Monday, April 29, 2013

Prompt: Superhero Grandmother

Karen pelted up the steps and through the lobby doors before they fully opened. She barely waved to Hodge, the security guard she usually chatted with before heading down to her mother’s room. She raced down the hall, pushed open her mother’s door and then stood limply, staring at the stooped old lady in the wing chair by the window. What was she thinking? She burst into tears.

 The old lady looked up. “What’s the matter? Why are you crying?” She asked with a tremulous voice.

 “Oh, Momma!” Karen dropped to her knees and laid her head on her mother’s lap. She felt fingers brushing her hair, and she sobbed harder. How she needed her mother now.

“What’s the matter, dear?”

 Could she? Could she know? Karen looked up hopefully. “Momma, do you know me?”

 The old lady’s hand dropped to her lap, and her kind blue eyes clouded with confusion. “Um…”

Karen sat back on her heels. “Momma, I need you. I’m sorry, I really need you. I don’t know what to do! Please. Please try…”

The old lady frowned as she thought. “Karen? What’s wrong?”

“Momma, they took the boys. I left them with the dogs at home to run to the grocery. I shouldn’t have left them, but they were sleeping, and it’s been so long—”

“Who took them?”

“I don’t know!” Karen wailed “Oh, Momma, I wish you could help me. I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

The old lady gestured to the bag Karen had dropped by the door. “What’s that, honey?”

“Never mind, Momma. I’ve got to go—”

“What’s in the bag, Karen?” Her mother asked in the crisp, no-nonsense voice that tolerated no evasion all through her turbulent childhood. No matter what else Serina Farhold may have been, she was first and foremost a mother.

Karen looked at her with a flare of hope in her eyes. Serina lifted an impatient eyebrow. Karen ran to get the bag and brought it back to her mother. She pulled out the silky fabric and laid it in her lap.

 “Momma, I don’t know why…I just thought maybe, maybe if you saw it, you would remember. Maybe you could help me get my boys back…”

Serina picked up the tunic, let it fall from her fingers. She looked out the window, and Karen felt her hope fade. She reached for the clothes in her mother’s lap. Old fingers, wrinkled and delicate, wrapped around her wrist in an iron grip. She froze.

 Serina picked up the mask in her other hand and slipped it into place with the ease born of years of use.

Before Karen could even blink, Serina Farhold, the last of the superheroes, once again stood befor her, tall and powerful in her costume, cape flaring behind her.

“There’s no time to waste, now is there, Karen. No one messes with my family and gets away with it. Let’s go get your boys.”

TBC (perhaps)

Time writing:
20 minutes
April word count:


  1. Prompt: Superhero Grandmother

    Thalia straightened her tunic and strapped her sword belt on. She checked the draw of the blade. It was _probably_ too heavy for an energetic one-year-old to pull out of the scabbard. She tried to remember what she had done with the sword when her own daughter Alcina was that age. Hadn't she tied the pommel in with something, fragile enough to break with an adult's force?

    She rooted in her drawer and came out with some string, which she then failed to snap in her grip. Now it was coming back--she had done just this before, and the answer had been to be faster than the baby. She lifted her cloak and stared at the door. She was unaccountably nervous.

    Alcina would not have to come to visit if she did not want Thalia in her granddaughter's life, she reminded herself. Thalia had not been the best mother, she knew. It was hard, as King's Champion and second in command of the armies, to find the time and energy--and just plain mental space--to concentrate on motherhood. And timid, pensive Alcina had been such a mystery to a mother who fought first and thought later. Who was being timid now? She opened the door.

    Alcina was waiting in the palace's grand foyer, staring off into the columns along the side. She turned when Thalia let the door fall closed behind her.

    "Zoe," Alcina called, "there's someone here to meet you!"

    A pat-pat-pat preceded a small, unsteady toddler appearing from behind a column. The child made an "ah" vocalisation, lifted her arms, and aimed herself at Thalia.

    "She's walking!" Thalia said, kneeling.

    "Yes." Alcina trotted after Zoe, but did not pick her up. "She's brave, Maman, just like you."

    Zoe careened into Thalia and grabbed hold of the sword's scabbard. The baby laughed.

    Alcina knelt. "Perhaps she'll be a hero like you, too." She patted her daughter's head and smiled at Thalia.

    1. *Very* nice characterization and background development! Lots of directions that would be interesting to explore here!