Friday, 28 June 2013

Creating a Female Superhero Challenge

This is my entry for the Creating a Female Superhero Challenge. An excellent idea - and one I could also set my students to work on. I got quite a few Puppy Girls from them, and a pair of Iron Men from the ring-in second grade boys that were in my class that day (even though I kept pointing out the gender, but hey, what are you going to do with 7 year-olds?)

Author: David Ashton
Word count: 397 for the character bio, 412 for the story
Anthology: Yes
Charity: Any of them, they all sound good

Yeah, I can't draw, so some outlines thrown over
textures is the best you're going to get
Name of female superhero: Darkweaver

Name of human alter ego: Glynnis Carr

Human alter ego appearance: As Glynnis, her clothing ranges the gamut of colours and shades. She doesn't wear the complete opposite of her costume - all rainbows all the time - nor does it echo its monochromatic scheme. She wears a pewter necklace: a meaningless sigil of her own devising to remind her of how lucky she is. When asked about it, she always tucks it back under her top and says it was a keepsake given to her long ago.

Superhero Appearance: Completely concealed by her costume.

Costume:  A form fitting suit of swirling greys and blacks with indigo highlights and ultramarine lenses.

Personality as Darkweaver: Vengeful and angry at the injustice at the world. There are no snappy one liners from this heroine.

Personality as Glynnis Carr: Often downcast, but at times happy in that deceptively brittle way that signifies that you're trying, but there is still a lot of healing to go

Brief description of how the superheroine gets her powers: In an attempt to rebel during her college days Glynnis dabbled in mysticism and the occult. It was meant to be harmless fun, but the rituals she was following became increasingly extreme and depraved. Something was listening - luckily not the dark and twisted gods she thought she was praying to - and granted her powers with no further explanation or instructions about what to do with them. Out of a guilty conscience about the rites she had conducted and a hope to expunge these acts from her soul’s record, Gylnnis works for good.... though not always in a way that is acceptable in the eyes of the law.

Powers: She can become insubstantial and two dimensional, allowing her to pass through objects and avoid physical injury. She can possess and control shadows. She can teleport by leaping from shadow to shadow. For short periods of time, She can be in multiple places at once if what she is targeting has more than one shadow.

Anything else important: Bright lights are not her kryptonite. Often they cast larger, darker shadows and so that plays into her hands.  Her weapons are a garrote, cosh and kris - the knife is yet another reminder to herself of her old ways. She is the type of vigilante that leaves corpses, not criminals caught red-handed.

A night on the town

The alley was dark but not deserted. A late night reveller was trying to spell his name on the side of the dumpster, copiously splashing urine in loops as he raced through the final letters. A door banged open, causing him to piss on his shoes.
“What the FUCK are you...” he snarled to the empty alley, “...goddamned wind...”
Zipping up, he continues on his way, trying to peer through the doorway as he draws opposite. There is just enough time for him to blink owlishly before the impact. A shower of his blood coats the wall behind him. When finished, the hulking figure pauses long enough to pick up one of the larger chunks in chitinous claws before stuffing the gobbet into its mandibles. Turning, it slams the door shut once again.

Glynnis was glad she’d finally given that friend of a friend’s friend the slip. As if buying a few drinks for her could make up for the appalling and unending self-indulgent commentary. It was times like these that she was glad she could walk through walls. The park wasn’t really on her way home, but she always made a point of walking through it at night. Slowly, thanks to her actions, it was being reclaimed by couples and families - though not at this hour. When she heard footsteps and mocking laughter behind her Glynnis was surprised and a little disappointed. Her relaxed pace continued, until she was surrounded.
“It ain’t safe, walking alone here at night,” leered one of the thugs, eyeing her up and down.
Glynnis nodded, then winked into his shadow, engulfed by her outfit of greys and blacks, kris appearing in her hand.
“Yes, you’re right,” she whispered into his ear, her smile hidden beneath her mask. Slowly, she slid the blade along his throat.

The morning news made no mention of her escapades in the park, but she was sure the message was received loud and clear in certain circles. The television was full of the usual fluff pieces about celebrities and grumbling about the economy.When they recapped the morning headlines -  a lurid dismemberment, fuzzily caught in a security camera - Glynnis froze in mid bite, her toast forgotten. Those pincers... the spines... it couldn’t be, could it? She had burned all the books and smashed the figurine! It seemed Glynnis wasn’t the only acolyte who dabbled successfully in in the dark arts. But unlike her the other had embraced the monstrosity.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Change of plans!

Well, that ended up being a far more unproductive hiatus than I expected. I had plans of scaling back flash fiction entries to ramp up working on my novel, but that didn't really eventuate. As with previous book writing attempts, I lost impetus, and then started forgetting things (like the name of the big baddie and other important elements). Though I think I worked out what the problem was - all my attempts at longer pieces have taken themselves far too seriously. A corollary of this is they've often been far too sweepingly grand and epic in scope and scale, so I've ended up overwhelming myself. Instead of trying for a tome that you could use to bludgeon a burglar to death, I have decided I'm better off with a lighter, more comedic and thinner first attempt. So I think I'm about to declare it a wash out (for now), and start something more true to my normal style of writing. I guess in theory I could try plugging along, but I'm thinking it'd be better to shelve it instead. I do like the laid back 350-a-day pace - even though there have been days (or perhaps that should be weeks) where not a skerrick has got done so I will probably stick with that.