Drop till you shop
Sharon Best, Aurora Universe, Copyright 1995,1996,1997
(Aurora Universe materials are strictly for Mature Readers over 18 years of age!)
The Fine Print
IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY EXPLICITLY SEXUAL OR VIOLENT MATERIAL, ARE UNDER THE AGE OF MAJORITY IN YOUR STATE, PROVINCE OR COUNTRY, OR IF EROTIC MATERIAL IS PROHIBITED BY YOUR LOCAL LAWS, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!
The sexual acts and occasional violence described in these stories are only fantasies and would be impossible for real living people to perform! These stories are strictly for the private non-commercial enjoyment of the authors and of those who share an interest in this genre.
While the names of some of the characters in these stories may be similar to ones used by mainstream comics publishers, the actual characters described diverge significantly from any characters of the same names depicted by any other publisher or author. Their powers, their origins and the explicitly erotic nature of their actions are all unique to these stories. Any resemblance between any character in these stories and real people is also unintentional. This story is a work of fan-fiction if it involves trademarked names from other publishers and is otherwise an original work by the author(s) denoted below.
License is granted to freely copy or distribute this story as long you give the author(s) below credit and that you leave this notice in place on all copies. I explicitly DO NOT grant the right to use any of the contents of this page for any commercial purposes whatsoever! I'm not making any money on this, so you shouldn't either!
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This story is strictly for us 'grups', for those of us who remember the comic books and their limitations and who dare to go where the comics could not go. And for those of us who still have a fertile imagination, a love of fantasy, a sense of wonder and an appreciation for All The Myriad Ways...
And, most importantly, despite the comic book theme of these stories, they contain erotic material that makes them COMPLETELY UNSUITABLE for younger readers.
Lawrencedale Journal, Friday edition
Super wife makes life
for Lawrencedale husband
by Anne Straits, Journal staff writer
Like many Lawrencedale residents, John A. Harris, 39, will watch the 1998 Super Bowl, rooting for his favorite team as he has done every year since he was a boy.
But it won't be the same this year. Or possibly, ever again.
"It's kind of weird knowing that if she wanted to, my wife Megan could walk out on that field and score touchdown after touchdown, and the defensive packages of both teams put together -- along with their offenses -- couldn't stop her," Harris explains.
Harris's wife, 40-year-old Megan, is one of Lawrencedale's two superwomen. Along with 22-year-old waitress Patricia Reilly, Megan was gifted with a basketful of super powers Dec. 8, by Velorian Kara'Lynn, earth's self-styled "Protector."
'Lynn, keynote speaker and guest of honor at the Dec. 7-8 Lawrencedale Women's Club's symposium on "Women and Leadership," chose the two as her newest helpers and members of her international super-network.
It's made life a bit more interesting -- and challenging for Harris. . ."
Hello," a sleep-grogged John Harris mumbled into the handset.
The ringing phone had woken him -- at least a little -- and his wife
Megan at 7:30 Saturday morning.
"No, it's ok," he lied, in between enormous yawns. "We were just
getting up." He passed the receiver to Megan. "For you," he groaned. "I ache
Petite brown-haired, brown-eyed Megan had come out of sleep as lightly, gracefully and quickly as her husband had clumsily and unsuccessfully. She went from deep sleep to complete wakefulness instantly, one more benefit of her recent enhancement. She ran a hand through her short, but thick hair, brushing her bangs back a little.
"Hi, Trish," Megan said brightly into the telephone receiver. "What's up?" Super-hearing was another benefit, so she'd immediately known who was calling.
"Yes, we read it yesterday." Megan said. "Not a bad story, but you wouldn't believe the writer's interview technique!
"There's definitely an inside story," she added, and laughed. "I'd rather tell you when I see you. It's kind of funny, really. You want to get together?"
"I'd love to go shopping today," Megan said. "I thought you worked Saturday mornings.
"Really? A fire at the cafe? Are you alright? Well, I mean, I know you're alright. Oh. Oh, that poor boy."
She listened again. "Well, Dillbury's is having a sale on boots this weekend. We can take care of that at least."
Megan frowned slightly as she listened. There was something in Patricia Reilly's voice . . .was something wrong? Megan was a natural-born worrier, and years of practice had made her extremely good at it.
A fire was nothing to either of Lawrencedale's (population 90,000 and proud of it) two brand-new resident superwomen -- even a fire that had burned a pair of favorite boots off Patricia's invulnerable feet. It had to be something else. Megan herself, mature, experienced and 40, had plenty of problems adjusting to life with "powers far beyond those of mortal men." What must Trish, a 22-year-old single waitress, be going through?
