Teen-Age Spider-Girl Part 1

Josephina Johnson was an average High School student. She was one of the unnoticed kids with an knack for staying in the shadows. But that's all about to change her Senior Year when she finds herself with unnatural powers like sticking to walls and shooting webs. Can she manage to keep her status as the quiet girl, but get the boy of her dreams to take her to Homecoming, all while battling a chain of bank robberies led by someone she may or may not know? Join Josephina and her friends in their quest to find answers.

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8. Training

After school, Kyle and Tyler insisted that I “train”.  Even Trish started getting into all this craziness.  They had traced outlines of themselves on large pieces of cardboard and cut them out.  They were setting them up in my back yard while Sammi took my measurements for the costume.

“Are you sure you don’t want a mask?”

“I don’t want a costume.”

But it was as if she hadn’t heard me.  “How are you going to protect your identity if everyone can see your face?”

“No one is going to see my face in this costume.  Aside from you guys.”

“Fine.  But I’m measuring your head in case you change your mind.”  She wrapped her measuring tape around my forehead, then wrote a number down on her note pad.

“K, Jo.  We’re ready,” Tyler said.

“Alright, what do I do?”

“Run, knock all the bad guys out, avoid getting shot, and save the citizen,” Trish told me.

“Sounds simple enough.  Where’s the citizen?”

“Right between those two thugs,” she said, pointing towards the center of the lawn.

“Okay.”  I walked over to the cardboard cut-out, picked it up, walked back to where my friends were standing, and put it down.  “There.”

“N-no; you gotta run.  Knock out all the bad guys.  Avoid getting SHOT. AND save the citizen,” Kyle said.  He was looking all official with a clip-board and stop-watch.

“Hey, I saved the citizen and I didn’t get shot.  Two outta four’s not bad--that’s 50 percent.”

“50 percent is an ‘F’.  You want an ‘A’,” Tyler said.  “‘A’ for ‘alive’.”

“Fine,” I said.  “Who’s shooting at me anyway?”

“I will.”  I whirled around.  Colleen was standing there, holding a Nerf gun.  It looked really dramatic with the way the sun hit her face and her beautiful red hair that I had always been jealous of blowing in the wind.

“Colleen!” I said, surprised.  “Didn’t expect to see you here.”

“I wasn’t gonna come, but everyone’s doin’ it, so I decided I may as well jump off the cliff, too.”

“I called her ‘cause I forgot to bring my brother’s guns,” Trish said.  “Now you can actually practice dodging bullets!  Foam ones anyway.”

“When, in real life, am I gonna need to dodge bullets, anyway?”

“Well, if you’re fighting crime… criminals tend to carry guns,” Tyler said, as if it were obvious.

“Well, if I’m not fighting crime…”

“Well, if you are…”

I knew Tyler could go on all day, so I just gave up and said, “K, whatever.”  I carried the “citizen” back to his spot.  “Tell me when to start.”

“Okay, come over here,” Kyle told me.  I walked over to him as he looked at his stop-watch.  “Ready?”  I gave him a look that said, do I have any other choice?, and he said, “Now.”

I ran up behind one of the faux foes and knocked it down.  I felt a sensation down my spine--like a warning.  The next second, I was flat on my stomach, avoiding one of Trish’s Nerf darts from behind me.  In one fluid motion, I rolled forward and into the air about three feet, kicking another piece of cardboard in the head on the way down.  Sequentially, I punched a couple more “thugs” in the gut, dodged another bullet, and grabbed the “citizen” again.  On the way back, I decided to add some webs into the mix.  Still running, I aimed at a cardboard criminal with one hand, holding the “citizen” under my other arm.  The sticky webbing wrapped around about where a face would be and knocked the thin, lightweight “man” down.  That was the last of the cut-outs.  I got a little caught up in the moment and finished with a high front-flip, dodging yet another bullet.

“Stop!  Less than ten seconds!” Kyle shouted.

“That was totally wicked!” Tyler practically screamed.  “You flew almost five feet in the air on that last flip!”

“I have to admit, that was pretty cool,” Colleen said.

“That was awesome!  How did you know when we were shooting you from behind?” Trish wondered.

“I don’t know.”  I put down the fake person as I told her, “It was like I just knew when it was coming, like I could see it.  But it was more like a feeling.  That doesn’t make any sense, but there it is.”

“Like a spider-sense!” exclaimed Kyle.

“A what-now?”

“A spider-sense.  Some spiders have this ability to sense when danger is near before they can really see it.  That must be what you’re talking about.”

“That sounds right.  But, you know this, how?” I asked him.

“I was bored one day, so I read a book about all kinds of spiders.  It was really cool--it had all these pictures and the detail was--”

“Okay!” I interrupted.  “We’re done talking about spiders.  I can’t stand them for too long.”

“Okay, how ‘bout another training exercise?” Tyler said.  “This time, instead of only five foes, you can go against ten.”  I rolled my eyes, but didn’t argue.

Sammi finished taking my measurements while Tyler, Kyle, and Trish reset the field.  Colleen stood next to us and we talked about Homecoming.

“So,” Colleen started.  “Pete ask you to Homecoming, yet?”

“I’m not sure,” I said.  “We had this whole conversation after class about who he should

ask and I’m not sure, but I’m pretty positive we were talking about me the whole time because he said he liked my hair--at least I think he was talking about my hair, besides, he rarely ever says anything more than hi to me and Sammi apparently told him that I wanted him to ask me to Homecoming, but the whole conversation was just ambiguous.”  I never thought I’d have so many words to say at once.

“Wow.  Okay, so you don’t know, then,” Colleen said for confirmation.

Sammi was measuring the length of my arm.  “I have no idea,” I sighed, shaking my head.  “Did James ask you, yet?”

“No, but I’m working on it.”

“‘Working on it’?” Sammi asked.

“Well, I’m thinking about making a clay mold of a nose and sending it to him with a note that says, ‘Nobody “nose” how much I want you to ask me to Homecoming’.  And then in parentheses it will say, ‘(This is “snot” a joke.)’”

“Cute!”

“I don’t think you need that last part, though,” I told her.

“Yeah, I’ve been debating whether to put that in or not.  But it’s funny either way.”

Trish set up one of the cut-outs and walked over to us.  “Talking about the dance?”

“Yep.”

“Oh, hey Jo--I’m supposed to give this to you.”  Trish pulled a folded up piece of paper out of her back pocket and handed it to me.  “It’s from Pete.”

I looked at it for a second before taking it gingerly.  On the front, it said my name in all caps.

“JOSEPHINA (Jo)”

Without moving my head, I looked up at Trish, then back at the paper.  Slowly, I unfolded it, as if going too fast would cause it to tear.  On the inside, it read,

“I know this is just small and simple, but I was wondering if you would allow me to escort you to the Homecoming dance?

<3/Pete”

As I silently read the words, I began bouncing up and down on the balls of my feet.

“Well?  What does it say?” Sammi asked.  I handed the page to her and she read it out loud.

“Awww!” my girlfriends all sighed.

“’Awww!’ what?” Tyler asked as he and Kyle came over to where we were all standing.

“Jo just got a note from Pete asking her to Homecoming,” Sammi said, handing them the paper.

Tyler and Kyle both read it together out loud.  “Awww!” they mimicked.  Yeah, they hung out with us girls way too much.

“So, when is Homecoming, anyway?” Tyler asked.

“September 22nd,” we girls all chanted.

“That’s in like, a month,” Kyle said.

“About three weeks,” Sammi told him.

“So, you’ve got time.”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Well, how ‘bout now we work on some more training?” Tyler said.

“Fine.”

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