By Gerry Anklewicz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: September 2005
Summary: What does a woman do when she finds a stowaway in her trunk?
My thanks to ML, CCMalo, and Jude Williams for their suggestions. I really appreciate all your help and comments. Thank you also to Wendy for her work as my GE.
The usual disclaimer: This is a fanfic based on the television show, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. No copyright infringement is intended. I'm borrowing these characters for a little fun and not for any profit.
The story, on the other hand, is based on a very true incident.
Lois placed her grocery bags on the ground so she could open her trunk.
She shook her head in frustration. It was really time she got rid of the old clunker. The car had been a great deal when she bought it in college, but now that she was earning real money, she could afford a new car. One that didn't have aches and pains. Every time she opened the driver's door it squeaked and cracked. The brakes grated loudly, the transmission jumped when she changed gears, and the air conditioner hadn't worked since last summer. Lying on the asphalt beside the tires were small deposits of rusted metal. It was definitely time to buy that Jeep Cherokee she'd had her eye on.
Lois fumbled in her purse for her car keys.
"Damned keys, why do they always fall to the bottom of my purse?" she asked her purse. "They just slither down hiding under my wallet and make-up. I need one of those clapper thingies…but then the keys would still be buried."
Finally, Lois found the key to the trunk and opened it.
She stepped back. There, staring her straight in the face, were two small eyes behind a black mask. The moment he saw her, he moved, faster than a speeding bullet, and huddled over the hump of the back tire, shielding his face with his paws, his furry back all that she could see.
Lois looked around the mall parking lot, wordlessly pointing at her trunk, her mouth open in astonishment. Two elderly women were heading to the grocery store entrance. They looked at her curiously, and continued on.
"What… How… No!" she muttered out loud, flailing her arms toward the trunk. "This can't be happening. What the heck is that doing in there? I'm a city girl! And I live in the city for a reason! How the hell did it get there, anyway? Okay, Lane. Why don't you… What? What exactly are you going to do? Call 9-1-1? Heck! What would they do? Put me on hold probably. So do I pick it up? Yeah, right. Animals and I don't exactly get along."
Lois noticed several people walking by, unaware of her plight. One woman chattering to a baby in a stroller, passed right by her, talking about all the goodies she was going to buy in the toy store.
Then a heavy-set man, in his forties, wearing jeans and a plaid shirt, got out of his pick-up truck.
'Help,' Lois thought. She briskly walked towards the man. "Excuse me, sir, I've got this raccoon in my trunk…"
The man raised his eyebrows and stared at her as if she were speaking a foreign language. When she frantically pointed at her trunk, he shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
"Yeah, Lane," Lois grumbled to the man's back. "Tough men! Hah! They want the little woman to think they can move mountains, but when the crunch comes, they can't even step on an ant hill. Big strong, protectors. How did you survive in the Wild West? Scared of a little raccoon hidden away in a car trunk. I could probably yell 'HELP SUPERMAN' and he wouldn't know what to do. When there's a real job to be done, then it's a job for fearless Lois Lane."
Lois glanced around the parking lot one more time. No one. She looked into the trunk. Just the raccoon and her.
Okay, she had no other choice. She glanced cautiously back over her shoulder at the masked bandit. Her heart fell when she realized it was still there. "Okay, Lane. You can do this." He obviously didn't like her anymore than she liked him. She'd just explain the situation to him. Surely he'd understand that it was in his best interest to leave.
As she took inventory of the trunk, she spoke to the raccoon. "It's very simple, she said calmly, enunciating every word. "This is my trunk. I need to put my groceries in it, and you, my furry friend, have to get out. But you've placed yourself comfortably on that tire where you don't belong. There's my sleeping bag, my undercover/getting-stuck-late-on-an-assignment bag, empty bottles of water…I know…I know. I have to clean up the trunk."
She turned her head away from the trunk as a group of teenagers walked by her, giggling.
Annoyed, she scolded them. "Why aren't you in school where you belong?"
They giggled louder, then headed for the mall's entrance.
She returned to taking inventory. Then she noticed it. Her weapon of choice.
She picked up the toilet plunger and gingerly tapped the raccoon on his back. The animal turned around, stared at her for a fraction of a second, and nimbly crawled out the rusted hole he had been hovering over. As soon as he touched the pavement, he high-tailed it out of the parking lot.
"Hah! Take that you great, big, hairy creature! You should have known better than to mess with Lois Lane." She looked around, hoping no one had noticed her rant. "That was one big raccoon. Probably pregnant with octuplets," she said as she watched the retreating animal scurry across the parking lot. "I wonder if it'll find its way home?"
Suddenly, her view of the escaping raccoon was blocked by a big red and blue wall.
"Superman, what are you doing here?" she asked.
"I heard you call for help?"
"Me? Call for help? When?"
"A few moments ago."
Lois hadn't even thought about calling for Superman's help, and then she remembered.
"Oh! I didn't really call for your help. I was talking to this stupid man who ignored my request for help. Men want you to think that they're more capable than women, but when you ask one for help, he shrugs his shoulders and walks off. Women can take care of themselves very nicely, thank you very much. My problem has been taken care of…by me," she said rather proudly.
Lois picked up her grocery parcels from the ground and began placing them in the trunk. Superman reached forward to help her.
"No thank you. I can do it myself," she said placing the last bag in the car.
"So what happened here?"
"You see," she said, "There was this raccoon in my trunk…"
Lois enjoyed watching Superman's grin as she told him the story. It wasn't often that she saw the softer side of the superhero's features.
"…so I gently poked him on the back with the toilet plunger and off he ran, but I think he was a she because she looked awfully pregnant to me."
"Quite a story, Lois. There's just one thing I don't understand," Superman said, trying very hard, she could see, to maintain his austere expression.
"What was a toilet plunger doing in your trunk?"
Lois looked at him wide-eyed. Shaking her head, she said, "Doesn't everyone have one in their trunk?"