Sunday, October 16, 2005

Henry Meets June

My name is Henry the Adequate, Henry the superhero, Superhero Henry.

I am at the local markets, following up on a lead. Apparently there has been a gummi bear sighting. I see many tables of fruit and vegetables, some face painters... I shudder. face painters... shudder. Small children with faces made to look like flowers, and tigers, and even more disturbing things. Weirdos. I hitch up my boxers, adjust my mask, and continue the search.

I stop at a stall. The sign says "Peanut Butter Portraits $5". A lady sits at the stall. I wonder if she has seen anything. There is a customer. I watch as the artist sticks her hand into a cracked ceramic pot and pulls out a large blob of brown gunk - crunchy I think. No, not a blob. A smear. The peanut butter has fairly liquified in the midday sun. There are many pots of the stuff spread about her work area. She is an interesting creature, almost attractive, but difficult to describe, so I won't. Using her fingers, and her palm, she rubs the peanut butter onto the canvas, pausing occasionally to scrutinize the customer. As the painting takes shape I realize that she has almost, but not quite, managed to capture the essence of her subject. Pity.

Eventually she is done, and the customer leaves, a look of not-quite-satisfaction warring with one of slight annoyance on the front of his head. I approach. "Excuse me, do you mind..."

"Questions, no I don't mind. Always happy to help a superhero." She is perceptive. I like that. "I'm June".

"Henry the Adequate. Have you seen anything suspicious? Like gummi bears?"

"No thank you, I just ate. Well I did see a boy with his face painted like a tiger. Could be he's going to rob a bank or something and the paint is a disguise, for the security cameras. And there was this cat. And a truck-load of frozen peaches that I think was heading in the wrong direction. Oh and a few days ago a giant chicken ate all my peanut butter."

"Uh, Actually what I was looking for was some evil Gummi Bears, but thanks anyway." It is clear I will learn nothing here. Unless the painted children are not children at all, but evil mutant Gummi Bears in disguise. But that's ridiculous. Also, all this talk of face painting is making me nervous.

"Wait, I can help you..." she calls after me, but I realize now that there is more going on than even I had previously divined. My magnificent brain has been working overtime on this problem for several days now, and pieces are finally beginning to fall into place. Shapeshifting grandmothers, giant chickens, Gummi Bears, insidious mind control rays, face painting. A criminal mastermind is definitely behind all of this, and I am beginning to see a pattern that points in a direction that I have long feared.

I need to call my sister.

Note: Many thanks to smilesr4u for the character of June, the Gummi Bears, and a most interesting brainstorming session.

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