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Some Enchanted Evening

by on June 26, 2011

Note: this story was written for Prompt Number Twenty-five of the Chrysalis Experiment. It also takes place in the same universe as Mom Power, though chronologically a bit before. And special thanks to Trisha for suggesting ‘teeking as a cool shorthand for telekinesis. Enjoy! 😛

It all began with zombies. And it was all Phil’s fault. You see, Phil had scheduled a Saturday night date with Audrey at a pricey sit-down restaurant, a step above their usual dating activities such as exploring the back shelves of the library for old philosophy books, or attending the latest performance of the Edison City orchestra. Audrey had gone out and bought a new civilian outfit specifically for the occasion, and she was very much looking forward to it. But then, disaster. Saturday afternoon, Phil’s iPod had alerted him that Captain Cockroach had just launched an assault on the largest Edison City bank, and his help was needed posthaste to stop it. This wouldn’t have been a problem for his and Audrey’s relationship; they’d both had to cancel dates in the line of duty. No, what got Phil in trouble was, he forgot to tell her about it. Worse, after he’d trounced the bad guys, he was so stressed out that he went back to his apartment to play zombie-killing video games with his clones. His date had entirely slipped his mind.

Clone-Phil Five had just blown the head of a particularly determined zombie when a sudden screaming thought crashed through Phil’s brain. Philip Wendell Whitley, where in blasted blue blazes are you? As Audrey very rarely used bad language, and even less rarely sent out unsolicited ‘paths, this should’ve indicated to Phil how upset she was, and how much trouble he was in. Ah, but our boy Phil was in rare form this evening. He zapped away his clones and rushed to the restaurant, as was right and proper, but when he got there and saw Audrey standing distressed outside, he made a very stupid mistake. He decided to lie. “Listen, Audrey,” he began, “I’m so so sorry, I should’ve called, but I was fighting Captain Cockroach, and then I got attacked by slug-robots, and I only just got away!”

Now, Phil might’ve gotten away with it if he’d had a normal girlfriend. But Audrey was a ‘pather. And while she generally felt it was the height of rudeness to read people’s memories without permission, she was way too upset to be polite now. It only took a second. Slug-robots? she ‘pathed in dismay and rising anger. SLUG-ROBOTS! YOU WEREN’T FIGHTING SLUG-ROBOTS, YOU WERE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES WITH YOUR STUPID CLONES!” 

Phil started to object, but Audrey clenched her fist, and a nearby garbage bin rose from the ground and shot towards him. He cloned out, projecting a wall of Phils to block it, but in that time Audrey had ‘ported away. And that was why Phil was in Dora’s Floral Emporium the next Sunday afternoon, wandering in a bewildered sort of way around the arrays of flowers and puzzling over which ones would mollify Audrey and set things right again. The trouble was, Phil had never been very good with flowers. He didn’t know a chrysanthemum from a jonquil, and he especially didn’t know which flowers were appropriate to use when one was apologizing to one’s girlfriend for breaking a date to blow the heads off video-game zombies. Finally, he gave up and approached the girl at the front counter, who was wearing a little round white button lettered with “HI I’M CINDY!” in bright pink letters. “Look, um, Cindy,” Phil said, “I need some flowers for my girlfriend, as she’s mad at me. You have any suggestions?”

“Oh, yeah, like, totally,” Cindy exclaimed, “see, before I was working here my boyfriend Sam broke up with me and it was awful and I was like OMG no way and he was like yes way and I was like well go fall in toxic waste or something because I hate you forever and he was like no wait I’ve got flowers and I was like hey those are cute where’d you get them and he was like here and I was like I wanna work there because I totally didn’t have a job then and…”

Phil was desperately tempted to clone out and leave another Phil there to occupy Cindy while he made a break for it, but no such luck. He was in civvies, for one thing, and if he cloned she’d know his secret identity, and it would be all over Facebook in a minute. So he resigned himself and tuned back in to her. “And then Hallie said oh no you didn’t and I was all oh yes I did and Hallie was like please girl I way look better in those socks than you and I was all no way and she was all oh you wanted flowers right okay hold on just a sec oh look these are perfect here you go!” Before Phil could mentally insert punctuation into Cindy’s stream of words and work out that she had actually answered his question he found himself fishing out his credit card to pay for a bunch of white flowers she’d pushed into his hand. He didn’t recognize the kind of flowers; he knew enough to see that they weren’t roses, but beyond that, he drew a blank. Phil figured that they were some exotic breed from somewhere, and Audrey would probably recognize them, and he’d score points for thinking creatively. So he paid and left the flower shop, as Cindy ran on behind him about socks or something else that Phil had lost track of minutes ago. He should’ve paid more attention. For as the door closed behind him, Cindy stopped rambling and smiled. “Like, meh, heh, heh, heh,” she cackled evilly, and her eyes flashed red.

Phil arrived at Audrey’s apartment and knocked on the door, but she didn’t answer. He didn’t know if she’d truly gone out, or if she was there and she didn’t want to ‘path to him. So, he improvised. He had stopped at a Hallmark store on the way to pick up an apology card, and now he left the card and the flowers in as nice an arrangement as he could fashion on her doormat. Then Phil went back home and waited for Audrey to call. An hour later, his doorbell chimed loudly. Phil opened the door, and as he’d expected, there stood Audrey. What he did not expect was the ominous red glow in her eyes, or the way she was floating two inches above the sidewalk, or the flat monotone way in which she said, not ‘pathed,  “I. must. slay. Phil.”

