Powered By Square1.io
Bee-man and Paddy, Master of the Fourth Dimension, stood on the rooftop of the Clarion hotel, surveying the city which was theirs to defend against evil, by general agreement.
“Tis fairly cauld tonight isn’t it?” said Paddy a rollie hanging limply out of his mouth.
“Yeah, tis feckin’ freezin. Reckon there’ll be anything much goin on tonight?”
“Well, it’s kind of hard to tell.”
“What do ya mean?”
“Well standing here on top of the Clarion may look all dramatic and stuff, what with the wind making our cloaks billow dramatically and all, but with the layout of the city being as it is, we’re in a very poor position to see if anyone actually does anything illegal. I mean we can see up the Dock road a bit but can only see one side of it at that.”
“But it’s the tallest building in Limerick!”
“Yeah but it’s down away from the middle of town like, t’would be of more use standing on top of Arthur’s Quay.” said Paddy, relighting his rollie with his prized Homestead lighter.
“I dunno, can be a bit dodgy down there.”
“Well we are superheroes ya know.”
“Yeah but I’m dressed up like a bee with a big black cloak, striped pants and a yellow helmet. People will start pointing and shouting stuff at me the minute they see me.”
“But sure can’t you send a few bees at them to make ‘em go away?”
“Wellllll…There’s not really many bees about this time of year. Bit cold for em, ya know? Not many flowers around either.”
“So what’ll you do if we do find some master criminal up to no good?”
“I’ve got one.”
“Yeah, I keep him in a match box in my utility belt. His name’s Eugene.”
“Does he do anything special? Lasers firing out of his eyes, the power to create a tornado by flapping his wings?”
“No. But he can give a nasty sting.”
“Thats not really a power.”
“Never said it was.”
Paddy took another drag on his rollie, “So has he stung multiple times then?”
“Oh yeah,” replied Bee-man enthusiastically, “he’s stung me about seven times before. And my landlady.”
“Is that right?”
“Yup. The old biddy came looking for the rent, it was only two weeks late so I don’t know what her problem was. Anyways, I was ironing my cloak at the time and let Eugene here out to stretch his wings, he’s got four of ’em ya know. Well she busts in with that mad blue hair of her’s and starts shouting about money and noise and all sorts. So I spot Eugene hanging out beside the lamp by the telly and give him a little wink like so,” said Bee-man performing an exaggerated wink, tilting his head to the right and making a mugging smile. “Euge starts to build up a bit of buzz then zips over straight to her nose. She sees him then right between the eyes, lets a scream then starts flapping at him with her hands. And you know yourself that only makes bees angry. So Euge gets in real close and she smacks herself in the face trying to get him and a split second later he sticks her on the forehead right between the eyebrows! The scream out of her! She starts flappin’ even more but Eugene was well gone by then, cross the room hiding by the clock. I said, “Ya alright?” and she really lost the plot then. Calling me all sorts of things, some I hadn’t heard before and some I didn’t think a lady at her age would know at all either.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” interrupted Paddy and continued without waiting for an answer, “but are you sure that Eugene there is a bee at all?”
“Whadda ya mean? Course he is! Sure isn’t he all stripy yellow an’ black an’ has a big stinger on him! What else would he be?”
“A wasp? No, I don’t think so. I found him next to a jar of honey for godsake.”
“Hear me out at least.” Paddy took the rollie out of his mouth and scratched his chin.
“Well, bees, right, you following me?”
“They’re well known for being yellow and black and stripy and having a big stinger alright. They are also well documented to be in close proximity to honey a lot of the time, so I’ll have to give you that.”
Paddy kicked at a piece of glass with his boot, it shot across the roof and hit a metal pipe with a tinkling sound. He was dressed in a pair of red overalls, a red fleece and a blue cape his wife had made him out of an old blanket of his daughter’s. He didn’t really see any need to cover up his face. He was in his fifties, leaning to the heavy side, with a full head of dark brown hair with only a touch of grey. In his previous and indeed current life he worked as a quantum plumber.
