Friday flash fiction – Colossal Gossip, Episode 302

“Let’s fight! Welcome to episode 302 of Colossal Gossip, exalted listeners. You’re feeling the thundering pulse of America’s premier super-city with your hosts, Benny-boy Choi and Trina “It’s All Gravy” Crockett. Trina, are you feeling fired up like a phoenix this week?”

“I’m glad to be back on mic after last week’s emergency, Benny. Thanks for taking the show out for a solo one-shot while I was in the recovery ward.”

“De nada, sis. You want to fill the listeners in on what went down?”

“You’re putting me on the spot.”

“Come on, it’s a great story.”

“It’s embarrassing! Okay, fine. Regular listeners will know I have a day job with a legal firm in Midfinger. I’m sure nobody needs me to connect the dots to last Monday’s Romita Street dustup between Vanquisher and Cybershroom – ”

“- aka the Bionic Myconid – ”

“That’s her. Quick aside, I hear she bears a near-murderous hatred for that nickname.”

“Someone who thinks Cybershroom is a good alias is in no position to criticise.”

“True. Long story short, when the fight spilled into the lobby of my building, me and fifty of my closest colleagues caught a lungful of Stun Spores.”

“Oof! Good night, nurse.”

“You know it. I fell unconscious for five straight days. I have to admit, though, it’s the best sleep I’ve had in years, even if I did miss open mic night at Uncaped.”

“Sorry you were in that fungi-induced coma, Trina. I won’t lie, you missed a terrific night. Frankenstella showed up for a standup set with an amped-up trombone and tap shoes. It demolished.”

“Heck yes it did. Wish I could have been there but I’ve already watched the footage ten times and counting. The link to the full clip is in the show notes, folks. Okay, Benny, what’s on your mind?”

“Thanks Trina. Just the usual reminder that our featured charity all this month is Rubble Rescue, which in the interest of full disclosure I will note I volunteer for. Rubble Rescue is Colossus City’s non—profit service to find and repatriate pets who become separated from their families in the aftermath of super-battles, monster attacks and supernatural disasters. They are fully donor funded and your generous contributions will go to the maintenance of patrol vans, industrial x-rays and psychic scanners, all dedicated to bringing lost animals back home and helping victims of unscheduled chaos find a little comfort in a stressful time.”

“What a great cause, and you can find them at Rubble-Rescue-dot-com. Dig deep, my friends, and help Rubble Rescue dig even deeper. Okay, time for this week’s Speedster Segment, where we light up all the burning issues. Ten questions in twenty seconds on the latest ultra-happenings in Colossus City. Are you ready for this, Benny?”

“Let me just take a breath here. Okay, yeah, count me in.”

“And three, two, one, hit it.”

“Where’s Tock Tock? Is World Cop planning to run for Simonson County Sherrif? Who is the mysterious but fabulous newcomer Ms Glitter? Is this new Tremolo-Sympath partnership strictly professional or something more? No, really, where’s Tock Tock? What’s that sound in the sky over the Sinnott Building? How many copies of DupliKate are still alive? Is DoomBringer’s new look a big mistake or the Biggest Mistake? What caused the explosions at PerniCorp’s Moebius Tower last night? And where where where is Tock Tock?”

“Wow, two seconds to spare. Great work, even if you did cheat on the number of topics.”

“What can I say? Some issues burn hotter than others. And we’ll get to each one in turn over the next hour, but I want to jump straight to the biggest question of all.”

“Look, nobody’s been a fan of DoomBringer’s War on Mendacity since the 90’s, but you have to admit that his demon-mask-and-biker-leather look was in more desperate need of an update.”

“I just think this new steampunk-murderer getup he’s trying out is a step in the wrong direction. But much as I’d love to dig into the fashion choices of the terminally outdated, what I really want to look at is this Ms Glitter story.”

“Oh. Uh, sure. I think I missed the salient details while I was out. Why don’t you, er, give the listeners your thoughts, Benny?”

“Sure. Well, we have three confirmed sightings of new hero Ms Glitter in the last ten days. A driver dragged from a sinking car after running off the Bolland Bridge. A street lamp twisted around a mugger’s ankles in Steranko Park. And nine people flown from uptown Midfinger to the emergency department of St Perez Hospital with severe allergic reactions to Stun Spores.”

“Oh, wow, well, what a coincidence.”

“I’ll say.”

“So I guess we’ve got, what, super-strength, super-speed, some maybe low-altitude-only flight powers? Sounds like the standard suite of super abilities. Nothing remarkable to get excited about.”

“Are you kidding? Every fresh face is cause for celebration. Why else are we here? Let’s talk about the costume. Head to toe, wet-look silver-glitter spandex with a full-face mask for extra anonymity. Wow, huh?”

“She probably has great reasons to protect her identity. Like, a family or a distinctive skin blemish or a secure job with great benefits -”

“Oh, no doubt. So, did any of your work colleagues happen to get any juicy details about their rescuer?”

“I didn’t think to discuss it with them. But I’m sure their life-threating respiratory seizures at the time prevented their noticing any identifying features.”

“Of course, of course. Lucky for them she was nearby, huh?”

“Pure coincidence, I expect. So, if she’s, uh, listening, welcome to Colossus City, Ms Glitter. Assuming you decide to keep using the name coined out of nowhere for you by Grace Cartilage at Ace News.”

“If she doesn’t like it, the Colossal Gossip crew would be happy to workshop some ideas.”

“I’m sure she’d be grateful.”

“Then it just remains to thank Ms Glitter for her heroic service.”

“Whomever she may be.”

“Whomever indeed, Trina.”

By now it’s probably becoming increasingly obvious that these Colossus City stories are just an excuse for me to come up with another dozen or so superhero names. At some point I am going to have to write a longer story that goes into who some of these randos are, aren’t I? If I do that, I promise to include some gratuitous punching.

In the meantime, the official hashtags for this story are #msglitter and #wherestocktock…


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