Posted by: Caitlynn | January 9, 2010

Genre #4 — Superhero

(For more information on my Genre Self-Challenge, read previous entry here.)

————

“A Bit of Fire”

————

“I can’t believe I got myself into this…” Marie thought, sighing.

“Ah, what a sappy movie!” exclaimed Andy, a little too loudly. “What did you think, Marie?”

She glanced over at him, a look of annoyance on her face. “I guess so,” she shrugged. “But it was a romance, after all. And it practically had ‘sappy’ written on it from the very start. Why did you choose it in the first place?”

“Why?” This time, it was his turn to sigh. “You honestly have to ask that? This is a date, after all.”

“So? Who says we had to watch a romance just because of…that…” she returned, her eyes narrowing slightly. “If you think acting like some sweet, loving guy is going to win my affections, you’re mistaken. I told you, this is a one-time only sort of deal.”

“That’s not it,” he protested, grabbing gently at her arm. “That’s not…well, that is…I’m not trying to fool you into thinking I’m someone I’m not. But I thought if we went, then you…” he trailed off, letting go of her arm and looking away.

Marie frowned. “That I…what?” she asked, sternly.

He laughed, trying to appear more aloof. “Well, I wanted to see your ‘crying face.’”

Her scowl deepened. “…Sadist,” she retorted before quickening her pace.

“No! I didn’t mean it like that!” Andy called after her, catching up. “I only wanted to see you get emotional, that’s all. I know you must be more passionate than you seem, and I just thought—”

“—You’re mistaken,” she cut him off. “I’m just bland and cold-hearted. Such people do exist.”

“They do,” he answered, quickly adding, “but you’re not one of them. You have fire in you, Marie. I’m certain of it.”

“Hmm…fire…” she muttered scornfully. “And just what is it that makes you so certain?” Marie asked. But before he had the chance to answer, she turned away again and began walking. “This should be enough, right? You said that if I finally agreed to go on one date with you, you’d leave me alone. Movie’s done; date’s done. Good-night and good-bye.”

“Wait,” he called after her, trying to keep up. “I—”

She swiftly evaded him, however, darting this way and that down different paths and, finally, into an alleyway.

“Phew,” she whispered, looking back. “I’ll never understand why he’s so persistent.” Then, after a hesitant pause, she added, “Well…but I’m sure this is the best for both of us.”

“Oh? What have we here?” came an unfamiliar voice, followed by a gruff hand. Marie was spun around, coming face to face with a shadowy man in baggy clothes. “Such a pretty little thing shouldn’t be out wandering alone…” he said with a wicked smile, his grip getting tighter.

Her face paled, but before anything else happened, she heard Andy’s voice. “Let go of her,” he demanded, out of breath. “Or else…”

The other man laughed. “Or else what?”

Andy charged forward, causing the man to let go of Marie and face him. In the darkness of the alley, not much could be seen, save for the glint of steel immediately followed by a pained grunt. Andy slumped over, and the other man quickly shuffled away.

“No!” Marie shrieked when she saw Andy fall to the ground. She rushed over to him and quickly noticed the blood soaking through his shirt. His breathing was heavy, and his eyes were shut in pain.

“Andy…” she whispered. “No…hey…come on, now. You’ll be okay. You have to be.”

His eyes squinted open, and his mouth moved, but the words were too quiet for Marie to hear.

She leaned forward. “What?” she asked, her voice shaking. “No…never mind. Save your strength. Whatever it is, you can tell me later, all right?”

He chuckled softly and shook his head as much as he could manage before forcing himself to speak louder. “Tears…” he muttered. “I knew…that…” he moved his hand to her face, and as he did, she noticed for the first time that she had begun crying. “I want to see…even more…of your expressions. From now on.” He winced in pain.

She grasped his hand, gently removing it from her cheek and bringing it back down to a more comfortable position. Closing her eyes, she muttered, “You think that now, but…” Then, chuckling painfully, she finished, “Well, but there’s really no other way. You saved me, so now it’s my turn.”

