The Adventures of Man-Man, Episode 6: Schiff City Vs. Mother Nature

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Another heart pounding episode from the chronicles of Man-Man, the worst superhero of all time. But will the glorious Schiff City survive the threat? From the book "The Adventures of Man-Man, Defender of Man: (Episodes 1-10)" by Aaron Aaronson. Available at Amazon.

Submitted: May 23, 2019

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Submitted: May 23, 2019

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The Adventures of Man-Man, Defender of Man

Episode 6: Schiff City Vs. Mother Nature  

By Aaron Aaronson

There was a storm coming, approaching Schiff City head on. A storm the likes of which the world has never seen. The storm of the century. The citizens of Schiff City hunkered down, bracing themselves, stocking up on supplies. They boarded over all windows. Families huddled together by candle light, fearing electricity was certain to be lost. They sang inspiring hymns. They played board games. The children asking “Where’s the controller and why can’t I see a screen?”...“There now Peachy and Scooter, let Pa here tell you about bygone days where we played these things called board games.”...“I’m bored.”...“Pipe down there Scooter, it’s going to be a long night.”...Everyone just hoped and prayed for the best, that somehow, but by the grace of god, Schiff City would be able to withstand the storm and all its citizens could emerge the next day, weeping tears of joy, hugging there neighbors, smiling and sighing sighs of relief that Schiff City was still standing and had made it through the storm. Of course, all of this was just a hope, and inherent in every attempted calming, reassuring words to those whose anxiety had turned to full blown panic was the reality that those words were all just banking on a dream, a dream that tomorrow would actually come to be. For there was a storm the likes of which Schiff City had never seen. The streets were silent and still. The mayor had ordered a mandatory decree that no one was to be out and about. So every citizen of Schiff City was tucked away in their domiciles, hoping to ride it out. Would the city survive? Well, hope for the best and ask that question again at morning light. This day, Schiff City would have to withstand the wrath of Mother Nature. Because, bearing down on Schiff City...was the weather system named...Light Rain Menudo!...crossing over the U.S border from...Canada. Oh Schiff City, for so long you have been sitting pretty, but never before have you had to contend with a weather pattern the likes of Light Rain Menudo.

 

Man-Man stood within the League of the Fortress of Illustrious Justice, gazing out the window with a solemn, concerned look. Genextrowotobox walked into the room and up to Man-Man with worry. “So, has it started yet?”

Man-Man responded, his sight still fixated out the window. “No, not yet my loyal sidekick, Schiff City is still safe, for now.”

“Do you think Schiff City will make it?” Genextrowotobox asked.

“Unfortunately I have no way to know that answer. All we can do is hope and pray for the best.” Man-Man made a fist and spoke passionately and encouragingly as he beckoned to the window. “Come on Schiff City. You’re a tough broad. Fight Schiff City, fight.”

Genextrowotobox shook his head with trepidation. “Oh God, why I remember when Schiff City was pounded by Occasional Flurries Frank and hammered by Chance of Showers Sam but Schiff City has never seen a weather pattern of this magnitude.”

Man-Man turned head away from looking at the window to Genextrowotobox. “There was, of course, Partly Cloudy Christopher.”

“Do you think that was as bad as this is going to be?” Genextrowotobox inquired.

Man-Man shook his head, despairing. “No. Not even close my rotund friend.” He turned his sight back out the window. “Come on Schiff City! You can do this. I know you’ve got it in you.”

“Is there anything we, as superheroes can do to help the city while waiting for the storm to arrive?” Genextrowotobox asked.

“Only stand here and continue making encouraging comments to it. Anyway, that’s enough for now, come on Genextrowotobox, to the Man-Man Cave so we can check in on the monitor of what’s going on in the city.” Man-Man instructed.

 

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox entered the Man-Man Cave, Genextrowotobox sitting on the couch, Man-Man walking over and turning on the police scanner then sitting on a chair. There then came on the police scanner a voice...“Um, for anyone listening, wondering what the news of the city might be. There is no news. The city is totally shut down. Everyone is inside. I’m actually broadcasting this from my living room because the police chief ordered everyone to stay home due to the oncoming storm Light Rain Menudo, so to be perfectly honest, I really don’t have a clue what’s going on in the city. I can actually tell you what’s going on in the world though because I was given a waiver to be able to use electricity in my house and I had CNN on earlier. So then, national news, the halls of power of Washington D.C finds itself embroiled in far reaching scandal that is threatening to bring down the government as two unparalleled scandals are wreaking havoc and congressional investigations were launched today regarding Two Cents Overpriced Thumbtackgate and overdue Cabelbillgate, stay tuned. I can also tell you what’s going on in my living room. My son is playing Madden. It’s the St. Louis Rams against the Cleveland Browns. There’s no time left on the clock. My son is lining up for a possible game winning field goal. Shush. Quiet everybody. Here it comes. And it’s?...It’s good! It’s good! Way to go Billy! The Rams win! The Rams win 5-4! Woo hoo! Well, that’s all for now.”...

