[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #62
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Sat Nov 13 15:07:11 PST 2004
The Daily Super Short-Short Story #62
A Devil Came Down to Georgia 44: Epilogue
Last time: The diabolicals were defeated and everyone went home.
It was several days later and TJ was sitting up in bed at the Legion
of Net.Heroes HQ. Martin's contacts with Exclamation!Master! had proven
useful after all, and the Legion (whatever their actual membership is at
the moment) had been able to deal with the poisons and TJ's gut wound
remarkably efficiently. Which was a relief; Martin had been worried that
Lisa's venom might have had supernatural properties that even a superhero
medical bay might not have been able to treat properly.
Now Martin appeared at the door. "How's it going?" he asked.
"Getting better," admitted TJ, his hand briefly touching the
dressings on his stomach. "How's Delroy?"
"He's cool. Kid Kicked-Out even knows someone who he says he might
be able get to help give Del his face back."
TJ nodded. "He knows a lot of people."
"Yeah. But... not necessarily all of them are on good terms, if you
now what I mean. Problematic superpowers."
There was a moment's awkward silence before Martin continued, "I've
been thinking things over, and I think I need to say I'm sorry about..."
"Martin," interrupted TJ with a hint of exasperation, "You've already
given me apologies for being in the camps and for my flat burning down,
and you weren't even responsible for the first one. We're still not sure
about the second either, when you get down to it."
"That might've been bad phrasing on my part. There's a difference
between giving condolences and admitting liability. I *do* know that.
Really. " He rubbed his face, more to buy himself a few more seconds
than because of tiredness. "The talk about getting Delroy's face back
got me thinking about what you'd lost, and how I ripped off your dick
and stuff. I... Sorry, this has been difficult for me to talk about. See,
uh, even if you leave aside the stuff about church teachings about gays,
for me personally the thought of being intimate with other men gives me
goosebumps. It's just something that makes me feel icky. So even if what
I did that to you was in the anger of the moment, well, I guess it's just
the type of thing I don't feel comfortable talking about overall. I think
I've just been avoiding the whole issue. Sorry."
"Oh. Okay," said TJ. He looked both thoughtful and put out.
"Is that a problem?"
"Not really. I was thinking about how I feel about... something
related to that."
"What? That I don't like gays?" said Martin a touch defensively.
"Maybe. That isn't what I was thinking about, though. Actually, I
was worried that I shouldn't be caring what you think or don't think."
.oO( He's actually starting to relate to other people? ) thought
Martin with a mild sense of wonder. He relaxed and leaned against the
doorframe. "That might be because people care about their friends, even
when they don't agree with them," he suggested.
"Yes," said TJ in a totally neutral tone.
.oO( He still doesn't know whether that's a good thing or a bad
thing, ) Martin realised. Then he recalled something Shane had arranged
earlier in the week. Shane, of course, had been majorly ticked off at
Delroy and Martin for running off and getting involved with mutants and
demons and Banjo Duelling Kangaroos and an honest-to-God food fight
alongside Jesus Christ, just so that Shane could finish off a due
assignment, but had set something up for when Delroy got out of hospital.
"Listen," said Martin. "A friend of ours at the seminary has gotten
some tickets to a baseball game in a few weeks time, and he should still
have some spares. Would you like to come?"
TJ looked blank for a few seconds, then smiled - the first genuinely
happy smile that Martin seen on his face. "I think I'd like that," he said.
Ha! Finished! And thank goodness; I was beginning to worry that I
might be getting close to burnout. This took longer than I thought, since
I was expecting it to be maybe thirty posts long, maximum. However, stuff
kept turning up, and in fact there are a few elements that I hinted at
along the way that were planted for future expansion, but which I decided
to not follow up on. And then there was the decision I made about half
way through to start getting rid of some of the villains, otherwise I'd
end up making things even longer in order to do justice to them as
characters - which resulted in the rather abrupt removal of Damian. No,
that wasn't part of a grand pre-planned surprise plot twist, it was the
Writer having a brief panic attack :-)
Anyway, thanks to Arthur for allowing me to continue with this even
though I hadn't asked permission first. Thanks to everyone who wrote in
with encouragement, including constructive criticism. And I'm sorry about
starting that flamewar in passing - but perhaps we can make something
useful out of it, since the RACCies nominations will be coming up soon,
and somebody can nominate it for Best Flamewar, or something.
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
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