Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night (episode #67)

20121226_134654

 

Synopsis:

The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.

He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule all the worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for Supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.

Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?

 

Episode #67

 

The room was filled with panicking supers.

Normally supers like to portray themselves as calm, debonair, suave, and intelligent in the face of a crisis. But none of them had encountered a freaking zombie before.

“Aaaaaaah, craptastic!” screamed Knitizen Kane, cradling his hand with the two missing fingertips. Tears streamed from his eyes. “This friggin’ hurts like the Dickens!” Normally, he didn’t believe in using such harsh language, but he’d never had his fingertips bitten off before. He tried to grab his knitting needles back from the dead man’s eye sockets, but then he retched and ended up making a bigger mess on the floor. He couldn’t bear to look at what he had done.

“What did you do?” cried Feminist. She eyed Her eyes the dead man’s corpse as she addressed Knitizen Kane.

“What did I do?” cried Knitizen. “I defended myself! He bit my frikkin’ fingertips off! How the heck am I supposed to knit now?” He knew darn well that he could still arm knit, but he was too upset about his missing digits to care.

The other heroes were in various states of panic. The Optimist cradled his coffee cup to his chest. Vegan stared into the distance. The twin supers, Raw Power and Armed Justice cried like babies on each other’s shoulders. They each tried to pretend they had not seen what they had just seen. Unicorns and rainbows featured heavily in their imaginations. Even they were less horrific than what they had just witnessed.

A figure emerged from the shadows amid the panic. He was tall, with a grizzled beard and a dark red tunic of Greek design. He had changed from his polo shirt into more traditional robes, since this crowd would appreciate the wardrobe change. He cleared his throat. “Excuse me,” he said.

Two men in the white medical uniforms of ambulance personnel appeared in the doorway. “Hey, who called an ambulance?” the taller of the two asked, a man of black shining hair and dark eyes. “Could someone please direct me to the injured party?”

His fellow nudged him and motioned at the body on the floor with the knitting needles protruding from the eyes. “Him?” he said, then noticed the woman sitting across from him, clutching her knees. “Her?”

“Excuse me,” said Charon. “I need your attention, please,” he said, a bit louder.

Pandemonium continued to ensue. As the paramedics advanced on the woman, the silver android stepped forward to stop the paramedics from touching the cowering woman. “I would not-” she began, her voice modulator increasing in volume to be heard over her fellow supers.

“I SAID,” said Charon, “EXCUSE ME.” He didn’t shout. He didn’t need to. He waved his hands and people froze. The supers froze. Alice, the lone woman clutching her knees, froze. The dead doctor didn’t freeze since his body was already in the first stages of rigor mortis. Somehow, though the volume remained the same, his voice carried enough force to be felt by every living soul there. When an immortal wanted to be heard, he was heard.

“That’s better,” he said. Except for their facial expressions, none of the living people there moved a muscle. Their eyes followed the immortal as he walked among them. “If I might have your attention, please? Yes? Good.” He smiled. “Sorry to pull the immortal card on you, but time is important. Just ask Chronos.” He chuckled to himself. “Just ask Chronos. Hehe, sometimes I kill myself.”

Since the crowd didn’t react to his wit, he cleared his throat and continued.“If I might illuminate things for you,” said Charon. “Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not in any way OBLIGATED to do so, but it’s just manners, right? Plus, why not admit it? I like to hear myself talk.” He smiled. “And I like the looks on mortal faces when I tell them what’s REALLY going on.” And he proceeded to do so.

He told them about the scientist dragging him from the shores of the Styx. He told them about the Underworld. He told them about what he’d discovered, about how Portage had fallen from world to world, and how – though he hadn’t been there for the actual biting – his buddy Thanatos had recognized the fact that the scientist would soon be undead. He told Knitizen that he was now infected, so knitting was the least of his problems, and then he told them the biggest news of all.

