[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #39
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Sun Oct 17 13:19:35 PDT 2004
The Daily Super Short-Short Story #39
A Devil Came Down to Georgia 21
Last Time: Martin made plans to try to control his abilities. Then,
yesterday, Saxon was attacked by the Writers Block Beast and had to beat
it off with a lead pipe. ("Arrooo!" "Shut UP you bloody thing! I don't
CARE if all this text is going you a migraine, I am NOT going to let you
eat my leg. Now get lost, or I'll give you some more what-for with that
Delroy knocked on Martin's door. It was now early on Friday evening,
and Delroy was wondering where Martin had gotten off to. Not turning up
for classes was one thing - Martin mightn't quite be as bad as Shane, but
there were still one or two occasions when he had asked to crib Delroy's
notes - but not turning up for dinner was another.
.oO( Probably has the flu or something, ) he thought as he recalled
his tiredness while playing basketball the previous day.
When no one answered Delroy knocked again. Then he called out, "Hey
Martin, you in there?"
"I'm kinda busy, Del," said Martin. "Can you come back later?"
Delroy rolled his eyes. "Nope. Ain't gonna do that. It's all well
and good to be busy studying, but if you're missing meals you're not
going to be able to concentrate as well as normal. Now open up."
After a delay the door opened. "You're a pain, you know that?" said
Martin. He'd been turning away even as he opened the door for Delroy, and
was now heading back to his computer terminal. Combine that with the way
he had the hood up on his sweatshirt, and Delroy hadn't even had the
chance to catch sight of his face.
Delroy didn't bother to answer Martin's grumbling. Instead he asked,
"So how you feeling? When you didn't turn up for dinner, I was wondering
whether you might be laid up sick or something."
"Oh, so-so," replied Martin, putting out one hand (which he'd been
able to recreate) and rocking it back and forth in a gesture of
changeableness. "I kinda had a rough night last night."
Delroy missed the prevarication in that last sentence because he'd
caught sight of the metallic glint on Martin's hand. "What are you wearing?"
" Wearing?' " went Martin. Then he slapped his forehead with one
hand. "Of course. 'Wearing'. Cosplay. Oh Lord, I'm a dunce, I didn't even
think of that one!"
"What are you talking about?"
Martin paused. Then he slowly rolled up his sleeve, revealing an arm
that was covered in smooth metal. "I had a bit of trouble last night, and
I've been spending most of today trying to sort out the mess. I'm kind of
proud of the fact that I've at least been able to get the skin smooth,"
he added with forced casualness, "although I'm still a bit ticked off
about the way my pyjamas got shredded."
"Hold up hold up hold up. What?"
The student swivelled his seat around and pulled back the hood on
the sweatshirt. Delroy gaped. Almost half of Martin's was covered in
metal. Most of it was smooth. "I starting growing metal bits and stuff
last night. And changing shape, which was really painful, let me tell you.
It seems to be some type of techno-organic superpower. See, this isn't
something I'm wearing - although I feel stupid for not having thought of
that as an excuse. This is me. All the way in to the bone."
Delroy raised an eyebrow. "So, mutant superpowers, huh?" he said. It
was a lame statement of the obvious, but it was the first thing that
jumped into his head - and then out of his mouth before he could stop it.
"That was my first thought, yeah," said Martin. "But I'm not really
"You're not sure? Well, if Shane was here, he'd probably ask you if
you were bitten by a radioactive toaster, or something, but what else
could it be?"
Martin shrugged and tried to play ignorant. "I've got this strange
feeling that it might be something else, but I don't think I can explain
it properly." Which was true enough. It just that it was getting people
to believe that was the problem, not articulating what he knew. "For all
I know the shapeshifting might have been affecting my mind, and I might
just be having strange ideas." And this also was a real possibility,
although Martin didn't believe it or a second.
"Okay," said Delroy as he tried to absorb this. "I shouldn't let
myself get sidetracked. You said it was painful. Are you okay now?"
"Hey, I'm fine now. Well, I'm not changing shape uncontrollably, my
muscles aren't cramping in pain anymore, and I've been able to smooth out
most of the metal so that I don't look like a cancerous metal growth with
spiky bits all over the place. I've even been able to get some of the
metal to retreat and get some of my skin back in place." Then he touched
his face and added, "But I've still got a way to go with that, though."
"Well, that's a good start, I suppose. Was it bad last night?"
"Oh, man, last night was a nightmare. I was half out of my head, and
I think I wrecked an ATM."
"That was you? It was all over the campus this morning that some
thieves had tried to make of with a teller machine. How the Hell did you
Martin snorted in exasperation. "You remember that scene in 'Akira'
where Tetsuo's at the stadium, in the chair, and when he tries to stand
up he finds that his arm has started to grow like tree roots and has him
anchored down? It was like that. I leaned against a wall, and had to pull
myself free. Took me ages to calm down and get things under control to
keep that from happening again. I didn't feel safe to come back to my
room until about dawn in case I wrecked it."
"Whew. I can see why that would be freaky. You were lucky there was
nobody around to get hurt."
"The only person I met was some flasher or mugger or something
hanging around. He dropped his pants and wiggled his dick at me, and I
slashed him across the guts as a reflexive defence." Martin frowned in
distaste at the memory. "If there's been no mention of that around campus
even after the cops had been to check out the ATM, then I suppose he
wasn't that badly hurt, and managed to get away and got help. I don't
think I'll have to worry about him reporting anything; a pervert skulking
around at night assaulting people isn't going to want to draw attention to
himself with a complaint." Then Martin paused and wondered, .oO( Should
I mention the attack by the sock and how my hand got blown apart? )
Tomorrow: Martin and Delroy make plans.
The Daily Super Short-Short Story series created by Arthur Spitzer, and
used with belated permission.
Saxon Brenton University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
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