Readers Gazette Short Stories


Short Story I Am Demo-Man

I Am Demo-Man by McCallum J. Morgan Fantasy short story

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Gaston stepped over the wreckage of the huge wooden doors, tiptoeing around the bodies of the tellers and guards. The vault gleamed silver, a red light blinking on the screen of its fancy lock system.
“Fire, Boss?” Henchman 1 asked, peeking out of the mini tank’s hatch.
“No,” Gaston said, waving his red-gloved hand dismissively. “The canon won’t take this door. You take it out on the steps and destroy the law enforcement; I hear the sirens now.” Henchman 1 closed the hatch and turned the mini tank around, crushing desks and couches and leaving tread marks in the carpet. Gaston smiled.
“Are you going to hot-wire the system, boss?” Henchman 2 asked.
“No, you imbecile!” Gaston said. “Get my art kit!”
Henchman 2 went over to Gaston’s red Rolls-Royce Phantom, parked on two famous actresses who had been at the bank making enormous withdrawals. Gaston had arrived just in time to stop them. All the money was still in the vault.
Henchman 2 brought Gaston his palette, brush, and case. Gaston took a bottle from the case and dumped acid on his palette. Then he daintily dipped his brush and set about the methodical destruction of a highly expensive piece of equipment.
The screen fizzled and drooped, the wires hissed and melted, sparking. But the metal held. The acid dripped off and pitted the concrete floor. Gaston got out another bottle. This acid steamed on the metal. He dribbled it around the hinges and cracks. Explosives were all very fine, but they’d just blow off the hinges, wreck the locking mechanism, and short the wires. This particularly nasty acid would cause irreparable damage, reacting with the metal and making it unrecyclable. The vault would have to be excavated from the stone building it had been built into and dumped in the landfill. This would at last crush his nemesis, Moneyman!
Gaston heard explosions from outside the bank as the Bamberg police were blown to itty bitty bits. He grinned at his reflection in the melting metal door. His black Will.I.Am/Elvis hairdo looked simply dashing (in the most destructive sense of the word) with his glittery red suit. Everything about him was square—like a fuse box—even his malignant eyes seemed rather cube-like. He leaped back as the vault door buckled and collapsed, nearly coating him in gooey titanium.
Gaston stepped into the glorious interior of the vault of the Bockhurst First Bank of Bamberg. Money, money, money.
Gaston dropped his palette. It splattered on the floor, steaming and hissing. “Henchmen!” he called. “I want every last thing in here moved out to the lobby!” He set his case down on a stack of gold bars.
Henchmen 2 through 7 hurried to obey, toting the stacks of crisp hundred dollar bills and
bars of gold, silver, and platinum out into the lobby. They piled them into a vague pyramid of
gleaming currency.
“Hurry!” Gaston urged, waving his brush around, splattering acid on everything and everyone. “Moneyman will be here soon!” He threw his brush against the far wall where it stuck into the titanium. He pulled out his shiny red gun and stomped out of the vault, eyeing the staircase from the upper floors and the big stained glass windows.
The henchmen had just laid down the last bill in the lobby when Gaston heard henchman 1 call from outside.
“Boss! There’s some pansy in yellow plastic says he wants to negotiate the release of the hostages!”
Gaston sighed. That was just like Moneyman. “Let him in!”
Moneyman stepped through the gaping hole where the bank’s front door used to be. As usual, he was dressed in yellow-gold latex with his ridiculous coin-shaped mask. He held a white flag in one hand.
“What the hell, Moneyman?” Gaston said. “There’s a roof, you know, why didn’t you have a helicopter drop you off and then come flipping down the stairs and karate chop me?”
“Helicopters use a lot of fuel,” Moneyman said. “Obviously.”
“Whatever,” Gaston said. “But it would have been the least you could do. I know I can’t expect you to jump through two-hundred year old stained glass on a stolen motorbike, but really, a white flag?”
“You’ve caused enough destruction for today,” Moneyman said as he surveyed the room, sadness nearly oozing from his eyes. “Look at this, Demo-man! It’s so senseless! You don’t have to be so backwards! Why couldn’t you rob people on the internet? You know you could. That would still be theft, loss of money and all, but look at this! That door! These couches! That cute teller who always cashed my pay-check!”
