SG: Sporkman #3 - A New Hunch

Greg Fishbone gfishbone at
Sun Nov 25 22:36:20 PST 2007

     Underling Number Twenty-Two crouched unseen in the shadows of the
control room. Like the rest of her serially numbered siblings, Number
Twenty-Two was made from tougher stuff than a normal human and
pre-programmed with natural fighting skills--but she also had the
ability to become moderately invisible while keeping still and silent.
It was a standard fairy trick, she'd been told, which sometimes made
her wonder what exactly Nobody Important had spliced into her DNA.

     Under the flashing emergency lights, Roger Important sweated
profusely as the superheroine named Spoonstryke recounted the twelve
primary reasons why she shouldn't be considered "hot."

     "Reason eight," said Spoonstryke. "I've never been sick or run a
fever in my life! Reason nine, the cover story in the June 2006 issue
of Superguy Monthly referred to my 'ice-cold glare as if she might
have liquid nitrogen running through her veins.' Reason ten, global
warming makes me seem less and less hot each year in contrast with the
rest of the world. Reason eleven--"

     Spoonstryke blinked and in that instant the Serially Numbered
Underling sprang, covering twenty feet while the superheroine's eyes
were still dropping closed. Spoonstryke responded toward the middle
part of the blink, with her eyes at maximum closure, perhaps sensing
vibrations from the underling's footfalls or changes in air-pressure
that accompanied her charge. The superheroine sidestepped, put a hand
on the underling's shoulder, and forced her to the ground. As the
blink ended and her eyes opened again, Spoonstryke wrenched Number
Twenty-Two's arms painfully behind her back and pinned her under one
of her boots.

     "--I've been nominated for Coolest Costume three years in a row
in the Grunion Awards ceremony that takes place only in my own head,"
Spoonstryke continued, as if nothing had even happened. "And reason
twelve, if I'm so hot, why haven't I had a date in two-and-a-half

     Number Twenty-Two groaned in defeat. "Sorry, sir. I thought I
could take her."

     "It's okay, Tee-Tee," said Roger. "You tried your best, but she's
got some really cool reflexes."

     Spoonstryke trembled like a volcano ready to erupt. "I AM NOT COOL!!!"

**  The Sporkarific Sporkman
**  Episode #3: A New Hunch
**  By Greg R. Fishbone
** Rude Awakenings #3 of 5

     "You have a nice place here," said the young man, begrudgingly,
from his seat on the terrace. He looked out on the Paris skyline,
nibbled at a slice of toast, and moved the eggs around his plate. He
used the ordinary fork that Jeanette had provided, but fumbled it
awkwardly as if he weren't quite used to its straight unspoonlike

     "Family money," Jeanette explained. "I come from a long line of
doctors. If zhere's a LeBlanc on staff at your 'ospital, eet's likely
a cousin, sibling, or parent of mine."

     "Are you a doctor too?"

     Jeanette frowned. "Almost but not quite. I had a hunch zhat
medical school would be a terrible mistake, but father wanted me to go
and zhat was zhat. I ended up quitting in my second year but zee
damage, she was already done."

     "What damage?"

     She sighed. "You have to understand, I've had zhese hunches all
my life and never gave zhem a second thought. Going against a hunch
had always made me feel bad, but zhis time was so much worse. I had
nausea, 'eadaches, blurry vision, and zee constant hunch through my
first semester zhat eet still wasn't too late to quit. Zhen zee
feeling went away, and I just felt sad all of zee time."

     "I dropped out of school myself. It just didn't seem important
anymore after--" The young man looked out over the city and sighed.
"You're not the only one with uncertainties, Miss LeBlanc."

     "Uncertainties yes, but not like zhis," Jeanette insisted. "While
I was at school, a supervillain appeared in Paris. Docteur de la Mort,
he called himself. He kidnapped children and performed 'orrible
experiments on zhem. Dozens died before he was finally caught."

     "That's terrible."

