The Old Guy

Vic Sawyer walked into the gym. At this early hour, there were mostly the silver hairs. He didn’t mind as he fit in with them. Just a few weeks ago, he turned 72. Vic didn’t need a cane and still stood up-right. Aside from the dark spots on his skin, it would be hard to say he was over 50.

With the confidence of a veteran hero, Vic activated the treadmill and walked in place at the set pace of four miles per hour. With his arms swinging he felt the warmth build in his body and beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. Once a few minutes passed, Vic stopped the treadmill and hit the water fountain. A few gulps later and he moved to the free weights.

Vic moved through a routine he planed out on a piece of paper. It wasn’t long, and he completed one set of each. The sweat on his face and arms rolled down freely.

Two young men entered the weight room as Vic crested the halfway point of his second set. The two youths laughed and muttered to each other. They kept the pointing and sniggering to a minimum and always under their breath.

Vic finished his second set and waited the entire minute his routine required. His damp towel held in his hand, he saw the young duo move to the weight benches. He shook his head when the placed several large metal plates on the bar. A quick calculation and the total weight crested 150 pounds.

Vic stood and wiped the sweat from his face and hands. Pointing his feet toward the over zealous kids, he stepped in their direction.

The kid on the bench breathed in and out a few times and he locked his fingers around the bar. One final breathe then he straightened his arms. Bar cleared the hooks and wobbled to the height of the extended arms.

“SHIT,” the horizontal kids squeezed out through clenched teeth. He wavered his arms back to reseat the bar, but missed the hooks. The bar forced his elbows to buckle, sending the metal to the neck of the young man.

The other kid didn’t react in time, and the bar bounced on the chest of the kid laying on the bench.

A weathered and calloused hand grasped the bar in the center. Curled fingers worked under the deadly weight. The arm pulled the entire weight in a smooth motion to the hooks and set them down without making a sound.

Vic leaned over the now gasping kid and said, “You kids need to work up to the heavy weights. Don’t strain yourself.” He winked, then moved to the beginning of his workout routine.

The kids worked their way to their feet and left the gym.

“It appears the Silver Defender is still needed.”

Vic looked at the woman standing near him. “You saw that?” The woman nodded. “Well, then I guess my identity is out in the open.”

The woman, a few years younger than Vic walked closer. She had long athletic legs and a slim figure. Her hips swayed as she reached for the muscled arm of Vic. “I’ve known who you were for a long time. I’ll keep your secret.”

A smile crossed Vic’s lips. He raised an eyebrow as he locked eyes with the woman. “Ahhh…Dreamboat. Or should I say Veronica Marshal.”

“See,” Veronica tilted her head and put on a coy smile. “I knew you would understand.”

***

And this ends Shorts – Volume 1. I have compiled some of these posts into an e-book. This is available free of charge. The advantage is all of the posts in one area and you can read them front to back. Check it out. Volume 2 is already in the works.

Advertisements

Twinsies

“Now,” David asked. “You need me to do this now?” David rolled his eyes, as he activated his turn signal. “I’m gonna be late.”

“Late for what,” Daniel asked. “You’re on your way home.”

David let out an exaggerated sigh. “I have a date,” he glanced at his dashboard clock. “In twenty minutes.”

“This shouldn’t take long,” Daniel said. “I just have to be seen walking out of my office and into the elevator.”

“Fine, but it’ll cost ya,” David turned again and zoomed through the yellow light. “I figure a c-note should cover it.”

“What! That’s highway robbery.”

“No, that’s paying for services rendered.” David pulled into the parking garage, handed the attendant a ten, then continued driving. “Deal, or I turn around and leave.”

“Fine,” Daniel sighed. “Right hand drawer. Just a hundred.”

“Good. I’m parked.” David pressed the hang-up button and got out of his car. Standing the parking garage made him uncomfortable.

“You ready,” David jumped as Daniel appeared next to him.

“I hate it when you do that,” David reached for the bundle in Daniel’s hands. “Just the shirt and tie. The rest won’t be noticed.”

“What ever. Just change,” Daniel said and pulled his dark-green cowl over his head. “It shouldn’t take more than three minutes.”

David pulled his shirt off and swapped it with the one he was handed. The tie was still looped, but he tightened it around his neck. He held his hand up to stall Daniel. David shoved his hands into the waist of his pants, pulling the shirt-tails with it. David nodded when he was ready.

