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Authors: Jane De Suza

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BOOK: SuperZero
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19. Find friends with loud voices to protest for you

‘Psssst,' said my front doorstep, ‘let me in.'

a) I'd quite given up on the fact that my superpowers included Super Hearing, where things like doorsteps spoke to me.

b) I did not want to upset my mom by allowing doorsteps in, when she'd put them outside.

c) I knew by now, like you know by now, who it was.

‘Hey Blank,' I said, opening the door and noticing a pair of Bermuda shorts hopping around outside. Blank was disappearing only in parts again, a sure sign that he was excited. ‘Wassup?'

‘You want the good news or the gooder news first?' Blank's face appeared too, with an ear-to-ear grin spread across it.

‘Er, what is—'

‘—the good news is that you have a lot of friends in
school, and the bad news is that they're holding a protest outside Double-Headmistress's office till you get sent back in.'

‘You said there was only good news . . . wait up . . . whaaaaat?'

Blank's arms appeared and they were waving around excitedly. ‘Ya, is that cool or what?'

‘You mean they want me back? Me? Who wants me back?'

‘Anna Conda's leading the protest, and TRex says it's not much fun when he has no one to compete with.'

Wowie, I never thought TRex even knew words like ‘compete'.

Blank continued, ‘And me, of course. I've been going blank and writing graffiti all over the school like “Bring Back Zero”.'

‘That's nice. I think. Go on . . .'

‘And Lizzie Lizard was saying how she always liked you.'

‘Nooo!'

‘SuperZero, you gotta get back, man!'

‘But Masterror suspended me like, forever.'

‘Yeah, but come and see what's happening. Come with me and just disappear so no one will know it's you.'

‘Blank, that's what
you
do—disappear. I can't . . . remember? No superpowers.'

Anyway, believe it or not, we were back to the coconut branch thing. Only it was a lot worse, because I hid behind the coconut branch, and Blank disappeared, so now it looked like a talking coconut branch walking on the street by itself.

The sight at school hit me hard. I wanted to hug everyone. All those superkids, dozens of them, across all the classes—freshers, mid-schoolers, juniors, seniors—were holding up slogans like: ‘We want our Super Zero bake' and ‘There is no hero like Supper Zero'. Yeah, well, spellings were not big at Superhero School. They focus more on things like stopping tornadoes, not on how to spell them.

Masterror stood with folded arms, glaring at the crowd. ‘If you continue this nonsense, I'm afraid we'll just have to suspend the lot of you!'

‘You can't,' yelled Vamp Iyer, and I wanted to hug him, though I'm scared of his fangs. ‘You need us. You can't have a superhero school without superheroes in it.'

Just then, Double-Headmistress swept out magnificently from her office and held up her hand.

Head 1: ‘Quiet! I will not have this bad behaviour. Please go back to your classes.'

Head 2: ‘Masterror, I am talking to you. Go back!'

Head 1: ‘Of course not. I am talking to the children. Masterror, stay!'

Head 2: ‘Masterror, go! Do you dare disobey your superior?'

Head 1: ‘Stay, I say!'

Head 2: ‘Go, before—'

Head 1: ‘STAY!'

Head 2: ‘GO!'

Thankfully, a buzz in the air relieved the unbearable tension, when even the superkids were so wrapped up in which head would win (it was more exciting than a boxing match!).

The Fly alighted right on top of the placard that said: ‘Do not suspense Super Zero!' And when the Fly was around, everyone looked at him with respect.

The Fly spoke loudly (for someone that size): ‘Firstly, this is a terribly sad way to go about things. I was in the middle of training icebergs not to melt, when you called me all this way to break up this fight.'

Anna Conda yelled out delightedly, ‘Did you bring us an iceberg?'

The Fly continued, ‘No. Secondly, this is a terribly sad way to go about things.'

Vamp Iyer whispered to him, ‘Sshhh, you said that already.'

The Fly frowned at him and continued, ‘No, it is sad secondly too. It is sad because you have taken the law into your own hands, and claws and paws, and whatever else you superkids have. Fighting will solve nothing.'

Head 1: ‘I told you so.'

Head 2: ‘You say that so often you make me sick!'

Head 1: ‘And you make me want to cut off your head.'

Head 2: ‘Is this what you mean by not fighting?'

The Fly continued yet again, ‘Thirdly, this is a terribly sad way to go about things. Everyone deserves a chance, and some children are just late bloomers.'