“Hmm. So even the lines of communication have been shut down. The situation certainly is dire indeed.” Man-Man commented with concern.

“So what are we going to do today?” Genextrowotobox asked.

“That is a good question. Without avenues for our superhero exploits I’m not entirely sure.” Man-Man answered.

“Want to play Frogger?” Genextrowotobox asked.

Man-Man looked at him with dismay. “Genextrowotobox, you know full well the people of Schiff City have been instructed to refrain from using electricity unless absolutely necessary in case Light Rain Menudo causes a catastrophic surge to the power grid.”

“Um, then why don’t I look in the closet and find a game that doesn’t use electricity. How about Scrabble?” Genextrowotobox suggested.

Man-Man shook his head. “No, my mind is far too jumbled to play Scrabble.”

“Well then, checkers?” Genextrowotobox suggested.

“Hmm, I might consider it.” Man-Man nodded his head.

“How about Yahtzee?” Genextrowotobox proposed.

“Genextrowotobox, I don’t have a damn clue what the hell Yahtzee even is.” Man-Man stated.

“It’s a game.” Genextrowotobox responded.

“I’m aware of that. I know the name, but really, what the hell is it?” Man-Man asked, confounded.

“A game, a really cool game, it’s in the closet in the living room, I’ll go get it, I’ll teach you, let me go get it.” Genextrowotobox excitedly exited the room.

 

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox sat at a table, each staring intently at the pieces of the game between them. Genextrowotobox reached down and did something or other with one of the pieces then triumphantly proclaimed, “Yahtzee!”

“Oh dear god. Genextrowototobox, that’s like the 50th time you’ve said that damn word.” Man-Man exclaimed, exasperated.

“That’s what you say when you win. You could say it too if you won a game.” Genextrowotobox explained.

“I really wouldn’t want to say it even if I did win a game, and I haven’t actually won a game because I still don’t have a clue how to play.” Man-Man commented.

“Why don’t I go get Monopoly then? We can wheel and deal as superhero moguls.” Genextrowotobox eagerly proposed.

Man-Man shook his head. “No, playtime is over. I can see out the window Light Rain Menudo hasn’t yet descended upon Schiff City with its mighty wrath. It’s back to the Man-Man cave to check in on the happenings of Schiff City.”

 

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox sat in chairs near the police scanner which was on. The same voice as earlier came across the scanner...”I’m back to update any listeners to the events taking place around Schiff City. There are still no events taking place around Schiff City. The city is still in total lockdown due to the impending arrival of Light Rain Menudo. Or, maybe there are events happening all around Schiff City, I really would have no way to know because I am still in total lockdown in my house. I can tell you further world news though because after my son finished another game of Madden, a heartbreaking contest where he was playing as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and lost 63-3 to the New England Patriots, I put CNN on again. On Capitol Hill two new measures were signed into law today. First was Lola’s Law which states that you are allowed to complain if you are only given two pieces of lettuce on your sandwich when you specifically asked for three, named after Lola Lolana who was kicked out of a Subway restaurant when she erupted at the employees regarding her missing piece of Lettuce, and also Humphrey’s Law, named after little Humphrey Hoolittle, and the law states that you are allowed to sue Democrats in congress after getting hit in the groin by a line drive during baseball practice, buckling over in pain because you weren’t wearing a plastic cup because the Democrats should have mandated that you wear one, a mandate that would have undoubtedly been overturned and prevented by Republicans. You go Timmy, next baseball practice, you go and hit those balls. Horray for Lola and Humphrey, a stellar day for the judicial system indeed. I can also update you again on the events taking place in my living room. At this moment, my dog, a

St. Bernard, is scratching at the door because he wants to go outside to use the bathroom. Hold on a second. Look, Bowzer, fella, just shit on the floor. Don’t you know there’s going to be Light Rain Menudo out there at some point. O.k., back to informing the people of Schiff City about police activity. Hmm, a thought just occurred to me. If we are broadcasting police activity to the citizens, could not then all the criminal elements of the city also listen in and know our every move? I mean would it not maybe make sense to use some sort of encrypted channel of communication only between officers? I mean, the criminals of the city sort of have a step by step broadcast of everythig going on within the police force. Hmm, a point to consider, maybe we should stop these broadcasts. Anyway, if any of the criminal element of Schiff City are listening, they will now know that my dog just shit on my living room floor. That’s all for now.”...

