Contact Us

Have a question or comment? Send it along, and we'll get back to you lickety-split. 


Pittsburgh, PA
USA

Slide6.png

Blog

 

 

Superhero Stories by You #3: Glorious Girl

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Glorious Girl
by Vaishnavi Kurupath, age 10
 

“Okay, so you’re telling me that you have superpowers,” said Diane.
“It could be true. Humans only use ten percent of their brains,” said Emma, putting her book down.
“I know it sounds weird, but it’s true,” insisted Nicola. “I can prove it. Watch very carefully.”
Nicola lifted her hands. She squinted her eyes. She stared hard at Emma’s book. Suddenly, the book started shaking. It slowly lifted itself up and moved next to Diane. Plop!
Diane was petrified with shock. “What the…?”

*
“There. All good,” said Emma.
Nicola put on her cape. It was red and green and brought out her green eyes, partly covered by brown hair.
“What’s the purpose of this?” asked Nicola.
“It should motivate you to find out your other powers, if you have any,” said Emma.
“Plus, it makes you look more like a real superhero,” said Diane as she flipped through the pages of her magazine.
“All right, here goes,” said Nicola. She tried to life up her bed, but she couldn’t. It was too heavy.
“Nope,” said Emma. “Wait—I have an idea. Sorry about what I’m going to do.” Emma reached over and pinched Nicola, hard.
“Ow!” said Nicola.
“Quick: what ice cream flavor am I thinking of and what’s my mom going to cook for dinner?”
Nicola answered without hesitation, “Vanilla, and spaghetti.”
“Wow, that’s correct! Decent powers you have,” Emma said. “It’s pretty useful.”

*
“Nicola, you can watch TV for fifteen minutes, but then turn it off and play with Teresa. Don’t leave your little sister lonely,” said Nicola’s mom. “I’m going to get groceries at the store.”
“Okay, Mom,” said Nicola, clicking on the TV. “Hey! Surviving the Wilderness is on!”
After only a couple minutes of watching her favorite show, the TV screen filled with static. Then the screen showed a tall man with a rectangular face, salt-and-pepper hair, and a scar on his right cheek. He stated, “Dear citizens, I am taking over your town, Bendley. With the help of my five-hundred robots, I will be mayor and you will obey me. You will wear black and the T-shirts I hand out. Thank you. By the way, my name is E. Larry.”
The TV screen faded out to static.
Nicola switched off the TV. She didn’t know what to think. Was this some sort of prank?
Ring! Ring! Ring! Nicola answered the telephone. “This is the Milani residence. How may I help you?”
“All right,” said Diane. “You have the superpowers and the costume. You can save our town!”
“What about my five-year-old sister?” asked Nicola.
“Drop Teresa at Emma’s. She’s good at babysitting. Now go!” exclaimed Diane.
Nicola rushed to her bedroom. She changed into her outfit, stuffed some toys into a gym bag, and lifted Teresa into her arms. She left a note on the front door for her mom: Went to hang out at Emma’s. Have Teresa and toys.
Carrying the gym bag and her sister, Nicola left the house.

*
E. Larry was poised on a grandstand, ready to speak to the town of Bendley. Diane rushed up to him.
“Sir, may I say something?” she asked. “It’s very nice, don’t worry.”
E. Larry hesitated. “Fine,” he said. “Make it quick.”
Diane cleared her throat, then spoke into the microphone. “People of Bendley, we have been overthrown by Mr. E. Larry. But don’t fear. My friend Nicola will help you. She has superpowers!”
“Little girl, this is silly,” said E. Larry, grabbing the microphone from Diane and pushing her aside.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that!” yelled Nicola, running onto the scene in her cape.
E. Larry scoffed. “What! A fourteen-year-old superhero! What nonsense!” he exclaimed.
“I think overthrowing Bendley is a little overrated,” said Nicola. “How about practicing in prison instead?”
“Are you threatening me?” asked E. Larry.
“What does it look like?” replied Nicola. With that, she threw him a punch.

