Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 7
There was a gentle click as the safe-cracker found the last digit of the combination. It was followed by a loud crash as the massive steel door swung violently outwards, catching him in the ribs.
“Oof!” said the safe-cracker, lying winded on the floor. He would have said something significantly less family-friendly, but his bones hurt too much to really manage anything but “Oof.”
“Eeeyeah!” shouted a man in an ostentatious red robot suit as he emerged from the suddenly-open safe. “You were trying to crack this safe, but instead the safe cracked you!”
“W-what?” the safe-cracker managed to wheeze.
“Also you wanted to get what was in the safe, but what was in the safe got you.”
There was a pause.
“What?” the safe-cracker managed to wheeze again.
“Tony Snark.” The guy in the robot suit held out his high-tech hand for the criminal to shake. “A.k.a. Irony Man.”
The criminal didn’t shake Irony Man’s hand. Instead he pretty much just lay there clutching his ribs like a douche. “Ambulance,” he groaned.
“No time!” said Irony Man. “I’ve got another evil scheme to foil and it’s all the way on the other side of the city. Byezies!” And he smashed through the window of the historic mansion to jet across town on his rocket boots.
In less than a minute, Irony Man was crashing through a different window. He landed with a roll, coming to rest on one knee with a fist to the ground. It was super badass and dramatic.
Unfortunately there was nobody there to see it. There was just a big sack of money on a table, slowly dripping blue dye onto the warehouse’s grungy concrete floor.
Irony Man had a poke around and discovered the two gang members he’d been expecting in a small, depressing bathroom, trying to scrub the ink off their faces.
“Okay,” said Irony Man, making them both jump. “I got to this one a little late, but the thing to bear in mind is that I stuck a dye pack in the last lot of money the cartel sent you to launder and now, ironically, it’s dirtier than ever.”
“I feel like you’re using a very literal definition of ‘dirty money’ to make that work,” said one of the gang members.
“Yeah? Well screw you, it’s still ironic.” Irony Man grabbed both criminals by the collar. “I’m taking you to jail now. ’Kaythanksbye!” And once more he blasted off through the window.
For Irony Man’s final scheme of the day, it was necessary to bring along a dog, so he borrowed one from the prison to save time. The dog wasn’t terribly happy about being swept up in a sheet and rocket-booted way out of town, but hey, for what he had planned that was sort of a bonus.
He dumped the dog in a spacious country garden where a man in a black woollen hat was trying to jimmy open the window of a house.
“Aha!” shouted Irony Man, hovering in midair as the angry guard dog struggled to free itself from its sheet. “You’re a cat burglar, but now I’m going to stop you with this dog!”
“Aaah! What?” shouted the cat burglar, back to the wall.
“You’re a cat burglar! Here’s a dog! It’s super ironic!”
“No it isn’t!”
“Yes it is!”
“No it isn’t!” The cat burglar was halfway up a wall trellis now. “You don’t expect cats and dogs to get along anyway so there’s nothing ironic about a dog stopping a cat burglar! Beyond that, guard dogs are an entirely standard way of stopping burglars in general so it pretty much doesn’t work on any level!”
Irony Man’s rocket boots spluttered momentarily. “It still…there’s a definite connection there! I feel like it still counts!”
The dog had managed to get its head out now, and it did not look happy.
“No!” explained the cat burglar, eyeing the dog nervously. “To be properly ironic it would have to be like…if you…maybe if a cat was…” he gave up on that. “Look, given that your entire superhero identity revolves around irony, anyone would think you’d be able to identify it reliably. So the fact that you can’t is kind of ironic in itself.”
“Aaah!” yelled Irony Man, as his rocket boots gave out completely. He landed hard on the lawn and all the tiny shiny components of his robot suit dropped off him and scattered. “Irony! My one weakness!”
“Hey!” exclaimed the cat burglar, as the dog finally got loose. “That’s ironic too!”
“I know! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” screamed Irony Man, as the guard dog ripped a patch out of the seat of his red polkadot boxer shorts.
The cat burglar waited until the dog was totally distracted before nipping across the lawn and out over the gate. He immediately found himself face to face with another superhero on the other side.
“Oh, come on!” he cried. “I only just got away from the other guy!”
“Oh, it’s cool,” said the superhero. He was wrapped in a big fur coat and wore an onion dome on his head. “I’m not here for you.”
“Are you going to help Irony Man?”
“Yeah.” The newcomer rolled his eyes. “I’m going to help Irony Man.”
Glad of his good luck, the cat burglar walked hurriedly away.
“Hey, Irony Man!” shouted the second superhero, leaning over the garden gate. “Great job, genius! Way to stop crime!”
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” yelled Irony Man, over the barking. “Screw you, Tsar Kazm! Nobody likes you!”
If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:
Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.
You might also be interested in my sci-fi murder mystery novella, Ten Little Astronauts, which is currently crowdfunding at Unbound. Most pledge levels include all the books shown above, and all will include your name in the back of Ten Little Astronauts itself as a patron of my work.