Sidekick | Part 13
“You know I didn’t come to be threatened. I have an agenda here,” I said to redirect the conversation.
“And what agenda is that, oh mighty hero man?” She asked, again no longer facing me nor seeming to really care what my answer was.
“Technically it’s to arrest you.”
“I’m going to get arrested by a guy in skintight silk and a speedo? That’ll really prove how serious this city is about fighting crime,” she responded with a scoff and a laugh. This goddamn suit. Alright, time to take care of this.
“I assume you aren’t going to be acknowledging me any time soon, right?”
“Didn’t plan on it, no.”
“Good.” With that, I reached into my backpack and grabbed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. This is why I never leave without the thing. Setting the pack to the side, I started running in as small a circle as I possibly could. The amount of speed in such a small radius gave me enough of a distortion that at the very least when I took the suit off, I would have created my own “censored” blur like they have on TV. I changed The speed must have at least caused a noticeable draft, and when I planted my feet to stop, I finally had her attention. She looked me up and down, giving one full once over before turning away again.
“I liked you better all suited up,” she said.
“Got a thing for guys in tights?”
“No, you had a mask over your face.” I could nearly hear the smirk come across her face. She was enjoying this too much.
“The city of Polk has given me permission to arrest you. Were I to attempt to do so, should I expect a fight from you?” I decided to try to get serious on her, see if she would buckle under any sort of threat from authority.
“From Zeph and from me. You can move that fast, so I’d say it’s a fair fight.”
“How fair would it really be. The guys up at the surface said it was dangerous down here. How dangerous are we talking. Are there any loaded weapons down here?” My words were succinct and my questions pointed.
“Yes.” Apparently, so were her answers.
“Alright, that unnerves me a bit. Do you have a license for a firearm?”
“I don’t have a gun.”
“What are you armed with?” I asked, dropping my serious tone. I was now more curious than anything. She already threatened me with a dog, what else could she have for me?
“Crossbow,” she stated as she pointed to the space above one of the bookshelves. Lining the walls were paper targets with holes about the size of an arrow dotted throughout them. Most of the dots were within centimeters of the bullseye. This all could be intimidation tactics. She was selling them damn well, though.
“Alright, well that pretty much sums up the portion of the suspect interview where I determine of the subject is a badass. I don’t want to give away your results or anything, but you passed in flying colors. Moving forward, do you know why I’m here to reprimand you?”
“Do you know why you’re here to reprimand me?” she asked in response. It was a fair question because honestly I didn’t. I knew there were anti-authority posters scattered about and I knew that according to everyone else, this was the person behind it all.
“You’re responsible for the circulation of material that elicits anti-government sentiments–You know what? I don’t have to explain anything to you. The city sees you as a criminal.”
“Yeah, well the city sees you as a tool.” She said with pragmatism in her tone. “And frankly, so do I.” It was the first time I felt as though she really didn’t care to have me there, as if those little joking threats from before weren’t so jokey after all. She genuinely didn’t like that I was there anymore. “I’ve been called a lot of things by a lot of people and a lot of them are probably true. But for leadership of this city to call me a criminal has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. You know what ‘anti-government material’ I spread? This. All of this right here on these shelves. These are every book that any government has ever banned for any reason. Alice’s Adventures in Worderland, banned in China for giving animals human-like qualities; Lolita, banned in France, Argentina, South Africa, and the United Kingdom for being too obscene; The Canterbury Tales, banned from being mailed in the United States after being deemed offensive under the Federal Anti-Obscenity Act of 1873. This is my work, ‘hero.’ The posters are merely a way to get people curious. My library does the rest of the work. So is this what you’re going to arrest me for, for preserving words and drawing people to them with a few of my own?”
I stood amazed. She never looked at me once during her entire little speech, but she clearly saw right through me. I had no business bothering her, nor any intention to actually stop her. She knew that, but she was going to let me know just how pointless she found my work to be. And mission accomplished.
“I’m not going to arrest you. If anything I was just going to scold you for littering with all these posters, but now I’m just enamored. Can you do that again?”
“Do what again?” Her voice returned back from the deadly seriousness that was spouting out to a more curious tone, wondering what I could have possibly meant with that question.
“Give me that speech again. I have goosebumps. Oh and while I’m down here, do I have to sign up for any sort of membership to start taking books? Also, is there any easier entrance that involves less landing on my ass?” I tried to pick up the playfully tense feeling that the room once possessed, but she wasn’t having it.
“You’re not going to arrest me and I don’t want you as a customer. I’ve given you every indication that I want you gone and yet you are still here. Why haven’t you left yet?” She inquired, almost pleading for me to leave in her asking.
“I don’t know, I guess you just make anarchy look so cute,” I said with a smile and a perkiness to my voice, just to make sure I really annoyed her with my statement.
“You somehow became more of a douche without the tights on.” Even though she wasn’t facing me, there was a sound in her voice that gave it away. That sly grin was back. I could hear it.