Saturday, November 15, 2008



Paula lived a small apartment on the top floor of a large building. Most of her floor space was taken up by a collection of plants , some knee-high clusters of spiked leaves crowding around tall leafy shrubs. Silver pushed her way through the jungle that filled the short hallway, and squeezed into the living room.


“How do you like it?” Paula shouted as she shoved the front door shut, pushing back tendrils of plants that threatened to get caught in its frame.
“It’s – cozy,” Silver said, not managing to get out the obviously expected word lovely. “And colourful.” Cluttered as well, with tall narrow china funnels placed about the room, rising up to meet handfuls of golden spherical objects which dangled from the ceiling. Coins?
“You don’t have to stay here, you know, if you don’t want to,” Paula said, following her into the room.
“Oh, I do,” Silver said hastily. “It’s really quaint.”
“And you’re broke.” Paula gave a sniff.
The more Silver gazed around the room, the more she liked it. Once she got past the clutter, the mullioned windows which looked over the city allowed in plenty of daylight. The indigo walls, mainly obscured from view by shelves of knickknacks and funnels, lent a cheerful aspect, while the cerise ceiling – sort of – worked.
Paula hastily moved some boxes and a pile of clothes to reveal a cerulean settee.
“Your bed.”
“Looks comfy.” The tasselled cushions did look inviting and for a moment Silver, who had risen early that morning, felt tempted to curl up among them, but then she remembered that there were people to save and villains to overcome so she resisted the urge.
A tiny kitchenette led off the sitting room, and Paula slipped behind a counter (festooned with silk ribbons and bunting) and turned on the hob.
“Yes please,” Silver said, envisioning a rich home made tomato variety accompanied by the freshest of brown bread.
Paula was nosily removing bowls and plates from the cupboard and banging them onto the counter. When lunch arrived, the soup was brown and tasteless, and the bread, light brown and almost fresh. Silver wolfed it down anyway and asked for seconds. Superheroes needed to keep their strength up.
After lunch Paula asked what her plans were for life in the city. “You can stay here as long as you like, of course. But what will you do about money? Will your parents send you some?” “I’ll get a job,” Silver said instantly, shuddering at the thought of asking her old folks to support her. Her savings (plus a contribution from her parents) had been in her purse, but she was confident she could raise money by her own efforts.
“There might be something going in my workplace.” Paula sounded tentative.
“Great. But I thought you were studying aero-nautics, or something.”
Paula started to clear away the dishes. From the sink she said: “Well, I supplement with working in the local supermarket. I heard that they were looking for someone in the backstores.”
Paula’s supermarket - Alf’s All-purpose Store – was a ten minute walk from her apartment. Alf was a tall portly gentleman, with unhealthily high colour in his cheeks. He shook his head when Paula asked for work for her friend.
“I have a job going in the back stores, but it’s no work for a young lady,” he said, shaking his head. “Moving boxes, taking in deliveries. It’s a lad’s job.”
“I’m very strong,” Silver said. “And a hard worker. Please give me a chance.”
“She is.” Paula nodded.
Alf rubbed his chin. “I’ll give you a go then – see what you can come up with for a couple of hours this afternoon. If you’re any good, I’ll give you the position.”
He led Silver into a large store room behind the supermarket. “This is where we store the product before we stack the shelves. The delivery vehicles unload over there – see the big steel door? Now my last lad left a few weeks back and I haven’t had time to scratch my chin, so you can see it has fallen into a bit of a mess.”
Alf understated the case. The store room was lined with metal racking, full of cases of product, but the aisles in between were also filled with pallets stacked with goods, blocking off access to the shelves.
“Staff have to climb over the new deliveries to get at the other stuff,” Alf said. “So they end up using the latest deliveries to stock the shelves.”
Silver could see cases of tinned pineapples next to sachets of washing powder, detergents and cat food beside chocolates and fruit.
“I’ll leave you here til four o’clock. If you can make any sort of impression, you’ve got the job.”