Daniel grinned and grabbed his identical twin and zipped up to his open window.

David plopped into the soft leather chair and ran a hand through his wind-swept hair. “I’m leaving in three minutes.”

“Fine,” Daniel said. “I’m off, and thanks.” He waved to his brother and jumped from the window. His power kicked in and he flew out towards the danger he was called for.

“Twins my ass,” David said. “He got the power and the attitude. I got the brains.” He reached for the right hand drawer and pulled. Inside were papers, small trinkets, and a manilla envelope. Taking the envelope, David pulled a hundred-dollar bill out and folded it into his pocket. “Plus tip,” David repeated the process with a twenty.

After counting to one hundred, David stood from the chair. He grabbed the leather valise and walked out the door.

“See ya tomorrow, Marie,” David said to Daniel’s secretary.

Marie looked up from her computer and did a double take. Her lips moved but carried no sound, “David.”

“OK, Mr. Tabbert,” Marie smiled to herself.

Kopy Kat

“Ladies, this is no way to meet me.” The figure stepped through the door and put his hands on his hips. He wore a plain white t-shirt tucked into well worn and faded blue jeans. There was no emblem, no utility belt, and no cape. His feet were clad in ankle high chuck Taylor’s. The only thing hiding his identity was the domino mask.

“What do we have here?” The short woman turned to face the man. “Must not be much, because he ain’t got a costume.”

“Red Racer, it takes more than a silly costume to be a hero.” The young man smiled at the short red dressed woman.

“You must be one of them over all types. Decent strength, toughness, reaction, flexibility.” The woman stepped forward placing her hands on her hips. “Jack of all trades, no specialty.” She smirked and glanced back at Crag, who carried a large ATM on her shoulders.

“You have no idea.” The man shook his head slowly then tilted it forward. “All that matters is I am going to stop you.”

Red Racer let out a sharp HA and zipped forward. Her fists darted in on the plainly dressed man, but not a single one landed. The man either shifted out of range or deflected the blows to the side.

A quick change of his feet, and the man sent a triple punch that landed on Red Racer’s face. Bruises and a cut showed when he stopped.

Red Racer fell with a moan and struggling to get up.

The ATM clanged to the ground.

“You should’t hit girls.”

Crag stomped forward, her fists curled and rising.

“Look, Crag. You don’t want to do this.” The young man held his hands up and stepped back a few paces. “You can just surrender and make this easier on yourself.” The cocky smile never left the man’s face.

“Shut up!”

Crag brought a fist down with blinding speed. The only resistance she felt was the ground and left a beachball sized crater.

“I warned you, Crag.” The youth’s fist connected with Crag’s chin and she staggered back.

“How?” Her features suited the question as she rubbed where he hit her.

“It’s my ability.” He stepped in, and pivoted his hip as he delivered a hard, fast right to her midsection.

She swatted the punch away like an annoying gnat. Countering with a hook to his face, he went sprawling across the open expanse of the mall atrium to collide with the marble wall.

“OK.” He shook his head as he scrambled to his feet. “You’re faster than you look.”

“I’m a lot of things that I don’t look.”

The young man took the full body of Crag into his eyes. She was taller than he, well muscled, and he could see her feminine features.

“I’m not just a muscle bound clod good at knocking down doors and heavy lifting.” She leaned forward as she closed the distance between them. When she planted a hand on the ground, the young man stagger-stepped to the side. Crag completed her cartwheel and landed close enough to grab the plainly dressed hero. “I’m a lot smarter than people give me credit for.” She yanked up and grunted with the effort.

The young man didn’t budge.

“This right here, is where we are alike.” The hero reached out, grabbed bunches of Crag’s costume, flexed his knees and lifted. To finish the maneuver, he leaped into the air and spun, putting Crag’s body beneath him.

The boom echoed throughout the mall, shattering glass, knocking over planters, and setting off burglar alarms.

Crag looked into the masked eyes of the hero. “Copy cat.”

“Well, well, well. Brains to go with that brawn.” He locked his lips on hers. She struggled and then gave in and returned the kiss.

“I take it you aren’t going to let me go.”

“No. But I will visit.” The young man stood up as the police arrived. “There is no way I am letting you get away. You’re the first.”

