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Small Stuff

by on April 20, 2016

When you’re a superhero, sometimes you let the little things slip. If you’re trying to stop Confederate Connie from sending laser rifles back in time to General Lee, for example, you might not care so much that you didn’t put your soft drink can in the proper bin. This is especially true for flying brick type heroes. Gaseous Girl, for one, had survived a bus thrown at her head. She had understandably skipped her flu shot that year. Who needed a flu shot when she could breath fire?

In the same way, she had never been incredibly careful about her secret identity. So what if someone found out her real name? Her family wasn’t a problem. Gaseous Girl had come by her powers honestly. Her mom could resurrect in 17 seconds, and her dad was an A-level pyrokinetic. They could take care of themselves. She also didn’t have to worry about a supervillain using her lover to get to her, because she didn’t have one. There was an upside to being between relationships. Even her job wasn’t an issue. She wasn’t secretly competing against normals in the Olympics, like, oh, say, Speedfreak.  She was a freelance crime investigator. She got along well with the police already, in both identities.

So, some days, when she was in a hurry, she didn’t make sure that she had her mask on before she flamed up. Tuesday had been one of those days. Behemoth Bob had been spotted in downtown. Gaseous Girl dashed out of her apartment, charged down the rickety wooden steps, and was clear out into the parking lot before she remembered the mask. She tied it on with practiced speed and soared away.

There was this kid, however. Sam McClain. He was eleven, and just developing a crush on Madeleine Smith from next door. He was quite startled when he saw her flame up and blaze away. Sam still had the presence of mind to snap a picture with his phone. Then he Instagrammed it. The picture of Gaseous Girl, maskless, went moderately viral. Even Crudmuffin, not the most technologically savvy of superheroes, noticed it. He also noticed the street sign in the background, and deduced that she must live in the area. Crudmuffin promptly sent over a drone loaded with explosive biscuit bombs.

Madeleine, being a good neighbor, visited Sam in the ICU. She lied, and said he was sure to come through okay. “‘Course I will,” he said. “You’re Gaseous Girl. You’ll save everything.”

“Oh, crap,” said Madeleine.



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  1. Aw, poor Sam! That line about lying that he was going to be okay doesn’t sound good. And poor Madeleine, too. Another victim of cell phone paparazzi. Now she’ll have to move, be more secretive, avoid young impressionable neighbors…

    Prior to things going south, the line about “like, oh, say, Speedfreak” totally cracked me up.

  2. Keep your identity secret. Always.

  3. Oops. Now Gaseous Girl has done it! Hahah

    Great, as per usual! 😂

    • Thanks! Hopefully she’ll pull this one out and retrieve the situation. 🙂

  4. “There was an upside to being between relationships.” I spit out my coffee when I read that. I love how you imagined what a bad day would be for a superhero, Michael.

    • Thanks. As a comedic writer, I’m actually quite appreciative that I scored a spit-take. 🙂

  5. Serves Sam right, looking for internet fame at the expense of someone’s secret identity, but at least he did not try and blackmail her so he is not all bad.
    Great stuff.

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