The Acrostic Avenger

by Bryan Perkins

Three Minute Rejects Home Page

Pushed forward by the weight of millions of lives on her shoulders, the Poetic Protector burst into a storage closet in the basement of Random House headquarters drenched in sweat. Light from a lone bulb illuminated a ticking clock connected by wires to a large metal crate labeled Fat Boy. Across from the clock, on the other side of the crate, a touch-screen monitor beckoned for the entry of four characters. Near the roof, at the top of each wall, was inscribed a message from the Poetic Protectorís arch nemesis. The lines read:

You only get one chance to save the world.
Enter the wrong code, everyone dies.
Learn the correct code, no one dies.
Poetic Protector, you were born for this job.

Breathing heavily from her sprint downstairs, the Poetic Protector paused to take stock of the situation. Unless she was missing something, the Poetic Protector knew it was up to her to determine the code that would deactivate whatever doomsday device lay hidden inside the crate. The hands of the clock slowly ticked past the one minute mark. Time was not on the Poetic Protectorís side. Out of ideas and low on energy, the Poetic Protector sat gazing at the inscription with her back against the crate. Never before had the Acrostic Avengerís antics reached such dangerous heights.

Tracing her history, it is not difficult to tell when the Acrostic Avenger first became violent. Right around the time she published her first collection of poetry, critics started going missing. If the reviews had not been so bad, maybe the kidnappings never would have started. Cassie Willheight and all those other publishers and critics might still be alive today. Killing might not be in the Acrostic Avengerís repertoire.

Floating in a dream-like state the weight of a dawning realization forced the Poetic Protectorís thoughts back to the situation at hand. Leaning over the touch-screen keyboard, with not a second to spare, she entered the deactivation code. YELP.