Just Super.


9. Fittness

Scott’s alarm clock went off at five the next morning. As he crept over the bodies of his friends that laid on his floor.

“Hey man, what you doing?” Gorgy groaned as Scott crawled over him.

Scott didn’t answer, he pulled on his new trainers and filled up a Coca-Cola bottle in his sink. Closing the door softly behind him he whispered, “I’m training.”

Scott picked up a quick pace as he left his lawn and Simon Scowl’s little grave behind. He boosted his way down the street until he reached the bottom. Wondering why he hadn’t started training before Scott flicked his hair out of his face and smiled, this’ll be easy.

Then he hit his first hill.

There was an elderly lady in bright neon pink training gear who was speed-walking up it. Scott grinned as he picked up his pace, he was determined to show her exactly how superheroes run up hills.

He got five yards before the pain started to constrict him. At fifteen a stitch wound it’s way around his chest. Twenty yards in and he came wheezing to a stop. He collapsed to his knees. “Urg,” he whispered, “Urg.”

Stretching himself slowly back to his feet Scott saw the neon pink walker crest the hill. The lady turned her head to look at him very briefly in a gesture designed to make sure he knew he was beaten.

Again, he tried to run. His determination combined with all the inspirational quotes he’d lifted from comic books all owed him to get three quarters of the way up before his legs locked up and he collapsed on the pavement in front of him. Across the road a deliveryman was laughing at him.

Scott had skinned his hand and he’d developed a headache because his lungs weren’t pulling enough oxygen. Shaking his head Scott began the long descent shimmying on his butt because his knees were cramping.

When he’d made it down the hill he started walking, which was all stiff-legged due to the cold. On his way he made a short-cut through a little playground. He was the only one there apart from a muscled guy in a singlet who was using the swings as a pull up bar. Watching the guy pull himself u over and over again with very little physical effort Scott decided that running is for people that go to the Olympics, Superheroing is all about the arms.

When the guy finished however many hundred he’d been doing Scott waddled over and placed his hands on the bar. “Okay Scott, let’s do it for Simon Scowl, let’s do it for justice.”

He strained his arms and his core and attempted to bring his legs up but nothing happened Scott’s arms just burnt and hurt. After five minutes straining he collapsed in a heap on the ground. “I’m going home.” He yelled to no one in particular.

As he clutched his belly and dragged his legs Scott passed the singlet guy who was busy popping squat after squat. The guy looked up and waved, “Hey friend.” Scott flashed the evil eyes before focusing on the path in front of him and trying to bend his knees.

He walked stiff the whole way home. As he sniffed his way through the door everyone was up and Gorgy was cooking streaky bacon and eggs.

“Aha! Our fitness freak returns,” he said sculling his morning red-bull.

“Where were you?” Josie asked trying hurridly to brush out the birds nest that her hair had accumulated.

“I just went for a run up that hill beside next to the park, then came back and then did a few pull-ups as well.” Scott said, “Well when I mean a few I actually mean I attempted to do one.”

Josie and Gorgy gave each other a little concerned glance, “Why?” They both asked.

“I need to get fit.”

“Why?” Josie said, finally removing a knot from her hair. She didn’t really look like she wanted to know, and Scott didn’t really want to tell them but they were his friends… he’d always been honest with them.

“It’s just a bit of a realisation I had…” he mumbled hoping they’d forget about it.

“C’mon Scott, we’re all friends here,” Gorgy laughed.

“Yes, I’m intrigued,” Al said, not even bothering to look up from the book he was reading.

Scott shifted uncomfortably, “Well, after I got attacked I kind of had a vision…”

Gorgy stiffened immediately but Josie didn’t notice, “What sort of vision?”

“Well basically I was being attacked again and this superhero came down and saved me. He had a M on his chest and when he took his mask off…” Everyone, even Al who had been focused on the novel turned to him. Scott getting excited was one of their favourite things to watch, “And it was me,” he shouted with joy. “It was me and Batman appeared too and they told me I was going to become a superhero and that’s why I wanted to train because I’m going to become a superhero!”

For the second time in their weekend together there was silence, only this time it was a stunned silence. Scott’s three friends stared at him, open mouthed with a mixture of wonder and trepidation.

Al, surprisingly was the first to speak, “Haha, that’s superb news. Our town needs a superhero!” Al didn’t really think that Scott could become an actual superhero, but he saw that the idea could be pretty fun. – Gadgets, Rocky style trainings, a police radio perhaps.

“Are you sure about this?” Josie asked, looking at Gorgy, “I mean, it’s a big commitment.”

“Of course.” Scott replied, trying to massage his cramped leg. Okay so maybe I’m not sure about the exercise, but I’m going to be a superhero. “I’ve thought about it long and hard.”

“And have you told anyone other then us?” she asked biting her lip.

Scott shook his head, “I didn’t even want to tell you guys. If anyone finds out it could put you in danger.”

Gorgy didn’t reply, he went back to the frying bacon and eggs, poking them with dramatic movements. He didn’t even speak as he served it up.

Al did though, more cheery then usual he chatted to Scott about the various ins and outs of being a superhero, “So when you’re all suited up, what happens when you need to visit the bathroom?”

Scott, with all his comic book experience was able to answer most of them, Al and Josie were subtly impressed.

“I just think this whole idea is pretty wonderful.” Al said, chopping his bacon into small strips.

Gorgy interrupted him “No it’s not wonderful,” He stared around the room at them, “Don’t you remember in High school Scott? When you told everyone that Wonder Woman appeared to you in a dream?”

“Yeah sure, except this isn’t a dream this is a vision.”

Gorgy waved his hands, flicking the idea away. “Dream – vision, there’s no real difference. Do you remember how mocked you got that year. Every day someone would ask you about it.”

The two friends eyed each other across the table

“I think you must have a screw loose Gorgy, all I remember is people being interested.”

Gorgy slapped a hand over his eye drmatically, “See that’s the problem man you don’t see things for how they are. Where you saw interested kids the rest of us saw people mocking you.”

From the side-lines Josie and Al watched, Al grinning slightly and Josie looking scared; Scott and Gorgy rarely fought, usually it was to do with Gorgy trying to look out for Scott. He was almost like an older brother, trying to keep the (in his opinion naïve) Scott safe from the world.

The trouble was Scott never saw himself as a victim, everyone taking a fascination in him and asking him about his dream made him feel like something. Like someone special. He’d even considered telling the students he’d had another dream, but Scott didn’t like to lie.

“You don’t understand Gorgy, you’ve never had a calling.”

“I have so, remember all those people who wanted me to become an actor? I could be making millions, instead I’m here and you know why?”

“Why?” Scott bit back.

“Because there’s nothing worse then people laughing at you.” Gorgy threw the pan into Scott’s sink snapping a plate in half. “I’m out dudes.”

“Why does he always get upset when I try to do something different?” Scott asked, folding his arms.

Al shrugged, “Don’t worry, Gorgy will come around. It’s your training we need to worry about.”

Josie was still biting her lip, “Are you sure about this Scott?”

“Of course. I’m going to become a superhero, there’s nothing else to it.”

As Scott collected their plates Al mouthed play along to Josie, She stared for a moment, what?

Play along!

Scott sat back at the table

“Right, we’re going to get you in shape young man, one way or another. I always wanted to train myself. But sadly I’m too lazy.”

Scott felt his legs, “I understand your pain.”

Together he and Al planned out a training program. It started at seven each morning, (Al; No way at I getting my ass up at five for you.) and finished at ten when Al had to prepare for his shift at the Walmart.

“So mathematically,” Al explained, “Ths is going to make you the fastest, strongest guy in Porkbelly.”

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