(started this; I’m just polishing it up and pushing him into the world, a great idea too good to waste)
Barton’s Travelling Circus Inwood Hill Park, New York
Harold Barton stood in the doorway of the caravan. "So what is your act going to be tonight?"
Anthony Salazar, aka The Amazing Hawkeye, reached for his beer. "I'll split a few arrows, hit an apple off some kids head, the usual”
"How are you going to do that if you are drunk?" Harold asked rubbing the back of his neck in frustration.
"This is my first beer and last for tonight. Stark!"
"Better be” said Harold “We got almost a full house. Don’t disappoint me Anthony"
Anthony sculled the beer and crushed it against his forehead “When do I ever disappoint? Trust me, I’m the Amazing Hawkeye!”
Harold chuckled nervously and turned to leave. As he did, he caught in his peripheral, Anthony cracking another beer. Harold shook his head.
"Weren’t they great folks!” bellowed Harold into the microphone to the tent full of people. “And NOW ladies and gentlemen’s, the AMMMMMAAAAAAZZZZING HAWK EYEEEEEE!”
The applause was decent as Anthony slightly staggered into the ring, dressed in his purple and mauve unitard. He took a deep bow as his midget sidekick, Eugene stood next to him.
“Did you drink a brewery?” asked Eugene through his teeth, smiling and waving to the crowd
“Shut up!” replied Anthony as he stood up and smiled to the crowd.
“Now ladies and gentle men, Hawkeye is going to hit the bullseye from the other side of the ring…wearing a blindfold!”
Anthony swaggered over to the far side of the ring as Eugene, now dressed as a characature of Dr Doom ran about the ring setting up the target. The crowd chuckled. As Anthony took his position he noticed an Iron Soldier standing by the ring.
“Evening officer” Anthony gave him an exaggerated salute. The people nearby chuckled. Anthony knocked the arrow and pulled down the blindfold as the drum roll started. He waited til he was sure the crowd was with him, before dramatically raising the bow. He drew the string, turned his head towards the soldier, smiled a cheesy grin and let fly. The arrow flew straight and true into the centre of the target. The crowd roared in delight. The people were just as starved for entertainment as they were for food.
“Pfft” muttered the soldier.
“I’m sorry” Anthony walked up to him “But did you just pfft me?”
“You’re a caveman playing with sticks” said the soldier
“Would you care to have a go…chump” The crowd laughed, siding with Anthony.
“Wouldn’t waste my time”
“From where I come from, we call that being chicken!” Anthony proceeded to imitate a chicken and walk around the soldier, goading and teasing him.
“Seems the Supreme Commander’s finest has declined the Amazing Hawkeye’s challenge!” said Harold “For his next…” The soldier stepped into ring as he shoulder bumped Anthony aside “WE HAVE A CONTEST! LADIES AND GENTS, WE ARE IN FOR A TREAT!”
‘Dr Doom’ rolled out a new target. Anthony thrust the bow and arrow into the soldier’s arms “Here you go sir!” Anthony bowed mockingly “Show us inbred gypsy people how you civilised people do it”
The soldiers visor shot up and he scowled at Anthony. He then turned his attention to the target, raised the bow and fired the arrow straight into the bullseye.
“Your turn nutcage” The soldier dumped the bow on the floor. Anthony glowered at the soldier and snatched up his bow. He knocked the arrow and looked at the target, which was wavering in his vision. Anthony shook his head clear and fired, the arrow splitting the soldiers arrow in half. The crowd roared in approval.
“Did you just schooled by little ole me?” Anthony smiled broadly and threw his hands up in the air “That’s right! I am the champ! The Amazing Hawkeye! Yeah!”
The soldier raised his hand and fired a repulsor beam into the target, exploding it! The crowd booed in disapproval. Anthony stepped up to the soldier.
“Do you have stark for brains you stark?” Anthony seethed.
“Are you drunk?” said the soldier recoiling at Anthony’s breath.
“Little. What’d you go and do that for you starking idiot? Just be a gracious tin pot and lose with some dignity” Anthony poked the soldier in the chest with his finger, as he motioned to Eugene with the other.
“Touch me again inbred and I’ll blow a hole through your neck and lock all your carny friends up” warned the soldier.
“Really?” Anthony pushed the soldier backwards, who wobbled, as Dr Doom who had crouched behind the soldier tipped him over the edge and he went splat onto his back. Anthony loaded an arrow and pointed it in the face of the soldier, lying prone on the ground as the crowd cheered.
“Seems your fifteen minutes is up” chuckled Anthony “Now get out of here before you steal any more of my spotlight”
The soldier scrambled to his feet, the crowd began hurling food, drinks into the ring, along with jeers and booing. The soldier slammed his visor shut and took to the air, punching a hole through the marquee roof as he left. Anthony turned and took a bow.
Harold beamed as he took to the microphone “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! I GIVE YOU THE A…”
Harold’s words were cut short as a repulsor beam hit him in the top of the head and came out his chest, killing him instantly. More repulsor beams rained down, the crowd went berserk running for their lives as a full scale assault erupted on the circus. Anthony tried to escape but was caught in the maddening crowd and trampled to the ground.
