Heroes & Villains
I ran into Lily accidently, after not having seen her for a long time. It was intentional. The not seeing her. We first met 20 years ago, but after a few years into our relationship, I could no longer stomach her. Both of us worked then at an ad agency that specialized in entertainment, and we became fast friends. All these years later it’s hard to remember exactly why. I guess we both loved French movies, spoke French, her well, me sort of. We hated our jobs and wanted a future where we could start our own agency and control our lives. I hated to slave ten to twelve hours a day for someone else, my best ideas stolen by the conga-line of idiot bosses we had.
One thing was for certain. The dog was a double agent. First time I saw him was out there roaming the countryside. It was called “No Man’s Land” for a reason. But what if you were not a man?
There were quite a few itchy trigger fingers that day. I wasn’t a dog person. In fact, I’d been bitten a handful of times by them growing up in Vermont. I also felt it wasn’t right to shoot anything couldn’t carry a gun. Of course, I was not the commander. Couldn’t tell ‘em not to shoot. At some point, you just gotta beg.
T-Man is real strict about masks in the Lair. “Always keep it on, Kid, inside and out. Any room there’s a window, people can see you. There’s a lot more capes about than you think.” Blah blah blah thinks the Chromium Kid, flipping the bird at the windowless door. Luckily T-Man doesn’t have X-Ray vision or anything or he would be so screwed.
Victorio Valdez, El Bandito, was a retired Mexican actor living in Guadalajara. He had been in over 30 Mexican and American films, always as the heavy. In his youth he was shot from horses, tumbled down flights of stairs, and had whiskey bottles shattered over his head. In his film career he had been killed by some of the legends of the cinema including Gilbert Rowland, Eli Wallach and John Wayne. John Ford liked Victorio’s deaths so much the Duke killed him three times in one film.
Of all the flatmates with whom I’ve shared a house, I have to admit that the ancient alien God Dread Cthulhu, despite being an unspeakable, cephalopoid horror from the darkest abysses of the ocean, was not the worst. Not by quite a long way, in fact. Oh, I’m not making any extravagant claims for the guy – well, not “guy” exactly, but … in fact, maybe we should leave it at “guy”. I’m not saying he brought me breakfast in bed every morning or saved us from a fire or anything like that, but the fact remains that he was tidy, and pretty quiet most of the time; he kept himself to himself, didn’t hog the bathroom and always paid his rent on the nail. Basically, I’ve lived with a lot worse.