Superman Rides “The Lightning!”
After departing the English manor house Clark Kent investigated the property and discovered the sprawling manor house and the accompanying estate is “For Sale.” The manor house has been vacant for several months. Clark contacted the estate’s realtor who informed him the elderly Lord Melbourne died last year and had no heirs. Clark reported that he received reports of suspicious activity at the manor house. In turn the realtor promised to have a constable check the estate. Hours later she called back reporting that the area’s constables had checked the mansion and it was “ship shape.” The mansion was found locked up tight and empty. She informed Clark that the upstairs west drawing room he specifically inquired about was used a house arrest late last century. Apparently 30 years ago one of Lord Melbourne’s cousins had a run in with the law and was confined to the mansion to serve his sentence, thus the barred windows. Oddly someone appeared to have snapped a padlock on one set of bars leaving the window open. Otherwise the room was completely empty and everything appeared to be in order. Calls to the third party charity that engaged Superman to appear at the estate were meant with a recording that explained the number was no longer in service!
Superman put the matter aside; several weeks later Clark Kent arrives for work as usual at the Daily planet. The reporter’s pool is abuzz with activity as Clark takes his seat behind his desk. Strangely set between two rows of his computer’s keyboard is a medium sized purple envelop. The same shade of garish purple as the madman’s robe who posed as a head master! Clark looks around anxiously as the memories of Superman’s capture, humiliation and torture return to the forefront of his mind. He cranes his neck looking frantically around the reporter’s pool but can find nothing out of the ordinary. He nervously insures he is out of everyone’s eyeshot before breaking the envelope’s seal. Amid the din of ringing phones and jumbled conversations Clark pulls out two photos, one oversized playing card and a type written note on a piece of purple paper. Clark swallows hard as he looks at the first photo. It is the BEFORE photo the masquerading head master insisted on! It is a black and white picture of Superman standing before a large wooden electric chair labeled “The Lightning” set below a large faded electric bolt! Superman is standing behind a group of three shirtless ragtag boys dressed in bib overalls with shoulder suspenders. All are expressionless and have their hands shoved deep into their overall pockets. A very tall ghastly looking man in long sleeved robes and a square academic cap has a long lanky arm around Superman’s big broad shoulders.
The second photo sends a shiver down Clark’s spine! That photo black and white too. The picture is almost incomprehensible! Mighty Superman….unconscious and a held captive! He has been stripped of his costume. Superman sits naked, displayed, glistening in sweat with his powerful legs restrained open. His junk is exposed for all to see as he sits tightly strapped into the same big wooded electric chair in the previous photo. Superman is wired up to the big chair in a most degrading and horrible manner! Two of the same ragtag boys stand to one side of “The Lightning, smiling ear to seemly quite pleased with Superman’s state; all the boys and the head master display pieces of Superman’s costume like trophies before the camera! One boy holds up one of Superman’s big red boots; the other boy displays the chest piece of Superman’s jumpsuit bearing the letter “S!” The third smiling boy sits on the floor in front of the big chair between Superman’s legs holding Superman’s other big boot up for the camera to capture. On the other side of the chair is the same head master displaying Superman’s cape with a companion letter “S” by its elastic shoulder.
Clark swears under his breath at the photo. What does that madman want? He brings up the oversized card from the bottom of the items Clark pulled from the purple envelop. Clark sighs as places the card atop the second photo. It is a deck of card’s Joker card. All that is left is the note. Clark places the note atop the Joker card and sullenly reads:
Dear Mr. Kent; it is my expressed hope that you will kindly see that this envelop and its contents find their way to your good pal Superman. Also please inform Superman that I want him to meet me alone at the Metropolis Museum, Medieval Art Section, precisely at the stroke of midnight this coming Halloween so that I might present him the photo’s negatives. I swear I have made only one print each that you now possess. If Superman does not appear the photos of him will be posted on the internet to be circulated worldwide! Have a nice day Mr. Kent. You and Superman are to tell no one!
P.S. Please tell Superman I am sorry for what Harry and the gang did to him; the youngsters tend to get carried away.
Clark crumples the paper angrily into a ball within his hand vowing silently, Superman will be there even though it’s surely a trap. But I’ll be ready for the clown this time. I have a score to settle with the Joker!
Continue in Superman’s Night in the Museum