You’re never too old for trick or treating, but having a sister in grade school helps.
Angie shuffled with the other kids, knocking her pumpkin bucket with each step. She explained to the old woman at the door the meaning of the princess gown, silver skin and clothes hanger antenna, received her treats and clunked back to where I was waiting by the sidewalk.
“What did you get, kid?”
“She was giving out whole candy bars,” she beamed. “Not just the fun size ones; big ones!”
“Real candy bars?” I echoed. “Damn, you’re getting spoiled!”
We looked to make sure the traffic was clear, but there was nothing save kids and their parents. Most of them were wearing costumes off the rack; some weren’t even trying at all (especially the adults).
“Come on. Let’s try the houses across the street.” I held out my appendage for her.
Angie squealed and flew back. “Tanny!”
“If you don’t want to hold my tentacle then you need to get on my other side,” I teased.
I shook my head to make sure I wasn’t delirious, or seeing things, or something; because what stood before my eyes just wasn’t right. Could it really be her, sneaking around the hideout of a nigh omnipotent supervillain, and coming to my rescue? To think, of all the weird things that had happened the last few weeks this was what took me off guard.
“What are… you doing here?” I whispered. “How did… you find me?”
Tanya poured over the benches and brushed tools aside in search of something; a key, maybe? Not that there were any locks on Dr. Vortex’s machine. I was bolted in tight; letting me out was probably never an option for him.
“You know you’re internet famous, right?” she laughed. “The Glimmer Girl hashtag is pretty hot right now. People have been posting sightings since you started. All it took was a search engine, registering accounts to some networking sites I’d usually never touch, and voila!”
“That’s… the stupidest thing… I’ve ever… heard…”
The sounds of destruction bellowed nearby; sirens crackled into silence, and shots fired. Dr. Vortex had started his rampage anew, and he wasn’t wasting any time.
I woke hanging by my arms, contorted and aching. Trying to move was agony; there were clasps on my limbs that pulled in every direction. It was like waking up in a nightmare BDSM video, only worse.
Dr. Vortex looked up from his work station and wandered to my side. Either he was moving very slowly, or I was groggy; funny, I didn’t remember passing out. Maybe he’d drugged me; that seemed like the sort of thing he’d do.
He pried my eyes open, leaned close to examine them and pulled away before I could shake him off. A rough palm double tapped my cheek, and then pressed my forehead to make sure I was facing him.
“This next part requires you conscious,” he instructed. “It will be very painful, but if it brings you any comfort try and remember that it’s for a good cause.”
I wheezed more than I laughed. “So you can… change the world… right?”
The villain paused, and sighed. “More than that, in ways your pedestrian mind could never hope to comprehend; but for the purpose of our arrangement let’s say yes.”
Well, the first arc of Shimmer is soon coming to a close, and Kaira Cade’s adventures as Glimmer Girl are just beginning; so what comes next for our heroine?
First I’m pleased to announce that she’ll be starring in a mini-series with chapters released between arcs called “Glimmer Girl Plus.” Each story will see Glimmer Girl team-up with another hero in the ever expanding Shimmerverse.
In her first team-up adventure Glimmer Girl meets Bonfire, a student at the Apex Institute, a school for superheroes in training, featuring characters and concepts developed and contributed by my dear friend, author/artist Crystal Frasier! (Can you feel my excitement?)
Then, while Shimmer takes a short break we’ll indulge in another tale; this time set in modern day Tokyo where a gang known as the Hellbound Dolls face otherworldly monsters, are approached by a werewolf, and are made an offer they can’t refuse. Magical girls, werewolves and youma abound in a story reserved for mature audiences.
Soon after Shimmer returns with the second story arc “Outside In”; the Milestone City Police don’t want a teenage superhero interfering with their job, but when an altercation with a super-powered mob enforcer complicates matters, can her involvement really be avoided? Matters are further complicated when Glimmer Girl becomes trapped in a life she was hoping to avoid.
Much hijinx ahead, folks. Don’t miss it!
Love and laughs,
Space is big; I mean really, really big. You’d think after growing up on Star Trek and re-runs of Cosmos (you know, the old one) that I would have understood, but it’s not the kind of thing you can grasp until you’re out there…
In the void…
Further from home than you have been… or will be again.
I shot toward the distant marble with all the force I could. What if I didn’t make it? I’d choke or burn or freeze or explode in the vacuum, or something!