“On one of this man’s past travels, he met a centaur named Chiron. Chiron is very trusted among the immortals. He’s a good guy. Anyway, Athena trusted some Gorgon blood to Asclepius who gave it to Chiron to keep for emergencies. He keeps several bottles on hand. Chiron was pretty upset this guy broke one of the bottles. He only had three to begin with! But once I explained the circumstances he let me have one. I think this qualifies as an emergency.”

Charon, motioned toward the corpse; the knitting needles flew out of the dead man’s eyes. The ferryman then poured the flask’s crimson liquid onto the dead man’s head; much of the blood – thinned by wine – trickled down into his coagulated wounds, dripped down into his gouged eye sockets. They fizzed, like a baking soda volcano, hissing and bursting bright foaming scarlet as the flesh filled in, the eyes reformed, the skin closed up and regained its original coloring.

The scientist’s blinked his newly repaired eyes and gazed around the room incredulously. “What happened?” he said. “I-”

“You died, man,” said Charon, putting his hand on the man’s shoulder again.

“Don’t do that!” cried Portage in alarm, but other than his mouth and eyes, he didn’t move.

Chiron the ferryman held up the flask of dark red liquid. “It cures any illness, up to and including death.” The room’s occupants watched but held their tongues.

“Oh, don’t worry,” said Charon, smiling at Portage. “You aren’t dead anymore. I’m not here to collect you or anything. Not my job anyway, but I’m not about to get pulled along with you again either. Let’s just say I hit the ‘pause’ button on your traveling for now, okay?”

Portage’s eyes lit with curiosity and a little fear, but he said nothing, just continued to watch. As a scientist, he was well trained in observing details.

Charon then proceeded to pour more of the liquid over Knitizen Kane’s missing digits. More fizzing, more hissing, and the fingertips grew back. Knitizen, likewise, didn’t move anything but his eyes. His mouth worked, but he was apparently at a loss for words.

“You’re welcome, buddy,” said Charon. “Now, if you guys don’t mind, I’ve got to get this guy back where he belongs. He’s caused enough trouble.” Spotting the bloody knitting needles, he waved his hand at them, and they miraculously became clean. He then waved his hand at Portage and Knitizen Kane. Their clothes became spotless, all the infected blood disappeared. He grinned. ““Better than dry cleaning, eh, guys?”  When his audience failed to give the praise he’d expected, he prodded, “Come on! It’s not every day when the ferryman of the dead shows up to save the day for the living, is it?”

“What about her?” asked the frozen Vegan Avenger. She looked pointedly at Alice, whose eyes had grown even wider with fright.

“What about her?” asked Charon.

“She’s out of her… place in the universe, too,” said Vegan. “Or at least, we think so. Her name’s Alice.”

Charon sighed. “Geez, guys. Try to do a good deed.” But his grin took the sarcastic bite from his words. “Fine. Alice, is it? You aren’t THE Alice… oh! Sure, no problem. Happy to help.”

And with a snap of his fingers, the scientist and the woman disappeared, and everyone else went back to normal. The supers – freshly repaired, laundered, and once more able to move – were left in the classroom with two confused paramedics and a pair of brightly shining knitting needles.

**All episodes listed here.

**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholes next Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under horror, humor, mythology, Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night, Serials/Series, SuperHeroes

My Writing Niche- episode #75: National Poetry Month and Free Stuff for Writers!

599606659_fe8bb645a2

.

Play or Download episode here.

Hello, and welcome to My Writing Niche! In today’s podcast, I will be talking about National Poetry Month and free opportunities for writers.

 

Relevant Links:

National Poetry Month

30 Days of Poetry

This is the end of Facebook as We Know it  article

Free College Day

Deanna Adams

Confessions of a Not-so-good Catholic Girl

World Book Night

Freecycle

ManyBooks.net

Project Gutenberg

Librivox

Podiobooks.com

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, Volume 1

.

*image courtesy of vriesde via Flicker.

