Page 2 of 59

Tales from the Superhero Diaries 6.1: A Brewing Storm

Psychic Sue walked into the kitchen of the headquarters of the Elite Force of Britain, and instantly stumbled forwards. The Cloud was in the room, making himself a cup of tea when he saw her. He dashed over, and held Sue by her right arm.

“Are you alright, Sue?” he asked, “You seem very pale.”

“More so than usual?” Sue replied with a slight giggle, “but no, I’m fine. I walked into this room to a barrage of psychic energy, that’s all.”

“Does that happen very often here in the kitchen?” Cloud asked, looking around the empty and rather untidy room.

“Not in here, no…” Sue answered, “Which makes it all the more strange.”

The Cloud walked Sue over to one of the chairs at the round dining table in the centre of the room, and sat her down. “I’ll make you a cuppa. That’ll make all the difference!” He said with a broad smile. The kettle began to bubble and steam away, as the water inside it boiled. The Cloud poured the contents of the kettle into two large mugs. “Do you have milk and sugar, Sue?” He asked, as he absent-mindedly watched the water pour. “Sue?” He turned to face Sue as he didn’t receive a reply, and was shocked to see Sue slumped across the table. Leaving the mugs where they were, he ran over to Sue, and sat her upright in her chair. Her eyes were open but she was staring blankly forward. He shook her gently, but there was still no response. He ran to the communications unit by the door, and pressed the loud tannoy button, which was standard practice in situations such as these. “Medical emergency in the kitchen” Cloud announced, his voice booming throughout the headquarters complex. “Could Doctor Flopp please come to the kitchen immediately?”


In the gym on the seventh floor, Lycralad was running on the treadmill as Firetop was completing another set of reps on the bench press. Invisible Charlie was on the leg curl and Green Gladiator was struggling with the pull-ups.

“I can never get a rhythm with these things,” Gladiator said, finally giving up and dropping to the floor. “That’s it for me for today, I think, possibly even for this month. It isn’t as though I need the exercise…”

“Unlike you, Gee,” Lycralad said, “we haven’t been imbued with natural athleticism so need to do these work outs unless we turn to blubber. And a plump superhero is no good to anyone.”

“Ahem”

Lycralad looked behind him and saw Muriel Magnificent who had just walked into the gym. “Present company excluded, Muriel. You did wonderfully when you were plump.”

“Thank you. I’m flattered, I think” Muriel said.

“And you still would be, had you not gone through your transformation and all.” Lycralad realised he wasn’t really helping matters. Muriel simply smiled and looked over to Firetop.

“That’s me done too,” Firetop announced. “Just time now to get a quick shower and head out. Parrot Girl and I are going out for a meal tonight to that new restaurant on Midview Lane.”

“That’s why I’m here, Firetop,” Muriel said, “Parrot Girl has just been on that social media thing we use and she’s asked me to let you know she has to cancel. She’s helping Simba Katiya investigate somebody by the name of Ragdolly Anna, and they are running late.”

“Such is the life of a superhero, pal!” Lycralad smiled. “We just can’t make plans. Have you not learned that yet?”

“I…” Firetop was interrupted by the tannoy system.

“Medical emergency in the kitchen; Could Doctor Flopp please come to the kitchen immediately” The Cloud’s voice boomed out across the room.

“That sounds bad.” Invisible Charlie said, getting up from his bench. “I wonder what’s going on.”


Eli Flopp walked into the kitchen, followed by his nurse, Angela Chance, and the receptionist Natalie Byte. “Now, Cloud,” Eli said in his usual business-like manner, “How can I help you today?”

The Cloud was sat beside Sue, who was still staring blankly forwards. He simply gestured his left palm towards her.

“Oh, dear,” Eli said, to Sue this time. “Now then, let’s have a look at you.” He shone a light into both of Sue’s eyes, and got nothing from her. “She isn’t responding. How long has she been like this?”

“She’s just walked into the room, sat down and this happened. I was making her a cuppa.” The Cloud thought for a second. “She did say she received a barrage of psychic activity when she walked in.”

