Vigilante From Behind
By Johnny Apocalypse
"Shit yeah, man. Hunnerd will get your tab cleared and get you a fix."
The two men stood together in the dark playground, walking along like old friends. The chirruping of the crickets covered their voices to anyone who may be nearby. After a moment, one of the men handed a small wad of bills to his friend. He counted the money, crammed it into his pocket and handed back a small bag of black tar opium.
"Thanks, man. See you next week."
"For sure," said the dealer, Tommy.
The dealer's client began walking towards the street where he was parked. The dealer left the playground and entered the thickly wooded park to its west.
He hadn't been walking for ten feet when a bush started rustling nearby.
No wind tonight, he thought, must be a squirrel.
He kept walking down the path to his next stop, a soccer field littered with dead grass. He had two clients to meet, and he was never late.
"You're in trouble, Tommy!" came a raspy voice from behind.
The dealer spun around, pulling out a knife. He faced the same empty path he had just walked down.
"Who the hell's there?" Tommy asked. "That shit's not funny, I oughtta carve you for that!"
A large rosebush started rustling and Tommy spun to face it.
"Joke's over, dammit!" he said. "If I have to come drag your ass outta that bush, I'm gonna shove my knife up it!"
Silence. He took a slow, tentative step towards the bush. The crickets quieted a bit, reducing their tempo for the tense moment. Tommy took another step, ready to dive in and start stabbing whoever was in there. Friend or enemy, he was tired of this crap.
Right before he pounced, he heard someone rushing him from behind. Before he could turn around, he was tackled to the ground. He only felt one more thing before he passed out; his ass crack widening into the grand canyon.
VIGILANTE STRIKES AGAIN
Drug dealer found with underwear pulled over his head.
Tommy Spinoza, a man previously convicted of distributing marijuana, opium and
heroin, was struck by the Masked Wedgier in
Spinoza is expected to be released from the hospital tomorrow. The vigilante's third victim, alleged mugger Mark Camus, was moved out of the intensive care unit yesterday.
"Okay everyone, let's take a set and quiet down. I'm Detective Andrew Hume, and I'm heading up this task force. You all know why we're here. The Mayor of Denver and the Governor of Colorado are demanding that we expand our efforts to catch the Masked Wedgier. Frankly, since I don't want the public doing our jobs for us I think we should have jumped on this long ago.
"We have two other detectives on the team," Hume waved a hand in their general direction, "and three patrol officers. For the patrol officers, it's business as usual for you except that for two hours of your day you do a foot patrol through the parks, college campuses and other heavily-populated areas and talk with anyone who will say more then two words for you. Detectives Foucalt and Rorty will work along with me. We'll be following up any leads that the patrolmen turn up, as well as compiling all the facts we have and going through the files of anyone and everyone who has a prior record of assault on other criminals to narrow the field down."
A young patrol officer sitting in the back raised his hand. "Detective Hume, doesn't the department have better things we could be doing?"
"I think it's pretty evident that we do not. Okay, people, let's get to work."
"Can you describe the man who attacked you?" Officer Leibniz asked the stout, confused man laying face down on the bed.
"Yeah, he was this real tall dude, six four at least. Skinny kinda guy but he must have been hiding some serious muscle cause he did me some damage. Dressed like a nut, wearing this dark gray jumpsuit with a Lone Ranger mask and a cape. White guy, I could tell that much, but can't say I got a clear look at anything else."
John Chrysippus was trying to stay awake to answer the questions posed by the officer, but the painkillers he had been given weren't making it easy. Only a matter of hours before, he had become the vigilante's sixth victim, and the first one to be attacked in daylight.
"Do you know what you could have done to provoke him?" the uniformed officer asked.
"No, I have no idea what some wedgieing loony would want with me. I was just sitting at home, smacking my kids around like I normally do, when this guy comes crashing in through my window. I take a swing at him, but he ducked and the next thing I knew I was being spun through the air by my briefs. Most painful thing you could imagine, officer, and I once lost a finger in a bicycle chain."
As Leibniz was taking down the victim's statement the doctor walked into the room and put an x-ray up to the examining light.
"Well, Mr. Chrysippus, I've reviewed your x-rays and I'm afraid you're going to need surgery to rectify the damage."
