Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An 'Mazing Girl Christmas

It was very rainy that day.


I mean really rainy.


Los Angeles isn’t a city that one associates with rain, but a couple times a year it comes down quite a bit. Gallons upon gallons of water, deluges that the streets of the city aren’t really designed to deal with. It came down in big buckets of water filling the trees, yes...with needed life, but the people with a sense of misery.


And it was Christmas.


Sarah Jennings was sitting in her condo in El Segundo, feeling a little sad and lonely. She had eggnog and whiskey for company, and whole cable channels dedicating themselves to holiday favourites, but still...


Sarah’s parents, and most of her family, were in Tallahassee Florida, which as has been observed is quite a ways from Los Angeles. She had thought about flying there...but for some reason this year she hadn't. She hadn't gone home for thanksgiving either. Did she have problems with something in a trip in summer? She didn't quite remember. In talks on the phone her family had so far been very cordial. Everyone was cordial.


But...well, here she was.


Now, one may think with her incredible super powers it would be easy, like Clark Kent, to fly there. She wasn't quite that super. Once, when she was in college and just starting the ‘Mazing Girl business, she had headed out to see how far she could go. She got to El Paso, Texas, in a day. It wasn't a very fun day though. Sure there was pleasant scenery, but she did get tired a little bit, and it was foggy, and the desert was hot. Overall it wasn't a great day. It was maybe a little further then a car could go. She got a Greyhound bus home. Not a spur of the moment thing.


So here she was. Not exactly miserable, but not having a great day.


Los Angeles (particularly the entertainment industry) has no shortage of people who come from other places and are thus alone on the holidays. She had been to several parties like that in the last couple of days, when her show went on hiatus. Most of them were that: Parties. Parties where people went to hook up and drink, and do things that 20 year olds due at parties. The one last night at least served what looked to be a Christmas dinner...however it wasn't quite the same. Sarah’s mother was a big believer in fat and drippings, and that was hard to get here.


She didn't really want a party. She wanted her mom her dad, her two cousins and her uncle who lived a mile away from them. She missed them, missed them dearly. She wanted a big tree and presents. She didn't want snow precisely, as she didn't get snow in Florida either. She just wanted.


She sighed and shook her head. She put the whiskey bottle down and got up. She pulled off her holiday sweater revealing her bra, and stretched the powerful muscles of her arms.


Time to be 'Mazing. She went to her dresser and changed into ‘Mazing Girl and jumped out the window.


***


She regretted it only minutes latter. Flying, or more accurately: jumping really God-damm far, wasn't very fun in the rain. Lots of rain interfered with her ability to judge distances. And land. She was usually pretty good at this, coming down on her feet and not hurting anything...now as she hit houses or buildings and jumped through the sky she was finding it increasingly hard to stick her landings. It would have been slightly embarrassing, but no-one was out and about to notice.


Not much crime either. That was a good thing about rain in LA. Criminals had better sense. And, well, maybe just a little bit of Christmas spirit.


But there were traffic accidents, though. A large one on the 405. She landed and helped a truck driver get out of his rig, relatively unscathed...though he waited for an ambulance on the ground. She was able to stand underneath the side of his truck for a while, which was good.


It wasn't a great day, but she was helping a bit and she didn't regret it. Perhaps.


Here she was. The most powerful ‘Mazing Girl in the city...and, well that really didn't matter did it. She was no better or no worse then anyone else, just someone with a gift to give to the world and she should give it.


She paused on the street. A guy had a flat tire.


‘Mazing walked to the car and tapped on the glass.


The guy turned. "Hey! Wow...you’re...”


"Yeah, yeah," she said.


"Tires flat, and... Well, I don't really know how to change it...”


"Let me help."


She went to the back of the car and lifted it up a bit. "Definitely flat. Go in the back, there should be a tire there.”


"You can just..?"


"It will be quicker."