She silently scolded herself for not keeping in closer contact with Trisha. Still, Megan knew that Kara -- Superfemme -- had confidence in both women being able to handle the gift of super powers. Otherwise, Kara wouldn't have selected them last month to be the newest members of her worldwide network of super-assistants and locally based protectors.
"I can pick you up in John's truck in 20 minutes," Megan said.
"I guess we could fly," she said after listening a moment. "I'd just rather not with a bunch of packages. We can lock everything in the back of the truck before we go to lunch.
"Ok, then, it's settled. I'll be right over," Megan said. "And," she added seriously, "I want to hear every detail."
Every detail of exactly what, Megan wasn't sure. But she was determined to be there, and to help.
She reached over Harris to hang up the phone. He had drifted to sleep again, on his back. His mouth was open and he snored.
Megan nudged him. "Hey Sleeping Beauty," she said, "come back to life for a minute."
He opened his eyes, blearily and closed his mouth. He swallowed. "Good morning," he said, sleepily. "Honey, I been rode hard and put up wet."
Megan chuckled at his description of the previous evening. Becoming more adept in the use of her incredible strength, speed, invulnerability, and flying power, she had put her 6-2, 180-pound weightlifter husband through paces that took him to the edge of his strength and manhood -- and beyond.
She had toyed with him well beyond the time she knew she should quit. It was payback, in a way, she thought sweetly, as her drowsy husband held her. Payback for last week's "Anne Straits incident."
Harris had told her that he had learned his lesson -- and to be fair it wasn't entirely his fault -- MOSTLY, but not entirely. Megan felt she was owed a little fun just the same. After all, what was the use in being a virtual goddess if you couldn't do as you pleased once in awhile, at least with your own husband? Small but super, Megan did as she pleased with him -- repeatedly.
Well, that was yesterday. Megan felt something touch her beneath the covers. At least part of John was wide awake, and evidently a lot more resilient than the rest of him.
"Oh no," she said, and quickly floated out from under the covers. Nude, she hovered just above him, and kissed him gently. "Eecch, morning-breath," she said. He tried to pull her to him, but his small, floating wife was far beyond his strength. He succeeded only in pulling himself up to her, for a moment. When she wanted to be, Megan was as immovable in mid-air as 10 tons of steel on the ground. Her pale, creamy, though invulnerable skin felt a good deal silkier than steel, however.
"I'm going shopping with Trisha this morning," Megan told him. "I've got to meet her in just a few minutes. I'm taking the truck."
"God, Megan," said the now awake and aroused Harris, "can't it wait? It's just shopping, after all."
"No it can't, and that's 'goddess' to you," she said touching his nose with a finger. "I think there's something wrong that she needs to talk about."
"Did she say there's something wrong?"
"What makes you think something's wrong, then?"
"Well sometimes my worries are well-founded," she said simply. Grunting, he turned over and put a pillow on top of his head. "When will you be back?" he asked, his voice muffled.
"After lunch. And while I'm gone, I'd like you to vacuum. That's all you have to do today."
A rude noise came from beneath the pillow.
"What was that, Mr. Harris?" Megan demanded.
"Nothing, I said ok!" came the muffled response.
"Lucky for you you're already naked," Megan muttered as she floated into the shower.
In moments, Megan had showered. She dried her hair instantly with a burst of heat-vision reflected in the bathroom mirror, a helpful hairdressing hint from Kara. It was her second mirror. On her first attempt at heat-vision hair-drying, the mirror had melted into red-hot glassy goo, teaching Megan to glance at the mirror, rather than stare.
She dressed quickly in skin-tight black leggings and flat-soled, mid-calf leather boots, and put a short-sleeved yellow silk blouse over her bra, tucking it into a bright red wool pull-on miniskirt.
Though Megan was as impervious to weather as she was to weapons, she put on a lightweight red nylon jacket. The temperature was in the low 30s, though the day was sunny. No sense drawing attention to herself while walking around downtown in the cold air.
She blew a kiss to her snoring husband, and a moment later was heading his black 4-wheel drive pickup truck toward north Lawrencedale.
Megan parked the truck in front of Patricia's small white rental house. She noticed, with a feeling of satisfaction, that Jody Fulmer's motorcycle was gone. Megan had met Fulmer shortly after she and Patricia had been enhanced, on her only other visit to the young waitress's house.
Fulmer, Patricia's live-in boyfriend, was a long-haired, bearded biker, over 6-4 and upwards of 240 pounds. He seemed sullen and uncommunicative. Megan had disliked him at once. She suspected that he might have been abusive in the pre-enhancement days. She didn't know for sure, though, since she hadn't known Patricia until Kara brought them together.
Not that it mattered. Fulmer could slap Trish all day now, and all he would have to show for it would be broken hands and one bored super-waitress. If he was lucky.
