Written by castor :: [Saturday, 04 February 2017 00:16] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 04 February 2017 13:14]
Daniel was watching the news when it happened. Not that was hard. Pretty much everything on TV was news now.
The phone rang, with its distinctive ring.
He paused. He wondered how long he had. In the information age how long it was before it started ringing. A Day? Probably faster. An Hour? Was it them right now? The Police The FBI, the Media. He suspected a black car would come to there door for the first to..that's how they did it on TV … but really …
The phone rang. He would have to pick it up sometime. He picked it up but by then the line was dead.
He went back to the TV. It was the age of Cellphones, drones and a thousand cameras=but still it was an incomplete picture what was happening. Something was going on Downtown. A big battle, between two *somethings*. That much was for sure. What those thing where was to be determined, but well …
Quite a bit of downtown Cleveland was destroyed, in shambles- that much was obvious. But part of it. Like a tornado he watched news helicopter circles over showing side streets, business stores, cars-all almost completely normal. Wind and dust and a normal night.
And then there were skyscrapers which were knocked down on their sides torn open.
There was that.
And it was still going on. This had been about now 2 and a half hours. In comics fights like this are a couple of pages, movies 5 minute max. He had watched Man of Steel-that was his first thought a not great Superman movie, but looked online to learn the final big drawn out fight was 2 and a half minutes(and cost over a 100 million to make) He had been able to do this because of this lauls. This wasn’t a big constant fight-this felt like a 5-10 minutes of brawls followed by one or the other hiding for a time and coming out-or maybe it was a constant fight. The cameras were not getting so close, not so perfect. No one had much of any perfect idea of what they were doing in any minute
The phone rang again.
He went and answered it.
“Hey are you watching this on TV”
It was her mother. His Mother in Law a woman he was genuinely fond of.
“Do you see it?”
“Yeah I do”
“But, but …”
“Yeah I know” he sighed
“I don’t know … I don’t know what to do, what to say … I just want to … do you know anything more”
“No. She hasn’t called me she hasn’t talked to me. The cops are telling people not to go downtown … and that’s a good idea I think. I dunno, part of me wants to head out there, part of me realizes that's insanely dangerous”
He paused and sighed.
“She's a good girl” said the phone “smart and sensible, always was. Kind.”
“You think I don’t know that”
How are you doing?”
“I just don’t know”
He thought back on there deceptively banal relationship. They had met when they were both sophomores. It was a college party that wasn’t technically a frat thing but well what are you going to do. She was pretty, sweet and drunk. She was the kinda drinker that got sweeter the more she imbued and he liked it, though he himself actually stayed sober. In any case they hit it off, did a lot of college dates, went to more parties, stupid screenings and fucked. Around Senior year, she wanted to go to grad school in science he wanted to get a job in accounting-but he realized didn’t want to lose her. So they got married. That they never technically speaking lived together was perhaps the most unusual thing in 2017 about there relationship and that wasn’t that unusual.
Since then he got a job she got some grants and they had made a nice little condo life for themselves. Once she got her doctorate next year it would be time for her either to work in the private sector or academia and they wanted to play the field-both potentially meant moving, but He didn’t particularly care about that. Maybe get kids, which he kinda wanted and she more certainly. Maybe get a home which honestly appealed to him more. A little half acre somewhere. He wanted, but he was content. That was what they were. Content.
Up until 4:20 o'clock today when he heard a noise on the way home from work, he would thought himself a very happy man. Beautiful wife, no money problems, happy home.
“Give it a couple of hours-this is going to die down”
Something hurled a bus on TV as it was being thrown in the middle of the air a large sedan it breaking the bus in two, which fell to the ground in a twist.
“No it's not”
The news was showing pictures. Two of them. A man and A woman. The man a giant bull like of a guy who gave a distinct almost inhuman feel to him, like something not quite of this world. There was something to his blond hair that looked painted on like a toy-he was a human action figure of a villain. The other.
He thought of her
The first thing he thought about her was how she loved roller coasters. Not just the local ones. When they went on vacation she would drag him out to whatever Six Flags or Cedar Point thing there was and ride the biggest and largest roller coasters-the one with the loops, the one with the straight up hills all of them. All of them-if they had the time she would make a point of going on the kiddie coasters. He liked them to a point but honestly once you ride one wooden monster you rode them all. She liked cooking-she had recently gotten into the bug of it and had some cookbooks which with indian recipes
She was Indian, or Indian American, though by her time and her parents were so thoroughly westernized it mattered mostly in her dusty black brown skin. She was pretty very pretty, in a small and had boobs kinda way, with just these eyes that garbed you and smiled at you with as much as her mouth did.
