Steve took a deep breath and a step of faith. He took a step towards Hyde’s room.
As he was walking towards Hyde’s room, a door burst open and Jamie jumped out, clad in a knight’s suit of iron armor.
“Hail ye, good sir knight! I am on a quest to discover what thy are up to! Care to share what ye are doing?” Jamie called out in a mighty and triumphant voice.
Steve pushed Jamie back by the helm and back into his room, shutting the door in the process. He continued down towards Hyde’s room. He came to his door, which was covered with marks and burn marks. It was damaged and barely able to withstand all the commotion inside. As Steve knocked on the door, all noise stopped on the other side.
The door quickly swung open. Hyde stood, wearing a black jumpsuit, goggles on his face, his hair blown back (which was dancing with electricity) and a soot-covered face.
“Steve?” He asked, pulling him goggles open and showing his tan skin and green eyes.
“Hey Hyde,” Steve greeted, “I got a question for you.”
Hyde coughed up a black cloud of smoke. “Yeah, sure,” he wheezed, reaching back in his room and taking out a bottle of water, “What is it?”
“Marco told me you were working on robotic stuff,” Steve said, “Is that true?”
“Yup,” Hyde said, taking a sip from his bottle, “I was actually doing animals. Small ones, though. They’re easier and it looks stupid to make a small robot elephant. I stuck with insects and stuff.”
“What about spiders?”
“Oh yeah, come on in, I’ll show ya,” Hyde stepped aside and let Steve in. Hyde’s apartment was a living factory crammed into a small amount of space. His work table was occupied with some robot body, being worked on currently. All around the room was pieces of metal and several completed bodies that were motionless. It was pretty much a junkyard by the looks of it.
Hyde reached into a pile of scraps and pulled out a spider. He hit a switch on the side of its leg and it started to squirm in the air. Hyde let down and started to scurry about around the apartment.
“Crazy little things, aren’t they?” Hyde asked.
Steve was impressed. Just as the spider disappeared from sight, a robot squirrel scurried across his feet. Steve was even more impressed as two more followed.
“Those are just prototypes,” Hyde said moving towards the table, “I’m working on a chimpanzee right now. I’m planning on making a human one someday, and I hope that one will start a revolution! Heck, I’d like to auction these babies off one day! Maybe I’d get out of this apartment and into a house with a big basement to work with all this stuff!”
Steve chuckled. “This is awesome,” He said, lost in what seemed like a new world.
“Why were you wondering, anyway Steve?” Hyde asked, “It’s odd that you’re suddenly interested in what I’m doing with my work.”
Steve sighed. “I need to borrow the robot spider,” He said.
“Is this for Givoni?” Hyde asked.
“Heh, alright then; I’m not fond of Givoni, so I can give you all you need,” He moved over to a rack with two spiders hanging up, “I’ll give you these two and the one that’s running around right now. I just need them back and undamaged. You can also tell these vermin to go find someone. But make it specific so they can find them. They’re not as smart as you and me. We good?”
Hyde put the two disabled spiders into a sack. The grapefruit-sized robots made a soft clunk as they fell down together in the sack. The one that was running around the floor quickly ran into Hyde, who quickly flipped its switch and threw it into the sack as well. He then handed it to Steve, who eagerly took it.
“If you do happen to settle this little grudge you have,” Hyde said as Steve received the sack, “Just make the best of it and don’t go looking for trouble. I can tell you’re up to no good right now, but do what you want. Just don’t blame me for anything.”
Steve nodded. “I’ll make sure I won’t,” He said, signing an invisible contract, “I won’t have to anyway. Thanks again!” With that, he left Hyde’s room.
When night fell, the snow started to fall lightly. The street lights came on and everything seemed graceful with the snow fallen on the street and still pilling up. Steve left for Givoni’s in the dead of night, the spiders in his bag. Before he left, Steve took a roll of sticky string. He had an idea that would help him with his prank.
As he came to Givoni’s mansion in the town, he took a deep breath. The cold air chilled his body and he inhaled and exhaled it through his throat. The mansion was massive and towered over Steve as he stood in front of the gate. The windows seemed like massive eyes from Steve’s position: as watchful as a watchtower and eerie as cat’s eyes. Steve didn’t know what room Givoni was in. So would he have to climb the sides of the house to find what room he was in? No, that was too risky. If Steve fell, it would most likely kill him or cause him to break a bone. He couldn’t deal with that right now.
Perhaps the door was unlocked. If not, he could try and pick it. Steve quickly hopped the fence to Givoni’s mansion, being discreet with every step. As he got to the door, he tried to move the handle. Locked. Steve didn’t have anything to use to pick the lock now. He began to search himself down, trying to find something that could be of use.
Then Steve remembered what he had in his bag. Spiders with tiny and narrow legs! He quickly pulled out one of the limp metal creatures and put one of the legs into the keyhole. It was only a matter of moments before the door clicked open and Steve stood in Givoni’s house. Upon entering, it was exactly as Steve imagined: valuable furniture, paintings, a fireplace, and rugs that would sell for a pretty penny at an auction. Nothing Steve was truly impressed by, though.
Steve pulled out the rest of the spiders and delicately set them down on the ground. For the moment, they were lifeless scraps of metal. Then, with a flick of a switch, they sprung up, legs keeping them held up and in a ready position.
Steve kneeled down to their level. “Listen here,” He told them (Which he felt odd doing), “There is a man in this house who is asleep. His name is Givoni. I want you three to find him and chase him out of this house. Do that and I’ll be happy. Okay?”