     "Eet gets worse. Eet turns out zhat Docteur de la Mort had always
wanted to be a real doctor, but only just failed to get into zee
school of his choice--my school. He was at zee top of zee waiting list
during my first semester. If I'd decided not to go, or if I'd dropped
out early enough, he would have been admitted."

     The young man reached across the table and took her hand. "That's
not your fault. If the guy was that unstable, he would have made a
terrible doctor even if he had gotten into medical school."

     "Oh, but eet is my fault! I know in my bones zhat he would have
become a legendary, award-winning doctor if only I hadn't stolen his
spot. If I'd followed my hunch, zhat man would have saved lives
instead of taking zhem! Ever since zhen, I've followed my hunches as
much as is possible. I have too much blood on my 'ands to risk another

     "Oooookay," said the young man, doubtfully.

     "Zhat is why I need your help."

     He pushed away from the Jeanette and stood up. "Lady, you don't
need me. You need a psychiatrist."

     "You are a superguy," she told him.

     "I'm Mickey Dunne, a college dropout and unemployed loser,
hitchhiking through Europe and slowly drinking himself into oblivion."

     "You are lying. I know what you are. I have zhat ability, in
addition to zee hunches."

     "You couldn't possibly--"

     "Mickey Dunne..." A sudden realization came over her. "I have
proof, I think. Come zhis way and take a look!"

     Mickey shook his head. "Lady--"

     "Please, just zhis one thing. If you're not convinced, I will let
you go on your way and no 'arm done."

     Mickey rolled his eyes but followed her back into the house.

     "I was in zee video store last week, and I had a hunch zhat I
needed to buy a certain DVD. Eet was nothing I ever would watch, but
now I feel zhat eet was meant for you instead of for me."

     "Yeah, whatever." Mickey shrugged and tried not to show how
impressed he was by the setup of Jeanette's high-end home theater
system and the floor-to-ceiling shelves that could have doubled as a
Netflix warehouse. "Which movie are you talking about?"

     Jeanette reached for a paper bag, still unopened, and pulled out
a shiny holographic box. The captions were in English: "Action!!!
Adventure!!! Externalized Inner Monologues!!! Emma Dunne is...THE

     Mickey stared at the costumed woman on the front of the box.

     "Well?" asked Jeanette. "Does zhis have any special meaning for you?"

     "Yeah," he said in a distant voice. "That's my mom!"




All this and meta-references galore in the next episode of The
Sporkarific Sporkman, only on the Sci-Fi Channel and/or Superguy!


One of Mickey's defining characteristics in the original series was
his belief that the world was a brighter, better place than might
otherwise be evident. The old Mickey, a.k.a. Sporkboy, would not have
been able to accept the story of Docteur de la Mort, where a villain
acts without any apparent motive or purpose and succeeds in taking
innocent life before being stopped. Today's Mickey takes Jeanette's
story in stride, and I feel kind of bad about his loss of innocence.
The world has disappointed him so many times that he seems to have
become numb to it.

I also feel bad for Mickey's new friend, Jeanette, who seems to be one
of those people with such overdeveloped consciences that they have
guilt even for things done by others. I put all the logical arguments
to the contrary into Mickey's mouth but there's nothing at this point
that can convince Jeanette that she's not responsible for those

Mickey's mother, Emma Dunne, first appeared in Preteen Patrol #4,
posted March 9, 1995. She was a narrator then but not THE NARRATOR
yet. We will see more of her soon!

Nancy, as Spoongirl, always had a competent and professional fighting
style, even at a very young age. As Spoonstryke, her skills have been
upgraded considerably. "Formidable" is one word that comes to mind.
"Scary" is another. Ten years ago there was always some question in my
mind about whether her skills were superhuman or the result of an
extremely strong will and sense of purpose. Now, I'm thinking it's a
healthy dosage of both.

Greg R. Fishbone -
* President: Class of 2k7 -
* ARA: New England SCBWI -

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