Across the town of Berg, parents tucked their children into bed, pausing before kissing them goodnight to listen to the distant hooting. Then they smiled and turned off bedside lamps. They walked softly across bedrooms and closed doors gently, leaving their slumbering children in the care of kindly glowing nightlights and…Paul the Crimefighter.
Yet another inhabitant of Berg paused to hear the hooting. To this pair of ears the sound was not comforting, but rather tenebrous and forbidding. It grated on his nerves and caused him great angst. He twirled his grand mustache and paced the length of his tiny quarters.
“Why must I have such tiny quarters!” he growled. He halted for a moment and grunted. There was a soft foomp! and a cheese doodle appeared in his hand. He rubbed it between his fingers for a moment and then used the greasy cheese to oil his long, twirling, pencil-thin mustache. He popped the mangled, now cheeseless doodle into his mouth and chewed. His trademark facial hair sufficiently groomed, he resumed his pacing.
“I’ll tell you why I must have such tiny quarters,” he continued, wiping his hands on his sweater vest. “It’s because of that mindless baculum of an arch enemy! Oh, why must I have such a worthy foe?”
He walked to a bookshelf and removed a volume from his set of encyclopedias. Scanning the index, he found the entry he sought. He turned to the correct page and read the article for the hundredth time.
Crimefighter, Paul the
A mysterious proponent of justice. Date of birth unknown. First official acknowledgment on renowned website Stupid, Blog of on April 15, 2006. Known to have pygmy marmoset sidekick named Pthabbth. Neck is capable of producing cape, blue. Arch enemy to nefarious crime lord, Doodler, the Cheeze.
Although he wasn’t sure he completely understood the entry (the encyclopedia seemed to have become enamored with its own formal structure), the Cheeze Doodler was pleased to have been mentioned. But a mere mention was not good enough. No, he would not stop until he merited his own article. To do that, he would have to pull off the most evil act of his career, something that would make the entire world sit up and take notice.
He went back to pacing, his greasy, orange hands clasped behind his back. Perhaps the world was too big a prize for now. He would concentrate on only the Western Hemisphere. But why get greedy? North America would suffice. On the other hand, to provide a solid structure for his legacy, he needed to start small. He would focus on the United States, the Great Lakes region to be precise. Of course, they might be expecting him to strike at a large area. It might be wise to narrow his target. Detroit, for example…such a huge city.
The Cheeze Doodler stopped and chortled in nefarious glee. “Why spend money on air fare?” he wondered. “I can begin right here, in the little berg of Town, and…wait.” He checked his notes and then cleared his throat. “In the little town of Berg! I shall initiate such a crime, wave of, which has never before been seen!”
After the initial wave of euphoria passed, the Cheeze Doodler became thoughtful and used his index fingers to coil his mustache before letting them spring outward again with the force of a teamster’s whip.
“And yet even Berg is rife with possibilities,” he mused. He walked to a wall where he tacked up a map of Berg. “I shall point to a random street on the map and there precipitate my tsunami of crime.”
He closed his eyes and spun slowly in circles. Then he stopped and walked forward, one finger pointing out.
“I shall begin…there!”
…to be continued.