With Great Pizza… (short fiction)

Super Janine


The thing nobody mentions during superhero orientation is that having superhuman strength is the equivalent of owning a pickup truck. All your friends are going to ask you to help them move.

I hefted the sofa over my head.

“Be careful with that, Janine,” said Henry.

“I’ve got it,” I replied.

“You said that about my coffee table, and now it has a nick in it where you banged against the wall.”

“You’re clairvoyant,” I said. “You should’ve seen it coming.”

Henry paused wrapping dinnerware in newspaper. “Not funny. Do you have any idea how hard it is to ignore the thousands of possible futures I see at any moment and focus on the most important and probable?”
I’d heard this speech before and walked away. He kept talking. His voice faded away.

I carried the couch down the three flights of stairs to the moving truck, placing his precious Ikea couch down gently among the boxes.

Eugene, sipping an iced tea, sat in a folding chair beside the truck. “Good job.”

“You could help,” I said.

“I am helping.” He pointed to the clear blue sky. “I’m keeping the rain away. You’re welcome.”

“I didn’t think it was going to rain today.”

“Well, now it definitely won’t.”

I was in good shape. It came as part of the superhero lifestyle. But a day trudging up and down stairs was beginning to take its toll on my knees.

“We’ll have to hurry up,” said Henry. “If we don’t get out of here by three we’re going to stuck in some hellacious gridlock.”

“That, you see.”

“No, I just know traffic in this city.”

I grabbed his refrigerator. “I still don’t know why we couldn’t wait for the weekend.”

“Professor Hubris is going to unleash an army of cyborg zombies on Saturday,” said Henry.

“What about Sunday?”

“I have yoga class.”

I carried my load downstairs and loaded the fridge in the truck while Frank made sure the rain stayed away and watched me with a smile. Never did like that guy.

An alien materialized in a flash, landing in several boxes of Henry’s stuff stacked by the street. Mostly clothes. Although I heard something fragile break.

“Whoops,” said Dementra, Warrior Queen of Galadron.

“Oh, goddamnit,” called Henry from the third story window. “Did you come millions of light years just to step on my collectible plates?”

Dementra shrugged. “It was an accident.”

Henry grumbled, retreating inside.

“Bet he didn’t see that coming,” said Frank.

“I’d like to see him teleport across the galaxy and see how well he hits his mark,” said Dementra.

“Forget it,” I said. “Just glad you could make it.”

She telekinetically hoisted a few boxes and floated them into the truck. “I’ll admit I don’t understand this ritual of moving day. On Galadron, we burn everything when we relocate.”

She threw a bundle of loose clothes into the truck, and I pushed an entertainment center in front of it.

“Oh put it in a box, you lazy assholes!” called Henry from above.

“All you need to know is that at the end of the day, we get pizza and beer,” I said.

Dementra nodded. “That is something I can get behind.”

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One Comment

  1. L. K. Johnson
    Posted May 17, 2015 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Ok, this has joined Heinlein’s “”Double Star” and Niven’s “Not Long Before The End” as one of my favorite story openings.

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