Genextrowotobox shook his head with astonishment. “Wow, Man-Man, this is a ruthless storm.”

“Made the dog shit on the floor. And it plans to hit Schiff City when it least expects it, the element of surprise. Well played my putrid, nauseating, weatherly, foe friend.” Man-Man proclaimed.

“So what do we do now?” Genextrowotobox asked.

Man-Man raised his finger in the air determinedly. “Back to the Man-Man observatory deck so we can monitor for ourselves to detect the arrival of the diabolical Light Rain Menudo.”

 

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox stood in the living room of the League of the Fortress of Illustrious Justice, intently looking out the window. They continued standing there, staring out the window until Genextrowotobox reacted excitedly, pointing at the window. “Man-Man, right there, I think I saw a drop.”

“That’s just a smudge on the glass Genextrowotobox.” Man-Man noted dismissively.

“Oh. Yeah, I did sort of think it was falling rather slowly.” Genextrowotobox conceded “So then, Light Rain Menudo still hasn’t started yet.”

“No. It hasn’t. But, we’re watching, and we’ll know when it arrives. Well at least one of us will.” Man-Man somewhat mockingly declared.

“I’m sorry Man-Man, I’ll do better I promise. Light Rain Menudo isn’t getting by me.” Genextrowotobox asserted.

“Very well then. Just stay focused though, Light Rain Menudo could strike at any moment.” Man-Man cautioned.

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox then just stood there, staring out the window. They stood there staring out the window for many minutes and then they stood there staring out the window for many minutes more. Still, there was no sight of Light Rain Menudo.

“The waiting just keeps going on and on. Do you think there’s a chance Light Rain Menudo might not show at all?” Genextrowotobox asked.

Man-Man shook his head. “Not a one. Light Rain Menudo will be here. It’s just devising battle strategy for the showdown, hoping it can catch the superhero duo when their guards are down. But let me tell you, if it thinks that then Light Rain Menudo has another thing coming.”

“So then we just keep waiting?”

“We just keep waiting.” Man-Man affirmed.

“Alright then, don’t worry Man-Man, I’m on the lookout.” Genextrowotobox focused all his concentration, staring out the window.

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox stood there, staring out the window for several minutes when Genextrowotobox excitedly pointed to the glass. “Wait, wait, wait, Man-Man, right there. It’s Light Rain Menudo!”

Man-Man just looked at Genextrowotobox with a disapproving frown. “That’s just another smudge on the window Genextrowotobox. How I really do wish you had remembered to pick up a bottle of Windex when you last went grocery shopping.”

“I’m sorry Man-Man, I don’t know what it is. I’m always forgetting something when I go shopping.” Genextrowotobox apologized with a sheepish tone.

“As I tell you, write it down.” Man-Man chided.

“I’m sorry Man-Man, I’ll do that from now on.”

“Well right now that’s not important. We’re on a mission and are trying to detect the arrival of Light Rain Menudo.”

“So we just keep staring out the window?” Genextrowotobox asked, seeking to ascertain the next stages of the battle plan.

“Yes, we just keep staring out the window.” the general of the two man superhero army so directed.

The dedicated superhero soldiers stood steady at their posts, intently watching out the window for the impending arrival of Light Rain Menudo. They stayed there at their posts dutifully scanning the horizon for the first sight of Light Rain Menudo for quite some time. They remained standing there, looking out the window for quite some time more.

Genextrowotobox turned to Man-Man with a doubting look. “Man-Man, I’m really beginning to wonder if Light Rain Menudo is actually going to show.”

Man-Man turned to Genextrowotobox. “It will show, why for all we know it’s already here. Why Light Rain Menudo is an adversary so masterful in the art of stealth it might very well be present right before our eyes and we wouldn’t even know it. Light Rain Menudo blends into the surroundings so you can’t even tell it’s there. It steps onto the battlefield as a silent assassin, it doesn’t roar onto the scene like Hurricane Henrieta but ultimately presenting no challenge. It sneaks in and strikes with cunning, targeted strikes.”

Genextrowotobox smirked with derision. “Oh Hurricane Henrieta, what a dud.”

“A greatly overrated, misforcast foe.” Man-Man concurred, shaking his head.

“Hurricane Henrieta was a joke. I mean they cancelled school for no reason.” Genextrowotobox complained.

