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Carefully he moved to the edge, looking down at the traffic crawling along the road. The lights on the emergency vehicles were tiny in the distance.

They wouldn’t make it in time.

He’d have to act.

Sighing, he adjusted the mask covering his eyes. The elastic felt tight around his head and ruffled his hair.

A gust of wind blew between the skyscrapers, making his cape billow, the bright satin material shining in the sunlight.

“Here we go again”, he muttered to himself, and stepped off.

He felt himself plummet, feet first, through the air, his cape flying above his head.

The wind whistled past his ears and pressed against his eyes, making them stream.

Scrunching them tight he tried not to think about the greasy sandwich he’d just eaten, or it would make an appearance.

“One, two, three”, he said out loud as he sensed the ground coming closer to him.

At the last possible moment, he opened his eyes. The traffic was a lot closer.

Spreading his arms out, he landed, planting both feet firmly on the ground.

His cape billowed around him.

Ignoring the pain shooting up both legs and his spine, he glanced at the people standing around, staring at him.

“Good morning”, he said, strolling past them to the bank, smoke pouring from its doors, its alarm ringing loudly.

“Oh, he’s so handsome’, he heard one of them say,’ where’s my phone? I need a photo”.

Self consciously, he smoothed the back of his hair down. His hair was even more ruffled than before.

Oh well, he thought, maybe it will give me a carefree look.

Several men and women sprinted from the bank, grasping large bags, masks covering their faces.

Coughing as the smoke reached him, he cleared his throat and yelled as loudly as he could,” Hold on there!”.

They paused as they saw him.

“I demand that you put down the money and then leave!”, he yelled, standing with his legs shoulder width apart and his hands on his hips.

They stared at him and then each other.

A man ran from the building, his mask covering his entire face.

“What’s going on here? Why are you just standing around?”, he asked.

Looking around he noticed him standing looking at him, his cape still billowing.

“Oh, it’s you, Ben’, he said,’ what do you want?”.

Spluttering, Ben repeated his demand. He could hear the sirens coming closer. Any moment they’d arrive.

“I don’t think so’, the man said,’ you can’t beat us!”.

Swiftly, he leapt forwards and shoved Ben in the chest.

The people gasped as he staggered, nearly tripping over his cape.

Ben narrowed his eyes.

No one was going to make him look like a fool.

Without thinking, he punched at the man, hearing him groan as he fell, his large bag of money still with him.

He noticed out of the corner of his eye that the other men and women were slinking away, trying to move towards a dilapidated white van further down the street.

“Oh no you don’t”, he snarled.

A hotdog vendor was standing nearby, selling dozens as the people crowded around.

Quickly, he grabbed the stall and pushed it as hard as he could.

“Oh no’, the hotdog vendor cried as it shot down the street, people moving out of its way hurriedly,’ that’s mine”.

“Sorry about that”, Ben said, as it crashed into the side of the van, making the men and women who were stuffing their bags into the back jump, as hotdogs and rolls spilled over the ground.

Sprinting towards them, he smiled as he passed people holding their mobiles out, filming his every move.

“Hope they get my best side”, he muttered to himself, refraining from touching his hair again.

One of the women glared at him as he came closer.

“You think you’re so good”, she snarled.

“Well, actually I…”, he started to say.

One of the men snuck up behind him and, lifting his bag of money above his head, swung it down, hitting him across the back.

Pain now shot down his spine.

Muffling a groan, Ben staggered.

The man hit him with the bag again.

Quickly, he ducked, dodging it.

The woman leapt forwards with a yell, trying to grab him and missing his cape by inches. The bag of money hit her in the face.

Almost in slow motion, she dropped to the ground, her eyes unfocused.

“One down”, Ben said to himself, swinging his cape out of the way.

The other men and women crowded around, all trying to punch or swing their bags at him.

In the confusion, he hit and slapped and dodged, not sure if he was even hitting anyone.

He could hear gasps and shouts coming from the people clustered around.

Sweat dripped down his face, making the elastic feel even tighter.

“Hey’, one of the people watching suddenly yelled,’ you’ve done it!”.

Looking down, Ben saw he was the only one left standing. The others were lined up neatly against the side of the van, unconscious.

The people started clapping and cheering. One of them slapped him on the back.

“Thank you”, Ben said, fighting for breath as they pressed closer to him.

Glancing back, he couldn’t see the first man or his bag of money.

The people had been too distracted with the fight to notice him slinking away.

The sirens became even louder as the emergency vehicles arrived, screeching to a halt outside the bank.

“Got to go”, he said, pushing himself through the people who were still clapping and cheering.

Nodding and smiling, unnoticed he stepped into a dark alley between two of the buildings.

A man was leaning against a wall in the shadows, a large bag stuffed full of money at his feet, a mask dangling from his fingertips.

“Oh there you are’, he said, smiling as Ben came closer,’ took your time”.

“I have to make it look convincing”, Ben said, pulling the mask and cape off, stuffing them into another bag.

Slowly, he stretched his arms above his head.

“I’m getting to old for this”, he said as he felt rather than heard his bones make a cracking sound.

“You always say that, but you’ll never give it up. You love being the good guy too much”.

“Well let’s face it’, Ben said, smiling,’ you would suspect the good guy?”.

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8 comments

Nandan Prasad
01:51 Jul 06, 2020

Loved the writing! Especially the twist, and the realism at the beginning. Wonderfully written story! Also, would you mind checking out my story if it's not too much trouble? Thanks and good luck!

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Laura Clark
17:59 Jul 04, 2020

I really enjoyed this! Great twist at the end and I liked how you included moments of pain in the fight - superheroes are never shown with back pain but they clearly all get it!

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Vicky S
01:56 Jul 05, 2020

Thank you so much for the comment

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Laura Clark
17:52 Jul 05, 2020

You’re welcome! Feel free to check out mine if you’re interested

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Tvisha Yerra
18:41 Jun 28, 2020

Wow! Loved the twist, definetley did not see that coming! Also, one thing on your grammar, if you don't mind me pointing out. “Well let’s face it’, Ben said, smiling,’ you would suspect the good guy?”. That's what you said. It should be: "Well, let's face it," Ben said smiling, "Who would suspect the good guy?” Note that there's no period at the end after the quotes, and the comma before the quotes. Just trying to help, sorry if it was a bit rude! Stay safe!

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Vicky S
20:48 Jun 28, 2020

Thanks for the comment. Any help appreciated.

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Corey Melin
04:29 Jun 28, 2020

Loved the read. Heroes at work to find out at the end it's not. Nice twist

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Vicky S
04:32 Jun 28, 2020

Thank you

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