Drawing the Line

Perry White decided he hated Smallville. Too much corn, too many hicks, and the Spawn of Satan made the place unpalatable. But what did he expect? Strange things only seemed to happen in backwards cow towns, and that’s where his job forced him to go. What he wouldn’t give for once to have to fly to Hawaii to chase after a lava monster, or something.

Perry uncapped the flask in his hand and drained a large gulp. The alcohol slid soothingly down his gullet, keeping his head in peaceful fuzziness. If he had to do this job sober, he might have to kill himself. He hadn’t become quite that desperate yet.

He let his mind turn to the Chromedome (not that he’d ever call Lex Luthor that to his face, unless he did, indeed, become that desperate) who’d not-so-nicely escorted him to the last bus stop out of town. He’d read in a respectable newspaper, which employed respectable writers and had no Bigfoots – Bigfeet? – in sight, that the Evil Rat Bastard a/k/a Lionel Luthor, had exiled his bratty child to some Podunk town. Perry hadn’t realized it was this particular Podunk Lex was sent to, or else he wouldn’t have taken a step past the Meteor Capital of the World sign leading into Smallville.

Lex was not someone Perry wanted to cross, and it had nothing to do with boy himself and everything to do with the father. Lionel had grabbed Perry by the black-balls and refused to let go, no matter how many years had passed. Someone braver would’ve stood up to Lionel. Perry was an admitted coward, and he was just as happy living in a hazy world of perpetual insobriety, debunking myths and urban legends one alien at a time.

Then, a tractor fell from the sky.

Perry stared for a moment at the broken machinery on the pavement and then emptied his flask onto the ground. Maybe there was a time in every man’s life when he had to draw the line.


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