El Perro’s kryptonite

Submitted into Contest #12 in response to: Write a story about a character with a sidekick.... view prompt

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The alarm went off in my bedroom but not just any alarm, the alarm that had the sound of a soprano Amber Alert. That sound. So, we went into the walk-in closet and quickly changed. I changed into my blue nylon pants, stalking-colored silk socks, white running shoes, and blue polyester shirt. El Perro put on his black Jersey which said, “#1 Fan”. We got in our Silver Dodge Neon and I checked my cell phone. El Perro doesn’t have a cell phone, yet, but I’m working on it.  It turned out someone stole the van at a non-kill dog shelter called “Pet Safe”. Now, this may seem trivial, but wasn’t and here’s why. Times used to be tough for my sidekick, El Perro.  

See, he used to be the sidekick of Sylvia, a woman with powers greater than both El Perro and myself combined. She could stop rainstorms, dry dangerous pools, and keep the neighborhood safe from burglars during dangerous difficult nights. But Sylvia got too old to fight crime and decided she didn’t need a sidekick anymore and where she moved wouldn’t allow her to keep El Perro so he wound up at “Pet Safe”, but El Perro didn’t understand what “Pet Safe” was since Sylvia lied to El Perro and said she had to run a few errands and would be right back. El Perro’s intuition said he should go with her but that’s what El Perro’s intuition always said. After a few days, El Perro was still hopeful that Sylvia would come back. He kept his secret cape, costume, everything. But, El Perro looked out the window one day and realized his Superwoman hero wasn’t coming back and that he’d have to stay in this small jail cell for the rest of his life. El Perro wasn’t even sure how long the rest of his life would be. El Perro sometimes still prayed that Sylvia would come back but he knew she wouldn’t. Then, one day, I showed up. I am Look A Coke A. I saw El Perro and took him in a side room and El Perro showed me his underside which is the way sidekicks tell Superheroes that they’re ready to become part of a new team. So, I paid $300.00 and El Perro became my new sidekick.

We started by working on small crimes together like spotting and stopping pickpockets, prosecuting jay-walkers, pulling over drunk drivers, stopping bullying. Small things. But he mastered these pretty quickly. What he was struggling with more was lonesome nights. I knew later we could face Supervillians like Hufa and Marana. Hufa was a crazy scientist working right now to make a large lever that would split the world in half. He got his degree in physics at Cuyahoga Community College. Marana is the evil villain who is working on imploding perfectly sound buildings for fun. Both very evil but El Perro wasn’t afraid of them. My sidekick seemed to be only afraid of losing another Superhero and going back to “Pet Safe” for the rest of his life. Bombs, TNT, explosives, guns, grenades, he could deal with those, but abandonment made El Perro crazy. It was his kryptonite.  

So, we arrived on the scene and the van was gone and we asked the secretary, who was outside, and there were no security cameras. El Perro saw the entrance to “Pet Safe” and began to tremble. He looked at “Pet Safe,” looked at me, and looked at the car. Then, he looked at me again, and looked at the car. El Perro was saying he didn’t feel safe and was actually scared of going inside “Pet Safe”.  

“I’m not abandoning you, El Perro. We just have to find the stolen van,” I said.

El Perro looked down, put his tail between his legs, and shivered. Then we saw a touch of smoke in the distance and El Perro’s eyes lit up and he raced to the car.

“No, we’ll call the fire department. We need to find this van,” I say.

El Perro sighed and grudgingly obeyed. He was a very loyal sidekick.

We entered “Safe Pet.” Everything seemed normal. The cashier told us all the money was left in the safe, none of the dogs were stolen, just the van. So, here’s why the van is important: “Safe Pet,” got some money from adoption fees but got most of its money as a thrift store. They sold furniture, TVs, books, VHS tapes, those kinds of things. So, “Pet Safe” drove to places to pick up these items and then sold these items to the public. “Safe Space” then had money to pay for rent, electricity, gas, etc. But, with no van, “Pet Safe” would close and all the dogs and cats would go to kill shelters and probably be put to sleep. So, we needed you to be brave, El Perro.

Then, while I was looking at the second pair of tire tracks to see if we could identify the kind of car the thieves used to get to “Safe Pet,” I heard a screeching sound and as I turned around, a new villain put a towel over my mouth and I lost consciousness.  

I woke up and I was in a warehouse somewhere. I looked for my sidekick, El Perro, but he wasn’t there. A man in a black ski mask opened the door and I saw the “Pet Safe” van outside the door. El Perro was probably still alone outside “Pet Safe,” shivering and hiding under a car. The masked man entered and said, “A superhero? In the 21st Century? Really?” And chuckled.

I tried to move my hands so I could punch him but my hands were duct taped behind me in the chair.  

“I am Look A Coke A and you won’t get away with this,” I said.

His rolled his eyes. “Who’s going to stop me, your precious sidekick?” And the man laughed.

But then I heard something. A very small bark. Now, El Perro is a lap dog. He wasn’t big, but he was brave. The man in the mask asked, “What the hell was that?” and opened the door and El Perro leaped on the masked man’s face. The masked man threw El Perro onto the wall and El Perro yelped, hit the ground, but, even though he was in pain, El Perro leaped back on the Masked Man’s face and bit the Masked Man’s eyeballs. The masked man screamed and punched El Perro in the stomach, his most gentle spot. El Perro had to catch El Perro’s breath, but then El Perro tackled the Masked Man from behind and the Masked Man passed out. El Perro panted, but then El Perro dragged the unconscious Masked Man to the dumpster and then El Perro looked at me with those “Poor me” puppy eyes and then gnawed at the duct tape until I was loose. Then, we realized we’ d need the keys to the van.  So, we went to the dumpster and looked at the masked man’s pocket and saw a small metal key hanging out. I took the key and El Perro and I opened the doors to the van, got in, and drove until we saw the sign for a highway. See, in El Perro’s mind, he’d rather be dead then be alone, so he ran after the car that took me using his little legs until he found this abandoned warehouse and me.

We got off at exit 57 where “Pet Safe” was. The owners were so happy to see the van and to see us. They checked inside the van and everything was still inside. The furniture, the books, and the jewelry. They were so grateful and said we could each have a free pet if we wanted. We both left with a new friend, but this would only be the beginning of the adventures of Look A Coke A and El Perro.

October 20, 2019 22:43

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1 comment

Rick Pascal
13:05 Nov 04, 2019

Hi James, Cute story. Found inconsistency regarding "Safe Pet" vs "Pet Safe." Also, I'm not sure I get the meaning of the name "Like A Coke A." Is it a name you made up or does it refer to anything? Why that name? Good luck with your story and writing.


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