5 on the 101

Finally Friday, my wonderful readers!

For all you Americans out there, getting ready for Thanksgiving? Man, do I miss it!

(On foreign soil, details in my autobiography~)

The Holiday Season’s gonna be here in no time, making us even busier! Traffic, long lines, etc. But remember, that’s precisely why I created this blog, to give you quick yet thought-provoking stories while life has you on standby. So yeah, going to be my pleasure to keep you company:) And don’t forget, I’m always here for you in the comment section;)

Alright, on with today’s story!

superman

By

Rico Lamoureux

All Rights Reserved.

2016.

As Peter sipped his cup of morning Joe he watched from his carpool the familiar sights of their morning commute, Top 40 providing a soundtrack for it all. From the two peddlers sharing the on-ramp of the freeway, one selling oranges, the other, Xerox copies of their book, to the multitude of cars, some he recognized, most he didn’t, some going to Hollywood like he and his colleagues, others driving beyond. The 101 always had something new to take in, no matter how many times they travelled it.

Today what had stuck out to Peter most was the bus full of school kids, elementary aged, no doubt on some sort of field trip as it was already past nine. The bus driver had stayed in the carpool lane, and as Peter and his friends neared he had urged them to play along, for the sake of the kids. For the others this just meant giving a wave, a salute, a smile, as Storm, Superman, and Wonder Woman didn’t have any masks to put on. As for Batman, the driver, his was already secured into place, preferring to pull the hard tight rubber over his face before he left the house, those bat ears at just the right height so as not to be hindered by the car’s roof.

Peter was the one who had to put in the most effort, sitting his coffee down, pulling his mask down over his face, adjusting it in the mirror… But to see the wide-eyed look of surprise and excitement on those kids’ faces was well worth any slight inconvenience. A car full of some of their favorite superheroes: a memory that would probably stay with them for decades to come.

Peter was proud and perfectly content at his job as a Hollywood Boulevard Spiderman, thoroughly enjoying his eight hours a day of posing for selfies with tourists from all over the world. He even kept fit working out every other day, his agility and dedication allowing him the opportunity to be a stand-in, and sometimes stunt double, on the Spiderman blockbusters. Cast and crew would always get a kick out of the fact that he shared the same name as the legendary character, with he and Tobey even becoming friends before the actor had retired from his web-slingin’ days.

What had stood out most to Peter about that bus full of kids was the reaction of one in particular. While the rest of them were jumping up and down screaming one boy had just sat there, transfixed, open palms against the window. Peter couldn’t see that well through his Spidey mask, but he focused his vision enough to make out the logo on the boy’s shirt. The same logo Peter wore across his chest every day.

Like-minded souls. Peter gave the thumbs up, and soon thereafter they were separated by traffic.

He pulled the mask back up off his face, wearing it like a skull cap as he went back to sipping his coffee and pondering, Batman lane-hopping as traffic began to increase and slow down. Such a chess match hardly ever worked, the school bus getting farther away as it progressed in the carpool lane.

“You mind if I change this?” Wonder Woman asked Batman. “This song is such an earworm!”

“Nah, go ahead.”

Just as she switched from Top 40 to Oldies but Goodies distant sirens could be heard behind them, the sound of a news chopper also fast approaching as both began to drown out Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie…

By now Batman had them in the far right lane. He tried to get over to the next one, having a feeling that whatever was coming would be doing so on the shoulder, but he couldn’t get over, and so he just made sure he was as far to the left of the lane as he could possibly get.

Sure enough within seconds a black SUV whizzed by, so fast, so furious that it shook their little Toyota Tercel, the chopper right above.

Peter looked behind them. The police were still about fifty yards out, having trouble getting through the congestion. Just as he turned back around Batman slammed on the breaks, the sound of screeching tires, twisting metal, and shattering glass screaming out from up ahead.

They were about twenty yards from ground zero, avoiding any impact as a result.

Peter quickly unlocked his seat belt and reached up to the front, hitting the radio dial, taking it from This’ll be the day that I die… to the twenty-four-hour news station.

Pasadena City College had been attacked, multiple causalities being reported as both bombings and a mass shooting had taken place.

Details were still coming in, but it was believed that there were two perpetrators, former students of the institution and ISIS-inspired.

“I think I see it…” Wonder Woman said.

“”See what?” Superman replied.

“The SUV. Look, in the center. Isn’t that it?”

Storm brought up the live chopper footage on her smartphone.

There was the scene on the small screen from a birds-eye-view. The same scene right there just yards in front of them. And that’s when they noticed the stalled school bus in the carpool lane, just a few vehicles away from that SUV…

They all looked back. The cops were still at a stand-still, way back there.

The doors to the SUV were pinned by other cars, the two terrorists beginning to climb their way out through the broken out windows.

Peter looked from them to the school bus, and how it just sat there like a big ol’ sitting duck.

“We’ve gotta do something,” was all he needed to say for his friends to understand. They all rushed out of the car and ran for the kids.

To Be Continued…

Stay tuned for the sequel, coming Monday!

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