The patrol officer left the hospital room and began walking towards his car. The task force was going to want his report as soon as possible.
"Son of a bitch," Hume muttered, reading the report. "He's working faster now. Used to be a week between hits, this time he only waited two days. Rorty, I want every forensic test available run on Chrysippus's underwear. Foucalt, let's get a decoy ready in the park tomorrow night, get a few fake drug deals set to try to lure the vigilante out."
"Are you sure that's wise?" Foucalt asked, "an officer could be severely injured if we don't move fast enough."
"I've already thought of that, he'll be going commando style. Can't give him a wedgie if there's no underwear to yank."
Detective Hume was getting restless. He'd been sitting in a prickly bush for the past five hours, listening to the crickets and watching a young patrol officer pretend to do drug deals with other police officers who pretended to be junkies.
"Someone's approaching, Detective. Young man, teenager."
"Is he wearing a cape?"
"No, sir. Jeans, turtleneck sweater, sneakers."
"Probably not our guy, but we'll keep an eye on him."
A full minute passed before Hume saw the teen. He was glancing nervously around, hands in his pockets, walking towards the undercover officer. The detective felt himself leaning forward in anticipation, ready to pounce on the kid.
"Hey, man," he said as he approached the undercover, "I've got a few grams of coke if you want to trade for some heroin."
"Do I look like a pawn shop, motherfucker?" the cop grunted.
The kid turned around and walked away skulking.
"Shit," Hume said into his radio, "just another drug dealer! That's the fifth one tonight! Grab him and toss him in a car."
He had to strain to hear it, but soon the sound of several officers grabbing, cuffing and dragging the teen away reached the detective's ears. As he tried to settle back into a waiting posture his radio quietly crackled to life.
"Detective, we have a situation," one of the patrol officers said.
"What is it now?" he hissed.
"The other four dealers we grabbed earlier? The ones we left in the cars? We should have been keeping stakeout on them."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"They're all hanging on the streetlight by their underwear."
"Shit!" Hume cried. "He's on to us, guys. We'll have to try again some other night." He keyed his radio, "how bad off are the victims?"
"Two are bleeding profusely, one is unconscious and the fourth is crying."
Two uniformed patrol officers stepped out of the bushes surrounding the area, and the undercover cop began muttering foul language.
"Patrol officers," Rorty ordered over the radio, "canvass the area and see if anyone saw anything. Get the identification of anyone and everyone lounging around, the Wedgier might still be lingering in the area."
Officer Leibniz turned down one path, brushing the leaves and grass from his uniform. He took his flashlight out and lit up the bushes and trees as he walked past them. He was thirty feet from the other officers when he heard a faint scream ahead of him. He began walking a bit faster before he heard it again, a woman's scream, much louder this time.
Leibniz began running towards the shriek in a dead sprint. A third scream, muffled now, reached his ears as he closed in on the sound.
He rounded a bend on the path. Ahead, just past the next streetlight, a man was trying to drag a young woman into the trees, his hand clamped tightly over her mouth.
"Freeze!" he shouted, sprinting as fast as he could.
The man spun towards Leibniz, not letting the woman go. The officer was a few feet away when the attacker was suddenly tackled from his side, something flying out of the woods. The woman yelped as the hand was torn from he mouth, and her assailant began screaming in pain and terror.
Leibniz halted in his steps as he finally reached the woman. On the path, the would-be rapist was lying face down, while a man wearing a mask and cape stood on his shoulders and wrenched unrelentingly on his underwear.
As the attacker seemed to pass out from pain, the masked man pulled a rubber bungee cord from his pocket, looped it through the exposed leg-holes in the mugger's underwear. He then stretched the cord over the assailant's shoulders and, rolling him over, used it to pin his legs up near his head. The attacker was trapped in a reverse hogtie, any attempt to move resulting in a deeper, harder wedgie.
The masked man turned towards the police officer. "You going to arrest me now?"
Leibniz stood in silence for a moment, staring at the Masked Wedgier. Finally, he shook his head.
"Get out of here. I'll say you outran me."
With a nod of thanks, the Wedgier spun on his heels, his cape fluttering in the wind as he ran back into the woods.
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