Left alone, Silver studied the clutter of products. It did not take long to convince her that a full reorganisation of the storeroom was required, so she set to work, moving like products together, making sure the stock was placed in correct date order, and that everything was easily accessible to the supermarket staff. Finding a dustpan and brush as well as other cleaning materials, she swept up loose cabbage leaves and armfuls of dust, and gave the racking a quick polish as well. Everything gleamed, and she was quite pleased with the result.
Still, there was over half an hour to kill before Alf returned, so Silver opened the back door and wandered outside. A short lane ran behind the supermarket and led to the main road. Opposite the back of Alf’s was a high wall, slate rooftops appearing above it.
A sob sounded clearly from the other side of the wall, and then a voice said: “Don’t worry, Angela, help is on the way.”
You’re right, thought Silver, hopping up on the wall.
She looked down into a small garden, its perimeter was lined with shrubs but in its centre was a young tree, its slender branches waving gently in the breeze. Below the tree stood a little girl, her tear-stained face staring upwards. High up in the tree a small white kitten clung to a branch, mewing pitifully.
“Don’t worry,” Silver called, jumping over the shrubs and landing on the grass beside the child. “Is that your kitten?”
“Snowy,” the girl said, nodding. “He’s stuck.”
“I’ll get him for you.” Silver swung herself among the branches and picked up the cat, before dropping back to earth and presenting the animal to its delighted owner.
As the little child squeaked in delight and hugged the kitten, a roar sounded and someone raced out of the house waving a rake.
“What do you think you’re doing?” A woman yelled, swiping at Silver.
“Rescuing the kitten,” Silver stammered, easily dodging the blow.
“Who do you think you are? Get out of my garden,” the woman screamed.
A little shocked, Silver backed away into the shrubs. The woman screeched and lunged, so Silver hastily turned and leaped back onto the wall.
“What is wrong with people here?” she said as she dropped back into the lane.
It was not yet time for Alf to check on her work so she wandered into the supermarket. It was busy, long queues waiting at the tills, and the staff looked weary and hassled. Silver had an urge to help, and was about to off her services when a voice behind her spoke.
“What are you doing here? Keep working in the store room.”It was Alf.
“I’m finished,” Silver said, turning around.
Scepticism filled Alf’s face. “Really? Show me.”
Strangely when he saw how tidy and clean the backstore was, Alf did not look pleased.
“I meant you to do this on your own.”
“I did,” Silver assured him.
“Rubbish. It would take you a week to do this.” He moved between the racks and looked at the produce, frowning heavily. Eventually he came back to her and said sternly: “Own up. Who helped you?”
“Impossible. But it’s a good job you’ve done – all right, I’ll give you a chance, but no more friends inside my store. Is that a deal?”
“Yes, it is, sir.” Silver held out her hand and shook his vigorously.
Alf looked a little surprised by her firm grip. “Start tomorrow at 7am.”
Silver hurried back to Paula’s place, greatly relieved. What a day she had – robbed, rescued, threatened and employed, all in one day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This is a worthy cause (and will only take a second of two out of your life).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

TWO - Sorry it's late.


“You’re such a disaster.” Paula grabbed the handle of one of the cases, tugged without budging it, and released. “Arrested the moment you arrive in Smokesville.”
Silver felt the colour rise in her cheeks. How shameful for a super hero to be robbed and arrested on her first day on the job.


“Thanks for bailing me out, Paula.”
“Luckily I took the day off to meet you. Let’s leave the station. It’s only a short walk to my place.”
Silver nodded, and picked up her luggage, marvelling at the first sight of her friend in two years. Paula hadn’t visited Micropolis since she moved to the city, although her parents frequently heard from her and occasionally visited. Paula’s green skirt was of a length that barely sufficed to be called more than a belt, her top was a vivid yellow, and her make up was caked on – a white mask with startling red eye shadow. Her hair remained the same, tight corkscrew red curls, threaded with numerous colourful ribbons, but she seemed much thinner and somehow taller.
It was exciting to exit the station - busy with people and shining interior, though it was – and finally see the city. Paula led the way into an elevator. At first Silver thought it was a platform exposed to the elements, but then she realised that a transparent material, far thinner than glass, protected them. Through this she could see the rooftops of the city, bronze and golds and glass, round and turreted, and already reflecting the blaze of the midday sun.