My chest grew tight; if I’d needed to breathe I’d have spent all my oxygen on panic. I tried to reason that it wasn’t too far; that it only took seven or so minutes for the light from the sun to reach the Earth, and I was a lot closer; it still didn’t dull the ache of the expanse.
The dock was silent under the twilight. Concrete stretched between a labyrinth of crates, each stacked a dozen high. As evening waned the floodlights came on and cast shadows of heavy machines across the yard. At the end of it all by the water’s edge was a row of ships, each of them the size of an upturned building. Finding one person, or even a hundred, would be impossible; assuming Dr. Vortex deemed to hold them there.
They could have been anywhere! The last time I fought Dr. Vortex I’d only gotten a taste of his space-bending power; who knew how far he could reach? Moving trucks one minute, plucking hostages the next, all with a wave of his hand; it’s like playing chess with a god.
I perched on the arm of a crane and scanned the area. The wind ran chills through my costume and threw hair in my face. Gods, not even the elements were on my side.
Dr. Vortex didn’t make a sound when he appeared; he just stepped out of the thin air that ran off his body like quicksilver. He stood with legs apart, positioning himself on the bars of the crane, and folded his hands in front of him. He appeared neither pleased nor displeased, and lifted his head.
The wind knocked me as I found balance. My eyes were locked on him, searching for whatever weakness had evaded me, or something else. Did he have some kind of secret weapon; something up his sleeves?
The message I sent was vague enough: “rly need 2 talk @ my hous asap.” More would have been too much to risk over text.
Sure enough 3:30 rolled around, and so did the green beetle by the curbside. Tanya stepped out of the driver’s side blinked at what remained of the door, and ran in to where I was sitting on the stairs.
“KC! What the actual hell!?”
“Dr. Vortex,” I told her. “He was at school, then here, and when I tried to go to go after him…”
Tears burned down my cheeks as I gasped for breath. Funny, but the rest of me was freezing, like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. My arms trembled as they supported my forehead, the last thing keeping me from collapsing into a ball. The sobbing was uncontrollable; not even Tanya’s support could stop them.
“Tell me everything,” she said.
Traffic screeched to a halt as I sprinted across the road; no time to say “sorry, buddy; supervillain on my tail.”
I needed cover, I needed to change into Glimmer Girl, I needed to get away from innocent bystanders, and most of all I needed to do it before Dr. Vortex got the drop on me!
My feet were screaming somewhere around the Maxi-Mart; I’d made it a whole three blocks before the stabbing in my ribs made it impossible to run. Gods, how was I going to stand up to him when I was in such bad shape? If I was lucky I could keep my concentration up, and my hologram form could numb the pain.
I slipped into an alley and scoped for security cameras. If there were any I couldn’t see them, and screw it, I was already wasting too much time on my “secret identity.” In a flash I transformed into Glimmer Girl, shot into the sky like a firework and made for the edge of town at ten times the speed I could manage on foot.
The pain died away and made room for rage. “Where are you, you monster?” I spat into the wind and scanned the clouds, but save for the birds I was alone.
From my vantage I could see everything from Milestone Heights to the inner suburbs and to the city, even the dock yards around Portside; nothing. Traffic was smooth, there was no fire, smoke, sirens or destruction; it looked like any other day.
“Come on. I know you’re here!”
I’d somehow managed to hide the cuts and bruises from my Mom; save for the screaming in my face the rest of the night was a blur. The words “grounded until college” lingered, though I didn’t grasp their meaning until I woke again the next morning. I was also nursing the worst headache of my life.
She drove me to school, and I pretended to not be half-dead. Gods, I could barely stand; my stomach was churning, my muscles aching, my ribs were on fire, and I was struggling to keep my eyes open. No problem, right? I just had to hide the pain for seven hours, and then I could go home and sleep.
That was, of course, if Dr. Vortex wasn’t coming for me. Ugh, screw my life.
It wasn’t until I was inside that I saw Tanya again; she was waiting for me, and noticed me first. She stepped up to make sure I could hold myself upright, and pressed a hand to my back, the one spot that didn’t feel like it was going to erupt into flames.
“Tell me everything,” she said.
Very excited to tell you that there’s been a new addition to the art gallery courtesy of artist ChickenMask, who I might add was an absolute pleasure to work with while I was commissioning this piece.
Here we have Glimmer Girl showing off her trans pride to you, the reader, even if she’s not so open about it in the story (at least while she’s in costume.)
Enjoy, and check out ChickenMask’s DeviantArt page and tumblr!
Love and laughs,