Super Dilemma

It was a boring meeting.

Perry had been yammering on for almost an hour about journalistic quality and integrity and yadda-yadda-yadda. Even for a superhuman being from Krypton, boredom was dangerous and Clark Kent’s eyes were getting heavy.

“And dammit, Jimmy, get a new camera,” Perry exploded. “Every frame you’ve shot for the last two weeks has been out-of-focus!”

Clark permitted himself a quiet smirk. That was Jimmy’s newfound coke habit on display. He’d picked it up after that last photo feature about the East Side, and it was getting out of control. Jimmy was a friend, but ever since he and Lois has been sneaking off for lunch-time rendezvous, Clark was a bit miffed with him. The curse of x-ray vision, really. He pretty much hated them both now.

Suddenly the window of the news room exploded and glass flew everywhere. Clark managed to discreetly atomize a few large shards with his heat vision that threatened to pierce the lovely bosom of Lois Lane. 

He let one implant itself in Jimmy’s left butt cheek, just for sport. Olson was high anyway, he wouldn’t feel anything.

“Hello, Daily Planet staff!”

Lex Luthor was standing just inside the broken window with six of his goons.

“Time to make some news!”

Several people screamed even as several other hurled insults. Jimmy groped for an imaginary camera then giggled quietly to himself.

There was a desk in between Lex and his buddies and Clark Kent. They couldn’t see him well on the floor where he’d fallen. The door to the hallway was about five feet way. Clark decided to make a run for it.

He straightened his glasses and lunged for the doorknob. It was a perfect motion, his body was twisting in anticipation of the door opening. He’d be gone before anyone noticed he’d moved.

But the door was locked. And instead of slipping out an open door, Clark’s face slammed into the casing. One lens of his glasses cracked and the frame broke.

The room was silent. Clark turned his head slowly, his hands still on the locked doorknob. The cracked lens fell to the ground.

“What the hell was that?” Lex Luthor roared with laughter. “Were you trying to run away? That was pathetic!”

Most everyone began to laugh at Clark Kent now.

“I just really have to pee,” Clark nervously chuckled.

As the laughter died down Lex tapped one goon on the shoulder.

“Kill him.”

Gunfire roared as bullets sprayed across Clark Kent’s body. He closed his eyes as pain roared through his mind and he fell to the floor, face down.

“Clark!” It was Lois. She ran to him, sobbing.

Yeah, whatever, bitch.

“Get away from him!” Lex screamed. A goon came over and dragged her away.

“Now listen carefully, everyone, so we don’t have to kill any more of you. We’re looking for Superman. He seems to like you people, so we’re going to terrorize you until he arrives.”

Great. And here I am, stuck on the floor.

Clark could hear Lois sobbing quietly.

“Fuck him, Lois,” Jimmy whispered. “You’re my girl now.”

“But, Jimmy, it’s Clark…”

“Don’t worry about him. Here. Take this.”

“No, I don’t want any right now.”

“Take it. The pain goes away.”

Clark listened as Lois unwrapped something. Then she sniffed heavily. Then the sound of her head knocking back softly against the wall.

She’s doing the shit, too? Fucking Jimmy.

“Too bad we can’t do it right now.”

“Oh, Jimmy.”

Do I have to listen to this?

“Oh Jimmy, you’re sticky. Is this blood? Jimmy, you have a piece of glass in your ass.”

“Whoa.”

That was worth it.

“What’s going on over here?” Lex rushed over to the scene between Lois and Jimmy.

“Jimmy is injured, you have to let him go.”

“Nobody leaves here! If Superman doesn’t arrive in time, he’ll just be dead.” Clark heard Lex pace back and forth once or twice.

“In fact… maybe he needs some incentive.” Lex’s foot steps went away again.

“No! No!” That was the voice of Ned, the mailroom sorter. There was the sound of dragging and a struggle. “Please, god, no!” Several voices started to yell in a unified sort of pleading.

“Shut up all of you,” Lex yelled. “If I don’t have Superman’s attention yet, maybe this will get it.”

Then Ned’s scream, which faded quickly.

“He threw Ned out the window!” Lois gasped.

“Cool!” whispered Jimmy.

