Vic dashed into his living room and scooped up his crying son. “Bart, it’s ok. You’re not hurt. Daddy’s here.” The words flowed soft and easy. Vic cradled his child and showed affection.
Marsha entered the room watching the scene in front of her. “You’re an excellent father, Victor Gaines. And I love you for it.” Marsha joined in the hug-fest of their son.
A bright sunshiny Saturday on the playground, Vic sat on a bench watching Bart play with other children.
“Is that your kid there,” another man asks. “The one with the Champion cape?”
“Yup,” Vic smiled. “He likes to pretend he’s the hero. Swoops in and saves the day.”
“That’s cool,” the other man nodded. “Mine likes Badger or Chance. He says they’re awesome.”
“They give me the impression of media hounds and pretty violent.” Vic said as he looked at the man.
“Yeah, but I don’t want to push them too hard,” the man said. “Then they automatically go the opposite direction.”
“Good point,” Vic responded. Checking his watch, Vic said, “Ohh. Lunch time. Nice talking with you.” He stood and called Bart over.
“Dad! I want to be like Champion. A hero!” Bart bounced as he walked next to Vic.
“Son,” Vic said rubbing Bart’s head. “You can be anything you want.”
Vic turned into the parking lot and found a spot at the back. Getting out of the car, he dashed to the auditorium of Brownstone Middle School. Vic yanked his work ID off his shirt and shoved it into his pocket.
“Dad! You made it,” Bart ran up to Vic on the sidewalk.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Vic smiled at his son.
“You are a great father, Victor.” Marsha smiled at her husband. “Let’s get in and find a good seat.”
“Right up front,” Vic said. “Do your best.” He grinned at Bart.
“I will,” Bart said and waved as he moved with the other students into the auditorium.
Vic and Marsha took seats up front and watched as the Brownstone Middle School Orchestra walked on the stage. Using his phone, Vic took videos and pictures of his son.
After the hour long performance, Vic drove his son and met his wife at the local ice-cream shop to celebrate.
“You were fantastic, Bart,” Vic said. “Musics a great way to relax. Plus you learn timing and re-inforce your math.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Bart beamed up at his father.
“Dad,” Bart walked over to his father. “I need this permission slip signed.” Bart held out a piece of paper.
“What’s this for,” Vic read the paper while he sipped his morning coffee. “Football, huh? You want to play?”
“Yeah,” Bart answered. “You know to help with controlling the powers I inherited from you.”
“I think that’s a wonderful idea,” Vic said. “But be ready and be careful. You have some of my abilities, but you also have some of your mom’s. Her’s will be better for you.”
“I know,” Bart said, rolling his eyes with a big sigh. “Mom’s healing is good. Just don’t use it unless absolutely necessary.”
“Good.” Vic pulled a pen from his jacket pocket. He leaned over the table, pulled his tie out of the way, and signed the permission slip. “Keep up on practice and keep your grades up. No slacking.”
“Got it, dad,” Bart smiled as he bounced on his toes.
“I love you, Vic,” Marsha said as she encircled her arms around her husband. “We did right with Bart.”
“Yup.” Vic moved to grab his wife. “We did.” He kissed her.
Bart came into the living room. His mother sat on the couch watching the late news.
“We won!” Bart jumped up and put his palm on the ceiling.
“Excellent honey,” Marsha said as she patted a spot on the couch next to her. “Sit down and keep me company.”
“Where’s Dad,” Bart asked. “I know he said something about working late, but I never saw him at the game.”
“I don’t know,” Marsha said as she slipped an arm over Bart’s shoulders. “But you know your Dad. He can be a work-a-holic sometimes.”
“Yeah,” Bart smiled. “Still, it would have been nice to see him.”
The television flashed a large graphic across the screen. The words Happening Right Now in large fonts with a red background took the entire screen.
“This is Paula Anderson. It seems that Champion has taken down the archvillain Strong Arm.” A clip showed a dark clad man dragged behind the brightly clad Champion.
“Alright! Champion!” Bart shouted. “He’s the bes-”
The camera zoomed in on the man being dragged.
“Isn’t that dad’s super suit,” Bart asked, pointing at the television. “Why is he being dragged?”
“Yes, Bart,” Marsha answered. “That is your father.”
“But dad isn’t evil,” Bart shot to his feet. “Why is Champion doing this? He’s got the wrong man!”
On the screen, Champion hefted Strong Arm to his feet. A microphone appeared in Strong Arms face.
“Strong Arm. Do you have any comment,” the reporter off camera asked.
Strong Arm lifted his head. A spot of blood showed on his lip, and an eye was swollen shut. “Bart. Never forget. I love you.”
Champion jerked on Strong Arm’s arms and moved him to the van with open doors.
The camera panned back to the reporter. “There you have it, people. Strong Arm’s terror campaign is now at an end. We can all sleep peaceful tonight, thanks to Champion.”
The screen went blank.
“Champion!” Bart shouted through gritted teeth. “I’m gonna kill you.” He ran from the room and cleared the stairs to his room. Loud bashing and crashing noises followed seconds later.
“Vic, I love you,” Marsha whispered. “We did it. Bart is ready.”