Written by Woody :: [Saturday, 14 March 2020 19:21] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 15 March 2020 10:07]
The Double Feature Challenge is a one-on-one writing challenge between two of our esteemed writers.
The rules are simple:
Let's get started.
“Stair Shuffle. Stair shuffle. What’s your name, where you from. Oooh a trickshot! nup, they missed. You know this for you page is pretty boring lately” Ashleigh said to Belle
“Yeah well you can always stop scrolling go look outside you know” Belle replied, “It’s not like that anyones making you watch Tik Tok. That’s why I’m not on it”
“Fine” Ashleigh said as she put her phone in her pocket. I’ve gotta head off anyway”
“See you tomorrow” said Belle as Ashleigh walked out the door.
10 minutes later Ashley was around the corner from her house when she heard an explosion from down the street. It knocked her over and as she got up she saw Manta arrive on the scene of a burning house. Manta was the latest superhero on the block. She wore a white full length figure hugging suit with a black belt on the waist and black boots. Just above each wrist were iridescent blue gems. She had a black cape that tailed to a point resembling a manta rays tail. On her immaculate chest was a ray in black. Her flowing blonde hair accentuated by the cape. Superhero’s weren’t a new phenomenon however this was the first time Ashely had seen one in the flesh.
Reacting fast Ashley took out her phone. “This is what Tik Tok needs” and started filming Manta as she saved the house. Manta started but circling the house at speed to draw a convection current into a tornado. Then at the peak of the tornado she blasted two streams of water from her hands that cascaded down the twirling flames and extinguished the fire.
Just then the fire brigade arrived and Manta flew off. Ashley smiled with delight while pressing send on the video.
For the next 5 hours Ashley’s phone went off nonstop. #Manta started trending almost immediately. She put her phone on silent and went to sleep
She woke up and checked the phone. 600 thousand followers had appeared on her file. Previously her file was a typical profile for her 20 or so friends. Kesha dances, Intro videos. Now with Mantra on her file people paid attention. And Ashley loved every second of it.
As she scrolled through the videos comments there was a common thread, “Are there more videos” ”when’s the next video”. Through her fortunate run in she had Manta on film people wanted more.
“Great, people want more. How do I get the people what they wanted” She thought to herself. Then she had an idea.
Suddenly Manta had a videographer. Every few days a new Manta video would pop up. Saving car crashes, putting out fires. Ashley did go looking for problems, she happened to have a knack of being in the right place at the right time. And with every video uploaded, her account skyrocketed.
Ashley thought she was on top of the world, and she was for a time; then it all came crashing down. She quickly realised that she couldn’t always be where Manta was and that her luck had to run out sooner rather than later, and that was bad for business. The fickle nature of a social media phenomenon meant she started to lose followers as quickly as she gained them. Two weeks passed and with no new Manta footage her numbers plummeted.
Two weeks later Ashley found herself on a ledge of a cliff. She grabbed the phone and turned it on herself. She started a live feed
“Hi guys. You were wondering where Mantra is lately. Well I’m going to find her for you” and with that she jumped.
The phone continued to roll as the sky came into view behind Ashley. Her hair blowing in the wind as she hit terminal velocity. The freedom feeling was intense and exhilarating. Then suddenly she felt a jolt. The camera took a sharp 90 degree turn and a flash of a black cape was visible.
Ashley turned around and saw her savior. Manta had come and caught her. Ashley then realised she was even more beautiful in real life. Her green eyes sparkled and her Blonde hair flowed like the majestic eagles.
As Manta safely landed at the base of the mountain Ashley caught a close up look at her idol. She had only seen her in the distance but up close she was amazing. Her body was perfect; her suit hung to her every curve with precision and grace. Excitedly she turned the phone around.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Manta” and with that she turned off the feed.
“What was that” Manta asked
“I needed to find you, everyone was asking for you and I couldn’t find you anywhere”
“Maybe because I’m out being a hero because some idiot put me on tiktok”
“You saved a house and it was amazing. I wanted to share it with the world”
“That was you” Manta said in shock
“Yes, and the car crash later, I saw you intervene and recorded it again.” You’re a hero, and everyone likes my profile because I have the only footage” She opened up her profile and showed Manta
Ashley – Manta fan 1
23 following, 450.3k followers, 3.7M likes
“What the fuck is this” Manta was growing angry. “You record me and stick me on your profile for views. And what was this “stunt” you just pulled.
