Shimmer #05 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 5)


She kept asking if I was okay; first while doing my make-up, twice again as we came downstairs, again between the front door and the car, another five times on the way, and finally when stood at the glass lined entrance. Every time I told her “yes,” but as we stepped inside I wasn’t so sure.

It wasn’t our first time at the Lovin’ Spoonful; Tanya had dragged me there every other day for the past year. Between what had probably been designed to look like crumbling plaster and old brick we could pretend that we weren’t still trapped in high school, like we were already college hipsters who knew it all.

The staff knew us by name. Gloria, the self-proclaimed Norse goddess of the bean, had exercised her power on us and guessed our orders the first time we met; an orange frappucino for Tanya, and a vanilla chai latte for me. With service like that it was easy to feel at home.

That night, however, was different.

I held the flyer in my hand, every so often unfolding it just to make sure. The message read the same as it had earlier; ‘Inside Out – a discussion and support group for Trans* Youth and Allies.’ The date and time were right, but the crowd wasn’t what I expected. (Honestly, I had no idea what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it.)

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Shimmer #04 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 4)


It was good to get away from school, and even better to be somewhere safe. Tanya’s home was one of those places. Her room was a haven through which no bigotry could bleed its way in lest it incur her wrath. In that space her will was absolute; not even her Mom was guaranteed safety if she crossed her there.

She knocked on the bathroom door. (Gods, she had her own bathroom.) “You going to be in there all day or what?” she pressed. “Some of us have… you know, personal business, to attend to.”

I looked down, lost in the void between my chest and the cup of my bra. Was I just going to keep staring? Shaking myself back to reason I took the loosely packed stocking from the counter and slid it down. The idea of stuffing my bra with packs of bird seed seemed crazy, but the internet recommended it and gods help me, it did bring out a nice shape.

“Don’t worry, I’m almost done,” I told her, though I really didn’t know if that was true.

My fingers pulled the tie from my hair and let it fall. I brushed it to one side and swept a fringe across my face. It seemed amazing how in a few strokes I couldn’t see myself the ‘boy’ in me anymore; I saw a human being, I saw myself, and I was smiling.

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Shimmer #03 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 3)


The bell for last period tolled like a death chime. Tanya ran a hand over my shoulder and didn’t part until the hall split our paths.

“See you after class,” she said.

“Assuming Adrian doesn’t get me first.”

“He won’t,” she added, “and if he does…” Her fist met her palm and cracked in her grip. The imagery brought a smile to her face.

I forced a grin, waved, and pulled myself away from her as easily as you’d pull a band aid. The idea of class without Tanya wound tight in my shoulders and pulled my jaw clenched. Even if the way she fought for my honor scared the crap out of me it was always better that she was there, just in case.

My eyes closed; most of the walk was automatic anyway, so I didn’t need to see. We’d taken our time and cut close to the second bell. We avoided a lot of trouble that way, even if it did mean risking a warning for being tardy.

The words of my therapist rolled through my mind; deep breaths, inhale and exhale to a slow five count, keeping my thoughts rooted in the present. The tile was hard beneath my feet, and I was safe, alone in an empty hall; or so I thought.

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Shimmer #02 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 2)



“How many times have I got to tell you to quit staring at me?” he roared, or at least that’s what I thought he’d said. It was hard to hear with the ringing in my ears.

Pressed against the locker I could feel the steam burning into my skin. With one hand pressed against the metal the other tried to pull away the arm stretched across my neck.

I opened one eye to the face of Adrian Dempsey, my lifetime tormentor and all around idiot grinding his teeth. Why he hated me in the first place was a mystery; all I knew was that I’d become the scapegoat for every evil that had been inflicted upon him. In the living hell that was high school he was my devil, and I had no sympathy for him.

“You were staring first,” I choked with a wink. I wasn’t scared of him; not anymore, and hadn’t been for years.