“Yes, Hurricane Henrieta was a paltry nemesis, but this, what we are facing here, Light Rain Menudo, this is the real deal.”

“So we just keep watching for its arrival then?”

Man-Man paused for a moment in thought, then answered. “Actually, as I said, Light Rain Menudo’s battlefield cunning is such, it may very well already be here so I think it’s time to employ a new investigative tool. It is time to break out the Man-Man Rain Tester O’Meter.”  

“So you’re actually going to put your hand out the window?” Genextrowotobox asked

with anxiousness.

“I am going to put my hand out the window.” Man-Man replied, stoically.

Genextrowotobox’ face took on a look of concern. “Oh boy, good luck Man-Man. Don’t worry, I got you covered.”

Man-Man reached down and pulled open the window. He then lifted the screen and cautiously extended his arm outside into the air. He just stood there with his arm outside the window, Genextrowotobox eyeing, at the ready in case he was needed. After a couple minutes Man-Man retracted his arm from outside. “Genextrowotobox, I felt a drop. It appears the battle against Light Rain Menudo is already upon us.”

 

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox raced along the sidewalks of Schiff City. “Man-Man, are you sure it’s a good idea for us to be outside like this? I mean Light Rain Menudo is really coming down. Well, I mean, um, wait, hold on.” Genextrowotobox stopped running, Man-Man stopping as well. “Well, um, yeah, I can kind of feel it, sort of a mist, oh wait, there’s a drop. Oh wait, no, it was just a bird crapping on me.”

Man-Man looked at Genextrowotobox, speaking with a serious voice. “Genextrowotobox, don’t you see. Even though we now face off against our most difficult and dangerous foe to date, out here on the streets of the city is the only place for two superheroes such as us to be. By god, now that Light Rain Menudo has descended down upon Schiff City, who knows what havoc it might wreak.”

Genextrowotobox responded, trying to understand the plan. “Yeah, but, I mean, where are we running to by the way? I mean Light Rain Menudo is everywhere. Well, I mean, some places, at times. And it’s just I’m all wet, well slightly damp and there’s just like, water falling from the sky, um, ever so often.”

“Stay strong Genextrowotobox. As superheroes, it is our sacred duty to repel whatever fiendish volleys Light Rain Menudo might hurl our way.” Man-Man declared.

Still trying to glean the specifics of the plan, Genextrowotobox pressed. “Um, o.k., I’m with you then. But, ah, again, where exactly are we running to? I mean Light Rain Menudo is already above us so shouldn’t we stop and just fight it here.”

“We are running to try and find the heart of Light Rain Menudo, its core, the eye of the storm. For it is only by striking a blow there that will enable us to defeat it and bring its reign of terror to an end.” Man-Man explained.

“The eye of the storm of Light Rain Menudo. Are you sure about that Man-Man? I can only imagine the freakish horrors that must exist there. How will we ever make it back out?” Genextrowotobox said with worry.

“Damn the consequences Genextrowotobox! We’re superheroes, this is what we do. To save Schiff City we would venture to the very heart of hell if we had to, and we would do so with no attention being paid as to whether there was any possible chance we would ever emerge. Come on Genextrowotobox, remember who you are.” Man-Man proudly proclaimed.

Genextrowotobox nodded his, understanding. “You’re right Man-Man. I’m ready to do this. Whatever happens.”

“That’s the spirit Genextrowotobox. Now let’s start running again so that we might find the  

heart and center and eye of the storm, and so bring Light Rain Menudo to an end!” Man-Man exclaimed.

Genextrowotobox unleashed a primal battle cry “Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!” then Man-Man and Genextrowotobox took off running along the sidewalk once again, Light Rain Menudo unleashing, um, no, wait, it’s actually not raining at the moment, no, wait again, it started up, Light Rain Menudo unleashing its fury from the sky.”

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox raced along the sidewalk, Genextrowotobox calling out, “Man-Man, I fear I am faltering in battle. I mean Light Rain Menudo just keeps, you know, lightly raining and I’m getting slightly more wet. There seems no way to stop it.”

“Dig down deep Genextrowotobox, the true battle hasn’t even started yet. Can I count on you when it does my loyal sidekick?” Man-Man inquired.

“Absolutely Man-Man, I’ll be right by your side. I won’t let you down.” Genextrowotobox assured him.

“I knew I could loyal sidekick. Now we must remember, wait, what is that? Stop Genextrowotobox.” Man-Man and Genextrowotobox stopped running “Do you hear that?”  

