Coming of Age Urban Fantasy Funny

Growing up, I always thought that my best friend, Lucas, was like the sun. Bright, loud, invincible. He could fall off his bike with barely a scratch, and get away with stealing gum from the convenience store, and survive several punches to the face after standing up to the school bully, Chase Miller. Lucas was my hero. Then he got hit by a semi-truck on the freeway. And survived. That’s when I realised maybe he really was indestructible. 

“Watch this,” Lucas said with a grin, two days after he got out of the hospital, fully recovered after he’d gotten hit by the truck. I watched, wide-eyed, as Lucas walked right back out into the street, and instead of getting run over by the oncoming traffic, stopped a speeding car with his bare hands. Both the driver and I stared at Lucas’ handprints indented onto the car’s bumper. 

“Hey kid, you gotta pay for that!” The driver shouted at Lucas, who just shrugged it off with one of his casual smirks. 

“C’mon Eli, you gotta admit. That’s pretty cool.” Lucas boasted to me. I was quiet for a moment, watching as Lucas’ face fell, before I shouted back,

“Cool? Man, it’s freaking awesome! You’re like, Superman, or something!” At my answer, Lucas’ smile returned to his face, giving it a boyish charm. 

“Y’know, maybe I am Superman.” Lucas said conspiratorially to me, later that night while we were having our weekly sleepover. 

“You can’t actually be Superman, Luc. Because of, I don’t know, copyright infringement.” I said tiredly, rolling over to face the wall, where Lucas’ poster of The Beatles hung. It was a birthday gift from his dad, after Luacs’ mom died. Lucas doesn’t like to talk about it, but I know he misses her. She used to sing Here Comes the Sun to him every night as a lullaby, even though he insisted he was too old. Sometimes, when Lucas thinks I can’t hear him, he hums the lyrics under his breath to fall asleep. 

“Okay, I’ll just go by a different name,” Lucas said, “How about Superboy?” I sighed into the darkness, 

“Superboy is also copyrighted.” I replied.

“Aw man. They can’t copyright everything!” Lucas exclaimed. 

“Shouldn't you be more focused on our history project?” I grumbled into my pillow, “Our project on Greek mythology is due tomorrow.”

“Wait, I've got it!” Lucas exclaimed, completely ignoring my mutterings, “How about… Helios. Y'know, like the sun god, or whatever?!” 

“Wasn’t that Apollo?” I asked, turning to face him. I watched as Lucas’ excitedly jumped out of the bed, running to turn on the bedside lamp.

“No, Apollo is the god of that tiny guitar, or something.” Lucas replied as he rummaged through his closet.

“A lyre.” I responded, watching as he pulled out his yellow cape, the one he got for his Robin costume last Halloween. 

“Ok, close your eyes!” Lucas instructed me, and as usual, I did as he said. 

“And… open!” Lucas said, and I could hear the grin in his voice. I opened my eyes to see Lucas standing in his bedroom at 2:00 in the morning wearing a bright yellow cape and his dad’s sleep mask with eye holes cut out. He looked stupid. 

“You look great. Can we go to sleep now?” I asked, not waiting for an answer before closing my eyes.

“Fine, whatever.” I heard Lucas grumble, as he got onto his side of the twin bed. We were getting a bit old to share a bed, being almost thirteen now. Still, if Lucas doesn't say anything to stop it, I won’t either. I could feel the warmth of his back against mine, and soon I fell asleep to Lucas’ quiet singing. Here comes the sun, do do do…

Three Years Later

I was kidnapped. Again. Honestly, this was getting pretty tiring. I was already late for my second job at the bookstore, and my manager Angela was going to be pissed. 

Hurry up already, I thought to myself, as I watched the villain-of-the-week cackle maniacally to himself. This was the third kidnapping this week and I was getting sick of it. I had things to do too, y’know?! Besides, wasn’t there anyone better to kidnap besides me? A damsel in distress, or something? An ageing mentor, maybe? A kitten stuck in a tree? Something!

Doomsayer or Doomsdayer or whatever his name was also seemed to be getting impatient, as he paced back and forth in front of where I was (poorly) tied to a rather uncomfortable chair. We were in what I assumed was his “evil lair,” although it looked just like a regular abandoned office building to me.  