**Slow Burn from the album Blues Sampler courtesy of Kevin MacLeod via Creative Commons Attribution license. More of his music can be found at FreeMusicArchive.org or at http://incompetech.com.

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Podcast, poems, Writing Corner

Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night (episode #66)

20121226_134654

Synopsis:

The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.

He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule all the worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for Supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.

Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?

 

Episode #66

 

    The super hero, Hephaestus – scourge of the wicked, foe of evil doers, and phenomenally bad dresser, held the weeping woman in his arms. Even he would not have wished such a fate upon his nemesis, the nefarious Doctor Portage McPeeve. He patted her on the back. “There, there,” he said. What else could he say?

    “I can’t believe he’s gone!” cried Snap. “I never got to tell him how I…” She sniffled, straightening to wipe her streaming eyes with the sleeve of her white lab coat. She looked Hephaestus in the eyes. She’d removed her thick frames, and though her eyes were red and swollen, he still thought her the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. “I mean, I know we had our differences-”

    “Sure, sure,” he said. He switched to patting her on the shoulder.

    “And sure, I was planning to thwart him, you know… keep him from finding Mrs. Bumblefrost,” said Snap.

    “Yes, of course, you were,” said the hero.

    “But it was all out of LOVE,” said Snap. “Know what I mean?”

    “Love? I… uh, yeah,” said Hephaestus sadly. “I know exactly what you mean.” He glanced over her shoulder. Near the portal, he could see a wilted fern. He had never noticed the neglected little plant before, doubtless because its drooping leaves were so near the glowing sphere that had been the focus of their attention. That’s exactly how he felt, like a wilted and overlooked fern.

    The business with the zombie virus, the tearing worlds, the overlooked fern… it was all too much. Too, too much. How could anyone handle that kind of stress? He knew if there was any person that could find a solution, it was Snap, but he couldn’t bear to put any more on her shoulders. He recognized her heartache. She had just lost her best friend, even if that friend was a nefarious supervillain.

The hero pondered the scientist’s tragic fate. He wouldn’t have wished those deaths on his worst enemy, which coincidentally happened to be the once more deceased Doctor Portage McPeeve. And though Hephaestus wasn’t a cruel man, he wasn’t entirely sorry that the troublemaker who had jeopardized the entire multi-verse was finally dead.

 

**All episodes listed here.

**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholes next Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.

4 Comments

Filed under Flash Fiction, humor, Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night, scifi, Serials/Series, Super Villians/Mad Scientists, SuperHeroes

Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night (episode #65)

20121226_134654

Synopsis:

The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.

He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule all the worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for Supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.

Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?

Episode #65

“What do you mean you want to go with us?” asked Hades. He stood next to his beloved Persephone, who stroked Mrs. Bumblefrost’s soft fur. The Lord of the Dead wasn’t one to tolerate cute and cuddly things, but he made concessions for his wife. The goddess was, after all, perfect in every other way.

“I would like to accompany you when you take the kitten back to its world,” said Charles.

Hades was stumped. “What? Why?” He did his best to glower, but recent events had put a crimp in his style. He merely came off harried.

“Because I want to make sure the little thing is alright.” Charles also suspected his employer might wait until Queen Persephone was absent before disposing of the kitten – but dare not make his misgivings known. Especially in front of Queen Persephone. Hades would never forgive or forget such a transgression, and the god’s punishments were never pretty. “I’ve become quite attached to her,” added Charles, his voice squeaking only slightly as his imagination got the better of him.

He tried to pet the kitten, but his translucent hand went straight through her body. She didn’t seem to notice. She was watching the god of the Underworld with bright green eyes.

Hades and several of his soldiers looked at the kitten with distaste.

“I take it you are not a cat person?” said Charles.

“Certainly not. I would never even consider such an appearance,” said Hades. “Like those Egyptian gods with the heads of different animals think they’re so-”

“My husband is more of a dog person,” said Persephone, nuzzling the kitten’s pink nose.