“I do Man-Man, it sounds like music.” Genextrowotobox replied.

“Not just music though, it sounds like live music and it’s emanating from somewhere around that corner up ahead.” Man-Man further detailed with a very curious voice.

“Do you think that’s where the eye of the storm is located?” Genextrowotobox asked.

Man-Man nodded his head, inside knowing that the true battle waited just around the corner, wanting to give final words of encouragement to his loyal sidekick. “I think it may likely very well be. Prepare yourself Genextrowotobox, what we have faced up until this point in our battle against Light Rain Menudo will seem like a cakewalk compared to what we will have to deal with next. Give it everything you’ve got. And remember, we are superheroes, to save the city we are people who would journey to the very center of hell, knowing there was never any chance we would make it out alive. We’re superheroes. It’s what we do.”

“I understand Man-Man. I’m ready, whatever hell awaits us around that corner.” Genextrowotobox responded solemnly.

Man-Man nodded his head. “Very good Genextrowotobox. So let’s begin the showdown and so bring Light Rain Menudo to its superhero induced conclusion.” Man-Man and Genextrowotobox walked up to the wall and stood, leaning with their backs against it. Man-Man looked at Genextrowotobox and with the fingers of his right hand did a silent countdown, a slight nod of the head to signify the countdown had reached zero and it was time for action. Then the two of them raced around the corner and stopped right in their tracks, staring ahead at a large stage with various lighting, numerous speakers and upon the stage was a young Hispanic band dressed in bright florescent colors, dancing, all the members of the band singing into microphones.

“Oh my god, it’s, it’s actual Menudo.” Genextrowotobox exclaimed with surprise.

“The early 80’s band itself somehow transported to present day by the nefarious weather pattern Light Rain Menudo and they’re putting on an actual concert. How very odd, Mexicans crossing the U.S border from Canada.” Man-Man pondered.

“And it’s, it’s.” Genextrowotobox started, viewing the display in front of them, Menudo

dancing and singing up on the stage, Genextrowotobox trying to find the correct word.

“It’s fuckin hideous.” Man-Man declared. “Oh my, the situation is even worse than I thought it would be. The evil scourge that is Light Rain Menudo is even more sinister than I dared to imagine.”

“So what do we do?” Genextrowotobox asked.

“I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure. I fear we may have encountered a nemesis that even our unparalleled superhero powers will be no match for.”

“But we have to do something Man-Man, we have to save Schiff City.”

“You’re right, but to do so, I believe we are going to have to call on the assistance of other combatants. So then who, who is out there that is willing to do battle and bring an end to Light Rain Menudo?” Man-Man called out within the Menudo night.

A chorus of voices sounded from behind the stage. “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. The right stuff.”

“The fuckin New Kids On The Block!” Man-Man blurted out in horror.

The New Kids On The Block then emerged from the left side of the stage, singing and dancing as they did.

“And now both bands keep singing back and forth at each other in some sort of singing contest duel.” Genextrowotobox noted.

“Holy shit, the situation has gotten about a thousand times worse.” Man-Man exclaimed with dismay.

“Do you think we’ll live through this battle, and this battle of the bands?” Genextrowotobox asked.

“Who on earth possibly could!” Man-Man responded with a rhetorical answer. “Oh god, this situation has reached a critical mass. We really must do something immediately or all hope is lost. We need other combatants. Please, whoever is out there that can hear this plea. The situation is at a possibly, absolutely catastrophic point. So who is there, who is there that could possibly win this battle?” Man-Man called out again.

The band Hanson emerged from the right side of the stage, “singing”, “Mmmmbop, ba duba bop. Ba du bop, ba duba dop. Ba du bop, ba duba bop. Ba du, yeah!”

Man-Man stared ahead at the stage, completely aghast and horrified. “Oh my god, if this situation doesn’t just keep getting inconceivably worse and fuckin worse. I would run into the deepest pits of actual hell just to escape this shit.”

“I’ve never seen or heard anything like it. And, well I now realize I was very happy that was true. God, how I wish I could go back to that wonderful time.” Genextrowotobox lamented.

“This is the most horrific sight I’ve ever seen.” Man-Man despaired.

“Is there any possible way we can stop it?” Genextrowotobox asked with concern.

“I don’t see how we possibly could.” Man-Man declared, shaking his head.

“Come on Man-Man, this is your loyal sidekick trying to encourage the greatest superhero of all time. We cannot despair.”

“Look at this shit. How the hell are we supposed to not despair?” Man-Man exclaimed with a defeated tone, pointing to the stage.

