Posts Tagged ‘superhero’

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Escape Pod 719: A Hench Helps Her Villain, No Matter What


A Hench Helps Her Villain, No Matter What

By Izzy Wasserstein

The Lair’s intercom buzzes. “Hench, report to the interrogation room at once. Bring the restraints,” Night Mistress demands. For a moment I allow myself to hope, but when I get down to the deepest level, she’s got Patriotess drugged at her feet, and I know I’m a fool.

Hope isn’t the place of a henchperson. Hope will get you killed. Or, worse, out of a job.

I help Night Mistress restrain Patriotess in the center of the lead-walled room. I secure the heroine’s arms above her head. She’s still out of it, her body limp and her head hanging low, completely in Night Mistress’s power. My knees feel unsteady just thinking about it.

I check Patriotess for weapons. She has that whole thin-with-curves thing that only heroines seem to manage, but even that body can’t save her spandex blue-and-red onesie from looking ridiculous. Heroes will wear almost anything. They’ve got no real flair or sense of grandeur. I guess that’s why they’re not villains. Night Mistress practically radiates power in her black tux with silver trim, complete with a tight waistcoat and a daringly low-cut top. An operatic mask completes the perfectly-tailored look.

I feel stuffed into a glittering sequined gown. It’s a look designed for stage assistants with long legs and slim lines. My ex liked to call me “thick,” but I’m actually fat. This isn’t the costume I’d have chosen, but it’s the look Mistress wants in her henchwoman, which is good enough for me. I still remember her tone when she first ordered me to put it on. That memory keeps me warm at night. (Continue Reading…)

EP426: Flash Fiction Special

Show Notes

See HalleRt’s current project here: http://timetravelreference.com/

Feeling adventurous enough to read all of the contest submissions? Have at it!


Four Tickets

by Leslianne Wilder

It’s the only fair way.

Mabel traces the edges of her respirator mask, makes sure there is no crack for the airborne toxins to wriggle in and burn holes in her lungs. She smooths the overalls over her belly- no swell yet. She’s hungry, but it’s worth it. She has four lottery tickets this week.

Mabel sits by the playground and chats with friends. Their children’s respirator masks are painted with elephants, snakes, and monkey tails, and the children run after each other for as long as they can without gasping. They laugh, and it sounds magical; deadly, terrifying and freeing all at once, like setting money on fire. No matter how bad things get, children fill Mabel with a sense of hope and gravity.

“Little Saul can read a whole book by himself,” Rachel says, muffled behind her mask. “He’s got a couple years yet, but we think he’ll be able to test into the domes after puberty. Think of it. A good job, something executive. He’s a sweet boy, he’ll send us back money. He’d never forget us.”

Rachel coughs, and on the gray rungs of the playground ladder, Saul wheezes to himself. Mabel doesn’t say it; no one says it. Rachel’s a sweet woman, and hope’s all she’s got.

(Continue Reading…)

Book Review: Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman


The very first superhero fiction I ever saw was the old Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show. The very first superhero fiction I ever read was a four-book series of Superman’s origins, written for kids*. I’ve been consuming superhero media for pretty much my entire life, and I’m always interested in how creators address the various superhero topics. I’ve even written a superhero novel of my own (it’s not published yet, but I’m working on that).

So, as a fan of superhero stuff, I’ve been aware of Austin Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible for quite some time. I got an electronic copy of it about a year ago and really wanted to read it, but I’ve been busy. Lots of books to read.

Until now.

(Continue Reading…)