Sep 01, 2023
There once was a monster named Elliot Blue. Elliot Blue lived in a ravine 10 miles outside of town. He was as blue as the sky. When people would ride their canoes, kayaks, or rafts down the river, Elliot would just sit there with his mouth wide open, and people would paddle into his mouth. The inside Elliot's mouth looked just like the continuation of the river, with river beds on each side for teeth, and a sky on the back of his throat, and an image of the sun high up on the roof of his mouth. By the time people would notice, they were inside of the monster’s mouth, and it was too late. All Elliot had to do was close his mouth and he got a tasty treat.
You might ask, “How did they not see him?” But Elliot wasn't just blue, he was translucent, shimmery, and changed shades of blue as the day went on. In the evening he even matched the sunset. And at night he was dark and glimmered like a starry sky. He was 50 feet tall, which was about the height of the rock face rising up around the river. When he got tired, he could just rest his arms on top of the cliffs. And nobody would see his arms either, he really was blue all over. He had a little bit of hair on the tops of his arms and the top of his head that looked like clouds. But the hair was so thin that it would disappear from view in the evening and at night.
It would seem like the monster had everything he needed to live a happy life, but Elliot Blue was not happy. The town came to know of his existence. When people in the river were eaten, there were sometimes witnesses who escaped Elliot's jaws. Elliot was a sensitive monster. He wanted to be loved and accepted. He really disliked shrieks of terror. He often left the ravine feeling very sad.
One day Elliot decided he just didn't want to be there anymore, so he ran away. He climbed out of the ravine and headed to the nearest set of mountains. He found the tallest mountain and began to climb it with the goal of getting all the way to the top. He was going to live there forever so nobody would hate him anymore.
As Elliot climbed, he passed through a layer of clouds. The mountain at this elevation was covered in snow. When he was about three quarters of the way to the top, Elliot came to a landing. It was no longer cold on this landing. Everything was white like the mountain snow, but this was warm white fluffy carpeting. There were white walls that were very high. Elliot looked around and saw a bunch of white couches and a giant TV screen the size of himself. He could see the top of the head of a man who was sitting on the couch watching the screen and laughing hysterically.
Suddenly the video was paused. A man stands up. He was tall and muscular. and wearing a cape. He had dark, well groomed hair, and blue eyes, with a square jaw and chin. His cape was black. He wore red tights, and a yellow shirt that showed off his upper body muscles. In the middle of his shirt was a large blue letter A with gold trim.
“Who are you?” asked the caped man.
“You can see me?” asked Elliot Blue.
“Of course I can see you. I can see everything. Don't you know who I am?”
“No, I'm sorry I don't know who you are. Who are you?”
“I am Adlai Championella, official superhero of the City of Ampleville.”
“Oh, hi. Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt your movie party, I am Elliot Blue, and I'm running away.”
“I'm sorry to hear that.” Adlai paused. “Why are you running away?”
“Well, nobody likes me. In fact I make people shriek with terror. I just wanted to go someplace where I won’t scare anybody anymore.”
“Have a seat Elliot. No one's scared here. And, if you'd like, you can join me for a movie.”
Elliot sat down on one of Adlai’s white couches, completely covering it on all sides with his enormous blue body.
“I’m watching old B-movies.” announced Adlai.
“What's a B-movie?” asked Elliot.
“Well, a long time ago movie houses showed double features. There were big expensive productions, the really famous movies. Those were the feature presentations. The theaters would start the evening by showing a low budget movie first. Many of these movies were poorly made horror and monster movies. These are my favorite kind of movies. They make me laugh. I am a superhero you know.”
“Oh, I don't know if I'd like those, being I am a monster.”
“Well, you don't know until you've tried, do you? Why don't I pop us some popcorn, I'll start this movie over, and you'll see how you like it.”
“OK, I've never had popcorn before.”
“Then you're in for a treat."
Elliot took his first bite of popcorn.
“Wow! this is delicious!”
“See you I told you.”
Elliot and Adlai watched a movie together titled “Insect Monsters from Venus”. Afterwards they watched “Terror Blobs of the Orion Nebula”, then they watched "The Ghouls of the Underworld".