As the lift descended, Silver could more of the city. The streets were laid out symmetrically, wide avenues and plenty of trees and pavements, cafes and parks, but the buildings were not the low storey brick, wood or stone homes that filled Micropolis. No, these edifices were spherical or conical, metallic and shining. Silver was not sure of she liked it or not, but it certainly was different.
Alighting from the elevator, she stepped on to a shimmering blue pavement which formed a square filled with trees. A delicious scent of oranges wafted towards her.
“I do like this place,” she said.
“Why, of course you do,” Paul said. “It’s the city.”
The city. Silver had grown up unaware that such a thing existed, but all her hopes once she had heard of it had been to get to this mysterious place. After all, there were not too many villains in Micropolis.
The pavement beneath her feet started to move, and Silver had to stagger to keep her balance.
“It’s only taking us to the street door,” Paula said.
Silver looked up. The blue sky above her head – false. The golden sun – fake.
“What about the view from the elevator?”
“Smokesville,” Paula said with a nod. “In the future. Some time.”
The pavement swept them up to a large glass door which slid back and allowed Silver to see the real Smokesville.
A dirty smog lay across the city, clinging to the sides of buildings which loomed above her head. The real sky was overcast, and rain threatened.
“Sometimes the fog lifts and the city looks really well,” Paul said. “And the plan is to change the face of the city in the future.”
“It looks more like a city of villains to me,” Silver said, brightening up. Surely this miserable heap of bricks hid some dark minds plotting against the hapless citizens, who would need her brilliance to defend them.
“It’s not that bad, looks better in the sun.” Paula started down a flight of steps.
As Silver followed her friends, she looked around at the buildings. Solid enough, only a few hairline fractures. She wasn’t going to be propping up any of theses.
A little further down a small crowd had gathered, craning their necks upwards. Silver’s heart beat a little harder, a tiny hope of excitement.
Picking up her cases, she ran up to join the group. Looking up, a twelve storey building stretched towards the sky, and on a window ledge on the third floor a woman stood, arms out-stretched and her back against the glass. At the next window several anxious faces peered out. Silver could hear them call out anxiously, beseeching her to come in, as well as the woman’s vehement refusals.
It was the moment she had been waiting for. Leaving her cases for Paula to look after (when she finally caught up), she gripped the corner of the building and started to climb. Nobody appeared to notice as she quickly scaled the bricks, although as she moved across the ledges towards the woman she heard the crowd exclaim at her appearance.
“Don’t be afraid,” Silver rushed to reassure the woman. “I’m here to help you. I can get you safely off the ledge.”
The woman’s eyes rolled frantically towards her. “Get away from me, get away – or I swear I’ll jump.”
“Lorena, Lorena, come inside.” Beyond the woman, at the next open window, a voice implored.
“I can’t, I’m stuck.” Lorena threw back at her. Then her eyes shot back to Silver. “Don’t come any closer.”
“Aren’t you stuck?”
Lorena’s fingers clung a little harder to the edge of the window behind her. “Of course I’m stuck. If I look down, I’ll fall.”
“Don’t worry – I can help you.”
“Leave me alone,” Lorena snarled. “I want to be rescued by Aluminium Man.”
Silver wasn’t sure she had heard correctly. “Sorry? What did you say?”
“Aluminium Man,” Lorena said fiercely. “He’s surely on his way now to rescue me.”
“So you won’t let me rescue you.” Silver struggled to grapple with this. “You want a specific hero.”
“I don’t know who you are. Why should I trust you? Besides Aluminium Man is so handsome. Oh, I think I see him now.” Her sentence ended in a squeak of high-pitched excitement.
Silver looked over across the rooftops, and through the shards of fog to see something sparkling on the horizon. Like a shooting star, the gleaming object hurtled towards them, slowing only as it came close to reveal itself as a metal man.
The metal man spoke. “In trouble, ladies?”
“Oh, Aluminium Man,” Lorena gushed. “My hero.”
As Silver watched, Aluminium Man wrapped an arm around Lorena and swept her off the window ledge. Before Silver could speak, he had flung his other arm around her and had lifted her into the air.
“Let me go,” Silver spluttered.
