Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Been busy...


I've been busy. I have submitted a few stories to paying sites (this one is not, lol) and have been working a little on my novels. (I go back and forth on those, it's slow).

I haven't had a lot of time to devote to writing, believe me - I wish I did. I would love nothing more than to be one of those people who could write full-time. I will have Oasis: Part Five posted soon enough! Promise!

Another thing is it's HOT here. I hate that.

Here is an unfinished story I was writing a long time ago. I only wrote two parts although my outline called for 10. It started off very lightly and would get darker and darker as it went on. In the final chapter I was going to have the main character involved in a real war and losing her powers.

The unfinished and abandoned story....

Force Girl

Part One

“Mom!” the girl in the passenger side of the sedan yelled. Her mother was praying, and normally you did not bother mother when she prayed but Tara was scared. They were blocked in by cars on both sides and behind them as far as they could see was a sea of vehicles trapped and all jammed together. In front of them was a crashed car with an engine fire, the driver was unconscious but not far away was a tractor trailer fuel tanker, it blocked the whole side of the highway.

The accident had happened during rush hour and the traffic jam probably went back for miles. The leaking gasoline from the tankers trailer was moving towards the car. Tara wanted out, all mom was doing was praying. Her mom had frozen like a deer in headlights.

Tara was scared to death, her heart was beating so hard and fast it seemed to want to pop out like an alien escaping. Then all of a sudden there was silence, then while she could still see the tanker through the windshield and her mom next to her there was no sound.

Then there were symbols and numbers moving across her field of vision no matter where she was looking. She felt different. What was happening.

Initializing... loading... then a lot of stuff she couldn't understand, just a jumble of words and numbers but she understood, sort of. She looked at her fingertips, this is where her power was located. The thing in her brain was letting her know that her forcefield generators were active. Her fingertips. She could see in her mind what she had to do. What she could do.

Tara climbed into the backseat and looked for a way to... disguise herself. All she saw was her little brothers football helmet and uniform and it kind of stank. It needed to be washed but he had left it in the car. Just this time, that was a good thing.

She donned the pads, jersey and helmet and unrolled the window, which her mother had told her not to do. As if keeping the windows closed was going to save them when 4,000 gallons of gasoline went up in an inferno.

Her mom called out her name, told her to get back into the car.

“Mom! Trust me! I know what to do!” she answered climbing from the rear passenger window to the top of the car and then to the hood. Standing on the hood she held out her hands and hoped this wasn't all just her imagination. Maybe the situation had made her crazy.

She held out her hand at the tanker trailer where gasoline was spilling from a gash and imagined it being pinched closed and willed her newfound power to make it happen. It worked, gasoline was no longer pouring across the concrete surface of the highway. She also knew emergency vehicles were far behind them through the traffic jam although she bet more were on the way from the other direction.

But she could use her power to carry the crashed car and its injured passenger to the emergency vehicles, she somehow knew that she could also fly. She had no way to explain this except that it felt like a program had been loaded in her brain and it just worked. Only she could see the forcefield bubbles that formed around the vehicle and herself, but they were very real.

There she was in her ridiculous costume in the air, in front of her and a dozen feet away was the car, flying over the hundreds of trapped cars below. She could hear people yelling and see them pointing to her, some held phones. Her identity safe because of her little brothers stupid white helmet with the peeling lighting bolt sticker on it.

Finally she sat the vehicle on the ground, paramedics and firefighters got out of their vehicles and rushed to the man, they called for the jaws of life. She told them to “stand back” and they did, then she used her powers to pinch off the crumpled door to expose the man being trapped because the steering column had been pushed into him.

The paramedics brought a stretcher and stood nearby and then she used her power again to push the steering column away from the man by several inches. He was free. He was on the wheeled stretcher, a gurney, and being wheeled toward where an air ambulance was hovering but lowering.

A cop walked up to her from the crowd of amazed onlookers and asked “What's your name?”

She couldn't think of what to say, not her real name for sure. “Force Girl” she answered and formed a bubble around herself and lifted off the ground, moving back towards mom. Instead she moved off to the side into some tall weeds and took off the football gear before rushing back to the car. Workers had arrived and started directing traffic, just one lane over the highway shoulder but it was a start.

