The doorbell rang, and I frowned, getting up.
It’s not Nikki because she just left. It might be Ivan’s goons.
I looked through the peephole to see Brian holding two red cups.
I opened the door and smiled.
“Lemonades, Mr. Allen? It’s a hot day.”
“It is.” I took the cups. “Cassie, lemonade.”
Brian wore shorts and a video game tee shirt, what most kids would be wearing on a summer day. Tommy, though was not normal. He stood off to the side of the front step, halfway behind the bushes in front the house. He had a dark blanket wrapped around his shoulder, safety pinned together at his throat. A red, knit scarf covered his mouth and nose, and he wore a broad brimmed dark hat. Likely all three belonged to Tommy's mom Andrea.
Cassie took one of the cups from my hand. “Hi, Brian.”
"What's with Tommy?" she asked.
"There is no Tommy!" Tommy proclaimed. "For I," he flourished the makeshift cloak for effect, wrapping it around him, "am The Shadow!"
I couldn't stop my chuckle. Cassie looked questioningly at all three of us. “Anyone want to clue me in?”
"My fault," Brian admitted.
"I dug up the old Shadow serials on the internet."
"Who knows what bad stuff—" Tommy began.
"Evil," Brian and I corrected.
"Lurks in the hearts of men. The Shadow knows!" Tommy finished.
I chuckled. "Any evil nearby, Tom—I mean, Shadow?"
"The Shadow knows!" And with that he swooped his cape and ran off, ducking behind hedges and trees to stay hidden.
. . .
"What's done is done. Besides, that was too much power. It would go to my head, then I'd be in real trouble. Brains over brawn. You know that."
Tommy approached, giving his best Shadow laugh. "Mom wants you to take the trash out." Tommy said behind his scarf.
"How do you know?" Tommy replied.
"The Shadow knows!"
"She said so."
"You're old enough to take it out. Why didn't she ask you?"
"I have the power to cloud mom's mind."
I snorted into a laugh. "He's got you there."
"Come on, Shadow. Let's go take out the trash." Brian turned.
"Villains beware!" Tommy flourished again.