“One thing bees are not known for though, is being able to sting multiple times. In fact they are fairly well known for dying right after stinging for the very first time.”
Paddy gave Bee-man some time to let this sink in.
“What you have, I believe,” continued Paddy “is a wasp.”
“Well I suppose…” started Bee-man but was cut short by a scream in the distance.
“Where’d that come from?” said Bee-man.
“Just down there by Dolan’s! That woman is being attacked! That gowl is trying to take her handbag!”
Bee-man started fumbling around with his belt then produced a matchbox and slid it open.
“Go Eugene! Get that mugger!”
The bee lazily emerged from the box, buzzed a bit, then went back into the box. Somehow it managed to slam the box back shut.
“Must be too cold for him,” said Paddy.
“Yeah… can you get this one so?”
“Yeah no bother,” replied Paddy, a rip in the very fabric of space time emerging in front of him. It was a kind of bluey-orange.
“Want to help?”
“Ah yeah, cheers Paddy.”
“No bother, come on and we’ll get this sorted out. You make sure the young one’s safe and I’ll sort yer man out.”
“What’ll ya do to him?”
“Dunno, probably send him spinning through an inter-dimensional rift or something for a while. Till he learns not to grab handbags.”
“Bit severe isn’t it?”
“Ah he’ll be grand. Never hurt anyone… Well not anyone I was able to find again. Come on now.”
“Yeah! The Limerick Branch of the International League of Superheros (and Sidekicks) Alliance away!” shouted Bee-man enthusiastically.
Paddy jumped into the shimmering blue-orange swirl, quickly followed by Bee-man. An identical rip in space time opened as the trailing end of Bee-man’s cloak entered the rip and they immediately emerged by the woman and her aggressor struggling over her handbag. He had a hold of the bag but she still held the strap and wasn’t giving up, pulling it back to her.
“Stop it ya bastard!” shouted Bee-man jumping forward slightly as if he couldn’t contain the anger inside him.
The criminal looked up and saw Bee-man, then glanced to the side and saw Paddy.
His eyes went wide, he dropped the bag and made a run for it. He made it about twenty steps and was gathering speed before there was a pop sound and he simply wasn’t there anymore. The woman had been watching him running and slipping her handbag back over her shoulder. After the pop, she turned to the two heroes.
“Ah that was lovely of ye. Thanks so much.”
“No bother missus,” said Paddy, “all part of the job. Are you alright? Do you want us to escort you somewhere safe?”
“Ah no, I’m grand. Takes more than a little shit like him to get me upset.” She leaned forward and gave Paddy a peck on the cheek. Then had a look at his teammate, paused, gave him a polite nod and went on her way. She had move just a couple of metres when she stopped and turned back.
“Go on,” said Paddy in a friendly tone.
“Well, I’m supposed to be meeting the girls up at Nancy’s… and it’s a long walk from here… I don’t suppose you could…?”
“Not a bother.”
With a mere thought from Paddy a rip in space time appeared in front of the woman, “That’ll let ya off inside the smoking area so you don’t have to queue.”
“Brilliant! Thanks so much, ye do such a great job!” she hopped, as much as one can hop in high heels, into the portal and disappeared.
Bee-man rubbed his gloved hands together and exclaimed, “good start to the night!”
“Oh, very good.”
“So… do you fancy a pint?”
“Not right now. We’ll give it another half hour first. Top of the cathedral maybe?”
“Alright,” sighed Bee-man. “But this time you go first and be ready to grab my arm as I
come out. Those sloped roofs are scary to step onto when you can’t see them.”
“Well, I could just pop us right there.”
“That’s even worse.”
“OK so,” said Paddy smirking, the rip in space-time instantly appearing, “I’ll make sure the superhero is a safe stepping up onto the roof.” He stepped through. Bee-man stood for a couple of seconds fuming and trying to think a reply then, giving up, he gingerly stepped through.