Back at the mansion, Kid Flash and Speedy changed back to civilian clothes, Wally borrowing some board shorts and a t-shirt from Roy and they went swimming. Black Canary and Green Arrow were gone. There was a note just inside the door.
Roy and Wally,
Ollie and I are going in to Star City to meet with somebody about another of Ollie's real estate holdings. You guys stay out of trouble and we'll be back for supper.
Both boys understood that the underlining of their names was meant to communicate that they should spend the afternoon as Roy Harper and Wally West rather than as their superhero alter egos. And they had every intention of doing just that. They laughed and splashed in the nearly olympic size outdoor pool and played for a while in the game room, too. Wally could scarcely believe that he'd hated Speedy so much that first time they'd met up in the Watchtower. They seemed like such natural friends now even if Roy was a bit on the bossy side.
They weren't that far from supper when Roy's phone went off. The ring tone was part of the soundtrack from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Wally raised an eyebrow.
"Police call!" shouted Roy dropping his pool cue and starting to run toward the garage.
"How do you . . know?" asked Wally following after him, still in shorts and t-shirt while saying "you" clad in his skintight red and yellow Kid Flash suit saying "know". "You didn't even look at your phone."
"I've got it set up to play one ring tone on normal calls and that one when it's a police call. The police call a certain number and Ollie and I get a relayed call from a number that my phone recognizes," said Roy stripping as he went. By the time he got to the garage, he had his clothes off and was pulling on his Speedy uniform. He jumped on his motorcycle, flipped the switch for cloaked running and was almost out the garage door before Kid Flash could grab his arm.
"Where's the call? And what is it? Tell me! I can get there quicker!"
"Oh. The bank at the corner of 5th and Star City Boulevard."
A red and yellow blur was out of Speedy's sight in just a second. He sighed and accelerated as hard as he could. He had to be extra careful riding the motorcycle in cloaked mode because no one could see him. It wasn't all that different from his normal riding, though, if you go through traffic at 100 miles per hour, you're not really counting on people seeing you, either.
By the time Speedy throttled down and screeched to a halt at the street corner in question, there were two police cruisers blocking escape via 5th and four more blocking any escape along Star City Boulevard in either direction. Speedy immediately realized that the idiots doing this must've tripped the alarm. He got off his bike, bow in hand, and walked slowly but confidently toward the bank entrance till only half the distance away from it that the police were.
Suddenly, a red and yellow blur approached and there was Kid Flash beside him.
"Amateurs?" sniffed Speedy.
"Only one guy?"
"One little guy in some kind of ridiculous shiny green and black outfit," said Kid Flash.
Speedy said nothing. He just looked up and down at Kid Flash's uniform clearing imparting his perception of irony in the criticism.
"Anyway. I circled around the place a few dozen times and looked inside. It was closed. He was shouting at someone or some thing but he's the only one I saw. I was gonna take him out myself but I've never worked in Star City," said Kid Flash now adopting a whisper. "Cops are different in different cities. In Keystone, Flash and I would just do our thing. In Jump, they'd get all upset at us not checking in with them and making some kind of show of pointlessly respecting their 'thoritay!"
"Star City's more like Jump," Speedy whispered back. And with that, he strode over to the cop who seemed to be in charge. He was crouched defensively behind the opened door of one of the police cruisers.
"Speedy and Kid Flash here, Captain. Is this just what it looks like? Costumed nut doing a poor job of taking down this bank. No accomplices. No hostages?"
"Um, we don't know."
"Well, I circled the place twenty five or thirty times and I only saw the one little guy in the weird outfit," said Kid Flash.
Two other cops next to the police captain looked him up and down in his Kid Flash suit without words communicating the message "You're criticizing someone else's outfit?"
Kid Flash sighed and shook his head. It's functional!
"What do you two want to do, asked the captain?"
Just as he said that, an angry shout could be heard inside the bank and there was a flash of light. One of the doors at the main entrance of the bank blew open and stuck that way. A gust of wind from inside blew out deposit slips, bank brochures and other trash but there was no currency carried along with it.
"Stupid fucking vault!" a sort of nasally, high pitched voice screeched from inside. "You must bow to me! I'm the Raging Mage!"
There was another burst of light which, through the open door, could be seen going from the hand of a short guy, barely tall enough to see over the counters at the teller stations, to the shiny metal of the huge vault door. But it was just a light show. It didn't do anything.