“Come on Man-Man, we’ve overcome seemingly insurmountable odds before, we can’t

give up.” Genextrowotobox declared.

Man-Man pulled himself together. “Yes, you’re right, for the citizens of Schiff City we must persevere and rise above. O.k. then, Now who is out there who can actually help this situation and make it better. The superhero duo finds themselves in over their heads. We need your assistance now!” Man-Man shouted out again.

At that point, the singing duo that was Kriss Kross came walking out onto the stage with funky dance moves. “Kriss Kross will make you, jump, jump. Daddy Mac will make you, jump, jump.”

The look on Man-Man’s face was mortified as he stared ahead at the various bands all dancing and singing. “Oh so fuckin help me. Genextrowotobox, I do believe the situation has spiraled irrevocably out of control and there really is no way to possibly salvage it at this point.”

“No, Man-Man, you can’t talk like that.” Genextrowotobox pleaded.

Man-Man responded incredulously. “How can I not. Look at that scene up there. It’s like there was a carbon monoxide leak in the auditorium of the talent night competition at a school for special needs children. And what, some white groups, a black group, a Mexican group. What are we, trying to start an adolescent race war?”

“Is there nothing we can do?” Genextrowotobox asked, despondently.

“Well, they’re all just little children, maybe what’s needed here is an adult in the room?” Man-Man theorized.

“What ever you do, don’t put the blame on you.” sounded the voices from the right side of the stage as the singing duo Milli Vanilli came walking out.

“These are not the adults we need in the room.” Man-Man forcefully declared.

Milli Vanilli continued with their song. “Blame it on the rain, yeah, yeah. You can blame it on the rain.”

“Goddamn right I’m going to blame it on the fuckin rain!” Man-Man blared.”

“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, can’t stand the rain. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, can’t stand the rain.” Milli Vannili sang.

“Yeah, well I can’t stand the fuckin rain because if it wasn’t for the fuckin rain, none of this horrid atrocity would be taking place!” erupted Man-Man.

“Man-Man, try and relax, you’re getting angry.” Genextrowotobox tried to calm him.

“I’m not getting angry, I am angry.” Man-Man barked. “My god, so help me, my head from this horror, everything feels like it’s just spinning around and around.”

A small mobile raised platform stage then emerged from the right side of the stage, the band Dead or Alive atop it, the I believe in keeping my appearance low key lead singer, singing. “You spin me right round baby, right round. Like a record baby, right round, right round, round.”

Man-Man spoke with a completely dejected tone. “Genextrowotobox, you know me as the stern, unflappable, always ready for battle superhero and leader that I am. But so help me, I think that if I have to endure anymore of this horror I’m going to cry.”

From the left side of the stage the artist known as, then formerly known as, then known once again as “Prince” emerged, singing. “This is what it sounds like, when doves cry. When doves cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”

Man-Man stared at the stage with a look of defeat. “Genextrowotobox, I’m afraid you’re going to have to assume the role of leader of the League of the Fortress of Illustrious Justice, my superhero, crime fighting days I’m afraid are done.”

Genextrowotobox attempted to rally Man-Man. “Man-Man, why don’t we make a run for it, regroup, devise a new battle strategy?”

Another small raised platform emerged from the left side of the stage with the band “Flock of Seagulls” atop it, the lead singer singing. “And I ran, I ran so far away, I just ran, I ran all night and day. I couldn’t get away.”

Man-Man just stared upon the stage with utter dismay. “Holy shit Genextrowotobox, look at all of them up there. This clearly is an unwinnable situation.”

“Man-Man please, we can still prevail in this struggle, you must have patience.” Genextrowotobox urged.

From the right side of the stage there emerged another raised stage on a small platform with the band “Guns N Roses” atop it, the members of the band sitting in chairs and strumming on acoustic instruments, Axl Rose singing. “A little patience, yeah, yeah. A little patience, yeah, yeah.” All the small raised stages then continued maneuvering through the masses of the bands on foot, the bands atop them playing their songs, while all the bands dancing around the stage continued singing their songs as well.

“What the hell have we done here Genextrowotobox? This is a fuckin calamity! It just keeps getting worse and worse, like some pandemic that is multiplying and spreading beyond any possible control.” Man-Man shook his head, horrified.

“Oh believe me Man-Man, I understand how you’re feeling, but we have to keep going on even though I know this hurts.” Genextrowotobox tried to console Man-Man.

A small raised stage on a mobile platform then emerged from the left side of the stage with the band “REM” atop it, Michael Stipe singing. “When you’re sure you’ve had enough. Of this life. Well hang on. Don’t let yourself go. Cause everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes.”