Andy looked at her questioningly as she stood up. “Mar…”

She turned in the direction that the attacker ran off in. Andy stared down the path along with her, but as he did, he saw fire—small at first, but quickly expanding—form around her feet. Before he realized what had happened, a burst of flames, almost like a flare, exploded above them.

“Now, to stop him…” she muttered.

“What just…” Andy tried to ask, but he was either too quiet to hear, or she just chose to ignore it.

“Thank you!” she called out tearfully as she ran off. “For everything!”

She darted out of the alley and ran down the street with all her might, her eyes darting. “There!” she whispered, spotting the criminal driving a car a little ways off. She continued running, making sure to keep her eye on the man. Somehow, she’d have to catch up to him before…

Sirens.

The man obviously heard them as well. His speed increased slightly as he became determined to put as much distance between him and the alley as possible before any police came.

“No you don’t,” she murmured, coming to a halt and focusing on the car’s tires. “It’s a good thing so few people are out tonight.” All at once, each one imploded on itself, sending the car into a spin.

The man sat in his car, bewildered. Before long, a figure appeared in front of him. He had expected the police, but was surprised to see a woman’s shape instead.

Taking care to hide her face in shadows and dim light, she raised her hand toward the car. “So you have a fear of sirens, do you? Let’s see if we can’t fix that.”

The man suddenly felt warmer. He took his eyes off her for a moment, looking around the inside of the car. “Ah!” he let out a scream, seeing that the entire back seat had caught on fire. “What the—” He turned back to the woman, but she had already disappeared.

The sirens became louder.

Several days later, Marie stood behind the counter of the coffee shop where she worked. “I suppose Andy won’t be coming in anymore…” she mused a little forlornly. “Still. I wonder how he’s doing.”

No sooner had she thought that, the door opened and a familiar face strolled in.

“Marie,” came a voice from the other side of the counter. She spun around to look.

“Andy…” she whispered. “I…I didn’t expect…” she shook her head to steady her thoughts. “How are you feeling?” she asked quietly.

“A little worse for wear, but otherwise…” he shrugged his shoulders. “The doctor said I should be fine. “Lost a bit of blood, but as long as I ‘take it easy’ the next couple of days, I should be back to my full strength in no time.”

“That’s good,” she said, letting out a small sigh of relief. Then, she added, “Thank you for…before…”

An awkward sort of silence fell between the two, and Marie found herself wondering just how much he remembered from the other night and how she should begin explaining.

“It’s strange,” he began after a time. “The police said they found me because of some sort of flare.”

“…Oh?” she asked, looking down.

“Yes. And, stranger still,” he probed, “the suspect was caught shortly after, just a little down the road. Seems his tires had all blown out. The rest of his car was in flames, too, and he was practically begging for help by the time they reached him.”

“Is…is that so…?” she asked quietly, a little afraid.

After another few moments of silence, Andy laughed. “Well, whatever happened, I’m sure thankful for it.”

She looked up, surprised.

He smiled warmly at her when their eyes made contact. “Now, onto a different topic…I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep my promise to you.”

“Promise?” she questioned, a little confused.

“Yes. You know…about me leaving you alone and not coming back after one date. I’m far too interested in you now.” His smile widened considerably as he leaned in. “It’s like I said before,” he whispered teasingly, “you have far too much fire in you.”

Marie shot back a few steps, causing him to laugh good-naturedly. “Don’t worry, don’t worry…it’s our secret, okay? I wouldn’t want anyone else to start paying attention to you, after all.” He winked. “But that’s it for today,” he said, moving towards the door. “Until later.” He opened it and left with a quick wave.

She stood there for a few moments longer, still a bit stunned. Finally, however, she let out a small giggle of her own. “Well…until later, I suppose…” she mumbled to herself before getting back to work.

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Responses

  1. W-e-l-l, I was kinda hoping for a little more kick on the super-hero venture, but the fire was a good touch. Not sure I get the tears though, they were healing tears, or what? Good character in Andy though, just likeable enough and entirely annoying. LOL.

    • I know, it’s definitely not very superhero-like for something that’s supposed to be a superhero story… 😦 And the tears were just tears. She was freaking out a bit because he got hurt.


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