Leaving It All Up To You

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

Madeline and I spent most of the week working on a Batman costume for Danny. We got him some gray tights. His aunt sewed a cool cape. Ordered a special ‘cowl’ from Meltdown, just his size.

We drove down in the van so Danny didn’t have to wear the outfit for the whole day. He could change up in the back. ComicCon. Almost an hour. Ate at The Burger King near the aquarium.

People really dug Danny’s outfit. Some guys dressed as The Joker and The Riddler gave him some prizes and stuff. He stared at a girl dressed as Harley Quinn for a long time. Her friends totally saw it. He’s a healthy boy, I guess.  Maybe he could reign that in, though.

There was a trivia contest. About 20 teams. You had to be over 18 years old to play, so Danny was right out. Still, the guy who was emceeing the contest – a tall man dressed as Doctor Strange – decided to give the spotlight to Danny for second.

Doctor Strange got on one knee and put his hand on Danny’s shoulder.

“Young Bat,” he intoned (the guy must have been a professional actor or something.) “Can you tell me who Bob Kane was?”

Danny bounced up and down on the balls of his feet.

”He made Batman,” Danny smiled!

”By The Light of the All-Seeing Eye of Agamotto, that is correct!”

Everybody applauded and cheered. Danny covered his face with his hands.

Doctor Strange gave Danny a bunch of ComicCon stickers.


“Wait a fucking minute!”

A grown man – well, about five foot five or so — wearing a very expensive Batman costume, appeared from the shadows.

“Bob Kane did not make Batman. He co-created Batman with the unappreciated Bill Finger!”

A strange noise started rising from the other end of the auditorium. At first, I thought something was wrong with the boiler. Turns out it was a massive wave of disapproval headed towards this guy, who was standing right next to us.

“Fuck you, Alex!”

A nearby table, the trivia team from MIT, tossed Pokemon superballs at the dude, who flapped his cape angrily.

“He’s wrong! He’s wrong,” Short Batman whinnied.  He jammed his finger in Danny’s face.

I punched him.

The crowd cheered. They cheered like it was pro wrestling.

I hadn’t punched a dork since high school. The crowd had cheered then, too. It felt right. It felt… like the universe.

Danny had a great time.   Later on, we took him to Burger King and I iced down my fist.

Next year, we’re going to San Diego.  I’m bringing a bunch of those old red dodgeballs.

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