Crag blushed as she stood up. Her long, unkempt hair covered her face and her smile.

The cops restrained Red Racer as she struggled to get away. Crag simply went peacefully.

The cop that stepped forward and took charge asked, “So you must be new and haven’t gotten your costume worked out.”

The young man looked at the floor then raised his head showing dazzling white teeth. “Sergeant, this is my costume. I wear this because I can. I’m KopyKat.” Shaking the police officer’s hand, KopyKat moved to the truck they stuck Crag in. He winked, then ran off.

Special Delivery – Malcolm (Part 1)

Malcolm Forsyth entered the elevator and pressed the seventh floor button. The elevator stopped a minute later on the selected floor.

Swinging his arms in a circular motion, Malcolm made his way to his workstation. Logging in and waiting for his displays to show his assignments, Malcolm fitted his elbow pads and adjusted the wrist straps on his gloves.

A dark purple smear appeared in the air past his workstation and a dark-skinned person walked from it. The horns and tail grabbed Malcolm’s attention first.

“You’re the new guy.” Malcolm dashed around his workstation and extended his hand. “I’m Malcolm Forsyth.”

“Oh. I am Raphael Collins.” Raphael shook the proffered hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“I see you are a teleporter.” Malcolm watched as the dark purple smear disappeared. “What is your distance, if I might ask?”

“Oh, yes.” Raphael’s tail twitched back and forth. “I do not really know. I have not had to go too far. Maybe two-hundred kilometers.”

“Wow!” Malcolm’s brows shot up and he leaned forward. “I’m a speedster, so I’m limited to the ground.”

“Really?” Raphael shifted his stance, and he looked at Malcolm. “How fast can you travel? I have heard Karl can hit one fifty. I know that to be fast.”

Malcolm smiled. “Yeah, Karl is fast. If I push it and get in an aerodynamic position, I get just shy of two hundred, but that is on a straight away.”

BEEP! BEEP!

Malcolm and Raphael looked at their wrist panels.

“It is not mine.” Raphael held up his arm.

“Yup. It’s me.” Malcolm waved his arm, then went back to his workstation.

Vanguard’s vitals on the screen reached the warning stage. Malcolm tapped a few buttons on his keyboard and found the location.

“The docks, that’s about sixty miles. I gotta go.” Malcolm tapped the transfer button on his monitor, sending all notifications to his wrist panel.

Raphael waved as he walked away. “Be safe out there.”

Malcolm dashed for the elevator, the doors opened and waiting. “Ground floor.” The doors slammed shut, causing a ringing sound to bounce for a few seconds. He held his nose and breathed out of it, forcing his ears to pop, and then the doors clanged open.

Putting on his helmet and pulling down his goggles, Malcolm pressed his gloves tighter onto his hands.

After a quick final check of his gear, Malcolm approached the deployment pad on the ground floor.

“EMT Forsyth set to retrieve Vanguard.” A few minor adjustments caused lights to flash and a siren to sound.

The deploy light splashed green over the pad.

Malcolm gripped the wheels of his chair and thrust forward jumping him to fifty miles an hour and down the road.

A Crappy Day In The Life

My feet touched the thick carpet and bunched into little fists. “Ugh!”

That banging needed to stop and now. My mouth felt like I swallowed three sheep, whole. The loud crack started from my ankles, then my knees, and ended on one hip. Straightening, my back picked up the rest of it.

The slippers were where I left them, so I stepped into them and shuffled for my door. Snagging a robe along the way, I threw my arms in it and flipped the cord around itself.

“Screw ‘em.” The banging was louder. “If they come at me this early, I don’t care what they see.”

“Com’on. Open the door!”

“Shaddup.” My hand lands on the door and I feel the smoothness of the metal door on my forehead. I open the slot and am pelted with the blinding light of a high-noon sun. The shadow moves, blocking the blazing heat and light.

“Open up. I need you to fix something.”

“I ain’t open. Come back later.” I slide the plate closed.

A hand darts into the gap and stops the momentum. “I will make it worth your while.”

“No, no you won’t.” I grab the tare with my free hand. “Move it or lose it.”

“You don’t know who I am.”

“Yes I do. It’s my job. You wear black, have special tools, and strike fear in people just by your mere presence. You’re a bad ass. A bad ass that needs me and I say, come back later.”

