Drunk Bill. —Richard’s Recollection

Introduction from William: Thank you for being with us once again as the telling of the tale Drunk Bill concludes with Richard’s Recollection. Last week we saw the experience through Erich’s eyes. This time, through the recall of Richard, a.k.a Shadow. I hope you enjoy another round of the [mis]adventures of three teenage wannabe superheroes.

Young teen boys in a small town tend to find weird things to do. We were no exception. My friends and I were the cream-of-the-crop when it came to weird creativity, and we designed costumes that would trump Halloween costumes any day. Then we would patrol the streets if town (usually just walking the long way to Top Stop for a Barq’s Root Beer and some black licorice).

Patrolling town usually meant running and hiding in the bushes if a car drove by. ( we had to keep our identity secure for sure) most of our costumes had gadgets, that in the daydream world would assist us to fight crime. And we were always looking for a damsel in distress.

One night, in particular, our patrol led us past the old sewing factory, through the back alley. Jared and Erich climbed up to the roof, but I was too scaredy-cat, plus I didn’t think I was nimble enough to get up there so I continued through the alley and planned to meet up on the end. And that is where adventures started.
I climbed over a fence into someone’s backyard and as soon as my feet hit the ground 4 feet landed on my chest and dozens of tiny white teeth I swear hinged and scissoring were mere inches from gouging out my eyes. I am sure I screamed like a little girl and ran away, then I realized that it was really just a little yapping dog that probably didn’t even touch me.

The noise alerted my two roof bound friends and they came running to my aid. Now a few blocks away and walking nowhere, in particular, we were laughing at the incident. I am certain the noise also alerted some residents, and also some ruffians who were up to no good. After a few more blocks a car drove by. Standard procedure was to run for a shadow and vanish. We were pretty good at disappearing. But this time one of us recognized the car and stepped out and was spotted. It was the ruffians.

It took them a few blocks to realize that they saw us and they looped around. This time we ran off to hide good. But I hesitated and was followed, Erich noticed that I was in trouble and jumped down from his usual tree hiding place and called out for the ruffian. Taking my tail off me, but I wasn’t sure so I ran hard, harder than I had ever run. I remember seeing a log pile in my way and knew I couldn’t get safely around it so I jumped over it. ( I cleared it!) and I turned on the heat and ran more, crossing the street. This is the same time Erich jumped down, and also the same time I ran faster than my feet and went down. I had a long pole in my hands (my staff) and it hit the ground and rolled down my hands preventing me from tearing up my hands but it did nothing for my knees. I skinned my knee and tore my pants. But I picked up my staff and ran more. The ruffian saw me fall.

I found a dark cove to hide in and I laid in wait to catch my breath and let events pass. I have no idea how Erich ditched the ruffians but he did and after a few minutes, we each reconverged at the turtle sewer. We had decided that there were be damsels out tonight and that we should disrobe our costumes. So 30 minutes later we were walking to my house in plain clothes when who should arrive but the ruffians. They accused us of vandalism in their yard and said they had made chase. We told them we did no such thing and that they had no proof. They then said that they did have proof, they watched me fall. And they wanted to see my torn up hands. So I obliged. Showing perfectly unharmed hands. It was dark enough they never saw my torn pants and the blood running down.

In leaving, they issued a terse warning that if there was vandalism they would know it was us and they would come for us. I don’t know if there ever was vandalism, but they never did come after us. Ha! Beat that skinned knee.

Here is an original illustration (by Jared Bagnall) of members of our original superhero team. As a note, it is Richard’s favorite picture of the group.
Here we have a very old sketch of the first/original costumes used by Tiger and Praying Mantis. The illustration/designs were a combination of what we actually had and what we wanted to have. This long forgotten image was found while looking for a copy of the previous illustration.
Illustration by Jared Bagnall (age 13ish)
Additional (from William): Earlier today Richard informed me that this is his favorite picture. I had somehow been misled. This one hangs in his office.

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