Shimmer #16 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 16)

School was out; finally!

I met Tanya by her car. She didn’t ask about Adrian, probably because she knew I wouldn’t listen to another lecture; not like he mattered once the last bell rang.

She lifted a brow and drew out her keys. “Oh, you’re wanting a ride today,” she mused. “No more flying for Ms. Kaira?”

“I had to come down sometime,” I quipped.

Tanya paused and leaned on over the driver’s door. “You know, you never answered my questions. Where did you get that costume from; and where do you keep it when you’re, you know, in disguise or whatever?”

“Nowhere, really,” I told her. “It was there. Maybe it was something I dreamed up subconsciously, I don’t know, but it’s like whenever I need it it’s there.”

“Completely?” she pressed.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean like, when it changes you, is it just your costume, or…?”

Oh my gods; she didn’t.

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Shimmer #15 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 15)

They say everyone loves a hero; boy, they weren’t kidding. Talk of Glimmer Girl was everywhere! On TV, on blogs, and especially at school, everyone was chattering non-stop about the hot new cape that had come to our town.

It was weird to think that they were all talking about me. I’d even heard some of the guys on Adrian’s basketball team saying how much they’d “love to bang her.” Can you imagine what they would say if they knew the object of their misdirected desire was the same “queer thing in senior class” that their teammate had been beating on?

Even the girls were getting in on it. I’d heard one of the school captains say that Glimmer Girl was a “feminist youth icon of the twenty-first century.” Tanya had even heard of one girl crossing her fingers chanting “please-be-a-lesbian, please-be-a-lesbian… or at least bi.”

All this after just two weeks of flying around, literally pulling kittens out of trees, helping the elderly cross the street; oh, and the one time I actually did chase down a purse snatcher on the street! Funny, but being a superhero was just like being a girl scout, only with a cooler uniform. I never would have imagined it to be this easy.

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Shimmer #14 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 14)

My body hovered as I curled through the jags of the former window pane. The smoke was no obstacle, but the infra-red spectrum was flooded with searing red. Layer upon layer lined the maze of the apartment building; how was I supposed to find one man in the middle of all the chaos?

I pressed further; past what was once a bedroom and into the blazing kitchen. Tiles cracked like egg shells and shards of glass littered the ground. Wooden stakes like spears toppled across the main hall, then withered in the intense heat. Gods, if I couldn’t fly over them…

The apartment numbers seared like brands on the doors. D086, D088, D090; each fell with a clumsy blast from my finger cannon, and I called into each of them. “Mr. Geong! Mr. Geong, are you in here!?” I was screaming over the crackle, but there was no sign of him.

Soaring as fast as I could I scoured the other side of the hall and searched the apartments one by one. Suddenly the roof collapsed and I jerked back, narrowly avoiding the porcelain bowl that split on the concrete beside a melting polyester sofa.

It was no use; my search was taking too much time. How did I know I hadn’t missed him? Maybe he was unconscious, choked out on fumes. I had to keep looking.

“Mr. Geong!”

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Shimmer #13 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 13)

Do you know what it’s like to stand twenty seven stories in the sky with nothing to hold you up? There’s no real way to describe it. My stomach braced itself waiting for the fall that wasn’t coming; instead I kept climbing and thrust toward the gathering I could make out on the roof.

The smoke did nothing to stop me; shouldn’t I have been choking on it? Funny, but with the powers turned on I didn’t seem to need oxygen. How much had they changed me?

Even through the blackness as thick as it was I could see the people on the building as clear as day; the heat of their bodies lit them up like neon against the backdrop of what I guessed were radio and wifi signals.

Bright red licked the guts of the building as I glided by; the heat must have been intense, but I couldn’t feel it. There was only the warmth of whatever had taken me and nothing more. If I didn’t know any better I would have sworn it was a dream.

The gathering on the roof seemed confused when I scaled the ledge. Of course they were; I mean, how often do you see a flying girl with a hood land right in front of you? Women and men of all ages and their children stepped back, not sure what to make of the mysterious figure.

“Maybe it’s an angel,” I heard from the whispers.

I reached out and shot what I hoped was a trusting smile. “No, I’m a superhero,” I told them. “I’m here to help, if you’ll let me.”

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Shimmer #12 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 12)

After an hour of searching we found free parking in the city. Tanya pulled to the curb and killed the engine.

“He really didn’t tell you anything?” she pressed.

Leaning back in the passenger seat I pulled my knees to my chest and sat my feet on the glove compartment; I was probably flashing beneath my skirt to passersby, but whatever. Just thinking about that creep sent a shiver up my spine.

“You don’t suppose,” Tanya thought, “he got the same weird firefly powers that you did. I mean, you were both in the same place, at the same time; you don’t really know what happened.”

I snapped. “Last thing I need to think about is that freak flying around with the power to shoot lasers out of his fingertips.”

She paused. “Sorry…”

Ugh, way to go, Kaira. “No, I’m sorry,” I sighed. “I keep thinking about all of this and… things like this don’t happen to people like me. One day I’m being pushed around, the next I can fly. Not only that but I’ve got some old freak obsessing about it, and me, and I don’t know what to do.”

