Backstories Anonymous: Drabble #5 – Where is Here?
The captain and the eraser both disappeared. He’d been dead, then the eraser said he was alive. As crazy as it was, I needed that eraser.
“Come back!” I shouted to the sky. “Make me alive again too!”
“It doesn’t work that way,” said Ben.
I pointed at Captain Watson’s empty chair. “Don’t you bullshit me, Parker! You just saw it work that way!”
“The captain was a cat,” said Ben. “There was always a possibility he’d be called back.”
I was so angry I stamped my foot like an overtired toddler. “Mufasa is a cat. Captain Watson is a man. He went home, and I don’t see why I can’t too.”
“Not the genus cat,” said Ben. “He was a Schrödinger’s cat.”
“Genus felis,” corrected Mufasa.
Ben spared the lion a searing look. “Not helping, Mufasa. Kate here needs to understand that there’s a big difference between being presumed dead and actually being dead.” He turned to face me. “Kate, Captain Watson only disappeared. His body was never found. You, on the other hand splattered on the sidewalk. You had ID on you. Your husband recognized the outfit you’d left home in. There’s no wiggle room for bringing you back to life.”
“Even if there was a way,” added Gwen, “it would have to be years later. If Kelly doesn’t become Night Terror, then there’s no point to the narrative.”
“I’ve never believed there was a point to life,” I said, “but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to BE alive.”
“Life doesn’t need to have a point, but narrative does or you don’t have any readers,” said Gwen.
“I’m not a writer, Gwen. I’m a business consultant.”
Gwen’s eyes grew huge, and she plastered both hands over her mouth. From beneath them she squeaked, “You don’t know?”
“Of course, she doesn’t know,” said Ben. “And I don’t think she’s ready to know. Give the woman some time to acclimate.”
“She’s already seen Pinky,” said a ruggedly handsome young man in a World War II captain’s uniform. “I’d say the cat’s out of the bag.”
“Felis, please,” said Mufasa.
“I don’t think the Latin lesson is helping the lady,” said the soldier.
“I don’t think you’re helping either, Captain Trevor,” said Ben. “Why don’t I get Kate settled into her quarters and we can take this up at the next meeting.”
He tried to steer me away, but I jerked my elbow out of his grasp. “Nothing doing. I’m not going anywhere until I know where HERE is.”
Ben looked tired. He gave me an imploring look, but I shook my head and stood my ground. “You’re in the archive.”
He’d said that before, hadn’t he? I had let it slide once, but not this time. I ground out, “The archive of WHAT.”
“The Universal Comics Archive,” sighed Ben.
“We’re all comic book characters,” said Captain Trevor. “Me, you, your daughter – all of us.”
I felt all the blood drain out of my face. “I’m…I’m not real?”
For the second time that day, I fell down.