Backstories Anonymous: Drabble #4 – Out of Here
The poof made by the appearance of the eraser left a lingering smell of smoke, but it wasn’t the kind of scent I associate with magic tricks. It smelled more like tobacco, with an undertone of unwashed men. No, not exactly men. It reminded me of the funk my brother acquired in his teenage rebellion phase. Damn. I’ll never see my brother again either. Unless he winds up here too. Wait now…
“Hey, Ben, mind explaining to me where we are and what the hell is going on with the giant anthropomorphic eraser?”
“Nice fifty cent word, Kate!” chirped Gwen with a little fist pump.
“Are you trying to distract me, Gwen?” I asked.
She shot me a guilty smile and shrug. “Too much information, too soon, can swamp a new member,” explained Gwen.
I felt my blood pressure spike – which was crazy because I shouldn’t even have blood pressure anymore. “I’d rather be swamped than frustrated and lost – and since I have been royally shafted today how about you cut me a break?”
Gwen and Ben exchanged a look, but neither spoke.
“Come on guys, we all remember how it is at first. Give the lady a hand,” said a man’s voice off to the left. I turned to see it was a handsome fellow wearing an airline pilot’s uniform. “I say we answer questions until she’s done asking.”
“It’s not your call Captain Watson. I’m her sponsor,” said Ben.
Captain Watson? That didn’t sound right. “You’re Mary Jane’s dad?” I asked. “But MJ never became a superheroine, did she?”
“No, that was a clone of MJ,” said the captain. “Also, I’m not MJ’s dad. I’m Wendy’s dad, and I’m damned proud of her.”
Wendy Watson? Didn’t ring any bells. “I’m so sorry sir, but I’m afraid I don’t remember your daughter.”
Captain Watson smiled fondly. “She probably used one of her many fake IDs. Ever run into a sassy little Latina in an Eisenhower jacket?”
“I’ve never run into anyone in an Eisenhower jacket,” I said.
A frown crossed his face. “Not even the Middleman?”
I squirmed where I stood and admitted, “I’m sorry. Unless that’s the guy that marks up the flooring he bought from the factory, I don’t know who he is.”
I braced for the possibility of the captain taking that news badly, but before he could respond there was another puff of smoke and the eraser was back.
“Wait, did I hear someone mention the Middleman?” it said.
The captain smiled and gestured at the eraser. “See! He’s heard of my Wendy.”
“I have,” agreed the eraser. “But if you’re Captain Watson I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist you leave.”
“You don’t think my death had a profound effect on my precious daughter?” the captain asked incredulously.
“But you’re not dead, sir,” explained the eraser.
Captain Watson gaped for a moment before collecting himself. “Since when?”
“There’s a volume 5 now, so you’re going to have to leave with me.”
The captain’s smile shone like the sun. “And I’m in it? Alive? Wow. Thank you!” He turned to the meeting and waved goodbye.
“My name is Captain Watson, and I did NOT die for my daughter’s backstory!”