Bulletman and Bulletgirl
A simple charity fashion show participated in by Susan Kent Barr turns into a battle with the self-styled Pirate King! Such is life for the heroine known as Bulletgirl!
My name is Susan Kent Barr. You can call me Sue or Susan, although I answered to Susie in my cheerleading days, and will still answer to that nickname if it’s used. Oh, and I do have a second name: Bulletgirl! Yes, that is me in the yellow hot pants, red top, and bullet-shaped helmet.
Since my heroine look is aerodynamic, but not exactly on the Vogue or Glamor best-dressed list for anytime in the last forty years, you can imagine that, like any style-conscious woman, I jumped at the chance to take part in a charity fashion show.
Hey, a chance to wear heels and hosiery instead of boots and the aforementioned costume was a treat for this gal.
So, I went eagerly to undergo makeup, coiffing, costuming, and general work on presentation. It’s funny, a woman who can outfight a gang of thugs needing pointers on how to walk down a runway.
The fashion gala was held at the WHIZ station’s sponsored fashion show for charity. The money to be raised would feed the needy, and that was close to my heart, even though I did grow up as an heiress, used to high tea and maids scurrying around my every whim… I wish! As the daughter of a police sergeant, I often fantasized about being an heiress, but then I opened my eyes and was hit by reality. C’est la vie!
So with my auburn hair piled high with ringlets around my perfectly made up face and wearing a divine peach gown with high heels, I took one giant step for Jim Barr’s fashion-challenged wife. Wait ’til you hear where I ended up!
And so the lovely and talented Susan Kent Barr (moi!) made her runway debute to wild applause! Actually, to polite applause and a smattering of conversation. As I imagined myself to be a latter-day Rita Hayworth, sashaying down the aisle, I noticed an odd disturbance near the back of the room. Being a police scientist’s wife and girl crime-buster, you tend to be observant, even while floating along in a silky cloud of the latest fashion.
A woman with heavy makeup was arguing with a shifty little guy who looked as if he belonged in a lineup of a different kind. The woman was pretty and curvy, and wore a black evening gown with heels. But her ankles had that unique size that is all man. I noticed her sway was a little too pronounced as well. As if “she” was forcing it for the benefit of the crowd. I assumed this was a man dressed as a woman for some criminal purpose.
I finished my time as a junior league Veronica Lake and hurried into my Bulletgirl regalia. Just in time, since Betty, as I named the man in the gown, had led Shifty and several other thugs in an assault on the runway. I assumed it wasn’t their way of criticizing the new fall look, either!
They rounded up the models like an all-girl rodeo and hurried them out into a van. I decided to intervene.
“Hey, boys! You didn’t pay for those girls, so bring them back!” Lame, I admit, but it’s not easy to think up one-liners while speeding through the air like (you’ve heard this one before) a human bullet.
“Bulletgirl! Aw, no!” cried Shifty. They pulled guns on me, and I crashed down into the midst of them. Jim taught me to fight, and I knew a lot from my days at cheer camp. (Those girls were vicious!) I dropped one thug cold with a single blow. My hubby’s formula, which gave him the strength of a tiger, also boosted mine greatly. I was already athletic to begin with, unlike bookish Jim, so I may just have a slight edge in the brawn department. Not that I’d let on to him. Got to keep the home a happy place.
I ducked a gunshot and just smacked a second thug senseless. The third tackled me around the waist, so I decided to give the poor sap a thrill ride he’d never forget.
I blasted off, and his screams echoed as we soared higher and higher. I gave a few “airhead” squeals to cause him more worry, then I dropped him into his remaining pal.
The driver whirled on me and “she” was Betty, the man in the gown. I bit my tongue when I saw that the dress actually looked better on him than it would have on me!
“You’ll pay for crossing Madam Fatale!” “she” yelled. And believe me, I would!
Madam Fatale waved a gun at me that did not look like a standard-issue one. It had that death-ray look that I knew by this time, oh so well.
Fatale fired, and sure enough, something I didn’t expect came out: sonic waves! They hit me like a ton of bricks, and I fell, hard. It was not the sound waves that did it; it was a wave of vertigo. The world spun around me, and even the steering mechanism in my helmet did not help. I was putty in Fatale’s painted nails. He tossed me into the van, and I passed out.
I woke up hours later, and saw myself dolled up like some tropical native girl in a Tarzan movie — coconut bra, grass skirt, the works. No helmet or costume at all.
“Are you OK?” asked a girl I knew from the fashion show by sight. She, too, wore the island look.
“Where are we?” I asked.
“You’re captives of Cap’n Claw, the Pirate King!” yelled a black-bearded creep who indeed did look like a bad Long John Silver impersonator. “Madame Fatale supplies me with girls, and I sells ya to the pleasure-seekers out in international waters, yar!” he snarled.
I really am not kidding here. He ended that line with a “yar!” sound like The Pirate Handbook requires you to do. I guess that’s required if you want state funding.
I looked around for my gear and saw nothing but other captive girls. Without my costume I was not as capable, but as the Pirate King would soon see, Susan Barr could fight even out of costume and in something that looked like a bad piece of yard.
I batted my eyelashes at the old rogue and said, “Please, sir! Let me go! I beg you!”
He laughed and came closer. “Ya can’t escape your fate, my pretty! Be nice to the Cap’n, and I’ll keep ya for me own!”
I avoided the urge to throw up, and smiled sickly.
He had around a dozen men as crew. There was no sign of Madame Fatale.
I waited until the Pirate King’s men ordered us out of the girl galley to the main deck. There I saw the main cabin, and I knew — or had a strong hunch — that my costume was inside.
“Make some distraction, and I promise I can free you,” I whispered to the other ladies. Believe me, it was not easy to sound authoritative dressed like Fay Wray, either.
The girls followed my whispered command and began to scream as if on cue. I slipped back as the guards rushed around, uncertain what to do with a mass revolt.
I slipped into the main cabin and searched everywhere for my costume. I found it and had just slipped on the suit when in came the crew.
“What have we here?” cried Cap’n Claw, and his crew chortled in unison. He must train them to do that along with the yar sound.
“You’re getting that sinking feeling,” I declared and fired off into them. They were clustered close together, and I slammed into them like an atomic bowling ball. No doubt, we’ll fight someone with that exact name sooner or later, but I digress.
I knew the crew could not think for themselves without the main man, so I scooped up Claw and carried him off the ship like a jet.
“Yar! Put me down!” he cried. You already know how I answered the request, now, don’t you?
I left him floating in the middle of the sea with a flotation device I kindly grabbed on our way out of the cabin.
Returning to the ship, I landed on the mast and grabbed a sail. Pulling with my enhanced momentum, I ripped it down and swung it like a huge net. It tripped up or caught most of the pirate crew, and those who escaped faced me.
I used my boots to kick two off board and pummelled the others, one after another. They lacked Fatale’s high-tech weaponry, and their guns could not hurt me at the speed I was dodging. All I had to do was just soar upward out of range, then come back out of the sun and pick them off one at a time. Bless Jim’s invention!
The girls thanked me, and we made for shore. A radio call allowed the Coast Guard to scoop up Cap’n Claw himself.
As we made it inland, I was surprised and pleased to be greeted by my husband, Jim “Bulletman” Barr, himself.
“Well, what brings you out to sea, sailor?” I asked in a sultry voice.
“A case. One you’ll be fascinated by. It’s pure chance that I met up with you. I have been away all day, so I didn’t hear any news that would have brought you here. Come on!” ordered Jim in that life-or-death way he has about him.
Needless to say, I went.