“I meant that you don’t care for felines,” said Charles, watching the god carefully.

“I know what you meant!” snapped Hades. If he didn’t know better, he would have sworn the kitten was looking at him with an air of smug, self-satisfaction, as though events were unfolding just as she had expected.

Of course that was ridiculous.

Though she had been raised by an evil scientist.

No, she was only two months old. She couldn’t possibly-

Though there were several instances of sudden, increased intelligence. Hades had thought she might be a useful tool, with her predisposition for traveling from Realm to Realm. What if her travels weren’t random but rather directed by feline cunning?

Oh bugger, thought Hades, I do so HATE bloody cats.

But there was nothing for it. He would return the kitten back to her home universe, because it suited his purposes. Who cared what the cat wanted? All the realities of the multi-verse had reverted to their rightful places, and Hades’s own Underworld would continue to thrive. Well, thrive suggested living, but it would continue existing and he would continue to rule and all would be right in the multi-verse. Or at least, just as Hades wanted it.

“Besides,” said Charles, “I’ve always loved a good story, ghost or otherwise, and I suspect following this cat would be very entertaining. And I miss color.” He looked around room, colorless except for the corporeal bodies of the dead soldiers, Hades, and Persephone in her eye-scorching tye-dyed ensemble.

“Oh, why the My-name not?” said Hades, musing aloud. “If you wish to return with us, you may stay in the Underworld.”

“Of course, I am grateful for the invitation,” said Charles. “Just so you know, other citizen-ghosts disagreed with the good Professor as well. Others might – given his recent machinations – wish to relocate.”

Hades considered this, and soon his grin, one of true warmth, spread across his face.

“By all means,” said the Lord of the Underworld. “Do come along.” His voice changed, seemingly louder, not in volume but intensity. Charles knew with certainty that all the denizens of the Ghost Realm heard Hades when he said, “I extend an invitation to Hades to all the ghosts of the Ghost Realm who side with me now!”

Then Hades, Lord of the Underworld, disappeared through the portal. He was followed by Charles, the remainder of Hades’s loyal soldiers, and a smiling Persephone cradling the small kitten in her arms.

**All episodes listed here.

**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholes next Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Flash Fiction, humor, mythology, Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night, Serials/Series, Super Villians/Mad Scientists

National Poetry Month 2014: Day 7

20121226_134654

April is National Poetry Month. I’ve been taking part in the Cuyahoga Libraries’ daily challenges, and thought perhaps I’d share some on my blog. I hope you enjoy the poem.

 

Day 7 Challenge: Write a list poem.

.

 

Days Go By

 

Waking

stomach knotting as my

heartbeat drums

its discordant notes

in my hollow chest

 

Listening

to the sounds of the house

waking to the new day

 

Thinking

of the tasks to do

The things undone

balancing the checkbook

paying the bills

cleaning the house

cooking the meals

All the while my son labors on his schoolwork

 

Getting up

I prepare the first meal

    simple

    toast with jam

I wake my son

    the brightest star in my sky

         to do his chores

            eat his food

            take his classes

             complete his schoolwork

 

The day goes by

    Meals consumed

    Card games played

    Laughter shared

Tasks are done

    or attempted

                    Between them all

my dreams are fitted

of other worlds

            of superpowers and

                            epic battles

            and good versus evil

    dutifully

        thankfully

            pleasurably committed

                        by flowing electrons

            to my screen

                           glowing with possibilities

 

Until the eve

Family meal

Family time

Then bedtime for all

    until another day

 

Next morn I wake,

to feel my fluttering heartbeat once more.

.

*Polite feedback is always welcome. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Filed under poems

National Poetry Month 2014: Day 6

2010-05-30 18.08.53

       

 

April is National Poetry Month. I’ve been taking part in the Cuyahoga Libraries’ daily challenges, and thought perhaps I’d share some on my blog. I hope you enjoy the poem.

.

Day 6 Challenge: Write a poem based on a childhood “rememory.”

