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