This is a continuation from part 1, and therefore is naturally called part 2. This made more logical sense than calling it part 3, or part sandwich. To read part 1 of this free story, click here. Or alternatively, use a time machine to go back to when it was first posted.
If you choose option 'b', remember not to step on anything in the past, because as Grandpa Simpson always says, "even the slightest change can alter the future in ways you can't imagine." Okay. Now for the continuation of the story...
Press conference outside Brisbane City Hall. Sometime the day after The Lungfish's (super villain) attack.
Dainty Green Tree Frog Man stood between Stefan and the Lord Mayor as the crowd of journalists gathered.
‘Citizens of Brisbane, Dainty Green Tree Frog Man has…’ began the Lord Mayor.
The Lord Mayor was interrupted by a faint coughing noise. He covered the microphone and turned around to Stefan and the superhero.
‘Litoria gracilenta Man,’ squeaked Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.
‘Sorry, what did you say? I didn’t quite catch it,’ whispered back the Lord Mayor.
‘He prefers to be called Litoria gracilenta Man,’ Stefan replied.
The politician nodded his head and turned back to the journalists.
‘Litoria gracilenta Man,’ he continued, ‘has agreed to talk to you today about the villain who attacked a City Council CityCat last night. He does not usually talk to the press, so please make him feel welcome.’
The journalists politely clapped as the superhero slowly approached the microphone and murmured a greeting.
‘Speak up,’ yelled a voice from the back of the crowd.
‘Sorry. I’m not very good at public speaking,’ Dainty Green Tree Frog Man responded. The reverb from the microphone made everyone cover their ears. When it died down, the superhero added, ‘Not a subject I took at Superhero school.'
A journalist towards the back stood up. ‘Hi, Joanne Gardner, The Courier Mail,’ she said as she adjusted her glasses. ‘Is it true that The Lungfish was responsible for the attack on a CityCat last night?’
‘Yes, Joanne, I can confirm The Lungfish was responsible,’ responded the superhero. ‘But the public need not fear, as we are doing everything we can to find him.’
‘What are you doing to find him?’ Joanne pressed, looking for an answer for the front page of tomorrow's paper.
‘Well, for a start,’ said the Dainty Green Tree Frog Man slowly, ‘the police investigators have taken the CityCat down to the police labs to be tested for any traces of evidence, or a motive for randomly attacking a ferry.’ The Dainty Green Tree Frog Man bit his bottom lip. ‘Any other questions?’
‘Arthur Tate, Brisbane News. Who is The Lungfish?’ came another journalist, talking over the other journalists fighting for a question.
‘Before the Lungfish was the Lungfish, he was a law-abiding retiree with a keen interest in fishing,’ said Dainty Green Tree Frog Man. ‘And it was this interest in fishing that turned him into what he is today.
‘One day, when fishing in the Brisbane River, he was bitten by a radio-active fish, presumably a lungfish, and somehow, after that bite he developed supernatural powers and a unique empathy for Queensland Lungfish.
‘He has since become the super villain we love to hate, and also a champion for native endangered species everywhere. However, although the Brisbane City Council and yours truly are all for looking out for endangered species, we do not condone killing humans in revenge attacks... obviously.’
‘So the pollution in Brisbane’s water created this monster?’ asked the Brisbane News journalist.
‘That is correct, Arthur,’ clarified Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.
Joanne Gardner from The Courier Mail stood up again. ‘So, Dainty Green Tree Frog Man, who is the man behind the goggles? Who are you really? How did you become Dainty Green Tree Frog Man?’
‘My identity, Joanne, is a secret,’ responded the lime green superhero. ‘And that is the way it shall stay. Thank you, that will be all for today.’
Back at the Dainty Green Tree Frog Hideout in the basement of a house somewhere in East Brisbane, later that day.
Peter Wayne-Clark, alter-ego of Dainty Green Tree Frog Man, lounged back in his leather couch with a cold XXXX beer in his delicate hand, relaying the press conference and events of the previous night to his best mate, and confidant, Todd Grayson. Todd rested opposite him on an old exercise bike.
‘So, I’ve forgotten. How did you become Dainty Green Tree Frog Man again?’ asked Todd, whose memory had never been the same since his Jet Ski accident.