.

 

The Unseen

.

The time I met a guardian angel

I didn’t know he was an angel

or that the angel was a “he”

Just that I was spinning

in the bright afternoon sunlight that passed through

the living room’s sliding glass doors.

 

My grandmother’s favorite chair,

the plaid material green and worn and

saturated with the sweet scent of human decay,

I had  

pushed aside to make room for my whirling arms

my skirt flying with each revolution.

Giggling wildly

I felt my self-created breeze,

until

I bumped into a person.

My eyes closed,

I felt a warm body give

when

my rotating torso grazed flesh.

I opened my eyes,

my apology

already spilling from my lips

in the face of inevitable punishment.

 

There was no one there.

No one I could see.

 

The chair was out of reach.

The dragon head

on my grandmother’s golden metal ashtray

gazed down upon

the ashes of past cigarettes.

I felt it with one tremulous hand -

just in case,

but it was

cold and unresponsive.

 

I ran across the house to my mother,

screaming in fright,

convinced our house was haunted

by the person

I couldn’t see.

“A ghost! I touched a ghost!” I cried,

terror staining my cheeks with tears,

but she held me in her arms and rocked me

gently.

My guardian angel must have been there,

she said,

the one God appointed to watch out for me.

No one who wished me harm, but

someone who watched me

to keep me from harm.

There was no reason to fear.

 

Later

as I lay beneath my covers,

I remembered the dust in the sunlight

as I’d twirled.

I smiled to think

of my own private bodyguard.

Then I remembered the bedtime prayer,

its fateful words

“If I should die before I wake”

and wondered if the angel had more than one job.

I also realized he’d probably seen

every single thing

I’d ever done.

 

I do not remember

if I slept well that night,

but I doubt it.

           

.

*Polite feedback is always welcome. Thank you.

1 Comment

Filed under poems

National Poetry Month 2014: Tabletop Day (April 5th)

2014-04-05TabletopDayFlipped

April is National Poetry Month. I’ve been taking part in the Cuyahoga Libraries’ daily challenges, and thought perhaps I’d share some on my blog. I hope you enjoy the poem.

 

Day 5 Challenge: Write a poem based on three conventions of a film genre. I’m altering it slightly, in honor of Tabletop Day, and basing it on the YouTube show “Tabletop!”

.

Tabletop

.

Starfleet, Stephen King, and Whedon

 

probably never saw this coming

 

(well, Star Fleet’s in the future, but let’s not quibble) -

 

A Geek and Sundry Youtube show

 

celebrating nerd culture

 

hosted by Wil Wheaton

 

aka Ensign Wesley Crusher.

 

And get this! Doctor “Buddy” Horrible’s own crush

 

Felicia Day

 

is co-creator and executive producer. Wil

 

plays

 

boardgames and cards

 

with other

 

interesting people

 

and awards the winner the coveted

 

Trophy -

 

Three cheerleaders in a pyramid

 

with the winner’s name

 

written proudly in sharpy on a piece of tape

 

that the winner gets to keep!

 

Not the trophy, guys, don’t push it.

 

The show’s budget won’t allow it,

 

but just think! Your very own piece of tape

 

proudly displaying your name.

 

Season Two winners get

 

the Certificate of Awesome

 

(the name speaks for itself).

 

Picard would be proud.

.

*Polite feedback is always welcome. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Filed under poems

National Poetry Month 2014: Day 4

2010-05-30 18.08.53

April is National Poetry Month. I’ve been taking part in the Cuyahoga Libraries’ daily challenges, and thought perhaps I’d share some on my blog. I hope you enjoy the poem.

Day 4 Challenge: Write a 12-line poem where every line is a lie.

.

We’re just going to town, said the old farmer, saddling up his ancient nag.

 

It won’t be a long trip.

 

As she trudged the road she’d traveled so often, he said, It’s not that I’m worried

 

        about anything at all,

 

        I’m sure the doctor’s right about my heart.

