I’m determined to win the writing group’s writing contest this month, though this is actually the first piece I’ve found the time to finish lately. Actually, I wouldn’t say this is even a finished story, it’s really just an action scene.
For some reason I thought it would be fun to create this Mexican crime-fighting duo. Goyo is very much the standard Luchador, but I have an interesting idea for Lady Remedios that I may expand into a full story.
I should note that, for a Texan, I know virtually no Spanish, and visiting Mexico has never appealed to me. You can’t drink the water, right? And it seems like lots of people die there, often of falling on bullets. Doesn’t sound like great vacation material to me. I have good Mexican friends here, anyway, no need to go. I do, however, find the people quite interesting.
As a result, there isn’t really any Spanish in this piece. As a fun nod to comics, I did encapsulate the dialogue in <>. Comic book letterers used to do this all the time to indicate that people are speaking in foreign languages, why not here? I’m not sure it’s a technique that you could use for a mass audience, as they’ve probably never heard of it, but I think in the right circles it could work.
Anyway, here’s the scene. It’s really just a big action scene, me getting a feel for the characters, how they look, and speak. I’d originally intended to make Remedios an empath, with the power only to heal (which you can kind of see there in the paragraph introducing Goyo), and I think I’ll still do that. Telekinesis was a little more handy for this, though, and it just kind of naturally popped in there. So that probably makes all this useless, but who knows?
I like the villain, Subterráneo. He almost fits into the Mole Man archetype, but rather than some mad scientist or megalomaniac who feels the surface world has wronged him, he’s basically just a lunatic who likes to occasionally surface and fuck with people. That’s pretty much all I had in mind for this. I may develop him further at some point in the future.
Based very loosely on this prompt:
Write a story where an earthquake is/has taken place. You can decide the severity of this natural disaster.
Almost 1,200 words!
From the Bottomless
The wind whistled through the cracks in his goggles, so Goyo closed his eyes. In freefall, the blood from the deep laceration across his arm flowed up. He sensed Lady Remedios floating alongside him. He wasn’t sure if she was unconscious or dead.
“<Is this ever going to end?>” he called out to no one.
“<It’s called a bottomless world for a reason!>” Lady Remedios shouted back.
Lady Remedios and Goyo the Watchful were, as usual, the first on the scene. Though easily a foot shorter, Goyo stood protectively in front of Remedios, fists clenched. The ground beneath Zócalo Square heaved and buckled, as though something was clawing free of the earth.
The newspapers called Goyo the sidekick, but he did the bulk of the heavy lifting, hammering their foes into submission. It was said he was among the greatest wrestlers in the world. Thick sinews flexed beneath his red and green costume. A mask covered kept his face completely hidden from the public, but women swooned over him whenever he passed.
Where Goyo was all brute force and power, Lady Remedios was grace and style. Her more subdued but far more revealing costume was a few shades darker than his, with a deep V line slicing down to her belly button. The style magazines suspected it was only her telekinetic powers that kept the outfit in place. Billowy dark hair cascaded across her shoulders and down the length of her back, and a small V-shaped mask covered her eyes and nose.
The Zócalo bucked angrily, tossing pedestrians and cracking the venerable walls of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Police attempted to guide people from the area, but couldn’t even keep their own footing.
“<Quickly, help those closest to the center, Goyo>,” said Lady Remedios. “<I will attempt to keep the buildings from failing, at least until they empty.>”
Goyo nodded and took a moment to watch her as she spread her arms and lifted into the air. She glided toward the cathedral. He’d seen it hundreds of time, but his heart still ached at the beauty of her gifts.
Eventually he tore his gaze from Remedios and sprinted toward the center of the square. He bounded across the shuddering pavement, leaping over fallen people and debris. Up ahead, the massive flagpole that dominated the Zócalo leaned too far over, the Mexican flag nearly grazing the ground.
Out of the corner of his eyes, Goyo spotted a metro bus topple onto its side and slide toward the center of the square. Goyo slowed, his eyes darting across the scene. The Zócalo was collapsing in, falling into the Earth. People began to slide, screaming, toward the center, and Goyo felt gravity tug at him.