Aluminium Man ignored her and sped down to earth. Landing lightly amid uproarious applause, he placed both girls on their feet.
Lorena tried to fawn all over him but Aluminium Man stepped aside with a light laugh and a small bow and took off once again. Within a few seconds, he had vanished from sight. The crowd surged around Lorena to hear her speak of her great experiences with Aluminium Man.
Silver stood a little apart, still spluttering with indignation. Her first day in the city and she – a super hero - had been rescued by Aluminium Man.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Silver stepped off the train onto platform eight, glanced around in anticipation and inhaled deeply. Twenty-five sets of railway tracks terminated on the east side of Smokesville’s main train station, twenty-three sleek and shiny trains stood parallel to each other, at rest after delivering the hordes of commuters to the capital’s centre. Crowds milled forward, an anxious heaving mass, intent on streaming into the city streets.
But Silver paid no attention to them as they pushed past her, despite the occasional whack on the shoulder or the jamming of luggage into her legs. She stood, without moving, a few feet from where she had alighted, and stared about her. A huge colourful dome above her head obscured the sky from view, the elegant pillars supporting it stretched high above her head, a spectacle without match in Micropolis, the tiny village by the sea where Silver grew up.

She didn’t gaze upwards for long. Her attention was really focused on the crowds about her. Their faces fascinated her, the eyes that looked intently ahead, the brows knotted in concern, the mouths, set straight and firm. Misery, unhappiness and fear – she read all three emotions on their faces. This reading, rather than depressing her, gave her a feeling of hope: these were the people she was here to help. They needed her.
Silver remained where she was, enjoying the feel of the throng passing her by, absorbing the sense of the sheer immensity of the city. Eventually most of the passengers from the train had exited through the distant barriers, and she was left alone. Behind her, a far distant circle of light indicated where the train tunnel met the outside, but her way led ahead.
Picking up a heavy suitcase in either hand, Silver set off blithely along the platform. Gently swinging her cases, Silver mused on what her first mission would be. Perhaps a force of invading gigantic grasshoppers would descend on Smokesville, or maybe a master criminal determined on destroying the livelihoods of all the citizens of the city. Or worse, plan a series of nuclear explosions that would tear the foundations of the city apart.
Silver wasn’t sure how she would handle that last scenario but she was determined to do her best to help the hapless denizens of Smokesville. After all, that was what she was born to do.
Reaching the exit barriers, she dropped her case and rooted in her pockets for her train ticket, still musing about what she could and would do.
No ticket. Of course, she had put it in her purse.
No purse.
Silver remembered some of the people who had pressed against her as they left the train. She had been too busy day dreaming about her new life in the city to notice that she had been robbed. Biting her lip, she could feel the colour rise in her cheeks. How stupid of her. And now a petty thief had run off with all her money, her savings for her visit to Smokesville.
As she hesitated around the exit barrier, a man dressed in a uniform approached her.
“Hurry along there, Miss. I’ll be allowing people to board soon.”
Beyond the exit barriers, a row of shops and stalls lined either side of a corridor, which ended in a gate forty or fifty yards away. Silver could see a crowd of people waiting to be allowed through.
“Just place your ticket in the slot there, and the barrier will raise and you can leave,” the official said.
“Well, my ticket has been stolen,” Silver said. “So I can’t put it in the slot.”
The man’s pleasant demeanour diminished. “You’ve no ticket.”
“My purse was stolen – “
“You’ve no ticket?” The man frowned. “It’s against the law to travel by train without a ticket.”
“I didn’t – it – ”
“You could be imprisoned for this.” The guard shook his head. Producing a whistle, he blew three sharp toots on it. Instantly half a dozen guards ran up from nowhere.
Silver gasped. “But my purse has been stolen – ”
The guard would not listen to her. He raised the barrier, stepped inside and took her arm, and to Silver’s shock, she found she was under arrest. Rather than come to the city to fight criminals, as she had hoped, she was now being arrested as a felon and fraudster.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Due to many reasons, I probably won't post Chapter One of my Blovel tonight. Hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


The half-two bell sounded and hundreds of kids poured through the open school, screaming as they burst into the yard and spread in different directions. A little girl with her hair severely pulled back into pigtails stood waiting patiently by the railings, her coat neatly buttoned up to her neck in the wintry afternoon. Another little girl ran up to her, shrugging on her coat as she went.
