Monday, 9 December 2013

Object Girl

P   R   E   V   I   O   U   S   L   Y      I    N 
S   P   I   D   E   R   F   I   N   G   E   R   S
He’d written out characters, amalgamated others, bent rules of his world to heighten the drama, the untamed fiction now in Steph’s safekeeping.  Pages which mentioned her name were torn out.  Eaten.  Devoured entirely.  Inside, she would find a reanimated Kurt Cobain and a handy reference guide to animals from lands far, far away from Earth.  There was also an explicit dossier on each and every member of the Buchanan’s: a dysfunctional family with super powers.  The word suckle begins with the letter S, thought Spiderfingers, grinning as he walked out into the dawn.

The next day found Spiderfingers speeding along the tunnels of Embankment station with Vicky in tow.  You're doing the right thing, he reckoned, save Vicky and her family and then get on with saving the planet.  Determinedly, the pair scouted for an advantageous standing point along the underground platform, working their way into the crowd as the crowd worked itself away from them.  After wading through a sea of tourists and other peak time passengers, the odd couple found themselves at the far end of the waiting area.
‘Mind the gap.’ He warned, indicating the drop to the tracks.  Vicky ignored him, continuing with her alternation – a mix up of tip-toeing and losing balance.
His eyes took in her long gloves.  Black today.  No sequins or other embroidery adorned the velvet gauntlets running under her t-shirt and blazer.  No one her age dressed like she did and he surmised Vicky's outsider-pride.  So obviously a Smiths fan.  The evidence was plain to see and her fake glasses reminded him of Sue Townsend's fictional eighties schoolboy.  He couldn't fathom why, but Vicky loved the fashion of the Thatcher years, a point that he'd routinely remind her was indicative that she hadn’t been there, to which, Vicky would hastily reply,
‘Duh, I’m like, fifteen.’
Today proved no different.  After her cheekiness, Vicky continued on her orbicular journey around the god.  Then she took a misstep, falling, letting out a little yelp as she faced the metal and darkness of the tube tracks below.  Spiderfingers successfully arrested Vicky’s descent and quickly, hauled her back away from the edge.
‘You alright dear?’ said an old lady to the flustered teenager, altogether speechless as Spiderfingers released his grip on her shoulder, nodding an ‘its O.K’ to the concerned traveller.
'Looks like that was a job for Superman.' said a younger man just behind them.  Vicky’s skin reddened.  It would take an escape artist to unknot her brow.
‘Mind the gap’ announced a cold female voice.  Spiderfingers followed Vicky aboard, briefly negotiating with a suited man for the seat beside her.  Vicky faced forward, ignoring him.
‘Did I ever tell you,’ he said, eyes fixed to the adverts above, ‘that I used to work nights at Heathrow airport?’ The chugger-chug of train sounds, somebody coughing.  And then, Vicky’s reply:
‘Mean John Clay used to work there.  Stop testing me.’ Her eyes were locked on the tube map above and opposite.  The man-god smiled.
‘I could have died.’ said Vicky.
‘You can thank god you didn’t.’ he replied winking, ‘You’re the closest I’ve got to a sister and I don’t need your parents joining forces to avenge your untimely demise.’
‘Didn’t John Clay have a sister?’ she asked, head slightly turning, still withholding eye contact.
‘Does it matter? She’s not my sister.’ Despite their easy chemistry, reasons for distance flooded into his brain from all sides.  But Vicky was a damsel in distress, and it was always so easy for him to see himself the way she saw him.  So, so easy to play the hero.
‘So, any theories as to why we’re all falling ill?’ He asked searching her face for a glance, a swift acknowledgement..
‘Saul reckons you not going to Village Po mean’s the Dilf’s have stopped worshiping you.’ Vicky caressed the vacant seat next to her, whilst her other hand clutched at the bloody hanky administering her nose.
‘Reckon the boy blunder is right?’
Vicky shrugged.
‘How are Florence and Steve?’
‘Mum signed the papers.’
‘I’m sorry.’ Surprised he’d humbled himself with the word, rushed into, ‘Mothers, eh?’
'Yeah, and grandmothers too.' She replied swiveling in his direction.  Spiderfingers evaded chocolate coloured eyes to ignore the insinuation, ‘can’t live with em, can’t live without em.  Bloody hell.’ Vicky wiped at the left lapel of her blazer, ‘Does blood wash out easily?’
His left hand fumbled out of nervousness, the emptiness of his pocket reminding him that his diary now belonged to Steph.  His memory relinquished only the one tenet, perhaps not word for word but close enough to the original:
Spiderfingers has sanctioned many an amoral act in the name of planetary defence.  He must carry on his fight so that he can justify the damaging of his moral compass.  His pride refusing to lose a war that has cost him the better part of his soul.
'Does blood wash out easily?'
‘What? Oh, I dunno.  So - just to be clear - any other powers to report?’
‘How many times do I have to apologise? It's your go on truth or dare, get me? Shit!' Vicky wiped dripping blood from her nostrils, 'It’s getting worse.’ He conjured a subtle distraction, his vision locking on her gloved hand, the fingers massaging the train seat,
‘So, what does a train seat have to say to you?' Unvoiced opinions on old ladies farts? hmm?’
‘No.' she giggled, 'Betty - the train seat - says the driver's called Emanuel.  Forty one, from Sierra Leone, likes to wear women’s underwear.  All the carriages are gossiping about it.'
Each looked over their respective shoulders to face the other.  Each turned away laughing.
He noticed a woman opposite stare at him, awarding him the worst look, the assessment that calculated his reek and dishevelment as a danger to the child in his care.  He stuck out his tongue, pondering how Vicky steered her sarcasm and general snark away from the target of hygiene.  From within a haze of silent admiration, he asked a ludicrous question.
'How’s school going? Sorry, that probably sounds odd.  That’s what normal people say to each other, right?'
'After the whole Chimera thing, I erm ... well - I never went back, did I?  School is for civilians. Best not to know any.'
'Whoa, how did you get all Sarah Conner?' he asked.
'The good soldier gives up what is good for them.  The good soldier just remembers what is good for their people’s survival.' Spiderfingers observed his soldier stroking the seat, watching her chuckle at whatever it was the vacant place was telling her.  He became aware of how inhuman he'd become.  He desperately wished for something - anything - to take his mind off the knowledge that Vicky’s nose wouldn’t stop bleeding, and that for all his moral corruption she could only see the S on his chest.  Spiderfingers would always be Superman.
My death seals the fate of billions.
He doused the mantra out of his brain.  Maybe - with Vicky’s support – The Buchanan’s would accept him back in their lives.
My death seals the fate ...
He hosed the burning words with images of grateful faces and heartfelt reunions.  
N   E   X   T      T   I   M   E      I    N
S   P   I   D   E   R   F   I   N   G   E   R   S
News of Boleraam and his Dilf’s spread all over The Oma and soon, many half-gods travelled from far and wide to join his growing army.

Forgotten daughters of selfish gods made their way to Village Po.  Half-boys that had been bullied by their full god families packed belongings to travel to Un.  They wished to join forces with Boleraam who was fast becoming famous.

He was given many names: The Rebel God.  The Trouble Idol.

Boleraam, the God of Chaos.