May 12th, 2019 by P. Starks
“Our city is nothing like it used to be,” sighed Giovanni Jeremiah, staring at the pigeon that stared back at him. The pigeon tilted its head, and for the moment, Giovanni Jeremiah thought that the pigeon had understood him. He then looked up to the blue skies. They had a hint of grey to them, which meant it was surely going to rain at some point. Chocolate city was always known to be a peaceful place, he thought. One where it was quite; light on crimes, in fact, light year-round. Seagulls soaring from above as you ate one of the best chili dog’s money could buy. But then the city grew.
“Hey lady!” yelled a man, with a switch blade in hand. “Give me your purse or else, you’ll be sorry.”
The man was rough looking. His hair was bristled and filled with dandruff. He had a crooked smile, and from the looks of him, smelt of cigarettes and whiskey. The woman trembled, doing her best to not panic. Yet, still, she panicked.
“H-here take it,” she said. “Just please don’t hurt me. Please!”
The man then threw the woman a cynical grin. He took the bag and ran off into a full sprint, as he turned into a dark alley on the corner of 42nd and Lumbaray. And then the sound of a gunshot echoed the cityscape. Not a second later, from the alley now came a child that looked as if she was still in elementary. The same purse that the man had had in his hand, was now in hers.
“Jesus,” whispered Giovanni Jeremiah, shaking his head. “What the fuck…”
He’d gotten up from the bench he sat and thrown to the ground the last piece of his ham and cheese. “Here ya go buddy. Be safe out there, its dangerous.” The pigeon had flown of with the sandwich.
On his way back home Giovanni Jeremiah figured it be a good day to go to his favorite comic bookstore, Infinity Comics. After what he had just witnessed, it was really the only other thing that would make him feel better. Well… that and a slice of pepperoni pizza from Mestros Italliano. But that would be for later, he’d promised himself.
It was quiet. Usually, Giovanni Jeremiah would here the manager, Tobias Bone, ranting on to his customers on how much he felt Ironman would kick Batman’s ass, but this time he couldn’t even hear so much as a page being turned.
“Hey Tobias! Yo, T. Bone, you in here?” asked Giovanni Jeremiah. He walked down each aisle to see if he wasn’t alone.
The front counter was the last place to check. Giovanni Jeremiah thought about all the crime movies he had watched, and how every time someone checked the front counter, there would be a dead body. Slowly, he made his way over. Every step felt as if he were trying to walk around pieces of broken glass barefooted; he didn’t know what to expect, and he hoped it was nothing bad.
From the right of him, a man had tackled him to the ground, pointing to his face what looked to be a gun out of the movie Dirty Harry. But in his heart, he knew it wasn’t just some replica. It was the real deal. Real steel.
“You want a piece of me mother…” paused the man. “Oh shit… Giovanni Jeremiah is that you?”
Giovanni Jeremiah then picked himself back up on his feet. “Yeah man! Shit! Tobias what the hell! What the hells going on?”
Tobias was a heavy-set man. Although, handsome in the face—like a walking, talking, still alive, Barry White. He wore an Iron man shirt and sadly, had his facial hair done the same way as Iron man, no, Tony Starks. But no one ever bothered him about it. It was just… him.
“You mean you don’t know?” asked Tobias.
Tobias then walked to the back room of the store, pulling out an old T.V remote. “Take a seat, my friend, there’s some deep shit you need to be updated on.”
Immediately, Giovanni Jeremiah’s eye’s widened. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, let alone, what he was hearing.
“We have breaking news. Today crimes have skyrocketed by the dozens. There have been multiple robberies, multiple murders, and multiple casualties of things I am not quite comfortable talking about. Citizens of the city are now calling Chocolate City the new modern-day Gotham. But sadly, I don’t think we have any Batman to help us out of this chaos. My name is Rebeka O’Connell. Back to you Toni.“
“Jesus,” again, whispered Giovanni Jeremiah.
“Yeah I know. I just had two knuckle head sons of bitches try and rob me for my Ironman collectables. I was like, the hell if you are. I then pulled out my Smith & Wesson, and the rest was history. I never knew how fast someone could run with pants barely hanging off their ass. Especially, with no belt.”
Giovanni Jeremiah for once was in awe. He was frightened. All his life Chocolate City had always been peaceful and, in fact, sweet like Chocolate. But it wasn’t anymore.
“Hey,” bumped Tobias. “You should probably get heading home. You know, before it get’s too dark and stuff.”
“And of yeah. Take this, I know you’ve always been eying it. Take it as incentive for me kick your ass just now.”
Giovanni Jeremiah laughed sarcastically. “Right. Okay.”
“Now that’s the Giovanni Jeremiah I know. Now seriously, get the fuck out of here for I do to you what I did to those knuckleheads earlier.”
Giovanni Jeremiah smiled and then went on his way. He flipped through the pages of the comic he had been given, the comic he had always wanted, “The Spider-man team up” feat Howard the duck, Gambit, and Spider-man as himself. Every page was an eyegasym. The story was just too good to turn away from. And then it had him. The question on if he could be a like them, a hero.
Flash-forwarding. Months had then gone by faster than expected with the idea still in Giovanni Jeremiah’s head. He was different now. He’d trained with some of the best. And he’d defeated the best. Once a 31-year-old man, now one of the toughest S.O. B’s the city has ever seen. Crime rates were beginning to fall, however, there was still so much that needed to be done. But was he ready?
On top of an old abandoned building Giovanni Jeremiah waited. His hair was longer now, twisted like tree vines. His eyes were solid black from the contacts that he purposely used. And he wore a one piece that was completely black with a hint of turquoise. People filled streets in a riot against all that had been done wrong to them and all that wasn’t being done to fix it. Not only were their lives being destroyed by criminals, but it also was being destroyed by the people they’d put their trust in—their government. An old woman then spoke.
“All of this time we have been cheated on our lives. None of you care about us. None of you! As long as our money is going deep into your filthy pockets, that’s all you truly care about. Your no different than the criminals that rob and murder. The only difference is, is that you just do it more cowardly than they do,” spat the old woman.
“But don’t you worry we already got someone in the works of handling you, and his name…” paused the old woman. She leaned over and tapped a young man on the arm. “What is his name?”
“I don’t know,” shrugged the young man.
“Hey, how about the dark knight?” said a man from the back.
“Don’t be stupid, that’s Batman you idiot. Learn your comic history,” said another.
“Hey man, kiss my ass man!”
A wrestling match between the two men had begun, aggravating the riot even more, all until it was then a little girl who spoke.
“How about the Voice,” she said.
Giovanni Jeremiah smiled. He liked it.
“Wait, what did you say little girl?” asked the old woman.
The little girl looked up at her father for approval. “Go ahead honey, don’t be shy,” he said.
“We should call him the Voice,” she said. “We always talk about how he fights for us and how he always finds an answer to our questions. Its as if he is our voice, you know, like the voice of the people but in a different way… N-Never mind.”
The little girl then tucked herself into her father’s trench coat. “There, there, little one you did great. Proud of you. And your mother would be proud of you to.”
Tears rolled down the little girl’s cheek as she smiled. Her father, however, had wiped his way before it was even noticed.
“Then it is settled!” yelled the old woman. “We will call him the Voice.”
The crowd then began to cheer. The two men had stopped fighting, and echoes of the voice flowed through the entirety of the city.
Giovanni Jeremiah had been knighted by the people. He had become the Voice!