MISC, CONTEST: The Forgotten Vigilante

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Mon Jun 15 10:57:13 PDT 2009

[Author's Note:  A Web version of this story resides at
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2009/journal.htm#forgotten .  But to
keep me from rewriting the story as I often do, let this post serve as
the "official" version for this contest.]

June 12, 2009

Eighty-Year-Old Gunslinger Fights for Right!

The old man said, "Sylvester, you do not know of me. But I must tell
you true... I am your grandfather!"

I was in Washington, D.C. to investigate the Holocaust Museum
shooting. Best guess, the shooter was a senior citizen who shot
another elderly visitor without provocation. He then calmly handed his
gun to a security guard. But the eyewitness accounts didn't agree with
each other. CNN found someone who said, the guard had been shot!
Thankfully this wasn't true, as I discovered when I interviewed the

I took a break from the investigation when I got a phone call. The
D.C. police had picked up a vagrant who had no identification - and he
said I was his next of kin! When I met him, he said he was Edouard
Morowiecz - my grandfather. And he had more to say...

"I am not like your American crimefighters of World War Two. They all
got shot, did they not?"  He was right.  Except for Private Danger,
all known World War 2-era crimefighters died because they weren't

"But I fought the Nazis in Poland. We tried not to be shot there. We
helped some resistance fighters on missions, but we mostly robbed
people and hid in the mountains. We weren't heroes, but at least we
weren't Nazis.

"I was captured once, but the strangest thing happened. The Nazis
forgot to guard me. Or put me in prison. Or even chase me when I ran
away! I got back to the other fighters - but they didn't recognize me!
They didn't turn me away, though. So I 'joined' them again. I had to
'join' them every day after that. A curse from God? Maybe. But it
saved my life, more times than I can count.

"After the war, I used my gift to hunt Nazis. Sixty-five years it's
been now. I think I just got the last one. The old man I shot, I found
him in a hate group. You Americans call them neo-Nazis. But any Nazi
that age is just a Nazi."

I didn't know what to say to my grandfather - assuming that's what he
really was. But I did know to continue the interview... "If you can
make people forget to capture you, why are you in prison now?"

"Just because I am done hunting now. I had to keep telling the
security guard and the police it was their duty to take me in."

"So, what will you do now?"

"I do not know. I cannot move in with anyone, because I would have to
move in again every day. Maybe I just stay here with police."

"Then why did you call for me?"

"Because you are writer, my boy. You will not remember, but you write
it down first. That way, at least someone thinks of me."

The next day, I got called back to the District jail. They'd kept a
vagrant named Edouard Morowiecz overnight. They were going to release
him, but he had died in his sleep. He'd said he was related to me, but
I didn't know him. I said I'd mention him in my latest story, though,
just in case he had better next-of-kin than I was.

Afterword by Sylvester Morrow.

I don't remember filing this story. My editor asked me to rewrite it
to make more sense, but I don't remember any of the events I wrote
about in that three-day period.

The story makes some sense, though. There's no reason to believe
Edouard Morowiecz was lying about his history or his superhuman power
of mass forgetfulness. It's the best explanation I've seen for the
museum shooting. With his power, he could make the police forget he
had a gun when they took him in. He apparently made me forget
everything he told me about him.

I've had people not shoot me, when I was on a story. Maybe I've just
been lucky. But maybe the Forgotten Vigilante and I are related - and
I inherited some of his powers. I'm not going to fight for justice
quite the same way he did, but in some small way, his legacy can live

[Author's Notes:

[This story forms a part of my "Superhuman World 2009" universe, but
has been designed to stand alone.  Sylvester Morrow is one of the
established characters there, but he doesn't mind being incorporated
into other universes as long as I get credit for him.  Tom Russell has
in turn been given credit for "The Forgotten Vigilante" in my own

[For purpose of the "High Concept" challenge in
rec.arts.comics.creative, I assumed 1939-1945 to be part of the

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