Disclaimer: Wesley Dodds, the Sandman is the property of DC Comics and Warner Bros.
Author's Note: I hope everyone enjoy's this story. It took some time to write this, mainly due to life getting in the way, school, homework, social life etc. But now it is done, and ready for your reading and enjoyment. I hope everyone enjoys this and the rest of the Justice Society member stories that I publish on here. Happy reading!
The Sandman's Restless Night
In 1939, plagued by strange and disconcerting dreams, playboy Wesley Dodds decided to take action. Donning a WWI gas mask and trench coat, and using a gas gun of his own design, he prowled the night as the Sandman. To this day, criminals still speak in fearful whispers of the Sandman, because if he has dreamed of you, then you are in for a fright of a night.
"I am the Sandman. And none can escape my dark dreams."- Wesley Dodds
New York City: Winter 1940
The night air was still and a heavy fog had rolled in from the sea. And sleep seemed to elude Wesley Dodd's that night. Tonight, he dreamed of a man, a man clad in black, who was holding a knife to a young girl's neck. Waking up with a start, he put on his glasses and shook the cobwebs from his mind. There was no point in returning to bed, the dream would keep coming. He knew what he had to do.
Wesley walked down the stairs of his New York brownstone to the basement, where he opened a hidden wall panel with a switch. Inside, hanging from a clothes dummy, was the gas mask and garb of the Sandman.
Dressed for action, he crossed to the lab tables in the center of the room, covered in various test tubes, beakers and scientific apparatuses. Belting a small gas canister to his waist, he filled it with a liquid from a large bell jar, and then attached a hose from the canister into the hammer of a strange looking pistol. Now, the Sandman was ready for the hunt.
He exited the basement, and took the flight of stairs up to the rooftop. Standing on the edge of the roof, he felt the cool breeze whistle through the filter of the mask, tasted the bitterness of the air mingled with the smog and fog of the city.
Without looking down, he leapt, and shuddered as his feet touched down on the ledge opposite his. Running, he leapt from one roof to the next, knowing that wherever he ended up, the dream would not come to pass, the Sandman would not allow it.
Finally, he reached a rooftop that he knew all too well. Beneath his feet, was the bar known as the 'Stacked Deck'. Here is where the information he sought would be found, here is where the hunt would begin.
Descending the fire escape, he stopped before the door, when he saw a newspaper clinging to his pant leg. It was the front page of today's edition of the Times, with the banner headline Mayor's daughter kidnapped! Whereabouts unknown! Now the Sandman had a lead, but still, he was going to need more. It was time to bust some heads.
Checking to make sure the gas gun was ready in cases of trouble; he kicked in the door to the bar. A small jazz band was on the stage, playing the latest hot tunes. But when everyone saw the masked man standing in the door, the place went silent.
Stepping into the center of the bar, he looked around at the collection of filth and scum that were there tonight. Some were scared, others had hatred in their eyes, and others, others knew better than to do anything that would get them in trouble with the masked community, just sipped their drinks.
Behind him, one tough stood up from his seat, a wicked looking knife gripped in his right hand. Without even missing a beat, the Sandman spun around, pulled the gas gun from its holster and with the barrel in the thug's face, pulled the trigger.
A burst of greenish gas shot out, and the thug fell to the floor with a crash, and was out like a light. Holstering his weapon, he walked over to the bar. The barkeep smiled and tried to not show the fear that was present in his eyes.
"Heyyy Mister Sandman, what can I get for youse?"
Sandman motioned for him to come closer. He whispered to the barkeep, his voice low and throaty through the mask's filter.
"I need information Joe. Regarding the Mayor's missing daughter. Do you have anything?"
Joe pulled back, and nodded. Cocking his head to the left towards the back room, he headed to the door, with the masked man following. Locking the door, they sat down at the table. Joe pulled a flask from his hip pocket and took a long swig.
"I figured you would be lookin' into that. It's a damn shame. I never cared for the Mayor, but what sick bastard takes a man's little girl? I got me a girl too, sweetest little thing ever. She means the world ta me."
"I need information Joe. Her life is at stake here. She needs to be found."
Joe took another swig, and nodded vigorously.
"Sure sure. Well this is what I know. Franky the Fink walked in here last night, with a big wad of cash. He bought a round for the house, and when I asked where the cash came from, he told me, that he had kidnapped the girl for some guy. Franky didn't give no name."
Sandman stood up, his fists clenched. He turned for the door and looked at Joe, still seated, face flush and beaded with sweat.
"Then I suppose I'll have to find Franky and see if he can give me any information.
"Yeah yeah, you do that. And hey, make sure that little girl gets home."
Sandman nodded, and left the bar. He signaled for a cab, and gave the driver a ten dollar bill. Within a half hour, he was on the waterfront.
The Sandman moved silently, keeping to the shadows that the warehouses provided. The whereabouts of Franky the Fink were well known to Joe and the regulars at the 'Stacked Deck'. Since it was Thursday night, Franky could be found at his own little hideout, spending the evening with his friend playing poker.
