Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Margaret Susan

The shining sun sat high in the sky, the eye of a watchful but patient ruler. Sparkling beams filled with reflective puffs fell upon the Earth, bouncing off water in shimmering spurts. One home amidst many in a quiet beach town caught the rays in its blood-maroon outer walls, brightening into a brilliant scarlet which made the perfect backdrop for the lovely little garden planted in its yard. Young flowers opened wide to feast on the solar buffet. They stared into the breathtaking blue sky, feeling a certain kinship for the tufts of smoke born of the home's red brick chimney which was also muscled around by the salty sea breeze.

Exactly one mile from the town was a large parking lot, placed on the side of a rocky mountain built largely of granite. The lot was a favorite spot of couples at night and of families in day, as at all hours the ocean and its waves performed a splendid play and dance. Even though the guardrail was rusted and a colony of wasps had found the loose bolt third down on the fourth metal sheet to be the perfect doorway for their home, people were too pleased with the view to change anything about it.

But there was one day in mid-July when the spot was nearly empty. No cars shadowed the spotted tar, no ice cream fell between the cracks. There were only two there that day. Them and the seagulls, but even they could feel it in the air. They gawked at each other warnings to avoid the spot. Their elders rained gray feathers into the surf as they abruptly flew away.

"Get out of my series," said one of the two in a serious tone that was unusual for him but fit his glare and demeanor all too naturally.

He raised his always sharp katana and pointed it at her. The sun leapt atop the blade and ran along its entirety, slicing off bits of rainbow here and there. "You're ruining my story. Get out."

The girl smiled and flashed her amethyst eyes. They were stunning. She was stunning. At least, most men would have found her so. Blue jeans, a pink spaghetti strap, and a pair of brown sandals—clothes so simple yet on her so spectacular. And while her endowments were modest, they were not lacking either. Some might bargain with the word "perfect".

She smiled again, amused by the man's attire.

Unlike her, he did not wear the usual clothes of an American civilian. Instead he was covered from head-to-toe in what looked like full body black tights. Across his chest and down his abdomen stood a brilliant yellow question mark, with a twin on the man's back. Though his face was unreadable beneath the suit, as his eyes were covered, the air around him surged with hostility.

"I won't be saying it again, because I'm lucky to be saying it at all (by now it's technically Tuesday and Brrda should be leaping through steel jungles. I shouldn't really be doing much of anything)." The man adjusted his hold on the katana, causing the hilt to clink. "Get out of my story."

The girl didn't move except for her soft, pink lips, which smiled wider. "You wish this story was about you."

The man scoffed and brought himself into a semi-proper stance. His heart pounded and his legs shivered ever so slightly. He knew the only way to make things right was to kill her. He knew that if he didn't, that if he allowed her to live, things would only get worse. Commas would scatter out of control, sentences would run for miles. But worst of all he knew that if she was not stopped no reader would ever enjoy a peaceful description in just one phrase ever again.

Even with memories of his former life flashing through his mind, he wasn't sure if he could do it. Killing didn't come naturally anymore, and he'd struggled for a long time to keep it that way. Besides, even if he did have the heart to do it, he wasn't sure he would be able to. There was something about this girl. Something which filled him with this feeling that no matter what he did, ultimately he could never win.

"I'll give you one last warning since you aren't a villain by choice," he bellowed across the lot. He couldn't justify killing her because of nature alone, but if she willingly exposed her vile nature to the poor innocents of the multiverse? That was a crime worthy of death.

"I'm not bad, Mystery Man." She looked confused. Tears welled in her eyes, creating swirling pools of reflected light.

"No." His muscles tightened. He knew she wouldn't leave. "Just poorly written."

The sword slashed through the air, but missed its mark. The girl crouched low, faster than lightning, and kicked Mystery Man's knees before he even knew he'd missed. The cracking of bone splinters the air, but not even that can drown out the hero's agonizing scream. The girl's fist cracked against his jaw. The Earth fell away as his black-clad body soared in an arc, crashing several feet away. Chunks of pavement popped into the air, scattering with a jitter as they hit the ground.

"You're not so tough," the girl jeered as she tossed back her beautiful long golden hair that fluttered on the ocean breeze.

