Finding Gratitude, Part 22

The Green Witch

            There is something that has to be understood about superhero approaches.

The entrance is completely understood. It has to be fantastically unexpected. The hero bursts into the scene from somewhere no one could possibly have come from. There is a witty retort, the villain has to hiss in the knowledge that defeat is inevitable, and the battle commences. That part is easy.

But this approach always makes studying to be a superhero somewhat difficult. Because the hero is coming from somewhere unexpected, the reader cannot know how they got there. So me, being a fledgling hero, I had no idea how to approach this spire.

Should I scale the side of the building? Try and infiltrate from the depths? Perhaps weave a clever illusion that is only dissipated when the villain says something along the lines of “nothing can save you now”? There were pros and cons for all of these, and reality always seemed to get in the way.

I almost cried when Sela and Lana showed up. It made the approach so much more exciting!

“You were going to fight a dragon without us.” Sela was not happy.

“Not a dragon, a wyvern.”

“You were going to fight a flying wyvern who shoots lightning, and lives in a lair, towering above the city, without us.” Sela is easy to understand. It wasn’t that I was rushing off to my death, valiantly sacrificing myself for the greater good while sparing them the same fate. She was ticked because I might have denied her some of the fun.

“All to save some stupid corrupt city that would be better off being burnt to the ground.” Sela said.

That made me pause. And Lana as well. We looked at her, and she shrugged.

“This isn’t Gotham City, or Metropolis, Mel,” she said. “Let’s be clear. We’re not saving this city, especially not by killing some crazed animal.”

She was right. Looking at her and Lana, it made it all seem more real. There was a bandage on Lana, and a wound that had just barely healed. Sela had minor cuts and bruises, but the look of someone who had just put herself through fire for another. And then there was my night.

“I know…” I was getting a clear picture of what Gratitude would give me.

“In fact, you’re most likely making it easier for criminals to be corrupt, you understand that?”

“Yes!” I shouted. “I know that everything I do in this little cesspit is going to be turned around and used against me at some point or another, and I. Don’t. Care!”

“Why?”

“Because we’re heroes!” I screamed. “Because we are so committed to something so naïve, so kid-like, that it might just work if we believe long enough! We fight, not for what we are, but because of what we could be.”

I looked up at Sela, defiant. Let the rest of the world be terrible, and wrong, and corrupt. We’d turn it around anyways. We’d make the world good, in spite of itself.

Sela grinned back at me, and reached for her mask.

“Just needed to remind you of that, Green Witch. Let’s go kill a dragon.”

Lana nudged me. I smiled, and tussled her head. She smiled, but it was pained.

“Yes, Lana?”

“Um…” she pointed at the Spire.

“How do we get in?”

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

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