that sought to keep him from his rightful duties.
Tonight, however, was different. The people in the building below him needed his help. So what was he doing up here?
He would need help of his own. He didn’t like to admit it, but it was true. He wasn’t sure what he faced in there, the numbers, but even a handful of armed men and women would prove to be difficult. Doable, but difficult. And while the Piñata had no faith in the criminal justice system, look what it had done for him, he believed in the city’s police force. The good men and women who put their life on the line each day they put on the badge.
Granted, they weren’t nearly as capable as he was, but they could be of help getting the innocents out of danger as he cleaned house.
He went to the edge of the roof and looked down. At only four stories, the hospital was longer than it was tall, the architects preferring to build outward over upward. It resembled a giant animal what with the four wings that stretched out from the main building on which he stood.
The hospital, located in the heart of the city, was surrounded by bumper to bumper traffic and pedestrians going to and fro.
“Hey!” The Mighty Piñata shouted to the people below. “People of this fair city!”
One or two of the passersby looked up, but beyond that, he got no response.
“Citizens!” He shouted once more. “I need your attention immediately!”
Again, no one responded.
“I am the Mighty Piñata and I demand your attention!”
“Shut up!” A response.
It was a raggedy looking gentleman lying on a bus stop bench. He was looking up with anger on his face.
“I cannot, dear citizen!” The Piñata called down to the man. “I am in need of assistance!”
“You’re gonna be in need of my foot in your rear end if you don’t shut your blasted mouth!” The man called back as he sat up. “Some of us are trying to sleep down here!”
“Crab people have taken over the hospital!”
“I’m gonna take over the beating you’re about to get if you don’t zip it up, toot sweet!”
“Sir,” the Piñata called down. “You are very rude! Were I not in the middle of saving every life within these hospital walls I would come down there and introduce you to my bat!”
“I’m gonna introduce you to my—!”
“Okay!” The Piñata cut him off. “I get it! You want me to stop shouting! I can assure you that I am aware of what it is you want to do to me! But I need you to set that anger aside and welcome the warm embrace of justice!”
“You’re gonna welcome the warm embrace of my foot in your—!”
“Would you two knock it off!” A woman had entered the fray. She ran the newspaper stand located next to the bus stop.
“My apologies, good woman!” The Piñata shouted. “I do not mean to disturb! It’s just that a small army of heavily armed men and women dressed in some sort of crustacean regalia have taken over the hospital and I am in need of assistance if they are to be stopped!”
The woman at the newspaper stand shared a look with the man at the bus stop. The man only shrugged his shoulders.
“Are you some kind of escaped mental patient or something!?” She called up to him.
“No!” He responded. “I am the Mighty Piñata!”
“You look like some kinda freaking weirdo to me!” She shouted. “What are you doing up there!?”
“As I said! Armed crab people have taken over the hospital and I am in need of assistance!”
“Look!” She shouted. “I don’t know what the heck is going on up there, but I’m going to call the police if you don’t stop with all the yelling and carrying on!” The woman shouted up to the Piñata. “You’re starting to scare away my customers!”
“Yes! Yes, good woman!” The Piñata responded. “The police are precisely the sort of help I am looking for! Your call would be appreciated! I would call them myself, only I don’t have a telephone on me!”
The woman only stared at him for a moment before picking up her phone. As she talked to whomever was on the other end, the Piñata could hear words like ‘lunatic’, ‘rainbow horse’, and ‘public disturbance’ drift up to him.
“Okay!” The woman shouted. “They’re on their way!”
“Yeah!” The man shouted. “Enjoy your time in lockup, freak!”
The Mighty Piñata smiled. Help was coming.
“Thank you, citizens!” He shouted down to them. “You have scored a point for justice this night. Sleep well in the knowledge that you have played a small part in protecting the innocent.”
“I hope the cops smack you around some with their billy clubs when they come to get you!” The man shouted.
“The no longer call them billy clubs, sir!” The Piñata responded. “They are called batons!”
“You need some shock treatment!” The man shouted before turning his back on the building.
But the Piñata had not heard him. He had run back across the roof to the door leading back into hospital.
“Tremble, evil doers,” he said. “For the Piñata is coming for you.”
And as the distant sound of a lone police siren grew closer, the Mighty Piñata entered, and closed the door behind him.
- Will the police arrive on time?
- Will they help the Piñata or beat him about the head with their batons?
- Does anyone else want a cheeseburger?
Find out the answers to one of these questions in the next exciting installment of: The Mighty Piñata!
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