 

The way I feel every pounding beat is perfectly normal for my age

 

And I often have gas so that must be it, he continued,

 

clutching his chest as unbidden tears fell down his coarse and wrinkled cheeks.

 

He nudged Betsy to the left. We just need to stop here for a minute,

 

he said. His neighbor took the reigns. It’s alright, girl,

 

said the creature’s former owner as he disembarked and took his thirty silver coins. You understand, right?

 

As the neighbor’s grandchild mounted the tired old beast, she answered. Nay.

.

*Polite feedback is always welcome. Thank you.

1 Comment

Filed under poems

National Poetry Month 2014

2010-05-30 18.08.53

 

April is National Poetry Month. I’ve been taking part in the Cuyahoga Libraries’ daily challenges, and thought perhaps I’d share some on my blog. I hope you enjoy all three poems.

Day 1: The challenge was to write an abecedarian poem.

 

ABECEDARIAN

 

A poem based on the alphabet -

    But which one?

Can we use any letters?

Decide on using

English Latin symbols

For

Greek phenomes? Graphemes?

How would that make sense?

In a true alphabet, not

Just consonants but vowels are represented!

    Kiwi? Kumquat, K-word…

Let’s just forget that particular letter for now.

Morse code could be a qualifying alphabet!

    Not

        Only does it include the basic Latin letters (is that right?), but also

Punctuation marks, Arabic numbers, and some signals. What would a

Question

Really

Sound like in dots and dashes? Would

There be an inflection at the end, perhaps as a longer pause? Actually

Understanding Morse code would probably help.

Very soon I’ll realize I had the answer all along.

What alphabet should I use?  It’s not an unknown, an

X-factor to be discovered, but right before my eyes -

Yours too. We’ve managed to

    Zigzag our way to the end of the alphabet and -thankfully- this poem as well.

 

Day 2: The challenge was to write an ekphrastic poem based on a work of art seen in Cleveland.

 

The Thinker,

Majestic metal man

    sitting

        deep in thought.

What does he wonder?

Oh, I’m sure you’ve heard all the jokes;

he wonders

    where the bathroom is,

    why he had tacos for lunch,

But the better question

    is what

Rodin

    was thinking

when he conceived his great work

    based on the conception

        of another.

Metal, paper, or ink

Greatness is not limited

by the artist’s materials,

    only by the boundaries

        of his

            imagination~

 

Day 3: The challenge was to write a poem about a poem that you love. I chose to write a haiku.

 

The dark shape of Poe’s

        grim bird left a Raven-shaped

                    shadow on my soul.


Polite feedback is always welcome. Thank you.

3 Comments

Filed under poems

Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night (episode #64)

 

20121226_134654

Synopsis:

The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.

 

He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule all the worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for Supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.

 

Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?

 

Episode #64

 

Everything was back to normal.

 

That is to say, the ‘Sewing for Supers’ class had ceased to simultaneously exist as an alley occupied by bloodthirsty ninjas and the bodies of their victims. However the class had suffered its own casualties, though the injuries were minor. The unconscious bodies of the vanquished ninjas vanished when the shifting stopped; presumably they had returned with the stabilization of their own universe. The supers, both heroes and villains, stood bedraggled and torn in the once-more stationary classroom.

 

Alice, cowering inside a dumpster in the shifted world, now huddled in the corner of the classroom. She had escaped physical injury, though her mental state was another matter. She stared at the corpse of Doctor Portage McPeeve.

 

Metallic Fury, now fully charged, automatically turned herself back on and unplugged herself from the wall. She viewed the ruined classroom. The blackboard hung askew, machines and tables lay scattered, and unidentifiable pieces of metal lay strewn across the floor. Her internal sensors began analyzing air samples, tachyon emissions, and other minutia. “What happened? Status report.”