No sooner had Megan parked, than Patricia's front door opened and the super-waitress herself was in the passenger seat.
"Hi, I like your outfit," Megan said to the blue-eyed, mildly freckled woman next to her.
"Oh, this?" Patricia smiled. She crossed bare legs that were cute before her enhancement, but that now were exquisite, as well as invulnerable. A low-cut black leotard top was tucked into a short denim skirt with a ruffled hem, rounded out by black and white cowboy boots and an oversized black leather biker's jacket.
"Thanks for coming, Megs," Patricia said. "I sure could use a shoulder about now and. . . yours is the only one around here strong enough!"
Patricia leaned over to check her pale lipstick and her straight, shoulder-length auburn hair in the rear-view mirror. She straightened up as Megan pulled the truck away from the curb and headed for downtown.
"I guess that's one nice thing about being super," Patricia remarked. "Your hair never gets tangled or out of place."
Megan glanced at her sideways. One nice thing? Just one?
"So you've been a busy bee lately," Megan said.
"Oh, you mean the fire? It wasn't too bad, except for my good boots. I don't even know why I was wearing them. I usually don't wear them to work. And poor Jimmy, our new cook. He got shocked."
"Really? What happened?"
"The fire marshall said a mouse must've chewed through some electrical wires. Anyway, poor little Jimmy, he's only been there a week, he's back in the kitchen, when the whole back wall suddenly goes up in flames. So he yells for help and tries to put out the fire with the sprayer from the deep sink. Only it's an electrical fire, so the electricity travels up the water and electrocutes him!"
"Oh, my!" said Megan. "Is he alright?"
"Yeah, we called the ambulance. He's in the hospital, though."
"So then what happened?"
"Well, I was back there by then, and half the kitchen was on fire. I didn't know if I could do it or not, but I tried to blow the fire out. It was so hot my boots and clothes were burning. My good Colorado sweatshirt, too! Anyway, I blow the fire out for a second, but then it pops right back up, even stronger than before. Mack yells at me from the dining area to turn off the electricity, but the fuse box is right in the middle of the worst part of the fire!"
"Yes, but fire can't hurt us," said Megan. "Ah -- can it?"
"No. I know. But I was still scared. I mean it's one thing to know you're invulnerable and sign autographs in the cafe, but it's something else when you're supposed to walk into a wall of fire that's getting worse every second. Remember when Kara told us to step off the roof of the conference center that night? I mean, we knew we could fly, and even if we couldn't, the fall wouldn't hurt us, but still. . ."
"Ah, I see what you mean," Megan replied, thinking back to how she'd let Trisha take that first step into thin air. Though neither had been quick to volunteer. "Scared or not, I bet you went in anyway," she said.
"Well, I didn't want to, but I didn't have any choice, so I held my breath and waded in."
"How was it?"
"You know what? It wasn't bad. And it was pretty, in a way, all bright and golden. Kind of exhilarating. I actually felt stronger. Sort of like when you're getting a tan; you know how good the sun feels on your skin?"
"So I shut off the electricity, and after that it was easy to blow out the fire. I just huffed and puffed."
"Trish, you're a bona fide heroine, now, you know that? A superheroine."
"Except I couldn't help poor Jimmy. He's such a sweet kid. I went to the hospital last night, but he couldn't have any visitors. The doctor said he'll be alright, but he was resting. I want to get him a present while we're out."
They were approaching downtown, and the traffic had gotten heavier, slowing their progress. They stopped behind a dozen vehicles at the light.
"Kind of heavy traffic for Saturday," Megan noted. "I wonder if something's going on?"
Patricia's wide, appraising blue eyes sparkled as she scanned the scene before them. Far away became near to her telescopic, Tachyon vision, and obstacles weren't.
"I think it's the sale," Patricia reported. "There's a crowd gathering around Dillbury's and it's backing the traffic up."
"I noticed Jody's motorcycle was gone this morning," Megan remarked.
The traffic light had turned green, but the traffic didn't move.
Patricia looked out the passenger-side window. She didn't reply.
Megan thought Trish might not have heard her -- a ridiculous idea, Megan realized, considering Patricia had super-hearing equal to or superior to her own.
"He left me, Megs," Patricia said, flatly. Only Megan's super-hearing could detect the merest touch of quaver in the waitress's voice.
Why, Megan thought sarcastically, because he couldn't beat you anymore?
"Trish, was it a, you know, a male-ego thing?" asked Megan.
"No. Well, maybe. I don't know," Patricia said. "All I know is that it was all my fault."
"Oh, honey, I doubt that," Megan said, unable to keep the motherly concern out of her voice.
"That's awful sweet, Megs, but let me tell you what happened, and see if you still think so.
"It was just a couple nights ago. Jody wanted to take me to the Cockfight, you know that biker bar on the other side of the river?"
