A Super Christmas

"Steampunk City Christmas" | Art by jjpeabody. Used with permission.
Mild-mannered Maggie burst out of her high-rise office building and slalomed through the pedestrians. Though she could hear an argument ten blocks away and easily zoom in to settle it, she tuned out the minor distractions to focus on her main objective. Checking her watch, she accounted for traffic conditions and weather and grinned. She was determined to make it home in time.

“Oh, dear.”

The small lament tugged at her as the streetlight changed for her to cross. Behind her, a heavily laden, elderly lady hobbled to make the light, but dropped one of her packages.

Maggie sighed and went back to help the woman, who thanked her profusely as they crossed.

Nodding, Maggie checked her watch again. She still had enough time.

As she waited at the bus stop, a blur sped by her and grabbed the nearby Salvation Army bucket from underneath Santa’s nose.

She cursed under her breath and sped after the jingling thief, not worrying how she looked running down the sidewalk in her tight-skirted suit and high heels. Apparently, everyone else was too involved in their own cellular worlds to care.

Maggie’s blood boiled. Not on Christmas Day!

“Gimme your wallet.”

Maggie paused her pursuit at the all-too-familiar words of a mugging. She peered down an alley where a scrawny guy was pointing a gun at someone.

Maggie shook her head. Really?

She took off one of her heels and flung it at the fleeing felon, striking his hand before he rounded the corner. He dropped the collection bucket with a squeal, turned back to sneer at Maggie, then ran off as nearby citizens filmed him with their phones. Maggie hoped one of the bystanders had the sense to call the police.

Dashing down the alley, she saw the mugger had scampered off. The victim thanked her and pointed to the fire escape. As she watched the mugger scramble up, a little boy returned her shoe and complimented her on her aim. Nice to know the future had hope. Maggie checked the time and shook her head again. She could still make it, but she’d have to hurry to keep the mugger from ruining someone else’s Christmas.

Up she climbed and at the top of the fire escape, she spied the little looter confronted by two thugs demanding money he owed their boss.

Staying out of sight, Maggie checked her watch again. She could either follow the burly brutes to their boss or just take care of them now and get home.

Her wristphone buzzed. It was her hub. She grimaced at the decision she had to make. Sorry, honey.

Maggie shed her business clothes, revealing black body armour with purple wisps, and donned her mask. After the beefy boys roughed up the smaller fish, she followed them downstairs. They zig-zagged the streets and entered a dismal garage. Sneaking after them, she crept along, unseen by the three mechanics.

As the thugs slipped through a secret door, Maggie waited and listened.

Downstairs, a meeting was underway—a crowd of thirty, by the sounds of shuffling feet. She recognized the loud, commanding voice addressing them. It was Everett. She’d been after that guy for six months. It figured she’d find him on this night of all nights.

“This is it. Do your part and you’ll be sittin’ pretty come New Year’s.”

Someone in the back complained about it being Christmas Eve, and one of the thugs smacked him.

“You don’t got no family anyway.”

Those nearby chuckled.

Two men approached Maggie from behind. She silently subdued them and continued eavesdropping on Everett’s plan.

They would set off a bomb in the morning, blaming terrorists as a distraction; then, dressed like emergency workers, they would rob the biggest bank in town.

Maggie’s blood boiled. Not on Christmas Day!

The odds of beating thirty thugs weren’t promising, but with her super senses and a few gadgets, she formulated a plan.

As Everett rambled on, Maggie sneaked down and crept behind the biggest guys in the back. One at a time, she zapped them with her Taser and dragged them into the shadows as they collapsed. Too soon, a female thug noticed.

“Get her!”

Maggie smiled. She hadn’t had a good workout yet this week.

The lackeys leapt at her. Maggie dodged the first few, spinning away and kicking others. She ducked and chopped, she dove and struck. No one could grab her as she predicted their movements. Inevitably, she backed herself into a corner and let them take her.

They presented her to the boss.

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Magenta. How fortunate for us. Now I have absolutely nothing to worry about.”

No one could grab her as she predicted their movements.

As he laughed, her wristphone buzzed.

One of the thugs plucked it from her and tossed it to Everett. He leered at the picture of her children.

“Who could this be? Your wee ones? How precious.”

“Please don’t answer that. I promised I’d be home early.”

“Oh, well, let’s not disappoint them.”

He pushed the button to answer, but instead, a bomb went off nearby. As debris and dust filled the basement,

Maggie tore herself free and grabbed Everett. In the confusion, she pulled the small man along, up the stairs, and out onto the street. Many others escaped, but none stopped to help their boss. Once she secured Everett with zip ties to a light post outside and heard the sirens coming, she waved at the gathering crowd and ran off. Nothing would stop her now.

Detouring to a secure hiding spot, she changed clothes and made her way home. Another check of her watch confirmed she was late. Inside, she saw her cherubs fast asleep in a bundle on the couch. The end of It’s a Wonderful Life flickered in the soft glow of the Christmas tree.

Her hub stirred. “There you are. Save the world again?”

“Sorry.”

“That’s okay. We still have a few minutes.”

They carried the children to their beds. As she kissed her daughter’s cheek, a purple glow emanated from the girl.

Maggie had made it in time to witness her daughter’s powers bestowed.

“Merry Christmas, darling.”

Tara Tyler

Tara Tyler

Tara Tyler writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Broken Branch Falls (MG fantasy). She’s a commended blogger and has contributed to several anthologies. Follow her online at taratylertalks.blogspot.com.
Tara Tyler

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