Banner knew that he should have never got a can opener from Goodwill. Even if they did give it to him for free, it still refused to properly open the can of beans that he needed to complete his chili.
He heard a train coming. He pledged that if he couldn’t get the can open by the time the train appeared, he would whip the can opener underneath the wheels.
On top of the train, Gareth woke up. He looked out at the Thunder Bay River. He sat up and stretched out. Being away for this long still hasn’t changed anything, he thought, scanning the streets. Same businesses, no new attractions, not even any kind of construction going on.
Gareth put on his backpack. “Chicago, babe. Expect me back ASAP. Once I save this hole, I’ll be back home to stay.” He jumped off the train as it started to slow down. “For some time, anyway.”
Banner cursed the can opener. He threw it towards the tracks. Gareth felt something hit his leg as he landed. He looked down to see the can opener tumbling down the gravel.
“Oh Jesus, I’m sorry man,” Banner yelled, running towards Gareth. “I swear, I didn’t mean to hit you!”
“Can’t get the can open?” Gareth asked, pointing at the can of beans Banner was holding. “Yeah, and I got my chili cookin’ right now. It wouldn’t be the same without these beans.”
“I got a can opener that’ll work,” Gareth said, putting his arm around Banner’s shoulders. “Let’s go to your pad and I’ll dig it out.”
Gareth put his backpack down when they got inside the dilapidated train shack. He dug the can opener out of one of the side compartments. Making sure that Banner was still stirring his chili, Gareth concentrated on transforming his right hand. His hand tightened, and his fingernails grew into claws. He stuck a finger into the can, and circled the top until the lid came completely off. He relaxed his hand, reverting it back to its normal state.
“Here’s your beans,” Gareth said, dumping them into the chili. “You can take my can opener too. I’m not going to need it any more.”
“Thanks much, man. You sure don’t you need it, though?” Banner asked.
Gareth shook his head, put on his backpack and headed out the door. “There are a lot of things I don’t need anymore.”
Gareth searched through the shelves where the Alpena News and other Michigan newspapers were for stories on the wolf attacks that occurred in Alpena County over the last month. He copied the articles and snuck out of the library to avoid paying the copy fees.
He headed over to Save-A-Lot. He scoped out the front entrance in the alley across from the store. After thinking over what he remembered of the store’s layout, he tied his grey mask over his eyes. He transformed, stretched his legs, and ran into the store.
He swiped some hamburger patties, barbecue sauce, and a package of white bread. Running out the store, he nearly ran into a girl who was texting.
His last stop was Tarter’s Party Store. He planned to swipe a bottle of red wine, but then he saw the 24 packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon that were right next to the entrance. Aw yeah, he thought. Using his super speed, he darted across the street, swiped one of the packs, and sped down Chisholm towards downtown.