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
‘Mazing walked to the car and tapped on
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
"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
"Wow! Thank you.”
"Merry Christmas," said Sarah,
"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
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
And, yes okay, a couple of the adults. It’s
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
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
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.
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.