Genextrowotobox just looked upon the stage with a battered look. “O.k., Man-Man, I see your point. This is horrifically brutal. Isn’t there anything at all we can do though?”

“At this point Genextrowotobox, I’m afraid the only thing we can do is pray.” Man-Man declared.

Madonna then entered from the left side of the stage, singing. “When you call my name it’s like a little prayer. I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there. In the midnight hour I can feel your power. Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there.”

The band “Duran Duran” then entered from the right side of the stage, on a small raised stage on a mobile platform, playing their instruments and singing. “No, don’t say a prayer for me now, save it till the morning after. Save it till the morning after”

“Dear god. It’s like some horrific, terrifying bad dream.” Man-Man despaired.

At the back of the stage a curtain dropped, revealing another solitary stage about ten feet higher than the stage all the other bands were upon. On this stage was the band “Metallica” and there were pyrotechnics shooting up from the stage into the air. “Exit light. Enter night. Take my hand, it’s off to never, never land.”

The various bands all just continued playing their respective songs at each other at the same  

time while all the mobile mini stages weaved around the dancing members on the stage on foot, playing their songs as the mobile stages weaved through the people, occasionally bumping into each other in a sort of mini mobile stage bumper cars, also occasionally running over some of the band members who were on foot, the jumbled mass of disconnected words and discordant musical notes blaring on the stage as well. Um, all did except the various kid bands who had all erupted into a brawl with each other on the stage, a chaotic visual mass to complement the musical atrocity. Seeing this, the two members of Milli Vanilli went over to the children to try and calm the scene, one of them speaking calmingly. “Kids, kids, come on, stop all this, come on. Now you might think the differences between you are a bad thing but I’m here to tell you that our differences aren’t a bad thing, they’re what make us special. And they’re also what show us just how much the same we are.”

The other member of Milli Vanilli joining in “Because, sure, you might be sitting there thinking, well I’m Milli, but you know what, we’re all also Vanilli. So kids don’t you listen to those words of hate, always be yourself and don’t any of you ever let anyone else put words in your mouth.”

All the members of Menudo, New Kids On The Block, Hansen, and Kriss Kross had stopped there fighting and all just stood there looking at each other, nodding their heads. They all then turned to the two members of Milli Vanilli. And then all started to beat the living crap out of them.

Man-Man cringed with a nauseous look. “Could this possibly get any worse?”

Genextrowotobox was looking at his hands with an odd look. “Huh, what’s that, weird, it’s like it.” He wiped the rain water from his face and neck and looked at his hand. “Hey, Man-Man, this is bizarre, it looks like somehow Light Rain Menudo has turned purple.”

At this moment every one of the bands on the stage broke into their rendition of the song “Purple Rain”, each doing so with the band’s own style musically and vocally so it was a varied, off time mess. All bands did this except Prince himself who, upon the first notes and words of the song from the assembled bands stood at the back of the stage on a large paisley patterned platform that was slowly raising from the stage into the sky, Prince waving tearfully to all the other bands as he ascended upwards, purple smoke pouring out from beneath the platform on both sides of it.

One of the members of Milli Vanilli looked up at Prince disappearing up into the sky and lamented, “Hey, I’m dead too, why don’t I get to ride up on the platform to heaven?”

The backup roadie for “Flock of Seagulls” responded contemptuously and mockingly “Because you’re in Milli Vanilli dude.”

Prince disappeared up above the stage and all the bands transitioned to, in their own musical styles, renditions of the song “What the world needs now”, is love, sweet love as the kid band “Musical Youth” walked onto stage, dancing, singing their song “Pass the Dutchie”, every band then breaking into their own renditions of the song “Dancing in the Streets” as the mobile platform upon which was Dead or Alive, took an errant turn and crashed off the stage.

Man-Man sighed, his posture slumping. “Genextrowotobox, I’m afraid it is time for us to retreat from this battle and lick our wounds, accepting the superhero duo’s first defeat

against what truly was an insurmountable nemesis.”

“No Man-Man, I refuse to accept that.” Genextrowotobox exclaimed defiantly.

“Though I admire your attitude, there are times on the field of battle when you do have to concede defeat, for those who turn and walk away will live to fight another day. And there will be many other supervillains we will have to contend with and as we do, we will carry this always with us as a stinging reminder of what can happen when we are not at the top of our game. So come on loyal sidekick, though this indeed is a dark day, retreat will in time be for the greater good.” Man-Man pronounced.

“But what about Schiff City? What will happen to it?” Genextrowotobox pondered.

