Author’s Assortment #4 – Spidermania Pt. 2

Posted: December 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

By G.N. Jacobs

Peter hated rooftops in the best of days also known as the average night in New York. Tonight, he checked the flexi-tablet kept in a special pocket wrapped around his left flank twice. The wind off Lake Michigan swirled though the steel and stone canyons in generally unpredictable ways. And then there was the basic need to learn the lay of the new playground.

The scanner spat out a stone soup of garbled cop voices highlighting the cries for help from the city in the middle of the country. The police handled the calls and things would improve in the windswept morning. The Thermos with coffee handed over by MJ steamed bringing cinnamon and cocoa to his nose.

The freeze possibly kept the city calm as the cold snap to end all cold snaps moved in behind the ordinary cold wind. Tough guy and girl residents got the hell off the pavement refusing to trust the common three layers, even most of the bad guys. Electric heating coils built into the red suit took care of those chills for Peter.

He waited several hours watching the Lakefront District with visible breath clouds appearing at the mouths of the few residents out on the street. The coffee tasted better than it smelled. And maybe trying this superhero thing in a city well away from home.

The radio squawked with the first job of the night, a robbery. Six men smashed and grabbed. Peter heard the alarms over the scanner. He pushed off the gravel.

POW! Punch. Kick. Side kick. Punch. Kick. SMASH! CRUNCH! Peter shuffle stepped as if making the opening move in the Texas Two Step. WHAM! He stepped though the first goon’s chest, a schoolyard shove that only needed a partner to kneel behind the man’s knees.

The goon fell backwards in slow motion arms flopping to the sides. The window behind him vibrated with a deep booming taiko drumbeat. A microsecond later, the glass shattered destroying the painted on window sign advertising a good price on Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches, $900 or $1,200 for smart phone integration. Peter – BOOSH! – pulled the man out of the glass snowstorm with a quick hit of his web.

The incident had lasted thirty seconds, an easy affair where the spider in Peter could truss up four goons in silk before anyone would even blink. Until his metabolism crapped out for making enough silk for all six goons. Happened occasionally to be fixed with the more tasty of Aunt May’s sausage linguini that had never seen Little Italy let alone, say, Calabria, a taco plate or the Prime Rib he could afford with impunity these days as the Green Spider.

Luckily, the wrestling and MMA character had made the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man a more well rounded hero. Since the crowd liked to see Greenie use the webbing early in the bout and then finish off with standard wrestling/MMA moves, Peter had an incentive to learn a few things in various dojos and wrestling studios. Pile-drivers. Hip throws. Shoulder throws. Arm and wrist locks. And a stiff and daily improving jab. All good for robbers in front of jewelry stores…when you removed the choreography.

Still, Peter grimaced considering that perhaps this fight with the guy pushed into the window had gone too far. Relative concepts considering the madmen that sometimes showed up ready to blow up any pavement on which the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man stood. The papers everywhere divided on Spider-Man Good or Spider-Man Bad depending on how far the rubble flew. Luckily, leaving ordinary bad guys on the pavement trussed in silk with only minor lacerations, plate glass windows notwithstanding, tended to shift a few more editorials towards Spider-Man Good.

Peter patted the man that had back flopped into the jewelry store window. He groaned and spat out his third bloody tooth to the concrete. The red and blue clad costume guy standing over him seemed to love the limelight so the papers said. The spider found an extra store of food to convert into silk and trussed up the remaining thugs, going tight enough with the last one to stop any bleeding from the shards.

“Frak, the Mets,” the goon said gasping for air in his silk truss.

“At least we ain’t the Cubs,” Peter said adding far more stereotypical Queens than usual.

“Da Sox, Douchebag.”

Peter shrugged before finishing the moment with a Post-It note stuck to the man’s forehead. The absolute last touch was to shoot silk attaching a flash drive to the silk truss. He saluted and found a good place to launch the next web swing and was gone.

Peter crept into the hotel room stepping carefully in bare feet with his Spider-Man booties in hand. Even with the mild harbor noise from the lake coming through the upper floor window, every little bit of noise might…

“Tiger,” MJ called out softly.

Apparently, bare feet on wooden floors do the exact opposite of stealth. He shed the overcoat that had gotten him past the staff in the lobby and moved over to the closer bed appreciating the form of the woman lying on her side. He held up his hands as if a film director composing his shot.

“Yeah, it’s me, MJ,” Peter answered. “Stay right there.”

“Okay.”

Peter found his cell phone and tapped the camera controls that would compensate for the low light in the room and make a museum quality art photo. When he had the image built around her red hair falling loose about the shoulder raised to the ceiling he – CLICK! – took the picture.

“When you going to put these in a gallery, Tiger?” MJ asked in her soft voice that might fall asleep again. “What the point of being your muse if…”

With that MJ fell asleep. Peter finished stripping down out of Spider-Man and hanging the suit in the special clothes bag that cleaned the clothes hung inside. He gently lifted the cover on the bedspread to spoon in behind her joining her sleeping amid the boat horns and the clattering of the El likely to run even on a cold night.

“Tell me about the bad guy,” MJ whispered coming back up out of her light sleep for just a moment. “In the morning…”

Morning brought more warmth as the remnants of a hurricane moving north fought off the cold northerlies from the lake and Canada beyond. The harbor sounds mixed with the rain to make yet another moment that…began with MJ holding out her hands wrists together and palms up. Two hours later, she picked off the dried and cracking silk that Peter naturally extruded from his wrists and thoroughly enjoyed her mini-Walk of Shame to the bathroom.

Peter allowed himself to get caught looking, a gaze she met looking over her shoulder. A piece of webbing still clasped the corner of her left eye. He pointed to his own eye creating a few seconds of entertainment playing the Mirror Confusion game with his girlfriend. MJ got the offending clump grimacing as if she’d maybe pulled off a facial mask too quickly, but she got it.

With that she gave a crooked grin as if maybe she would take her own pictures of Peter wrapped up in the thick bedspread. The moment passed and she entered the bathroom running the shower on full. A full head of steam swirled out from under the door and MJ stuck her damp head out.

“Join me, Tigger,” MJ said in her throatiest voice.

Peter crossed the floor and took MJ to him amid the steam.

Morning took them to Wrigley Field almost intimidated by the bricks and ivy. Peter sat in chinos and collared shirt trying not to look like the diva’s wrestler boyfriend. He sipped a soda from the craft service bucket and appreciated MJ’s period dress. He shook his head.

A hip-hop artist with a fondness for the Cubs and beautiful women had decided to do a themed music video for his cover of The Way We Were where he played a ball player in a somewhat forbidden relationship with MJ’s character. Peter had stepped away from the shoot finding a floor level seat above the Cubs’ dugout, just far enough away from the cameras and crew to give the illusion that Peter Parker wouldn’t be a douchebag about escorting her to the shoot.

Peter occupied himself watching the crew do their jobs. Most had cell phones tuned to the local news sites. The older people read newspapers. Didn’t matter, the headlines were the same – NEW YAAAHK’S SPIDER VIGILANTE VISITS, BREAKS HEADS AND SMASHES TEETH!

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