“The other side of the coin”
Franklin Flake was making his rounds as Production Supervisor F at the Ocsiban Foods Cereal Production Plant, which was on the outskirts of Metropolis. As he checked off his To Do list on his Qpad, he thought “I remember in Full House they ate Oat Boats. Maybe if I can get my business, A Touch of Love and a Whole Lot of Flavor Cereals, off the ground, I could make Oat Boats a reality. I don’t think Oat Boats were real. I’m not a cereal historian so I have no idea. I wonder…” His wonder was short lived as there was a loud WHAM at the other end of the factory. He ran to see what was going on.
It was the villain Mammoth! He was in a rage and destroying things left and right. Debris of varying types fell into mixing vats, conveyor lines and elsewhere. “Where is it?!” he bellowed. A nearby employee, cowering in terror behind a conveyor line said “Ww…what? What do you want?” Mammoth took a deep breath and looked down at the worker. “I want…OOF!” Mammoth fell to the floor abruptly. He turned and looked up to see Superman hovering above him. “Stand down Mammoth. NOW.” The oversized villain stood up and chuckled. “Heh, no chance.” He leapt at Superman who quickly dodged him and then grabbed Mammoth’s right arm and threw him into the concrete floor with supreme force. Superman landed on the ground and said “Let’s you and I pay a visit to Star Labs bucko. We’ll get things straightened out there.” Mammoth was groggy and said nothing. Superman grabbed some pipes and other miscellanea from the debris of the destroyed wall and equipment and fashioned it into a temporary restraint for Mammoth. Once he was sure it was secure, Superman looked to the nearby workers and said “Is everyone okay? Does anyone need any medical attention?” Everyone nodded and said they were fine. Superman smiled and said “That’s good. Im sorry this had to spill over to your factory. Once I take care of this guy” he said as he pointed at Mammoth, “I’ll come back and help in the repair of your building. Take care now”. He grabbed Mammoth and flew out of the factory. The workers were consoling each other and taking in the damage caused by Mammoth’s attack. In the chaos of the situation no one took notice of where Franklin Flake was.
The next day, Pete Marsh was out and about. It was the Christmas season, the best time of year! He was sipping a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha drink while driving down the freeway. As he drove he thought “I like bouncing down the freeway in my marshmallow guise but sometimes the assorted brick-a-brac on the road pops into areas where I’m not so fluffy. Better to take the ol’ four wheel girl out today and get her some fresh air. Here’s my exit.” Pete exited the freeway and towards his destination.
He pulled up to the Stuff for Your Cat store and walked inside. His cat Diamond was first on his Christmas shopping list. He was aware that animals have no concept of holidays but he always liked to get some fun things for Diamond in any event. “He’s been a gift to me in so many ways, I feel it’s only right to reciprocate that joy back to him.” he thought as he milled about the store. Pete picked up an item here and there along with a few cans of Schreck’s brand Kitty Kat’s Favorite cat food. Pete thought “Schreck’s. Now theres a company that made a comeback. I wonder what happened to their founder? I guess he retired.” He turned to look at another item but bumped into a nearby woman that was behind him. “Oh, I’m sorry.” said Pete. The woman turned around and said “That’s okay.” Pete was stunned. It was Simone Edmison! How long had it been since he’d seen her? Surely, not since college (and don’t call him Shirley ) he thought. “Simone, hi! It’s Pete. Pete Marsh. We went to Met U.” Simone thought for a moment, then her face lit up like a Christmas tree. “Oh yeah! I thought you looked familiar. Gosh Pete, it’s been so long. How are you?” Pete said “Fine, fine. Just kickin’ around. Work is going well. In fact, I just started a second gig where I’m” Simone interrupted and looked at her phone as it vibrated in her purse. She frowned and said “I’m sorry Pete, I hate to be rude. I just got a text about the Ocsiban Foods plant outside of the city. I’m a reporter for the Daily Star and my editor asked me to keep an eye on what happened there last night.” Pete said “Yeah, I saw that story on Channel 52 News this morning. Scary, but thankfully everyone was okay.” Simone smiled and said “Maybe we can get together and catch up? How about I text you later?” Pete was excited. “Yeah, hey sure. That works. Here’s my number.” Simeone entered the number in her phone and said “Okay thanks! I’ll see you later.” She checked out and left the store.