“Hey, E-Sizzle! One more before we call it a night?”
“E-Sizzle? What's that?” asked Elliot Blue.
“Well, that's you. It's a nickname. You don't know what a nickname is?”
“No I don't. Is it bad?”
Adlai chuckled, “Not at all. Nicknames are what your bros call you.”
“Yeah, your pal, your buddy, your home slice.”
“Well I've never had a friend before. Or a nickname. Thanks… AD Hammer.”
“AD Hammer, I like the sound of that.” Adlai said, as his heart filled with joy.
Elliot and Adlai spent the next few days watching movies and eating lots of popcorn. They only took breaks to sleep. On the third evening Adlai got a phone call and put the movie on pause.
“What's up Adlai?”
“Oh, I just got a call from the mayor.”
“Yeah, the mayor of Ampleville. Whenever there's a town emergency, the mayor gives me a call. I am their official Superhero, after all. When I get the orders, I come in and save the day.”
“That’s your job?”
“Yeah it's what I do.” Adlai responded shyly.
“Yeah, it's pretty cool. Well I better get going now. I'll be back in a couple hours. We’ll watch some more movies later.”
A few hours later Adlai returned. He popped some popcorn, and he and Elliot sat down to watch another movie.
“Before we start the movie,” Elliot said, “I have to know, did you save the day?”
“I did. A family’s house was burning. I climbed in through an upstairs window, and rescued a husband, wife, three children, a dog, two cats, and a bunch of fish in an aquarium.”
“Wow! That's awesome! That must've felt great.”
“Yeah, it never gets boring. I really like what I do.”
“Perhaps I should get a job.” lamented Elliot.
“What are you good at?” responded Adlai.
“I don't know. I've really never done anything except eat people. Maybe I could be a superhero like you.”
“Hmm. I don't know…”
“Maybe you could put in a good word for me with the mayor. How about it AD Hammer?”
“I just don't… Hey I have an idea. The next time I get a call, why don't I send you into town to save the day. If the mayor likes what you do, maybe he'll hire you too. I don't think there's any rules about having two superheroes in town.”
“You’d do that for me?”
“Of course E-Sizzle. Anything from my bro.”
The next night in the middle of their second movie, Adlai got a call from the mayor.
“I understand Mr. Mayor, I'll be right on it.” He tapped his phone and put it in his pocket.
“Hey Elliot, are you up for this one?” Adlai shouted.
“Of course. What do I have to do?”
“So there's a bank robbery downtown. First Ampleville Bank on Main Street. Just get downtown as quickly as you can, grab that bad guy, drop him off at the local jail, and come on back. Easy Peasy!”
“I won't let you down, Adlai.”
Elliot Blue climbed down the mountain and lumbered into town. He stomped his way downtown to the scene of the crime. He was way too big to go into the bank, so he put one of his giant claws over top of the roof of the bank, snapped it off and lifted it into the air. Everybody in the bank, including the bank robber, looked up, frozen in fear. Elliot Blue was not standing in front of the sky, he had large downtown buildings behind him, and when the people looked up, they could see his giant blue monstrous shape. There were screams of terror. The robber pointed his gun at Elliot. Elliot went to grab him and accidentally smashed him under his thumb.
Elliot could now hear shrieks of terror from both inside the bank, and everywhere downtown. Elliot lifted his thumb off the floor of the bank, and left on the ground was a big red squishy stain. Elliot looked at his thumb, and there was a smashed bank robber embedded in his blue flesh. He was so upset that the people in the bank were screaming, he very quickly put the roof back on the bank and started to walk away. But he didn't place the roof on carefully, and the building collapsed. He took a couple steps down the street and found the city jail. He scraped his thumb on the side of the building, and the remains of the bank robber peeled off and landed in a pasty clump by the front door. The police officers at the front door screamed and ran off. This was a total disaster. Elliot was now very sad, and with his head hung low, he climbed back up to Adlai Championella’s mountain lair.
“E-Sizzle! You’re back so soon!”
