Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, today’s the day. Which means I’m taking the day off from blog posts, writing, and so forth to spend some time with family.

o-christmas-tree-1443869-639x852

(This is not my tree. I wish it were!)

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas has a great holiday, and I hope those who celebrate other holidays have/had wonderful days then and today. I’ll be back next week with some thoughts on 2018.

Teaser- Superaser Saves Christmas

The complete version of this story is available as a PDF download on my Free Reads page.

superaser200

A few yards from the workshop, one of the tiles on the floor was a slightly darker shade of beige than the rest. That explained how the woman could be so definite about where she and Thaddeus were standing.

“Mommy!” a high-pitched voice shouted over the low roar of panic around us.

“Thaddeus!” Frantically, the woman looked around.

So did I, until I saw the kid standing beside the corner of the fence. I touched the woman’s arm and pointed, and she ran over to the little boy. I followed as she scooped the kid into her arms. A happy ending for them, but I still needed to know what I was up against.

“Thank you.” The woman looked at me with wet eyes.

“Mommy, where did the bad elves go?” Thaddeus said.

Finally! Something I could work with to find the culprits. “Bad elves?” I asked.

Thaddeus nodded. “They was little like me. All in green. They said Santa’s fake.” He sniffled and looked at his mom. “He’s not, right, Mommy?”

“Right.” His mother pressed her lips together. “That’s who you’re looking for, I guess. About half a dozen of the so-called elves. We thought they were part of the show until they started saying all those things. And then this guy showed up wearing all black, even a black Santa hat. He went right up to the workshop and kicked, and then everything was smoky.”

“Darn it.” Now I knew who was behind this mess. Missile Toe. A supervillain who had decided the best way to fight his enemies was to shoot projectiles from a specially made shoe.

The Super Group hadn’t run up against Missile Toe since before I joined the group, over a year ago, but Super Guy made sure all the new heroes knew everything about all the bad guys the group had ever fought. I had to wonder why Missile Toe had picked now to show up again. And why he and a bunch of “bad elves” had decided to mess with one of the most important holiday traditions in the city.

I didn’t have time to figure it out right then, though. If I was going to be any use to the rest of the Super Group, I had to change into my secret identity of Superaser. Kind of a dumb name, in my opinion, but I wasn’t the one who picked it. Super Guy named me for my ability to erase pieces of people’s memories.

“Thanks for explaining,” I said to Thaddeus and his mother. “I know some people who can make sure nothing like this ever happens again, so I’m going to talk to them.”

“The bad elves made Santa go away,” Thaddeus said. “After they said he’s fake, they took him away. Are you going to bring him back?”

I started to say yes, but remembered just in time that Thaddeus and his mother, and anyone else nearby, couldn’t find out I was a superhero. I had to keep pretending to be a normal teenage boy until I got somewhere private enough to change.

“I’m going to tell my friends,” I said. “They’ll make sure Santa’s okay. But I have to go now. Happy holidays.”

Before anyone asked me any more questions, I hurried to the nearby food court, which was nearly empty. No one at all was in the rest room, so I quickly changed into my super costume, which was made of a special fabric that could fold up small enough to fit into the pockets of any of my jeans.

When I left the rest room, Super Guy and Polarity were right outside. Super Guy glared at me. “You almost gave yourself away, according to Farsight. What did you say to the normies?”

Even though I hadn’t done anything wrong, my stomach sank down to my shoes. The same sneakers I’d been wearing all day, because my costume didn’t include footwear. Hopefully if anyone had seen me earlier, they wouldn’t notice what I had on my feet. If Super Guy was already getting annoyed, I didn’t want to do anything to make it worse.

I tried to cover up how guilty I felt. “All I told them was that I have friends who can take care of everything.”

“Farsight is never wrong.” Super Guy folded his arms. “Are you sure you didn’t say anything else?”

“You said she told you I almost gave myself away.” I took a deep breath and pretended for a moment that I was Scott. He could out-argue any adult, and right now I had to make sure I didn’t trip myself up with Super Guy. Especially since we were wasting time on the debate while we should have been tracking down Missile Toe. “She isn’t wrong about that. But it was only almost. I caught myself before I actually said anything I shouldn’t. Look, I know I need to be more careful, and I will be. Right now, we have a super villain and a flock of angry elves to deal with.”

“Elves?” Polarity wrinkled his forehead. “People in elf costumes, right?”

I shrugged. “The little boy and his mother, the ones I was just helping, said there were bad elves. And they said the villain shot something out of his foot.”