“What happened? What did … how did... how?” her mom stammered in awe, as they finally got moving again.

“I'm not sure. Suddenly I just knew I could do that. I have no idea either.” Tara answered but she knew they were in her fingertips. Tiny, microscopic forcefield generators. It wasn't natural and it definitely wasn't normal. She was also aware of one more thing.

“I'm really starving” she said

“We just ate a big meal” her mother answered

Then Tara figured it out. “It's powered by me, I need fuel. I am worn out because I need more gas.”


After eating several cheeseburgers her mother couldn't help but shake her head. “I do not see where a little, skinny girl like you is putting it”

“I flew! I have super-powers” she said after looking around to make sure no-one else could hear. “If I have enough fuel I can do it again, it is the coolest thing that ever happened to me!”

“What are we going to tell your father and brother?” her mother asked, Tara put the empty soda cup-her third refill- back down.

“We have to tell them the truth, but nobody else. Nobody else must ever know who Force Girl is”

Her mother furrowed her brow “Force Girl? Really? Like some comic book character?”

They broke the news to dad and Jeffery at dinner. The TV was still re-airing the camera footage with fuzzy close-ups.

“My football uniform is famous” Jeffery said

“You can't tell anyone anything” his mother told him

“I know” he said quietly.

Dad had been quiet. “I guess we have to tell Tara the truth too, honey”

“Yes, I suppose”

Tara was still eating but stopped for this.

“You are adopted, as you suspected” he told her, she wasn't surprised. They were all blond and she wasn't. “You were found in the parking lot of a science lab that had exploded into flames. You had metal fragments in your fingertips and one tiny one in your brain. The doctors said they were better just left alone, since they didn't seem to hurt or cause problems.”

They were all silent a moment.

“I was a science experiment?” she asked looking at her hands again.

They hadn't known that until now.

“The best thing to do is lie low and not use your powers for a while” he told her “My company has tools, I will make you a real super-suit if you behave”

She was definitely interested in that. “Okay, I won't use my powers unless it is absolutely necessary”

“Good girl” he told her.


The next day she walked to school with Audrey, like always. Audrey was a bit nerdy with the glasses and everything but she was nice.

“I can't believe this Force Girl thing” Audrey said, Tara had hoped to avoid the subject but it seemed to be the biggest story on Earth at the time. “How cool is that? A real super-hero and it's a girl”.

“Yes. I saw it on TV too” Tara said.

Audrey was gushing though. “I'm going to start a fan club. I mean this was her first appearance and it was here in our city of all places. We definitely need a real fan club based here.”
“Right” Tara said, knowing that Audrey would make sure they were all in this club together. Sure enough Tom and Roberto were joining up too. Just great.


A few days later her father brought her to the garage. There he opened a box and pulled out a white and gold and blue uniform. It had a little skirt at the mid-section, just in case she was confused for another super hero, she thought sarcastically.

“This is made from a new micro-filament fabric. It is fireproof, waterproof and can control your body temperature to keep you from freezing or burning up.”

She was very impressed. “That is amazing. That means I can fly really high”

Her dad gave her a stern look. She added “I'll be very very careful, I promise not hit an airplane... or satellite”

“Tara!”

“Just kidding about the satellite” she told him.

Then he pulled out a helmet. “This has night-vision, infra-red, it can zoom in, has built in range finder for whatever object you are looking at, speed and altitude indicator and you can even record what you see and send it back to my computer. We can communicate real-time using cellular systems or wi-fi connections”

“Dad” she said taking it into her hands, it didn't feel too heavy “That is amazing, how did you do this?”

He smiled “My company is a defense contractor, we get some amazing stuff”

She was a bit overwhelmed. “I have to learn use this stuff”

“Tomorrow is Saturday” he told her “we can do some testing tonight and tomorrow night”

She felt tears of gratitude. “Thanks, dad, you are so cool”

“I know” he said.


