[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #62

Saxon Brenton 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.
Author's notes: 
     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
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
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