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Crime Fantasy Suspense

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

*This story contains foul language...

“Look! Up there! It’s Invictus!” A child holding his mother’s hand shouts from the street below.

The crowd of people below shout positive words and affirmations at the speeding man in the sky.

“I am Invictus. Not a name I would have chosen myself for my superhero name, but you never really can choose those types of things. They’re sort of just given to you by the swell people of the internet these days. It all started when I was much younger than I am now, probably close to a decade ago now, I woke up and had these incredible powers. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, ‘No space rock? No alien origins? No ancient artifact?’ No, none of that bullshit you read in comic books. It just, sort of happened and I can’t explain it, no one can. I use these powers for good, or at least I have for the last ten years. This story is to explain why I am the way that I am today.”

“Quick! Grab the jewelry, fill the bags as much as you can.” A man shouts, sweat dripping from his ski mask. “Anyone does anything outside of laying your pretty faces on the floor, I swear to Christ I will shoot you!”

The victims of this heinous crime are lying face down, some crying, some just trying to keep it together during this traumatic event.

A man in a black suit complimented by a red domino mask steps into the building through a broken window, glass crunching under his feet with each step.

“Excuse me? What did you just say to our fellow men and women?” He taps the man in a ski mask on his shoulder.

“I-I said…I thought- “

“Yes, you see, that’s your problem right there, you thought. I’m not here to kill these fine people. I’m just here to take their belongings. No blood shall be shed today my friend.” The man in the suit says with a smile that seems to stretch from ear to ear.

“Yes. Sorry Mr. Red Herring, sir!” The ski mask man looks down in shame.

“Just Red Herring, thank you. I accept your apology. Now, finish loading the truck with these fine treasures for me, and then I’ll gut you in the alleyway to allow these lovely citizens to avoid any further trauma.” He locks eyes with the ski mask man.

“Ye-Yes Red Herring.” Ski mask man begins to carry bags to the truck right outside of the store.

Red Herring approaches the manager of the establishment.

“I do apologize for this inconvenience to your day. You see, being a villain is quite expensive. You’d think we would get everything we need for free, which is such a wrong assumption.” Red Herring fixes the manager’s tie, with a lick of his lips he locks eyes with the manager.

“Just don’t kill us, please. Just take what you need and leave.” The manager says with a shaky voice.

Red Herring takes a cloth out of his pocket and damps the manager’s sweaty forehead.

“Oh, how kind of you! Thank you for your blessing. It doesn’t mean much as I was going to do that anyway, but I appreciate the gesture. Don’t worry, the only way anyone would get hurt or die is by doing something incredibly stupid- “

A gust of wind blows through the building, people begin cheering. Red Herring’s eyes widen, he turns around to see a man floating a few inches off the ground, in the doorway.

“Oh, it’s just you. This is the stupid thing I was mentioning earlier before we were rudely interrupted.” He pats the manager’s chest and takes a step towards the floating man. “You know, your costume is a bit tacky? I mean, a blue and white skintight leotard. What, are you advertising for a condom wrapper?” Red Herring smirks. “I don’t use those.” He shrugs.

“Clearly.” The floating man says with a smirk of his own.

“Ugh, you shouldn’t even be here. I haven’t hurt anyone.” Red Herring points to the people only to realize they’re all gone. “Well, now I look stupid.”

“Trust me, you already did.”

“Stop mocking me!”

“Red Herring, you’re still committing a crime. You’re stealing valuables, I’m here to stop you.”

Red Herring pulls a cylindrical tool from his pocket, he presses a button and within seconds, the entire building is covered in red smoke.

The floating man acts fast, with a quick clap of his hands, the smoke clears, what was left of the windows shatter. Once the smoke clears, Red Herring comes back into view, holding the manager in front of him, one arm wrapped around his chest and the other with a gun to the manager’s temple.

“Now, I promised this fine man that no one would die today. You’re making me look like a liar.”

“No, please, Invictus, please, help me!” The manager shouts.

“Don’t worry, I will. You’re not going to die- “

“If you don’t want him dead, then just leave. Turn your back on this robbery and just take your tacky outfit and fly off into the sky.” Red Herring pushes the gun harder into the man’s temple.

“You know that I can’t do that. What I can do is rip your arm clean off at the speed of light. You know that I can. So, why resist? Just give up. Let him go, Red Herring.”

“Ohhhh, you’re no fun.” Red Herring puts his lips close to the manager’s ears and whispers. “I’m really sorry I lied to you.”

Red Herring pulls the trigger. Within a second, Red Herring’s face is covered in blood, he looks down to his arm that is no longer there.

“Ahhhh! What the hell did you do!? You’re not supposed- “He looks over at Invictus who has his arm piercing through the manager’s head, holding Red Herring’s arm. “You- you aren’t supposed to do that! What the hell is wrong with you!?”

“Well, it’s not as clean as I promised you but, it’s off.” Invictus says with a soul piercing stare into Red Herrings eyes.

“B-but the hostage! You killed him!”

“No, you did. I’m the hero, remember?” Invictus pulls his hand back through the manager’s head and tosses Red Herring his arm back. “I tried stopping you, but it seems like you had a sniper posted on the roof outside that I was completely unaware of. Didn’t you?” Invictus moves over to Red Herring, kneeling beside him. “Didn’t. You.”

“No. You killed that man. I was just trying to provoke you and have fu- “

Invictus grabs Red Herrings’ other arm and rips it clean off in a nanosecond. Red Herring lets out a blood curdling scream. Invictus places his hand over Red Herrings mouth.

“YOU killed that man. I had no choice but to use all my speed which unfortunately was too quick when I pulled your arms away from him. They’ll get it. What’s a worthless pile of trash like you need both of his arms for anyway? It’s a public service really.”

Red Herring nods as much as he can.

“You aren’t supposed to do this…” Red Herring’s tears begin slightly washing away the blood on his face.

“Maybe, but I want to. I used to fight these impulses that I had, because I DID have them before, I just never acted on them. Until today, I woke up, and realized that humanity is awful and sick, and twisted. They do this shit to each other on a daily basis.” Invictus stands up and tosses Red Herring his other arm which lands on his lap with a splatter. “When I first got my powers, I promised to use them for good and only good. I did, for a solid decade before I truly realized that you all need me more than I originally thought. You all need me to be your god because you’re all just weak sheep with the desire to follow someone who has the balls to lead. The pointless wars, half of the damn world is starving, people are killing each other over a few dollars in a coin purse. You’re all weak, you’re all pathetic and I am so much more than any of you could ever even hope to be. Pathetic sheep up for slaughter, because who’s going to stop me? Who can stop me? You? Please, you’re just a man in a mask that truly thinks you’re hot shit. Trust me, you’re not. The world is about to become very, and I mean, VERY different for everyone. It’s time we all wake up to the truth, to reality, to face the shit that hit the fan a long time ago that we’ve all not dared look at.”

Invictus jumps through the roof and speeds off through the sky, a boom follows through the air.

The police rush into the building through the broken windows and door.

“Oh, jesus, what the hell happened here?” One officer asks as she covers her mouth.

“I don’t know, but it looks like he pissed off the wrong guy and paid for it.” Another officer says as he kneels down and closes Red Herring’s eyes. “We might have a new bad guy out there that Invictus could be the only one that can stop.

September 12, 2023 08:56

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