Craven Gets Flashed VI
Jenny Wilkins made her way across Third Avenue as the roar of the El came to a stop at the 89th St. station. She was determined to make her way to the other side and report some important information to Craven Danger.
But attempting to dodge traffic, while lugging a loaded Speed Graphic and a camera case full of ammo, was no easy feat for the self-proclaimed investigative photographer; especially when the traffic light was not co-operating.
As she stood in front of a double-parked taxi, the driver tapped his horn and signaled for the young lady to get in.
“I don’t need a taxi, thanks. I’m just crossing the street.”
“Then you might as well try paddling across the icy Hudson River in a paper canoe,” said Sidney Green. “That traffic light’s out of order, and most of these characters would sooner run over their own grandmothers than miss the opportunity to run a broken light. Come on, hop in. I’ll see that you get across the street in one piece.”
“How do I know you’re not a blood thirsty cannibal? Picking up young women, then stuffing them in your freezer with all the other young women you’ve been feasting on?”
“You greatly overestimate the size of my freezer, young lady. I could maybe stuff a foot or two in there, but that’s where I’d draw the line. I’d still need room for the ice trays and my frozen orange juice. That’s my drink of choice in the morning, and I don’t need to be stinking it up with somebody’s smelly feet.”
“My feet aren’t smelly!”
“Then hop in and maybe I’ll think about losing one of the ice trays.”
“Very funny,” said Jenny. “And is that a dog in the front seat?”
“Well, if that’s what you’re thinking when you look at FDR, then I guess you could say he’s a dog. Isn’t that right, boy?”
FDR nuzzled Sidney’s chin, then raised a paw in the direction of the glove compartment, where Sidney kept a steady supply of beef jerky.
As the old German Shepherd munched away, Jenny settled in the backseat and let out a sigh.
“Oh, that’s not good,” said Sidney. “You’re much too young for a sigh like that. Exasperation is the sole occupation of the put-upon: the elderly; the veteran; the down-trodden, and the good old American voter whose sigh, heard every four years or so, can be heard as far as Niagara Falls, as their pockets are drained and their faith in a civil civilization is making its way across the mighty Hudson in a paper canoe powered by a straw paddle. Call me cynical, but I still put my socks on in the morning and do my best to be a better part of this thing we call humanity. I just plain like people. But I will never, ever, under any circumstances put two left feet in my freezer. And when I saw you come stumbling out of that building a moment ago, that’s exactly what I said to myself.”
“I was in a hurry. Speaking of which I really need to get across the street.”
“Coming right up,” said Sidney. “You might want to close your eyes. This ain’t gonna be pretty/”
With her eyes closed Jenny felt the taxi go into motion, then heard the sound of cars coming to a screeching halt as Sidney attempted to plow through the two-way traffic. What followed were shouts of, You can’t do that in the middle of Third Avenue! Whaddaya nuts! Ya can't jaywalk a taxi cab! Ya damn fool!
“Okay, you can open your eyes now, young lady.”
“How’d you do that so quick?”
“Like I said, I have faith in humanity, but sometimes it’s best done with your eyes closed and your heart in your hands.”
“You sure are a strange character, do you mind if I take your picture?”
“I’d be honored. So would FDR.”
When the flash went off, Sidney and FDR could think of nothing better to do than to blink like they were two of the most flirtatious creatures on earth.
“Didn’t see that coming,” said Sidney. “Now I can’t see anything. Perfect time to make my way back across the street.”
“I’ll be rooting for you, Sidney.”
“Thanks. And do me a favor. Go easy on the sighs. Plenty of time for that in the rocking chair. See you around, kid. And say hello to Craven for me.”
“How do you know I know Mr. Danger?”
“I know everything that goes on around here. It’s an occupational hazard when you’re a hack from the neighborhood. Goodbye for now, young lady. No charge for the ride. Let’s call it a life-saving mission from the patron saint of all those cursed with two left-feet.”
“Ha. Nice to know you, Sidney. You too, FDR.”
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