"Oh, I've seen that pesthole," Megan replied. "John always wants to go there and shoot pool, but I won't let him."
"I don't blame you a bit," Patricia said. "That place has always scared me, it's so rough. Jody loves it though. He says now that I'm 'wonder waitress' -- he calls me 'wonder waitress' --"
What a big stupid male asshole, thought Megan. Trish should thank her lucky stars he's gone.
"-- I don't have to be scared anymore. I tried to tell him I still didn't like the place. The women's restroom is filthy, and it's too smokey -- and just a big mess.
"He insisted, though, so we go outside to get on his Harley. He hands me my helmet, and I just look at him for a second. I mean, what do I need a helmet for?
"When he figures out why I'm not putting the helmet on, he gets real mad and grabs the helmet and throws it down and cusses and yells at me to get on the bike."
"This is unbelievable," Megan said, unable to help herself. "Didn't he realize you could vaporize him with a dirty look? Or tie his precious bike around his neck? What the hell right does he have to act like that with you? Super powers or not!"
There was a strained silence. The traffic had begun to flow, and they were now on the shopping district's main street, headed -- slowly -- toward Dillbury's.
"I'm sorry, Trish," Megan said after a few quiet moments. "I don't have any right to pop off either. I should just listen."
"That's alright," Patricia replied. "You did it because you're a good friend. He makes me really mad too, sometimes. But I should've put the helmet on. It hurt his feelings, and I knew it would as soon as he handed it to me."
"So that's why he left?" asked Megan. "Because of the helmet?"
"Oh. No. That just got him in a bad mood to start with. So we get to the place and sit at a table. Then these four big guys come over and start hassling us for no reason. Jody stands up like he's going to fight them, and everyone in the place stops what they're doing and is watching -- what would you have done, Megs?" Patricia asked helplessly.
"Kick butt and take names and in that order, too," Megan replied without hesitation.
"Me too," Patricia said. "That's what I did. I tried to be careful, but I didn't expect them to be so weak. I mean it was like fighting my stuffed animals or babies or something."
"How bad did you hurt them?"
"There were a couple of broken arms and legs, and some cracked ribs. One or two had broken hands from hitting me. One guy, the really fat one, had a concussion from hitting his head on the ceiling. It only lasted a second or two. I moved through them pretty fast. I was mad because I didn't want anyone hurting my man."
"I don't blame you," said Megan. Though I might have made an exception for that particular man, she thought snidely.
"I felt ill when I was done," Patricia continued. "Like I had been beating up little kids or sick, old ladies. I mean they were all a lot bigger than me, but they were helpless, defenseless against me. I wanted to throw up."
"I can understand that," Megan sympathized. "But I still don't think you did anything wrong. It's Jody's own fault if his stupid male ego can't handle you protecting him."
"But I wasn't protecting him," she said, brokenly. "See, it was just a gag. Everyone was in on it. Those four guys were his buddies! They were just pretending to pick on him! And then they were going to stage a fake fight and let Jody beat them all up, like he was super, too! And then we were going to have a party and drink beer all night."
Patricia broke into tears.
Oh boy, Megan thought. What super power can I use to fix this?
"So," Patricia continued, trying and failing to get control of herself, "he swore at me and stomped out and rode away and I haven't seen him since. No one did anything. I had to call the ambulance. They were all laying around, moaning. It was horrible!"
The tears continued, and sobs wracked the inexperienced young superwoman. They were stopped in traffic again. Megan, now on the point of tears herself, cast about desperately for some comforting thing to say that wouldn't sound fatuous or improbable.
She recalled the Anne Straits incident, briefly. Does it seem to you, Trish, Megan didn't say, that ambulances are playing a bigger role in our lives lately?
"God, I just feel like a bull in a china shop," Patricia cried.
"Trish, Trish, remember what Kara told us? She said even though we were invulnerable we'd still be fragile. Remember that? And she said that our true strength was what we'd always had, and that's what we would have to count on more than our super powers. Remember?"
Patricia's wrenching sobs began to quiet as she focused on Megan's words.
"I remember," Patricia said sniffling. "She said we'd, um, make some lulus, but keep going anyway. . ."
The tear-stained young superwoman looked at the closed glove compartment, her Tachyon vision causing her wet blue eyes to shimmer.
"Darn it, why do guys never have kleenexes in their glove compartments?" she cried out in frustration.
Megan laughed, and then to her complete surprise and dismay, found herself crying.
"Oh, Trish, I'm so sorry about it all, it'll get better, I know it will."
Megan's tears triggered new tears in Patricia. She moved over and hugged Megan. They held each other and cried. "You are such a good friend, Megs," Patricia managed to choke out.
