Monday, October 28, 2013

Flash Fiction Challnge: Subgenre Smash-and-Grab

Once again, and on a whim, I opted for another of Chuck Wendig's flash fiction challenges. This was just one of those nights I had to write, so I figured why not?

Using a random number generator, I got 18 and 13, superhero and psychological horror. At first I thought, this is right up my alley, but now I'm not so sure.

What I created may not be psychological horror...maybe psychological horror meets erotic fantasy meets superhero? At any rate, here it is:

Thrill of the Chase

Captain Sonic needed this, to hear the screams of peril. The screams of someone else’s pain brought him a smile each time. Freedom from being Adam Grant, a newly minted bachelor and resident of the corner of 5th and Speedway. Captain Sonic--not that wimp Adam--heard the screams from thirty blocks away, traveling south at a slow thirty miles per hour.

The screams belonged to a woman, these screams tasted different. (Adam never understood.) Not quite murder, not quite rape. A different flavor.

Adam dug his fingertips into the mustard stains of his used McDonald’s hoodie and ripped it off with the flick of a wrist. Underneath he wore a nearly indestructible cloak that helped him to control his vibration powers. Under the cloak, he wore literally nothing. No other clothes mattered: Without the cloak, and the control it gave him, he knew he would become the next big earthquake, an unmatched natural disaster. Destroying the city you’re trying to save is bad for business, as Adam would say.

A new shirt he could buy later. This woman, he knew, needed saving now.

He ran at a super speed, vibrating through the brick and mortar walls of a Walmart Supermarket and a used-book store tracking the screams with sonar precision. The screams carried south on Irvington Road, moving away from him.

Captain Sonic’s fists felt itchy and moist. The chase thrilled him like a game of chess--move to counter move until checkmate. He clutched his cloak next to his bare, perspiring skin. The excitement he felt, it gave him something of an erection.

Anticipation and instinct took over: Captain Sonic followed the trail of the screams--then the car’s engine that carried them--until they both ended in a driveway seven miles from the outskirts of Phoenix.

Captain Sonic pressed his hand against the door, relaxed, and closed his eyes. The door splintered into needle-thin shards of metal. Each shard splintered further into atoms as they approached Captain Sonic’s ever-vibrating body.

“Are you okay, ma’am?” he asked.

The woman whimpered something inconsequential. The response became secondary to the rapid patter of rubber soles against the asphalt road. The driver, a carjacker, took flight into the subdivision. Captain Sonic smiled and bit his lip. The fear in the carjacker’s heart fed Captain Sonic. “You can’t hide,” he muttered. Sonic felt his own heart throb, the sound beating in his eardrums with a bass that stirred his own hunting instinct.

His wife, she never understood his drive for justice. She never cared to know the excitement it caused. The pleasure. Adam? He denied them the pleasure.

“One second, ma’am,” he said. Ducking down into the car, Captain Sonic could only make out the hidden shape of a woman, folded together in a fetal position in the back seat. She wasn’t going anywhere so soon.  

As fast as he could blink, Captain Sonic had the jacker’s head in his grip, palming it like a basketball. The man’s screams remained muffled against his Sonic’s palms. The screams’ vibrations tickled Captain Sonic, but to smile or to laugh was to show weakness. To show the criminals, Adam, anyone weakness was to lay down and accept defeat.

Captain Sonic’s back itched with sweat. A bead trickled down his spine, tickling the small of his back. Captain Sonic bit his tongue, squeezed his fingertips together. The force of the jacker’s new mortal screams rumbled through the Captain’s wrist to his shoulders. The surge gave him power, a confidence that Adam, that his ex, could never imagine. They would never know, never care, about this type of responsibility. With great power…

Captain Sonic blinked and relaxed his arm. And with that, the man’s head shattered, splintered, into chunks of bone and laser thin streaks of blood on the street.

The woman. Was she safe?

Captain Sonic returned to the car in a vibrating lightning bolt that shook the woman out of the car’s backseat. “Who are you?” she asked, rubbing an eye and keeping her distance. “Where’s your clothes?”

“I’m Captain Sonic,” he said. At first he offered a hand, but withdrew it back under his cloak and wrapped his body tight. “Are you safe?”

The woman nodded and pushed a lock of hair back behind her ear. From this point of view, she looked like Lisa, he thought. That woman who left, the bitch who never understood. Never knew how much he needed this.

“I’ve never heard of you,” the woman said. “And you destroyed my fucking car.” She examined the hole in the car’s shell where a door had once been. “You gonna pay for that?”

Captain Sonic looked down. With a sheepish grin he said, “I don’t have any pockets. I’m sorry.”

“And you look dirty as shit. You sure you’re a superhero?” she said. She rubbed an exasperated hand over her face and she said, “Get your hobo ass away from me  before I call the cops.”

“But I saved you,” Captain Sonic said. “I. Saved you.”

“And fucked up my door. Thanks, jackhole.”

Captain Sonic stepped forward to examine the damage, but the woman held up her hands in a cross-like formation. “Back off there, Captain Underpants. I said leave me alone.”

“But I…”

“I swear to God, I’ll scream. I will scream and I will scream loud. In this neighborhood, with this many people around thinking you’re a rapist. That’s bad for business for you supers, ain’t it?”

The woman had a smart mouth, but Captain Sonic stepped forward anyway. “Try me.”

True to her word, the woman screamed the word “Help!” Then “Rape!”

Captain Sonic felt the familiar itching of his hands, the nervous sweat on his palms. “Please,” he said. “Don’t.”

But she screamed anyway. The vibrations and raw emotions seized his instincts and he seized her hips. Shoving his cloak away from his waist, he pulled down the waistband of his underpants.

Adam never understood that he needed this; he needed the screams to feel better.