- A Serialized Novel -

This isn't a superpower. It's a curse.

Call It Technical Difficulties

I know what you’re thinking.

This isn’t funny. It’s not even kind of funny, joking about gummy bears or spandex aside. Besides, you can’t kill the superhero, so this is all dumb and pointless and drawing out the suspense, but it’s really only annoying.

Well, it could have been a television show that went to do a season finale, left a cliffhanger, and then got canceled. Those things happen. And if the cast is ensemble, they have no qualms about killing people off left and right.

Change the narrator in a first person dialogue, and you’ve changed the whole game. Suddenly that person’s not as safe as was previously believed. Can they actually die, though? After telling the story for so long, can that actually happen?

Either way, I claim technical difficulties.

Of course, Clayton and April would tell you that’s what I always say.

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“Don’t touch me, Larabee, I’m not in the mood.”

He nodded, knowing better than to try and change her mind. It wouldn’t work, not right now. They’d refused to let either of them into the building where Clayton was being held, and even though the radio still seemed to be working, they hadn’t heard anything from him in a long time. Nothing was going to make April feel better, not until she got Clayton back alive—or killed everyone in some psychotic rage that no one would have thought her capable of until then. She’d just snap, right like that, and boom! She’d take them all down and leave nothing but bodies in her wake.

Kind of awesome.

Definitely scary.

Come to think of it, the look on her face was rather scary at the moment. Larabee watched her reach into the car for the tracking device, and he frowned just before she smacked the nearest guard on the head. “Uh, April—”

“Not a word, Larabee,” she ordered, moving from their car to the fence. He followed after her, not wanting to stay and knowing that he had to try and keep her from getting herself hurt. She meant everything to Clayton, and Larabee knew that he wouldn’t want her getting hurt for his sake, no matter how bad off he was right now—and, admittedly, it sounded bad.

Really, really bad.

Burying someone with gummy bears bad. Larabee wished that he had one of his costumes right now. It would make him feel a lot better. More confident. He could do this. He really could. He believe that. He did.

Only he didn’t.

Clayton was in there, so Larabee had to suck it up and try. He looked at April. “Should I be calling you Ninety-Nine right now?”

She gave him a dark look and ran from the fence to the window, trying to look inside. She really had missed her calling as a teacher. She should have been a spy. That would have been awesome. “Hey, April, I don’t suppose you ever thought maybe you’d—I don’t know. Maybe you should have let one of the sides recruit you, maybe. Then you’d be a super spy. Unless you already were.”

“What? Clayton could only have someone love him if that someone was assigned to spy on him?” April demanded, picking up a brick and throwing it at the window, breaking the glass. She knocked the loose pieces out of the way and jumped inside.

“Hey! I can’t follow you! I won’t fit in there!”

“Technical difficulties again, Larabee?” she called back to him, and he tried to follow her progress from the window, but he lost sight of her quickly as she ducked behind some of the warehouse’s equipment and supplies. He didn’t know what this place was, but it sure looked creepy.

Larabee sighed, turning away from the window in frustration. There had to be something that he could do. Anything. He knew there would be—the radio. April had left her end back at the car when she couldn’t raise Clayton. Perfect. Larabee could use it. Even if Clayton didn’t hear him, maybe she would when she got to him.

Rushing back, Larabee picked up the radio and put the mic to his lips. “Clayton? April? Anyone here me? It’s Larabee.”


“Come on, buddy. Clayton, what if I told you I had some spandex for you and I’ll put it on you while you’re helpless and unconscious? What then?”

“Larabee,” April’s voice sounded exasperated. “No threatening him with spandex.”

Larabee let out a breath in relief. “So… You found him?”


That didn’t sound good. “It’s bad, isn’t it? How bad? Really bad?”

“Well, it’s Clayton.”

Damn. That meant that it was really bad.
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