“I needed to find you, and I knew you would save me”
“You risked your fucking life on a gamble that I’d show up. Do you know how monumentally stupid that is”
“But I needed publicity. I needed you” Ashley protested
“You don’t need me, and you don’t need to kill yourself to get my attention. You need help Ashley. Give me the phone”
Ashley gave Manta the phone
“This is Manta. Do not follow this account. Do NOT put me on TIKTOK.”
She clicked two buttons and hit send.
“Now delete the toks you have of me” she snapped
“But people look up to you. You’re a Hero Manta” Ashely Protested
“Yeah but the last thing any hero needs is people like YOU doing crazy stunts to get my attention, delete them”
Ashley reluctantly complied and Manta went to fly off
“Wait, how do I get home?”
“Try the road” Manta said as she flew off leaving Ashley at the base of the cliff next to a roadway
On the flight home Manta wondered if she was a bit harsh on Ashley. She did like that people knew who she was. Getting recognition as a superheroine was hard and she did give her a leg up. But then she thought about this arvo. If she went that far too just get a video what other stupid things could she do. And what is she was not able to save her. This was the best way. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. It was not worth the risk to her life.
Manta arrived home and stepped through her window. Alone in her room she clicked the two blue gems near her wrist together and two streams of blue light circled her. Soon she had completely transformed. Gone was the hero in the figure hugging suit and instead was a girl in an oversized top and cargoes. She got out her Pyjamas and as she changed her phone rang.
On the other end a girl was crying.
“Hey what’s happened?” she asked
“I’ve done something terrible.” Sobbed the girl on the other end
The girl replied in a warm voice “Whatever it is Ashley. I’m sure it’s not that bad. You tell your friend Belle all about it”
I rolled out of bed, grabbed my tablet and pulled up TikTok. This had become my daily morning ritual, ever since Thriller had begun posting videos online.
She may not have been the most powerful superhero, but she was, without a doubt, the sexiest. Known for tantalizing displays of her luscious body in her trademark skimpy outfits, Thriller had gained a huge following on social media. Her first upload, a selfie flying video in a strappy two-piece swimsuit, had made TikTok history by shattering all previous viewing records within 24 hours.
This morning, her video was entitled “Millionth viewer gets a kiss!” I felt my heart flutter with excitement as my eyes darted to the view count.
Could it really be? I didn’t know whether to believe it. Wasn’t this too good to be true?
I hadn’t quite wrapped my mind around what it meant when a message notification popped onto the screen. I touched the screen with my trembling finger.
“Congratulations! I’ll be at your house in a few to give you your reward… ;)”
I felt my mouth go dry, my fingers go numb. She was coming… here? Now? I scrambled to put on some clothes, then ran into the bathroom to gargle some mouthwash and splash water on my face.
Shit! I was so not ready for this!
Still not entirely convinced that this was really happening, I refreshed the screen, heart racing. She had announced the winner in a post… with my handle tagged.
It. Was. Actually. Fucking. Real.
I heard a tap on the back window of my bedroom and whirled to look.
Oh, my God... It was HER! Long, red hair waving in the breeze as she hovered just outside, her white strappy T-shielded costume – my favorite of her many revealing outfits – barely contained her curvaceous, athletic body.
I straightened my shirt and walked toward the window. As I did, however, I noticed a small speck growing larger behind her. Something was approaching! As it grew closer, I revised my thought. Or maybe, some… one.
I recognized her. It was Showtime, supervillainess extraordinaire and longtime adversary of Thriller. I felt my eyes widen as I frantically pointed, attempting to alert Thriller to the rapidly closing danger.
Her head swiveled to spot Showtime at the last moment. She dodged away just in time, and Showtime missed her, crashing through my bedroom window in a spray of glass. I dove behind the bed for cover, then peeked over the mattress to see what was happening.
Thriller swooped around, flew inside my room and landed gracefully on the carpet at the far side of my room.
I had a freaking superhero battle going on in my BEDROOM… right before my eyes!