 

“We kicked butt,” said the Red Queen, adjusting her tiara and patting down some hair that had escaped its clutches. “Though it beats me where those guys came from.” Her appearance was less pristine than she liked; her beloved red taffeta had torn when she used it to asphyxiate one of her opponents. Still, she puffed with pride, remembering the fight and ignoring her ruined dress. Her grin widened as she flourished her blood-stained pink flamingo.

 

Idly, she wondered if her minion, Hedgehog, had survived the fight. She had lost track of him in the ensuing chaos, but then he wasn’t the best of employees anyway. She mostly kept him around for laughs.

 

“I called for an ambulance,” said Feminist, entering the classroom. “They should…be…” She trailed off, taking in the devastation.

 

“Were you injured in the fight?” asked Metallic Fury, noting Feminist’s disheveled hair. The woman adjusted the shoulder pads in her power suit and swiped at her smudged lipstick with the back of her hand.

 

“What fight?” asked Hedgehog, peeking into the classroom. His face bore red marks, and several of his quills had broken off. The Feminist reddened under the other supers’ gazes, turned, and used her sleeve to wipe lipstick from Hedgehog’s face.

 

Metallic Fury turned to the woman, Alice. “Were you injured?”

 

“More importantly,” said Vegan, “what the hell just happened?  It was like the whole world just… moved!”

 

Supers prided themselves on their ability to adapt to the weird and the wonderful, but having the world shift under their feet tested even their capacity to adjust to unusual circumstances. Throughout the classroom, speculations were uttered as they examined injuries and took stock of casualties. The twins, Raw Power and Armed Justice, swept debris from their spandex. Vegan brushed herself off and collected her scattered pamphlets from the classroom’s littered floor.

 

Knitizen Kane stared at Feminist and Hedgehog in shock. “What do you mean, ‘What fight?’” he asked Hedgehog. “Where the heck have you been?” His eyes bore holes into the disheveled duo.

 

Feminist straightened, pulling down her rumpled power suit. “I went to call the damn ambulance,” she said. “I would have been back sooner, but I got… distracted.” She glanced at Hedgehog, and the little man reddened like an overripe tomato.

 

“Distracted? DISTRACTED,” Knitizen fumed. “A man was dying, and you-”

 

“Called the ambulance right away,” said Feminist.

 

“Hurrying back would not have helped matters,” added Hedgehog. “Neither of us has medical expertise. We don’t take the first aid course until NEXT semester.”

 

“We? Next sem- what the hell?… oh, damn-DARNIT! What’s going on here!” said Knitizen, too shocked to censor his speech properly, even with ladies present.

 

“These events support my hypothesis,” said Metallic Fury. “The tearing around these two individuals has formed localized pockets where particles…” Remembering her audience, she said, “pockets of space-time have thinned around these two individuals. My analysis of the air samples, combined with my other observations, support the idea of another reality bleeding into our own.”

 

The distraught supers registered shock on their awestruck faces. A few punched walls or tables in their frustration. They would financially reimburse the school later for the damages.

 

“But what about those two?” Knitizen motioned to Hedgehog and Feminist. Hedgehog was trying to hold her hand, but she kept pulling it away.

 

“They were not in the immediate vicinity of the tear, near Alice and her attacker, so they did not experience the altered reality.”

 

“But look at them!” insisted Knitizen.

 

Feminist tried to retain her dignity despite her haggard appearance, while Hedgehog scanned the room – beaming with love and pride.

 

All the supers turned to look at them, then at Knitizen. Metallic Fury said nothing.

 

The expression on Knitizen’s face went through several changes at once: shock, anger, denial, acceptance, sadness, then shock once more. He didn’t believe in the stages of grief, and he refused to give them credence, much less follow them in the order they were supposed to go. He absolutely refused to bargain, even with himself, as he felt it beneath a superhero’s persona.

 

Breaking the unnatural silence, Vegan asked, “So what should we do? Have you figured out a way to stop these, these whatever-they-are-”

 

“Reality shifts seems a suitable term,” said the android.