Pete finished shopping and got in his car. He put his bag on the floor and snapped his seat belt together. “Diamond’ll love these toys and other goodies.” he said. Then he sat back in his seat and started to think about Simone. They met at Metropolis University years ago. Pete had his major while Simone was majoring in Journalism and Creative Writing. “She got into her desired career field. That’s great, I’m really happy for her.” thought Pete. Just then, he heard a news report flash across the radio. “Flash! This just in, there is what looks to be a hostage situation at Ocsiban Foods, on the outskirts of the city. Police are en route. Superman is said to be off planet with the Justice League Task Force. We’ll keep you up to date as more information comes in.” Pete said “That’s where Simone was going!” He started his car and headed to the outskirts of the city.
Traffic was the pits. Pete had been stuck in it for what felt like hours. “Come on, I need to get there. Maybe my poofy alter-ego can help!” He looked at the traffic and said “Beans to this!” Pete exited the freeway and drove to an out of the way drainage tunnel. He parked inside it and got out of the car. “Sorry girl, work’s calling. I’ll be be back when I can.” He said “Let’s get mushy!”, blew into his left thumb and… FLOOP turned into Marshmallow Pete! “Alright, let’s go do some stuff!” he said. He stopped in his tracks. “My car…oh, I got it!” He turned back to his car and said “I saw this in a movie once.” He aimed his left arm at his car and said “Shields.” then began spraying marshmallow over the car. It hardened instantly. Pete smiled and with his hands on his waist said “There we go! You’re all protected now.” He patted the car hood, turned and bounced out of the tunnel, heading to Ocsiban Foods.
Bouncing up and down, Pete thought “Boy this is fun! I can see the city in a way only few can. What a view!” He bounced down then back up, this time very high into the air. “Oh wow, look at the birdies below me! Hey, there’s an airplane and it’s coming right towards me, how 'bout that?” Then Pete said “Oh sh” but it was too late. Pete hit the front of the Ferris Air airliner and splattered into goo.
Meanwhile at Ocsiban Foods, Simone Edmison was walking around the area Mammoth had damaged the night before. There were a couple security guards keeping an eye on things while police officers and Ocsiban executives examined the area. She was making a note when a man in a white coat came up to her. “Miss, can I help you?” Simone said “No, I’m fine. Thank you though…” She trailed off as she noticed the man had two frosted corn flakes on his forehead. “Sir” said Simone “You have some cereal on your forehead.” The man felt his forehead and said “Yeah, heh. How about that. Sorry.” Simone smiled and said “That’s okay.” and resumed her note taking. The man walked away saying under his breath “This city will have cereal on it’s forehead soon enough!”
Pete was in a daze. “Oh man…what was THAT?!” he wondered aloud. Realizing he was back on the ground, he stood up and shook himself loose. He scratched his head while thinking out loud. “First I was in the air, admiring the flock of geese below me, then…OH YEAH! That Ferris Air airplane flew into me and I went BLAMMO. But what I’ll remember the most is the laughter.” He looked around. “Gadzooks, I’m at the Ocsiban plant. I guess when I went to pieces, they all landed down on the ground, and then gradually reconstituted into my normal self. That’s cool. Surprised they didn’t evaporate as high up as I was or go elsewhere but that’s neither here nor there.” He morphed into his ball state and rolled towards the facility.
Simone had finished her notes and interviews and was escorted to her car by a security guard. The Ocsiban executives, other police officers and the other security guard had left for the day. Simone got in her car and thanked the guard, who reciprocated with a tip of his hat and a smile. “Take care ma’am.” he said. Simone had driven for a few miles down the desolate road that led to the Ocsiban factory when suddenly there was a loud SLAM on the roof of her car. She got out and was in shock. Before her on the roof of her car stood a man who appeared to be covered in several layers of frosted corn flakes. “Hello miss. May I help you?” Simone was stunned and said “Get off my car!” The man said “Okay.” and hopped down to the ground. Simone stood in silence while the frosted fellah said “Would you like some frosted flakes my dear?” Simone said “Uh…no. I just want you to get the hell out of here and leave me alone!” The flakey fellow said “Mmmm, I can’t do that. You see I am now a super villain and must make you my hostage. For I am…CAP’N… FROSTED…FLAKES!!!”