“You just described a whole lot of people.”

“Fine. Your name is B-”

“OK!” The hand is yanked back and I slam the cover home.

Those people with their money and their abilities. Some are decent, but in the end they think they are above it all.

Those of us willing to fight back, keep our freedom. Even if the overlord is a hot chick like Mosaic Girl.

Cryptik

Grant watched Thump drop to a heap on the road. The group’s best hand-to-hand specialist was defeated in just a few maneuvers. White Noise was yanked out of the sky and body slammed into the sewer pipes beneath the road. Stretch and Krystal were defeated within seconds of White Noise. The only member of Fortress stand was him. His only power was the ability to communicate in any language.

Sure, he had learned hand-to-hand from Thump and even worked out with Krystal. He was in shape, in fact considered an Olympic Athlete in several sports. But he was not trained for direct confrontation.

“What are you going to do, Cryptik?” The voice of the SWAT commander came over the ear bud they all shared.

Thought built up behind Grant’s eyes. He had earned his spot on the team, not just by his unique abilities, but because he learned how to adapt. “I guess I am going to have to stop this thing.”

The thing in question was six feet tall with the general appearance of a human, but did not have a face. It’s hands had three fingers, and it was bullet and blast proof. When Krystal hit it, she managed to take it off its feet, but it just stood up and charged back in.

“Commander Scott, if I go down, you are on your own.” Grant moved out into the road in the direct line of this thing.

The thing paused a few heartbeats, then continued forward at a faster pace. Grant shifted on his feet, bringing his hands up, and keeping his knees flexed. “Just make it quick, Grant.”

As the creature got closer, it raised an arm and clenched a fist.

Grant noticed that an orange-shimmering path formed from the thing’s hand and extended for him. The trajectory had it collide with his legs. He didn’t feel anything from the orange-shimmer.

The fist launched, turning into a blur. Grant’s eyes widened, and he jumped, tucked his legs up, wrapped his arms around them, and rolled. His momentum sent him over the creature to land on both feet behind it.

The thing buried it’s hand into the asphalt, sending chunks spraying and causing a small tremor.

What just happened?

Grant looked at his opponent and saw the path again. This time it came from in front of the creature in a circle from the other arm. The path of the shimmer carried into Grant’s torso. Again, there was no sensation from the shimmer touching him.

The thing spun, using the other arm. It followed exactly the path Grant saw in orange.
As the arm careened closer, Grant spotted a green flash. It was over the torso of the creature. The flash contrasted with the silver-grey of the skin of it.

Grant squared, letting the odd shaped hand pass over him. Raising up, he balled up a fist and connected it with the green flash.

There was a hollow boom as Grant finished his punch. Looking at his hand, Grant couldn’t see anything wrong with it. His gloves were reinforced and protected him from most things. He felt the contact, but nothing hurt on him.

The green flash appeared again, this time around the neck area.

So far, this thing hasn’t led me wrong.

Using the long, meaty side of his hand, Grant nailed the green flash with a perfect chop. A crack appeared in the skin of the creature where Grant made contact.

The orange path appeared, this time twins. They directed from both hands and would meet on his head.

Damn! If I back out of that, I don’t think I will get another chance.

Like the double orange paths, two green flashes appeared. These were at the creatures knees, on the inside of each leg.

Grant danced and kicked with the instead of one foot onto the opposite knee, then swept it back to the other knee. The creature started to lower, taking the orange path with it.

Grant planted a hand on the shoulders of the falling silver creature, and flipped over to the other side as the metallic like hand clanged where he stood an eye-blink ago.

Turning to face the slumped creature, Grant saw several green flashes over the torso, arms, and head of the creature. Grant paused.

I don’t know what those things are, but I am glad they are here.

The creature pushed off the ground in an attempt to stand. Grant slammed a fist into one of the green flashes. The creature slammed into the ground.

Another twitch, the green flashes adjusted, and Grant kicked one. Again the creature fell flat.

Krystal and Thump walked up behind Grant. Their breathing coming in ragged gasps. Thump’s face was bruised, and an eye was swollen shut. Krystal showed cracks, but they were fading.

“It’s down, Grant.” Krystal put a hand on his shoulder.

“Yeah, don’t kill it.” Thump moved to his side.