The crowd that was gathering began to make Adrian nervous. He let go and stepped away; he probably wanted to intimidate me and nothing more. There was no way he’d do anything extra stupid while there were witnesses around; he had a basketball career to think of.

I could still feel his disgust as he pulled away, dripping like saliva from the jowls of a dog. Even though I was teasing him I could see the cogs turning in his head as he wondered, does this little queer really want me? A thousand sick thoughts were probably flashing behind his eyes, but he didn’t even seem to consider how much I hated him back.

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Shimmer #01 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 1)


It was 7:08 before I pried my eyes open, leaving less than an hour to jump out of bed, change and be at school.

I stopped, caught my reflection in the mirror and hated it before continuing the hurried routine. I tied my hair back, threw on some cargos and a t-shirt, filed my unfinished homework and textbooks into my backpack and ran down the stairs without greeting the parents.

Such was the life I lead wearing a daily disguise, trying to pass myself as the boy I wasn’t. It almost felt like it belonged to someone else. Then again maybe it did.

Nobody would have ever guessed that Justin Cade and the mysterious Miss Kaira were two sides of the same coin. How could they? Kaira was bold and outgoing; Justin was shy and reserved. Where one wanted to stand out in the world the other wanted nothing more than to fade into the background. One was a (sort of) wild, amazing woman and the other… he just wished he was.

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Shimmer #00 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Prelude)


This isn’t the weirdest story, but as someone who lived through it, it’s pretty surreal. I mean, this is the kind of thing that happens on TV and in comic books, but to think it might happen to me? Nuh-uh, impossible.

Then the universe hit, right when I least expected, and nothing was ever the same.

Okay! Okay, I’ll get to the point; and trust me, there is a point. You want to know what actually happened and I want to tell you where it all began. It’s just hard to say where that is, exactly.

I could tell you that it all started that night in the park; you know, with the thugs chasing me and the scientists.

Or I could say that it started the day I was born, when my parents thought they had a boy. (Surprise!) Or I could be really obnoxious and say that it started at the birth of the universe, but even that doesn’t go back far enough.

Imagine a place that’s not a place, that exists outside of time, outside of any universe; a place of pure abstract…

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Welcome to the Shimmerverse!

Ladies, gentlemen and distinguished guests,

As the title says, welcome to the Shimmerverse; home to the superheroes written by myself, Miranda Sparks, possibly guest contributors also, and several other stories I’ll be churning out sometime between here and forever. Non-superhero material making it’s way onto this site is a possibility, because let’s face it, even non-superhero stories take place in a world where superheroes exist, and they’re just as worthy of being told.

So, what’s Shimmer all about? Let me show you.


This is Glimmer Girl, and she’s my hero.

Kaira Cade is a seventeen year old trans girl just on the verge of opening up to the world. The chances for her to just go out and ‘be a girl’ seem few and far between, and her everyday ‘boy’ identity is different enough that she’s the target for bullying and harassment. Suddenly she gets superpowers, becomes Glimmer Girl, and with that she is granted the kind of escapism she needs to find her own dignity and strength. Now she’s juggling a different kind of hidden self, and nothing is the same for anyone again. Most of what I post on this site will be her story.

I started writing the character six years ago as part of my web serial when I was in the beginning stages of transitioning from one gender presentation to another, mostly as a mechanism for self-empowerment, and over time she’s grown just as much as I have. This is a big part of why I rebooted her a few times, much to the chagrin of my readers; because when I changed so did she, and the perspective of the story was missing truths that I hadn’t realized at the time. (Also, when I first started writing her I didn’t know how to be ‘strong’ yet, and it’s wrong to me that she should ever be as apologetic as I was.)

Since I was a child I needed a character just like her to exist, as did some others, and now she does. The wonders of the internet, huh? I hope you get a lot out of Shimmer as it unfolds, as it has been my baby nursed lovingly for half of my adult life. Let’s walk together as Kaira starts her journey toward heroism and self.

Take care, dear reader.

Love and laughs,
Miranda Sparks xo