THE GUARDIAN

Foreword by Stan Lerner: It is true as stated in the most recent post of “Thought Tools” that wisdom is found in the unemotional ability to understand facts. But sometimes the mind needs the type of rest that can best be found in the world of fiction. So take a few minutes each week and enjoy downtownster’s new superhero The Guardian.

Beginning

Like a dream, Empire city at night lays between the world of all that is possible and the danger of such. One can imagine hovering above such a place. Staring at each and every rooftop, loud claps of thunder deafening to the ear, bright flashes of lightning blinding you in an attempt to prevent your from seeing. But your vision will not be denied. You see the black figure running on the ledges of the rooftops through the driving rain. So intent is your focus that you can see his feet land on the ledge of a slightly lower roof. The water splashes from the puddle—an enormous flash of lightning, much greater than the others. And the black figure is gone.

Through the sheets of rain the sign fades in and out. It reads: “MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY” but this sign is not welcoming. Rather, it seems to stand guard at the base of the massive steps that lead to the museum’s entrance. And still more lightning flashes cause it to transcend into menace as the white van pulls to a stop.

The rear doors open violently and ten men in white lab coats disembark running up the steps. The hand in the black glove pushes the doorbuzzer repeatedly—impatient. And then there is a dim light through the wet glass and the distinct silhouette of a security guard making his way to the door.

The elderly security guard looks out the door. He strains to see out of the glass, but the water and its refraction of the lightning make it impossible. All that is visible are several figures in white coats.

The old-timer shakes his head, annoyed and somewhat in disbelief. “Lab guys at this hour? What the hell are they thinking?”

The buzz of the doorbell is insistent. And builds to a crescendo congruent to the old-timer’s annoyance. Perhaps it is this state that pauses his thought process. He inserts his pass card into the wall and punches in his code to unlock the heavy wood and glass door.

“Alright, alright, I’m coming. Hold your horses. Everybody’s in a rush these days.”

As the door opens a blast of wind and rain hit him in the face, rendering his spectacles useless. Instinct causes him to take a step back and in an almost continuous motion he removes his glasses, bends over and begins an effort to wipe them dry. While he does so he fails to notice that the dripping wet men in white lab coats have surrounded him.

“Gentlemen, what brings you here so late in the night?” he asks.

“Death,” snarls Dr. Vincent, a powerfully built man of average height. The knife plunges into the guard before the words have fully registered.

On the guard’s face there is a look of horror and disbelief. Now cognitive of what has transpired, but he is dying on the white and black tile floor. Unable to move the old-timer looks into the reflection of his own glasses now just a few feet away. He hears the words, “Take his pass card.” The reflection is of men in white lab coats spray-painting the security cameras and moving toward the elevators. A black boot comes down hard on his spectacles, but it is of no consequence as he has just closed his eyes forever.

To be continued…

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