A Superhero Love Story

‘Do I know you?’ said the girl standing next to Michael at the bar in Wetherspoons. Michael frowned. He would have remembered her, surely – she was almost six foot tall and wearing a fluorescent green mac.

‘No,’ he said. ‘I don’t think so.’

‘You got chucked out of that thing up in Salford last Saturday,’ said the girl.

‘Great,’ said Michael, and immediately lost his appetite. ‘Yeah, that was me. The idiot.’ The girl laughed and elbowed him in the ribs.

‘Don’t worry about it,’ she said. ‘They’re a bunch of wankers.’ Michael scrutinised the girl’s expression. He couldn’t remember her at all.

‘What were you doing there then?’ he asked.

‘Research,’ she told him. ‘I’m on my own,’ she said, looking around the room for a seat. ‘Come and sit with me.’ The girl left the bar and Michael ordered a pint. He hadn’t really considered the possibility that SRPs had normal, functioning lives outside the ex-community centre in Salford, and he certainly hadn’t thought that he might bump into them in the pub. Michael had a horrible vision of himself standing next to Captain Planet in the urinals.

‘What kind of research?’ he asked, when he’d settled down next to the girl with his pint. Michael was surprised to see that in the very short space of time he’d been at the bar she’d finished her meal. The girl in the mac sucked mustard out of a packet. She licked both sides of her knife and positioned it neatly beside her fork.

‘I work for a website,’ she told him. ‘We try and keep track of all the superhero organisations there are in Greater Manchester.

‘All of them?’ asked Michael. ‘How many are there?’

‘Oh, loads,’ said the girl, tilting her head to one side and screwing up her eyes to remember. ‘I think there’s about nineteen at the moment. They change all the time, you see. They’re always fighting.’

‘What about?’ he asked.

‘Oh God, everything,’ she sighed. ‘Costumes, that’s the main thing. They think you’ve got to get every last detail absolutely right.’ Michael blushed, thinking about his Batman tie.

‘But they all disagree about the details anyway,’ continued the girl. ‘At the moment there’s a whole group of Green Lanterns arguing about whether they should dress like they’re from the Golden or the Silver Age.’

‘Is it different?’ asked Michael.

‘Yeah,’ she said. ‘But who cares? The Golden Age Green Lanterns have started a smear campaign, and the Silver Age Green Lanterns are talking about going to the police.’

‘God,’ said Michael. ‘Talk about a Justice League.’ The girl in the mac laughed, then looked at him curiously.

‘You’re not an SRP, are you? You’re not on any of our lists.’

‘No,’ admitted Michael. ‘My girlfriend is, though. Was.’ He corrected himself too late and the girl nodded, sagely.

‘I thought so,’ she said. ‘Wonder Woman, right?’ At the sound of her name, Michael felt a wave of melancholy, which didn’t take long to mutate into anger.

‘Daredevil turned up,’ he said. ‘I think they used to go out or something.’

‘Didn’t you know?’ asked the girl. Michael shook his head.

‘No. She didn’t say anything about it.’ The girl in the mac didn’t answer. She seemed to be considering something. Then she looked at her watch, stood up, and held out a hand to Michael.

‘Come with me,’ she said. ‘I’ll show you something.’

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One Response to “A Superhero Love Story”

  1. April 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm, James Roome said:

    Ha! Fantastic. Very few things can hold my attention for eleven pages, I’m notoriously fickle.


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