Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chasing Lady Midnight - Chapter 10

Chapter 10 – The Pizza Party Of DOOM! (Not Really)

So I arrived at my parents’ house at the designated time bearing large quantities of pizza and soda pop. So much so, that I entered through the side door which leads into the kitchen so my Dad could help me carry everything inside.
Hey, when super young adults are down in the mouth they can eat a lot of junk food.
I kissed my mother and asked, “So how are they?”
She gave a shake of her head and answered, “That is one bunch of very unhappy kids right now.”
As my Dad brought in the last of the sodas he observed, “That’s what happens when you get your…backside handed to you. It happens to the best of us.”
“But it’s hard to take when you get the blame when it wasn’t your fault,” Mom said hotly.
Tracker should be very glad he is not here right now. I did mention how my Mom gets when anyone goes after her kids right?
“Now sweetie…”
“Don’t sweetie me. I haven’t been so mad since…”
My Dad gave her a wide eyed look of warning. I knew what it was about and wished I could just tell them I already knew about the controversy of a super powered couple raising a normal child thing. But it’s kind of an awkward subject to bring up with your parents.
So I pretended nothing was going on and announced, “I’ll tell them the food’s here that should cheer Aaron up at least.”
“Now he’s a growing boy,” my mother admonished.
“I hope not,” Dad laughed, “He has to duck to get through the doorways as it is.”
Leaving behind my laughing parents I entered the family room where I saw the members of The Protection Platoon in their civilian clothes of jeans and sweatshirts watching yet another replay of the battle on the news. I’d stopped watching it myself, mostly because I was sick of hearing The Squad putting the blame on what they termed as their overeager young members and the UNA who wouldn’t identify herself.
Oh well, blame loves company.
I leaned against the doorway and asked, “Are you guys going to rehash this thing all night? What’s done is done. Move on.”
The three looked back at me with varying expressions. Isabel gave a half-hearted smile. Ballistic Attack looked like a sorrowful overgrown Teddy Bear. Max, on the other hand, just gave me a sour look as he is of the opinion that a “normal” wasn’t entitled to an opinion of superhero matters. I know this because he’s told me so, often.
Isabel gave a sigh and said, “We’re just trying to figure out what we did wrong.”
“I don’t know that you did anything wrong,” I said cautiously trying not to give anything away, “You didn’t know what she could do and she took advantage of it.”
“But how did she know what we could do?” Max muttered staring at the television screen again.
“You’re kidding right?” I asked unable to hide the sarcasm if I even attempted to do so, “The Squad has had the three of you on TV specials showing everything you can do since you started in their special school for gifted superheroes. It would be surprising if she didn’t know what you could do.”
Ballistic Attack, aka Aaron Stevens, gave me a look then nodded saying, “That’s a good thought.” “I have them every now and then.”
“It is a good thought, how did you think of that?” Maximillian Flores asked as if were an unusual thing because, of course, normals do not have a brain in their heads.
I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes. I don’t know how Max and I used to be friends. Of course, that was before he started going to The Squad School and was taught that normal people were inferior. They deny that do that, but Max has never been shy about letting me know about the advanced learning he receives.
Usually I ignore his stupid remarks, but this time I decide to take him on.
“I live in the real world Max, not the rarified Ivory Tower you all do. “
“Meaning?” he prompted.
“Meaning we normal people may know some things that you don’t because we don’t believe everything we are told.”
“Careful Annie,” Aaron said with a smile, “You’re beginning to sound like blogger lady our UNA rescued today. Even Max was scared of her.”
“I was not scared of her,” his leader objected.
“Which is why she struck you into silence?”
“I think she has a point,” Isabel said unexpectedly.
We all looked at her in astonishment because Isabel is definitely not the rock the boat type.She's more the point me in the direction you want me to go and I'll do it type.
Hoping desperately that Kari is wrong about my parents’ house possibly being bugged, I ask, “What do you mean Isabel?”
Isabel, perhaps still stinging from the injustices that had been thrown her way today answered, “I just thought being a superhero meant I was going to be helping people.”
Again everyone was silent. Even I had never suspected that Isabel was discontented with her lot in life, at least not yet.
“We help people,” Max objected.
“I don’t mean babysitting politicians or photo ops with celebrities,” my sister protested, “I mean…like the police, Protect and Serve. How come they do it and we don’t?”
“That’s their job, baby girl,” Aaron offered, but he was sounding a little uncertain himself.
“Well it should be our job too. This isn’t what I thought superheroes did,” Isabel sighed.
