The Avenging Cashier

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

The Avenging Cashier

It started off as a quiet day in the comic book shop.  Rich was talking to one of the regular customers about the changes in the Justice League roster.  While he could understand the fellow’s viewpoint on replacing Wonder Woman, Rich would be always be a bigger fan of Black Canary.  She just had a more engaging personality.

A jingling by the door caught their attention and the two men noticed as a fellow in a Yankees cap and faded leather jacket came into the store.  The regular nodded at the stranger while Rick waved slightly. 

“Anything I can help you with?” Rich inquired.

“Just looking for now”, stated the newcomer.

Rich seemed satisfied with that remark and went back to his conversation.  Just as the two were moving onto attire (Wonder Woman’s look was darned patriotic, but Black Canary was just more action-ready), the stranger made his move.  Before Rich could say a word, the fellow had dipped into the recesses of his jacket and pulled out a can of mace.  Rich and the regular tried to look away; their arms thrown up in their faces as they had seen so many criminals do when Batman came to dispense justice onto them.  Alas, it was too little too late, and the two shirked back in seething pain.  Like a miniature woodpecker viciously stabbing at their eyes over and over, the sockets flooded with tears and the eyelids struggled to contain the moisture and agony.

As the two men were suffering, the stranger was making his move.  He tossed the empty mace canister aside, reached around to the back of the glass counter, and removed the bagged and boarded copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1.  He let the classic comic be enfolded into his coat while darting towards the front door.

Both comic fans noticed this, and the regular shouted out in protest.  Rich had a more active response. 

Wiping his eyes maddeningly while running out of the door, Rich could just see the thief hopping onto the tailgate of a truck that was speeding away.  Rich looked around for some sort of assistance or anyone who could slow the lawbreaker’s escape.  Instead, Rich found only the sandwich-board sign which advertised his hours.

Years of comic book reading kicked into action.  Trying to clear his vision one more time, Rich pulled the sign from its resting place and tucked it under his arm.  Running towards the truck as its brake lights turned off, Rich lifted the sign out in front of him and flexed his bicep muscle as hard as he could.  The wooden attack weapon flew from Rich’s arm and wobbled ever so slightly in the air.  Even though it lacked an aerodynamic grace, it still succeeded in its newfound purpose.  Just like Captain America’s mighty shield, the sandwich-board sign struck the evildoer.  The thief’s body shuddered as the sign hit him in the back.  The comic fell to the ground while the truck started to speed away.  Even through the waterfalls that continued to flood his vision, Rich could see that the thief was considering going back for his prize.  That thought was a fleeting one, and the truck and the two occupants were around the corner as Rich picked up his valued prize off the ground.

Rich reached down, brushed off the sign, and walked it back to its rightful resting place.  He tried to examine the comic book, but his eyes were still swollen and in great pain.  Still, it looked like it had not suffered any worse for its moment of excitement.  Rich tenderly returned Spidey to his spot in the case, and turned to the back shelf.  He took two coffee cups (one with Batman on it, one advertising a construction company) and filled them halfway with water.  He added two paper towels to his supplies and carried the items back to the counter.  Rich and the regular started dabbing their eyes to remove the offending chemicals from their faces. 

When the hurting had mostly subsided and the two had finished tending to their aches in silence, Rich turned to his friend and asked,

“So where were we?  Oh yeah, the Canary Cry versus the Golden Lasso.”

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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