The only problem I had this week is that I've read the three stories by you guys that have been submitted so far, and I've loved every single one of them! They're all pretty different, but each special in its way, and you've all done some beautiful writing. Still, a girl's gotta make a choice, and so I've chosen the following, written by test rat Michael. You can also find it on his own blog, here.
So, without further ado, here it is!
Lady Wagnerian vs. The Sporkster
Police Officer Troy Donahue believed he was prepared for anything. He had, after all, survived the Zombie Penguin Apocalypse that had nearly destroyed Edison City last spring. He had also faced down two robot spiders and a mutant chihuahua during Mr. Zookeeper’s recent rampage. He had punched out fourteen clones, narrowly dodged twelve disintegration rays and a psycho-beam or two, and survived the latest round of departmental layoffs. As such, Officer Donahue felt convinced that he could handle anything the city’s various supervillains could throw at him. Even as he stood next to his police car on the interstate, calmly observing the traffic jam that stretched for miles into the distance, he kept his eyes open for menacing gliders or sudden unusual explosions. The only thing he never would have expected was a polite question.
“Excuse me, sir,” she said timidly, “but do you know when this traffic jam will be cleared up?”
Officer Donahue glanced briefly at the woman. She wasn’t wearing a cape or a spandex uniform, only plain jeans, a plaid sweater, and a pair of wire-rimmed glasses that she kept readjusting on her thin face. She didn’t seem to be the supervillain type at all. “Not for several hours, ma’am,” he replied.
A look of sudden distress appeared on her face. “But, sir, I have an appointment at the First Edison City Bank that I simply must keep! It would be terribly rude of me to be late, you see, and…”
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but there’s nothing I can do. A tractor-trailer overturned a couple miles up the interstate, and spilled some kinda chemical goo all over. It’s taking them hours just to clean up. There’s no way anyone’s getting through until then.”
All at once, the woman’s look of anxiety melted away into a calm, confident smile. “Oh, I would not be so sure of that, sir.” She stepped out into the road, glancing down the interstate at the lines of stalled cars. Then she opened her mouth, drew in a deep breath, and broke into song. But not just any ordinary song. No, she launched into a piercingly loud rendition of Return, My Love. “Re-TURRRRRRRN my LOOOOOOVE, a longing BUUUURNS DEEEEP inside MEEEEE…”
Technically, it wasn’t actually words from one of Wagner’s operas; it was the song from the classic cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc”, set to Wagner’s music. But no one would have dared to point this quibble out to Lady Wagnerian just then. For as her voice hit the high notes, a series of incredibly powerful sonic pulses ripped forth, swatting aside the lines of cars and trucks like they were bowling pins being knocked aside by a ball. Lady Wagnerian finished her song, took a bow, and then started for her own vehicle, which she had parked safely out of the way of her sonic blasts. Officer Donahue lay helpless on the side of the road, having been knocked aside by the edge of the passing soundwave. Just before he passed out, however, he managed to reach for his radio and sound the alarm.
When the police commissioner heard Donahue’s gasping report, he started to dash for the roof to turn on the Gaseous Girl Signal. Then he smacked his palm against his forehead. It was daytime. The Gaseous Girl Signal, being the giant spotlight that it was, could only be seen at night. “Blast!” he yelled. “Why didn’t we just buy her a beeper or something?” He didn’t know that even a beeper wouldn’t have done any good; the city’s assigned heroine was unfortunately on vacation in the Bahamas. In her place, she’d left the relatively new and untried hero: the Sporkster. And even he wasn’t sure if he would do any good. He hadn’t used his peculiar weapon in real combat before. Still, he was the only hope Edison City had.
Thirty minutes after she had opened fire on the interstate, Lady Wagnerian pulled up in front of the First Edison City Bank. She hopped lightly out of her car and walked briskly towards the entrance, intent on blasting her way through the vault doors and making off with the millions of dollars she was sure lay within. At first, Lady Wagnerian didn’t even hear the Sporkster’s challenge. “Ahem,” he coughed, his voice cracking, “You there! Stop in the name of civility!” Justice, he thought, cringing mentally. I should’ve said justice. Civility sounds so…Then he noticed that the Mistress of Musical Mayhem had ignored him entirely. “Wait!” he yelled louder. “Halt! Desist! Freeze!”
Lady Wagnerian turned slowly. She saw a young man barely out of his teens, in a mismatched costume that he had apparently thrown together himself. His cape looked more like an oversized towel, and his mask seemed to be the last remnant of a t-shirt which she assumed he had cut up with scissors. In his hand he held a small plastic spork. Lady Wagnerian blinked hard. A spork? “Pardon me, kind sir,” she said, “But are you certain you’re addressing me?”
I hate polite people, he thought, Especially when they’re murderers. “I am indeed!” he said, trying to sound powerful and intimidating, and failing miserably. “I am the Sporkster! I’ve come to-”
But he was interrupted as Lady Wagnerian burst into musical laughter. “The Sporkster?” she giggled. “Really? That’s the best you could come up with? What are you going to do, throw it at me?”
“Well, not exactly…”
“I’m so sorry, my friend,” she said, her tone abruptly going serious. “But I really am late for my appointment. And you are, unfortunately, in my way.” She drew in a deep breath. The Sporkster closed his eyes in fear, but even as he did, he held the spork up high before him. Lady Wagnerian opened her mouth wide and…
“Why’d you have to go and make things so complicaaaated…”
Lady Wagnerian blanched in terror. She tried again. “Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive, ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ aliiiiiiive…”
“The Bee Gees,” she gasped. “That’s…that’s not opera. My powers won’t work if I can’t sing….what did you just do to me?”
“Oh, it wasn’t me,” the Sporkster said smugly, swinging his spork with supreme satisfaction. “It was this. The Holy Spork of Byzantium. It has mystical powers that protects its wielder from any hostile attack. Or something like that; I’m not sure if I translated the Latin correctly. I’m not very good with Latin…but that’s not important right now. The point is…er…well…give up! Now! Or else!”
With a sigh of despair, Lady Wagnerian held up her hands in surrender. As the police officers cuffed her and led her away, she yelled back to the Sporkster, “Someday, you won’t have your spork with you, and then, then…“
“Yeah, well, that day’s not today!” he yelled back.
“Of course it’s not today, you idiot!” she shouted. “If it were today, I wouldn’t be saying Someday, now would I?”
The Sporkster had to admit she was right. “Point taken! But you know, it’s not really polite to call people idiots, now is it?”
Lady Wagnerian screeched in fury and tried one last time to use her powers as she was pushed into the back of a police car. All that came out was, “Baby, it’s cooooold outsiiiide…” The song hung in the air as the squad car drove away. The Sporkster fired off a jaunty salute. Then he climbed wearily into his rusty-blue Volkswagen Beetle and drove away into the sunshine. And so, Edison City was safe once again.