I knew that the Fly was brilliant and all that, but I was getting a bit impatient. What was he talking about blooming now for? Couldn't he just get to the point?

Unfortunately, the tension had made me forget all about the fact that I was supposed to be in disguise, and my coconut branch slipped somewhat, leading Masterror
to spot me. His voice boomed out: ‘SuperZero, what are you doing here? You were suspended from school!'

Total chaos erupted.

The superkids tried to show their support: some ran towards me, some flew up into the air, some threw their placards at the walls, some slipped on Slime Joos's darts of slime, which in his excitement, he'd spurted all around.

The Fly shook his head sadly through it all. ‘This is a terribly sad way to go about things.'

Masterror used his superpowers to make my coconut branch burst into flame, and I had to throw off my cover completely and run for it, with many of the superkids running after me, until we heard a fierce barking. Under the impression that the superkids were attacking me, my loyal dog had materialized, charging at them, causing even more panic. Everyone ran and flew and climbed walls everywhere.

Head 1: ‘Stop it! This is a crying shame!'

Head 2: ‘Hehe, it's a flying shame actually, what with the superkids flying.'

Head 1: ‘I am tired of your stupid jokes. I would like your head to fly right off in fact.'

Head 2: ‘Then I am taking your head with me.'

Double-Headmistress's two heads began to wrestle with each other, and it was never quite clear in the end what exactly went wrong, but all of a sudden there was a horrible blood-curdling scream.

Head 2 stared at the deep gash on her neck and the entire school froze in horror. Later, some said it was Head 1 who'd stabbed it, some said it was Masterror's super laser beam that had caused it, some said it was the coconut branch that slashed it off, some said it was Vamp Iyer who dug his teeth into it, some said it was BigaByte who bit it off. (I happen to know the last is not possible, because BigaByte always eats up whatever he bites off. He never leaves a crumb.)

Head 1 kept screaming, ‘I'm losing my other head. Help!' And this time there was no Head 2 to respond, which was, as the Fly would say, ‘a terribly sad way to go about things'.

We looked on helplessly.

20. Superheroes must NOT faint

Double-Headmistress was fading away. Head 1 was cradling Head 2 and sobbing. Anna Conda tried to curl around Head 2 to keep her warm, but Head 1 snapped at her, ‘Snakes are cold-blooded. You're going to freeze her, not warm her.' Anna Conda choked back a sob and slithered away quickly.

Since everyone was frozen in horror, the Fly, of course, needed to take charge. ‘We have to get her to the central hospital. Now! There are doctors there who are world-famous—the Chance brothers . . . they are the only ones who can treat superheroes. Get her over there fast!'

That got us going, and the superkids put their arms together to carry Double-Headmistress and fly her over (those who could fly) to the hospital.

The Fly went buzzing in and came out with the first Dr Chance he could find. Dr Chance took one look at the almost slashed-off head and began to perspire. ‘There is no time to waste. We must get my brother, Dr Chance, at once.'

‘But aren't you Dr Chance?' the Fly asked.

‘I'm Dr Good Chance. She is much too serious. She needs my brother, the senior expert here, Dr Last Chance.'

There was waiting and wailing and many nurses who kept flapping around, poking needles into Double-Headmistress and attaching tubes to her. She looked pale.

Finally, Dr Last Chance was pulled out of a surgery where he had been transplanting someone's tailbone into someone else. He looked a bit annoyed at having to rush from one emergency to another.

He kept prodding at Head 2, and opening and staring into her eyes and asking all those weird questions doctors ask you, like ‘Can you count backwards?' Then he stood back and looked around our gang with his ‘sad' face—you know the one doctors put on when they have to give you bad news, like say, when your tooth is so rotten that they have to pull it out and it's going to hurt like crazy? Yeah, that sad face. ‘It looks bad, but she is a fighter.'

‘I knoooow,' wailed Head 1, ‘I always told her not to fight.'

‘Ahem,' Dr Last Chance continued, ‘I meant it as a good thing. She's going to be fighting to stay alive. It's a strange case, you know, it's not every day a doctor gets a two-headed patient. Sometimes a one-headed patient with two chins . . .'

‘Dr Last Chance!' the Fly cut in, ‘you are our last chance. Please focus.'

‘Fow-cus!' grunted Masterror.

‘Yes, yes, I'm afraid there is only one very rare remedy.' Dr Last Chance was flipping through a thick leather-bound book of brown, old and crumbling pages.