Sarah reached over and turned the lug nuts with her fingers one by one. She then pulled the bad tire off.


"Looks like a nail. Kind of old though you should think about getting 4 new ones."




And put the spare on.


"Go to a gas station reinflate it if you’re not doing this immediately - getting it repaired."


‘Mazing tightened the lug nuts and was finished.


"Wow! Thank you.”


"Merry Christmas," said Sarah, smiling.


"Hey," the guy said, "I am going to something at my church."


"Not interested in a sermon" said Sarah. She had thought about that actually but decided against it.


"No, we’re doing a food event to help homeless people."


Sarah shook her head; normally. Well...




She had thought it would be depressing but it turned out surprisingly lively. About 200 guys crowded into a basement eating what resembled, on a budget, a traditional Christmas dinner. She worked a potato station most of the night.


A dirty secret of the superhero game, that had been harder to adjust to then anything, was the costume. Namely: she looked silly in it. She had found that when flying or lifting tanks or just doing general super stuff she looked fine in it – even stunning. However walking around talking to people, doing non-hero stuff, this was less true. Standing behind a counter getting a little potato on her ‘Mazing symbol for example. Pretty silly, yet here she was.


One could say the crowd was depressing, but not really. She had spent a lot of time with the homeless in LA and had found a truth. A lot of them were quite happy jolly sorts really. They enjoyed their life. Many did not. However, the ratio probably was the same in any group. Yes, there were families who were quite poor who came, which was perhaps more depressing then the actual homeless...but even they seemed glad to be here.


The kids in particular. She loved being with kids, even if she had none of her own. A small part of her psyche wanted kids. The sadder part of her psyche realized that a child inside her superpowered uterus would probably not work out. Superpowers never really passed down a family tree, despite numerous comicbooks to contrary. Still...


Well, there were kids there. ‘Mazing gave them high-fives, and autographed things. No metal bars to bend, which was a popular one, however she did her best to make them feel special. She picked them up and twirled them in the air even, the big ones.


And, yes okay, a couple of the adults. It’s Christmas.


It was turning out to be a pretty good day.


"Thank you for saving Christmas," said the preacher.


"Well, no...I didn't save Christmas."


snd it was getting media attention.


Around 6:00, a freelance reporter for The Times came over. She didn't dislike reporters, but didn't often know what to say to them.


"I was patrolling the streets today, and decided to help out. More people should, not just with time, but with food. It’s not...um, it’s not that it’s not a merry Christmas. It’s going to be one either way. But we can make it a merrier Christmas either way."


She hoped the reporter could make that sound halfway legible and interesting. Well, it would be a Christmas miracle.


She thought afterward that it might be a good time to jump up into the sky...but well, she just went in and helped some more.


Around 8:00 she actually had dinner...and found it rather delightful. The ham they where serving was very flavoursome for ham, if obviously mass produced. Maybe that was the problem with living in LA, that good local organic food isn't always actually good. Still, she enjoyed it.


And with a full house and everyone singing Christmas carols, she quietly left the room and looked out onto the night sky.


The rain had stoped, the clouds were going away, and she watched the stars. The streets were wet but pretty.


She felt kind of alone, despite what had just happened. In the last couple of months The Flame would show up at moments like this and offer her cheery wisdom in her delightfully gothic way. But not tonight. No villains either...no monsters. Just her and Christmas.


She found she wanted it. She didn't aspire to the villains to fight monsters. Nothing was more wrong then to want to fight. But there was something to the connection of it, that she missed. She even missed the flames non cackling insanity. Perhaps especially


But then she heard the carols. Hark, the herald angel sings, and she looked out on to the city and realized that perhaps she wasn't alone. That everyone was here wishing for a merry Christmas to be had by all. It wasn't a moment that could last forever; it wasn't a moment that could last her completely until she got home. But it was a moment nonetheless.


And she smiled and hoped they where all having a Merry Christmas before bounding off into the night sky toward the North Star.