“Where is he? Where is he?!” Doom-something hissed, and I rolled my eyes. Today was Friday, which meant Lucas was babysitting his nieces until 6:00 pm. It was now 6:02. So yeah, where is he?!

With that thought, came an otherworldly-loud boom and the whole room shook. Ah. There he is. 

“Sorry I’m late. Traffic.” Lucas grinned his signature troublemaker smirk, and I sighed. 

“Whatever, just hurry up, I have a shift in 5 minutes.” 

“I’ll get ya there in 4.” Lucas said.

“Ah, the mighty hero, Helios, come at last!” Doom-whatever exclaimed with a dramatic flourishing of his hand. 

“Yeah, I’ll get to you in a minute, Mark.” Lucas waved him off, before going to untie me. But before he could, he was stopped. By Mark. 

“My name isn’t Mark!” Mark spluttered, before recomposing himself, “I am Doomsplayer, and you, Helios, are now trapped in my Doom's Lair! Mwahahaha!” 

Oh God. 

“Is this about the parking spot?” Lucas asked Mark, “Because you can just have it.” 

“No this isn’t about a parking spot!” Mark sputtered, “This is about vengeance! You took away something that I love, so I’m going to take away something you love.” 

“I said, you can have the parking spot!” Lucas said, exasperated.

“IT’S NOT ABOUT THE PARKING SPOT!” Mark shouted, “I told you, this is about revenge. Revenge for me. Revenge for Emily.”

“Wait, Emily? You mean my mom?” Lucas asked, eyes wide.

“Yes, Emily, the love of my life. Your father stole her from me, and now I’m going to steal from you.” Mark was looking rather maniacal now, a wild glint in his eye as he paced the room. 

“Okay, I get the whole revenge thing, Mark, but why kidnap me?” I cut in, “I’m literally just some guy. An innocent bystander, if you will.” 

“Ah, that’s where you're wrong,” Mark said with a sly grin that I did not trust, not one bit. “You see, I’ve been watching you.” Okay, that’s creepy. 

“Wow, stalk much?” Lucas scoffed, and I nodded in agreement.

“Yes, I just told you I was stalking you.” Mark said plainly, before grinning again. Unlike Lucas’ grins, which were charming in their mischievousness, something about Mark’s grin was… off.

“As I was saying, before I was so RUDELY interrupted,” Mark continued, “I’ve been watching you, Helios. Or should I say, Lucas Lee!” 

“Mark, we’re neighbours, and I don't even wear a mask. Of course you know who I am.” Lucas sighed, running a hand through his dark hair, making a strand curl over his forehead in just a way that made my stomach flip-flop annoyingly. I’m literally in a hostage situation right now, stomach, you should be nervous about that, not Lucas’ hair! 

“How did I figure it out?” Mark bulldozed his way past Lucas’ comment, “It was with my brilliant detective skills that came from watching all 15 seasons of Criminal Minds that—”

“Criminal Minds has 16 seasons.” Lucas interrupted.

“All 16 seasons— wait, really?” Mark asked, and Lucas nodded, 

“Yeah, it’s still running. Newest episode comes out next week.”

“Okay. Well, anyway. The detective skills I gained from watching that show helped me to deduce that you, Lucas Lee, have no weaknesses.”

“Well yeah, that’s kinda my thing. Invincibility, super-strength, flight, all that shit.” Lucas shrugged, ever the cocky bastard.

“Yes, you have no weaknesses,” Mark paused dramatically, “None, except, your childhood friend, Elias Becker.” Mark gestured to where I was still, unfortunately, tied up.

“So, I figured out that if I wanted to get to you, I had to go, for your heart.” Mark finished his speech with a too-wide smile. I looked over at Lucas, who had been unusually quiet during Mark’s whole spiel.

“Y'know bullets literally bounce right off of me, right?” Lucas asked, cocking his head like a golden retriever.

“Yes, but do they bounce off… him?” Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Mark pulled out a gun, and before I could even blink, shot it right through my stomach. 

At first, all I could sense was the ringing in my ears, a high pitched frequency. Then, I felt the warmth of my blood, soaking through my shirt. I didn't feel the pain. Well, I did. But it didn't register. The pain was so sharp, so very there. It demanded to be felt. But I couldn’t feel it. It was like I couldn't feel anything.