Pete rolled up to the Ocsiban site. “Hey, there’s no hostage situation. What was all that jazz on the radio about?” Just then a spotlight shone on Pete. He morphed into his humanoid state and looked around. A voice emanated from a nearby loudspeaker. “Hello, Marshmallow Pete! I have seen your exploits and needed a way to lure you here, hence the phony hostage situation I placed on the radio. I’m something of an amatuer radio enthusiast and I am also…Cap’n Frosted Flakes!.” Pete didn’t know whether to laugh or laugh really hard. “Captain Frosted Flakes huh? Well look shortstack, I” Flakes cut him off. “No you ninny! It’s Cap’n NOT Captain.” Pete chuckled and said “This is a joke, right?” Flakes said “A man made of marshmallow shouldn’t begrudge me at what I choose my super villain name to be.” Pete said “Oh you’re a super villain huh? Well, this is Metropolis pal and Superman will take care of you. Well, he would…except he’s off planet with the Justice League Task Force right now.” There was a moment of silence, then Flakes’ voice came back on the speaker. “Do you think Martian Manhunter is with them?” Pete said “You know, I don’t know. He tends to lead that particular Justice League team so…maybe he is.” Another silent moment then Flakes spoke “Nevertheless my mushy malcontent, I request an audience with you inside the main building.” Pete said “Now just a minute you flake! I’m not a malcontent, you are! What’s this all about?” A different voice came from the speaker, it was Simone! “Pete, this weiner has me tied up inside! Help! Congrats on being a superhero by the by.” Pete morphed into his ball form and bounced inside the building.
He entered the Visitor’s Entrance but didn’t see where to go. Flakes’ voice came back on the loudspeakers. “Turn left, then right.” Pete said “Thanks Cap’n Crunch!” Flakes came back on and said “It’s Cap’n FROSTED FLAKES you big ball of fluffy…fluff!” Pete followed Flakes’ directions and entered the facility. He walked into the main production facility and saw Simone tied up on a chair. Behind her was Cap’n Frosted Flakes. “Well, Marshmallow Pete. We meet at last. You know, we’re not that different, you and I. You had an accident that evolved your body into a transformable state where you can go between being human and a big ol’ marshmallowy guy. I too have gone through a similar incident. When the creature known as Mammoth assaulted this facility last night, it was chaos. Workers ran for cover and safety while I tripped on my untied shoelace and fell into a mixing vat of Ocsiban Frosted Flakes, available at a store near you.” Pete rolled his eyes while Flakes continued. “Upon seeing what I had become I knew that my powers must be used in a most odious way.” Pete said “Why odious? Why don’t you use your “abilities” and help humanity?” Flakes said “Like you? How exactly do you think being a big ball of puff helps the world?” Pete said “Well, I read to kids at libraries and put on shows at schools. I rent myself out for parties and donate what I make from said parties to charities. I’ve done some “The More You Know” Public Safety Announcements for NBC and…I help out with marshmallow stress tests at various food based businesses. It’s a start.” Flakes was befuddled and said “Can’t those businesses just do tests on their own?” Pete said “Probably. I always like to lend a helping hand though.” Flakes nodded and arched both eyebrows while saying “I read the notes about you in Miss Edmison’s notebook. You appear to be a subject of great interest to this woman.”
Simone spoke to Pete. “My editor asked me to do a story about Marshmallow Pete. I’ve been gathering notes about you the last few weeks, via television news reports, the internet and in person interviews. Since you don’t seem to mind people knowing who you are, it was pretty easy. I had planned on looking you up soon but then we ran into each other at Stuff For Your Cat and…well, here we are.” Flakes interrupted. “That’s enough my dear. Know now Marshmallow Pete that I have a weapon which will imperil Metropolis greater than any previously seen. I give you…my Flake Fighters!”
From out behind the mixing vats and conveyor belts they came. Humanoid beings made entirely out of Ocsiban Frosted Flakes (available at a store near you) from head to toe. Flakes smiled. “Beautiful aren’t they? Just as you generate marshmallow, so too do I generate frosted flakes. They shall be my army to rule the world with!” Pete was laughing. “Oh buddy, did you bark up the wrong tree! The way I see it, you’re ruling two things: Jack and s**t, and jack left town. Secondly, I don’t think anyone will quake in their Nikes, Reeboks, Keds, Adidas, DC (hey, there’s a good name for a company), or Van’s shoes over those wieners. Third…and I can’t possibly stress this enough…MARSHMALLOOOOOW!” How the goo flew! Marshmallow blobs landed on Flakes’ “troops” and incapacitated them. Flakes shouted “No, it cannot be! I’ll crush you Marshmallow Pete!” Flakes pointed his arms at Pete and how the frosted flakes flew! Pete morphed into his ball state and ricocheted off the nearby huge mixing vats and containers. Simone yelled “Go, Pete, go!” Flakes turned to her and said “Shut up!” to which Simone said “Cram it Cookie Crunch!” Flakes was miffed! “Look, my name is” but Flakes never finished his thought. He saw a large shadow descend over him and looked up. Pete was roaring down on Cap’n Frosted Flakes from high above. Pete yelled “Lights out Basic 4!” and WHAMMO, Flakes was covered in marshmallow and down for the count.
