Nu Pulp – “New Years Revolutions” by Ben MacConnell

I swear this is the last holiday themed story I put out…for a while, anyway. Marks the return of the Monochrome Moth. Enjoy!

“Get out of the way you masked freak!”

The scraggly young man threw a wild fist. Uncoordinated. Sloppy. Too easy. The Monochrome Moth leaned back to let the blow pass harmlessly. He ducked the next, then blocked a third.

“Come on!” said the young man. “What are you, afraid?”

The Moth retorted with a low punch to his foe’s stomach. It was dark up on the rooftop, so he only now noticed the explosives strapped to the young fool’s chest. “What the hell are you doing with that crap?” he moaned, looking over the edge for a brief moment.

Thousands massed in the streets below, gazing up at a machine suspended three hundred feet above them. Covered in light bulbs, a large clock was affixed to the front, marking the time until midnight.

Staggering, the suicidal man laughed. “When the clock marks the new year, I’m going to jump into that crowd and detonate. Need to signal to everyone about the revolution.”

“Revolution?” asked the Monochrome Moth. “Let me guess, you’ve got some absurd vendetta against society or the authority, so blowing yourself and hundreds up will somehow further your imaginary cause?” He connected a solid punch to the revolutionary’s jaw, causing him to stumble. “What a crock of…”

The revolutionary whipped out a button from his jacket, holding it with his thumb poised over the trigger, within view of his adversary. “You don’t get it. None of you ever understood.” He propped himself upon shaky feet, trying to move his jaw back into place. “We live in a whole new world, man! Everything is coming apart at the seams! Gotta wake everybody up to the revolution that’s taking place every hour of every day!” He raised the switch up. “And that’s why I…”

Taking out a hidden knife, the Moth took a fast swipe and severed the wire connecting the button to the explosives. Once the wires flopped limply, he returned the weapon to its sheath. “Damn kids talk too much.”

Wide-eyed and stunned, the revolutionary examined his neutered instrument of homicidal self-destruction. After that, he looked at the masked man. His shocked countenance slowly gave way to grit teeth and bodily spasms. His fist held so tightly to the useless switch, it bit into his palm. Finally, the revolutionary smashed the switch against the ground.

“Aaaah!” he screamed, rushing down the Monochrome Moth blindly.

The two grappled for a time, the revolutionary attempting to claw at the mysterious man’s disguise. They struggled as such, exchanging blows and drifting close to the edge of the roof. Finally, the Monochrome Moth fell on his back, digging his foot into the revolutionary’s chest and using the momentum to pitch him over the side.

The revolutionary landed hard on the suspended light machine, impacted but conscious. Several of the light bulbs shattered under his weight. With a grimace, he looked confusedly around, before looking up at his opponent. “Come down here…and fight…like a man, you stupid…”

“Ten!”

“What?” said the revolutionary, craning his head in an attempt to locate the noise.

“Nine! Eight!”

The Monochrome Moth looked around as well, but he had a handy bird’s eye view of the source and cause.

“Seven! Six!”

“Huh,” said the Moth, looking down at the crowd. They were chanting.

“Five!”

Battered and disoriented, the revolutionary grasped the broken glass beneath his hands. He inspected his find, then tried to look at the crowd he knew were there.

“Four!”

“Oh no…oh…no!” gasped the revolutionary, eyes widening with the sudden onset of clarity.

“Three!”

“No! No! No no no!”

“Two!”

The Monochrome Moth folded his arms.

“One! Happy New Year!”

The bulbs erupted in a mass of light as the stroke of midnight struck. The revolutionary’s body tensed, seizing as thousands of volts of electricity ran from the shattered filaments to his broken body.

“AAAAHH-” choked the revolutionary, before the charge flowing through him set off the explosives lining his frame.

Far below, the crowd witnesses the detonation and, in all the excitement, cheer all the louder for the sudden pyrotechnics apparently on display. The instrument, for what damage it does receive, was mounted on a sturdy frame. Aside from a growing fire and random sparks, surprisingly little damage was done overall, and the frame remained standing.

For his part, the Monochrome Moth shrugged and walked off. And there was much paperwork.

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