"Oh, Trish, I'm so glad you called," Megan sobbed. "I -- I'm having a great time!"
The two superwomen spluttered into nearly hysterical laughter, releasing each other. Unable to catch her breath, Megan pointed at her purse.
"Kleenex -- in -- purse," she gasped out between paroxysms.
Her laughter subsiding, Patricia fished out a few crumpled white balls with lipstick marks from Megan's black leather purse. "Megs, these are from 1959!"
They went into renewed fits. This time their laughter was accompanied by honking car horns. The vehicles in front of them were moving.
Taking deep breaths to get herself under control, Megan looked in her side mirror. A young man in a black BMW was leaning out his driver's-side window, shouting and motioning at her to go. Megan briefly debated whether or not she could blow out the BMW's front tires with a ricochet shot of heat vision off the side mirror. She settled for a quick, wide-angle, low-intensity blast. The motorist jerked back into his car in surprise at the sudden scorching heat wave that washed over him.
She put the truck in gear and they continued slowly down Main Street.
Megan patted Patricia on her thigh. "Honey, living well is the best revenge," she said. "Let's just shop till we drop, then have a great lunch. Somebody can wait on you for a change. We'll have a nice glass of wine."
"If we ever get there," Patricia said, sniffling. They had stopped again. She wiped her eyes and looked at Megan. "That crowd in front of Dillbury's is getting really big. And there's some police cars. I don't think it's the sale."
Megan pulled the truck out of traffic and into curbside parking. Still a mile out from the shopping district, there were plenty of spaces.
"Maybe we'd better take a quick look," she said.
In an instant, Megan and Patricia had traversed the mile-plus to Dillbury's, and were stepping up to the knot of police officers at the heart of the crowd.
The police beepers both superwomen wore as official volunteer deputies sounded.
Lt. Tom Wilkins turned around and saw them.
"Holy mackeral, are you fast or what?" he said in surprise. "We're just now beeping you!"
He looked again and saw red eyes. "Are you two all right?" he asked.
The superwomen nodded. "What's up?" asked Megan.
The lieutenant pointed to the 5th floor of Dillbury's. "That's what's up."
Megan and Patricia looked up, with the rest of the crowd, and saw a man on a narrow ledge, 10 feet away from the nearest window.
"Wants to kill himself by jumping," Wilkins said in disgust. "Can't get him down. We've tried everything." He looked at them levelly. "I'm really sorry to bother you on a nice Saturday morning but. . . he's just beyond us. If he jumps well, among other things, you can't imagine the paperwork."
"It's cake," Patricia said. "I'll get him right down."
She tensed for flight, but Megan took her arm. "Wait, Trish. What's his name, Lieutenant?"
"Won't tell us. Won't tell us why he wants to jump. Just wants us to go away so he can kill himself in peace. Of course, if he really wanted to kill himself, he would've stayed home and done it in private."
"Rule book won't let us leave, though," Megan mused, recalling the police training she and Patricia received shortly after their enhancement. "Can't abandon a potential suicide no matter what. Though if we did, he'd probably just climb back in and go home."
"Yep," the lieutenant agreed. "Likes the attention. Can't risk it, though. And if you were just to fetch him down, I'm sure he'd be right back up here tomorrow."
"It's still a piece of cake," Patricia said suddenly. "Play along with me on this, ok, Megs?"
"Sure," said Megan.
"What do you intend to do, Ms. Reilly?" the policeman asked.
The slightly freckled waitress flashed a dazzling smile. The brown-haired, mustached policeman was kind of attractive in a sort of weary, woebegon way.
"I'm going to put the fear of God into him," she answered, her eyes twinkling. "Heaven knows I've been wanting to put the fear of God into someone lately. I might as well start with him."
"What exactly do you pro--" Wilkins began, but Megan placed her hand on his chest, stopping him.
"Lieutenant," she explained gently, "Whatever happens, that man is no longer able to jump to his death. We're here, and we're fast enough, strong enough and invulnerable enough to catch him, no matter what he tries. You beeped us -- now let us take care of it for you."
The policeman nodded. Megan turned to Patricia.
"Trish, what exactly DO you propose?"
Patricia winked at her friend. "Wait here," she said, and launched.
The crowd, perhaps 500 or more, collectively gasped as the young superwoman soared to the 5th floor to face the suicide. She stood on air, a foot from him.
"Hi, honey, I'm Trish. What's your name?" Patricia asked.
"I know you can take me down," said the jumper, a hefty, sandy-haired man a little older than Patricia. "If you do, I'll be right back here again. I'm going to kill myself. You can't stop me. Understand?"
Patricia smiled sweetly, her blue eyes guileless. "I understand, honey. Actually, that's just what I wanted to hear. At least we know where we stand."
She gave him a cool look. "Know what I mean?"