 

“Fine, whatever, but how do we FIX this?” She had finished retrieving her pamphlets and now fidgeted with one of the sewing machines. It wasn’t clear why.

“Maybe you’d better cover him up or something,” said Raw Power, gesturing to the rapidly cooling body in the freshly-knitted polyester, acrylic and cotton blend net.

 

Knitizen Kane looked unwilling to touch the man again, dead or alive. Once was quite enough. “I’m not really good with bodies,” he said, turning away in disgust.

 

Feminist stared at the body, horrified. “You mean he’s…?”

 

“He was already dead,” said Knitizen, in response to the unspoken question in her eyes. “Like you said, you couldn’t have done anything.”

 

The woman quickly regained her composure. She stated, “Maybe the android should figure something out before the ambulance gets here.” Looking at the body, she continued, “It’s not like I can call and cancel.” She mimicked an air phone with her fingers. “Oh, hi. It’s me. I know I called awhile ago about a sick guy, but nevermind. He’s dead, and his body will disappear on its own soon anyway.” She mimicked hanging up. “See? Doesn’t work.”

 

The supers stood in silent agreement, mulling over the complications and delays involved with informing the authorities before they fully understood the situation. Police and ambulance drivers were everyday heroes, but the supers had no time for delays of any sort. The situation was deteriorating rapidly. How many more times would reality shift before their world was destroyed?

 

Knitizen Kane began to speak, but Feminist beat him to the punch. “I get it, ok? The man died while I was on the phone. But an ambulance is on the way, so what should we do?”

 

“Is a more permanent quarantine possible?” Knitizen asked Metallic Fury. “I mean, we don’t want to overload your system-”

 

Vegan spoke up. “I think the bigger question here is whether or not a quarantine will do any good! Could this guy’s death be what caused the last shift?”

 

“An ambulance may transport the body to my homebase, where I can construct a stronger, more permanent stasus beam,” said the android, ignoring Vegan’s question. “We need to find a way to prevent the body from traveling from this world to another, possibly making matters worse.”

 

“Possibly?” asked Raw Power.

 

“Probably,” answered Metallic Fury.

 

“Construct? You don’t have a stronger machine already built at your lab?” asked Knitizen.

 

“There has never been a need,” stated the android.

 

“Shouldn’t we just move the body ourselves before the ambulance gets here?” asked Feminist. “We could use someone’s car-”

 

“I took the bus,” said Vegan, shrugging. “It’s greener to use mass transportation.”

 

Knitizen looked around the room. “Hey, Feminist’s got a point. Does anyone have a car?” Sheepish looks were his only reply.

 

“What about yours?” asked Feminist.

 

The balding super mumbled something incomprehensible.

 

“What?”

 

“My mom dropped me off,” Knitizen said.

 

“I flew,” said Metallic Fury. No one cared to look at the rocket packs located in her posterior. “However, direct contact should be minimized.” The android addressed the balding super. “Knitizen, please adjust the body. Perhaps you could improvise your previous handiwork.”

 

Knitizen Kane looked unhappily at the battered, discolored features of the dead scientist. With obvious distaste, he went to adjust the material around the corpse’s head.

 

The scientist’s eyes opened wide. The dead man bit down hard on the super-skilled Knitizen Kane, taking a chunk from the tips of two fingers.

“Craptastic!” swore Knitizen. Jerking his hand away, he recoiled as the scientist, the brilliant Doctor Portage McPeeve, reanimated. Growling, what remained of Portage leaped at the super with surprising agility. Knitizen defended himself. He reflexively stabbed the undead scientist through both eyes with his silver plated, titanium knitting needles.

 

The brain of the brilliant scientist was extinguished for good. Doctor Portage McPeeve, potential ruler of the multi-verse, cat lover, and Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder sufferer, died.

 

This time, the Doctor was truly dead.

 

**All episodes listed here.

**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholes next Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night, Serials/Series, Super Villians/Mad Scientists, zombies