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Why Superhero Day is Actually Quite Scary
Sallie gasped. She could swear her heart had skipped a beat and she was going to have palpitations if this issue was not fixed straight away.
“Cleo Vinegar Falkov!” Sallie screamed. “Get down here right now!”
The blue-tiled walls of the kitchen shook as the aforementioned girl tripped downstairs and stumbled drunkenly into the doorway.
“You left your bag on my chair, in which I drink my favourite mocha out of my favourite cup whilst clothed in my FAVOURITE CARDIGAN.” Sallie snarled.
“I’m sorry,” Cleo whimpered. “I will never make that mistake again.” She picked up her bag and scuttled away, back to her room. Sallie smiled in relief and seated herself comfortably in her chair, letting out a blissful sigh as she took a sip of her mocha.
Her eyes flicked to the spotless counter in front of her, before going over the various shelves and cabinets that lined the walls. The sink at the far end of the kitchen was just below a window that overlooked the garden, littered with stray footballs, a tennis racket and a hammock. An oversized calendar propped up by the vase on the counter blared out the date in bright pink.
It was the 28th of April, and Sallie planned to get as much rest and relaxation before her children started their annual idiocy.
She managed to finish her mocha and made herself another cup.
Then Bailey strolled into the kitchen, stopping next to the window, and Sallie stared in horror. “What have you done to your Spiderman costume?!”
“It’s not Spiderman anymore, Mother,” Bailey intoned, “It’s Spider-HAM.” And he puffed his chest out, stuck his faux-snout into the air and put his red-and-blue trotters (where did he get those?) on his hips. The sunlight behind him gave him a dramatic, if a bit piggy, silhouette.
Sallie almost cried.
When she heard a tell-tale clicking of heels, she sighed in relief. Perhaps Adelaide would be able to soothe her traumatised mind with her sensible renditions of superheroes.
God was not being kind to her today.
“Adelaide. You are wearing a…”
“Black bedsheet, yes. What of it?”
“Why? I thought you had more dignity than this.”
“Cause I’m Batman. Also, everyone in college is wearing a coloured bedsheet for Superhero Day.” Sallie groaned. I hate this day.
“Well if that’s true, then everyone in college sucks.” Cleo stepped into the room, and with her came some other new superhero theme tune.
Batman, Spider-Ham and Sallie stared at Deadpool.
Cleo shrugged. “Deadpool’s awesome and Wonder Woman’s Wrath is catchy.”
“Where is your father?” Sallie questioned, setting her cup down next to the cooker. Just then, a loud snore echoed down the stairs. Sallie pinched the bridge of her nose for a few seconds, performed some deep breathing exercises, and grabbed the car keys.
“All right kids, looks like I’m dropping you off today. No Cleo, I do not care if you haven’t finished your toast, you can eat in the car; Adelaide, you’re catching the bus today. Bailey, get your shoes on, those socks will not be enough to walk outside in.”
She herded the smaller children into the lime-green Mini and drove them to their respective schools, before trundling off in the direction of her parents’ house. They were completely clueless about what superheroes actually were, so she was sure to get some peace and quiet there, at least.
Pity there was too much traffic.
Sallie let her head flop forward onto the steering wheel and groaned as yet another oversized green person lumbered across the road.
She lifted her head at the sound of beeping behind her and inched forward in the queue. At this rate, she’d arrive at her Ma’s and Pa’s house when it got dark. At least she was in her pyjamas, so she was comfy.
She recalled a conversation she’d had with Ian a few days ago.
“I don’t understand,” he’d said. “Why ARE you so against superheroes in the first place?”
Sallie huffed out a laugh.
‘I don’t hate superheroes, I just dread what you and our children do to commemorate the UK’s national celebration of superheroes. For example, last year you attempted to fly by jumping off the roof onto the trampoline.’
Sallie saw the green light and slammed down on the pedal, speeding the few metres forward to catch up with the rest of the traffic jam.
She didn’t notice that there had been a Superman attempting to fly quickly across the road.
What she did notice, however, was his face squished up against her windscreen and the rest of his body splayed out on the Mini’s bonnet.
