|Confessions of a Sidekick
Author: Lavender Quetzal PM
Brianna Prestwell is nothing special. Completely normal, completely the same as any other kid her age. You know, except for her abnormally witty sarcasm and the fact that she's the sidekick of her town's superhot superhero.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 5 - Words: 8,154 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 04-30-12 - Published: 04-29-12 - id: 3017935
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm sure you're familiar with Stormthrower. Just look at a comic book or a newspaper and he's all over it: Big muscle-y guy, yellow suit, gray gloves and boots. Got a thundercloud picture. Typical superhero look.
Now take a look at the kid standing next to him. She's about two feet shorter than him and she's got short brown hair. Hardly noticeable except for the name underneath: Lady Lightning. Sidekick. Helper. Crime-fighter associate.
That, my friends, would be me.
I grew up as Brianna Prestwell, a normal girl with a normal life. I had best friends, an annoying brother, and boy problems, just like any other kid. That life was flipped upside down when I was thirteen. Stormthrower was in his hideout, watching the security cameras, when Professor Ibo (pronounced "eye-boe"—he's the guy who makes all our stuff) pointed out that every hero needed a sidekick. I just happened to be reading a comic book outside of what I thought was the old closed-down library—right in the view of security camera #7 at that exact moment. In about two seconds I was pulled into a small room in the corner of the hideout and given some gray clothing. I realized then that I was in the bathroom.
"Put that on," Professor Ibo instructed, leaving the room and closing the door behind him
I looked at the outfit—tight pants and a midriff long-sleeved shirt with lightning bolts lacing across it. I decided it was actually a cool outfit and put it on, completely confused as to why I had to or where I was.
I stepped out of the bathroom and my jaw hit the floor.
"Wow, Ibo works fast," Stormthrower said, leaning back in the big swivel chair. "He just made that?"
"You—you're—this—that's—" I stammered.
"Yeah," Stormthrower said, turning around in the chair and looking at the cameras. He was clearly the same person every girl in town had taped to their bedroom wall, but he wasn't dressed in his super suit. And I can tell you right now, he looked a whole lot hotter in a t-shirt and ratty jeans. "What was your name again?"
"Omigosh I have to tell Chelsea about this!" I exclaimed, running back to the bathroom to grab my cell phone out of my jeans pocket. I called Chelsea's cell.
"Chelsea! Guess where I am!" I exclaimed.
Just then I saw Chelsea on one of the security cameras. "I'll guess where you are after you guess where I am."
"The old library," I said quickly. "But I—"
"How did you know I was here?" Chelsea asked.
"Because I can see you on the security camera!" I said. "The old library is actually—"
"Now hold on a minute, missy," Professor Ibo said, pulling my phone out of my hand and hanging up. He was a thin man with neat brown hair in a small ponytail, a wispy beard, and a blue button-down shirt with brown pants, unlike the stereotypical crazy gray hair, lab coat and thick gray mustache.
"We can't let anyone know about this," he said, looking at Chelsea on the camera.
"Brianna?" she asked. "Hello? The library is actually what?"
Professor Ibo stood back and looked at me—well, my outfit.
"Kendall," he said. "Come here and pose next to this young lady."
"Kendall?" I asked.
"You know that every superhero has a secret identity," Professor Ibo said. "I prefer to use his pseudonym. 'Stormthrower' becomes tiring when you just want him to pass the salt."
"Pass the salt," I repeated dazedly as Stormthrower stood next to me, put his hands on his hips and smiled the same smile plastered across every newspaper in town.
"And you," Professor Ibo said, "cross your arms across your chest and smile."
I tried to do so.
"Turn to the left a little. And I said smile," Professor Ibo corrected. "Make it look good. You're going to be on the front page of every newspaper in the state."
"The state?" I exclaimed.
"Repetitively," Professor Ibo said, pulling a notepad out of the pocket of his lab coat. "Boots—mask—gloves—blueberry yogurt," he muttered, writing something down. Then he looked me up and down. "Suck in your gut during photo shoots."