The two women traded blows, blocking, spinning, kicking, and punching faster than I could visually track. It was like watching an MMA fight from ten feet away – if the fighters were striking with the power of a freight train.
I could feel the wind blowing my hair back with each superhumanly fast movement, the concussive reverberations of every earth-shattering blow rattle my chest.
Showtime grabbed onto one of the straps of Thriller’s costume and pulled it toward her, away from Thriller’s body, before releasing it to snap back into her breasts. It struck with supersonic speed, like a gunshot.
“Mother fucker!” cried Thriller, rubbing her sensitive flesh with her fingers between the straps. “You know how sensitive I am there!”
As Thriller glared, Showtime just gave her a dark, knowing smile.
The casual, bantering comment – and especially the look in Showtime’s eyes in reaction to it – right in the middle of the fight seemed odd. I began to wonder if there was more to their relationship than anyone knew. Was there some sort of frenemy thing going on here? Like Batman and Catwoman, maybe? As my eyes scanned Showtime’s luscious profile, nearly the equal of Thriller’s, I felt one eyebrow rise. Interesting…
Thriller scowled, then unleashed a vicious right hook into Showtime’s jaw, sending her through my dresser to the floor. Wood crackled and clattered as my clothes flew across the room.
I pulled an errant shirt – having landed on my head after the destruction of my poor dresser – from my eyes to watch Showtime rise, once more, to her feet.
She rushed Thriller and tackled her to the floor, then rained powerful punches to her exposed abs and delicate jaw. After the first few blows hit home, rocking her with their prodigious might, Thriller crossed her arms in front of her, blocking the beautiful villain’s next two strikes. She swept her arms to the side, shoving Showtime, launching her into the drywall on the far side of the room.
As Showtime rose and dusted herself off, Thriller pulled a glowing net from somewhere inside her costume. I knelt there, behind my bed, incredulous. How on earth could she store anything inside those thin straps?!!
Somehow, she had, however, and she was waving it over her head like a lasso. As Showtime rushed her once more, Thriller let the net fly. It found its target, weighted corners whirling around her several times, pulling the net tautly around her shapely form.Iridescent strands ensnared her, and she dropped to the floor. She clutched at the glimmering fibers, attempting to tear the mesh away from her. The voluptuous villainess struggled against it, but its pulsing light seemed to be sapping her strength by the second. Her violent thrashing grew less and less spirited until she was a shuddering lump on the ground.
Thriller let out a long, slow breath, straightening and relaxing her shoulders. She cast a quick glance in my direction, perhaps making sure I was okay, then returned her eyes to Showtime. Walking over to the trembling woman, she lifted the net with one hand, raising her adversary off the ground, then flung it out the window to land on the grass outside.
Thriller wiped her hands, her ruby lips curling upward into a satisfied smile. Then, she turned to me. I felt my breath catch.
“I knew that Showtime couldn’t resist such a public opportunity to catch me by surprise. It’s kinda her M.O. Thank you for helping me out with that,” she said with a dazzling smile.
She extended a hand, and I took it, feeling an electric tingle where she touched me. Her slender fingers wrapped around mine and pulled me upward with ease.
Now that I was upright, she sized me up with her luminous cobalt eyes. She seemed to like what she saw because her eyes were alight, her mouth forming a slight smile.
She leaned in, puckering her perfect, scarlet lips and pressed them into mine. They were satiny soft, caressing mine with light, skillful ease. Pyrotechnics exploded behind my closed eyelids. My knees weakened as her lips became my entire world. It lasted only a few seconds, but… wow… they were the best few seconds of my life!
I felt the delicate softness of her mouth pull away from mine, leaving me feeling hollow after the brimming, emotional fullness of the previous instant. Her lips brushed past my cheek on their way to my ear.
“You’re cute,” she said in her velvety voice. “If you’re up for it, maybe I’ll give you a different kind of thrill sometime…” she whispered into my ear.
As she pulled back, I saw her arm outstretched, phone in hand, taking a video of our magical moment, a video I knew I’d be watching about a hundred thousand more times. Her eyes sparkled and a mysterious smile graced her lips as she hit submit.
“You know how to reach me…” she clucked coyly. “Tik. Tok.”
She gave me a long-lashed wink, then flew away.