He couldn't help looking at the feet of the pretty young woman. She stood on five stories of empty air.
She quickly took him off the ledge, holding him gently against her. The man was bulky, and nearly 6 feet tall. He dwarfed the small superwoman, holding him in mid-air, who was barely able to get her arms around him without squishing him like a giant grape. Her bare thighs and knees pressed against his big, denim-covered legs.
Patricia had left his hands free, and he fought with all his strength against her. He punched, scratched and bit, and tried ramming her with elbows. His struggles mildly amused the invulnerable woman. She held him effortlessly, hovering at the 5th floor, until he realized fight was pointless against her. Patricia giggled.
"You can't hurt me, honey, I'm invulnerable," she said, as if explaining to a child. Still holding him, she swiftly dropped to within a few feet of the pavement, where Megan and the police waited.
"Now," the hovering Patricia said, "in front of all these nice people, if I set you down gently, will you promise to be a good little boy and run along home?"
"Hell, no!" he swore. "Who asked you to butt in, anyway?"
"I did," said Wilkins. "And we've had about enough of your nonsense."
"You tell her to put me back where I was, or I'll see to it you have one mother of a mess on your hands!"
"Megs, would you do me a favor and use your fingernail to scratch me a circle in the sidewalk?" Patricia asked mildly. "Make it about 10 feet in diameter."
The immediate crowd quieted, and even the suicide watched in fascination as the small brown-haired woman in the short red skirt and jacket lifted off the ground and inverted herself. With one semi-long pink fingernail, she sliced a circle into the cement as Patricia had requested. She did a mid-air backflip and was again standing.
"What's the circle for, Trish?" Megan asked.
"Our friend here wants to kill himself, is that right?" Patricia asked.
"That's right, so put me back, damn it!"
"I'm going to help him," the cowboy-booted super-waitress continued. "I'm going to drop him from about 10,000 feet and he's going to land -- splat -- in the middle of that circle.
"Better keep the crowd back," she told Wilkins. "It could be messy."
"You're crazy!" the man shouted in disbelief. "Tell her that'd be murder!" he shouted again at Wilkins.
Wilkins took a deep breath. "Son, it would be murder," he said looking up at Patricia and her angry but helpless human cargo. "Then again, I doubt there's a jail in the world that could hold the young lady, even if we could catch her. So my advice to you is to take this golden opportunity to bail out of this fiasco right now."
"The hell with y--"
Before he could finish the word, Patricia rocketed them to 10,000 feet. Lawrencedale and the surrounding area stretched out beneath them, a tiny relief map.
She dropped him. He screamed.
Patricia dove beside him as he fell. The ruffled hem of her denim skirt fluttered against her bare thighs.
"Well, you got your wish honey, you're falling to your death," Patricia shouted over the whistling air stream. "You've got a minute or two before you hit, though. Why don't you tell me your name?"
Plummeting to doom like a bomb, the young man suddenly found his voice. "Edward Strumpert," he shouted. "Are you really going to let me hit?"
"I thought you wanted to die!"
"I'm not sure now!"
"Well, neither am I! Why'd you want to kill yourself?"
The suicide gagged on his words as the ground approached at a frightening velocity. He could see individuals in the crowd, then individual faces in the crowd. He could see the circle. He shut his eyes and gritted his teeth, and a sound like shrieking steam escaped him.
He felt himself seized by the back and swung, downward momentum suddenly redirected into upward. Patricia had caught him at the last moment and tossed him back into the stratosphere. He hurtled helplessly up, hearing a girlish laugh from below, and then she was beside him again, slowing in the upward trajectory as he slowed.
"I just love flying, don't you?" she asked pleasantly.
Strumpert clawed futilely at the air as upward momentum changed to downward. "I give up!" he screamed. "Save me! Save me!"
"But you haven't told me why you wanted to kill yourself!"
"Ok! I left my girlfriend a month ago, and since then my life has turned to shit!"
"Really?" Patricia was slightly taken aback by the coincidence of Strumpert's admission. "Did you want to go back with her?"
"Yes! Yes! Yes!"
"Did you call her or write her?"
"No! I was -- ah -- ah --"
The ground was rushing up again, again at terrifying speed.
"Afraid, honey? Were you afraid she wouldn't take you back?"
"Yes! Catch me! Catch me!"
Patricia reached out with one slim arm, entwined a long-nailed finger in his coat collar, slowed and stopped. She hovered, 1,000 feet up. Strumpert dangled from her outstretched finger. He clamped his large, meaty hands onto her small forearm, hanging on with panicky, though human strength. He shook convulsively, sobbing harder than Patricia had, earlier. He tried frantically, unsuccessfully to swing his legs to catch hold of Patricia's slim, black leotard-clad waist.
