MISC: GODLING # 64 Grief by J. Vandersteen

jvdsteen1974 at gmail.com jvdsteen1974 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 15:54:16 PDT 2020

GODLING # 64  Grief by J. Vandersteen 

– GODLING – THE ONE MAN PANTHEON:  Grief by J. Vandersteen

Three men in leather jackets are in convenience store. They are thrashing the place with baseball bats. The stuff in the racks smashed to pieces. The old man behing the cash registers begs them to stop.
     "You need some better protection if you want this to, stop old man!" one of the guys in the jackets, a big dude with a goatee says.
     "Please, no! I can't pay you! Business is hard enough as it is."
      The goatee walks to the cash register and smashes it. He grabs the money from it. "Then this will have to do until next time."
      Suddenly another of the thugs crashes against the wall behind the register. The goatee turns around, "What the?"
      There stands Godling, The One Man Pantheon. "Drop that bat and surrender," the hero says. The third thug is spread-eagled on the floor, next to Godling's boot.
      "Forget about it!" the goatee says and comes at the hero with his bat swinging.
      Godling grabs the bat and pulverizes it with the strength of Heracles.
      "I told you to surrender," Godling says and headbutts the thug whose lights go out immediately.
      "Thank you, Godling!" the old man says.
      "I'm just sorry I wasn't here in time to prevent the damage. Let me help you clean up," Godling says. He grabs a broom and with the speed of Hermes has the place cleaned up in no time.
      "Thank you so much," the old man says. "You know, it's become pretty bad ever since Dober-Girl was killed. She used to be real good at protecting us from thugs like that."
      Godling sighs. "I know, I'm sorry. I'll try to be around for you people in Lower Troy more."

Two days earlier... The funeral of Dober-Girl. There is a gathering of punks, metalhead as well as some cops. And Godling, holding a speech.
     "Dober-Girl was instrumental in standing up for the little man in this city. I often have to keep busy fighting alien threats or supervillains who want to destroy or conquer Earth. And then there's the high-tech terrorists. What I didn't know was the amazing person Kathleen was."
     A beautiful redhead is crying on the front row. It's Daisy, the tattoo-artist girlfriend of Kathleen/Dober-Girl.
     "I hope the people around her find a way to deal with the pain of losing her. I hope the thought she died a hero will help them."

Now. Daisy is in her tattoo shop, trying to draw a design. She shreds the paper, frustrated. "I just can't concentrate anymore!"
    "It's hard, Daisy. I understand. It probably will be for a long time to come," a voice behind her speaks. Daisy turns around, surprised to see Godling there.
    "Sorry. The door was open," Godling says.
    "That's... That's okay," Daisy says.
    "I hope you appreciated my speech. It feels a bit strange, only knowing her as a vigilante, much more than a person."
    "I used to hate it when she came in all battered and bruised. She always told me she could take care of herself. Even got me to believe it," Daisy says.
    "Kathleen was very tough and competent. The villain she faced was very powerful, however. But he's gone forever now. And Kathleen's death was instrumental in me tracking the killer down. A lot of future victims have been saved by her actions."
    "That doesn't bloody bring her back to me!" Daisy yelled. "She wasn't invulnerable like you are, Godling! Damn you! You should have told her how dangerous the job was."
    "It's not a job. More of a calling, I think. And yes, I feel a lot of guilt. Especially since the last defender of Lower Troy, Safari, was killed by a villain as well (way back in # 14)."
    "I know all about that guilt. I should have bloody forbidden her to go out there with that stupid costume."
    "I know all about grief and guilt. I lost my mother to cancer, my father to suicide (which was first told in Godling # 5). It is hard to find the strength to carry on, but you will."
    "Well, I don't know bloody how!"
    "You will. You will grief for quite some time. Then you will find strength in your passions to go on. For me it was my love of mythology and history. For you it is your art. Give it time."
    "I dread the nights alone."
    Godling puts a hand on her shoulder. "You will be okay, Daisy. I promise."
    With those words he leaves the shop again, he jumps up and with the powers of Perseus flies off. A tear rolls down his cheek.

An Italian restaurant. Monica Sawyer and Wade Hudson are having dinner.
   "I must say the violent death of Dober-Girl kind of shocked me,' Monica says.
   "What do you mean?" Wade says, after a sip of beer.
   "Well... The fact she wasn't able to protect herself from that serial killer. With all the powers she has. It makes me worry about you. Out on those streets with all those monstrous supervillains."
   "I've done pretty well for myself so far," Wade says with a wink. "I can take care of myself. I've been fighting on these streets for a lot longer than Dober-Girl. But it's nice of you to care."
   "But often Godling was there to save you," Monica says.
   "What?! You think I need that showboat to keep me alive?" Wade yells and hammers the table.
   "Take it easy," Monica says and wipes off some of the wine spilled by Wade's action. "Don't be that macho all of the time!"
   "I'm not being macho. I just don't like you doubting my skills."
   "I just can't take it anymore. It can't work out. You're way of dealing with things, your macho behavior," Monica says and gets up. She leaves some money on the table.
   "Monica, wait!" Wade says. "I love you!"
   "Sometimes that's not enough," Monica says and leaves.
Godling changes back to Quentin Alexander as soon as he steps inside his apartment.
   "That was a rough encounter. I do hope I was able to help her a bit," Quentin says to himself. That's when the doorbell rings.
    He opens the door. Monica stands in his doorway, crying, her make-up running.
    "Monica? What's wrong?" he asks.
    "Wade... We... Had a fight again," she says.
    "Come in, come in." Quentin leads Monica inside. "Have a seat."
    She sits down. "Thanks.."
    "You want a drink? Water? Something stronger perhaps?"
    "I know you usually don't stock anything stronger," Monica says.
    "I had a darker episode for some time. You remember? I have some Jack Daniels left from those I think," Godling says, referring to Godling # 49.
    "Oh yeah, I remember. We never really talked much about that time? How did you get back on your feet?"
    "Stuff changed," Quentin says. "But I want to know what exactly what wrong with Wade this time."
    After Quentin poured some Jack Daniels that Monica sipped she said, "It was the whole macho crap again, basically. Oh, I'm so tired of it. I just can't handle it anymore."
    Quentin sat next to her, stroked her hair. "He loves you, I do know that."
    "Yes, but it's not enough," she said giving Quentin a long look. "I wish he just had your sensitivity..."
    Quentin stares in her eyes. Their lips come closer. Then Quentin recoils. He thinks, "No. Not now. Not in this way. That would be like taking advantage of her..."
    "I don't want to be alone tonight," Monica says.
    "Oh no... All my dreams could come true now? But it feels wrong, so wrong. No," Quentin thinks. He says, "You can sleep on my couch. I will bring you some pillows, a blanket..."
    "Thanks, you're such a wonderful friend," Monica says and kisses Quentin's cheek.
Outside the apartment building stands Wade Hudson. "I should have known you would go here, damn you!"

NEXT: More drama...

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