Dammit. Is this where I get up? Ned was an idiot, is he worth revealing my identity? If I just lay here more people might die? But I can’t let everyone know that I’m Superman! 

“Where is Superman?” Lois whispered to Jimmy. “Why isn’t he coming?”

“I dunno,” muttered Jimmy. “Maybe he’s busy. Hey, did you really love Clark?”

“Clark? I don’t think so. He was a bit of a schmuck.”

“Why did you stick with him for so long?”

“He reminds me of something. I dunno.”

“Hey, remember when Ned taped the Kick Me sign to Clark’s back?”

Ned taped a kick me sign to my back? I should have killed him myself.

“Yeah, that was funny. He wore it all the way home. I finally took it off after dinner.”

Jimmy laughed. “What a loser. It’s amazing to remember what an idiot Clark was. I still don’t know why you stuck with him.”

“Pity, maybe. Self-loathing? You know, he was halitosis central. I don’t think he ever brushed his teeth. Kissing him was almost torturous.”

My teeth are fucking immortal, bitch. I don’t need to brush them.

Jimmy laughed. “And his butt. What was up with his butt. It always looked like he had an extra shirt stuffed in his pants, or was wearing some mondo ginch. What was that?”

What would you do with a cape under your suit, Jimmy, shove it up your ass?

“I don’t know,” Lois giggled. “He always got undressed in the bathroom. He’d say, ‘I just have to slip into something more comfortable, Lois’ and he’d disappear for like an hour.”

Oh that’s nice. At least I had the decency to freshen up. Your armpits always smelled like monkey balls, dear.

“No way! Was it worth it?”

“Not really. It was all over in a few minutes and then we’d be watching Leno. He had a bad habit of farting after he, you know… I usually had to get up to open the window while he’d sit there guffawing at the opening routine.”

You’re so not saved. If Lex tosses you out the window, you’re hitting the pavement.

“Oh man, do you remember when Sue from accounting baked the chocolate Ex Lax into that birthday cake for Clark? He almost ate the whole thing, didn’t seem to notice nobody else was even touching it.”

Sue? I thought she was flirting with me, baking me a cake. What an awful cake. I didn’t want her to feel bad. Do I have any friends in this office?

“I think Clark had something for her. Oh my good, you should have smelled the apartment that night. It was like somebody was letting off depth charges in the toilet.”

 I do have super-bowels, too, you know. My indigestion is interstellar.

Jimmy and Lois continued to gossip about what they believed to be the corpse that lay face-down a few feet from them. Over time Lex tossed a few more Daily Planet staff out the window in an effort to gain the attention of his nemesis. But the superhero never arrived.

“Well that’s enough. We’re out of here,” Lex complained. “I suppose Superman doesn’t care about the lot of you as much as we thought.”

Lex and his goons fired up their jetpacks and disappeared into the sky.

“Okay, everybody, stay calm!” That was Perry shouting. He loved the sound of his own voice. “The police and paramedics will be here any minute, I’m sure.”

Clark roused himself slowly. He feigned pain in his head and chest.

“Oh my god, Clark! You’re alive!”

“What happened? I just remember trying to run for it.”

“And leave us all here, as usual, Clark. Look at my ass!”

“How are you even alive?” Lois exclaimed. “You were shot! Lots of times!”

Clark smirked. “Kevlar. I started wearing it a few weeks back. Major crime beat has its risks, you know.”

Lois’ head nodded lazily down against her chest. She struggled to lift it up again. “I’m so glad… Clark.”

“What about you, Lois? Your nose is red and bleeding a little…”

Lois wiped her nose clumsily. “It’s just a cold. Just a cold.”

Jimmy giggled, “Yeah. A snowy cold.” Lois hit Jimmy with the back of her hand, a weak smack.

“Well, gee, okay. I’ve still got to pee, so I’ll see you guys later.”

“Clark, wait for the paramedics…”

“I’m okay. I’ll see you later.” Clark walked across the room and slipped out the main door. Lois watched him go.

“Do you think he heard us? Was he awake?”

“Oh who cares. Clark’s a schmuck. Just a straight-up, sober, schmuck.”