Thursday, November 08, 2007

New Beginning 401

He shrank in size from twelve foot to six. The gutters could wait. He got down on one knee to get as close to eye contact with his daughter as possible.

"We've discussed this before, honey. Fifty years ago a super power like mine would have put me in the front rank of superheroes, but growing to twelve feet and being able to press 800 pounds just doesn't cut it any more. Now my power just gets me my job as a nightclub bouncer. There are so many more superheroes with far greater powers.

"Still, the job pays well and the hours are good. I can be there when you get out of school."

"But other kids have dad who are superheroes..."

"I'm not those dads, and I don't have a fortune so I can just become a superhero if I feel like it. I have a mortgage to pay and a daughter to raise and she's much more important to me than, well, anything."

He rose again to twelve feet and found where he left his hammer.

He shrank down to six feet again. This was an important topic. He got back down on one knee.

“I may not be a great superhero, but I can become super evil. I can take this hammer and kill people while they sleep in their second floor beds. I could carry 800 ponds of TNT into a crowded--”

“Oh yes, daddy! Would you? Our next career day talk is about changing jobs. You would be the best one!”

Opening: D Jason Cooper.....Continuation: Sarah L.


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

As he reached, the simple tool transformed first into a pool of viscous rust-colored liquid and then into his son, Bobby.

“Bev feels bad, Dad. She’s not special so she wants even more for you to be special. She wants you to be super.”

“Well. Special isn’t enough these days. You can become simple objects. I can become tall and strong. Your aunt can become a spike-heeled gin-swilling daughter of Satan. Bev’s just a girl and while she isn’t special in any material sense, she’s still special because she’s Bev. It doesn’t make any of us superheroes.”

“We could be … I mean, you can throw me and I can stop a crook!”

“Or – I could miss. The crook fries both of us with the x-ray vision we didn’t know he had. Better just to be ourselves. Fewer funerals in the family, that way.”

“Just one long slow one,” Bobby grumbled.

“Well. If it’s digging you’re interested in, it is time to turn the vegetable garden for fall – shovel boy.”

--A. Snarkling

Then, his worst nightmare happened. That bully-girl, the fifty-foot woman, stepped over the building and grabbed the hammer out of his hand.

"Please don't humiliate me in front of my daughter," he said, loud enough for the bully-girl to hear but not his daughter. "She's all I've got."

The fifty-foot woman bent over and dangled the hammer over his head, taunting him with whatsamatter-shorties? and nya-nya-nyas.

He shrunk down to his minimum of five feet and gave the fifty-foot woman a New York salute.

"You'll pay for that," she said as she bent down further to pick him up. When her head was above his, he grew to twelve feet with maximum acceleration and smashed into the bully's nose like a bad analogy. She squirted blood all over the sidewalk, stood up and passed out, crashing thunderously across the street.

"Good one, Dad!" said his daughter. She grew to eight feet, jumped onto the fifty-foot woman's face and began pummeling her.

"You too!?" he said.

"Like father like daughter," she said. "Let's go kick some purse-snatchers' butts. I'll be the decoy."

--Bill Highsmith

She flew up, landing next to him on the roof.

"But daddy, Melissa said her daddy could beat you up."

"Well, now, he might be able to." He nailed the gutter in place.

"But daddy, you're real strong and you can get big! All Mr Stevens does is--"

"Fly and breathe flames. And he can sprout sixteen arms. No, sweetie, I think Mr Stevens would win."

She pouted. "What about Mr E? He doesn't do anything special!"

"Oh, honey, yes he does. He's an editor, and he uses his power to crush dreams. Now we'd better get lunch or your mother will bite me with those fangs of hers."


Evil Editor said...

An amusing introduction to the world. I find myself more interested in the current front rank of superheroes with their far greater powers than in this guy who can grow to 12 feet, but if this is intended for kids it works fine.

Bernita said...

Delightful, I think.

Anonymous said...

A little heavy-handed, but I'd give it a couple more paragraphs at least.

Anonymous said...

I like the premise, but I think the opening lines are odd. I want the dad's name, for one thing, or something besides "he." Also, when the first line of dialogue is the dad saying, "We've discussed this before," it makes me think that the piece should start with the child's question. Otherwise, fun.


Anonymous said...

Grow to 12 feet? And yet he's not rich? Why not join the MBA?

- JustABand

Amanda said...

I liked this. It was cute! Does the little girl have super-powers?? That would be sooo fun!! This reminds me of Heroes. I L-U-V-V-V that show!!!! If I had powers I would like to be invisible. Also as a Mom I would like to be able to grow an extra pair of hands so I can do 2 things at once!!! Heck, I'd like TWELVE pairs of hands!! (And they would need to be hands on the end of arms not just hands by themselves because that wouldn't help much.)


Xiexie said...

I'd read more. Good job.

Robin S. said...

I like it, and I'd read more. The superhero version of "back in my day...".

I like how the dad sounds like "evert-day plain old dad" -
they're priceless - besides which, readers can mind meld with tehor own memories of the "dad speech" when reading this.

And Sarah, fun continuation!

Unknown said...

This opening sounds too much of a "As you know, Bob" for met to get interested, but others who know far more about kids books seem to like it fine, so I guess that's ok. Would suggest the following technical changes.

No space between - line ending with "...far greater powers" and the line starting with "Still, the job..." Especially if you don't want to put in tags, this adds unnecessary confusion early on. This might just be a formatting issue with blogger though.

Also this line reads slightly awkwardly: "I'm not those dads, and I don't have a fortune so I can just become a superhero if I feel like it."

Is he rich and just doesn't want to spend it on a whim on crimefighting gear or can he not spend money on crime fighting gear because he's not rich? That's two different characters. If it's the latter - since he's worried about mortgages - then maybe this would be clearer:

I'm not those dads, and I don't have the fortune to just become a superhero when I feel like it.