"Did you just call me fat?" I asked.
"You just need a couple fewer Twinkies at breakfast."
"I haven't had a Twinkie in forever!"
Stromthower put a hand on my shoulder. "Don't worry. You look great."
I had mixed feelings about his hand on my shoulder. It held me upright and kept me from fainting, but it also gave me a reason to. I mean, put yourself in my position: an average, unimportant seventh-grader being told you look great by the town superhero—the guy that every girl you know has a crush on.
A very faint-worthy situation.
"So," Professor Ibo said. "Name?"
"Um…I'm allergic to cat hair."
"Got it," Professor Ibo said, clicking his pen. "All right. You may go."
My face went blank. "Uh…go?"
"Yes, go," Professor Ibo said. "Tomorrow you'll start training. Be here at eleven a.m."
"But I have school tomorrow," I said.
"I'll figure something out," Professor Ibo told me. "Leave the outfit here."
"Okay, I guess," I said, walking back into the bathroom.
When I got outside, Chelsea had left. I had changed back into my jeans and pink t-shirt. I grabbed the comic book I had been reading and ran home.
"Mom! Guess where I went today!" I hollered as I walked in the door.
"The library?" Mom guessed.
I thought for a moment. "Yes, but it's more than that. It's—"
"I am Stormthrower!" called my four-year-old brother, Ricky, as he bounded into the kitchen wearing footie pajamas, swim goggles and a towel tied around his neck. "Defender of truth and justice!"
I laughed. "He's so much cooler than you! And I got to-ow!"
Something had zapped me on the shoulder. I looked and saw a tiny little patch on my t-shirt. In tiny yellow letters, it read No Telling. Professor Ibo must've sewed it on with some high-tech video stuff or something.
"Never mind," I said quickly.
"Don't worry, Brianna!" Ricky said, grabbing me around the middle with one arm and thrusting his other arm out like he was flying. "Stormthrower will rescue you from the evil Sir Berklime!"
Back then, Sir Berklime was just the villain Stormthrower always defeated. Now the name sends shivers up my spine and makes me want to punch something hard.
I pushed Ricky's arm off of me. "I can rescue myself, thank you very much."
"You're welcome!" Ricky said, saluting and running off, his towel cape flapping behind him.
I sighed. "Can we please donate him to charity?"
Mom laughed. "What charity would accept a hyperactive four-year-old boy?"
Ricky jumped up and down on the couch. "Die! Die! You're going to the slammer!"
"Does he even know what he's saying?" I asked.
"Probably not," Mom answered. "Go finish your homework. I'll call you down for dinner in about a half hour."
"Got it, Mom," I said, already heading upstairs, but with no intention of finishing any homework.
"Okay, let's assess the situation," I said to myself, using one of the strategies my literacy teacher, Ms. Janssen, had taught me to figure out tough problems. "Stormthower's secret lair is the old library. Stormthrower is even dreamier in person than in any picture. Stormthrower told me I look great. Stormthrower has a professor friend named Ibo who thinks I'm fat and calls Stormthrower Kendall when he wants him to pass the salt. Professor Ibo got me a weird outfit and wants me to start training tomorrow at eleven a.m. He says he'll work something out. I'm not allowed to tell anyone, not even Mom or Chelsea or Ricky."
I took a breath. I climbed up onto a chair and grabbed a dictionary from the top shelf over my desk. I flipped through the pages until I found what I wanted.
"Superhero. A figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime," I read.
Great. That gave me a definition of a subject in my problem, but didn't give me an answer.
I thought about some things Professor Ibo had said—directing me to stand next to Stormthrower, saying something about being in the newspapers, telling me to come back for training, the weird outfit…
I looked up something else in my dictionary.
"Sidekick. A close companion or comrade, usually to a superhero."
Could it be?
"Brianna!" Mom called, snapping me out of my pondering. "Dinner!"
I closed my dictionary with a thud and stood up. Stormthrower's sidekick. His close companion. His comrade. Me. Brianna Prestwell. A sidekick. But why me? Why little old insignificant boring average me?