Elliot Blue sighed.
(Phone rings) Adlai answered the phone, “Yes, Mayor. I see. Yes sir. No sir. I'm sorry sir. Right away Mr. Mayor.” He put the phone back in his pocket. “Oh boy.”
“It's bad, right? Like really, really, really bad. Am I right?” Elliot whimpered.
“Well, it's not good. But don't worry bro. I'm going to talk with the mayor right now. I’ll try to straighten this out.” Adlai said as he dashed off.
10 minutes later at the office of Mayor Bartholomew Benton.
Knock knock knock. “Come on in,” said a deep voice from behind a smoky desk.
“Mr. Mayor, I'm so sorry…”
“Mr. Championella, I hired you to be the town superhero. You were called on to stop a bank robbery. Am I to understand that you sent a giant blue monster to do your job?”
“Yes sir, I thought…”
The mayor put his hand over his face while shaking his head. “Why did you think this was a good idea?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Mayor. He's my friend, and he needed some work. I just thought…”
“We can't just have anyone as superhero.” Mayor Benton interrupted. “How would it look if the town thought I was hiring monsters? Hmm?”
“Well, your brother is a city treasurer, and he's also the city’s organized crime boss.” Adlai answered.
“He's good with accounting and keeps a low profile,” the Mayor retorted.
“You also gave his underworld organization the food service contracts for the cafeterias at the local schools. And after a rival gangster goes missing, Ampleville city school children get to have tacos on Tuesday for lunch, with some sort of ground mystery meat.”
There was a long pause.
“I don't like what you're insinuating. Those are all coinci…”
Adlai interrupted, “Mr. Mayor, I'm sorry I messed up. I'll make it up to you. Listen, Elliot Blue is my best friend, and he's been really down on himself lately. He's just looking for something to do that'll bring meaning to his life. Perhaps a government job could give him a purpose and provide a valuable service to you.”
“Hmmm… let me think.” The Mayor scratched his chin and muttered, “I just don't know, giant and scary.” Then he had a stroke of genius. “If it's an outside job away from downtown, and he blends in with the sky, and no one will see him… I think I’ve got it.”
Mayor Benton opened a small cigar box on the table. “Cigar?” the mayor asked.
“Why thank you.”
Both men placed the cigar in their mouths. The mayor lit both of them and they took a couple puffs before the Mayor continued with his thought. “The state fair is just on the outskirts of town. Yeah?”
“Yeah,” answered Adlai.
“We've had a hard time keeping the roller coaster free of debris. Kids drop their snacks, their cell phones. It's quite hazardous. Your friend Mr. Blue could stand behind the roller coaster, clean off the debris from the tracks, and no one would see him?”
“No one at all.” replied Adlai. “Fantastic idea.”
“It is a fantastic, it really is,” the Mayor gloated. “Let's celebrate the good fortune of solving another one of our city’s problems.
Mayor Benton got up from behind his desk, walked over to the cabinet, and poured two snifters with a large helping of bourbon. Their glasses clinked together. The two of them slowly sipped their bourbon and puffed on their cigars.
“It's always a pleasure, Adley.”
“Same to you, Mr. Mayor.”
Adlai Championella went back to his mountain lair and told Elliot Blue the good news. Elliot was so excited. That weekend Elliot started his new job, which felt like a new lease on life. He found happiness and meaning in what he was doing. It didn't matter to him that nobody could see him. What he did mattered. He knew it, and that was all that counted.
The following weekend Adlai went down to the state fair to check on his pal, just to see how he was doing. The mayor was there too.
“It’s always a pleasure to see you Adlai,” said Mayor Benton
“Likewise Mr. Mayor.”
“It looks like your friend is excelling at his new job,” said the mayor.
“He is, and it brings him so much joy.”
“Then this is truly a success story.”
“It couldn't have gone better.”
“Yes, no more children are flying off the roller coaster at full speed,” bragged the Mayor.
Then Adlai replied, “And by coincidence, the local school cafeterias are no longer scheduling ‘Meatloaf Monday’”.
Both men uproariously laughed.