Speedy chuckled and without a word started toward the bank. Kid Flash followed. Speedy readied an arrow.
"Uh, hey, Rumpelstiltskin?"
The little guy in the shiny black and green costume turned toward the door just in time to get a boxing glove arrow in the face. He went down. Speedy snickered as he loaded another arrow.
"You wanna come along peacefully or do you wanna get hurt?" he asked as he and Kid Flash now reached the bank door.
"I'm the Raging Mage!" he declared scrambling to his feet. "And you'll pay for that impernitence!"
"Impertinence," corrected Kid Flash.
"You too!" vowed the 4 foot tall would be bank robber. He had now circled around to the center of the bank, not avoiding the two heroes but seeming to want to confront them.
"Look, guy. There's us two heroes and a whole bunch of cops out there who probably need to fire their guns in anger as some kind of psychological release or something," said Kid Flash. "You're not gonna get away with this. If you stop now, maybe the judge'll give you some little kid sentence or something."
"I'm not a kid! I'm the Raging Mage!" he bellowed and Speedy lip synched the word "Mage" along with him. Now Kid Flash could see that the guy had a sort of magic wand in his hand. His shiny green and black costume had shapes on it like one of those M.C. Escher drawings where at first you see one color fish then you notice the other ones between them. His hat or headdress looked like the one the character Galactus wore in Marvel comics, thought Kid Flash.
He shouted something at Speedy and Kid Flash and pointed the wand at them. Kid Flash bolted to the side out of the way. But nothing happened. He shouted it again. Again, nothing.
Speedy sighed as Kid Flash returned to his side. "All clear?"
"Yeah. This guy's got nothing," said Speedy. He shot an arrow that threw out circles of heavy black cable pinning the little screwup's arms to his side. Kid Flash ran in and picked him up and brought him out to the sidewalk.
"All clear, Captain!" Speedy shouted, as the would be sorcerer kept up a steady stream of expletives vowing to bring his wrath down on Speedy and Kid Flash and all of Star City before Speedy grabbed a handful of bank receipts and stuffed them into his mouth to gag him. The police were rushing forward now and a Star City Times photographer took pictures of Speedy with his elbow on top of the would be thief's head. The cops rushed about checking on the damage to the bank and doing all those cop inventory and paper workish sort of things they always did. Speedy was interviewed by a reporter for the Star City Times and kept making little jokes about the Raging Mage's size.
"Kid Flash and I saw that it was only Gnomey the homey here inside the bank . . . so we confronted the midget mage or whatever it is he calls himself here . . . and that's when I tied little people here up."
Kid Flash snickered at all of it. It was pretty funny. But the Raging Mage was getting more and more furious listening to it. He seemed to be trying to shout something at Speedy through the wad of bank receipts but couldn't get anywhere with it. Now, the reporter removed them to try to get his side of the story. But the Raging Mage ignored her. He stared venomously at Speedy and Kid Flash.
"So, you think you're big men, huh, you two . . CARROT TOPS? Well, let's SEE!" the pint sized thief shouted. And Kid Flash and Speedy realized that no one had taken away the little goof's "magic" wand as he pointed it at them. For just a second, both teen heroes felt an odd sensation in the pits of their stomachs but that was it. The looked at each other. You feel anything much? Both shrugged.
The Raging Mage cursed a blue streak. MF this. GD that. "That should have worked!"
Speedy sighed. "Yeah, just like the one to take out the vault and another to stop the alarms. But you came up . . short every time." He took the wand from his hand and gave it to the police captain. He shoved another handful of bank receipts into Raging Mage's mouth to shut him up.
A minute later, the police were taking him away and Speedy was riding back to the mansion while Kid Flash was already there.
So were Dinah and Ollie.
The boys were just in time for supper. They told Roy's step parents about the call, how easy it had been and what a screwup the Raging Mage turned out to be. The whole dinner turned out to be one long session of the four of them recounting confrontations with crooks who completely bungled things. Wally recounted some of Flash's less taxing missions but the star of the meal was Ollie who turned out to be a great storyteller and to have had multiple encounters with crooks who simply didn't have their acts together at all.