She found that switching between the heads-up display on the helmet with her eyes almost as easy as using the forcefield bubble to fly. She knew to spread the forcefield going down onto as wide an area as possible, not only straight down. This gave her more speed and maneuverability and a few nights of flying in the dark gave her confidence she could this.

The built-in GPS and mapping system in the helmet let her know where she was and what was around her. Then on Sunday she took off just after dark for a couple hours of flying before bedtime. She picked up a distress call, an airliner had completely lost power and was losing altitude quickly.

She flew as fast as she could and was able to find the plane falling toward the ground and put a forcefield bubble around it. She guided the plane toward the airport, following instructions from the tower to the confused pilot. The radar operators thought that control had returned but the pilot didn't know what they were talking about.

Emergency vehicles followed the aircraft as it sat onto the tarmac without rolling. Cameras caught Force Girl looking at the plane as emergency slides erupted from the doors and people started getting out. After seeing this, she flew home. Hungry again.

“Did you see that video of Force Girl saving the plane last night?” Audrey said as they walked to school the next morning “They were showing it live and everything”

“That really was awesome” Tom said “I guess that means it wasn't just one time, she really is here to stay”

“Ohmygawd” Audrey said “Our fan club signed up a thousand members last night after that happened”

“My dad's aunt was on that plane” Roberto said, he hadn't said a word before. “It's like a miracle”

“She had a new costume” Tom said “None of the channels got a clear look at it though”

“Since she's local, I wonder if there is a chance she will find the fan club?” Audrey wondered out loud “wouldn't it be cool if she contacted us? Gave us an exclusive or something?”

Tara agreed, that would definitely be cool.




Part Two

 ...
Mom worries a lot. Even though the forcefield is amazing and protective when I am inside of its bubble she is worried. I don't even thinking crashing into a mountain would hurt me when I am protected by my forcefield.

It has gotten stronger but I also have better control if it. I can make it do some weird things, I can make boulders dance in the air like a ballet.

...

Audrey was now the coolest girl on Earth, officially. Everyone in town and maybe the planet was talking about how this girl received a letter from Force Girl. Delivered in person, in public. It was a simple statement of principle and she answered a few questions the fan-club had posted. Oh, and she gave them the status of being her official fan-club.

Tara still kicked herself over it. “Why, oh why did I do something like that?”

Meanwhile Audrey was being interviewed by television channels from around the world and saying she would post messages from Force Girl on her website when she got them. Tara figured that it was important to “be in touch” with the world. Force Girl would not be Batman, and this would allow her to deflect attention from her real identity. After all, Force Girl now officially likes raspberries, coffee cakes and lime sherbet. Blech.

“So, she definitely is not me” Tara could say believably.

Audrey, the nerd, was now popular in school. Tara, Audrey, Roberto and Tom were laughing about this a lot. The “cool girls” now treated her like one of them sometimes, instead of turning up their noses at her when they went by. The fame would wear off, probably rather quickly, but it was still funny.

Tara was doing some research online during social studies class when she saw the headlines about two children missing in the Grand Canyon. Apparently the girl, who was about 5, had dropped her Coping Connie doll from the viewing platform during the day, and sneaked out from the RV park to retrieve it. Her brother, 6, went with her.

That was sometime last night. These kids had been missing for close to 12 hours already. She wanted to get home, get changed and go look for those kids. Meanwhile she pored over online maps and learned as much as she could about the Grand Canyon. You never know, this might be material for a school project someday.

She told the others she would be getting picked up, so she would not be walking with them. What she really did was to fly home, risky but she decided it was worth it. Tara did not know exactly how fast she could get to the Grand Canyon but it didn't look far on maps. She updated the map tool on the helmet her father made while she changed into the uniform of Force Girl.

Her family had other ideas. It was supposed to be a “family day”, something they had planned for weeks. Well, talked about for weeks at any rate. Catch an early movie and have dinner together at a restaurant, a real one that would not have ketchup packets. Her parents would not like it if she took off and missed this.

They had been very clear on stuff like this. “There are billions of people on this planet. You cannot save them all, that would be impossible. You must let yourself come first sometimes.”

