And Everything I Would Like to Be

At this week’s Writing Group our prompt was simply “Hero”, with this handout to help suggest ideas…

2013-02-07 18.51.23

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They called themselves, simply, Superhero.

Action Hero was the leader of the group. People called him Plastic Man, though not to his face. He had piercing blue eyes, hair the texture of a carpet and hands in a shape that couldn’t quite grasp a gun.

Romantic Hero would get off with any girl involved in a case. He could charm a damsel out of her dress quicker than you could say “damsel in distress”. There was more to him than mere testosterone, however, he could also bring down a villain from a hundred yards with a well-aimed box of Cadbury’s Roses.

Antihero was Action Hero’s auntie, and fought crime with knitting-needles, endless cups of tea and an inability to spell.

Guitar Hero had grown up watching El Kabong in Quick-Draw McGraw cartoons, and would fell bad guys by swinging his guitar, frying-pan like, into their face. This worked even if the bad guy had, say, a grenade-launcher, somehow the distance advantage that this gave villains never seemed to occur to them.

Celtic Hero could only fight crime during the week, since at the weekends he was busy playing football against Rangers or Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Byronic Hero was part bionic, part biro, which meant that while chasing criminals he could write down their licence plate number (with his finger, behave) and draw an artist’s impression for the police to distribute later. He could also pick up Radio Luxembourg on his bionic nipples. This wasn’t actually any help in fighting crime, it was just something that happened.

Tragic Hero had actually died, tragically, two years earlier, but they still regarded him as part of the gang and so they brought him on missions in a little silver urn.

Folk Hero bored villains into submission with dreary dirges about the environment, about how war is wrong, or about the fact that if he had a hammer he would hammer in the morning.

Germanic Hero would take villains into custody by placing his towel upon them.

Reluctant Hero was their voice of reason, constantly warning them not to go into that burning building, not to fight that giant gorilla, or not to leave it till two seconds to go before picking the right wire on the bomb.

Culture Hero developed bacteria that they could slip in a villain’s drink. In other words he fought crime with yogurt.

The Avengers laughed at them. The Fantastic Four laughed at them. The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen laughed at them. But they too fought crime as best they could. Superhero deserve our gratitude, and their place alongside The Thing, essentially a walking coalshed, or Captain America, whose superpower seems to be that he can hold a shield, or Wonder Woman, who simply spins herself dizzy.

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