It was no secret about the hideout's location either. Located in a pair of old rooms above Donenfeld's Gym, this is where Sandman would continue his hunt. Tonight, justice would be served.
Donenfeld's Gym was easy enough to find, getting inside would be another story. Wanting to avoid dealing with any trouble that might alert Franky and his colleagues, a more indirect approach was called for.
Spotting a fire escape, he climbed to the second floor. Peering into the window, he could see Franky and his pals. There was only one exit between them and the Sandman and that was the door. They would not be getting through.
Within the next thirty seconds, all hell had broken loose. Sandman had crashed into the 'hideout', a cloud of the gas filling the room. Grabbing Franky, he climbed up to the roof of the gym. Pulling a coil of wire from his pocket, he looped it around the quivering criminal's ankle, and then proceeded to hang him from the flagpole. The Sandman leaned close to Franky's sweat-soaked face and spoke.
"Franky, you aided in the kidnapping of the Mayor's daughter. I want the name of the man who employed you, now."
Franky was too scared to talk. All he wanted to do was pass out, but with the ground being so very far away and he being so very high up, that didn't seem like a good idea. So he did two things, he wet his pants, and proceeded to cry. Through tears and snot, he told all.
"The guy you're lookin' for, he's holed up in garment factory about four blocks from here."
Sandman loosened the wire a bit, making Franky panic more.
"A name Franky, I want a name. Now!"
"I don't know, I swear ta ya. I never saw his face!"
Satisfied with the information, the Sandman hauled Franky up, and put him to sleep with a burst from the gas gun. The night was still young, and there was evil to thwart. Time for the Sandman to visit some wicked men.
Running along the rooftops, he finally made it to the factory. It hadn't been used for years, and looked as if it was going to fall apart. Keeping to the shadows, he spotted several lookouts posted on the roof. They were the first to go. Stealth was the key tonight, to reunite a father with his child.
However, inside the warehouse, a different situation was happening. The Mayor's daughter was tied to a chair, and gagged. Across the table, his face hidden from the light was the mystery man.
"Come now my child, there is no need for tears. You'll be safe and sound soon enough. All your father has to do is pay me the ransom money, and I'll let you go."
Two large rough men stood at either side of the man, silent and stock still. The man proceeded to stand up, and snapping his fingers, motioned for the two men to follow. When they were far away so that the girl could not hear, he spoke.
"Boys, the time has come for us to end this little caper. The girl has been nothing but trouble. In 20 minutes, I want you to take one of the sleeping capsules from the supply box, crush it into a glass of milk and give it to her. When she is asleep, well, you know what to do."
The men nodded their heads in compliance. One of the thugs went to go sit down, it had been a long day, waiting around and doing nothing. But before anyone could make a move, there was a loud crash. The shadowed figure looked high into the catwalks of the warehouse, his gaze narrowed.
"Boys, it appears we have an unwanted guest among us. Grab the guns, and go make him feel 'welcome'. I'll keep an eye on the girl. GO!"
Grabbing two Thompsons from the wall rack, the two thugs headed into the warehouse. With flashlights to add in the search, the two decided to split up to cover more ground. It was a foolish mistake.
One thug actually found the Sandman, but before he could shot or cry out, a burst of the sleeping gas sealed his fate. The other thug, he was not so lucky. Panicking, he started firing into the darkness. Unfortunately for him, stray bullets shredded a net filled with packing crates, and the crates came tumbling down. The man's last thought before being crushed, was how much he missed his mother.
Sandman moved through the warehouse, navigating the maze of crates and boxes to the light coming from its center. He knew that it was almost upon him, the dream that he had seen.
Peering around a corner, he saw the Mayor's daughter, and behind her, he saw the man in the shadows, one hand covering her mouth, the other held a sharp knife. Realizing stealth was not going to be helpful; he decided to adopt the direct approach. Holstering the gas gun, he walked into the light. The shadow man laughed.
"Ahhh so it's the Sandman who has come to visit me. I was surprised; I was expecting someone whose costume was more, theatrical in nature. I assume you are here for the girl?"
"Let her go. Your men are defeated, you have nothing else left to use as a weapon. And if you kill her, it's the chair for you."
"Oh I think not. I haven't been caught yet, why should today be any different?"
And with that, he pushed the little girl forward and bolted. Sandman stopped to make sure she was unharmed, then proceeded after his quarry. Heading out the back way, he made it to the outside, only to see the man standing a distance away, on the loading steps of a seaplane, its propellers whirring. The man waved at the Sandman and laughed.
"Au revoir Mister Sandman! You may have saved the girl, but you haven't got me! Who knows, perhaps we will fight again someday. Farewell"
And with that, he stepped into the plane, and was gone. Heading back inside, the Sandman picked up the little girl, and holding her close, went out into the night. A light snow had begun to fall, turning the city into a winter wonderland of white.
After seeing her safely home, Wesley Dodds made his way across the city to his brownstone. Returning home, Dodds put away his costume, then fell into bed. Even if he didn't sleep, rest was good. And when next a dark dream was visited upon him, the criminal underworld would once again know the vengeance of the Sandman.