Alright. She packed her uniform and helmet in the trunk of the car. Movie and dinner went agonizingly slow. Afterwards though, she had her father open the trunk in the restaurant parking lot and told them she would be home a bit late.

Breaking the sound barrier was something she had done before but it still startled her a little bit every time. She was using the night-vision on the helmet and its GPS to find the canyon. Not too far from the RV Park she went down to see what she could do.

Tara was a bit put off by the size and complexity of the Grand Canyon. It would take forever to search by foot, and you would be able to miss two kids very easily from a helicopter or airplane. But if you have a forcefield bubble you can fly five feet off the ground at whatever speed you like. She didn't know exactly what she was looking for, but she would know when sees it.

The temperature had fallen pretty low. The desert ground does not retain heat because there was not enough moisture. Tara, though, was perfectly comfortable because of the special uniform her father had made for her. When she thought about it, she'd be mostly useless without the tools her father had given her.

Suddenly she realized she hadn't touched her math and geography homework. Sometimes being a superhero was a pain. There was no way tell she was going to tell the teachers “Sorry, I was too busy looking for missing kids in the Grand Canyon”.

There were mountain lions and coyotes in the canyon. She hoped the kids hadn't run across any of those. She adjusted her night-vision and soon had a mixture of night-vision and infra-red being shown to her. Maybe this is how an alien would see, she thought to herself.

After about two hours she was appreciating just how large the Grand Canyon was, if she couldn't fly she'd probably be lost for good. Her helmet told her it would be dropping towards freezing soon, although it wouldn't reach it. It was still far too cold for a couple of small children, tired and probably very thirsty and hungry.

Tara was also feeling hungry. This was the longest she had used her powers at one time. She knew her energy level was draining. This could go really wrong, she was starting to think. Then something caught her attention. Some small cave opening, one of many she had seen, was showing an elevated temperature.

She floated toward it. Hopefully it wasn't just an animal den.

Inside were two small children hanging on to each other. She pulled them out with a forcefield and then pulled them into her own bubble. Then she flew toward the RV Park, which was also the center of the rescue efforts.

As soon as she landed people were running from all directions. Flashlight, cameras, and then a sobbing woman embraced the children. A groggy looking reporter and camera man wanted to ask her questions, the mother was thanking her. All Tara wanted to do was get out of there and find something to eat.

She flew away from the Grand Canyon but had to set down near the Arizona-California border in a place called Needles. There she found most of the places closed but a couple of fast food joints were still running their drive through. There were no other customers at the McBurger so she flew through the drive through, counting the emergency money the super suit had included.

“I'll take 6 bacon cheeseburgers and a large chocolate shake, please” she ordered.

The girl who opened the little window was pretty surprised to see Force Girl floating on the other side, holding out the money. The girl took a picture with her phone before handing out the food, and Tara wondered how many people on the internet would see it before she even got home.

Tara's bedroom was upstairs and it had a tiny balcony. This is where she landed, the balcony door was unlocked. So tired, she took off the helmet and fell into the bed. In an hour she was still hungry and went downstairs to get some food.

“Mom!” she said, surprised to see her mother still up.

“Do you know how worried we get?” she asked “That helmet can be used to send us a message you know”

Tara had forgotten to stay in touch. It was one of the rules that came with the suit and helmet and she had broken it. “I'm sorry mom. I should have been in contact the whole time.” Not just when I run out of energy in the desert with hungry mountain lions running around.

“I should ground you” she said “Maybe if we don't let you play super hero for a few days, you will follow the rules and do your homework”

Tara had also totally forgotten about the homework. In the end she stayed up most of the night finishing them and barely had any sleep when Audrey was at the door.

“You look beat” her friend told her, and added hopefully “Studying late?”

“Finishing my homework, I had forgotten about it” Tara said, and it was true as far as it went.

“Did you see the news? Force Girl rescued those lost kids last night!” she said excitedly “I know she can't save everyone, but I was hoping she would show up for that one and she did”

“Cool. I'm really glad too” Tara said with an absent-minded. She was dreading falling asleep in class.
….........