Tanya grinned as she reached to the back seat. “I’ll tell you what you do. You forget about that guy because he’s boring and useless, and you do that thing we were talking about by using…” She stretched and ferreted around underneath the CDs, dirty clothes, textbooks, loose handouts and soda bottles, then returned with a black box; “this.”

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Shimmer #11 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 11)

When people think about Milestone City there are certain images that come to mind; like new glass skyscrapers that rose from streets as old as the first colonies. People still talk about the corporate sector like it’s a new thing, like it hadn’t been there since before I was born. They’re also quick to remind you that the problems of the ‘old world’ are still hanging like an old smell; you know, street crime and all that.

“It’s dangerous at night,” my mom always told me; not that I had reason to be there after dark. Technically I was still a kid, too young for clubs, too young to hang out with the college crowd; best there was for Tanya and I were the department stores, and even then we’d only go a few times a year.

“Parking costs a goddamn fortune,” she complained, “and screw taking the bus.” She had a lot of horror stories about taking the bus; so we stayed married to the suburbs, because it wasn’t like we had anything better to do.

Where my science teacher, Mr. Drew, was taking me was a whole different experience. It was one thing to know that your hometown had some of the finest technical facilities in the country, but it was another thing to see them up close. The hybrid cars by the road, the geometric architecture and fresh laid grass looked like a world just born.

“Welcome to InfiniTech R&D,” Mr. Drew hummed, the taste of sentimentality in his tone; “where the future comes alive or some such.”

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Shimmer #10 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 10)

You can probably imagine I was starting to freak. What else are you supposed to do when the universe turns you into a laser light show? The worst part was there being nobody I could talk to, except for Tanya.

Well, maybe one other person.

Putting the name “Randall Drew” into a search engine pulled up over ten million results, but only one of them lived on my side of Milestone City. Learning that my science teacher was a founding member of the Milestone Astronomical Society wasn’t a surprise, but finding out that he’d played Polonius in three community productions of Hamlet was something I had to see to believe.

The next thing I knew I was walking the street leading to his house. It seemed weird to think that he lived like other people; you know, in the suburbs and not in a broom closet where they’d lock him up until second period. Not that it was anything special; Mr. Drew’s place had a single level, a small yard, and panels with white flakes peeling off from exposure. Two cars sat in the driveway; one probably belonged to a girlfriend, or maybe a boyfriend. Who knows?

I knocked on the door, swallowed the lump in my throat and prayed to the gods it wouldn’t be weird. Last he’d seen me I was lifting my skirt and running for my life; my choice of t-shirt and slacks was purely in the hopes that he’d forget about it and talk about the other stuff.

A woman answered; girlfriend? Assuming I had the right house. She smiled and asked “can I help you?”

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Support the Shimmerverse

By request there’s been a ‘donate’ button added to the site.


(There’s also one in the column there to the right.)

So, if you’d like to support the Shimmerverse fell free to throw something our way. Remember, money is just one way to keep the love going; fanfic and fan art are also welcome.

Donations will be going primarily to help pay for website costs, then to support a struggling university student with her transition and keeping food in her mouth, as well as helping with her girlfriend’s immigration to Australia.

Thank you all for being so wonderful, and here’s to more material coming out soon!

Love and laughs,
Miranda Sparks

Shimmer #09 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 9)

There’s a place on the edge of town where people go to not be found; mostly kids skipping school and smoking weed, but you get all types. You can find it under the Franklin Bridge; you just have to know the way.

First you sneak through the hole in the chain-link fence (by the third post after the housing estate), then you drop into the embankment and follow it to the end. Once you’ve made it that far you’ll come to a gravel path that leads right under the bridge. Nobody goes there who wants to be bothered, especially at night.

Maybe that’s why Tanya was so weirded out when I asked her to meet me there. It was at least an hour after sunset, and the place didn’t come with its own lights.

She pointed a flashlight into the darkness; it didn’t cover half the six lanes of road sitting above. “Hello?” she called, like she was calling to a pack of wolves.

“Hey, I’m in here!” I pointed my own flashlight back to her and waved that it was safe; well, safe as you could be.

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Shimmer #08 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 8)

Mom drove me home the next morning. The staffer had told her how I was dressed, so she brought a change of clothes; you know, guy clothes. Putting them on felt sick, but I was too tired to refuse them.

I wanted to explain why they found me in a skirt, but she was quick to excuse it away. “You’ve always been flamboyant, and that’s okay,” she’d said, smiling, as though I were a drag queen in the making. Was that really what she thought? Had she not been paying attention at all?

In the days that followed any time I tried to bring up the subject she’d rant about Adrian instead; about how the school was letting our family down and how thugs like that deserved more than suspension, but prison to boot. Even if I agreed with her I couldn’t bring myself to care; there were more important things than anger.

“I guess nothing’s changed at all,” I sighed, and took a bite of the most depressing egg salad sandwich I’d ever tasted (although it may not have been the sandwich that was depressed.)

As it turns out I was relieved to get back to school; recovery was boring, and knowing that Adrian was on suspension made the next ten days seem brighter. It didn’t matter that I was the subject of gossip, or that every second person had taken to calling me ‘princess’; there was nobody threatening to kick the crap out of me, and that was a step up.

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