After dinner, Wally and Roy played some more pool and some other games but not long after it was dark, Dinah and Ollie interrupted them, teling Wally that he should probably go back home now. He didn't want to. He was having so much fun hanging around with Roy. To go back to his tiny room at his family's tiny house was not a prospect to which he looked forward. Things were so much fun here.
But he shook hands with Green Arrow. And Black Canary gave him a huge hug. And he shook hands with Speedy. But before he could zip off, Black Canary asked him if he had a cell phone. He shook his head. Here, she said and handed him one that looked an absolutely non-descript clamshell style one but which, she explained, actually had several special features which she described. And, she explained, she and Ollie would be paying for it. Kid Flash was stunned. Really? Ollie nodded. He also told Kid Flash to not go running up a bunch of charges or to let his parents see him with it. It was mostly so that he could contact Roy and "us" without having to either use your home phone or go through the Justice League. Kid Flash thanked them effusively and then zipped off to Jump City.
He stopped in the woods up the street from his family's house and pulled off his Kid Flash uniform and pulled on his intentionally oversized civilian clothes and knit hat. His parents barely noticed when he walked in the door. He went to his tiny room and lay down thinking about what it would be like to live like Speedy and to have Roy as a brother. He had a very hard time focusing on getting his homework done for Monday's classes.
The only thing that helped him shift his focus back to his life in Jump City was the thought of Karen Parker. Tomorrow they would go to see a play together. A play! He didn't too much care what the play actually was. But here was a smart girl, and hot, too, and she wanted to go somewhere with Wally West! There were some consolations to Jump City after all.
It was with this date in mind that Wally West endured another day of boring classes, teachers droning about the same things they'd droned about the last class and other kids making fun of him. It didn't stop there. After trudging back home from school in his vastly oversized pants and shirt, he found that his little sister was already home, along with 2 of her friends.
For whatever reason, his sister's behavior would go from vaguely obnoxious to completely obnoxious when they were around. They would almost compete to make fun of his nerdyness and, keeping to what Flash had told him, he had to let them. He even had to intentionally trip and screw things up so that they would only laugh at him more and never seriously consider that he might be Kid Flash.
For a while he just lay on his bed reading, occasionally hearing snickers from the living room and glancing over to see his sister and her friends pointing and laughing at him. There wasn't much he could do. The door to his room didn't completely close. It had been added as an afterthought. It had been a 6 foot wide by 9 foot long connection to a garage that had since been knocked down. It now contained his bed, a small night table, a dresser, a mirror, a tiny closet of sorts and hundreds of books. On the few occasions when his parents bothered to look in Wally's room they would shake their heads at all the books and scan the titles of the ones on top. They wondered why their 8th grader son should be reading The Abstract of Physical Security Systems and Forensic Science Review. But they didn't pursue the issue.
It was almost 5 o'clock now. Karen Parker was due to stop by in an hour. Wally was already getting excited at the prospect. He decided to dress up a bit. He'd still wear his knit hat to hide his orange hair, the same color as Kid Flash's. But he'd wear a pair of dark chinos and a dress shirt that Aunt iris had given him. He'd show Karen Parker that she hadn't made a mistake in going out with him, that he wasn't just the guy shuffling along in junior high wearing jeans and shirts that looked like they could fit two of him inside them.
He went to the kitchen and got a glass of orange juice.
"Is that a drink or hair dye for you?" snickered one of his sister's friends from the living room.
He lip synched a laugh then gulped down the whole glass at once. He went back to his room and read some more then just a few minutes before six picked out the pants and shirt he wanted to wear. A disconcerting thought occurred to him. He hadn't worn these clothes in a while. Maybe he'd grown some since then. He already had . . certain troubles wearing most clothes, with his tiny waist yet speedster shape.
He waited a few more minutes. His sister peeked into his room from the kitchen.
"What're you, getting all dressed up or something?"
"Not that it's any of your business, but yes, I am."
"Why?" giggled one of her friends, the blond one.
"I'm going some place with Karen Parker."
His sister and her friends literally fell down laughing, gasping for breath and slapping the floor.
"Y-you? . . . Ahahahahahahaha . . !"
Wally ground his teeth together but said nothing.
He took off his socks and shoes.
"If you don't mind," he said, "I'm going to change clothes. The door doesn't close completely. So, could you please look the other way?"
"Like this Karen Parker girl will wish she had?" said his sister, her voice clearly getting further away.
"Ha ha," said Wally now pulling off his clothes.
