Waldo x Carmen
He walked into the coliseum. Waldo didn’t feel like a gladiator, a starved lion, or an emperor. He just felt like himself, something he rarely if ever feels. He was always with Whitebeard, Wenda, and Waggle, or in a sea of pedestrians, but the only thing surrounding him now was the dry night air and the concrete tunnel around him.
There ahead of him was Carmen. He was a little late to the rendezvous. He had to write down the address of an obnoxiously large barbershop sign that may prove useful later. He expected to be ditched yet again by her. He imagined Carmen already jetsetting Paris or Tokyo. But here she was, the curls that weren’t shaded by her sharp scarlet fedora were illuminated carmel by the setting sun. She swayed with her red overcoat, dancing slowly like a matador. The imaginary bull would charge, and she would slowly spin away, as if submersed in a tank of water. Flitting around the stadium as if she were a dream. A total unreality.
She spotted him instantly, which disarmed him, he wanted to sprint to that nearby barber-shop and hide behind a fire-truck. An anonymous chameleon amidst a sea of selfie-takers screaming to be noticed. But he stood there frozen, her smirk impaled him like a harpoon and reeled him in. “Hello, Waldo, are you ready?”
He gulped, “Yes.”
“Well, what are you waiting for?” She put on her trench coat, jutting her collar up. Who in the world is this woman? He pointed his magical walking stick towards the sky and shot the flare. “Follow me.” she said, and they ran up the coliseum stairs and looked over the edge. They saw four helicopters flying towards them, piloted by her henchmen. “If anyone tries to stop us, shoot them with your walking stick.”
The helicopters hovered around the coliseum, jettisoning grappling hooks into the museum walls from each side, exploding dust onto the city’s cobblestones. A slow rumble overcame the city as the ropes tightened through the strain of the massive building. The world was shaking beneath them but Carmen remained as nonplussed as ever. It was so her style to be so casual after starting an artificial earthquake. His heart-beat almost shattered his ribcage. The sirens got louder and louder as his center of gravity loosened. Maybe I can hide amongst the police lights?
Wenda woke up at the start of the rumble. She didn’t remember reading in Lonely Planet that Rome was prone to earthquakes, or did she? She turned over, hoping to ask Waldo, only to see the empty other half of the hotel bed. The sirens started blaring causing Wenda to jump up from bed and into her jeans. Waggle woke up and didn’t have any jeans to jump into. So he, well, waggled and barked. She picked up her camera and examined Rome from the fire-escape of their hotel. Rome was beautiful, but the vast mob of people scurrying about the streets harshened it’s mellow. It wasn’t until she aimed her viewfinder up towards the horizon that she realized the rumbling wasn’t an earthquake after all. The coliseum was anchoring four large black helicopters. She zoomed in, seeing a dot of red flashing back and forth through the coliseum’s wavering. The red was a woman, her eyes shielded by the shade of her red fedora, next to Waldo. They kind of blurred together to resemble a Canadian flag of sorts, which just sullied the country for Wenda forever.
Wenda ran to the room across the hall, only pounding three times before Whitebeard opened the door. Instead of being clad in his pajamas or wizard’s robes, he donned a wrinkled black tuxedo, a pajama shirt with the buttons mismatched, and his hair combed and gelled into a indescribable state. A branch pierced his decades old tuxedo, “Oh for goodness’ sake, mother, you’ always so late! I need you to help me with my tie!”
He handed her a roll of toilet paper and pulled her into the room. She turned back and saw a horde of Italian helicopters ascend on to the coliseum like a horde of ants, their gattling cannons beginning to spin. “Mother! Would you stop spying on the neighbors for one second and help me with my tie? I don’t want to look like a nerd for prom!”
Spotlights shot down on Waldo and Carmen. The earth stopped quaking and Waldo couldn’t take his eyes off of the rocks crumbling into the massive sink-hole that Carmen left in the heart of Rome. One of the helicopters shot-out a muffled buzz towards their direction, “Cease and desist, Carmen Santiago and no one will get hurt!”
She grabbed Waldo’s walking stick and gave it a playful tug. She winked and glanced toward the nearest helicopter, a buzzing bee pacing around the sky waiting for the time to strike. Blushing, He lifted his cane and held it over his shoulder like a bazooka. A scope magically sprouted and clinked his huge-glasses against the scope. He clicked the trigger of the handle and launched a missile from the tip of the cane. They pair ducked down to spare themselves from the shrapnel, fire, evisercerated ligaments and burnt pizza that rained down upon them. Carmen pulled Waldo by the collar and locked lips. Where am I?
When Wenda heard the explosion that’s when she stopped caring about Whitebeard’s sunset syndrome. She couldn’t stop the coliseum from being stolen without the mystical powers of Whitebeard. So he had to get it together. “Mom, stop shaking me! I wish you would approve of Wanda, she’s a sweet girl, I swear!”
“We don’t have time to play these games, Whitebeard!” Waggle was running up and down the hallway, tripping other travellers as they triple checked their passports or their attempts at negotiating the Official Gladiator Walking Tour refund policy, “Whitebeard, Waldo’s in trouble!”
In an instance Whitebeard regained his lucidity, “Waldo is in trouble?”