Now she didn’t look so small-her arms had muscles on muscles. The Camera had covered them, showing off impressible slabs of meat and biceps, bulging across her body. It was ridiculous. He had seen pictures of fitness models and bodybuilders, and to be honest he had thought they were pretty-but there was something about the proportions of the woman’s body that looked faintly ridiculous. One thing about Bodybuilders is they are so definitely lean, as if every ounce of at was gone even from their faces. She didn’t have that-still with her slightly chubby cheeks- and somehow it made it look comic. That and her height-short almost a midget by inches, looking like Hercules.
He thought of her. He thought of Jhal his wife.
“It's not going to die down is it”
He watched them, they had gotten a camera to the city square. They had spent the better part of an hour throwing each other or objects at each other-but it was obviously by now not doing any good. Hyper powered punches throws-nothing. He was bigger, but not stronger-both seemed as strong as Aircraft carriers boring down on each other-enough force to melt diamonds against skin that could take it.
He had at first tried threatening innocent people. That suggested he was a bad guy. She had made effort to save them. He thought of the movie Superman 2-wow two Superman movies, that’s what he was thinking about. In connection with his wife two dumb little comic fantasies. So far he hadn’t seen her fly, or him for that matter. This was-the incredible hulk, what the fucking care.
Well the trying to save the people suggested good … suggested. He hadn’t learned any idea what was causing this or motivations or any of that … His wife was working on a program that was to split the atom like a Large Hadron Collider but without the Collier-something that broke down the basics of matter somehow. He wasn’t a scientist, he didn’t think there was any markedly logical way this could happen, which didn’t mean it hadn’t. From the half remembered talks while emptying the groceries he got that. Other dimensions, time, spaces, the power of..
He was sure someone somewhere was having a conservation like this on CNN which he didn’t want to watch.
“She's going to be okay-she's going to win “
“How does she come home?” Jake asked.
“What?” said her mother.
“How does she come home”
“She's a good sensible girl … once this is al works through”
“The media, the government all of them are going to be here … and with good reason … great reason … but beyond it … how does she just be a research fellow, who cooks homemade pannier sometimes when she has time. How does she bike ride to work. How does she look at me? “
“She loves you” said her mother “shes …”
“She's changed … and I haven’t even talked to her. I am sre where going to have a talk about …”
And there was a crack. He heard it on the TV … where it was loud as it would go, but a quarter second earlier he heard it in real life, where it was a more distant roaring echo. He wasn’t paying attention to the TV, but he turned back to see him slump down on the ground in pain. She had managed to grab him by the shoulder and something …
He was screaming in pain on the ground clutching himself. Moaning.
And hear head a sound on the phone. A sound of relief a cry of joy, a cry of something, of delight
“We’ve won!!!!!” he heard.
People were rushing towards her as she leaned against a wall.
He thought about what to do. Somehow some tangles of an outfit where clinging to her. Probably they could better clothes. Get in a car and start heading out there. How long would it take. Would she call him? She didn’t have a cellphone any more that much was obvious(she was a purser) … but well would anyone? Police and fire department and whatever were streaming in, some to her congratulating her. Arresting her? Probably that wasn’t decided or a good idea or possible.
Would she attempt to jump away back home like Superman?
“I am going to hang up … I am going to””
By now the phone was empty anyway so he just did.
People change. That’s what makes us. The girl who came home last night wasn’t the one who left Yesterday morning either. And he had made the choice to be with her through thick and thin good times and bad-and he wasn’t sure that this was the bad. Maybe the sex now would be fucking fantastic. Things had been bad before, maybe this was best ever. Hell maybe she would become queen of the earth, and he her king, or any variation of it.
He walked to his car outside
But things were changed. The woman who left the house this morning was gone almost certainly for good. Something was hopefully there, but not entirely . The woman he had been in the house when she left but didn’t remember if he saw her, or what his last words to was now something very different. That watching the last two hours he could barely recognize and it wasn’t the muscles-the woman who would do all of this, try to save the world from some kinda …
If given a chance would she develop superpowers as well as someone else-and be the person who didn’t want to hurt innocent people? Be the one of the pair who did that?
Who spent the last two hours risking her life obviously to do so?
Was that the person he knew, better than anyone else in the world?
Was she Superman?
He, he realized was not, and not in the Faster in the Speeding Bullet sense. The immensity of the revelation of his selfishness hit him. What he had spent the last hour or so thinking about when the city was in danger, and his wife … really himself.
But Jake drove away into the night wanting to meet her if he could, to be with her if he could, to know her as she was now if he could to be the kind of husband she deserved if he could.
His phone rang and he picked it up wanting to tell her all of this, to share his grand realization of the universe and his place however small or big.
It was work, telling him because state of downtown not to come into work tomorrow.