“So you are on government payroll,” Gaston said.
“This carpet! That vault! It breaks my heart!” Moneyman blew his nose on his truce flag.
“If you’d just buck up and fight me,” Gaston said, waving his gun in the air, “you could stop me.”
“You’ve got seven henchmen,” Moneyman pointed out, wiping his nose and sniffing. “And a canon.”
“Well…” Gaston began, nearly sucked in by Moneyman’s flawless reasoning before indignation swelled in his villainous breast. “So?! I thought you were a hero!”
“I am,” Moneyman said. “And I won’t let you take all this money!”
“Oh, I don’t want the money,” Gaston said, pushing the safety button on his pistol. “I just want to see you completely broken.” The Rolls-Royce roared to life, the souped-up diesel engine caterwauling like a chorus of rhinoceroses on microphones with the reverb on max. Gaston pulled the pistol’s slide and the Rolls-Royce’s lights came on. Sort of.
Fifteen-foot-long jets of flame spurted from the headlights, curling with vehemence and
singeing the carpet and actresses black.
Gaston smiled and pulled the trigger. The car started to roll towards the money pile, flame throwers wide open, consuming a henchman that didn’t jump out of the way in time.
Moneyman’s eyes widened in horror and Gaston laughed.
Moneyman looked back and forth between the stack and the car, calculating out loud, “The Bank of Bamberg holds thirty-three million; a Rolls-Royce Phantom is normally almost 400,000,
but with a turbo charged diesel, two flamethrowers, custom paint job, bullet proof, remote
control, we’re talking over 600,000…
“But…since gold, silver, and platinum won’t burn, the money in danger only amounts to about three million…”
“Watch the money buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurn!” Gaston hooted.
Moneyman seemed to weigh the car and the money in each hand. “600,000 or 3 million…” his eyes hardened. “I’ve gotta stop the car.”
With a cry of agony, Moneyman turned and ran down the steps towards the mini tank. The henchmen looked at each other.
“Should we..?” henchman 5 began. Gaston shook his head. He clicked the catch releasing the clip from his gun-shaped remote and glanced back into the vault. It was completely empty; his acid case wasn’t there.
The Rolls-Royce moved inexorably towards the cash. Gaston heard the thwap! Ah! As Moneyman karate chopped henchman 1. The flames were about to touch the money. The green paper curled in the heat.
Then the mini-tank roared into the bank, smashing into the Rolls-Royce and turning the flames around onto the empty desks. Firemen, no longer deterred by the mini tank, rushed in and began to douse the car. The police charged in, pepper-spraying the henchmen.
Moneyman clambered out of the mini tank’s hatch, tears streaming from his eyes as he gazed at the dents in the Phantom. “It’s been devalued two hundred grand!” he cried.
“Bull$#*%,” Gaston said, pushing a key on his clip. The mini tank turret turned towards the stack of money.
“No!” exclaimed Moneyman.
“Yes,” said Gaston.
He hit the red key. The mini tank fired.
The nitro glycerin in Gaston’s acid case, sitting in the middle of the money where the henchmen had moved it along with everything else in the vault, lit up three million and the other thirty million started to dissolve and evolve in an incredible reaction of rare chemicals.
Gaston cackled as the police pepper-sprayed him. One last look before his eyes watered over revealed a distraught Moneyman leaping into the conflagration to try and save even one bar of gold.
The police clubbed Gaston in the head and stars sprayed gleefully across a black galaxy, exploding and wrecking in cosmic demolition.

When the Haz-Mat crew finished sifting through the molecularly unstable slime that was once the riches of Bamberg, they found Moneyman. And he was still alive.

To see more of McCallum J. Morgan's work, click the link to his website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view his member details Visit McCallum J. Morgan Blogspot.

Images used for the story are from
Visit Rolls Royce Phantom IV 1952.

Visit Croatian National Bank.

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Short Story written by McCallum J. Morgan

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Gaston stepped over the wreckage of the huge wooden doors, tiptoeing around the bodies of the tellers and guards. The vault gleamed silver, a red light blinking on the screen of its fancy lock system. “Fire, Boss?”...

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