“Um, Audrey, what?” He didn’t have time to say more, for just then she raised her hand and ‘teeked him with a wave of power so, er, powerful that it slammed him back through his living room and into his little kitchenette. Phil cloned out and sent three other Phils to block Audrey’s next ‘teek, but suddenly she wasn’t in his doorway anymore, she was right there next to his microwave. “I. must. slay. Phil.” It was just then that he noticed the little white flower perched Above Audrey’s ear, and then he glanced outside and saw Cindy standing on the sidewalk, only now she was decked out in a vibrant outfit of jaunty red and blue and an equally jaunty tricorn hat. “Oh, crap,” he said, putting it all together. “You’re Captain Zombie Lady!”

“Yeah,” Cindy snapped, “only it’s Admiral Zombie Lady. You people always think we’re supposed to use army ranks in our titles, captain this and major that and general so and so. Does the Navy get any supervillains? Noooo. So I’m Admiral Zombie Lady, you silly person, and I’ve made your girlfriend my zombie minion, just like I’m going to make the entire world!MuwahahahaHAHAAAAA!”

“Okay, Brownie points for the evil laugh, but, point of interest, that’s actually a common misconception about zombies; they’re not reanimated slaves that other people control, they’re basically mindless eating/killing machines. I have read the Zombie Survival Guide, you know. And second, Audrey’s not your zombie minion anyway because she’s not dead, and zombies are by definition dead. So-”

But Cindy the Admiral Zombie Lady had gotten a very dangerous look in her eyes. “And here’s a point of interest for you: never correct a supervillain! Audrey! Dispose of him!”

“I. must. slay. Phil.”

Phil could’ve cloned out to his full power, whipping up an army of Phils to tackle Audrey while he dealt with Cindy, but he thought he would try an impassioned speech first. “Audrey, it’s me, Phil, I-” WHAM. Audrey ‘teeked him unconscious before he could realize that, unlike in the movies, in real life impassioned speeches do not change the minds of zombie minions.

“Excellent,” Cindy exclaimed, rubbing her hands together in glee, “Now, dance the Macarena!”

“Truly,” a voice said drily from behind her, “is there no end to your horror?”

Admiral Zombie Lady spun around, to see two more young women about Audrey’s age. Natalie and Lucy stared icily at the supervillain, who gave an evil little snicker that didn’t come off nearly as imposing as she imagined it. “Ah, you must be Audrey’s superhero friends come to save the day. Well, instead, now you’re going to be my evil zombie minions, just like her!” She whipped two more white flowers out of her belt and brandished them triumphantly. “Behold my creation! The-” KZZZZZZAP. Cindy’s mouth fell open. “You…you interrupted my villain speech! You scorched my flowers! You’re not supposed to do that!”

“Duh,” Lucy said, as lightning sparked round her hands. “We’re not freakin’ idiots like you.”

“Oh yeah?” Cindy retorted in a rage. “Well who’s the freakin’ idiot now, huh? Audrey, ‘teek ’em!”

“Yes, Admiral Zombie Lady,” Audrey monotoned, breaking off from the Macarena, which she had been quietly dancing all that time. Now, she dutifully ‘teeked at her friends. Only it didn’t work, because Lucy had dodged neatly behind Natalie, who planted her feet and took the blast of concussive force straight-on. The shock wave didn’t even muss her hair.

“That question you asked? About who’s the idiot now? That would still be you,” Natalie commented. “I’m invulnerable, remember? We’ve had seven battles so far, I’d think you would pick up on this.”

“Oh…oh yeah? Well…um…well I can still have Audrey ‘port you all to like another continent or something! Like the North Pole! Yeah! Audrey, ‘port them all to the North Pole!”

But while Cindy’s attention had been fixed on Natalie and Lucy, she had missed Trina’s invisible form sneaking past her into Phil’s increasingly crowded living room (not that Cindy would’ve seen Trina even if she had been looking because, you know, invisibility). Trina had seized the zombie-minion-making flower in an invisible hand and given a fierce jerk, ripping it away from Audrey’s head. Audrey’s face twisted in pain, and then the red light went out of her eyes. If she had been upset with Phil before, she was positively furious now. Without even ‘pathing a snappy comeback line she clenched her fist, and Cindy had vanished before she had time to yelp. She did plenty of yelping later, when she landed on an ice floe right in front of a hungry polar bear, who was more than delighted that a snack had materialized right in front of him.

Meanwhile, back at Phil’s, he had recovered consciousness, and was now apologizing profusely to Audrey for accidentally sending her the flower that got her zombie-minioned. Listen, Phil, she ‘pathed, interrupting him in mid-regret, suppose we dispense with the apologies and keep our dinner engagement now, alright?

“Sure, absolutely,” Phil said, very much relieved, and the two ‘ported out together.

“You’re welcome!” Lucy yelled in their wake.

An awkward silence followed. “So…” Natalie said at last, “Anyone up for McDonald’s?”

“Ooh, let’s!” Trina’s voice came from the unseen air. And so the world was saved once again.


  1. Great work – again!

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