Friday, October 15, 2010

[Friday Flash] Worst Origin Story Ever

NOTE: I'm back on the #FridayFlash scene. It's been a long time since I've had the time to get a flash done [on time that is] in-between projects, so here is a slightly humorous super hero tale to entertain you.

Worst Origin Story Ever
by Harry Markov

‘Crack!’ was the only sound that accompanied the door’s sudden transformation from cheap pine to splinters. At this point Amelia didn’t bother with buying a sturdier front door, opting for a heavy stock of identical spares.

Why would she, when every month paramilitary troops would rush into her living room, as was the case at the moment. Four armed soldiers stormed her apartment, spreading into a half- circle before stopping. After a quick glance at the clock (three minutes into the new Monday) Amelia concluded that they were right on time.

“Are you here for the kidnapping?” she asked the unit leader. Thirty-four abductions taught a person a lot about the chain of command in illegal organizations.


“Well good. Shall we go on, then? I’ve packed some light reading and a midnight snack, just in case it’s necessary.”

“You serious?”

“No. I am joking,” truth was that constant abduction was a drag (not to mention how it spoiled all her weekend plans) and she wanted to shake things up.

The unit commander didn’t respond, not that it was of great import. Amelia’s reputation as America’s Most Abducted Woman prohibited her from consorting with the underlings (it was only appropriate).

Amelia was a good captive. Followed the armed men into the black van. Didn’t try any of the ‘funny stuff’ she was instructed against. Didn’t object to the unreasonably fastened cuffs. Nor did she correct them after incompetently tying the blindfold. It had taken a while (and a few bruises to her cheekbones) before she had learned the abductee’s proper etiquette. But she supposed it was all well worth it for then the gypsy witch that had cursed her would never see Amelia powerless, even if the witch had the upper hand.

During these nights, it was hard not to think of the curse: a sorry mad-lib-like thing played in an eternal loop:

“In the dead of night, in the days of sorrow (Mondays; nothing worse than the begging of the week, even if she liked her job) you will be taken by (insert criminal organization). You will suffer indignations and humiliations. Then you shall be saved by (insert law enforcer; usually with a five o’clock shadow) only to fall in love and then reap bitter rewards.”

Rather lengthy and specific. Unnecessary effort, considering Amelia only sacked two hundred people. Hostile takeovers didn’t happen without casualties and the gypsies had to go. It was part of the job description. Why couldn’t they deal with it? She had.

Amelia tried not to dwell too much on the unjust past. Instead she revised the reports and the data for the meeting on Wednesday. The upcoming deal would decide whether Amelia was junior partner material or not. In the mean time, the van had stopped and the henchmen lead her (still blindfolded) into a place with great acoustics. Outside she heard water. The air was heavy with fish and salt.

The henchmen seated her and the cold of the metal ran a chill down her back. Something was off. Amelia had done this enough to feel how this particular stillness held back something of importance, how aggressive the bite of the cold was, how no one made demands or bothered to laugh. All things that before had not happened. Perhaps they were a criminal organization of mimes. Maybe that’s why they did not talk.

Then Amelia’s ears picked up multiple clicks as if pins had fallen on the floor, but she knew better than to hope for a clumsy seamstress with lots and lots of pins to drop.

“Enjoying the twist?”

It wasn’t until Amelia heard that sandpaper-rough voice that she realized she’d been holding her breath. Fear had crept back so fast, Amelia gritted her teeth. If there was one thing Amelia loathed more than hearing about synergy, it was feeling afraid.

“You are no Shyamalan.” Amelia said, although uncertain to whom.

“You are mean-spirited.”

The blindfold slid off by its own volition. One mean, anorexic octogenarian floated above a bouquet of extended arms and barrels. She smoked from a cigarette holder. Smoke coiled, all white, as her hair, as her robes, as her eyes, swallowed in milky white.

“Who are you?”

“I am nameless.” She spun the smoke from her mouth into her bony fingers. “You left my people hungry.”

“You cursed me.”

“You begged to be cursed. Don’t worry. You will atone. I see that my child’s curse couldn’t beget change in your heart.” The movements of her fingers sped and the smoke thickened to white fabric.

“You don’t fear for your life. You don’t fear to be alone. You live, but you’re very much dead inside. I do wonder, however, if you would not live for others.”

The octogenarian finished and tossed a tacky Madonna-inspired leotard in Amelia’s lap. Then she reached inside her sleeves and tossed a cheerleader baton on top.

“Dressed as a stripper?” To Amelia that didn’t make sense.

“You are quick to smear everything with the dirt of your words. You will learn otherwise. The wand is your weapon. Will it and it shall be.”

“What do I need a weapon for?”

If Amelia thought the octogenarian gypsy a nutjob, suspended with cables, now she feared (as much as she hated admitting it) her to be the real deal.

“For them, superhero.” Yes, the witch said superhero...

Then the gypsy pointed below at the loaded guns.

“A word of advice. The wand will only work, when you are dressed.”

And with that the godly octogenarian dissolved, time rushed back, trigger fingers squeezed in for the head shot and for the first time, Amelia had to defend herself.

Such shame that she had to do it dressed in a leotard. Not to mention that she had the worst origin story ever.


T.S. Bazelli said...

The wand will only work when you're dressed. Of COURSE. I'm still laughing from the story, and wondering what twisted place that came from.

"I see that my child’s curse couldn’t beget change in your heart."

Did the nameless old crone curse her? or did someone else?

Harry Markov said...

That is so not twisted. BY FAR NOT. The next one, With leotard and a wand will be freakier.

And well, a gypsy woman cursed her. Might need to edit that. so the goddess of gypsy curses comes forth to alter the curse.

Craig Smith said...

I enjoyed it :). Well written and humourous.

Reminded me a bit of the movie "Drag me to Hell"

Tony Noland said...

I think I'd almost rather get kidnapped!

Charles Gramlich said...

"are you here for the kidnapping" is a great line. Kick of an ending as well.

Steve Green said...

Ha Ha. Comically enjoyable this, some of the dialogue reminded me of certain Monty Python scenes.

Harry Markov said...

@Craig: I thought of Drag Me to Hell and honestly the grandma flashed in front of my eyes, but that is it.

@Tony: I don't think you would want to have an origin story (or costume) like that.

@Charles: I love that line. I had no clue I could figure something so so bizarre and funny.

@Steve: I must be getting Monthy Python subconsciously as I have not watched the movies. Though I think I must.

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Sarcasm becomes her!
I think I like the idea of a sarcastic superhero in a tacky leotard and a magic wand!

Harry Markov said...

Thanks. Her adventures are just beginning. :)

AidanF said...

I love the line "you are quick to smear everything with the dirt of your words." I liked the character of the gypsy in this. Fun.

Harry Markov said...

Yes, well I think I drew inspiration from that mystical woman Spider Man used to talk with back when he had an animated series. Madame Web. I do not really read him to know if she's a comic character, too. :)

A. S. Boudreau said...

I sure hope this means we'll see some more of her adventures. :) She's interesting and sassy. I like!

Harry Markov said...

I promise that she's emerging as a new super hero star. :) Glad you enjoyed her.

Amalia T. said...

Ahahah! Love it! I can just imagine her trying to explain to the press how she was given her powers and looking decidedly uncomfortable while doing it! Great story.

Harry Markov said...

You give a really interesting idea for a follow-up. :D Though the direct sequel to this would be Amalia surviving.

Mike Robertson said...

So NOT twisted, huh? Okay. Can't wait to read your TWISTED material!

Left my head spinning, I can tell ya.