A VISIT FROM AFAR (and 4)

Woody Nightshade opens a door where a sign painted on frosted glass reads: “Phillip Malbrough, Private Detective”. Malbrough, who islooking out the open window with his back to the door, quickly turns around and flinches atWoody Nightshade’s imposing purple and yellow figure.

-Who the hell are you?!

-My name is Woody Nightshade. I want you to help me find a person

-Why don’t you take off your costume and then we’ll talk?

-We are not allowed to take off our costume in public

-You mean clowns?

-I mean superheroes

-Another superhero? The city already has one. I think they call him Squattedman

-It’s precisely him that I want to find

-Well, it won’t be easy. Newspaper guys are also interested and they don’t know where to begin

-I do know where to begin

-Oh yeah? Where?

Woody grabs the detective and drags him across the floor to get him out of the window, where he holds him with one hand over the far distant streets below.

-Help! Don’t let go!

-Don’t worry, Squattedman won’t be long in coming. Superheroes have a sixth sense that warns us when someone is in trouble … You see? There it comes!

A human ball is rushing towards the open window. Woody releases the detective who plummets to the street. Squattedman catches him in flight and returns him to his apartment through the window behind which Woody is hidden. Squattedman places Malbrough on the floor and is about to go out the same way he came in, when Woody slams the window.

-We finally meet, Squattedman!

-Wow, the superhero who comes from the future to eliminate me

-News travel fast!

Squattedman remains crouched.

-Why don’t you stand up?

-My powers depend on being crouched

Woody utters an exclamation of astonishment. He needs some time to deal with the news. At last, he exclaims “That’s so silly!” and starts laughing out loud.

-It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard! And why do you go naked? Do your powers also depend on it?

-No. But do you know how uncomfortable clothes are when you have to go about crouched? By the way, what kind of fabric is your uniform made of?

-‘Elastane’, also known as ‘spandex’. Comfortable and flexible. Perfect for skin-tight garments. It’s the fabric of which ballet tights are made

Suddenly Woody stands on tiptoe, raises his arms and performs the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’.

When he finishes, Squattedman accords him a resounding ovation to which Woody corresponds bowing deeply.

-Could you get me a uniform like yours?

Hours later, in the middle of the night, Squattedman in Woody Nightshade’s purple and yellow uniform, escorts Woody to the time machine with which he came from the future. Woody wears one of François de Rochefoucauld’s elegant outfits, top hat included. After shaking hands, the superhero from the future locks himself in the box while the superhero from the present watches his friend disappear with a ‘pop’. Then he crouches and shoots out.

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