by William Levy
Could a sorority have spawned the cartoon heroines who've wrought justice for 70 years?
By William Levy
Copyright 2013, all rights reserved. No reproduction in whole or part in any medium permitted without prior permission from the author or publisher. Any resemblance to anyone living, dead, or fictional is purely coincidental or for the purpose of humorous satire or parody. No harm or defamation is intended. No actual over-endowed sorority women or super-heroines were harmed during the production of this manuscript. Although several were imagined in embarrassingly vivid detail...
Meanwhile, evil doings were afoot at the biggest bank in town; Providential Puppy Bank and Trust.
As the Chief arrived, a large number of police cars had already surrounded the iconic, cartoon-canine-shaped building with a moving, genuflecting paw. It was rendered even more surrealistic by the flashes of red and blue reflecting from all of it's smooth surfaces.
As could be expected, a gawking crowd had gathered. A quick-witted coney vendor had even managed to set up a rolling steam cart, happily selling his unverifiably provenienced sausages to unfortunate onlookers.
Parking his worn, unmarked gray squad car well back from the action, the aging officer pried himself out with a groan. He made a token effort at straightening his rumpled trench coat and ambled casually toward the tense knot of uniforms sheltering behind a riot wagon.
“Heya, boys, what's going down?” He greeted them mildly.
A sharply dressed police lieutenant snapped a salute before offering a clipboard. “It’s your basic hostage situation, sir. A 416b with 712.”
“I see.” Frowning, the short, scruffy officer studied the clipped forms for a moment, mumbling to himself. “416, 416b... 712? Oh yeah... Armed robbery gone sour, perps panic, and...”
“Excuse me?” A smarmy voice interrupted.
“What?” The Chief asked suspiciously as a man in an expensive three-piece suit with an antique toaster strapped on the top of his head stepped gingerly over the twisting tape barricade.
This bizarre fashion disaster advanced confidently on the gathered policemen, proffering a bright white card.
“We prefer to call it an irregular financial transaction if you'd be so kind.”
Studying both sides of the nearly blank but expensive-looking card suspiciously, the grizzled officer growled. “And you are..?”
The toaster-topped man held his hands up in modest demurral. “Oh, no names, please, not yet anyway. I’m just a hardworking field agent, representative, and publicist for the soon-to-be world-famous Toaster Head Gang.”
The two police officers stared at each other. “You've gotta be kidding.”
The publicist waved his arms excitedly. “Not at all! It's the Twenty-first Century after all, the golden age of media merchandising! Reality television writ large. Larger! Huge! This is just the opening wedge. Interviews, tell-all books, movie rights, video games, why, the toy figure sales alone are worth millions! Millions!” Leaning closer, his eyes fairly gleamed with enthusiasm as he confided. “Frankly, gentlemen, the real money isn’t in the vault anymore.”
“Gonna be quite a surprise to Willie Sutton and J. Edgar Hoover.” The Chief said dryly. “So, you’re some kind of reporter?”
“Hardly.” The smooth talking agent straightened tailored cuffs and flashed his professional smile. “If it helps, think of me as a facilitator, here to make sure everybody involved in this publicity banquet walks away fat and happy.”
“I do believe this person's about to offer us a bribe, Ronny.” A frown formed amid the Chief's wrinkles.
“Sounds that way to me, too, sir.” The younger officer flexed muscular arms, cracked his knuckles ominously.
“Not at all, no, not at all.” The publicist said hastily, tugging nervously at his collar. “Look, you’re obviously experienced, well-trained pros, right? Wouldn’t it be better for the whole system if everyone involved behaved just as professionally as you?”
Just then the clear sky rumbled and all hell broke loose.
A streak of red and gold flashed across the cloudless blue sky and slammed into the roof of the Providential Puppy Bank and Trust. The entire building shook from shock, then the large waving paw slowly toppled off the side, the impact as it slammed to the ground silencing one of the howling patrol cars with a metallic screech.
From inside the beleaguered building, screams mixed with electrical crackling, windows shattered, clouds of smoke gusted, random gunshots, then silence.
The Chief rubbed his eyes, pinched the bridge of his thick nose. “Just once, just... god... damned... once!”
Behind him, the publicist squawked. “Hey, we're not financially responsible for damage or hostage welfare if your snipers use bazookas!”
“Shut up.” The weary officer replied. “Shut up. Please.”
The dust had hardly settled when the elaborate imitation bronze double doors in the bank's puppy belly slammed open. A tall feminine form strode forth confidently on golden thigh-high boots, momentarily pausing dramatically in the doorway. What there was of a red-with-gold-trim spandex outfit did almost nothing to conceal her awesomely endowed, cartoon-like hourglass figure. She smiled, flawless teeth gleaming in the glossy, dark-red frame of lips highlighted by smooth, creamy, light chocolate skin.
A casual toss of her perfect shoulder-length dreadlocks, and the amazing being laughed boisterously. “Dismiss your foolish fear; Wondah Princess is here!” With that, she easily raised both fists, displaying four disheveled, wriggling, toaster-helmeted thugs, suspended painfully by the backs of their belts. Another booming laugh, and she released them with a powerful, thrusting toss.
The four stumbled and rolled, colliding with officers who'd run forward. Dazed hostages hesitantly exited the still open doors; among them a young nun, a disheveled middle-aged man holding a toupee like a dead puppy and crying softly, an elderly woman crawling carefully but surprisingly fast, and a teenage boy with a dreamy expression clutching a crumpled notebook.
Wondah Princess did a short arm-and-leg-pumping victory jog in place, slammed twin golden bracelets together with an ear-splitting clang, then zoomed off in a honey-colored glow amid echoes of a final thunderous laugh.
“What the hell was that?” The publicist stood agape, dribbling business cards and leaflets in the violent swirl of her back-draft.
“Oh, good, we were lucky this time.” The Chief said sarcastically. Casually swinging a pair of wire handcuffs he approached the distraught toaster-topped man. “You too, really.”
“Lucky?” The stunned agent whined. “That's abuse, we, we'll sue..!”
“Sue who? Not us. She's a vigilante, not working on my dime. Or for anybody official.” The officer chuckled sourly, snapping nylon cuffs on the publicist. “Plus, you gotta find her first. Secret identity and all. Good luck with that. The best have tried and failed. Not to mention your clients were robbing a bank at the time. Armed. Not a sympathetic position. And it could've been a heckuva lot worse.”
“Worse! What's worse than being terrified and beaten by a super-powered costumed maniac?”
“Wondah Princess is one of the mild ones. Physically enthusiastic, but mostly property damage.” The Chief frowned reflectively. “Coulda been... oh... Batspiderbadgergirl. We're talking about your gang members needing extensive reconstructive surgery. And figuring out whose fingers belong to who. Not to mention sundry other parts. Or The Sabertooth Canary. Or even...” He shuddered, abruptly chill even in his worn overcoat. “Her.”
The agent stared at him, eyes widening, then enthusiastically proffered his cuffed hands.
“Gee, all of a sudden I'm feeling in a state's-evidence-protective-custody mood.”
-More to come, from Blackwyrm Books