“Eli!” I heard Lucas yell, then there was muffled fighting, the sounds of cursing, and another gunshot. 

Lucas, I thought to myself, before I felt a warm hand press against my stomach. Lucas’ hands were always warm. Warmer than the average human. I think because of all the energy he uses, saving the world. Would he be able to save me? 

“Don't worry, you’re going to be okay.” Lucas said frantically, and I nodded. Ripping off his cape, yellow as the sun, Lucas pressed it to my wound, letting my blood soak it red. 

I registered the pain now, and damn did it hurt. Not as much as seeing Luacs’ face, wracked with worry, as he pressed frantically against my wound. Distantly, I wondered what had happened to Mark/Dooms-whatever. When Lucas had come into his powers, he’d sworn that he’d never purposefully hurt or kill anyone. Which is like, the bare minimum, but when you’re basically a god, mortal things like laws and morality don’t really apply to you. 

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a figure who I assumed to be Mark, slumped on the ground. And while that normally would make me worry about Lucas’ lack of regard for human life, the guy did shoot me, so my sympathy for him is low. 

“Just hang on, Eli. I’ll get you outta here.” Lucas finished tying his cape around my middle, and he then picked me up as if I weighed nothing. I felt weightless in his arms. Oh, we were flying. That’s probably why. 

Over the years, Lucas’ powers had grown with him, each birthday bringing a new superhuman ability. His 14th birthday came with a new bike and super-speed, rendering the bike pretty much obsolete. His 15th birthday came with sonic-hearing, and wasn’t that awkward for planning his surprise party.

I wondered, for his next birthday, if Luacs would get super-healing. I wondered if I’d be around to see it.

Lucas was fast. The wind whipped his hair as we flew over the city, but he shielded me from it with his arms. The sun was just beginning to set, as we flew through the clouds. The sky was bleeding out, reds and oranges and yellows. This wasn't the first time Lucas had flown with me. Once he’d gotten the hang of it, a few weeks after his 16th birthday, I was his first (unwilling) passenger.

I’ll never forget the feeling of flying with Lucas. Sure, the flying part was amazing, it defies all laws of physics and human nature. But what I remembered most was the feeling of Lucas’ arms wrapped around me, the same way they used to when we had sleepovers and I had a nightmare. Lucas would hug me, and sing to me in his soft voice, Here comes the sun, and it’s alright…

Maybe that was why, enveloped by Lucas’ warmth, I didn’t feel like I was dying. I felt like, for the first time, that I was living.

“We’re almost there, just hold on,” I heard Lucas yell over the wind. We weren't almost there. Even flying, the nearest hospital was still at least 20 minutes away. I didn’t have 20 minutes. I didn’t know how many minutes I had, but I did know this. I was going to spend them in Lucas’ arms. And that was enough for me. 

That’s the problem with falling in love with the sun, when you are the night. Because while he is daybreak, you are a slowly setting sun. 

April 28, 2023 20:06

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Laurel Hanson
21:22 May 03, 2023

Great narrative voice here. The funny commentary sprinkled throughout keeps the pace moving briskly and allows allows the whole superhero thing to work. Lines like: “You can’t actually be Superman, Luc. Because of, I don’t know, copyright infringement.” and "Apollo is the god of that tiny guitar, or something.” and "All 16 seasons— wait, really?” All of that works to entertain, and not take itself too seriously. Still, the idea of the friendship beneath it all is serious and is sketched in really nicely by the end. And I have got to say, t...


Madison Marvin
23:39 May 03, 2023

Hi Laurel, thanks for taking the time to comment! I'm glad you enjoyed my story, I did want it to be funny and not take itself too seriously, haha :)


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David Sweet
18:04 May 03, 2023

Great story! Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the cliffhanger ending. I like that the reader gets to make up their minds about what happens to Eli. This is a great perspective about someone who watches someone slowly gain powers and outgrows a friendship in many ways. It works on a few different levels. Good luck with school, creative writing, and future endeavors.


Madison Marvin
23:38 May 03, 2023

Hi David, thank you so much for your comment, I appreciate it! I wanted Eli's ending to be ambiguous, but also pretty much already decided, haha :)


David Sweet
01:20 May 04, 2023

That's okay. You heavily INFERRED what would happen, but it's nice to allow your audience some latitude. Thanks again for sharing the story.


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