The Sauk Trail State and Friends from Town Unofficial Combined Halloween Party ranged up and down the Stroll far into the night, far enough that the early edition of the paper was making its way from hand to hand before everyone went home. Several versions of local superhero Foursquare were among the lingering revelers, but none of them stood out as particularly authentic. (The boots are always a giveaway.) And then there was that new flying figure, the one that people (and the paper) were calling the MoonBat, the one with the big glowy eyes and the horns and the long rat tail, who’d entertained the crowd with some fierce aerobatics and led the midnight parade, gliding low on spectacularly fake bat wings.
Iowa Ginsberg, looking Awfully Cute in her Zoot Suit, waited for him in a particular spot that Foursquare would certainly have recognized.
“MoonBat, Jack? Really?”
The mystery figure shrugged, pushing back his mask, which was all one piece and made of what looked like two large Petri dishes rigged up with rubber tubing and some luminous paint, with toilet paper rolls covered with duct tape for the horns. His striped canvas wings were crudely basted onto the arms of his sweatshirt with black fishing line, his furry pants smelled terrible (also like they might not be fake fur), and he seemed to have lost his pink rat tail somewhere, but he looked extremely pleased with himself. And, yes, the boots had given him away.
“I just wanted to fly on Halloween this year,” said the unrepentant MoonBat. “People are taking Foursquare pretty seriously these days, and, yeah, I like it. But that means I probably shouldn’t goof around when I’m wearing the uniform, so I made up this guy so I could cut loose. He’s supposed to be part gargoyle, part flying rat– that MoonBat thing is all the paper. I never called myself anything.”
“Of course you didn’t, sweetheart,” replied Iowa, taking a serious look at the crazy getup. “But having a second persona probably isn’t a bad idea, and silliness can be a good distraction. And if you don’t like MoonBat, you can think up another name.”
“No way,” said Jack. “You don’t know what it was like coming up with “Foursquare”. I’m done naming superheroes. Now I need to remember where I stashed my regular pants, and then I’m going to the Round the Clock diner. Want to come with? I’m gonna eat a whole loaf of bread’s worth of French toast, and I’ll get you some too.”
“Throw in an egg and some orange juice and a bunch of coffee and you have a deal.”
“Deal. And bacon. And keep an eye out for my tail.”
(Any ideas? Or do you like MoonBat?)