Defender of the City
by Elizabeth Gallenberg
"And don't stay out too late!" I called after Sam as he leapt off the fire escape into the colorless twilight sky, cape streaming out behind him. A small flock of startled birds exploded up in his wake.
I turned back to the kitchen and froze.
A hulking man covered in white dust stood before me. "Cooperate and I won‘t hurt you," he rasped. "It's MetaMan I want."
I quickly sidestepped so the table was between us. "You...you're Sodium Bicarbonightmare!"
We circled, my back against the wall. Keeping his eyes on me, he swatted jars and dishes off the countertops, smashing them to the floor. "Don't make it hard on yourself, lady. You know how this works.”
"I...think I‘m going to faint." I staggered, then collapsed, rolling under the table.
"Sam, ten-thirty IS too late," I called when I heard him clambering back in from the fire escape.
"What happened?" He rushed to my side and surveyed the scene: the intruder sweeping up the last of the spilled flour and shattered crockery, cowering from the Super Soaker full of vinegar I held pointed at
his powdery face.
“The usual,” I said cheerfully, returning the squirt gun to its hiding place under the table, with the heat ray, sonic disruptor, rhotonium gems, and Glock. "Why do they never suspect the girlfriend?”
“I'll get you, MetaMan,” the villain snapped, brandishing the dustpan. “Your powers won't work next time!”
I threw up my hands in disgust. Sam smiled and kissed my forehead.