"It's a funny coincidence," she said mildly to the unnerved man squirming on the end of her finger. "My boyfriend just dropped me. It hurts really bad, and I'm very upset. Unfortunately, you're the only one around for me to take it out on. Too bad, now that you've decided you want to live and go back to your girlfriend. But you'd probably just do it again. I think you need to see for yourself how bad it feels to be dropped."
The young superwoman looked straight at him, a sweet smile on her freckled face, blue eyes innocent as ever. In Strumpert's eyes, the light of a terrible realization dawned. He tightened his grip on her arm.
"Oh please, please!"
She shook her head imperceptibly. With a look of horror, Strumpert saw that he held nothing in his hands, and the woman's lifesaving finger had been withdrawn.
Patricia swooshed down and away, to land half a second later by Megan, who would complete the little drama. Megan had tracked the entire performance with her super vision and hearing. She shot upward to catch and cushion the falling man. As Strumpert dropped into her arms no more than 30 feet above the crowd, Megan looked into eyes wide, glazed and mindless with terror. He fainted.
She touched down lightly, in the center of the circle she'd drawn. Still cradling the beefy man in her arms, petite super-Megan knelt to lay him down. Feeling a sudden quake run through the big frame, Megan forgot about gentleness, hastily emptied her arms of him, and sprang back.
He rolled heavily to the pavement, and vomited. The spasm of sickness revived him, and he looked around. "Thank God," he croaked, hoarsely, clutching at the cement, sobbing and shaking, oblivious to the vomit.
"He did say we'd have a mother of a mess," Wilkins remarked to Megan and Patricia. They smiled, looked at Strumpert, then quickly looked away.
"That's one I -- we all owe you," the lieutenant told them. "Him most of all." He indicated, with distaste, the sick man groveling on the sidewalk.
"If there is ever anything I or the Lawrencedale Police can do for you, please don't hesitate for a second to call me personally," Wilkins said, meeting their eyes squarely. "Anytime."
"You're not married, are you?" Patricia asked with another pretty smile, big blue eyes appraising, only half-kidding.
Wilkins laughed. "Alright boys, let's get this mess cleaned up."
He turned back to Patricia. "No," he said with a grin. "See you around town -- and thanks again."
With the show over, the crowd had dispersed.
"Oh my God, what a morning -- and what a week!" Patricia said.
"I guess we might as well go in and look at boots now," Megan suggested. "If you want to," she added, seeing Patricia hesitate. "After all, Trish, you're the hero of the day again."
"Actually," Patricia said, "maybe we could get that glass of wine, now -- or a cup of coffee, maybe. It's kind of early for wine, yet."
"Is your adrenaline still flowing from all that swooshing up and down?" Megan asked.
"Yes. To tell the truth, though, that guy cracked a lot sooner than I thought he would. . ."
After a short wait, the pair got a booth in Dillbury's Coffee Shoppe. The shop was high ceilinged, airy and spacious. It was decorated with murals and potted plants.
"So what did you think about that story they did on your husband," Patricia asked, sipping her coffee.
"Oh, it was alright," Megan replied. "But old John-boy sure laid it on thick in places."
"You mean like how he knows he has to share you with the world now, and he's ready to do his part to support you and be there for you?"
"Yes, and how it's not easy living up to my new super-standards. . ." Megan looked at the high ceiling and shook her head. "All I ever ask him for is a little housework now and then. I already do 90 percent of it. Always have. If he worried half as much about cleaning the house as he does about whether the Broncos will win the world series --"
"Super Bowl," Patricia corrected.
"Super Bowl," Megan repeated, "then we'd get along fine. And then he has the nerve to hop in bed with that reporter!"
"What?" Patricia almost shouted. "Really?"
"Yes, you'll notice that part didn't make it into the story."
"Oh, Megan! What happened?"
"Well, to be fair, she went out of her way to seduce him. Have you ever seen her?"
"No. Is she cute?"
Megan sighed and fingered her short brown hair. "In the worst way. Long blonde hair, big blue eyes, and she's got these long, gorgeous California legs -- and she really came on to him during the interview."
"Why would she do a thing like that, Megs? That's not very professional."
"I think she was jealous. Jealous that we got the enhancement, and she didn't. She seems like a woman who's not used to feeling inferior. Good thing she didn't get enhanced though. Put super powers in a body like that, and she could take every one of our old hound dogs away without a thought."
"How'd you find out?"
"Oh, I was looking in on him from work. I get worried sometimes, and I just want to reassure myself he's alright. When I saw what Anne Straits looked like, though, I decided to pay closer attention."
"You spied on him with your powers?"