Sallie had a momentary panic attack before deciding the best course of action: she switched on the windscreen wipers and attempted to wipe the man off her car.
It worked. The man slid off the car with a stupefied expression (“How long does it take you to catch on, pea-brain? You chose the wrong day to mess with me.”) and ended up with his face squished to the pavement instead.
Sallie was long gone by the time he registered his position and picked himself up off the floor.
Meanwhile, Bailey was running around ‘saving’ students from their teachers.
“Hello? Mrs Falkov? Yes, I regret to say that Bailey has been causing mischief during class and therefore will have a 30-minute detention.” the secretary droned. Sallie let out a euphoric whoop and the secretary blinked in surprise. “Um… thank you, goodbye.”
Sallie then received another call from Cleo’s school, informing her that due to the disruption Cleo was causing with her theme tune, she would be kept back in school for a 45-minute detention.
By this time, tears of happiness were glistening in Sallie’s eyes. The more time spent away from her children’s -and husband’s, for that matter- insanity, the better.
“Just a few more roads to go,” Sallie whispered.
The faithful car edged forward, centimetre by centimetre, past the local Asda, past the crowds of cosplaying superheroes and DISCOUNT signs. The minutes ticked by.
“Almost there, my precious, my sweet…” Sallie stroked the steering wheel of her car.
At home, Ian was prancing around as Thor, complete with a blond wig and hammer.
In college, Adelaide was diligently studying in her bedsheet along with, as promised, everyone in her college. “We have a whole rainbow thing going on.” she commented to a friend, with a self-satisfied smirk.
Sallie turned her car into Abercorn Gardens and sped up to the point that she missed her parents’ house and had to do a difficult three-pointer U-turn. As she reversed her car into a spare parking slot she took the time to gaze around and take in the wonderfully uncorrupted sights around her. A little girl skipped by with a lead in her hand and a Labrador bouncing along on the other end of it. The quaint image of pastel-coloured cottages on either side of the road was completed by the towering oak trees lining the pavement: Sallie’s parents completely suited this environment.
Sallie got out of the car, and her musing was ruined when she remembered that she was in her pyjamas. She squeaked in embarrassment, sprinting to Number 53. Her fluffy slippers made a curious ‘flump’ every time they hit the pavement.
A group of old women going to bingo were distracted from their gossip by the sound and looked over at Mrs. Falkov, before averting their eyes in embarrassment and returning, somewhat awkwardly, to their conversation.
Sallie pressed the doorbell repeatedly and tapped on the door. She opened and closed the letter plate and kicked at the cat flap.
It took a few minutes of this before the door was slowly, slowly unlocked.
Sallie rushed inside, into the pristine living room, and flopped down on the peach-coloured sofa. Her Ma and Da came in after her, their canes making a dull thumping sound on the pristine white carpet.
“What’s the problem dear?”
“It’s National Superhero Day.” Sallie replied, choosing not to elaborate any further.
Sallie’s mother looked from her daughter to her husband, who shrugged.
They sat down on either side of their daughter and there began a lengthy conversation on no particular topic. Halfway through, Ma got a call on her Nokia and had an entirely separate conversation that went unnoticed by Sallie and Da.
The hours went by, and Sallie decided that she’d better get going to pick up her husband and children. She planned to run upstairs and hide as soon as they got home.
“Oh, but wait just a minute, Sallie dear,” her father said, heaving himself off the sofa. “We have just one surprise for you. No, no, stay on the sofa, there’s a good girl.”
Both father and mother doddered out of the room, leaving Sallie waiting patiently on the couch. I hope the children aren’t too worried. She picked up her phone and started uploading embarrassing baby pictures onto Facebook.
She didn’t hear the door open.
She didn’t hear the resulting gleeful whispers.
She didn’t hear her parents quickly take off their baggy jumpers and thermal leggings.
What she did hear were footsteps, rustling and finally-
Wonder Woman’s Wrath.
Sallie looked up and blanched at the sight of Thor, Spider-Ham, Batman, Deadpool and her parents as Black Widow (Da) and the Star Lord (Ma).
Sallie screamed in terror.