"Where'd you find this carrot tops chaser anyway?" asked his sister.
Wally fell over into his dresser. His sister and her friends broke into new laughter. "How can you trip in such a tiny room?" they chortled.
Wally didn't know quite how himself. All of a sudden he had this weird feeling in the pit of his stomach and a weird feeling like a wave of fatigue passing through him. He toppled into the dresser and said nothing in response to his sister and her friends. He pulled on the dark chinos and white dress shirt Aunt Iris had given him months back. And they fit perfectly. He'd been worried that they'd be too short or that his speedster butt would burst the seam in the back but they fit just right. The shirt was just right too. He sat down on the bed and pulled on a pair of dark socks and the loafers Aunt Iris had given him. Again, worries that they would no longer fit him proved unfounded.
He smiled looking into the full length mirror that rested on one stack of books and leaned against the wall. For once things were going right for him. He chuckled at how much he thought he'd grown in the intervening months since Aunt Iris had given him this stuff. He thought of himself as growing so fast and yet this stuff still fit him perfectly.
But . .
"That's odd," he muttered.
Wally'd bought the mirror at a Salvation Army shop. It was so old and worn that the black paint on the back of it was worn through here and there so that there were black flecks and dashes speckled throughout the glass surface of the front of the mirror that didn't reflect. It made a sort of marker for how much he'd grown. His eyes were now up to two sort of horizontal dashes of non-reflecting glass just over a vertical slash of non-reflecting glass just right of center.
Only they weren't.
They were a couple inches short.
What the . . ?
"No!" he half shouted.
In the background Wally heard his sister and her friends laughing at the frantic tone of his voice and demanding to know what was wrong with him now. But he barely noticed they were there. The feeling in the pit of his stomach was only growing stronger and he had a real problem now. Holding onto the sides of the mirror with both hands to be absolutely sure where his eye level was in it, he was now certain that he was somehow two inches shorter than he'd been just a minute ago.
"No," he frantically whispered. "Not now! Whatever this is, not-not now!"
He stepped back from the mirror, his mind racing about what to do. Maybe I could just stand up really straight all the time. Karen's only seen me at school where I always slouch to look shorter than Kid Flash. But if I always stand up really straight tonight . . .
And then another wave of whatever it was passed through him. He felt it even more this time. It rose up through him leaving him feeling like he'd been reshuffled. As the wave passed through him, wherever it was in him felt like it was pulled a foot forward then shoved back, first his feet then his shins then his knees, etc. . .
When it finished, his dark red knit hat dropped down over his eyes. He half turned around to bitterly complain about his sister or her friends pulling his hat down but they weren't in his room. And seeing his dresser and the rest of his room, he realized in despair that his hat had drooped over his eyes because he'd shrunk.
He was only four feet tall now.
With a rustle, his pants and shorts dropped to the floor. He frantically pulled them up but gave up on his now several sizes too large loafers kicking them gently to the far end fo the floor. He looked angrily at the shirst sleeve on the arm not holding up his pants. The cuff was well beyond his finger tips.
Just standing up straight wouldn't fix this. This was now complete humiliation. He heard his sister and her friends vaguely muttering something conspiratorially and pulled the door to his room shut tight or as tight as it would go. If his sister ever saw him like this, shrunk smaller than her . . !
He'd never be able to explain it!
He'd never live it down even if he lived a hundred lifetimes.
He was nearly hyperventilating now. Ugh. My first transformation. What do I do? What would Flash do? Except . . I can't do what he does! I don't have that control of all my molecules power that he has! I-
Breathe, speedster, he reminded himself.
He took several deep breaths and tried to reason it out.
Okay. Okay. So this has got to be some kind of delayed working of that little screwup, the Raging Mage's magic, right? So . . how do I get out of it?
The question still hung unanswered in the air as another wave hit.
Just like the last one, the feeling in the pit of Wally's stomach got stronger and then a reshuffling wave passed through him.
His pants and shorts dropped to the floor and he didn't bother to pull them up. His shirt was now so big that the ends of it reached the ground and he had to angrily swipe away his hugely oversized hat. He looked in despair at the middle of his dresser. He was now only 2 feet tall.
He almost cried.
What if he was stuck like this, the size of a dwarf, for the rest of his life. How would anything ever work out after this?