‘Ah, here it is,' he said, squinting at a page. ‘Single threatened decapitation of one or more of multiple . . . got it! She needs a mere drop of blood.' He beamed at us happily. ‘But that drop of blood needs to be superhero blood . . . AND it needs to be delivered from the fangs of a vampire.'

In the silence that followed, everyone turned around to stare at Vamp Iyer.

‘Omigosh, no!' Vamp Iyer shrunk backwards. ‘No, no, no!'

‘You're our last chance,' said Masterror.

‘No, he's your last chance. He's Dr Last Chance.' Vamp Iyer shook his head.

‘You're our only hope,' said Anna Conda.

‘No, no, no.' Vamp Iyer said desperately, ‘Maybe there's a Dr Hope? A Dr Only Hope? Why don't you go check?'

Vamp Iyer kept shaking his head, his lips trembling and a tear beginning to form in one eye.

‘What is it, boy?' the Fly asked him softly. ‘You come from a family of vampires. You have blood in your veins. Well, we all have blood in our veins. Ahem, I mean, you have sucking blood in your veins. Your people live by sucking blood. You are the only one who can do it. Just
puncture a superhero vein, like a mosquito, and hop over to deliver it to Double Head-Mistress. Come on, Vamp Iyer, make your school proud!'

Vamp Iyer whispered finally, ‘I can't. I've never sucked a drop of blood in my life. I only drink milk. I've not been weaned yet.'

The silence grew louder, if that's possible. Vamp Iyer stood in the middle of that room, his head hanging.

Dr Last Chance looked around irritably. ‘Okay, let's start with the superhero blood then. You sir, are too puny, it is impossible to take the required drop from you.' That to the Fly. Then the doctor turned to Masterror. ‘You, sir, are perfect. You can be the blood donor.'

Masterror backed out. While all of us stood staring at him, he shook his head, panicking. ‘I can't. I can't. I am . . . I am . . . verrrrrry . . . errrrrr . . . anaemic . . . sickly . . . frrrrragile. Not me.'

Our little heroine, Anna Conda, piped up, ‘Take mine. I just need to ask my parents and . . .'

Dr Last Chance cut in, ‘It's an emergency. It has to be right now.'

Blank would undoubtedly have offered but he couldn't even reappear fully to let his arms, let alone his veins, show.

I felt so unbearably sad—I was indirectly the cause of all this. And when I feel unbearably sad, I also feel unbearably heroic (stupidly heroic as it turns out). ‘Don't worry,
everybody,' I said, puffing out my chest, ‘I am here. Vamp Iyer, buddy, don't be afraid. It's only me. You can take my blood.' I held out my arm bravely.

‘Ooh SuperZero, you are my hero,' Anna Conda cooed, and in that instant, I knew that it was all worth it.

Dr Last Chance cleared his throat. ‘I must warn you that this process is known to be injurious to health. Often the superhero donor could bleed to death.'

Blank's mop of hair appeared, dancing around me while he shouted angrily, ‘Don't be an idiot, SuperZero. A vampire! He could suck out all your blood. You heard the doc. You could bleed to death.'

‘Then perhaps I will be of some good,' I said sadly. ‘So far I have only caused everyone pain.'

(Now, in case you're wondering if I had knocked my head and was talking rubbish, let me confess, these are lines out of that soppy TV serial that my Mom watches. When the guy said it, all the women in the serial burst out crying and hugged him.)

I announced with much bravado, ‘I will give my blood for my people. And you can't stop me.' (A line from a movie that Gra watched recently.)

‘Are you sure, SuperZero? This is so brave of you!' Head 1 said, looking doubtfully at me.

‘3-2-1, and the whistle goes!' (Okay, so this is a line from my Dad's basketball match.)

Then everyone clapped, and I was backslapped a lot,
some of which hurt (when TRex slapped my back, I went stumbling across the room).

Anyway, it was all set up. Vamp Iyer was made to go brush his fangs (he had just had chocolate milk . . . what if I got infected?) and my arm was strapped down to a bed.

Vamp Iyer was brought back to the room, and the nurse examined his teeth and nodded, and then . . . and then . . . woooozyy here . . . I can only remember this in a haze . . . so the nurse brought Vamp Iyer's head closer to me—closer—closer—to my arm—till he looked like one big huge full moon on a full moon night—closer—closer—
and he opened his mouth so I saw his huge, HUGE fangs come closer—closer—and felt the prick of something in my arm—and OW!

And that's all I'm afraid I remember.

BOOK: SuperZero
3.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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