*
“All the robots are on that airship,” Emma said, pointing up in the sky. “We need to defeat them, but how?” 
“Come on, I have a plan,” said Diane. She whispered her idea to Emma.
“I think it just might work!” Emma exclaimed.
Emma and Diane climbed into the basket of Bendley’s hot-air balloon. They untied the ropes and the hot-air balloon floated into the air. It was only a matter of time before the girls were able to sneak aboard the airship.
“Stall the captain, and I’ll get the speaker,” ordered Diane.
Emma nodded and hurried to the cockpit.
Diane rushed to the speaker. “Robots,” she said in a manly voice. “You are needed in the hall to celebrate, um… E. Larry’s birthday! Right now!”
All the robots obediently marched to the hall. But when they reached what they thought was the hall, they all fell off the ship into the sea.
“How is this possible?” the captain yelled.
Diane and Emma high-fived each other. They had switched the signs on the rooms of the airship, and the “hall” was actually an exit! The robots could not pay attention or think for themselves, only obey orders.
“Happy birthday, E. Larry,” said Diane with a smile. With that, she and Emma left the airship.

*
Nicola and E. Larry were evenly matched fighters. Neither one of them was winning.
If I want to defeat this guy, I need a strategy, thought Nicola. People not listening to him is his weakness, so maybe if I…
“Hey, little girl! Are you listening? Listen to me! Come on! Listen!" yelled E. Larry. He was weakened from his anger.
“Ha-yah!” shouted Nicola. With that, she took him down.

*
Now, Bendley has statues of Nicola, Diane and Emma in the town square. They are proof that anyone can become a superhero—you just need to tap into your own special powers to do so!

Call for Submissions: Snow, Ice & Sleet Edition

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

"Ice Storm (31)" by Llima Orosa, via Flickr and courtesy a Creative Commons license. 

"Ice Storm (31)" by Llima Orosa, via Flickr and courtesy a Creative Commons license

We're gearing up for our third edition of KaPow! And what better topic for winter than the weather? 

Your next challenge is to write something — anything — about winter.  You could write a short story about a Saint Bernard on a rescue mission in the Alps. You could write a poem praising the brisk air and glittery snowflakes of December. Make a series of memes making fun of people who can’t handle the cold. Consider writing a personal essay about a holiday memory or the best snowball fight you were ever in. When you have something you love, be sure to send it to use so we can publish it on the blog

To submit: email your piece as an attachment or pasted into the body of the message to flashbangwriting@gmail.com. Just put “SUBMISSION: Snow, Ice & Sleet” in the title line, so we know to open it right away! Please include your name, age, and school in your submission. All pieces accepted for publication on the blog will also be considered for publication in KaPow! Snow, Ice & Sleet Edition, scheduled for late winter publication. If your piece is selected, you’ll receive a free copy of the zine (and extra copies are always on sale on our website). 

Buy a previous issue of KaPow! We're currently selling both the Poem-A-Thon Edition and the Superhero Edition. 

Superhero Stories by You #2: Battle of the Ninja by Ryan Wu

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

"Bokeh Ninja," by Nick Harris, via Flickr and courtesy a Creative Commons license.

"Bokeh Ninja," by Nick Harris, via Flickr and courtesy a Creative Commons license.

Battle of the Ninja
by Ryan Wu, age 9

Deep in a warehouse in Oakland, California, machines whirred to life. Cranes clicked plating and armor into place, and a mysterious hooded figure typed furiously into a keyboard of a laptop, completing the programming and design of the most dangerous android ever, Dark Chase, the future enemy of the psychic ninja Chase . . .

