“The Dark Avenger,” by Chris D’Silva

Apr 20th, 2015 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

This city disgusts me. I crouch up here on the corner of a building, looking down at these streets below me and all I can think about is the cesspool that this town has become. I can only imagine the community swimming in cess, with a cess lifeguard yelling at the cess kids to stop running, lest they slip on cess, just replace the community with murder, the life guard with corruption, and the kids with robbery or something. That’s what I see in this town. It’s all going to shit and I’m the toilet paper, except instead of being flung by hooligans into trees, I’m flinging hooligans into jails. I leap off of the corner of the building onto the roof patio behind me and make my way to the elevator. Watching the streets only does so much, action is the next step. The Dark Avenger goes to greet the night.

I exit the main entrance to a building that is not the building that I live in when I’m not wearing the mask, because all I am is the mask, so forget that idea right now. I also don’t feel self conscious walking the streets in my costume, because I know civilians look to me in awe, not judgment. My suit is the embodiment of the spirit of justice. The dark gothic aesthetic demands respect from those around me and strikes fear into the hearts of criminals. My suit is H.R. Giger’s wet dream, and a criminal’s wet nightmare, meaning he peed the bed, because he’s so afraid of me. This intricate binding of Kevlar and leather is aerodynamically perfect for urban freerunning, allowing me to move about this moral wasteland in the dark of night with severe grace and ease. The combination of subtle studded spikes and black feathers works to strike fear in the hearts of criminals as well as to distract them during fights. My suit is perfect, and no one laughs at it.

I hear a shout from an alley, from my experience these sort of things usually settle themselves, so I turn around and start in the opposite direction. The shout repeats itself, but remains indecipherable and is probably not worth the time spent investigating. I realize I’m wasting time just thinking about this mild disturbance and quicken my pace away from the shouts. Efficiency is everything. The shouts return and I start sprinting away, so I can do the most I can for the people of my city.

To be entirely honest, I wasn’t always the dark spirit of the night wind for whom the city cries out. I used to be a sad civilian of a man, but I, unlike other civilians, took my destiny into my own hands, and realized my true calling as the protector of this city, and seized it. It all happened when I was walking the streets one night. I looked up to the night skies and thought that I should try being a superhero. And so it began. I quickly realized how much this city needs me. The police officers do nothing. They sit idly by in their patrol cars, watching me, turning a blind eye toward crime. In all my weeks being a crimefighter, I’ve seen few if any arrests. With the exception of some domestic dispute calls and some broken up drug deals, I’ve never seen the police doing their job. I know they’re all dirty, their hands soiled with the filthy money of the streets. I’ve never seen a major crime syndicate fall in all my time on these streets. Simple deductive reasoning tells me that it can only be due to dirty cops. Dirty cops on dirtier streets. This city is grimy, grimy and gritty. It’s seriously very gross.

I continue my patrol. I walk past the local banks just to be sure none are being robbed. None are being robbed, but that’s just because they are already robbing the people with interest rates and unfair things that they do. The owner of the local bank, Mr. Pennysworth is outside for a smoke, cigarette drooping between his hanging jowls under his round red nose. He fills an incredibly round three piece suit as best he can. He looks to me with a crooked-tooth grin, stained with the poison he inhales. “Howdy there Mr. Dark Avenger, sir! Good to see you’re still keeping our fine city safe!” It takes much of my iron constitution to not snap his neck right then. I continue walking, he is a fish that I shall fry another day. I would need a bigger pan.

Suddenly, a man shoves his way past me gripping a purse. An old woman yells after him. I know what I must do. I take my grappling hook out of my belt and strategically toss it around a street lamp in front of the thief. However, in the heat of the moment, I somehow find myself unable to hold the end of the grappling hook’s attached rope. The grappling hook tangles around the street lamp to high even for the great leaps of the Dark Avenger and I make a note to buy another grappling hook when I get the chance. I start running after the thief but he has already made such distance, he turns a corner and I think the chase has disappeared into the dark of night. But, just as I turn the corner after him, the police grab the thief and put him in handcuffs, handing me the purse, “Here you go ma’am.” The foolish criminal scum fell right into my trap, the police may be dirty, but they’re still dumb enough to be forced into upholding the law every now and again. I take the purse and return it to the old lady around the block. She looks to me with a tear still fresh in her eye and thanks me with a crippling sincerity, “Here take this.” She reaches in her bag and gives me an unwrapped old hard candy from her purse’s depths. I tell her I was just doing what the city demanded of me, being the spirit of justice, standing up for the innocent when the world turns a cold shoulder on their cries. I realize she has left and I begin to leave as well. Mr. Pennysworth yells after me, “Dark Avenger, you really are a grade-A fella!” Again, I don’t snap his neck.

I make my way back to the building where I started my patrol, even though I don’t live there. Overall, a successful night patrol, stopping a robbery, like I did tonight, is not incredibly common, but it’s nothing beyond my normal capability. Every bit I can do helps in the slightest way. I hear shouts from the alley again. I decide to investigate, the nights over anyway, perhaps I can do just a bit more good before the Dark Avenger disappears to make room for daylight. I walk directly into the alley and announce my presence, “The Dark Avenger demands justice for the night! Who disturbs the peace?” An incredibly large man steps out of the shadows and nearly presses his chest to my face, “Cute mask, can I have it?” In a microsecond I analyze all possible courses of action. He removes my cowl, just as I thought he would, thanks me, and disappears into the shadows once more, cackling away.

I turn around, still wearing the rest of my suit as people look on and laugh. I suppose joy brought to people in such a shit city is positive no matter at whose expense. I enter the building that I don’t live in, take the elevator to a room that isn’t mine, sit on a bed that may or may not have a Batman comforter and I pop a hard candy in my mouth. I smile. Another successful night for the Dark Avenger.


Defenestration-Generic Male 01Chris D’Silva is a current freshman at Williams College and loves humor more than his parents would like him to.

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