Written by WhitePaw :: [Wednesday, 17 August 2005 15:00] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 23 December 2012 17:19]
Enigmatic twisting chants in her iPod mattered little – she could still hear sweat bead on skin. The tempo of any heartbeat was to her no softer than the tribal beat of the sweeping music playing in her ears.
All was laid bare to her in but a simple twist of focus.
Bubbles drifted from the open bank door. Suds oozed like white lava onto the sidewalk. Inside the fire sprinklers poured out rain as usual bank cast drifted in oily bubbles of the stuff: helpless, fearful, and confused.
She drifted in curious, red satin skirt curling in the draft as her toes floated inches above the soggy slick that foamed over the carpet. Water from the sprinklers began to beat down her blonde hair and bead across her cape.
“What is it with banks anyway?” She sighed under the breath she never took. “Doesn’t this get ever old?”
The gaunt stick of a man laying hands on the vault door seemed unconcerned. “Come’ere, missy.” His hands foamed fountains of suds that crept over the vault door like ivy. “You gotta see this.”
She shrugged and drifted across the lobby, noting security cameras and alarm systems – all foaming suds at the mouth. “Alright, but then I gotta take you in.”
“Tsk. Youth.” He frowned and gave her iPod a curled-nose glance. “When you’re older you’ll appreciate real art …” He poised to give the vault door one final finger flick.
Arm-thick steel pins slipped from the hinges. The seven-ton behemoth of a door slipped silently to the floor like a 10-foot Frisbee to float bobbing like a saucer in dishwater in the froth that filled the bank.
“Very clean.” She shook the water from her soaking hair. “You’ve been practicing.”
He bowed in a flourish and a satisfied grin. “'Very clean, you’ve been practicing' … You mock me.”
“Razor’s beauty, stance of jade, arrow’s flight”
She shrugged, absently twirling her finger through the hem of her dampening skirt, and nodded towards the door. “Let’s go, Bob.”
“Hardly …” He turned, smirking into to the safe’s gaping maw. “I’ve been practicing.”
Her cape cracked like a whip – inside the safe. Her expression soured and settled somewhere between a blinking kitten and a hissing viper.
“Do I look like Carnegie Hall to you, Bob? I said ‘let’s go’.” She took one purposeful breath for emphasis, rolling the crisply crayon diamond S emblazoned in red and gold across her chest.
He raised an eyebrow and sighed, settling into a layer upon layer of bubble. His voice warbled as if underwater. “Sorrry, diiiid you saaay somethiiing?” He winked. “I was juuust iimaagining you iin laather theere for a second … ”
“Bob!” She scowled, eyes narrowing as she curled to pounce like a cat. Her soaking wet costume creaked and snapped over her flawless skin. She flicked her skirt at him, eyes blazing as she ground a silent “you wish …” between her teeth.
“Other waay arround, really … and the naame’s ‘Laather’ from now on pleeese.”
“That’s IT Bob.” She spat the words. “You’re so done for the day. Say g’night.”
– What the – ?!?
The overhead sprinklers sputtered at her building-jarring impact.
She had skidded, spinning, and slammed with a splash of soap water--back first into the lobby’s now splintered doorframe before she could balance herself. He’d slipped through her clothesline like …
“G’night!” He chuckled softly from the depths of the vault. “Woo … big baad Super Giirl … drop somethiiing?” He choked on a scoff, wiping a tear. “Sorry, that’s just so …” He squirmed in delight. “ … gave you the SLIP!”
“BOB!” Her word rattled the windows in their frames and shook plaster from the ceiling. She pulled her sopping hair from her face. “Dry off!” Beams of pure heat lanced across the room from her eyes, impaling into the vault like a flaming white spear.
Thunder ripped the air apart in exploding steam across the lobby, fracturing the plastered walls.
Her beams glanced off his bubbles like a spotlight on a disco ball, lacerating the walls of lock boxes with their scattering, incinerating blades of white-hot energy. Before she could blink the vault looked like a lava porcupine had sneezed.
