The Quillians’ writing challenge for May was as follows:
Write a death scene for a superhero. Make sure we know his/her superpower and how it was overcome.
You can use up to 400 words.
I literally did not have a single idea until about an hour before the meeting, when the scene popped into my head, fully formed. I apologize for the . . . heavy-handed “message.” But it’s what I came up with. :)
A figure approached out of the ruined mess, its heavy boots crunching on the dry, ashy remnants. The animals clustered around their erstwhile protector, trying in their own, simple way to return his many favors.
“No,” the Green Avenger croaked. “Let him approach. He’s won.” The animals backed off, reluctantly. Some still snarled under their breath.
The other figure kept walking until it stood over the prone superhero. It bent low, the gas mask covering its face unemotional and yet chilling at the same time.
“Reveal yourself, villain!” the dying hero gasped, then spasmed as coughs shook his ravaged body.
“Interesting,” said the machine-modulated voice of Fossil Fuel. “You were far easier to defeat than I thought possible.”
“Show yourself!” coughed the fallen, green-clad hero.
“If you insist.”
The dark figure straightened and removed the gas mask and the cowl, unfurling auburn tresses that cascaded halfway down her back.
The figure on the ground gasped. “But…Wendy?”
The beautiful woman smiled. “Hi honey. I’m home.”
“But . . . how? Why?”
“‘Why’ is easy. We need power, you naïve idiot. And the only way to get it is more coal, oil, and natural gas.”
She bent low over him and cradled the back of his head with one rubber-clad hand. “The ‘how,’ my dear, sweet husband, is the power of apathy.” She smiled sweetly, but it caused a spear of ice to go through his heart.
“People simply stopped caring. You were just too stupid to notice. And without them . . . your power failed.”
“But—” he coughed, and red flecks of blood stained her black suit.
“Shhh,” she whispered, and put a finger to his lips.
She gazed into his eyes as he breathed his last.
She gently lay his head down and stood. “All right!” she shouted. “Let’s get the equipment in here and start drilling!”
She looked at her husband’s body. “And get a clean-up crew to get rid of these . . . vermin.”
It won first place amongst those voting. Thanks, guys! I keep wanting to tweak it . . .