He glanced at Remedios. The Lady was occupied, her arms spread wide, eyes squeezed shut. The cathedral shook, but held firm. The windows of the National Palace shattered.
“<As usual, it is up to Goyo,>” he said, grinning beneath his mask. He steeled himself and pushed toward the very center of the square, his compact body covering the distance in mere moments. As the ground beneath him cracked and began to fail, he leapt. Goyo slammed into the flagpole, giving it the last push it needed. The base of the pole shattered, and with a screech the 50-meter pole toppled to the ground.
“<Come!>” Goyo shouted. “<Climb!>” he jumped from the pole to the nearest citizens and began shoving them toward the pole. After a few confused seconds, they began to catch on and climb the pole to the relative safety offered by the outermost reaches of the Zócalo. Goyo circled the collapsing area, helping people reach the pole while it was still stable.
As the last of the civilians reached safety, Goyo hauled himself up to higher ground. With a final groan, the center of the Zócalo gave way and swallowed the flagpole, a few tons of concrete, and a few scattered vehicles.
“<Nice work>,” Lady Remedios said as she touched down beside him. Goyo noted that all the buildings still stood.
“<Not bad yourself>,” he said.
The darkness below rumbled again, and a pillar of stone rose from the underground. Atop the stone crouched a tall, lanky man dressed in filthy overalls. A cracked miner’s helmet perched on his misshapen head. Heavy boots encrusted with dried mud stamped the stone. The man screamed at the heroes, apparently too enraged to form proper words.
“Señor Subterráneo!” Goyo swore under his breath. They knew of Subterráneo by reputation only, as he frequently attacked cities in the United States and elsewhere. He had never struck in Mexico. Subterráneo thrust a dirty finger at the duo.
“To the world bottomless!” he cried.
“<Move, Goyo!>” shouted Lady Remedios, and she began to drift off the ground. Goyo felt the concrete beneath his feet shift. He took a step forward, preparing to leap the gap. Before either of them could get far, a slab of rock erupted from the ground and slammed into Remedios.
“<Lady!>” Goyo twisted, trying to reach for her as she plunged over the edge and into the darkness. A jagged edge of the stalagmite sliced across his arm. He struggled to keep his balance, but another surge of the stone sent him tumbling.
Goyo squinted across the darkness at the faint outline of Lady Remedios. He fought against the wind and pulled her close. “<Are you okay?>” he asked.
“<I will not be defeated by a homeless man with a dirt fetish,>” Remedios said. He sensed more than saw her smile. “<Now hang on!>”
Goyo felt the familiar tug of the Lady’s telekinesis slow their descent. Remedios wrapped her arms around his torso as they came to a stop. Far above, the surface was a jagged circle of light.
Lady Remedios took a deep breath, and they shot up toward the light. He heard screams and curses above them, and the rumbling of more earthen weaponry. Goyo planted his feet on her thighs, balled his fists.
In moments they cleared the hole and burst into the warm afternoon air. Around the Zócalo, police fled, their cars impaled on concrete stalagmites or crushed in tidal waves of soil. Subterráneo cackled and pointed again, and a SWAT van crumpled between two sheets of rock.
Goyo didn’t waste any more time. The instant Remedios steadied them just above the hole, mere feet from Subterráneo’s position, he shoved off. He spun through the brief span and hammered into the villain’s back fists first. Subterráneo’s laughter choked off in a gargle of pain, and he fell from his stone pillar. Goyo collapsed on the pillar, scrambling to keep from following Subterráneo into the abyss.
Even as Goyo’s fingers found purchase on the stone, he felt it crumble. All across the square, the rock constructs fell apart into piles of dust. The pillar began to evaporate. He felt a moment of uncharacteristic panic.
Then, once again, soft hands lifted him from danger. A warm, invisible blanket wrapped around him as Lady Remedios took them from the collapsing pillar to safety.