“That seems to be the case.” Eli said, beckoning Angela over to him. He pointed to her bag, and then pointed twice in an upwards direction. He then motioned his index finger in a circular pattern three or four times before nodding at Angela. Natalie stood by the door, swiftly writing everything into her notebook. Angela took out a small black square device which had a green pulsating light at the end of an antenna.

“Ah. I see.” Eli looked at the device and then at the Cloud. “This is a mini Psychic Recorder that Sue loaned us a while ago. It’s more of a psychic resonator than a recorder, but the green light indicates that there is indeed psychic activity talking place in this room as we speak. It has been attuned to pick up some things, but it isn’t as sensitive as Sue’s Psychic Recorder. We’ll need to get Sue up to the medical centre and see if we can decipher anything from this contraption.” Eli gestured for Natalie to wheel a chair into the kitchen. The Cloud helped to move Sue into the chair, and she was then taken out of the kitchen by Natalie.

The telephone on the communications console rang as Eli walked passed, so he answered it. “Who?” he asked, “I’ll pass you over to the Cloud who’s nearby. He’ll be able to help you.”

“Hello,” the Cloud spoke into the receiver as he held the door open as the doctor and nurse followed Natalie and Sue out into the corridor outside the room. “Tracy Major? The Prime Minister? Oh, sorry. You’ve called during a bit of a situation. Sorry. Say that again… the line isn’t very clear at all!” The Cloud concentrated on the voice at the other end of the line. “Yes. Meeting. Got that. Raymond Reed? R-E-I-D-E… got that. Controller of Superheroes? Has he anything to do with Sue? Psychic Sue? No… OK. He’s on his way here now? You’re on your way here now??? Ah. I see. You want a meeting calling? Got that. OK. We’ll be ready for you when you arrive.”

For the second time in less than half an hour, the Cloud pressed the intercom button to activate the tannoy. “Could all members present report to the meeting room immediately, for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister. She will be here within the hour.”

Keeping Calm and Carrying On (1)

…ooh, how we laughed. It weren’t so much the puddle that made us laugh, but what went in it. She were stood with ‘er back to it, and me, I were face on. It ‘ad stopped rainin’ about an ‘our ago an’ there were about three others inth’ queue beyind. We could see th’bus comin’ over th’brow, but none of us saw th’lorry trundle rarndth corner. It’s them pot ‘ole’s faults. Fancy one bein’ by th’bus stop. Anyway, th’lorry’s wheel went right through th’ole, splashed th’puddle all over th’five of us in th’queue. She took the brunt. The brunt. She were saturated. Saturated, right through to ‘er smalls. I copped it all down one side, and th’others in th’queue caught the muddy splashes. The man width’ paper had to throw it away, it tore right through it. ‘E chuckled first. Then me. Then she started. Before long, we were all ‘owlin’. Like I said, it weren’t th’puddle that tickled us, but th’lorry.  The man width’ paper pointed out what were on th’side: ‘sure to keep you dry longer’. An’ the bus just sailed passed. Out of service. That really set us off…

Eight under two ‘undred words. There we go.

The Standing Order

For a group of secretive people they are certainly easy to infiltrate.

These robes I bought from that flea market down the road are very itchy, but at least they hide the fact I’m not wearing one of those medallion things they have around their necks. Not that they will look in my direction anyway, but I’d better not scratch myself just in case. It’s really tempting, though.

It’s frightening how they just stand there, individually or in pairs, totally unaware of the biting winds and heavy blizzard. Frozen. Rooted to the spot like statues. At least I’m under cover here! Ha! Under cover… I like that.

I know that they’ll start moving again when the midday bell tolls, and then the next lot will come out. I just need to be still and patient. Act like I’m one of them.

I like how the sunlight comes through the windows like that… it looks too warm for these bitter temperatures, but it still gives off a warm glow. Maybe they concentrate on that. I wonder how they keep these massive windows clean. Especially up the top there. Perhaps they’re self cleaning.

I wish I knew what time it was. I can’t feel my feet.

Look at the light. Look at the light. I think it’s working!

The light doesn’t seem right for midday, thinking about it. How long have I been here? I bet they’ve hypnotised me and forced me to join their number. I hope not. I only want to see what it is they do when they go inside. Oh no… what if they have hypnotised me and had me running around like a chicken? I don’t feel like I’ve been running. I wouldn’t be this cold, if I had.

