We’re a few days into the new year, and in the spirit of new beginnings I want to try my hand at something different. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing some fiction for a while – I used to love writing short stories in English class at school, but I haven’t used that part of my brain for a long time. I figured I would ease myself back into creative writing by dabbling in some fan fiction: easier to build on a world that’s already established than to start completely from scratch, I suppose. I had the idea for the very, very short story below a few months ago, but only recently started fleshing it out properly. The protagonist and setting should be obvious to anyone who’s a fan of this particular universe, but I won’t give anything away here, except to say that this character and his teammates have always been favourites of mine in their pop culture realm.
Fiction is tough. Here’s my attempt. I hope you enjoy it.
Kurt was running. The question of why a teleporter would need to run anywhere was one that often puzzled his friends, but he liked to keep them guessing. The truth was that teleporting was easy – not in a physical sense, as it actually sapped a considerable amount of energy; it just wasn’t something he really had to think about anymore. It was second nature to imagine himself being somewhere and then appearing there in less time than it took him to blink. Running, on the other hand, was a challenge. It was a constant battle with his own thoughts: when his legs cramped and burned, when each breath seared his lungs, there, always, was the knowledge that it could all be over, that he didn’t have to punish his body like this, that he could shut his eyes and go anywhere he wanted…
Kurt shook his head to banish the temptation and pushed himself harder. He was breaking curfew by leaving the academy, but he needed to be somewhere other than the school grounds to feel free to run. His ink-blue skin was a perfect camouflage against the night sky, but even so he wore a dark grey tracksuit to avoid attracting attention. He hoped his tail wasn’t conspicuous tucked inside his hoodie. Kurt hated having to hide who he was out in the wider world, away from the sanctuary of the academy where he didn’t have to pretend to be normal. He was warmed briefly by the knowledge that he was free to be himself at the school, but he wasn’t so naÏve as to think it was some mythical safe haven; in fact, he was starting to feel claustrophobic spending almost all his time there. His thoughts soured, and a swell of anger grew in his chest at the injustice of it all. He steeled himself against the bitter night air and quickened his pace again, his muscles beginning to groan in protest.
He had picked a route that took him through back alleys and side streets, away from the more well-lit areas where there was more chance of him being spotted. Anyone else might have been nervous in such confined spaces late at night, but Kurt wasn’t worried; any sign of trouble and BAMF! – he was gone, any potential enemies left wondering what the hell just happened. But he was starting to yearn for some open space, and the urge to teleport somewhere – even if it was just to the end of the street, or to the top of a building – was becoming impossible to ignore. “Nein”, he told himself. “Just a little longer. Don’t take the easy way out.” He rounded a corner and turned down another alley, lost in a struggle with himself to keep running despite the pain in his muscles and the burning in his lungs when –
Oops. A sudden noise somewhere down the street had startled him and his instincts to teleport had taken over. From his new vantage point atop a lamp post he couldn’t see what had made the commotion, but whatever it was seemed to have gone. “Well”, he thought, “I’ve done it now”. Might as well have a little fun since he’d broken his no-teleportation promise. BAMF! Up to the top of the tower block. Nice view from here. BAMF! Across to the roof of the hospital. He wondered how the thugs that he and Bobby had taken care of last week were doing on the orthopaedic ward. BAMF! Over to the top of a billboard. The bright lamps illuminated his sinewy body, and Kurt knew he was playing with fire by making himself so noticeable. But he felt so free when he teleported that he didn’t care. He threw off his hoodie, letting his tail whip and snap in the glow of the lights. This was more like it. He scanned the sky for another destination.
BAMF! Okay, this probably wasn’t a good idea. He was hanging by his tail from the underside of a passing helicopter, which was sagging slightly to one side with his weight. How easily he could have teleported into the blades of the propellers was definitely not worth thinking about. Time to get off. He shouted a quick “entschuldigung!” to the incredulous passengers and let himself fall. He closed his eyes as he plummeted toward the ground, the air roaring in his ears, drowning out everything else. He savoured the freedom, however fleeting, as he fell, and as he opened his eyes the pavement was rapidly getting uncomfortably close. He closed his eyes again and thought of home.
BAMF! He was back at the academy. Kurt took in the sweeping lawns and grand architecture. He wondered to himself how old this place was and made a mental note to ask the Professor the next time he saw him.
“I can tell you now, if you’d like.” The Professor’s voice rang in Kurt’s head, startling him. Scheiße! “And, as it seems you’ve forgotten, I do speak German. Please try not to swear around the school, whatever language you use.” Kurt sighed. There was no sense hiding anything from a telepath, and though the Professor most likely already knew why Kurt had broken curfew, he would have to explain himself all the same. He decided against teleporting up to the Professor’s study and instead began the long walk through the halls of the academy. He passed the rooms of his friends, his teachers, his teammates, and, slowly, realised how glad he was to be at the school. A smile crept across his face as he knocked on the Professor’s door.
“Wilkommen zuhause”, the Professor said softly.
Thanks for reading my odd little foray into the world of superhero fan fiction. I know that there are a ton of people in the WordPress community who enjoy writing fiction as well as critical reviews and discussions, and I would love to hear what you enjoy writing about when you write creatively, and how you go about crafting a narrative. I’m sure there are also people who have ideas for stories but just haven’t got started, and I’d love to hear about them, too. I plan on putting out some more of my own miniature tales in future, but it’s always inspiring to hear what other people are passionate about.
If you have any ideas for short stories or have written any pieces of fan fiction, and if you’re comfortable sharing them, let’s hear about them! Feel free to reply in the comments with links to anything you’ve written so we can spread the word.