“Where did you go, Susie? Why didn’t you wait?”
“I was waiting here for you, Paula,” the first child answered, falling into step bedside her friend.
Paula started to rooted among her pockets. “Someone has stolen my gloves.”
“Here.” Susie held out her hand. On the palm was a pair of woollen mittens. “You dropped them.”
“Oh.” Paula’s red curls bobbled as she snatched the gloves. “It’s cold. Miss Jones said I should be a doctor when I grow up, but my Dad wants me to be a lawyer. What about you, Susie?”
Susie hugged her schoolbooks to her chest and her eyes brightened as she considered the question. “Well, I dunno yet, but there’s a lot of – ”
“I think I should be a fighter pilot,” Paula said. She swung her bag from side to side. “Vroom, vroom...” A deep growl sounded in her throat. “You could be my co-pilot, if you liked.”
The two girls walked through the school gate and across the field behind. The path zig-zagged through the grass along the side of the cliff and down towards the village. Susie blew out and watched her frosted breath float away, while Paula nattered away about her plans for the future.
As they walked, they passed a dozen leafless trees strung along the path. A group of boys were gathered around one, their attention riveted by something in the tree. Susie glanced up curiously.
A small cat perched on the branch; white and fluffy, it looked little more than a kitten. Its claws were dug into the wood in terror.
The boys were throwing stones, attempting to dislodge the animal.
“Hey, leave the kitty alone,” Paula shouted from the pathway.
Susie looked around for something to scare off the boys, who outnumbered them by five to two. The boys all looked older and were taller.
“Get lost,” one boy said, stooping to pick up a heavy stick. This he flung with great accuracy at the cat which yowled and jumped out of the way. The stick flew past the branch, disappearing over the cliff.
As did the cat.
Susie dropped her books and raced to the cliff edge. Staring down, she could see the uneven cliff face, protruding rocks offering precarious hand and foot holds. Without a second’s thought, she swung herself over the edge and started to climb down as quickly as possible. A flat stretch of shingle stretched at the base of the cliff. Susie’s feet touched the ground, she craned her head upwards, ran a couple of steps and caught the cat in her arms.
The animal gave a startled shriek and jumped out of her arms. Watching it race across the beach, Susie was happy to see it had suffered no ill effects from its fall. Turning, she scrambled up the cliff again.
With one accord, the five boys fled at her reappearance. Paula was looking quite startled, her mouth drooped open and her schoolbag hanging listlessly from her hand.
“Wha – what happened?”
“The cat’s all right.” Susie brushed the dirt from her hands and tried to ignore the stinging grazes that adorned her palms.
Susie walked home, feeling quite pleased that she had rescued a cat. Every day her mother asked what she had done that day, at least she had something to tell her now.
Her mother was chopping vegetables and singing as she worked. Susie watched the rhythmic flash of the knife move to the sound of the latest pop tune.
“Oh there you are, Pet.” Her mother looked up and beamed at her. “How was your day? What did you do in school?”
Susie hesitated. She hadn’t actually saved the cat in school. “The usual. Sums and things. On the way home I saved a cat from being tortured.”
“That’s nice, dear.” Mrs Powers started to roll some pastry.
“It fell off the cliff and I had to climb down to save it.”
“I don’t like you playing near the cliffs. Please take the main road home tomorrow.”
Susie picked up a knife and cut herself a piece of pastry, moving her fingers quickly out of the ways of her mother’s blade.
“Go do your homework, Susie,” her mother said. “I have to finish this pie. Have you much to do?”
“Some sums and an essay.” Susie wandered towards the door and went up to her room. When she came back down to the kitchen, her mother was putting the finishing touches to the vegetable pie.
“That was quick,” her mother said, opening the oven. “All done?”
“Yes. Mum?”
“I know what I want to be when I grow up.”
The oven door slammed shut. “Yes, pet?”
Susie took a deep breath. “I want to be a super hero.”


You'll see it, hopefully later tonight, but it's not the one requested by Vickythistke63 and Inkpot!