Thursday, April 24, 2014

Friday Fiction a day early!

So, two weeks ago Chuck posted the challenge to write the opening line of a story.  The past Friday the challenge was to pick someone's line, and use it to write.  So I did what I normally do, I scanned through & wrote down the ones that stood out to me.  After some brainstorming I ended up with something pretty well I think.

I feel like I'm getting better at writing action, hopefully everyone agrees.  Mostly I just had fun writing a story that gave me an excuse to talk about superpowers.  Enjoy.

I knew I was in trouble when my fingers started smoking.
That's the problem with absorption powers.
Some bruiser with super-strength?  They can just keep hitting.  Sure, a speedster can run out of breath.  But physical powers don’t have a limit.
Mine do.
I dive to catch another blast from Firecracker, letting the force of the fireball drive me back as I suck in the flames.
The block had already been shredded by our fight.  I roll behind an impact crater and punch a loose slab of concrete back at my opponent.
Channeling some kinetic energy makes tossing the fifty pound block easy, I add some thermal to make it a miniature meteor.  But I'm still running hot.
Firecracker dodges aside and tosses a few softball sized bursts at a car some pedestrians are using as cover.  I throw myself in the way and as I take in the excess energy my arms burst into flames, all the energy pouring out of my skin.
I see a blur behind me, Lightspeed must have grabbed the civilians.
See, the problem with fireballs is that they aren’t just heat.  They’re essentially explosions, combustion plus concussive, with a few extras thrown in for good measure.
When I fought Brutus last week, all I had to worry about was the kinetic energy invested in his punches.  But with a blaster type like Firecracker, throwing explosions everywhere, I hit my limit that much faster.
Especially since he likes to target bystanders.
As it stands I have to ignore the sound waves and the light show his blasts give off.
Focus on the essentials.  Make sure no one burns, no one gets blown apart.
Light gives me the signal, for a speedster the son-of-a-bitch took his time clearing the area.
I use the stored power to launch myself at Firecracker, closing the distance before he can dodge.  The sonic boom I give off nearly knocks him over.  I drill a fist into him and blow him through the wall of a parking garage.
As the rubble collapses around him I thrust my hands forward, palms out, and cut loose with all the fire he’d fed me.
The debris soften into tar and slag, entombing the homicidal bastard.
Light skids to a stop next to me.  “…You didn’t kill him did you?”
 “Of course not,” I say.  “He’s immune to heat.”
 “Is he immune to punches?” An arched eyebrow clearly visible through his windshield.  “...Or concrete?”
I just gesture to the sludgy mess as Firecracker claws his way to the surface, gasping for air.
 “Would you do the honors?”
Light shrugs and twirls his arms, generating a small tornado which cools the mess and traps Firecracker with only his head clear.
 “Why not just absorb the heat again?”
 I flex my fingers, working some of the remaining heat out as the adrenaline fades.  “I’ve hit my limit for the time being, I need to have a cool down period or I’ll risk going nuclear.”
 “Wouldn’t you have to absorb nuclear radiation for that?”
 “Technically it’s more of a Big Bang.  But nuclear gets the point across better to most people.”
Light is about to say something more but our comms buzz.  Bank robbery with a getaway car chase already in progress.
Light nods, “I’ve got this one, more my speed anyways.  You mind babysitting until transport gets here?”
I wave him off, active pursuit isn’t my game.  I’m more of a damage control specialist.
Behind me a storefront collapses, filling the street with dust as Light blurs away.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Fiction - The Collector

So for this week the challenge over at TerribleMinds was to write a story that involved Hell in some fashion.  I kicked the idea around, almost went back to Don and John and added some supernatural elements to their story.  But then this came to me.  I'm not going to say anything else, I think it's pretty clear.  But I will warn that suicide and depression are main themes so...

The Collector
He drifted around his mark.  Whenever he came to close his presence left a dark stain on the young boy’s aura.
The cracks in the boy's psyche were clear.  The damage ready to rend his soul to fragments, one final push would be enough to drive the point home and send him over the edge.
He knew some Collectors that would take advantage of those cracks.  Worming through them like oil and taking over the host, turning the pain of suicide into a wrathful strike against the tormentors.
The boy rushed to his room, moving with the hurried walk-not-quite-run of a child trying to hide something.  Holding back the pain of the day as he sank to his bed, shoulders hunching tightly with stress.
He watched the boy reach under his bed for the knife that sat hidden for weeks, only coming out when the pain needed release.
As the boy held the knife in a shaking hand, he drifted closer and whispered a trail of smoke in the youth’s ear.
"Do you know what Hell is child?" He asked.
"Hell is pain, Hell is suffering.  Hell is misery." He said with the crackling hiss of brimstone.  "It is knowing, knowledge burned deep in your soul, that your world will never change.  Never improve."
"So go, kill yourself," he trailed a finger over the blade, the iron burning his ethereal form.  "We're waiting for you."
He caressed the boy’s cheek, "And once we have you, do you know what we'll do?"
The soft touch turned to a harsh grip of the boy's throat.  "We will put you right.  Back.  Here."
"You will live the same day of pain, of torment more exquisite than any fire could burn.  That will be your Hell.  And you will never, never escape it."
He let go of the child’s throat and laid his hand over the boy's own.
"Unless you put the knife down.  Unless you face your pain, now."
He thought of that day, when the knife tore a line of red into his skin, tore a piece of his soul away and cast the broken remains into the fire.

Sometimes you have to let yourself break.  And no, you will never, ever be the same again.  Once you shatter you will never be able to put those broken pieces together.  It is your choice then what to do.  Do you fall?  Do you fall and let the sharp edges tear into you?  Or do you take them, do you use them?  Build them together, not into what they once were, but something else, something new.  A beautiful mosaic that shows the world who you truly are.