“I don’t want to, but it won’t stay down.” Grant turned to face the man who had taught him how to fight. “What do I do?”

“Try this.” Krystal handed him a device that looked like a gun, but it was modified with wires, pipes, and other various electronics. She was an inventor on the side and made this.
Grant took the device and waited.

The silver creature stirred and rumbled to get up right. A single green flash appeared on it’s head. Grant aimed and pressed the button.

The silver creature froze in place and didn’t move.

SWAT moved in. So did ambulances and other rescue crews.

“Cryptik, how did you do that,” Thump asked when he had been seen by some EMTs.

“What are you talking about?” Grant tilted his head looking at the heavily scarred man.

“None of us could make a dent in that thing. Not that you are a slouch, but let’s be real here.”

“You didn’t see those lights? The orange and green ones?”

“No.” Krystal answered. “What lights? Where were they?”

“Ummm…This is going to take some explaining.”

Amazonia

The tall woman deflected the basketball sized fist and stepped in with a counter punch to the gut of her opponent. The large, dark, well-muscled man folded over the rock hard fist. Spittle flew from his mouth while his eyes bulged. Amazonia followed up with a hammer fist between the man’s shoulder blades, putting him flat on the pavement.

“Wow!” Kent Abercrombie, dressed as Blue Avenger, approached the tall woman hero. “Excellent take down.” He stood back as the woman straightened.

“By the grace of Apollo and Athena, I was able to defeat the brute.” Amazonia touched her forehead then waved to the heavens. She then walked to the damaged building and moved the rubble to the side.

“Look, Amazonia. How about we get together after this. Say over coffee?” Kent moved debris and righted a car.

Amazonia stopped clearing rubble. “Blue Avenger, are you asking me out on a date?”

Kent smiled as he looked her in the eyes. “Not a date. Coffee. It’s not really a date.”

The tall muscular woman put her hands on her hips. “So then other members of our team will be there?”

“I hope not,” muttered Kent as he looked at the ground. “Well, they are welcomed, but they may be busy.”

“So it would just be  you and me?” Amazonia cocked a hip and tilted her head.

“Uh…Yes. Yes, it would.” Kent’s eyes sparkled, and he smiled his award-winning smile that had appeared in so many grocery checkout stand publications around the world.

“From what I understand of your language, that is a date.”

“Fine. It’s a date.” Kent rolled his eyes. “Is that a yes?”

“No. It is not a yes.” The flat eyes, thin lips, grinding jaw showing on Amazonia’s face removed all doubt about the finality of this answer.

“Why not? Do you know how many women would kill to be in your place?”

“Then ask them. You are not my type.” Amazonia went back to clearing rubble and debris.

“What do you mean, not your type?” Kent held his hands out and shrugged his shoulders. “I am fit, strong, and I eat healthy. Besides, we work well together.”

“Those are not reasons to pair off. Besides, you are not my type. It wouldn’t last.” Amazonia pushed two demolished pick-up trucks together, then pulled a cab to the same pile.

“You don’t know that.”

Amazonia paused and looked Kent in the eyes. With a flat expression on her face, she said, “You are correct and I apologize for jumping to a conclusion. It is rude of me to assume you are an ass.”

“Thank you.” Kent moved some ruined streetlights and dumpsters to the same pile Amazonia started. I am going to let the ass comment go. I am making headway and don’t want to blow it.

“How are you two doing?” A smaller woman with wings hovered over to where Kent and Amazonia worked. “Everything cleaned up here?”

“Yeah. We got this area cleared.” Kent waved at the flying woman. “Are the other teams done? Is it safe for the construction crews to take over Silverwing?”

“Yes. I think it is. Good eye, Blue Avenger.” Silverwing talked to someone on her radio.

Kent turned to continue his talk with Amazonia. He found the tall woman staring at Silverwing. Kent noticed that Amazonia was absently running a hand through her long hair and brushing dust from her uniform. Amazonia’s face flushed for an instant when she made eye contact with the other flying hero.

Kent shook his head. Figures.

“Thats it team. We are out of here,” Silverwing said over the radio for all team members to hear. She waved at Kent and Amazonia then flew off.

“Blue Avenger.” Amazonia reached for Kent’s shoulder. “How well do you know Silverwing?”