It’s been a busy week for me, so I am blessed to have something to write so close to my heart. I will likely be writing part 6 of this next week to let me keep my focus on working on the Two Destroyers. for those interested in my progress. I might be inclined to take on another beta reader…
Anyway, Chapter 5 of my interpretation of Lloyd’s misadventures.
Beat D-5, Planning ahead
“So.” Jocelyn cleared her throat. “He says he wants a costume.”
Silence hung thick in the Hoigleheimer living room. She rolled her smart phone in her hand, waiting on the response.
“There’s too short a notice.” Matt waved his hand in front of his nose. “Straang fibers don’t grow on trees you know. I don’t even know why we’re–”
“It’s as good as done.” Joyce said, disconnecting the call. “David said he had some stocked up for spare uniforms, just in case. We just need a design, that would be the tricky part.”
“Did you say design?” An inspired grin came to Lloyd’s cheeks. “I just so happen to have an idea or thirty.”
JP and Trixie, synced to levels of a choreographed performance, raised their hands to the bridge of their nose and pressed, undoubtedly so dazzled by the possibility that sunspots had filled their vision.
In truth, Lloyd had entertained the idea of wearing a costume many times, with his distinct look and mane of glorious purple hair, his presence would need a work of art to be properly masked.
“Well, the thing is, I would need blueprints.” Dr. Jocelyn donned an apologetic smile. “David’s designs are amazing, sure, but without him being able to fly down here. I would need–”
“Hold that thought, I’ll be right back.” Lloyd raised a finger and ducked to a nearby cabinet, digging furiously.
JP let out a long groan. “Dad. Please tell me you didn’t authorize this.”
“Hmm?” Patton peeked out from the kitchen wearing a blood covered apron. “What now?”
“Blue prints. Please tell me you didn’t.”
“Yeah. I think I remember he asked for some of those. Couple weeks back.” Patton rubbed his chin, considering. “One of his more normal requests really, thought maybe he wanted to design something great. So I thought. Why not?”
“It can’t be that bad.” Trixie said, hopefully.
Patton went back to his work and the gathering tried their best to ignore the conspicuous pool of blood coming from the kitchen.
“Here it is.” Lloyd stood, holding his prize aloft. “Well, the third set of drafts. I imagine we would be somewhat short on time.”
Dr. Jocelyn watched as he set the modest pile of two hundred pages on the dining room table. Her eyes widened at his hard work, marveled at his dedication, and stammered at his–
“We don’t have time to dig through those.” She said.
“Worry not. These are only five designs. I simply wanted to be thorough in the creation.” Lloyd said, setting her at ease. “My favorite of them takes up a vast majority of the pages. Eighty-three to be exact.”
“What kind of moron has eighty pages of blue prints for some damned clothes?” Matt said, waving an angry hand at the pile.
“A thorough one.” Lloyd said, wearing an undaunted smile.
“Matt. It’s fine.” Dr. Jocelyn had picked up the first stack of papers, leafing through them. “These aren’t clothes after all, it’s a superhero costume.”
“Wait… you’re agreeing with him?” JP said, taken aback.
“Yeah.” Jocelyn held up the page. “It might look ridiculous, but he has some pretty important stuff on here. Effective means to prevent concussion, braces across the limbs, a must since he doesn’t have enhanced durability.”
“You sure ’bout that?” Trixie smirked. “I’ve seen ‘im take hits that could crumple tractor trailers.”
“It’s because he’s stubborn,” Dr. Jocelyn said, “but it doesn’t make it safe. The human body is an amazing thing. If you have strong enough willpower you can convince it to do some incredible things. I’m sure you’ve read things about women lifting heavy objects to save a child? Pure adrenaline.”
“So you’re saying he’s too stupid to get hurt.” JP sighed.
“Pretty much.” Matt narrowed his eyes.
“My powers are based on the same thing, really.” Jocelyn said, “But I can grant that to other people too. It’s the reason they call me ‘Medic’.”
“And here I assumed it was because of your talents as a Medical Doctor.”
“That too.” She frowned. “I can aggravate my muscle mass as well, it makes it fairly difficult to discern my identity in costume. I stole the idea from my brother.”
“Her figure changes too.” Matt elbowed Lloyd with a smirk.
“I noticed, clever.” Lloyd smirked.
“Yes well…” Dr. Jocelyn folded her arms, self consciously. “You shouldn’t need to worry about that. Your height and weight is fairly average. So just a costume will do.”
“So the blueprints work for you? What costume did you prefer? I was partial to the first as I said.”
“What’s with the cat ears?” Matt made a face at it.
“Practicality of course.” Lloyd wagged a finger. “The feline is well known for its grace and senses. That is why I detailed hearing devices that would allow me to hear the melodious voice of a lovely woman from a mile away. Well… One mile and three hundred feet.”
“Where did you get the specs for that?” JP narrowed his eyes.
“The internet.” Lloyd said with beaming pride.
“I bet David will like the scarf. You know how he is about scarves.” Joyce chuckled. “But what’s the practical purpose for that?”
“Well. I’m no stranger to head wounds. I imagined it would be important to keep any blood from falling on the logo on the chest.” Lloyd folded his arms, nodding sagely. “A hero’s pride is his life!”
“Right.” Dr. Jocelyn flipped the page. “At least you have something over the eyes… We can give him a spare set of targeting goggles that Mech isn’t using.”
“And dare I ask? Who is Mech?” Lloyd’s ears perked.
“She’s one of us. Probably the only one of us we’d have to kill you for real, if you found out her identity. Except we wouldn’t have to.” Matt scratched his cheek. “She’d do it for us. Mech’s an assassin.”
“Sharpshooter.” Jay said with a shrug. “She has a two mile kill range. Pretty messy stuff. But hey, you get to wear her goggles.”
“Wow.” Lloyd beamed. “And I assume this femme fatale is quite lovely too.”
“Oh heck yeah.” Matt regarded Trixie as a reference. “Like our southern Belle here but with everything in the right places, in more generous quantities. If you catch my drift.”
“You ain’t exactly subtle.” Trixie gave Matt a swat.
“Well, there isn’t much subtle about her.” He shrugged a shoulder, leaning closer to her. “Though, you’re not a killer, so your charms outweigh the danger.”
“Seems a good day to start.” Trixie palmed his forehead and pushed him away.
“Don’t worry about Matt.” Dr. Jocelyn cracked her knuckles. “I have a special brand of discipline if he crosses any lines.”
“Oh?” Trixie’s eyes lit up. “Anything worth sharing.”
“It would be a pleasure.”
Lloyd and Matt shared a cautious look.
You clever son of a…first wrestling, and now superheroes? It’s as if you’re trying to steal my heart with these chapters. (And it’s pretty likely you’re about 40% of the way there.)
It goes without saying, but this is some good stuff. You’re handling the humor very well, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder what’s coming next with each chapter. If Lloyd’s going to play the role of superhero, I wonder if that means he’s going to go up against a verifiable Legion of Doom. Frankly, I’d be with okay with that.
Praise aside, I just had a thought…or if not that, a delayed reaction. Do you have a name for Chapter 4? I was putting it on the archive page over on my blog, but I noticed there wasn’t a title like there was for the others. So if by chance you can throw up a quick title when you get the chance, I’ll fix it over on my page. And of course, I’ll be sure to add this new chapter to the page as well.
Whatever the case, good work. Whenever you’re ready, bring on the next chapter. I’ll come running.
Hm. Oversight on my part. It’s up now, and likely next week will be part 6. Good things come in threes I suppose.