The Superboy Story
by Sean Taylor
"I'll kill you, Superboy! That's the last time you foul up my caper, you costumed punk!" Sidearm yelled as his saw-arm buzzed toward the neck of Hawaii's favorite teen hero.
"You'll have to do better than that, Sidetrack," the kid said with a grin, then with one punch sent Sidearm careening into a used car lot.
"The name is Sidearm, Supertot. For the last time, it's Sidearm." With another robotic arm, the villain lifted a red Volvo and sent it flying toward the Boy of Steel.
"Whatever you say, Sidewinder. I'll be sure to remember that when . . . Wait a minute, what my next line? I forgot." The kid turned away and the Volvo passed just above him and smashed into the fake brick wall behind him. "Oops. I guess I should have caught that, huh?"
The Kid came back down to earth and a short, balding man in a black sweater and dark sunglasses stormed up to him. "do you know how much it's costing us to constantly get new props every time you forget a line?" He poked the kid in the chest and mumbled something under his breath. "And the line is 'I'll be sure to remember that when I notify your next of kin.'"
"But I'd never say something as mean as that. I'd say something really good like 'Just be sure to put it on your business cards.'"
"But that's not in the script."
"We go by a little thing called a script when we work in movies, son."
"But I'd never say it that way."
"Whatever." The little man threw the script on the ground with a loud smack. "TAKE FIVE!" He yelled to the crew, then turned to Superboy again. "No. Make that ten." He pointed at the script notebook lying on the pavement. "I tell you what. You take that copy of the script and rewrite you smart-aleck comments the way you'd say them, then maybe -- just maybe -- we can finish filming this movie before you're an adult."
"But I'm never going to be an --
"I know." The director stormed off toward a row of snack machines. "Can't even get a joke," he mumbled, "How's he ever supposed to save Hawaii from the bad guys?"
The Kid picked up the script and shoved it inside his leather jacket. "Stupid movie was Rex's idea anyway," he grumbled, "Why do I let him talk me into these things?"
Just then, as if a dam had burst, the Kid found himself surrounded by a throng of Hawaii's brightest bikinis, all worn by the young ladies who had been waiting for an opportunity to get autographs, photos made with the Kid, or just cuddle up next to him and sneak a kiss from Hawaii's coolest.
Oh yeah, he thought. Now I remember why. "No need to push, ladies. There's plenty of me to go around. And as long as Superboy's here to keep Hawaii safe, you ladies will have all the time you want."
Gerard Weist wasn't at all used to working with impetuous young superbrats like Superboy. He knew that he should have been. After all, he overseen video work with superbabes like Fire and the late Ice, as well as filmed an ill-fated commercial featuring Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. But Superboy?! Never had he met such a meta-enhanced kid. Even trying to film an interview with that Impulse kid would have to be easier than having to endure the self-aggrandizement of this former Superman wanna be.
He glanced along the wall of his trailer. Framed photos of his awards adorned the short hallway. The originals were locked safely away at his Beverly Hills home, of course, where nothing could happen to them.
The last award was dated June 14, 1993. Nearly five years without so much as an honorable mention from even a small press film magazine. The silence rang like a death bell for his career. Superboy's life story was his big chance to make a comeback. Then he could be in the driver's seat again, and have the freedom not to take every little stupid job that came along.
The coffee pot gurgled on his right, and he reached without looking to grab the carafe. He found a Styrofoam cup on the edge of the sink, then poured a few ounces of the thick black liquid into it.
"Yeeuuchhh!" The coffee had a bitter taste that almost made him vomit.
"That would be the poissson, probably," said a creepy voice behind him, and he dropped the cup onto his Italian loafers. "No, it'sss better if you don't turn around," the voice continued, "At leassst, if you want to live to sssee thisss evening."
"Who are you? What do you want from me?"
"Sssshut up, Mr. Weissst."
"Please. I've got four hundred dollars in my wallet. Credit cards too. You can have it all."
"I can get more. Just please don't kill me."
