I've not written anything today (Friday), because I've been packing for the trip. Tonight, I expect to bang out some stuff. I'm at a point in the story where something very cool happens. Less "Chekov's Gun Placing" and more "Whoa, here we go!"
In the meantime, here's some wordage for you to peruse:
The family trophy room. Set up as a museum, only about a hundred thousand times more cool. Glass cases held costumes on white mannequins; business suits and domino masks; on the wall, mounted cases displaying weaponry and crime-fighting apparatus; next to each figure on display, an alcove of shelves containing books, letters, papers and other ephemera. Each section an archive to a pair of empty suits. There were five displays in all, and a sixth with nothing inside it. The kids ran around, looking at the names and dates, wowing and oohing over the ivory-handled Colts, exclaiming every time they found some new tidbit, and through it all, the adults watched them, smiling indulgently.
Finally, their father called them over. “This is your birthright,” he told them. “Do you understand? One day, you’ll be asked to take up the mantle that we’ve given you. You will be charged with holding to a higher moral and ethical stance than your fellow man.”
“Dad,” said Andy, unable to contain it any longer, “are you a super hero, too?”
Uncle Linc, silent through all of this, finally spoke. “Go on, Josh, and show the boys. Y’all came all this way. Might as well go all the way.”
With an embarrassed grin, Josh took Paige’s hand and they disappeared back up the stairs. Linc smiled at the boys. “They’ll be right back.”
“Lincoln, were you a super hero, too?” Dave asked.
Lincoln’s expression was hard to read. “I don’t know if ‘super hero’ is the right term. I’m not super strong, or able to fly, or any of that stuff like Superman. But I helped a lot of people out. And I helped put a lot of bad people in jail. I saved a bunch of folks’ lives. I don’t know if that makes me a hero, Dave. What do you think?”
Dave thought about it for a second. “Yeah, I think it does.”
“Do you think that’s a good thing?”
David shrugged. “I guess so.”
Linc squatted down, so he could look David in the eye. “Let me ask you something: if you saw a group of boys beating up your friend, Damon, what would you do?”
“I’d go help him,” David said, without thinking.
“Would you do it to be called a hero?”
“Well, no!” David said. “I mean, It’s not right when people pick on other people.” He said it slowly, working it out. “I’d help Damon because it’s not fair. Not because I want to be a hero.”
Linc nodded, stood back up. “That’s exactly why I did what I did. Not because I wanted to be a hero, but because it was what was right.”
“Wow!” Andy yelled. His parents had come back down the stairs, now. Theoretically, they were his parents. Their mother now wore a black, skintight outfit made of dull leather. She also had a wig on, brown hair cut in a pageboy, and she wore a black domino mask around her eyes. Across her chest was a pair of bandoliers festooned with pockets. A similar belt girded her waist. From that belt hung a wicked-looking handgun.
Their dad, on the other hand, wore a black turtleneck and dress slacks. Over this hung a red and white tabard, belted with a brace of pistols at the waist. A red veil hung in front of his face in the shape of a cross that matched the one on the tabard. And strapped to his back was a sword. An actual sword.
“Boys,” he said, his voice suddenly deeper and more grave. “I’m the Templar. This is my assistant, Page.”
Of course, they knew who the Templar and Page were. Everyone in New York knew them. They were legendary figures, or urban myths, depending on who you talked to and which newspaper you read. Only a handful of photographs had ever been taken of the pair, and even though both Andy and Dave had seen them all, at no point did the people in the pictures look like the same people who got mad when they wouldn’t eat their dinner salad.
“That’s the coolest thing in the whole world!” Andy shouted. David just stared. They were dressed as super heroes. It didn’t matter what Linc just told him. They were decked out like super heroes. And from the look on their face, they loved it. These grown-ups, these people who were supposed to be taking care of them, were running around like overgrown kids.