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A Super Hero Contemplates Retirement


Sometimes he thinks he would like to return to his home planet. The world that has derogatorily been referred to as the West Virginia of the solar system. A world ravaged and impoverished. Undeserving of its Ultra Planet moniker. Like a suburban street with no foliage named Elm Street. Still home is home and sometimes he dreams of Ultra Planet and all he left behind to champion justice here.

Life has been difficult of late. Aging is uncomfortable even for the most well endowed and the competition has grown  more fierce. Plaxar, Ultra Man’s evil nemesis is, frankly, younger, more virile and better looking. Let’s face facts. And only a few days ago he was alerted to a rumor that Plaxar had been seen in the company of Ultra Woman.

Super villains and heroes, have always offered one another certain accommodations. Ultra Man allows Plaxar to practice evil on a limited scale so long as he succumbs when appropriate and Ultra Man’s friends and relatives remain off limits.

The Lodge is a demilitarized, neutral zone for all super heroes and villains. The Lodge, sponsored by the The United Association of Super Heroes and Villains, is where they meet to socialize and gossip while they drink and play pool or cards.

One of Ultra Man’s super powers is extra sensory perception. His limited ability to read minds is a powerful advantage in the game of euchre but not at all helpful while shooting pool where Ultra Man’s less than perfect eye-hand coordination and grasp of geometry have prevented him from mastering the bank shot. In fact, Ultra Man hates pool but is occasionally goaded into a game.

His pool partner this evening is Mirth Man who can leave you writhing on the floor with laughter, holding your aching stomach muscles, tears streaming down your cheeks and with no will to resist the assault. The opposition tonight is Plaxar and Mirth Man’s twin brother, Dr. Tragic, who inspires suicide among his opponents who can’t tune out his tales of woe and misery. Mirth Man and Dr. Tragic always work alone, never as a team where their powers cancel each other out.

Ultra Man faces a difficult shot.

“3 ball. Corner pocket. Off the 15,” he says with all the confidence he can muster.

“Yeah. Right,” says Plaxar dismissively.

The cue ball hits the wrong side of the 3 and caroms off to stroke the 8 into the side pocket. Game over! Plaxar guffaws. Mirth Man and Dr. Tragic neutralize one another’s reactions.

Saved by an Ultralert. Someone is out there creating mayhem. Ultra Man looks among the Lodge gathering, trying to determine who might be at large before rushing to the changing room to don  his tights and cape from his locker. Damn! A gravy stain on his cape. His auxiliary cape is at the cleaners. He hopes. He lost the ticket and can’t remember how long… The cleaners donate clothes unclaimed after 30 days to charity. Ultra Man imagines a homeless person parading about on the hot streets wearing his blood red cape. Using it to wipe snot and whatever else from his syphilitic nose. A humiliating thought. Oh well. Up. Up. And away.

###

“We need to do something about this. It’s been weeks,” Ultra Woman says from her side of the bed. Ultra Man is unable to delve into Ultra Woman’s thoughts, nor she his. It’s why they’ve been able to stay together for so long. He knows what she’s talking about anyway. He’ll pretend he doesn’t.

“About what?”

“You know what I’m talking about. Your ultra dick.”

“This again?”

“Honey, it was always so ultra…” She reaches over and touches him. Shifting tactics.

Ultra Man will have none of it. “I’m tired. I’m under a lot of stress.”

“You say that every time. You could see a doctor.”

“Word would get out. I’d be the laughing stock.”

“I don’t care. My ultra pussy needs action.”

“Is that the reason you’ve been hanging out with Plaxar?”

No response. Ultra Woman rolls to her side, her back to him. She turns out her light.

“Tomorrow. I promise,” Ultra Man says. He returns to his trade magazine, Super Hero Quarterly, but realizes he has to go to the bathroom again. It’s the second time within the hour due to his enlarged ultra prostate.

###

Another Ultralert. Ultra Man rises from the bed careful not to wake Ultra Woman. Into his tights and gravied cape and away he goes. He has a premonition. It’s Plaxar.

The city is quiet. The air rushing past, mussing his graying hair, is crisp and dry. His cape flutters like a flag as he scans the streets from above looking for the crime in progress.

When Ultra Man touches down Plaxar is busy, outside the violated bank, loading sacks of cash into an old Econoline. He has a hostage bound and gagged. A woman of the night who had happened on the scene and alerted authorities.

“This is the end of you Plaxar. You’ve gone too far,” Ultra Man says.

“Says you,” responds Plaxar as he rushes Ultra Man and hurls him against an SUV parked across the street activating the car alarm. Sirens wail in the distance.

Ultra Man picks himself up. He is able to tune into Plaxar’s thoughts. Knows his next move.

Parry. Thrust. Ultra Man delivers a series of vicious blows. Wham! Pow! Zowie! Thump!

Plaxar is finished. Crumpled on the sidewalk when the police arrive.

“You’ve done it again Ultra Man,” says Sgt. Sullivan. “Good work.”

Ultra Man releases the prostitute from her bondage. She runs away from the familiar policemen.

Ultra Man issues a salute as he rises into the air. On the flight home he feels a stirring in his loins. An ultra erection.

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