"Well -- yes." Megan said. She grinned shamefacedly. Both cups of coffee were getting cold. "I know I shouldn't have. And afterward, I promised I wouldn't do it anymore. But I'm glad I did. I feel I kept him -- kept both of them -- from making a big mistake."
"So you caught them before they did the dirty deed?"
Patricia laughed. "I sure would've liked to've seen their faces."
"I did kind of enjoy it, even though I was really mad," Megan admitted. "I was absolutely in the right, AND I was in total control."
"What was his excuse?"
"That I'm too bossy, and my powers give me an unfair advantage. I guess I have been a little overbearing. But we kissed and made up."
"Ms. Reilly and Ms. Harris?"
A plump, obviously embarrassed young woman stood by their table. Her hair was past her shoulders, long, dark and straight. Her features, though plain, were attractive in an unassuming way, and she wore a lavender full-length down-coat.
Always wanted one of those coats, Megan thought. Don't need one now. Looks like she's been crying.
"I'm Trisha Reilly, and this is Megan Harris," Patricia said. "What can we do for you, honey?"
"Nothing really," the woman said. "My name is Diane, Diane Penneywell --"
"Well, Diane, please join us," Megan invited, moving over in the booth.
"Oh, thank you," Penneywell said hesitantly, sitting next to Megan. "I appreciate that. And really, I just wanted to say thank you --"
Megan and Patricia exchanged a glance.
"-- you see, Eddie Strumpert's my boyfriend, and the police, um, a lieutenant someone, called me up and told me what happened." Words spilled out of Penneywell in a jumble. "So I rushed down here. I was so worried. And Eddie said when he got done with the police, he would never leave me again. He said he wouldn't even leave the house! Then I started to cry, and the lieutenant said he thought you two came in here, if I wanted to thank you --"
"Well, sweetheart, you're welcome," Patricia said. "But, uh, Eddie seemed to think you wouldn't take him back."
"I know," she said, voice trembling. "That was my mistake. We've been living together for a long time, but every time we had a disagreement, he'd yell and walk out and stay gone a couple of days. This last time I told him if he left, don't come back. But I didn't really mean it! I never had any idea he would -- he would try -- " Tears came.
Megan put an arm around the quaking woman. I've been through more crying today than in the last two years combined, she thought.
"Diane, men are just big stupid dummies," Patricia explained. "They don't know any better."
"I know," Penneywell sniffled. Megan fished in her purse, but Patricia handed the distraught woman a napkin. Penneywell dabbed her eyes and wiped her nose. "He's my big dummy, though. And now I have him back, thanks to you." She turned to Megan.
"I read about your husband in the paper. You're so lucky to have such an angel."
Megan looked at her cold coffee and smiled. "Yes, he's lovely," she said, dryly.
Penneywell stood up. "I just wanted to see if I could catch you for a minute, to say thank you. I know things will be better for us now. I'm sorry about the crying, but I just can't tell you how grateful I am."
"That's alright, honey," Patricia reassured her. "You just tell Eddie that I've got my eye on him, and if he causes you any trouble, he and I will have another little chat."
The two superwomen were silent until Penneywell was out the coffee shop door.
"I guess I don't feel so much like a bull in a china shop now," Patricia said with a grin.
"Yeah, we did good," Megan responded. "You, mostly. I wonder what the 'angel' is up to this morning. He was supposed to vacuum when he got up."
"Well, you promised not to look in on him with your vision powers," Patricia pointed out. "But I never did."
Megan smiled wickedly. "Would you?"
Patricia faced toward the Harris's modest home in south Lawrencedale, her blue eyes sparkling.
"Well, he's up," she reported. "He's wearing the raggediest bathrobe I ever saw."
"I bought him a brand new one two months ago!" Megan said indignantly. "He refuses to wear it. He loves that ratty old thing. I'm throwing it out! What's he doing now?"
"He's in the kitchen. He's getting something out of the refrigerator. Looks like a pitcher of orange juice."
"Really?" Megan asked, pleased. "I'm always after him to drink juice."
"He's putting the juice aside. He's getting something else out. What is it? Let's see. . .oh. It's a beer. Kind of early, isn't it?"
"Yes," Megan said, not pleased.
"Now he's going in the other room. He's turning on the TV. Looks like football. Now he's on the couch. He's putting his feet on the coffee table --
"Not my good glass coffee table!" Megan almost shouted. "I've told him a million times --" In an instant she was out of the booth.
"Where are you off to in such a hurry, fire-eyes?" Patricia asked. "Got to punish some evil-doers?"
Megan stopped. She paused a moment, then resumed her seat.
"Well, you can't win them all," she said lightly. "Trish, do you think it's still too early for that glass of wine?"
# # #
Sharon Best, Aurora Universe, Copyright 1995,1996,1997
(Aurora Universe materials are strictly for Mature Readers over 18 years of age!)