The Table

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A quick little something I had to flush from my brain. This was a fun write. 🙂

“The Table”

“This was a bad idea.” He finished buttoning his shirt as he walked up to the door; hand in hand with his girl. 

“You think,” she said, fixing her hair and pulling down her dress.

“Well, it was already a stressful day. Then, you hit me with this. I needed a release.”

“Are you satisfied?”

“Yeah. But—I don’t know. We smell like sex now. Think he’ll notice?”

“Probably.” 

He scoffed. “Shit.”

“I’m joking, dude. Man up. The man is so focused on himself and his cases, I doubt he’ll even notice the ring on my finger.” She rang the doorbell.

“Maybe I’ll play sick. Work up a cough or something. Get the hell out of here before dinner is served.”

She laughed. “Do you even get sick?”

The door swung open to a wide man with a head full of gray hairs, and glasses resting on his nose. “Adina! My Baby!”

“Daddy!” She gave him a hug.

When the father and daughter released their cuddle, the boyfriend looked at the older man with his hand out. “Good to finally meet you, sir.”

The old man looked at the hand, hesitant to touch it until his daughter cleared her throat. So, he grabbed it. “You too…”

“Marcus, daddy. His name is Marcus.”

“Yes, I know. I know. Marcus! Welcome to my home.” And he let his daughter and her boyfriend into his estate. Before he closed the door, he smelled something in the air. “What is that?” He muttered to himself.

 

Dinner was served the moment they sat down.

“Nice to see you again, Marcus.” Adina’s mother gave him a side hug and sat beside him in front of the ice-table. It was all glass, even the legs.

Marcus rested his forearms on the surface and smiled through the nerves coursing through his body.

“Like the table?” the father asked.

“Yeah!” Marcus took his arms off to get a better look at this unique piece of furniture. “Don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it.” Then, he resumed his resting.

“Carved from an Iceberg in Antarctica in 1900, framed with salt glass. This here cost me ten thousand dollars. So, get your arms off my table… Please.”

Marcus jumped back. “Oh. My bad—sorry, sir.”

“Dad. Be nice.”

“So, ‘dina tells me you’re a hairstylist.” The father cut into the piece of steak that covered his entire plate.

Marcus bit his lip and looked down before he answered. Adina shook her head. “Uh… No, sir. Barber. I’m a barber.”

“Eh… tomayto, tomahto.”

“Stop it.” The mother whispered to her husband.

But he didn’t… “A lot of money in the barber business, Marcus?” The old man asked.

“I’m happy,” he said. “I make happy money.” Marcus tried to get a hold of his fast beating heart. The anger rising within him. And he cut into his half-a-piece of steak.

The old man scoffed. “Happy money? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that term before.”

“It’s a thing,” Marcus said, standing his ground.

“A foolish thing.”

Immediately, Marcus started coughing, a sickly cough.

Adina hid her smirk while the mother patted the young man’s back. “You okay there?” she asked.

“Yeah, think I’m coming down with something.”

“Got something stuck in your throat there?” the father asked. “Hairball maybe.” The old man roared with laughter while everyone gave him the stink eye, especially his wife. “What? He’s a barber. Hair—come on, that’s funny. I’m just messing around with the kid. Toughen him up a bit.”

Made no sense to keep coughing, so Marcus just smiled through it, tightening his fists.

Adina grabbed her boyfriend’s hand under the table and rubbed over his knuckles. It was a trick she learned early in their relationship to calm him. “So, daddy. What’s new at the office?”

“Oh, honey. Big, big trial last weekend. Put another criminal behind bars forever. High-ranking mobster. It was all over the news, didn’t you see?”

“I might have heard of it.”

“Hired gun from overseas. The man killed over fifty people this past year, until Hawkman finally caught up with him. Gangster thought he’d make a deal with me.” The father scoffed. “Next, we go after the big boss, if we can find him.”

“Find him?” she asked.

“Yeah, this Hawkman business has everyone hiding—shook.”

“That’s a good thing, right?”

“Shoot yeah. Hawkman is good for business. The man’s a blessing.”

Adina squeezed her boyfriend’s hand. A second later, the front door was kicked off its hinges.

Five men in masks and guns stormed the home and marched toward the man in front of the big piece of steak.

Marcus jumped out of his chair, grabbed Adina and they tried to escape to the living room, but a man whose head nearly touched the ceiling stopped them.

The parents, too, left their seats and tried to escape, but one of the men slapped the woman down as another grabbed the father.

The man took his mask off with one hand and squeezed the father’s throat with the other. “Looking for me, old man. I’m right here.”

The old man couldn’t speak.

“You locked many of my family away through your kangaroo courts, I shall hold a trial for you right here, right now. I will be the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, the goddamn bailiff. And there’s no one here to help you. No one here to stop m—”

The automatic gunfire stopped the boss’s speech. It was so loud, the ice table rattled. The bullets tore through the walls, the furniture, and one of the masked men. By the time the boss looked over, he saw the young man manhandling his men like toys. Tossing them against walls, through walls, the biggest one whose head nearly touched the top was knocked out with a roundhouse kick.

The unmasked man released the old man’s neck as the young man approached.

“Marcus?” the father saw his daughter’s boyfriend walking toward them, Adina not the least bit as shocked as he was.

“Found you!” Marcus said.

And the boss took a handgun out of his back waist and pointed. “Who are you?”

Marcus stood before the criminal and levitated. Then, he spun…so fast that a cloud formed, lightning bolts within it, and then, the sound of thunder, and the howl of a…

“Hawkman!” the father’s eyes glowed as he saw this transformation happening before him.

Marcus completed the alteration, Orange mask over his face, a red suit with the wings of a hawk beautifully carved over the chest. And a white cape that flapped on its own. The hero descended down upon the criminal, his suit crushing every bullet that came at him. And he grabbed the man’s neck, lifted him up and flung him into the ice table, breaking it in two.

Adina helped her mother to her feet and they gathered with the father. Marcus stepped toward the family, took off his mask and smiled. “I got your man, sir.”

The mother’s eyes were full of so much joy that she hardly noticed the blood on her head.

The old man massaged his neck and left his family’s embrace to address Marcus. He scowled. “You broke my damn table!”

copyright © M. Sydnor Jr.

2 comments on “The Table”

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