Man-Man dejectedly and mournfully shook his head. “I’m afraid Schiff City’s fate is already written and there really is nothing we can do about it. There’s no question that word of this abomination we witnessed first hand has been detected by the country’s intelligence agencies and that the president himself is probably being briefed as I speak, sorting through the various options though realizing there really is only one choice. He cannot take the chance of this scene spreading beyond Schiff City’s borders and potentially infecting the rest of the country. Within the hour he will unquestionably order a tactical nuclear strike on Schiff City, covertly, then placing some story in the press to explain what happened, though, for the public’s collective well being, never revealing the truth of the horrors that existed within the city’s confines, nor that the government had anything to do with its destruction. It saddens me greatly to say it but Schiff City will soon be gone. Our days as serving as its superhero protectors have come to an end. Are there any words you would like to say to Schiff City as a final goodbye?”

Genextrowotobox looked around at the city, tears in his eyes. “Schiff City you were the best damn city in history. I’m going to miss you, goodbye.”

Man-Man nodded his head with reverence. “Ah yes, Schiff City, what can I say, you truly were a tough broad, but, in the end, there are some battles that just can’t be won. Know this though, the superhero duo will have their revenge in your name. Farewell Schiff City, sleep well, and forever rest in peace. And you’ll always be the champ in my mind.”

 

Man-Man and Genextrowotobox sat at a table in the kitchen by the window, eating breakfast. There was a portable radio that was on, sitting atop a nearby counter. Commercials were playing as Man-Man and Genextrowotobox sat there and ate their cereal. The commercials ended and a voice came on “...Why hello out there to everybody listening and a good morning to you all. The time is 9 AM and this is your host with more than the most, Fever Flytrap, signing in and saying I wish all of the people of glorious Sherbet City a wonderful day. Sorry to have to do this but I’m afraid I’m going to have to begin my show with a real downer. It seems that one of our neighboring cities, Schiff City had sort of a rough night last night. It has been completely reduced to smoldering rubble and everyone dwelling within it has been killed. Yeah, like I said a real bummer of a night. Authorities say the cause of the city’s destruction was that there was a forgotten about disposal site for deactivated nuclear warheads under the city and that one of them had not actually been deactivated and within the battering delivered by the storm Light Rain Menudo, it detonated, destroying the city, and therefore no one should be at all surprised to  

see extremely high radiation levels within the wreckage. Well, Schiff City, you will be missed. And so, as a tribute to the city’s memory, I’d like to dedicate to all the people of the city and the city itself my first song of the show. Hey Schiff City, this one’s for you. The song began playing on the radio, “Boom boom acka lacka lacka boom. Boom boom acka lacka boom boom. It was a night like this forty million years ago. I lit up a cigarette, picked up a monkey skull to go. The sun was spitting fire, the sky was blue as ice. I felt a little tired so I watched Miami Vice. And walked the dinosaur, I walked the dinosaur. Open the door, get on the floor. Everybody walk the dinosaur. Open the door, get on the floor. Everybody walk the dinosaur.” Man-Man and Genextrowotobox just sat there in the kitchen, eating their cereal, as the song “Walk the Dinosaur” played over the airwaves.

 

And so! Yet another heart pounding episode has reached its end. And, with it, unfortunately, Schiff City has finally met its demise as well. In the end, you just can’t win against the forces of nature, and so with The Adventures of Man-Man, Defender of Man: Episode 6: Schiff City Vs. Mother Nature, the world has witnessed Schiff City’s final moments. In closing I would just like to say this. Throughout history, there have been some cities that were more than mere cities. They were beaming metropolis’, beacons leading the way for what all cities should aspire to be. In ways, they are unique worlds unto themselves. And when you stand within their boundaries you cannot help but be changed by their majesty and their greatness and by that, you yourself become a little bit of a better person yourself. Rome in the time of the empire. Constantinople. New York City, still standing strong. France during the renaissance. These are places that have left an undeniable mark on history that can never be taken away even after the city itself has perished. They were the centers of the world in terms of culture, philosophy, technology, academics, architecture, arts, the rule of law and society itself. The impact of their importance reverberated all across the globe, and their presence, even though all civilizations have, in terms of the grand scope of time, only brief interludes dominating the world stage, they still shaped the path of the future for generations to come. Well, there can be no question that Schiff City was indeed a member of that exclusive club. Goodbye Schiff City, you will be missed, though never forgotten

The End

In Memoriam: Schiff City 2016-2017

 


© Copyright 2020 xavier damon. All rights reserved.

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