Hours later Anthony awoke, his body covered in a section of tent. He stood up groggily and threw the tent off. It was a warzone. Bodies, smouldering caravans, spot fires littered the ground where the circus once was. He looked around at the devastation. His home, his life had been decimated. He spotted his friend Eugene, still dressed as Dr Doom. He ran to him and rolled his friend over only to see that there was only half of him left, the other vaporised away. Anthony burst into tears.
Anthony gathered up what he could from the rubble and headed into the city. He was furious. As he made his way into the labyrinth of walkways, elevated stairs and level upon level of concrete he caught a glimpse of a giant holo-screen. On it was the face of a young man with the name Kaine Reilley underneath it. This image faded and then HIS face appeared on it with Anthony Salazar written underneath.
“What the stark?” exclaimed Anthony.
The screen read wanted for acts of terrorism, robbery and murder. Anthony pulled up the hood on his jacket and popped on a set of shades.
“What the stark is going on?” he muttered to himself. He’d been to New York once before when he was twelve. It could only mean th…
Anthony turned to see an Iron Soldier standing behind him.
“C’mon, I-Dent card” the soldier huffed “I ain’t got all day”
Anthony reached into his pocket and then stopped. His name was on his card; his face was on the screen. He was starked!
“Now!” ordered the soldier
“Umm is that the guy from the screen?” Anthony pointed behind the soldier. The soldier turned and Anthony took off as fast as he could.
“Hey! In the name of the Supreme Commander, I order you to stop!”
Anthony ducked and weaved through the people and ducked around a corner into an alley. He ran up a stack of garbage bins and leapt up to a flagpole. From there he flipped up to a fire escape as the soldier ran into the alley. The soldier fired a repulsor blast into the garbage scattering it and dozens of rats. He scratched his head at the apparent vanishing act of his suspect. Anthony breathed a sigh of relief and climbed the stairs to the top of the building. Seems a life time of being in a circus finally paid off!
Waiting for the coast to be clear, Anthony made his way down to ground level. His bow and quiver tucked securely under his trench coat that covered his unitard, his only set of clothes. He rummaged through his pocket and found a handful of credits.
“I’ve been smelly and poor, but never smelly, poor and sober! This is starked!” he said.
“Mommy! That man from the TV said a bad word” said a little girl being dragged by the hand.
“Leave the crazy man alone Nora” chastised the mother who gave Anthony a double look. Anthony tucked his head and pulled the hood tighter and headed through the streets. New York was a bustling city. Everyone was in a rush; nobody looked where they were going. He glanced up and saw another giant screen. A man called Jacob Jameson was ranting about something.
“..THEY ALL SACRIFICE CHILDREN IN THE FORM OF TYING THEM UP IN WEBS, THEN STARKIN' EATING THEM ALIVE! THESE, THESE....SPIDERS! MUST BE STOPPED!"
Anthony had no idea what he was on about. He crossed the street and spotted an Al-Mar’s on the corner and headed over to join the line. The line moved quickly and Anthony was still in his own world when he reached the top of the queue.
“Welcome to Al-Mar’s, may I take your order?” the woman’s voice was monotone and robotic and totally without joy, the years of customer service had taken its toll on her both vocally and around her hips.
“Do you sell beer?”
She sighed “Please refer to the board sir”
Anthony looked at the coins in his hand then up at the board then back to the coins “Ummm”
Suddenly Anthony was thrown to the ground as a man pushed to the head of the line. “Cash! I-Dent card! Jewellery! NOW!” he yelled as he pointed a bow and arrow at the woman. The woman shrieked. Anthony slowly made his way to his feet when the man kicked him down again.
“I said NOW!” He fired the arrow and it pierced her throat and pinned her to the drink machine. A man in the back pulled a gun but the bowman was quicker and fired an arrow right into his eye. The man leapt the counter and smashed it open with a mallet he pulled from his belt. He scooped out the cash when alarms and sirens went off.
“Stark this!” he swore and bolted for the door, coins flying about in his wake.
Anthony stood up, puzzled, dazed and slightly confused. “Alex…?” Arrows tumbled out of his coat onto the floor.
“There’s another one!” screamed a customer.
“No, no, no, I’m just trying to buy beer lady” protested Anthony over the sirens. The security shutters started to close. Anthony looked around at the scared patrons, his arrows on the floor, the woman convulsing, dying as pink fluro slush gushed over her, the dead cook with the arrow in his eye sizzling on the grill.
“This’ll be all my fault somehow” he cursed as he ran for the door and slid under the descending screen and smashed through the glass, onto the footpath. Anthony brushed the glass off and looked at the crowd, their eyes staring at him in a way he wasn’t really use to.
“Show’s over folks!” assured Anthony “Nothing to see here”
“In the name of the Supreme Commander, you are under arrest!” the amplified voice came from the end of the block as an Iron Soldier flew towards Anthony.
“Oh this is starken ridiculous!”