Again, nearly hyperventilating, he worked to control his breath and gradually got control. He realized his clothes were now useless and pulled off first his socks then his pants and shorts and then his shirt leaving them lined up from the far end of the room toward the door. He marched his shrunken self over to the mirror. He could see that he was still himself. He was still Kid Flash conditioned and shaped. Nothing had changed about his proportions. But he was only 2 feet tall. The ceiling of his room seemed to be 15 feet high, his bed 5 feet high and more than twice that long.
It was disorienting. He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate. He realized that there was still that odd feeling in the pit of his stomach. It wasn't as strong as when the reshuffling, shrinking wave was passing through him but it was still there.
He was vaguely aware of the sound of footsteps in the background, his sister and her friends going upstairs.
He tried again to think of what Flash would do in a situation like this. He tried to remember how Flash had gotten out of all the different transformations he'd suffered but nothing seemed to hold any particular hope for his own circumstance.
And then the feeling in the pit of his stomach increased again followed immediately by another reshuffling wave passing through him.
Just then, the doorbell rang.
When the wave finished passing through him this time, the feeling was gone from the pit of his stomach. Everything seemed stable. He suddenly felt sure that the horrible shrinking was over. But as Wally glanced around his now canyon sized room he realized that he was only two inches tall. He confirmed it by zipping over to stand next to the ruler resting vertically against the night stand beside his bed.
Oh god. I'm two inches tall.
The doorbell rang again.
His sister and her friends came running down the stairs.
"Wally, are you gonna get that?" his sister shouted.
Wally looked down at his miniaturized self not even as tall as his own shoes with the crappy carpet of his room shin high on him now. "No," he muttered in a voice only audible there just off the carpet. "I'm not gonna get that. I couldn't open the door the way I am now."
To his chagrin, he could hear his sister and her friends get the door.
"No! Just let her go away," he pleaded toward the now impossibly large, seemingly 150 foot high door to his room. He could hear a muffled conversation and then steps coming toward his room.
He zipped frantically up a t-shirt hanging out of the lowest drawer of his dresser and then in among the contents of the half opened drawer which he knew included a jock. If there was one thing he was sure they would never touch in his room it was that. Through the mesh of the elastic of the pouch he watched his sister speaking to Karen Parker who had stepped just inside the front door. His sister opened the door to his room explaining to Karen Parker. "He was here just a minute ago . . here are his clothes," she said pointing to his shoes, socks, pants, shorts and shirt lined up successively toward the door to his room.
"It looks like he took all his clothes off, doesn't it?" laughed one of his sister's friends and the others added their own guffaws.
They turned and looked around the tiny house. You could see from one end to the other inside. They briefly walked over to the bathroom at the far end glancing around for Wally and then pronounced that he must've taken all his clothes off and then run outside.
"No! That's-that's not what happened!" complained tiny Wally inaudibly from the dresser drawer. But his sister and her friends settled on that explanation with absolute certainty and it must have made some impression on Karen Parker because she got a sort of look of distaste on her face and stormed out.
"I-I'm a Flash not a flasher!" Wally corrected them from the dresser drawer then sped up and out of it and up the quilt on his bed and up a few inches of wall to the window overlooking the yard. He may have been tiny but he was still tiny with super speed.
From the window he saw Karen Parker was marching back to the street saying, "If you're out here Wally West . . !"
He leaned against the glass with a feeling like surrender.
"Why does this always happen to me?" he complained then sighed. "Oh, what the hell would it matter right now. It's not like girls will be lining up to be with a guy hung like a field mouse."
His sister and her friends laughed and laughed at the idea that he'd gone totally insane and was somehow outside naked. Of course, he was inside, naked and only two inches tall so he could only take so much offense. He was also not very inclined to take umbrage at the attitudes of his sister and her friends because he was nearly overcome with feelings of depression about what had happened to him.
All his barely tamped down feelings that the whole superhero thing was unfair to him rose to the surface.
I have to give up all my friends! I can't be open with my own family in order to protect them! I let kids make fun of me at school. Cops snicker at me. And I don't make a dime off it, not a fricking dime. And now I have to put up with this, too?
He slid down the bedspread to the floor like going down the escape slide from the door of a jet liner and sat there wallowing in his feelings of how unfair this all was for quite a while. He was only jolted from these depressed musings by the sound of a voice and footsteps approaching his room. He realized that it was his mother and that she must've gotten home a few minutes ago.
