[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #55

Saxon Brenton saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Sat Nov 6 16:46:21 PST 2004

The Daily Super Short-Short Story #55
A Devil Came Down to Georgia 37
Last time: The boys were holed up at TJ's place when they were attacked 
With Molotovs.
     The fire spread quickly. Martin made a game attempt at connecting 
himself to the water taps in the kitchen and make a sprinkler system of 
himself, but the pressure was too low and the burning alcohol took ahold 
too fast. Delroy and TJ had already retreated to the door by the time he 
gave up.
     "Come on!" yelled Delroy over his shoulder as the two of them ran 
down the hall, banging on doors and yelling, "Fire!" before heading for 
the stairwell. Just as they were about to head down, they heard Martin 
call out from behind them. When they turned to see what he wanted, he 
pointed upwards and yelled, "Upstairs!"
     "What?" went TJ. It took him a second to realise that with Martin's 
abilities they were hardly likely to be trapped if they went up, and by 
that time Martin had bounded up the hallway and grabbed they both.
     "We go upstairs," Martin emphasised. "More people likely to be 
trapped, and maybe Lisa and her lot will be confused when we don't 
escape to street level."
     "Maybe," said TJ. "Or maybe they'll figure that this sort of thing 
is exactly what you'll do."
     "Oh come on," said Delroy as they arrived on the top level. "How 
likely are they to figure that?"
     TJ had a nasty suspicion, and said, "Martin doesn't want to end up 
like Lisa, no matter how much being a Teenaged Giant Fallen Halfbreed 
Fallen Angel might be in his blood. Trying to do good and even play 
superhero is the obvious way of resisting. If they recognise that, and 
try to use it against him..."
     Martin winced as he recognised the truth of the underlying statement, 
even if the risk it suggested seemed remote. For Delroy, Martin's 
insistence in helping against the Banjo Duelling Kangaroos suddenly made 
sense. Nevertheless, Delroy pointed out, "Just because they might realise 
how he's going to resist in general, doesn't mean they can anticipate our 
every move."
     "We can hope..." said TJ, but he sounded dubious. Martin, who'd been 
inside his head, recognised that hope wasn't something that TJ usually 
held truck with.
     They got halfway through banging on the doors along the top floor 
before it occurred to Martin to make a siren and wake the tenement. TJ 
commented, "You realise that'll tell them were we are, don't you?"
     Martin gave him an irritated look. "Yes. That's a risk I'll just 
have to take." TJ simply nodded; he figured that Martin really needed to 
do this, more for his own peace of mind than for any practical effects.
     By this time there were people coming out into the hallway and been 
alarmed by the smoke that was starting to drift up the stairway. The three 
young men were at the other end of the hall, and Delroy stuck his head out 
the window to look around. Then he turned to Martin and said, "Well, if 
we're going to do this right, you'll probably need to ferry everybody to 
the next building."
     "No, not ferry," said TJ with his deceptively calm voice. "Just tear 
the wall out and build a bridge across. We'll go get everybody." He turned 
his head slightly, as if to listen to the sound of the fire engines that 
were now just beginning to be heard, then he added, "But watch out for 
the demons!"
     Delroy and TJ began banging on door again and herding people towards 
the end of the hall. "Don't worry guys, we've got a superhero who can get 
you across to the next building," TJ called out to his neighbours, 
prompting Martin to think to himself,  .oO( Oh yeah, superheroes. ) before 
covering his head with the metallic half-face helmet of MegaMetal BlastLord.
     It took about a quarter of an hour to get everybody across the 
impromptu bridge that Martin had made from himself, and the last few 
stragglers had only been convinced to not waste time bringing possessions 
because of the thick and choking smoke that was now filling the building. 
     Afterwards the three of them were standing on the street, watching 
the building burn as the firemen tried to keep the conflagration from 
spreading. "You know, this is probably my fault," said Martin.
     "What? Having Lisa chase you? That's not your fault," said Delroy.
     "I mean the fire. I think..." he looked embarrassed. "What if I let 
the cloaking field slip while I was sneaking around in Tim's head?"
     It was possible, of course, thought TJ, but for some reason he felt 
more irritation at Martin for continuing to call him Tim than the 
possibility of letting Lisa and Kien get a bead on them. He said, "And 
what if you've never been able to create a cloaking effect at all, and 
Lisa's simply been playing with you?" It would have been nice to be able 
to blame someone, but to TJ's mind having demons play cat-and-mouse with 
them actually made more sense; with Martin's suggestion, you had a measure 
of control over your circumstances, and could avoid bad stuff happening 
if you just put a bit of effort in.
     "Maybe," said Martin. "But all your things..."
     TJ shrugged fatalistically. "What's more important? Trying to save 
stuff, or living and being able to replace it later?"
     Martin gave him a dubious look. That hadn't been what he'd been 
talking about. He'd also noticed a dubious paradox to the way Tim thought.
     "We'd better get to the Legion Headquarters," TJ said. Then, as they 
turned to go, Lisa whipped out two long tentacle-arms and snatched Delroy 
and TJ by the throats.
Tomorrow: Lisa gets a surprise.
The Daily Super Short-Short Story series created by Arthur Spitzer, and 
used with belated permission. 
All main characters created by Saxon Brenton are Ask First Before Use 
for the duration of this storyline, then they'll probably go to Usable 
Without Permission. 
Saxon Brenton     University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia 
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
The Eyrie Archives of Russ Allbery which collect the online superhero 
fiction of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup can be found at: 

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