After napping through social studies and science classes, she felt more normal. It was on the way home she started getting a weird feeling. She pulled a candy bar from a pocket and took a big bite just in case her energy level was low again.

“Did you see the news?” Roberto asked them, looking at his phone “There was a bank robbery but the bad guys are holed up with hostages!”

“When did that happen?” Tom asked

“Before noon” came the answer. Then as he passed around the phone, Tara was already dreading it but there was a picture of the bank from the air. That's the bank mom was going to, today.

“Oh no” Tara said “My mom might be in there”

“We have to go” Audrey said “We can't just go home now”

…......


By the time they arrived the whole area was blocked off. The police were everywhere. They got close enough to overhear a reporter telling the camera “This was a brazen armed robbery, and even though negotiations continue, these guys are seemingly ready to fight a real war.”

She could see right through the dark glass on the bank and even from that distance, she knew her mom well and she was sitting on the floor with other hostages.

Tara slipped away from her friends and ran into a nearby alley and took flight all the way home to put on her costume. Doing that in broad daylight was a risk but she didn't want to waste time with anything else.

She arrived and landed between the police and the bank itself. She could hear the crowd chatter pick up with her arrival. She walked toward the bank where a floor ceiling glass panel had been destroyed and walked right on in. The gunmen were shocked for a moment and she used this time to secretly throw a shield between the bad guys and the hostages lined up on the floor against one wall.

“My name is Force Girl.” Tara said, of course they already knew this. “You might as well throw the weapons down and surrender to the police outside.”

One of the gunmen, she noted there were three of them, pointed his weapon at the hostages and walked toward them. He stopped just before the end of his gun touched the invisible shield. He would probably be hit by his own ricochet if he fired, the idiot.

“No! We came here for the money and we ain't leaving without it!” the arab man said, meanwhile his African-American and Hispanic partners were backing off and looking doubtful. Then he turned and aimed his gun at his partners. “What are you two doing? Get the money!”

Tara did not want to drop the shield protecting her mother and the other hostages nor the one she used to protect herself. There was no way she could throw up another shield to protect the other two bank robbers. She was also starting to feel a little tired, using her powers burned a massive number of calories, after all. She had to think of something.

So she moved the shield protecting the hostages toward the gunman who was now aiming his weapon at Tara. She knew her shield was strong enough to stop a bullet, so it didn't bother her. Without the man knowing it, she had wrapped the shield all the way around him. The two accomplices looked like they wanted to get out of there, so she gave them the opportunity.

“You two!” she said “Get out of here! Now!”

Then man yelled “Don't listen to her! I'll shoot you guys too!”

He turned but his hand could no longer be extended, she tightened the shield and the man looked very alarmed. Now his arm was against his chest and the gun was aimed at his chin.“What's going on?”

The accomplices scrammed, running straight into the arms of the waiting police.

“Give it up!” Tara told him “Drop the gun already!”

She looked at her mother and the other hostages. “You guys are safe now, you can go!”

The line of hostages, a few elderly, rushed to stand up and get out of there. Tara walked up to the man who was still struggling in the shield.

“I can tighten it enough to squash you like a bug. You'd be nothing but liquid.” She told him, not knowing if that was technically true. Maybe if she had eaten recently and wasn't tired.

“I give up!” he said and sagged inside of the shield. He dropped the gun, she opened a hole barely big enough to leave it on the floor. Tara left him in the bubble shield and lifted him up and carried him outside in front of the bank where she put him down into the hands of several police officers.

The crowd cheered and she waved before flying home as quick as she could. She dressed back in the same clothes she had on before and rushed to the bank.

“Where were you? You missed everything! Your mom is okay!”

“I was over there!” Tara said pointing across the parking lot. “Better view of my mom!”

They bought the story, it was a relief. When she got him her mother and father were home and they embraced her tightly.

“I am so hungry!” she told them.

-------------

I might never actually write the rest of it. It's not really the kind of story I usually write, more spacey science fiction. I always appreciate anyone who buys my ebook (sidebar), although it doesn't sell much. If $2.99 seems too much, you can make a smaller contribution through the donate button on the sidebar.

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