C’mon… c’mon. Toll bells! Toll! I can’t feel my hands now.

Ah! At last!

No, wrong – it’s a hand-bell from inside. What was that? Three… four… five… six. Six rings.

Now the clocktower is ringing.

Actually, where is the clocktower? I can’t see it from here – it must be behind me. But the sound from the tolls is ahead of me. It must be an echo. That’s odd.

Ah, they’re moving now. They’ve formed a line ahead of me. I’d best try and join them. Nonchalantly does it. Good job I watched how they walk… I’ve got that off to a tee. Just need to speed up a little and then I can slip in there, behind. Made it. They’re still looking forward and haven’t seen me.

What was that? I thought these were a silent order. There it is again – definitely a voice. Sounds like “Order of Six”.

Oh.

This is the Order of Six.

I make the number up to seven. They obviously know I’m here.


A bit of mystery I feel for this week’s What Do You See? challenge from Hélène; link below.

Weekly challenge

Let Sleeping Dragons Lie

George wandered slowly as a cloud due to the heavy weight on his shoulders, and the hefty flag the heavy weight was holding aloft. George was certain the old stone bridge they were crossing creaked and groaned, when George suddenly realised there was something beneath.

“Steady, boy!” Heavyweight reassured, as George whinnied nervously. “There’s nothing down there only snow!” George shook his head from side to side. “A few more steps and we’re across, into the safety of the Grand Kingdom.”

George suddenly reared up onto his back legs as a large scaly tail swished at speed from the side of the bridge, whipping the cobbled road before them. Heavyweight toppled from the saddle, and crashed unceremoniously to the ground, breaking the staff of the flag in two.

The tail swished again, this time knocking the flag part of the staff over the side of the bridge.

“That’s one angry snake!” Heavyweight declared, scrambling to get back upon George, only to realise his victory banner was now gone. He adjusted his helmet, and pondered trying to retrieve the flag. “A snake that size can keep the banner!” he declared without further hesitation, thinking what a pity it was that it had got the best end of the stick, and wishing that he had a ladder so he could at least have tried to get it back.

Without further thinking, Heavyweight clutched at his short stick, unsnagged his cape from the horse’s harness, clambered back into the saddle , readjusted his helmet, and was knocked back to the ground by the swishing tail.

George turned to look at Heavyweight, but as his leg was caught in the stirrup he dragged Heavyweight around across the icy stone cobbles.

“Woah, boy!” Heavyweight whimpered, looking directly at George, who was a gift from his sister Princess Grace of the Grand Kingdom. George opened his mouth, which caused Heavyweight to wince. “We need to get that tooth seen to, boy!” He said, still hanging off the stirrup.

The tail swished once more, and that was it for George. Making a rod for his own back, he galloped off the bridge at breakneck speeds.

“Woah,boy!” Screamed Heavyweight, his head bobbing along the ground, protected, luckily, by his helmet. George came to a stop at Small Mercy brook, a hop and a jump away from the bridge, which Heavyweight was grateful for. He untangled himself, dusted himself down to make him look once again like the Prince he should be. He discarded the staff as it was no longer of any use to him.

He patted George’s nose.

“I’ll keep quiet about this one, boy,” Heavyweight was trying to be helpful again. “No-one will believe me there’s a snake that size living under the bridge anyway. You handled that snake very well, George!”

George whinnied once again and rolled his eyes.

It’s Hélène’s ‘What Do You See’ challenge once again… and this week, I see knights of old – or something like that.

Visit the link below to see more interpretations of the picture, expertly selected once again!

Weekly challenge

Another Sunrise

The child cuddled the fox until the Sun rose.

The fox’s paw was now healed, after the child had released it from a trap in a nearby field, and bathed it in a magical light, the colour of the Moon, from her own hands.

When the Sun was fully in the sky, the child released the fox, who playfully licked the child’s cheek before bouncing off through the flowers in the clearing.

The fox looked back just in time to see the child rise into the sky, her wings now outstretched.

Archangel Ariel smiled as the fox rejoined her cubs.

***

The Bag Lady (Cheryl) recently asked me to write something based on the above picture, so this is my response, in a hundred words.