It occurs to me that I should probably explain how I got my superhero alter ego name. Yes I do have one, not that I blame anyone as I brought it on myself. So if anyone wants to make fun it I suppose I have it coming seeing how I have been expressing, and will continue to do so, my own opinions on the subject. But it is what it is and now I have to live with it.
Anyway, this is how it happened.
I decided to take Max’s advice and get my side of the story out there. Hey the guy can have a good idea every now and then. I talked it over with Ted and Kari and they agreed it couldn’t do any harm as long as I careful. No problem, with all I know, I am the Queen of Careful.
Now I know that getting my side of the story out will thoroughly tick off The Squad. However, I, and my chosen interviewer, were doing a good job of that anyway so what would a little more hurt?
I met her at her house or rather I came in announced, and this got a reasonable reaction.
“Oh my stars and garters!” Crystal Stemming cried leaning against her kitchen cabinet.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” I said apologetically as I stepped into her kitchen from the shadows as she was washing her dishes. I waited until she was done cooking because I didn’t want her to hurt herself. This way, she just got a little wet.
“Girl!” the woman said cried out fanning herself with the dishcloth she had been drying dishes with, “Have you never heard of a doorbell?”
“I really am sorry,” I said again, “Look this may disturb you, but you are probably being monitored by The Squad right now.”
“You think I don’t know that?” she asked as if I had made the stupidest comment ever, “Why do you think I’ve checking my house for listening devices and sent the husband and my two kids off to visit his mother? No need to have them being bothered because I am somewhat notorious for making my options known. The kids are on summer vacation and a week or two away from this madness will be good for them, oh and Freddy, that’s my husband.”
“Well I am sorry I scared you, and I’m sorry about The Squad disrupting your life which is my fault. We’re not exactly getting along right now.”
“You and me both sweet pea,” she said recovering quite nicely as she sat at her kitchen table, “Come on and sit down and let tell you of all the nasty stuff they are insinuating about me right now. Oh girl, they all but accuse me of being in league with you or the bank robbers or both. If you can believe that.”
Actually I could, and did and that was my fault too. The poor woman doesn’t deserve to have her life turned upside down just because she had the misfortunate of having an UNA rescue her.
“Oh don’t look so downcast. I’ve talked to my lawyer and they don’t have a leg to stand on. All the footage from the bank shows clearly that if I was in league with them then I seriously need to have my head examined. Very hyper boys and guns do no mix. Anyway I wasn’t their first pick as a hostage. Their first choice was a pretty little blond girl who fainted (I think she faked it, who said blonds were dumb) and I got picked next and wasn’t so smart. Besides those boys have been robbing banks in the next state over and they always use the same M.O. every time. Fortunately no hostages ever got hurt. My lawyer is currently advising The Mighty Superhero Security Squad’s representative to be careful of whom they are accusing of what if they do not want to be sued from here to there.”
I couldn’t help it, I laughed because she almost sounded like she was enjoying herself. Sounded like? Heck, she was enjoying herself.
“Maybe I should hire your lawyer,” I suggested wryly.
“If you need a shark he is a Great White. So you just coming over just to scare me out of year of my life or you got a reason?”
I leaned forward in my chair and explained, "It has been pointed out to me that it might be a good idea to get my side of the story out.”
Now you might think that having a blogger cover my story would not be the wisest move, but then Crystal Stemming is an actual reporter, or she used to be. She even won some prestigious awards for excellence in journalism. Then she got on the wrong side of Wildcat Woman, who I do not think has a right side, and found herself out of job. Have I mentioned that Squad members, especially the leadership, do not take criticism well? Well in case I haven’t, they don’t.
The woman was nodding with understanding and surmised, “And seeing that the major news always gives The Squad positive reviews you figured you might be a little creative. Good thinking sweet pea. Won’t say I’ll be soft on you, you superhero types get enough preferential treatment…”
Really? Since when? But she wouldn’t know that. The woman needed to be educated.
“…but I will be fair. So you got any no boundaries on questions? Not to say I’ll respect them I am a journalist after all, well sort of.”
“Just don’t ask anything stupid.”
“There are no stupid questions,” she said as she went to a drawer and pulled out a pen and steno pad before sitting down at the table again.
“In this case there are,” I insisted, “Because I will not answer them because that would be stupid.”
“Who am I really, what are my weaknesses that kind of stuff. I don’t want to give The Squad any free information. They are too nosey as it is and there is no need to encourage them.”
“That makes sense. Okay, first thing,” she started, “What’s your handle?”
“You’re name, not your real one, your superhero name.”
Oh my gosh, I thought, do I have to?
“I don’t have one.”
“You don’t? Sweet pea you’ve got to have a superhero name.”
At my lack of enthusiasm she asked, “What have you got against superhero names?”
“Come on you’ve heard them. You were making fun of them yourself. Remember, Captain Cornflake and Private Pervis?”
The woman gave a bark of laughter before justifying, “Well they deserved it. Although to give him credit the Sarge did take it a bit better, even gave me a smile. The boy doesn’t take himself too seriously, unlike that “God’s Gift To Superheroes” pretty boy partner of his. Anyway, “hey you in the black outfit” will not do. People got to know who you are and what you do. How hard can it be to come up with one that’s not so…so cereal box?”
“If it’s so easy why don’t you come up with one,” I challenged.
Why not? She is a writer. Anyway, she can’t do any worse.
“I don’t have much of an imagination,” I answered with a shrug, “Besides you’re the one who says I need one. Just do me a favor and try not to be too corny.”
“You have me do it and you will like what I give you,” she warned shaking her pen in my direction.
“Now that sounds like a threat,” I returned.
Crystal sat back and stated, “What? You don’t think I can come up with a good one do you? Now that’s a challenge sweet pea.”
“Not sweet pea,” I practically begged.
“No not sweet pea. Don’t worry, I’ll come up with something.”
Maybe I should have worried, because the next day when she posted our interview, I found out what she had “come up with.
And that’s how I got stuck with the name Lady Midnight.
Well it could have worse, in fact it has been.
In her post of the interview Crystal explained it was a combination of my shadow powers and because our interview was completed at midnight. A slight exaggeration as we were done by eleven twenty, but I guess midnight sounds more exotic. The lady part was a sign of respect, she said, because I had a lot of class.
Okay that part is pretty neat. Unless she’s exaggerating again.
So I am now Lady Midnight, and have spilled almost all of The Squad’s and the super scientists’ dirty little secrets, as least as much as I could without giving myself away. Of course the whole membership is denying it, whether actually agree or not.
This all means that the whole super world is going to be chasing after me now, because I’m not just an UNA on the loose, I’m an UNA who knows too much. So am I scared? .
I am terrified out of my mind.
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