A sharp pain sliced across his back and he fell to his knees.
"I'd advissse you to be quiet or the nexxxt one will cut your throat." For nearly a minute, everything was quiet except for the shuffling of feet behind him. "I'm willing to make a deal with you, Mr. Weist. Your life in return for arranging a little accident for your ssstar."
"An ack . . . " he coughed. The poison must have started to reach his stomach. "What kind of accident?"
"The kind that earns our dear little superbrat a hero's funeral."
Nearly twenty minutes had gone by with no sign of Weist, and Superboy couldn't be happier. His fans had made him feel more than welcome, and he had forgotten completely about reading over the script. In fact, the only thing that could make him happier would be an evening under the stars with Tana.
But of course Tana wasn't speaking to him. Forever, as far as he knew. And stuck in the never-aging body of a 16-year-old, how could he ever win her back?
A glare of sunlight caught his attention, and he flew from the throng of beach beauties to find where it had come from. The light reflecting off the newsvan made it next to impossible to see, but as he flew closer, he recognized the van as one from KonaTV. And that meant that the dark-haired beauty standing next to it would have to be Tana.
He passed the van and flew directly to a flower vender to sweet talk his way into a free rose. Once he had it, he returned to the van and landed behind it.
"I thought you might like this, Tana" he said, hoping the surprise would at least give him a shot at talking to Tana. A week without so much as a word between them was way too much to handle.
But the surprise was his. The girl was not Tana.
"Thanks," she said and took the rose. "Do you always greet new people this way?"
"It's a Hawaiian custom," the kid said, trying not to sound disappointed. "If I don't, beautiful women may stop coming to the island."
The woman blushed and smiled. "I'm Cassandra Yi. KonaTV's newest rookie. I was kind of hoping I'd get to meet you sooner or later."
"Well, now that I've done my duty, I guess I'd better get back to the set before drill sergeant Weist starts yelling at me again."
"Can I interview you later?"
Okay, so she's not Tana, the kid thought. He couldn't wait around all day for her to understand. "Sure. Meet me here at eight. I'll show you a view of the islands most people don't get to see."
In no time, he was back at the set, hovering and waiting for Weist to yell at him for goofing off.
"Nice shirt ," he said as eased down to the pavement. The directitorial dictator had changed into a black gold shirt. "I tried to tell you a sweater wouldn't cut it here."
No answer came, just a nod and a series of coughs. After he caught his breath, Weist said in a whisper "Look, kid, I'm sorry for losing it earlier. but keep it under your hat. If word got out that I apologized, nobody'd listen to me anymore."
"Sure." The Kid thought it was weird, but figured that the director had finally wised up and realized that the movie would be a guaranteed washout without its star. Besides, he was used to people acting all goofy around him. He was, after all, Hawaii's coolest hero. "Oh, I kind of forgot to read the script while we were on break."
"That's fine, son. Just read it tonight. I thought we'd go back over the Knockout scene anyway. The one where you send your tactile-power-stuff through the street and defeat her."
Superboy flew to his spot at the end of the street and waited for Weist to yell "Action!" When the call came and the cameras focused in on him, he dodged the flying debris the machines were throwing at him, and landed on the pavement to pretend to use his tactile telekinesis. In just a few moments, the low-power explosives underneath the street would cause the pavement to shake and simulate what the special effects wizard thought his superpower should look like.
He heard the initial rumbling, and thought it was louder than before, but he ignored it. "I'm taking you down, Knockout. No murdering bimbo is going to make a fool out of the Kid." He hated the line, but it was one of the few he could remember.
Down at the other end of the street, Lorna Neale, the former body builder turned actress, shouted back, "I could have made you a man, pup. Now all you're going to be is dead."
He waited for the fake explosion to blown up the loose pavement underneath Lorna, but nothing happened.
Then he felt the rumbling continue to grow beneath his own feet. Just before the loud crash sent the pavement up all around him in a ball of intense flame.
[return to journal index] [go on to chapter two]