The Superfluous Adventures of Captain Redundancy and Tautology Boy

Flash Fiction Month 2014, Day 2

“Sorry,” the robber adjusted the tights he had pulled over his head as a disguise, “who are you supposed to be?”

“I’m Captain Redundancy!” boomed the hero. “The vengeful masked avenger!”

“Okay then.”

“And this is my sidekick, Tautology Boy!”

“We already know who you are,” added Tautology Boy, pointing a gloved hand at the criminal.

“Y-you do?”

“Yes! You are a bank robber, because you are robbing a bank!”

The robber glanced nervously up at a security camera. “But you don’t know my identity, right?”

“No,” admitted Tautology Boy. “Your identity is disguised due to your disguise.”

The robber breathed a provisional sigh of relief. There were two kinds of superheroes. Genuine superheroes, like The Astounding Welt and Captain Caulk, and joke superheroes like Broccoli Man and Ensign Here. For any criminal—be they a low-life street thug or the diabolical Doctor Baby—the former meant trouble, the latter generally no worse than minor inconvenience. The trouble was telling which was which.

“So uh,” the robber scratched his head with the barrel of his pistol, “I notice you’re wearing your underpants on the outside. I’ve always wondered why you superhero guys do that.”

“Well, evildoer,” Captain Redundancy stretched out his waistline, allowing it to snap back with a “smack!” that made the robber’s eyes water, “I’ve never exactly asked anyone else, but I wear a pair inside my costume too. The outer ones are redunderpants.”

“I see.” The robber was now fairly positive that attempting to escape from Captain Redundancy and Tautology Boy would not have any ill effects. “Well, it was nice talking to you. I’m just going to take my bag with a dollar sign on it and head…off…”

That was strange. The robber was trying to walk away, but his feet just wouldn’t move. He looked down. They both seemed to be encased in a large blob of hard foam material.

“What a putty,” said Captain Caulk, blowing on the barrel of his sealant shooter. “It looks like you’ll just have to stick around.”

“You were unaware that Captain Caulk arrived without you knowing,” explained Tautology Boy.

“Yes,” added Captain Redundancy, “but naturally I would not have attempted to apprehend you unless my presence was completely redundant.”

“My thanks to you, noble heroes.” Captain Caulk flashed a smile. “I’ll take it from here.”

“To the car-mobile, Tautology Boy!” cried Captain Redundancy. “Onwards to somewhere else that is not here!”

“Nice guys,” said Captain Caulk, heaving the robber over his shoulder and carrying him to the waiting police van. “Still, it’s not hard to see why they were made redundant.”


If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from Flash Fiction Month 2012 and 2013 collected in OCR is Not the Only Font and Red Herring respectively.

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