‘You know, the whole frog in the toilet thing,’ Peter replied, as he waved away the question.
‘Yeah, I remember you had that whole episode at camp, but I seem to remember you saw a bat.’
‘No, that’s Batman. My experience was completely different.’ Peter stood up, still cradling his beer, and looked wistfully at the garage roller door. ‘You see, just before I went to camp, Mum’s purse had been stolen.’
‘Hadn’t she just lost it behind the sofa in the TV room?’ Todd piped in.
‘No,’ Peter said shaking his head and squinting his eyes. ‘It wasn’t behind the sofa. We checked.’
‘Are you sure she didn’t lose it?’
‘We don’t know,’ snapped Peter. ‘Point is, it was gone and it got me thinking about all the criminals lurking in our streets, okay?’
‘Didn’t she find it when we got back from camp?’
‘No. That was another purse. She had bought another purse. Do you want me to go on?’
‘Yeah, sorry. So you were thinking about criminals on the streets.’
‘I was thinking about criminals on our streets, and it kept me up all night. Then, in the middle of the night, I heard a frightening noise.’
‘The sound of a bat?’
‘No. It was an eerie croaking sound coming from the outdoor toilet. And I was pretty scared, and had the sudden urge to…’
‘Yeah. I held on, but as my bladder became so full it started hurting. I had no choice but to face my fear or wear the consequences. So, I crept into the loo, and there, in the toilet, was a Dainty Green Tree Frog.’
‘Couldn’t you have gone behind a tree if you were that scared?’
‘No. I have a hygiene issue remember.’
‘Well, I do.’ Peter paused. ‘I knew in that moment, in the toilet, as my face turned white and my shaking hands failed to undo the zipper in time, I would be Litoria gracilenta Man. And I would frighten evil back into the shadowy corners, like the frog had done to me.’
‘Dainty Green Tree Frog Man…’ said Todd. ‘That’s hardly intimidating or scary.’
‘Look, it is a scary animal if you see one up close,’ said Peter, ‘and if you remember at the time I wanted to be a Marine Biologist, and educate people about endangered native animals, so I was going to bring attention to this endangered species of frog at the same time as kicking baddies’ arses.’
‘By wearing green lycra?’
‘Don’t you start with my costume,’ said Peter, pointing a finger at Todd. ‘What’s the time? I’ve got a date with Joanne Gardner.’
‘The pretty girl who asked you who you were behind the mask?’
‘You had the confidence to ask her out? And you’ve been acting cool this whole time not telling me you had a date with her?’
‘What are you going to wear?’
‘My Litoria gracilenta Man outfit.’
‘So you didn’t ask her out. Dainty Green Tree Frog Man asked her out.’
‘Maybe.’ Peter paused. ‘But you’ve still got to give me half a point for asking her out.’
‘At this rate Dainty Green Tree Frog Man is seven points and you’re half a point.’ Todd shook his head. ‘You know relationships never work out when you’re Dainty Green Tree Frog Man. Remember your motto: “With great power comes great responsibility”.’
‘That’s Spiderman’s motto.’
‘Is it? Well, it’s a good one.’
‘My motto’s good too: “Kids, be good to your mothers, and be good to Mother Nature”.’
‘Nah,’ said Todd frankly, ‘you need a new one. Something more catchy.’
At the Café San Marco, South Bank. Sitting near the hedges overlooking the Brisbane River. Hours later at dusk.
‘I could never resist a man in flippers,’ said Joanne Gardner putting her glasses on the tip of her nose and glancing under the table.
‘Well, they make it hard to chase after criminals on foot,’ pointed out Dainty Green Tree Frog Man as he pulled his feet under his chair.
Joanne circled the rim of her glass with her index finger, and at once, our favourite superhero and The Courier Mail journalist giggled together.
‘Do you like the restaurant?’ asked the superhero in green. ‘It’s usually a lot more romantic when there aren’t all these workers around. I think they’re getting ready for Riverfire tomorrow night or something.’
‘It’s just nice to be out on a date. Usually I’m stuck in my office at bloody Bowen Hills staring at a computer screen all night. I don’t get out much really. And how could I turn down a date with Frog Man?’ she said. ‘Can I call you Frog Man?’
‘Frog Man, hey? Not bad.’ He paused to give her a smile. ‘To the point.’