Mystery Man groaned and stuck the ground with his sword, using it to haul his aching bones out of the small ditch. Blood ran thickly through his throat, but he swallowed it down and took a deep gulp of air. He shook his head, trying to toss off the pain. His senses had hardly begun to return by the time he plucked the katana from the pavement, but he knew he didn't have time to wait.

"Just who the hell do you think you are?" he barked.

"They call me—" She smirked and gave him a wink. A giggle caught in her voice as she gave the answer. "—Mary Sue!"

"Oh Lord." Mystery Man cupped his face in one hand. "Mary Sue? Really? You had to do this to me, Nate? Is this really the direction you want to take the series? Your writing? Who's actually reading this crap? Halfdemongirl94? Seriously, put that pen down and go play a game or something. Watch a movie. Anything but this, please. Zach Neuman is trapped with a murderer in a mall, and you're too busy tormenting me and any potential audience you might have with this garbage?" He spread his arms wide and looked at the sky.

"What? Who are you talking to?" Mary raised an eyebrow.

"Never you mind." Mystery Man pointed the sword at her. "Go away before I really get pissed off."

"Ugh, whatever. I don't have time for this." She spun around and marched off down the street.

Though his head was still spinning, Mystery Man couldn't help but admire the girl's flawless beauty. He seemed drawn to her like moths to a flame. But he knew this flame had to be extinguished, and quickly, lest it burn holes through the pages (or electronic ink display) of reality.

The now-sinking sun tossed its gaze upon a small bird, the one creature that had the courage to stand in attendance of the conflict. It ruffled its brown feathers and clicked lightly on the metal rails. Beady black eyes set a centimeter or three behind its lightly curved beak watched closely as Mystery Man produced a handgun from his arsenal. The bird quickly took flight, leaving behind it a small off-white gift for the local volunteers.

Mystery Man plunged the sword into his gut, feeding the steel fang deeper until even the hilt had been swallowed. The blackness of his suit took on a momentary lumpy quality, like tar, before melding back into tightly stretched fabric.

The gun, a custom model made just for him, rattled in his shaking hand. There was only one way to end this, but he was hoping something would save him. In his mind the story couldn't possibly get any worse, so some kind of deus ex machina would have been no surprise. But if it was coming, it wasn't coming fast enough.

Loud and mighty, the gun's roar rang across the valley. At speeds fast enough to make NASCAR blush, the bullet penetrated the air. Oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen all parted ways like a great, invisible sea, leading the bullet to its target. Of course, some particles were not so accomodating, clicking against the metal as it whizzed by. They were mostly inconsequential. Only a few minor scratches crossed the metal surface as it fell past her head, burned her earlobe, and bounced off the road into a granite wall, where it crumpled and smoldered until the last of its fight had been exhausted.

Blonde hair twirled like a propeller as Mary spun. She was on him in an instant, knocking the air from his lungs with a tightly clenched fist. The gem around her neck flashed red as it bounced against her chest.

"I don't have time to play with you," she growled.

His suit became like tar, tight fabric becoming glopping black folds. There was a slrshing sound as her arm fell into him. Her amethyst eyes grew wide, catching the sun's light. She swung him up and swung him down, but her struggling only got her more stuck.

The hot mouth of the gun kissed the side of her head.

"Leave my book," he said slowly.

"Fine. Just let me go!"

Another shlrp, something like a mud pit spitting out a shoe it didn't want to lose. Mary shook her arm as though it were dripping, but it was as clean and dry as it always had been.

"Go," he shouted impatiently.

"Alright!" she said, annoyed.

Without another word Mary blinked away, simply disappearing into the ether. Immediately afterward Mystery Man could feel the world returning. The prose began falling into place, the quaint little town was mentioned in just one line, and the white van rolled into the lot and parked with almost no mention of its wipers, broken door handle, or the fly in its grill.

"Mystery Man, wait." A young woman climbed out of the driver's seat and rushed over to him. "I'm Sierra Scott. I write the Heroes Hour blog. Do you have a minute?"

"Oh, Sierra. About time you made your debut." Mystery Man tossed his head her way and shoved the gun into his armpit.


"Nevermind. Do you need something?"

"Uh, yeah. That girl just now. Who was that?"

He shuffled over to the guardrail and leaned over it, watching the sunset with as much clarity as he deemed necessary.

"Nobody you want to write about."

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