“Missile Toe,” Super Guy and Polarity said together.

Holiday Stories

When I was in, I think, eighth grade, we were assigned to write a Christmas story for English class. I don’t think my teacher completely expected what I ended up with: a 20-page typed story about a department store Santa who’d seen much better days and a little boy with no family.

I wish I still had that story. It was actually really good considering I was only 13. I think I might poke around in some boxes and see if maybe it is still here somewhere.

I was really happy about that story. So happy I made up my mind I was going to write a Christmas story every year. I figured it wouldn’t be hard, and I would write lots more great stories.

That didn’t happen. The following year, I had to write a story for little kids, which I did. I don’t even remember what it was about; it was another school assignment. After that, it just didn’t occur to me to write Christmas stories anymore.

I’ve written a few Christmas stories as an adult, though I don’t think any of them really struck me as much as that one when I was 13. Two of the stories, though, are on my Free Reads page. One, “Superaser Saves Christmas,” was written last year because I wanted to add a Christmas story to the Free Reads page. The other is the re-release of a slightly revised version of my story “Accepting Me.”

Both of those are free PDF downloads, along with several other non-holiday-related short stories, so I hope you’ll go check them out.

Teaser Thursday- Superaser Saves Christmas

From the short story I posted yesterday on my Free Reads page.

Before anyone asked me any more questions, I hurried to the nearby food court, which was nearly empty. No one at all was in the rest room, so I quickly changed into my super costume, which was made of a special fabric that could fold up small enough to fit into the pockets of any of my jeans.

When I left the rest room, Super Guy and Polarity were right outside. Super Guy glared at me. “You almost gave yourself away, according to Farsight. What did you say to the normies?”

Even though I hadn’t done anything wrong, my stomach sank down to my shoes. The same sneakers I’d been wearing all day, because my costume didn’t include footwear. Hopefully if anyone had seen me earlier, they wouldn’t notice what I had on my feet. If Super Guy was already getting annoyed, I didn’t want to do anything to make it worse.

I tried to cover up how guilty I felt. “All I told them was that I have friends who can take care of everything.”

“Farsight is never wrong.” Super Guy folded his arms. “Are you sure you didn’t say anything else?”

“You said she told you I almost gave myself away.” I took a deep breath and pretended for a moment that I was Scott. He could out-argue any adult, and right now I had to make sure I didn’t trip myself up with Super Guy. Especially since we were wasting time on the debate while we should have been tracking down Missile Toe. “She isn’t wrong about that. But it was only almost. I caught myself before I actually said anything I shouldn’t. Look, I know I need to be more careful, and I will be. Right now, we have a super villain and a flock of angry elves to deal with.”

“Elves?” Polarity wrinkled his forehead. “People in elf costumes, right?”

I shrugged. “The little boy and his mother, the ones I was just helping, said there were bad elves. And they said the villain shot something out of his foot.”

“Missile Toe,” Super Guy and Polarity said together. They glared at each other for a second, then Super Guy cleared his throat and said, “Missile Toe hasn’t been active in years. You’re sure of what they told you?”

“Yes. He and his elves—or people, or whatever—took the mall Santa. I think that was their plan, but I don’t know why they would do something like that.”

If the elves were real, maybe they had a grudge against Santa for some reason. After all, he supposedly made his elves work around the clock making toys. That would explain why they were backing up Missile Toe.

I shook my head. I’d stopped believing in Santa when I was seven. Of course the elves weren’t real, just like there was no real jolly red-suited dude with a workshop at the North Pole.

“What’s wrong?” Polarity asked.

“Just thinking.” Quickly, I walked over to the workshop. “Missile Toe shot some kind of smoke bomb to cover up kidnapping Santa. Can Farsight tell us where he’s gone?”

“I’ll check in with her.” Polarity walked away.

“We need to move.” Super Guy glanced around and lowered his voice. “We’re attracting too much attention. Come on.”

I’d barely even noticed the crowd gathering around us, but sure enough, plenty of people had returned to the workshop area, and most of them were gawking at the superheroes. No big surprise there. People wearing form-fitting costumes and masks were pretty noticeable. But Super Guy didn’t like it when normies stared and asked questions. I wasn’t a big fan of it myself, especially since Super Guy had forbidden me to use my memory-erasing power to make the normies forget about us if they got too curious.

We hurried outside without letting Polarity know where we were going. For a couple of seconds, I thought we were leaving him behind, but then I remembered he was talking to Farsight. She would let him know where we were.