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All Hail the Twinkie

By J. L. Ender

I whistled as I stepped from my house. Per usual, I was clad in my nano-suit, a second skin to protect me from harm. You couldn’t see it—to most eyes I looked like any kid walking the street. Well, any kid in a trench coat with goggles perched on his forehead. I had a new contract to fill. A new mug in town had offered to pay me with some kind of coconut macadamia stuff, which sounded promising.

Making my way across town, I slipped into the chosen alley, a broad path between two soaring brick warehouses. It stank with that sickly-sweet odor that trash always gets. Two dumb-looking dweebs stood near a dumpster. A pile of old electronics was heaped at their feet.

One kid was blond with an unfortunate array of zits. I didn’t envy his prom date, if he even had one. He had a gawky look to his stupid face, as if he couldn’t quite believe his surroundings. The other one had dark eyes and a stormy, brooding expression.

“You’re Stuffmaker?” The dark-eyed boy looked me up and down.

I nodded at the pair of twerps. “Let me see the payment.”

“Half now, half later,” the blond kid said.

“Sure, whatever.” I blew my bangs out of my eyes. “You want a gun or not?” No, Mom, it’s not cute if my bangs are in my eyes. I’m a man. Men don’t need bangs.

The dark eyed boy tossed me a little rectangular box printed with colorful animals.

Animal crackers. I’d been betrayed.

I caught the box one handed. “What in the name of Chips Ahoy is this trash?” I dropped the box in disgust. “I don’t do animal crackers. Where’s the good stuff?”

“A cookie’s a cookie, you dumb kid,” the dark-eyed boy said. “Now make us a gun. We got a busy night planned.”

“I work for cookies, not bread. You turkey sniffers better cough up something good. I do not like having my time wasted. I’m missing Octonauts for this.”

“What are you, like six?” the blond boy asked scornfully.

“Seven and a half!” I replied with indignation. (And yes, I can use indignation in a sentence. But we’ll wait while you look it up… Done? Okay.)

“Just make us the gun and we won’t beat the cookies out of you.” The dark-eyed boy snickered like he’d said something funny, as opposed to managing something maybe a level above stitching enough brain cells together to grunt like a monkey.

I laughed, reached into a pocket, and pulled out an Oreo. Twirling it along my fingers, I popped it into my mouth. “Go ahead and try,” I said, mouth full.

“We’re powered, you dummy. Not a good idea to challenge us.”

“I’m shakin’ in my boots, bud.” I pulled another cookie from my trench coat and dunked it into a glass of milk I’d stashed in another pocket. Is there a pocket dimension in my coat? Maybe. Or maybe I’m just real careful.

“That tears it.” The dark-eyed kid turned to stone.

The blond gaped at his friend, then created fireballs in both hands.

The blond threw a fireball. I held up a hand and caught it in my palm. The nano-suit protected me. I wasn’t invulnerable but taking down these turkey sniffers would be easy enough.

I threw the fireball at the stone guy. It fizzled harmlessly. Worth a try.

Stone guy punched at me. I jumped out of my nano-suit and rolled to the side, flopping onto the asphalt near the pile of electronics. The Mayor of Stupidville punched a rocky hand through a ghostly version of me created by the suit. Meanwhile, using my own superpower of transfiguration—I’m not pausing this time, look it up later—I made a ginormous, glowing purple and green gun out of the junk. Too big. I added a little antigravity fan to help bear the weight.

The stone guy turned toward the real me. Hefting the cannon-sized device, I blasted him into the far alley wall.

The fireball guy threw up both hands. “Sorry! I give up!”

I blasted him anyway.

Don’t get your undies in a bunch. I turned down the power. I’m a nice guy like that. I nudged fireball guy’s shin with my foot. A slightly rumpled plastic container lay on the ground near his feet. “Hey! You had my cookies all along!”

I ripped open the bag and took a huge bite of one, spraying crumbs all over the two boys. Not bad. It was no Oreo, but they were pretty good. Delightfully nutty, with a hearty aftertaste.

“Tell them Stuffmaker works for cookies.”

The fireball guy groaned.

“Ugh, tell who?” the Mayor of Stupidville asked, leaning up.

I grinned and dunked a second cookie. I rested the gun on my shoulder. It looked kind of like a giant Twinkie to me.

There’s a name: The Great Twinkie.

Leaving the idiots to bemoan their fate, I whistled as I left the alley with my new gun and a fresh bag of cookies.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J. L. Ender is the author of the superhero series Steel Fox Investigations, as well as a number of novels and short stories across several genres. Ender has worked as a dishwasher, a beef jerky labeler, a warehouse worker, a shelf stocker, a greeter, a traveling technician, a laser engraver, a package handler, a copywriter, a graphic designer, a librarian, an editor, destroyer of worlds (in an unofficial capacity), a dispatcher, and a phone operator. You can find him on Instagram where he regularly tortures himself by trying to write even shorter fiction at 150 words or less.


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