Steam and the smell of burned metal wafted from the vault door as Bob lathered himself in a fresh layer of suds. “I was wuundering how thaat would go …” A wave of lather washed up the vault walls and receded as he flexed. “Impreessive as alwaays. Saaaved me a good ten minutes, you did.”
The shattered, smoldering remains of lock box casings fell in suds from the walls like an unhinged curtain in shards of metallic glass.
Darkness veiled her expression as she unhooked her cape and slowly folded it over the back of a chair.
“Get ‘um, Super Girl.” The guard’s voice bubbled up as he drifted by in the suds.
“So … messy.” ‘Lather’ shrugged. “Miiind if I clean up?”
She wound her headphones in a blur and slipped the iPod gently under her cape.
“Simple cheeemistry, Super Girrrl.” Bob busied himself elbow-deep in open deposit boxes. “Well … not so siiimple, I suppppose … protein compleexes, geneetic blah blah blah …”
A cloud of water exploded off her body and hit the back wall of the vault as she appeared, grasping his arm in her hand, whispering between her teeth. “Bob…you have no…idea…” Muscles flared over her body, veins cut like water running off her. “… how …” She gave a sideways glance and whispered into his ear as her knuckles crackled into a fist. “… ANT-LIKE … you are … to me …”
He popped his arm from her grasp like a wet bar of soap. “Oh I know, little miss pocket goddess.” He rolled his eyes. “But I’m walking out of here on my own today.” He nodded to the walls. “Because if I’m not touching thiis soap sliick we’re standing in, the ends of it seeping into the girrrders of this building go slipperry …”
Her eyes hazed violet as she took a slow look around.
“And this skyscraperr looses a floor … for openerrs.” He paused. “And why do you keep callling me Bob? That’s not my nname you knnow, neverr was.”
“You are STILL so NOT in my league, Bob.” She pulled herself up straight, fluffed in her costume and shook water from he hair with her hands as she turned step around him. “Do you ever get the girl … Bob?”
His expression … 'tweaked' at the gentle touch of her hand on his chest. She slowly oozed through bubble after bubble of his personal space.
Soap sheened over the waterlogged fabric of her costume as it began to slip over her body like a washrag on a wet Ferrari to her slithering curves …
The bank lobby flashed blue and red at the encroach of police cruisers. A line of blackly riot-geared officers slunk in against the building on either side of the soap-foaming door. Clattering of firearms echoed down the street.
The bank windows blew out in soapsuds like a depth charge in a dishwasher. Suds and water splattered for blocks in an explosion that blew police cruisers over into storefronts across the street.
A wave of soapy debris washed up around the ankles of the surrounding buildings for a floor or three.
Suds and broken glass oozed from the feet of the surrounding buildings as police helped each other up, all trying to shake off the ringing in their ears.
The bank building let out a bone-rattling groan like a splitting oceanliner – and shuddered … once, while all present cringed.
Slowly, cautiously, a policeman poked his head in the open lobby door like a gazelle approaching a watering hole.
“Hey, thanks for showing.” Her voice vanished into the soap as if into snow.
The lobby was a broken winter landscape in white suds. The usual bank cast were awkwardly helping each other to their feet from popped bubbles – and occasionally slipping to their backs again. Fire sprinklers dripped in steam, all welded to smoldering blobs of metal.
“Psst … up here.”
The officer glanced up. Super Girl held the ceiling overhead one-handed by an exposed I-beam, trying to wipe the sour expression off her lips with her forearm, but only getting soapier.
“Pthew.” She spat bitterly. “Mind clearing everybody out, first floor or so at least? I gotta set the rest of it down somewhere – and go rinse for about a week.” The officer nodded nervously at the creaking ceiling, and hand waived his crew in.
“Super girl,” The bank security guard drained the water from the barrel of his firearm. “I saw the whole thing and I gotta say …” Looking up at her hovering under the weight of a twenty-story building in midair.
“Pthew.” She spat bubbles and winked. “Not a word, you.”
He froze, grinned slyly, and nodded in appreciation. “Just glad you’re on our side.” He gave her a suspicious salute.
“Come on, help clear out, you. This isn’t heavy, but I’ve places to be.”