Those damned superheroes are messing with my commute
I’ve got a new superhero story, “The Last Love of the Infinity Age,” up over at Abyss & Apex. Well, it’s sort of a superhero story. It features a normal man trapped in a world of superheroes, just trying to get home to his normal wife. The idea came to me when I was watching a fight scene in one of the latest superhero movies and I thought, “These guys are really messing with everyone’s commute.” It kind of wrote itself from there.
Here’s a sample:
I come back to life when the sleeper nuke Doc Apocalypse hid in the subway system goes off and destroys the city. Except I’m not really dead before that. I’m stuck in the Frozen Zone of the city with a few thousand other popsicles who got caught in the crossfire back when the Union of Soviet Super Comrades brought the Cold War home to us.
One minute I was standing there in the flower shop, a bouquet of flowers in my hand for Penny. Then there was the sudden white light as the Comrades’ flash freeze hit. And for the next twenty years I was a block of ice in the flower shop, a bouquet of flowers frozen in my hand for Penny.
Then there’s another flash of light, this one from Doc Apocalypse’s nuke, and the next minute the ice melts away and I’m shaking uncontrollably as I thaw out in the ruins of the flower shop. I’m ankle deep in water. The roof of the shop has collapsed, and the clerk who’d sold me the flowers is scattered around the room in frozen chunks. He doesn’t know how lucky he is.
The flowers have shattered in my hand and are just ice shards melting away in the water now. I leave them and crawl out through a narrow passageway left amid the fallen beams and ceiling tiles. I follow the light.
Outside, the city is melting. Waterfalls pour down the sides of buildings that are still standing. Other buildings have crumpled into themselves under the weight of the ice, or parts of them have broken off from the shock wave of the nuke and fallen into the street. The entire side of an office tower a few buildings away has come off completely, crushing all the cars and pedestrians frozen underneath it. People still sit in the offices inside, some of them blocks of dripping ice at their desks and conference tables. Others have been freed from their prisons like me and are stumbling around the skating rinks of their floors.
I watch a man in a suit and tie break his way out of a frozen cubicle a few levels up. He steps forward, into the air, because the rest of the office has fallen away. I don’t bother yelling a warning to him. He never listens. He falls, screaming, out of sight behind the jumble of rubble in the street. He hits something metal on the other side and the screaming stops. No heroes come to save him. They’re too busy trying to save us all.
Trinity flies overhead just then, ripping a white line through the burning sky. His suit is torn and scorched from the nuke, but he doesn’t waver. Nothing can hurt Trinity. The people he loves, though, they’re a different story.
Cries go up across the city at the sight of him. He doesn’t look down at us. It’s a day like any other.