Once Steve stopped, one spider made a soft clicking noise. The three then scattered off into the house, on the hunt for Givoni. Steve then turned back to the open door and took out the sticky string. He then started to draw the string from the sides of the doorway, weaving a web. This would play an important part in his prank. He stepped outside and applied the finishing touches. It looked like a real spider web now. He reached through the web and closed the door, leaving just enough room so it wasn’t touching the web.
Just as Steve closed the door, a yell echoed from inside the house. The window above Steve’s head crashed open. One of the spiders flew out and landed on the yard. Steve thought it was broken at first, but the spider stood back up and stood motionless. Steve quickly ran to the spider and switched it off, throwing it into the sack.
As he looked up at the window, he didn’t know if Givoni was still up there. He was sure that Givoni was on the move once he heard another yell come from the other side of the house. No window was smashed. Steve could hear someone running across the second floor of the house. The stomping footsteps then seemed to descend onto the ground floor. There was another yell and the footsteps, pounding even louder, ran across the house.
Steve let out a soft, malicious laugh.
The door swung open and Givoni sprinted out, running face first into the sticky string. He thrashed about, unable to leave in his night dress and sleeping cap. Joy seemed to fill joy. Not joy that he would feel for getting a present. It was a sick and twisted joy that left a strong taste in his mouth. He walked over to Givoni, arms crossed, and staring him in the eye. “So Givoni, how does it feel to have a prank pulled on you?” Steve asked, now in a state of domination.
Givoni stared at him wide-eyed. “You… you twisted monster!” He rasped, “I can’t believe you! How could you be so… so…”
Givoni ranted on. Steve just savored the moment. It was golden. He stared into Givoni’s eyes, seeing the fear and anger built inside of him. It was one of the best feelings Steve had ever felt.
As he stared deeper into his eyes as Givoni ranted, Steve saw something he didn’t plan on seeing. It was a small, faint tear that rested on the edge on Givoni’s eye. All the feeling of pride and victory went away. This wasn’t how Steve was going to pull pranks. This was wrong. Fear can’t be used to toy with people, and Steve used it in the worst way. The taste in his mouth may have been sweet, but it quickly turned sour.
Steve held up his hand, telling Givoni to stop. “This is wrong,” he said realizing his mistake, “I shouldn’t have done this…”
Givoni’s face shifted to confusion. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying,” Steve said taking out the disabled spider, “That this is wrong. I may be determined to prank you, but this isn’t a prank. This is just torture. I never intended to do this and was blinded by my desire to prove to you that my pranks are all fun and games. This… this isn’t fun and it isn’t a game. It’s cruel and I treated it like a war.” Steve used the spider’s legs to cut Givoni down, setting him free.
The two remaining spiders in the house scurried out, having done their job. Steve quickly hit their switches and piled them into the bag. He then threw the sack over his shoulder and started to leave Givoni’s yard.
“So is that it?” Givoni asked, “You scare me half to death and you’re just going to leave?”
Steve looked over his shoulder through the tiny slits in his mask. “Yeah,” he called back, “I made a mistake and I’m sorry for it. So now I’m going to get some sleep.” He left, leaving Givoni confused and unable to confirm what just happened. As Steve returned to the bakery, he went up the stairs and left the sack of spiders outside of Hyde’s room.
“So, that’s it?” Marco asked in the morning downstairs in the bakery.
“Yup,” Steve said cramming a pizza bagel under his mask, “I don’t think I can change his opinion on what I do. But I proved to him that I am civil and know my limits. That was just wrong of me to do and I will never do it again.”
Marco nodded. “Good,” He said, “Does this mean your grudge has ended?”
“Mine has against him,” Steve said, “But I could care less about what he thinks. Not everyone has to like me, so now I just got to deal with that fact and move on.”
“You’ll still be pulling pranks?”
“Obviously,” Steve shouted, “That’s what I live for! Don’t think one little mistake is going to stop me!”
Marco chuckled. “Good, I’d actually have to kick you out if you decided to stop!”
They both laughed. Their laughter stopped as Jamie came downstairs, dressed as a Viking, covered with an exotic animal’s fur.
“I shall be going out into the town today!”Jamie shouted out in a barely understandable voice.
Steve and Marco didn’t say anything astheir friendwalked out of the bakery into the snow. It stopped snowing and the sun actually came out. The snow still came up to Jamie’s knees.
Steve held up a pizza bagel. “Here’s to a nice day!” He said in a triumphant voice.
“Yup,” Marco said holding up a cup of tea.
“…A day of pranks, that is!” Steve said with a chuckle hidden under his mask.
Hyde came downstairs, clean and not covered in black and, surprisingly, not working on something. “Morning,” he said, sitting down at the table, “I hear that your little prank last night didn’t go well.”
Steve shrugged. “It happens. I was blinded and it got the better of me.”
Hyde sighed and patted Steve on the shoulder, “Well, I just came down to see how you were doing,” he stood up, “I’m off to work on those spiders, but first I’m going to run out and buy some new parts to use.”
Steve patted him on the back. “Thanks, much appreciated,” He said.
Hyde turned around and started heading out the door. Steve and Marco laughed as he started walking away. Hyde looked over his shoulder back at them. “What?” He asked.
“Oh, nothing,” Steve said shooing Hyde away, “Go do what you need to do.”
Hyde shrugged. “Alright, see ya later.”
On Hyde’s back was a “KICK ME” sign.
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