Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lady of Shadows - Creating a Female Superhero Challenge #CAFSC

This is another female superhero story by me for the Creating a Female Superhero Challenge and anthology. (Did I mention you can write more than one?) Obviously, I am not eligible for the prizes, but I am having so much fiun reading the stories that I was inspired to share another one. This one is actually a snippet from a much longer novel I started writing about two years ago. I've altered it for the purposes of this challenge for two reasons. One: The attack on her is more violent than what is in this version, and I didn't want it to be too graphic for the purposes of this anthology. (Normally, I hate for my women to be victims at all, but in this case, she overcomes her attackers before they succeed in truly victimizing her.) Two: I needed to make it shorter. This particular scene was several hundred words over 1,000, originally. (Hopefully, I didn't make errors while cutting away at it.)

Name of female superhero: Lady of Shadows

Name of human alter ego, if different: Caryn (surname to be added later)

Superhero Appearance (hair, eyes, body type, etc.): Her hair and eyes look black, everything else looks mostly the same

Human alter ego appearance (if she has an alter ego): in her 20s, petite, her body is only slightly on the soft side, her hair is light brown and her eyes are dark brown, she's pretty in an average sort of way, rarely wears make-up. When not working, prefers to wear jeans and t-shirts.

Costume: She cloaks her hair and eyes in shadow to make them appear black, and she wears a mask over her eyes that is made of shadows. She wears all black.

Personality: feisty, intelligent, hard-working, soft-hearted, witty

Brief description of how the superheroine gets her powers (i.e. born with them, radioactive accident, mad scientist experiments on her, etc.):  Her mother was born with magical abilities and she is one of many children who are all starting to show evidence of specific magical abilities. she doesn't even know she has any abilities until she comes under attack for the first time and then her abilities rapidly begin to manifest.

Powers: She has the power to control shadows and make them solidify. She can even create a shadow person, but that comes back to haunt her later. She can also hide herself by cloaking herself in shadows.

Anything else important: The more she uses her powers of shadow-wielding, the more the power calls to her and she has to fight darker urges that begin to manifest. she is basically a good person, but her ability starts to change her until she learns how to control it better.

picture found on Pinterest here

Lady of Shadows

          The parking lot was mostly empty when Caryn walked to her car. The store had closed over an hour ago, but she had been catching up on some paperwork and it had taken her longer than she had planned. She reached her car and put her key in the lock.

          “Well, hello there, Gorgeous,” a deep voice called from behind her.

          Caryn whirled around and found three men standing a few feet away.  “What’s a sexy thing like you doing out here all alone?” asked the man in the middle. He was dressed in black jeans and a black leather jacket. He had dark hair and he was well muscled. She judged him to be around 6 feet tall, maybe a couple of inches taller than that. The two guys behind him were of a similar build.

          Caryn straightened her shoulders and stood taller. She wasn’t going to let these jerks see that she was afraid. “I’m not doing anything out here other than heading home.”

          “Aw, that’s too bad. I was hoping for some company tonight,” the middle guy took a step closer to her. “Are you sure you can’t stay?”

          When she noticed him taking another step closer to her, a step that brought her within reach of his arms, she tried to think of what to do. Her back was against her car. She spun around and twisted the key in the lock, hoping to open the door and jump in before he reached her.   She felt arms grab her from behind and spin her around. She was pushed up against her car, her back hitting it so forcefully that she knew it would be bruised tomorrow.

          “Now that wasn’t very friendly,” the middle guy said. “I just want us to be friends,” His tone of voice made it clear that he had no intentions of just being “friends.”  “You know you want to be nice to Jake, don’t you?” the middle man threatened, “You want to be real nice, because otherwise, you might get hurt, and you don’t want that, do you?”

          “Oh, I can be really nice, if you ask me the right way,” she purred at him, hoping to convince him of her sudden interest.

          “Now that’s more like it,” Jake smiled and loosened his hold on her a little. It was all she needed. Caryn shoved at him with both hands, throwing all of her weight behind the shove. Her push only got a few inches between them, but it was enough for her to slam her knee up into his groin. She thought she heard a popping sound, but she didn’t care. Jake fell to the ground in pain, and, realizing she didn’t have time to open her car door and jump in, she turned to run but instead found another pair of vice-like arms pinning her own arms to her side. She was pulled up against the broad chest of one of the two others. He frowned down at her and said, “That really wasn’t very nice.”

           “It’s okay, Vince,” the other thug said. “It just means we will get our go at her first while Jake recovers.”

          Vince grinned maliciously at her and let go of her long enough to swing his fist, slamming it against the side of her face. Her head was flung back and pain exploded behind her eyes. “That’s for hurting Jake,” he spat at her.

          Cal locked his arms around her to keep her from running away.

           Caryn was starting to really panic now. Up until this moment, she had still had some small hope that she could find a way out of this, but she was well and truly trapped now. The image of what was about to happen to her threw her into a panic induced rage and she found herself reaching outward with what small movement her hands were allowed.

           If she weren’t so mindlessly angry and panicked she might have been surprised when a tendril from a nearby shadow enveloped her hand and solidified. Instead, all of her thoughts turned to using this to her advantage. She willed the shadow to thrust out from her and wrap itself around Vince’s eyes, blinding him. His hands immediately reached up and felt at his own eyes.

          “What is this?  Get it off me? I can’t see!”

           Cal looked over in surprise as Vince backed away from Caryn. Caryn willed another tendril of shadow to come to her and thought it into the shape of a knife. Cal loosened his grip on her, about to get up to help his brother and she immediately plunged the shadow- knife into his stomach and twisted. A surprised look came over his face, and he dropped to the ground, moaning in pain.

          Caryn jumped up and ran for her car, which was only a few steps away. Just as she reached it, she felt another hand on her shoulder and heard Jake’s voice, “You are going to pay for hurting me, witch!”

           Caryn was still feeling that mindless, scared rage. The fear fed her rage and the rage seemed to help her do this impossible stuff with the shadows. She called another shadow to her and let it become solid and heavy, wrapping around her fist. She spun around and swung her fist at Jake’s face at the same time. Her punch took him by surprise and hit the side of his face with a crunching sound. Had she broken his jaw? Caryn didn’t care. He fell to the ground unconscious, and she opened her car door, slipped behind the wheel and drove straight to the police station.

This wasn’t going to be easy to explain to the police.

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Tonja Drecker said...

That's an intriguing super power. It was easy to see the scene, and the shadows. . .*shivers* Great! I'd definitely read more :)

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this! I love the super power of using the shadows and you've explored it very well with very vivid description. I would love to be there when she does try to explain! xx

Lisa Shambrook said...

That's an original power, and I'm rather partial to hiding in the shadows, so I'd quite like that one! Will make for a great story!