There was an awkward silence filled with quick smiles and scanning of the dessert list again and again. Joanne couldn’t imagine that a superhero would be interested in her work, and these days it seemed like that was her life. Dainty Green Tree Frog Man on the other hand, had to be careful with what he said so he didn’t reveal his true identity.
‘I read your article about Brisbane’s Batman building in today’s paper,’ Dainty Green Tree Frog Man said, breaking the silence.
‘Really?’ Joanne was genuinely surprised that a superhero would read her articles.
‘You know there is a building in Gotham City affectionately nicknamed after yours truly.’
‘Yeah, and I worked with Lois Lane at the Daily Planet.’
‘No, seriously. The building looks like a Dainty Green Tree Frog Man,’ said the man in green lycra with a wink. ‘Terrible architecture really.’
‘You must be the dorkiest superhero in the world, Frog Man,’ Joanne laughed. ‘I’m beginning to think my mother’s right; I do have a strange choice in men.’
Joanne began playing with her long auburn hair, and her voice became considerably softer. ‘Will you ever allow any woman inside that hard, slimy suit you wear?’
‘I dream of that day, Joanne,’ he replied quickly. ‘And I hope I can trust a woman with that secret one day.’ The superhero thought of what Todd had said earlier. ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’
‘That’s a great line, Frog Man,’ she said. ‘Can I quote you on that?’
‘No,’ said Dainty Green Tree Frog Man looking over his shoulder. ‘Let’s keep that one to ourselves.’
‘Oh, I almost forgot,’ Joanne said suddenly. ‘This came into the office for you. It said “private”, so I made sure no one else saw what was in the envelope.’
‘No one else?’
‘I had a sneak peek.’ Joanne handed him the envelope.
The envelope was tattered and muddy. Frog Man, as Joanne now fondly calls him, opened the envelope and read the letter. It read:
an old pond—
the sound of a frog jumping
‘It’s from The Lungfish,’ said the superhero pensively. ‘Before he was The Lungfish he attended a poetry workshop. There he became obsessed with these haiku poems. And now, as a super villain, he sends me riddles in this form of poetry. He likes to rub my nose in his evil plots with his upturned-nose poetry.
‘This is a classic haiku by a Japanese poet named Basho.’
‘What does it mean?’ Joanne asked.
‘I’m not sure,’ said Dainty Green Tree Frog Man honestly. ‘I think it might be the answer to where The Lungfish Lair is.’
‘An old pond,’ said Joanne as a thought came to her head, ‘old may mean that it isn’t being used anymore.’
‘And pond,’ added the superhero, ‘could be somewhere to hide; go under the surface.’
‘Okay, what does “the sound of a frog jumping into water” mean?’
‘Well, what other animals jump?’
‘Exactly, Kangaroos jump into this point.’
‘Kangaroo Point,’ they both said in unison.
Note: Kangaroo Point is not really a good suburb for a super villain to hide. Too many police patrols. But it does have access to the river if you're an aquatic super villain. So, swings and roundabouts I guess.
‘But where in Kangaroo Point?’ asked the young reporter.
‘Somewhere that isn’t used anymore, but was previously used for hiding.’
‘I know. The last piece to the riddle. The sound. They were hiding from sounds like frogs jumping into the water above. They were hiding from bombs.’
‘The abandoned World War Two bunker behind the hospital at Kangaroo Point,’ the two of them said together.
‘I’m sorry, Miss Gardner. I must leave at once,’ said Dainty Green Tree Frog Man. ‘I think it’s on the bikeway if I’m not mistaken, so I’ll take the Frog-cycle.’
‘I’m going with you. This could be a great story.’
‘No. You’re in too much danger as it is.’ Dainty Green Tree Frog Man handed her a slip of paper with a phone number on it. ‘This is my friend Todd Grayson’s phone number. You are welcome to use his house as a refuge whilst I catch The Lungfish. Au revoir.’
Frog Man quickly paid the bill, hopped onto his bike and rode off into the distance. Joanne gathered her purse, picked up the slip of paper he gave her, and called the office on her mobile. She wasn't going to miss this for anything!
‘Au revoir?’ she said under her breath. ‘Doesn’t he know the French eat frog legs?’
Click here for part 3. Subscribe to this blog to follow the crazy adventures of Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.