“C’mon, guys!” the boy shouted. “We’ve done this before!”
He was atop one of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, and he poked his head down at the two men standing just a ladder length away. One man was tall and lanky, and the other was short with a silver earring.
“Yeah, yeah,” the short man said. “You may have gotten us in Chicago and New York, but there’s nothing stopping us this time!”
“Come and get me then.”
“Go ahead, Lars,” the short man muttered to his tall companion.
Lars glanced at him with wide eyes. His cheek still bore the burn marks from an iron that they had encountered in an earlier trap.
“Gary,” Lars whined. “Don’t make me do it. Please.”
“All right. We’ll try this first.” Gary cupped his hands at the kid. “Just throw down our amulet, and we’ll leave you alone!”
“Okay, here it comes!” the kid shouted. A brick soared out of his hand, and the two men easily sidestepped it.
“A brick, really?” Gary called up. “Haven’t seen that one before!”
The boy grabbed a potted plant and threw it down. Gary dodged it, but Lars was not so lucky. It smashed right on his burn, and he collapsed.
“That’s new,” Gary commented. “Get up, Lars.”
Lars blinked, shook his head, and used the railing of the balcony that they were on to pull himself up.
“You’ve got nowhere to go, kid!” Gary snarled.
“Are you going to get me or what?”
Gary gestured to Lars, and Lars moved to the ladder. He cautiously put a hand on the first rung and pulled it away. When nothing happened, he put his hand back on, smiled at Gary, and began to climb. He was halfway up when the boy turned on a car battery and placed jumper cables on the ladder. Sparks flew, and Lars shuddered with electricity. After a few moments, the boy withdrew the cables and Lars fell back to the balcony.
“Lars!” Gary said. “You forgot the rubber gloves!” He pulled out a pair of insulated gloves and began to climb the ladder. Once he stopped sizzling, Lars joined him.
They made it to the top of the tower without incident. The boy smiled at them, his hair as black as the night sky, and a parachute was strapped to his back. Lars growled and took a step, but Gary stopped him and pointed to a set of nails laying point up in front of them. They both stepped over the nails.
“It’s been fun,” the boy said, “but I gotta go. Bye!”
The kid jumped from the tower and opened his parachute. Lars noticed two other parachute packs leaning against the rampart and began to put one on.
“No, no, no,” Gary said. “That’s what he wants us to use. Let’s see where he lands.”
They watched the boy land gracefully on the bridge’s street.
“How are we going to get to him?” Lars asked.
Gary looked around and saw a cable that went from the tower to the boy’s position.
“Here we go.” He pulled off his belt and slung it over the cable. “We’ll slide down to him no problem!”
“I don’t know.” Lars looked uncertainly over the edge.
“After all these years, you’re still scared of heights?”
“Hey, that’s not fair! You know what that pharaoh did to me.”
“Yeah, but we’re going to lose the kid—again—if we don’t do this.”
Lars thought a moment longer and then pulled off his own belt and joined Gary. They slid down the cable at breakneck speed, and about halfway down they saw the boy take something off of his end of the cable.
“Ah, crap,” Gary said through gritted teeth.
The cable detached, and the two men fell fifty feet and smashed atop a car.
Sirens blared. Police officers jumped out of their cars and surrounded the fallen men. The boy popped up by one of the officers.
“Are these them?” the officer asked.
“Yep,” the boy said.
“They do this every year?”
“It seems to work out that way.”
“You’re sure they survived the fall?”
“I see.” The officer frowned. “Your parents have been bothering us nonstop about you. Officer Rodriguez can take you to them. We’ll make sure these guys never bother you again.”
“Good luck with that,” the boy commented. “Is it okay if I say goodbye to them?”
The officer’s frown deepened, but he nodded.
The boy walked up to Lars and Gary. They had not moved since their fall, nor had their eyes blinked. Snowflakes drifted onto their bodies.
“See you around, fellas,” the boy told them. He swung the amulet in front of their faces. “And Merry Christmas!”
He walked away with a snicker, and the two men finally stirred. Lars let out a breath, and Gary cracked his neck.
“New plan, Lars,” he said. “Next Christmas, we go to Hawaii, and then we’ll show that kid who’s boss!”
Golden Gate picture courtesy of 84930382 © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com