Ricky Weston wasn't completely, one hundred percent positive, but he was pretty sure tonight had been the best night of his entire life. Better than the time he found an extra prize in his box of Cracker Jack. Better than the day Sally Sampson smiled at him at the rear of the art room back in 6th grade. Even better than when his ultra-rare Doctor Who mini figure set had arrived in the mail — a day early.
Oh yes, those days were all awesome.
But tonight? Tonight was it.
Tonight had been, without question, the best night of Ricky's life.
Still grinning from the excitement of the evening, Ricky exited the Edmonds theater auditorium and wove his way through the lobby, nearly dropping the remnants of his popcorn in the process. He frowned as he glanced around at the sullen, exhausted faces greeting him. What the heck is wrong with them? he wondered. Sure, they all liked to call themselves fans, and yeah, they did just attend the best show they'll ever see in their lifetimes, but you wouldn't know it from their quiet demeanor.
Ricky shook his head in disbelief. How does a true fan watch six awesome hours of non-stop, back-to-back episodes plus sixteen minutes of rare, never-before-seen footage of the greatest hero on earth and not get super excited?!?
Ricky wasn't exhausted.
Ricky was flat-out pumped right now.
He pushed through the double doors and leapt onto the sidewalk outside, lowering himself into a pseudo-crouch. He scanned the area for elusive enemies, his hands raised and ready for action. He didn't even notice the remaining popcorn kernels spilling over his shoulder and scattering across his collector's edition cowboy boots.
"Clear," he whispered to no one in particular.
He stood up, adjusted his belt buckle and patted down the wrinkles of his flannel shirt before tucking it back into his jeans. He started walking down the sidewalk, casually tossing the empty container toward the nearest trash can. It fell short, falling to the ground in front of it. Ricky stopped and picked it up, then stepped back and threw it once again. This time it bounced off the edge before landing on the ground.
Ricky frowned. He walked over and snatched it off the ground, making a third attempt. Another miss. Muttering quietly, he grabbed it and shoved it down into the center of the can's opening. He looked to see if anyone had been watching him, but he was alone. The rest of the throng walked away in the opposite direction, oblivious to him.
"Still cool," Ricky whispered to himself, smiling. He sauntered up the path, his mind replaying his favorite scenes on the canvas of his imagination.
The guy was his lifelong hero, and he had been amazing.
Held hostage in a warehouse with four guys guarding him. Four guys! Yet he secretly wrangled out of his ropes and took them all out. In less than a minute!
Bam! Ka-socky! Pow!
Ricky karate chopped the air ahead of him as he reenacted the scene playing out in his head. He envisioned the invisible bad guys as they succumbed to the furious onslaught of his amazing mastery of the martial arts.
In his mind, he watched the hero apply his classic roundhouse kick, swiftly neutralizing the threat of the evil doctor before he could unleash a lethal virus on the world. Ricky had actually cheered when the doctor's head snapped back from the quick kick! Bam!
Ricky kicked his leg high into the air, lost his balance and almost fell on his butt. He steadied himself and searched around for witnesses. He was still alone, free to continue his personal patrol of the area, undeterred and unashamed.