“What did you think we would do?” Max asked, but not condescending like he usually did, he just sounded…interested like the thought had never occurred to him before.
“Well…like her,” she said pointing to the TV Screen which was showing a close up picture of me working the shadows, “I mean I know we don’t know who she is, and that’s a bad thing, but she saved a total stranger from guys with guns without even thinking about it. That’s what superheroes should do.”
Of course she was right. I was never so proud, my baby sister the revolutionary. So since they were thinking at the moment, and if The Squad was listening we were all in trouble anyway, or at least they were, I decided to throw some fuel on the fire.
“Why is it a bad thing not to know who she is?” I asked.
The three junior superheroes looked at me like I had said we should march on The Squad’s Headquarters, The Mighty Superhero Dome of Justice. I’m not kidding that’s what they call it.
I told you these guys need to hire a writer.
Max, now recovering his superior attitude, answered, “Ann you just can’t have undocumented super beings running around all over the country.”
“Why not? This is a free country, at least the last time I checked.”
I knew the answer to all of these why questions of course. Because The Squad said so, what I was trying to get them to at least consider was that that was a pretty lousy answer.
Deciding to take my small victory I stood up straight and said, “Anyway enough with the post mortem I’m sure you’ll all hear enough about this in the upcoming days. Turn that thing off and come into the kitchen where’s there’s soda and pizza.”
Even Max perked up at that announcement.
A few minutes later we were all sitting around the kitchen table eating pizza and drinking sodas. Mom and Dad had taken theirs out into the family room. I knew it was a precautionary move just so Mom didn’t go for someone’s throat if they dared to criticize Isabel. Of course, she hadn’t been there when the guys had stood up to Tracker when he had done just that. I would have to make sure she saw that footage.
Of course we ended up back on the subject of the UNA. That’s the problem with superheroes they don’t have anything else to talk about except superhero stuff because they are so sheltered and their life experience is so narrow.
“I have to admit,” Max was saying, “Whoever she is, her powers are impressive. You should have seen your face Isabel when she pulled you down that manhole Isabel.”
“Oh don’t remind me, you have no idea how bad that smelled. Then I hit myself with my own Starblast and it hurt.”
“I bet it did,” I said meaningfully.
“You never forget anything do you?” she retorted.
“Isabel your blasts are kind of hard to forget. Did you notice Tracker’s expression when she picked him up?”
Everyone laughed, except Max but he did smile.
After a few seconds I finally decided to ask a question that had been bothering me.
“Isabel what I don’t understand is why you attacked her in the first place, especially from behind. Not sporting and it invites criticism, especially after she just saved somebody. Why not just ask who are you and what are your intentions?”
“It wasn’t my idea,” Isabel said not at all defensive because, well I’m her sister I’m supposed to second guess her, “Tracker said to do that, and if it didn’t work just get her to where we all could take her into custody. Also I didn’t see her save that woman. She was bending towards her, but I didn’t know what had happened until I saw it on the news. It may sound lame, but I just thought Tracker knew what he was doing.”
“Yeah,” Aaron said in between bites of pizza, “He is supposed to be the tactical genius. All he accomplished was to make us look incompetent and the UNA to look like a victim.”
Was it my imagination or did easy going Aaron actually sound disgruntled?
“Well whoever she is,” Max said wiping his mouth, “She is not going to be popular for long. I mean the media always spins everything The Squad’s way, and I doubt that the UNA will come forward to give an interview to any of them to tell her side. They’d just make her look bad.”
I thought about that. The Squad did always come out on top with the mainstream media. But not all of the media.
No, that was a crazy idea. Wasn’t it?
Maybe I would talk it over with Ted and Kari and see what they thought about my crazy idea.
I mean after all, she does owe me.

 

Mystery and adventure writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Cozy Mystery Series, and a superhero story called Chasing Lady Midnight. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. A big secret from her past, which is not so secret anymore, is that she used to a major comic book geek. Nowadays she loves to crochet, but she is still a big fan of the old Scooby Doo cartoons.
Cindy posts on her own blog called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales at http://shortmysteriesandtalltales.blogspot.com as well as The Cozy Mystery Magazine on http://cozymysterymagazine.blogspot.com
Her Facebook Authors Page is located at http://www.facebook.com/pages/CL-Ragsdale/219184744858421  

1 comment:

  1. Cindy! You've come out from underneath your hat! How awesome you look! (Of course, I thought the hat was cool!) Loved Ch. 10 and shared it.

    ~Nancy Jill

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