This story comes from a photo sent in by a masked crusader who wishes to remain anonymous.
Detective Red was a great detective. He had successfully solved every case that he had come across. In the past year, he had found two missing dogs, recovered four lost wallets, and caught the neighborhood kids who were leaving water balloons in people’s mailboxes.
Even with his great success, Detective Red was still waiting for his “big break” to come about. In the detective academy, they talked all the time about the “big break” that every detective would some day come across. But Red was still waiting for his.
With nearly fifteen years as the neighborhood detective, Red was getting itchy for something big to come his way. And finally, something big did come along. And it was delivered by a four year old girl named Gigi.
“Red,” she said. “I’ve got something for you. And it’s big.”
This was it.
Detective Red leaned forward. “I’m listening.”
“It’s Jimmy, my older brother. He stole my doll last week, only I can’t prove it. But he’s having a big birthday party this weekend, and I’m thinking that if you go undercover, you can sniff out Miss Pattycake.”
An undercover gig? This was the break that Red was looking for! He nodded and accepted five lollipops as a down payment. He was on the job.
On the day of the birthday party, Detective Red showed up wearing a body-tight red and blue suit that even covered his face. The suit had a spider web wrapping all around it, and two wide white sections that he could see through in the front. For an undercover detective, he looked pretty good.
“Agent G, Agent G, this is Detect-spidey. Can you read me? Over and out.”
“Copy that Detect-spidey, I can read you. I suspect Pattycake is in Jim’s room.”
Red lowered his walkie-talkie and slunk past the front bushes and through the gate to the backyard. His plan was to slip in through the kitchen door, grab a cupcake on his way to the hall , and run upstairs to Jim’s room. That was his plan. But just as he got through the gate, a mob of boys ran up to him.
“Spider-Man!” they shouted.
They crowded around him and jumped up and down. Detective Red looked from boy to boy. There were at least twelve of them. He was surrounded.
“Do something, Spider-Man!” they said. “Shoot one of your webs!”
Luckily, Red had carefully researched his disguise persona before the party. He tentatively held up his right wrist and curled two of his fingers in.
“Spider-Man, quick, a street light is falling!”
Red expertly ducked down into the Spider-Man crouching position and rolled off to the side.
Next he ran towards the wall and hopped back off of it as he demonstrated how to chase after criminals. He leaned way back to avoid stray bullets from hitting him. He grabbed onto the tire swing off of the tree in the back and held on to the rope while pretending to swing from web to web.
The children could not get enough.
“Go Spider-Man! Yeah Spidey!”
Even the mothers seemed impressed.
“You’re amazing,” one child’s mother said to him later. “Can you do my son’s party next week?”
“Well…” Red scratched at his head.
The mother reached into her wallet and took out fifty dollars. “Consider this a down payment,” she said quietly.
Red stared down at the money in his hand. He stuck it quickly into his shoe. He could always give it back later. Or maybe…
“Psst! Detect-spidey. I repeat: Detect-spidey. Where are you?”
It was Gigi on the walkie-talkie. Red looked around. She was hiding out behind the table of sodas on the porch.
“I read you, Agent G.” Detective Red held up his walkie talkie close to him. “Look, I’m not so sure if mission Pattycake is a go.”
“What?? You promised! I gave you five lollipops!”
Red looked over at the children playing in the backyard. “I have an idea,” he told Gigi. “Just wait.”
After bringing out the tray of Jimmy’s cupcakes and holding it while everyone sang Happy Birthday!, then passing each cupcake out to each boy, and doing a couple more tricks as they ate, Red gathered everyone in front of him.
“The most important thing about being a super hero,” he told the boys. “Is doing what’s right. Spider-Man goes after criminals who steal and cheat and lie to others. I know that none of you would ever do those kinds of things.”
Most of the boys shook their heads. They would never dare repeat the actions of criminals! Still, some boys looked down at their feet. Jimmy in particular choked on some cake in his mouth.
“Luckily for you, if you are on the wrong track, there are always ways to make things right. You can still become super heroes if you commit to helping others. I’ll tell you some more about my journey to being a super hero at Bobby’s birthday party next Saturday.”
He patted Jimmy’s shoulder and walked over to the moms.
“That was great,” one of them whispered.
“You’re perfect!” said another.
After a few minutes, Jimmy quietly went inside. He came out with Miss Pattycake, which he handed to Gigi. She smiled and gave a thumb’s up to Red.
It had been a long and exhausting afternoon when Detective Red walked back into his office. Still, he had some important changes to make. He took his trench coat off of the hanger and tucked it away. Then, after changing back into normal clothes, he hung his Spider-Man suit up on the hanger. It had cost him fifty dollars to purchase it from the rental shop. But it was a good investment. With three other parties down for the month, Red’s schedule was filling up fast. He looked at the suit and smiled. This had turned out to be his big break after all… as a superhero spy.