Pen Prints Flash Dash 2019

Recently I participated in the pen prints flash dash; a flash fiction challenge where you create a story less than one thousand words based on genre and a surprise story prompt. My Genre was superhero and my prompt was an image. The prompt and my entry are below. Enjoy.

Pirouette

By C. O. Bonham

superhero promptHannah leaped and twirled her way across the stage. The passion of the music filling her up and bursting forth in pure streams of fluid movement.

The moment was shattered by a boom. Rather than be frozen by shock, Hannah spun right and jumped left. Zigzagging across the stage she made her way to the edge and stopped.

“What are you doing here?” She crossed her arms and stared down at the man in the midnight blue and purple spandex. Captain Galaxy still had a ring of plasma orbiting around his hand, charged and ready for another blast. Hannah looked to the scorch marks on the molding above the proscenium. “It’s not enough to interrupt my rehearsal, you have to destroy the theater?”

“Well how else was I going to get your attention?”

“You could have tried waiting for me to finish.”

“No time, Galaxy Girl. We have a world to save.”

“Forget it dad.” Hannah spun on her heel. “I told you, I’m not your sidekick anymore.”

Dad used his galaxy powers to negate gravity enough to step up onto the stage. “You can’t quit, you have a responsibility.”

“To use my powers to protect those who can’t protect themselves. I know, but you were the one given these powers. I only have them because I’m your daughter. I have my own dreams. I need to practice for my audition tomorrow.”

His face fell, “You love being Galaxy Girl.”

“I loved spending time with you, but now it’s all about stopping Dr. Retro. It’s training and fighting and foiling. I want a life, dad. I still love you, but I want a different path.” Hannah spun and used her gravity powers to reach the damaged molding. ”I think it will come off with some soap.”

“Do you ever use your powers when your dancing?”

“Stop trying to guilt trip me.” She lowered herself back down to the stage and confronted him. “Why does being powerful mean, I can’t do what I love?”

“Because you’re powerful other people will resent it. Even if you don’t use your powers; they’ll think you did.”

“All the more reason for you to leave before someone sees us together. I only get the stage for thirty minutes.”

 Her father’s face suddenly appeared old to her. His platinum blond hair, now more silver. This was a first for her, realizing as she grew up, her father’d grown old. He turned and floated off the stage. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to let him do this alone.

Hannah shrugged off the feeling. He was barely fifty. She shuffled upstage to restart her music. She picked up the smart phone beside the bluetooth speaker and noticed several messages from her mother.

Your father is trying to find you.

Has your father found you yet?

Meet your father at the old space center. Dr. Retro has a death ray.

Not the death ray again. Didn’t Dr. Retro know, nearly all rays were deadly: X-rays, uv-rays, stingrays. But still her father was going there alone.

No, she had to practice. Ten more minutes and then she wouldn’t be on this stage again until the audition. She had to make the most of this chance.

The music started and muscle memory carried her body as her mind drifted back. Professor Proton had discovered the one weakness of Captain Galaxy. Her.

 Not only had her father left in the middle of her solo, he had forgotten he needed to drive her home. A nice man had approached her as she sat beside the locked car. “Your father sent me to bring you home,” he had said. After he said the secret phrase she trusted him enough to follow him.

Hannah missed a step and collapsed. She rubbed her knee where it’d hit the stage. The absolute look of fear in her fathers eyes when he saw her in danger had been real. It was only because Proton hadn’t known about her own powers, that they had escaped at all.

Maybe training her, fighting beside her, was his way, of not only protecting her, but of overcoming his own fear. Maybe. There was no time to change.

***

Captain Galaxy had fired off his last plasma blast. The effects of the death ray were taking a toll on his powers. Though his shaky breaths were proof that it didn’t actually shoot rays of death. It was more of an agonizing pain ray. Villains and their naming conventions.

“Ready for another taste of death, Captain Galaxy?” Dr. Retro swung his ray back around and raised his hand to hit the button. But he never fired.

A blur of pink flew in from overhead. “Oh, please,” said a familiar voice, “death ray is such a misnomer. More like vastly over hyped ray.” Then she powered up a plasma blast and sent Dr. Retro flying across the open testing bay.

He smiled. That banter could only have come from one person. “Galaxy Girl, you came.” Seeing her there, vulnerable in her practice clothes with only a ripped piece of cloth around her eyes for anonymity, was enough to make him wish she hadn’t come. Seeing her in danger never got easier.

“Sorry Captain, Galaxy Girl couldn’t come. You can call me Pirouette.” She spoke loudly presumably so the recovering villain could hear her. Then she blasted the death ray controls and flew down to help him up. “Sorry I’m late dad. Are you okay?”

He patted her arm. “I am now.”

They were interrupted by Retro as he finally got up off the floor. “A ballerina? Really? That’s your big superhero schtick?”

“Says Dr. groovy sixties man.”

“Retro like the rocket not retro like vintage.”

“Clearly I’m not late for the monologue.” She flashed him a smile. “I guess no one ever told him what happened to Professor Proton.”

About the story:

I chose Pirouette, not just because it is a ballet term but also because it is the term for turning in place. In the same way Hannah is turning around over her feelings towards her father.  And if you were thinking this was a father daughter story because I’ve been trying to think of a fathers day gift for my dad, then you would be right.

Click here to see the other stories from the flash dash challenge.

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