a flash fiction piece by Hannan
Outside the huge hero association building reads a sign, “Hero Tryouts.”
Thousands of men and women flock towards the hero evaluation desk as horrible singers do in the X Factor auditions. Many of these men and women brim with superhuman talents, abilities, and backstories, except…Dave.
“I can’t believe I made it here, now I can become a hero like the ones of legend.”
“Yeah, ok, man. To be honest, I’m just here for moral support, but please don’t embarrass yourself. These are the real heroes like Superman was before they just took his life story to make comic books, games, and movies,” remarks Dave’s friend, Mark.
“Ok, next up and coming hero please proceed to the evaluation desk,” exclaims the overzealous instructor-evaluator.
“That’s my cue, wish me luck,” retorts Dave.
The instruction wastes no time. “Ok, let’s begin. Do you have any superpowers like flying or super strength?”
“Hmmm… oh, I get it you’re a saiyan right, like you got to transform first right or need to get angry like the Hulk to show your true strength?”
“Uh…no,” Dave laughingly admits.
“Interesting, are you immensely incompetent?”
“What, no, I’m not one of those cliche over the top idiot protagonists…that would declare war against the entire government to save one person or would overtly barge into a huge enemy facility to just fight my way through. I prefer the more stealth approach,” mumbles Dave.
“You can’t be smart and be a hero or the main hero of your group. Maybe the badass second in command.”
“Batman and Tony Stark were smart and they were heroes.”
“They also had billions of dollars to make their abilities and you have neither inherent abilities nor gainable. However, do you have a hermit-like old man to teach you amazing skills because he’s some old previous badass hero-turned-sage.”
“No, I don’t. Look, I just have this sword.”
“OOOhhh, is it some special demonic sword, or was it passed down from your family and now you are using it to get revenge or avenge someone from your amazing backstory? Maybe perhaps you have a badass name like…,” the instructor exclaims as he fanboys.
“NOOO!” Dave unsheathes his sword and stabs the table. “I am not some Zoro, where I can become some demonic badass that can use three swords normally and then 9 when I use some random ability. I don’t have some broken or overpowered abilities like sneezing to destroy a galaxy. Like Superman, I can’t fly. I don’t have some super-old badass mentor. I think strategically, not with just my gut. I don’t have some uber cool surprise history or reason to go on my path. But why do the cliche of old heroes who had amazing characteristics like being made of rubber and being able to destroy entire countries with a punch become the criteria to be a hero? I have the heart, the brains, and the will to be great, so why can’t I be a hero based on my own merits, as the heroes of old once were when they saved the world from alien monsters or injustice in general!” Dave exclaims in a valiant-esque speech.
“OHHH, I see. You can give the big speech that spurs the people to keep going and go into victory. …You pass, welcome to the hero organization!”
“I hate you,” Dave says, as he gets ready to attack the instructor.
“Congratulations, man, now let’s go before you hurt someone or yourself,” says Mark.
“Can’t wait to see you become a great hero… I bet he has some huge reveal and has to save his team by pulling out some ultra dazzling move,” exclaims the instructor in excitement.
Hannan is a junior. He wrote this piece for Ms. DiOrio’s English class and was inspired by pop culture and legendary figures. He says, “I enjoy many forms of satire in politics and pop culture that are evident in action/adventure anime along with comedic yet informative shows like the Daily Show, all of which have allowed me to gain a broad perspective on cultures, governments, and entertainment.”