Pete went to Simone and untied her. As she got up from the chair she saw Flakes was regaining consciousness. She said to Pete “Excuse me.”, picked up her chair and smackity SMACK! She broke the chair over Flakes’ head. Dazed, he said “Ooo look mumsy. All of the stars are circling my head. The stars are dancing with cute, wee frosted flakes.” and his head then plopped into a puddle of marshmallow fluff. Now he was really down for the count.
Pete said “He might need an Aspirin or fifty after that.” Simone smiled, looked back at the fallen flakemaster then back to Pete and said “Nah. Hey, thanks for rescuing me.” Pete said “Sure. It’s one of many things us heroes do.” Simone continued her thanks of appreciation and then went into detail about what she was going to write in her article about Pete. While she did that, Pete was caught in her radiant beauty and his college remembrances of her. He had had a huge crush on her then and those feelings were rushing back to him now. “Gosh, she’s pretty” thought Pete, then and now. Her red hair ran down to just above her waist and her voice…oh, how soothing it was. There was just a wee bit of an English accent to her voice. Simone could read the ingredients off of an industrial sized tub of lard and Pete would be in heaven all the same. In college, Pete and Simone were friends who shared many interests. As his feelings for her grew, Pete had never pursued things romantically with Simone, for she was with someone else. Pete was envious of her boyfriend, a sloppy, disheveled toad who didn’t appear to know just how lucky he was to be with a woman of Simone’s magnificent quality. “What does she see in him?” thought Pete whenever he saw Simone’s boyfriend, who was rumored by many around campus to be a philanderer. “To be with her must be a great adventure.” thought Pete when he saw Simone with her other whenever the three of them would hang out. Pete had felt that Simone could possibly have feelings for him too. On more than one occasion, she had said things and been physical with him in ways that surprised Pete. Hugs that lasted longer than they usually do between good friends, a friendly kiss on the cheek from Simone that frequently came out of nowhere at the end of a night out, her frequent ruminations on life with someone other than her current squeeze, confiding in Pete about things he thought she should be confiding in her boyfriend to, how she always seemed to be happier with him than her boyfriend, she would cuddle with him when they would watch TV at her place (“Calm down Pete, we’re just friends.” she would say when Pete would ask her why she was cuddling with him). The way she would say he was cute and funny and on occasion try to set him up with women that he could then go on a double date with her and her boyfriend with. Her preoccupation with his love life and when he would find a girlfriend. Perhaps there was something there after all, and perhaps…perhaps Fate was now stepping in and uniting these potential lovers. Perhaps from two hearts sharing in a common love would come one heart fueled by an equal passion. Perhaps their love would unite them in this life and the next and the power of their love would ignite the stars for millenia to come. Perhaps…
Simone finished the details of what her article would entail and said “So, does that sound good?” Pete said “Sure, it sounds great. So, how about a ride home?” Simone said “Sure. My car’s kind of far out in the parking lot though and when Mr. Kix and Trix over there landed on it, he damaged the roof. I should call triple-A.” Pete said “I meant that I would give you a ride home. After that triple-A call, how about something different?”
“Wow Pete, this is great!” said Simone as she rode on Pete while he bounced onward to her home. “I never thought riding atop a huge bouncing marshmallow would be something I would do or be this fun!” Pete smiled and said “It’s a hoot! Ever since my accident that turned me into the Mighty Marshmallow of justice, I have saved so much gas money by bouncing around to get around.” Simone laughed and said “Don’t people look at you when you’re bouncing around town?” Pete said “I don’t care. You have to be happy with who you are and I am.” They arrived at her home and Simone slid off Pete. He morphed into his normal, human appearance and walked Simone to her front door. Simone said “Well, that was quite a day. When I got up this morning, I didn’t think I would end the day with a former friend from college or see a battle between a living marshmallow and a man encrusted in frosted flakes.” Pete chuckled and said “Each day brings it’s own rewards. Remember when that cop went to handcuff Cap’n Frosted Flakes and ol’ C-F-F took off running?” Simone smiled and said “Yeah, and you fired a big blob of marshmallow at him and knocked him down. Good times.” They stared at one another momentarily then Pete spoke “Well, I better get home to my cat. Actually I need to get to my car first. I pulled over in a drain tunnel when the highway was clogged up so I could get to the Ocsiban factory quicker. My car’s covered in marshmallow.” Simone smiled again and said “You’re something else Pete Marsh. I’ll be in touch with you about the article and when it will be published. Good night Pete.” Pete smiled and said “Good night Simone.” She walked inside and shut the door behind her. He walked out to the sidewalk and upon turning into Marshmallow Pete once more, bounced his way on to where his car was and then made his way home.
The End =)