Lately, while I pretend I don't need to study for the GRE, I've been editing "My Best Friend is a Superhero," one of my favorite WIPs to date. (Is it because the hero is named after my husband? Quite possibly...) So today for your reading pleasure, is the first chapter. Will you comment below and tell me if you'd want to know more?
Mom ran her finger along the corrugated lines of my forehead. She sighed. “Bek, at some point you’re going to have to accept that you’re going to Lincoln Academy this year and try to be happy about it.”
I looked up from the map full of tiny squares I got when I registered thirty minutes before. I’d been trying to locate my classes on the campus of one of the most prestigious private schools in the country even though school didn’t start until the next Wednesday. “I don’t have to be happy about it.”
She stared at the traffic jam that made Lincoln Boulevard look like a parking lot. “Fine. But having a bad attitude won’t change our minds about sending you there.”
I smoothed out my scowl and turned to Mom with wide, pleading eyes. “I’m a junior! Only two more years left at Whitson.”
“Bek, you have friends at Lincoln, too. Tessa, Josh, Adam…”
“Josh is my brother.”
Mom turned back to the road.
I didn’t give up. “Whitson is a good school. The kids there are just as rich as the ones that go to Lincoln. The curriculum is…good. Couldn’t we be grateful that Calvin made it possible for me to cross districts?”
“Bek, how many times do we have to have this argument? Lincoln is a top notch school, and the fact that I finally convinced Calvin to pay part of your tuition is not something we can turn our noses up at.”
I turned my face back to the window, my scowl returning. Mom maneuvered through traffic, the tall, shiny buildings of downtown Pride City passing slowly by. I folded my arms, and the registration folder on my lap fell to the floor of the car. I didn’t bother picking it up. I looked down the street. The suburban houses in the distance seemed too far away. Mom had several minutes at least to argue with me. “I don’t have to have everything Josh has.”
I could practically hear Mom’s teeth grinding together. “This isn’t about forcing Calvin to acknowledge that you are his child too. This is about you getting the best education you have the opportunity to get. We’re not changing our minds. You know that. I can’t force you to be happy about this, but I think you’d like your life more if you’d try to have a good attitude. Think about the bright side, Bek. You won’t have to see Dan every day.”
She had me there, but I wasn’t about to let on. “Whatever.” I leaned over and gathered the scattered papers off the floor of the car, frowning at the shiny map. A beautiful campus, top-notch classes and extracurriculars, a sports complex that rivaled most colleges, and even a food court and gift shop on campus—it was all worth leaving my friends at Whitson High School to go across town to Lincoln Academy where my brother and his friends went. But honestly, my I objected mostly because of my pretentious father, Calvin.
Mom cried out in surprise, and I turned just as she slammed her arm against my chest. It knocked the breath out of me. I couldn’t even scream when the car rose off the ground, flying backward.
The car landed, jolting me forward. I gripped the sides of my seat. The car dropped an inch or two, crushing the hood of the car beneath us. Mom and I sat there in silnce. We waited to see if the car would move again.
“Are you okay, Bek?” Mom asked breathlessly.
I stared in surprise out the window and tried to find my voice. “Is that a robot?”
“Looks like it.” Mom pulled out her cell phone and pushed a button. I frowned, confused when she shoved it back in her pocket. She turned and pushed against her door. The car shuddered again. The robot loomed over us, looking gigantic. It stood up, it’s head level with the third story windows of the Pride City National Bank. Shiny black metal reflected off the windows until the robot shattered half a dozen with its fist.
“Bek? I could use your help with this door.”
Mom’s calm voice broke me out of my thoughts. It didn’t surprise me she remained unruffled in the face of a giant robot making Honor Park look like a construction site. When you live in a town with a super-hero, I suppose you get used to weird stuff like that happening.
“How?” I asked.
“Get as close to me as you can and we’ll kick together.”
I scooted across the seat and braced myself against the steering wheel. “One…two...” I pulled my knees back. “THREE!”
We both jammed our feet against the door. It didn’t budge.
“Again,” Mom yelled.
We pulled our feet back. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black streak. Was it The Fox? The door disappeared. We didn’t notice in time to stop the momentum of our feet. Mom tumbled out of the car. I grabbed the steering wheel.
“You okay, Mom?”
“Been better.” She stood up slowly, turning toward the robot. I looked out the windshield. The Fox—Pride City’s local super-hero—had jammed our car door into one of the robot’s eyes.
“Come on, Bek. Let’s get out of here.” The calm tone of Mom’s voice freaked me out.
I scooted out to the edge of the seat, preparing for the short jump to the road below. Out of the corner of my eye, the metallic gleam of the robot’s arm blinked at me. I threw my arms around the steering wheel as the robot scooped our car up and sent it air born.
I screamed. I closed my eyes, trying to somehow brace myself for when the car hit the pavement again. But it never came. My descent slowed. Then stopped. The car dropped softly next to the overturned swing set in the park.
Scrambling out, I tumbled into the sand. The Fox, in black spandex from head to toe, shot off the ground toward the robot. In one swing he decapitated it. Its head flew into the side of the shattered bank building. Its body crumpled lifeless to the ground. Applause met my ears. For some reason I grinned.
Okay, so I lied. That's not the whole first chapter. (It was sort of long for a blog post...) And I cheated and cut it off at a pretty good part. Sorry about that. ;)