“We’ll burn that bridge when we come to it!” he yelled, arm thrust into the air. His outfit
was a mix of colors that assaulted the eyes; a deep purple cape that billowed in the air behind him, clinging periwinkle tights, neon orange shorts, blazing pink ‘M’ off-center on his chest. The crowd surged around him, screaming as he marched forward. “We can no longer ride the fence! We cannot sit around here any longer, pretending all is fine while we secretly cry over lost time!”
I watched from the roof of a building overlooking the street they had started to march on
and rolled my eyes. Out of all the villains I had faced, Malaphor was the worst. Annoying,
idiotic, and harmless, the worst crime he ever committed was insulting the English language. But this, this was different. Not only was he convincing the town to follow his crazy ideas, but he was creating public panic.
I dropped from the roof, landing in perfect superhero pose, one hand pressed into the
ground, one knee down with the other near my chin. No one noticed me; I stood and waited untilthe crowd had passed far enough so that I had to yell to be heard. “Malaphor!”
Though they were loud and angry, my voice carried, the one superpower I had. Everyone
turned, staring at me. In my ripped t-shirt and red flannel tied around my waist, torn tights underneath jean shorts, black hair dyed with blue streaks, I didn’t look the hero. He laughed. “Have I caught your attention? Are you going to join us?”
“Are we really going to listen to a man who mixes idioms without issue? Are we going to
follow the anger of a man whose only goal is to confuse and incite issue? Do we not have
enough common sense to follow our own ideas and our own minds? Or is this what we choose to follow? An idiot?”
“Just fly the nest already. You’re clearly off your deck.”
“Are you… are you serious?” I watched as the crowd started to look confused, glancing
between the two of us. “This is a man who clearly has no grasp of even the most common of phrases. I mean… come on!”
“Don’t listen to her. All she’s saying is straight from the grapevine, not true in any sense.
Everything I say is as clear as a bird.”
And the crowd came towards me, shaking their heads, hands dropping to their sides as
the anger melts into disappointment. They walk past, ignoring me as they always do once my job is done. Once they return to their homes, their jobs, their lives, I step towards him. “You’re done, Malaphor. And I’m done dealing with you.”
“Oh, so you’re finally using your own superpower for yourself? Just because you call
yourself Common Sense doesn’t make you the cream of the castle.”
“Do you do this on purpose? What is the point of all this? I honestly want to know.”
“It’s irritating, isn’t it?”
“Uh, yeah. Completely. You’re the worst villain I’ve ever come across.”
“Good.” He jumped back, the widest smile on his face. “Well, we’ll see each other soon.
You keep feeling like you’re on top of the moon. But I’ll be there to bring you back down, until you’re cowarding in the bathroom.”
I step towards him, fists clenched. “Tread lightly.”
“Why? Am I on dangerous waters?”
I rarely fight my villains, usually resorting to words and, of course, common sense. But I
punched him right in his wide mouth. It felt satisfying, it really did.
He wiped the blood from his chin. “Did your power fail you? Did I find your
“Get out of here before I stop being nice.”
“This is nice?”
I punched him again, blackening his eye. “We’re done here.”
I watch from the shadows, the invisible man in the crowd, listening for those who need
help the most. I wait for the moment to be the voice of wisdom, the devil’s advocate for idiotic situations. The world lacks common sense, and I will provide it. When the world remembers I exist, I will be no longer needed. Until then, I will be there.