He retreated to a spot under his bed. It was there that he saw his Kid Flash ring. It must've come off his hand and bounced over there when he'd shrunk. He zipped over to it. It was almost crotch high on him now and the size of a bean bag chair. He realized he'd have to try to trigger the mechanism that would eject his Kid Flash suit from it. It would still be skin tight. The suit was made of some kind of half rubber, half spandex looking material that Flash had invented. When it was first exposed to the air it expanded rapidly so that it was almost full size. But after just a second of contact with oxygen, it would start to try to shrink back down to being an inch high from cowl to toes.
As bad as the situation was, at least if he was wearing his Kid Flash suit it would become a super hero issue and not a question of what the hell had happened to Wally West. People expected bizarre things to happen with super heroes.
He squeezed the ring in a sort of a bear hug trying to trigger the mechanism the way he always did with one finger when he was full sized, push on this one spot and then pull that piece of metal upward. He grunted and groaned with the strain of it but couldn't seem to make any headway.
Then he heard his mother approaching closer. He moved behind a couple books, only checking to see that he was hidden from view not checking to see where he was standing. And that was a big mistake.
His mother was gathering laundry for a load of wash. He heard her grumbling about the way her son had left clothes right in the middle of the floor and then he saw her giant arm reaching under the bed for the shorts and t-shirts on the floor there. He didn't think anything of it till suddenly he was yanked along the length of the two books he his behind and then catapulted into the air faster than any amusement park ride would ever be allowed to. He'd had one foot inside the now seemingly six foot long loop of a tag on an undershirt and when his mother had gathered up the undershirt she'd yanked tiny Wally into the air.
He barely stifled the urge to scream and found himself summarily thrown down to a soft landing amongst a bunch of his other clothes in a laundry basket the size of a barn. The damn tag was twisted tight around his leg resisting his efforts to free himself. He thought to just vibrate himself free but he was being carred three feet high, what would be the equivalent of nearly a hundred feet high. He couldn't survive a hundred foot fall. Besides, as near as he could tell his mother was holding the basket at her waist. He couldn't risk dropping down and vibrating into her leg. So, he just kept working at the tag wrapped around his leg. But, somehow, with each additional item shoved into the basket from above the damn tag just wrapped more tightly around him.
Then, a loud sound was followed quickly by a sensation of falling. He was being thrown into the washer with his own clothes!
He scrambled up through the pile of his shirts and underwear clawing desperately to the top and just as he did, looked up and got what seemed like a hundred gallons of liquid detergent showered down on him.
He spit and shook himself like a dog trying to shed all the sticky, soapy stuff but couldn't get it all off. And then the lid of the top loading washer slammed shut and things went dark just as water started gushing in.
The water flowed in from the other side of the center plastic piece of the washer. Wally had to climb around to that side of the clothes and huddle under the lukewarm torrent for a minute to get the soap off him. But he wasn't sure what to do next. He didn't want to be in there when things were spinning and so he climbed up the side of the perforated cannister and managed to get up into the small curled edge of the lid so that he waited out the whole wash cycle from there. When it was over, he heard his mother approaching and dropped down into the wet laundry. When she was transferring everything to the dryer he managed to scramble away.
But he was hungry now, very hungry. He sped up the side of the table leg and over to the pound cake. He ate handful after handful. At least if he was going to be tiny, food would seem plentiful. But just as he was enjoying the feeling of his hunger being sated, his sister approached from one direction and her friends from the other. He panicked and vibrated into the now empty box that had been the container for the pound cake.
With her seemingly unerring sense for making things difficult for him, his sister went straight for the empty box and while gossiping with her friends absentmindedly crumpled up the box, with miniaturized Wally inside it and threw it in the trash.
Well, this tops it all, sighed Wally squeezed but not hurt and upside down within the crumpled box. Thrown in the trash by my stupid sister.
It took him 10 minutes of wriggling and climbing down to get to the bottom of the trash can amidst all sorts of bad smells. From there he said, fuck it, and just vibrated out the side of the damn thing hoping that no one would see the tiny flesh colored blur as he zipped back to his bedroom. And that's just what happened. No one saw him.
He had to take a bit of a risk not just to avoid bad smells but because he realized he had to do something as soon as possible. He had to warn Speedy.