I'm going to make more of an effort to post closer to once a week this year, now that I've got another short story coming out and a bunch of original writing goals on the table. I should consider it another of my 22 resolutions this year! My WIP for January is a reworking of the Superhero story I started for NaNo11. I didn't win NaNo this year, which was a disappointment, but I'm feeling pretty good about the opportunity to turn some of that work around for a shorter piece. I'm 4.5k words into what I'm hoping to be between 10 and 12k words, and I've been writing a little erratically, jumping back and forth between the three main plot points of the story, but I think I've got it under control.
If anyone had actually come out and said to him that being a Superhero’s sidekick was going to be difficult, Simon would have punched them in the face for being so obtuse. Of course being a sidekick was going to be difficult; it was more or less in the job description. When Aero had hired him, he’d said outright, “Here’s the thing, you might get killed.” Simon had wanted to be a Super ever since his abilities had manifested when he was a kid, and now that he had the opportunity and the means to do it it was more or less true that he had managed to realize that dream by the age of twenty six.
But for fuck’s sake, this was the third four-alarm fire in two weeks, and at five in the morning. Couldn’t people have the decency to set their houses alight during the daytime?
Simon rolled out of bed and opened his closet, glad at least that he’d taken the time to hang up his suit the night before. He wiggled into the red, form-fitting, flame-retardant pants, and yanked on his shirt. He shoved his feet into his calf-high boots, buckled on his belt, and pulled on his gloves. His goggles were by the bedside table, and he jammed them on his head. His hair was a mess, the product of almost a full night’s sleep, but there was nothing to be done about it. People needed rescuing.
Simon McFarlane, known to the greater Perryville metropolitan area as “Sparks,” lived on the third floor of a five-story apartment building just outside of busy downtown. His neighbors figured him for a mild-mannered graduate student, in and out at all hours, good for a cup of sugar if they needed one but mostly keeping to himself. He kept up appearances by buying books off of Amazon every so often and making things up about genetic research. He dreaded the day that he ran into a real geneticist who asked him about his work, but with his neighbors he kept up a veneer of normalcy that just barely covered for the fact that he had to climb down the fire escape wearing spandex on a fairly regular basis.
He dropped to the pavement and looked both ways, then took off running down the street. He turned left at Freedmont, dashed alongside the traffic starting to build up this morning, and took a right onto Clark Avenue. Clark was already busy, but Simon darted between cars and kept pace with a red Jeep in the other lane. Sparks could hit eighty miles an hour on foot: early morning commuters were nothing compared to the car chases he’d won or that one time he’d heard a call come in on the police radio Aero made him keep in his kitchen and beat the cruisers to a 261.
But speed on foot wasn’t everything. Aero was probably already on the scene, having stepped out his twelfth-story window and flown straight there. Simon insisted his costume would look better with a cape, but every time he mentioned it he earned himself a punch in the arm. Aero’s other power was super strength. The bruise lasted two weeks.
Simon took another left onto Warrick Street, where the houses were sweet little split-levels with front yards and invisible dog fences, leftover Halloween decorations and rusty porch swings. He could see the lights flashing from three blocks away, and the air started to fill with the smell of smoke. A couple of neighbors had come out in bathrobes and bare feet to stare down the street at the blaze, but Sparks barely had time to catch sight of them before he was past, his heavy, protective boots pounding the pavement. The house in question was roaring with its own heat, flames licking the tops of the second floor window frames and smoke gushing out of the chimney, front door, and all of the seams. The firemen were spraying water into the windows and door, as well as all over the two adjacent houses to keep them from going up as well.
Simon slowed to a jog and found Aero and the Fire Chief with their heads together, shouting over the rush of the fire hoses and the calls of the firemen. Aero looked up as Simon approached, and he smiled widely beneath his mask. That smile had sent shivers down Simon’s spine ever since he was sixteen, when Aero made his debut by saving a toddler who did her best to walk her way off a bridge. Aero later admitted to Simon that he’d been in college at the time, moonlighting with campus security, and the toddler thing had been a total accident. Still, his bright, handsome grin had won him the hearts of a couple thousand citizens that night, and Simon’s had been one of them.
“Hey kid,” Aero said, grinning at him now, “you ready to save some lives?”
The other thing that's new recently is a shiny website that I've been working on, carving out a little corner of the web for me and mine. http://elinorgray.weebly.com/ It's a free site, but I think it actually looks quite nice: simple and elegant and a little bit old-timey. I like that kind of thing. :P Someday I'd like to have a nice domain of my own. Life goal.
All right, well, my new writing buddy is dumping things off the bookshelf onto the floor, so I'd better deal with that. He's a charmer. XD