*

In the year 2050, somewhere in San Francisco, Chase, an orphaned 14-year-old, was on a high school field trip to a nuclear power plant. His parents had died in a car crash, and now he lived in an orphanage. He didn’t know this trip would change his life. As he was touring a room with a tub of radioactive chemicals, he tripped and fell into a batch of chemicals. When he rose he had a new mind, like doors in his brain had been flung wide open and accepted new yet dangerous knowledge. He knew he had new psychic powers. He knew an evil android in ninja clothes called Dark Chase was riding toward Washington, D.C. on a floating motorcycle at very high speeds. He wanted to use his new powers to help the people of D.C. because it wasn’t the people’s fault that they were killed or something—because they were innocent!

When workers in hazmat suits came to pick him up to safety, he blasted them with glowing blue psychic spheres, grouping invisible power into a ball and throwing it. His teacher tried to call him back, but Chase soared through the air through an opening and flew to an area where no one had ever gone. By blowing up the small area with his powers, he then constructed a base with a forge, sleeping area, kitchen, enchantment room, and a large plasma screen TV for locating bad guys to capture them—or just play video games. He quickly forged armor out of bronze and steel with shoulder guards and a back sheath for his two wickedly sharp double-bladed swords, also crafted from steel and bronze. He made a black hovering skateboard, a hovering tank, and a floating motorcycle. Chase trained himself to drive these, and after hours of practice, he strapped his swords onto his back and took off on his hovering cycle. He had villains to find.

 *

People screamed. The grand capital of the USA was now not-so-grand. A strange android in ninja clothes was burning Washington, D.C. As Chase descended on his hoverbike, he saw the oblivion Dark Chase had created. The Lincoln Memorial was burning and the Washington Monument was in ruins, and Dark Chase was headed toward the White House. Chase knew he had to follow even though he felt nervous, since this was his very first time trying to capture villains, so he flicked on the rockets on his hoverbike and shot toward Dark Chase like a speeding bullet. “Let’s get this over with,” he muttered.

As Chase neared the evil android, he turned on his lasers and activated the stun mode. He took aim on the dashboard and fired. Dark Chase’s left rocket jet burst into flames, and Dark Chase careened toward the ground. He smashed into the gates surrounding the White House. Chase dismounted his hoverbike and dragged the limp nindroid to the waiting police. Suddenly, Dark Chase’s eyes snapped open, and he twisted out of his captor’s grip. Chase tried to follow, but Dark Chase had the speed of a cheetah. He summoned his hoverbike, which had somehow rebuilt itself, and jumped on. In a mechanical voice Dark Chase yelled, “Sayonara, sucker!”

Chase cursed and jumped onto his own hoverbike, and shot toward Dark Chase, heading northeast toward New York City.

*

As Chase neared New York, he could see the outline of Dark Chase’s hoverbike in the distance. Chase gained speed and when he was close enough, he shot a grappling line toward Dark Chase.

“Hey! What’re you doing!” yelled the nindroid.

“I’m stopping you from destroying anything again!” Chase yelled. Dark Chase sneered. He drew his sword and leaped at Chase with it raised. Chase activated a huge round war shield from his watch and blocked the slash. He drew one of his swords and swung at Dark Chase, but the nindroid was quick and parried the blades away.

Suddenly Chase had an idea. Where was the nindroid’s control panel? Then he saw it: a small square door in the middle of the Dark Chase’s stomach. Chase thrust his sword at it, but the nindroid quickly slammed his blade down hard and Chase’s sword fell through the air. He knew he should retrieve it with his powers, but there was no time. Dark Chase swung his deadly silver-and-iron sword, and Chase raised his shield. The blade shattered.

Dark Chase staggered back. Chase shot a psychic sphere at him, which left Dark Chase no choice but to jump back onto his hoverbike, cut the grappling line, and soar away. Chase retrieved his sword, sheathed it, and shot toward Dark Chase with the New York skyline rising before him.

*

Chase had never been to New York, but he had read a lot about it. While eating cheeseburgers at McDonalds, his psychic powers automatically sensed something. For some reason, he knew that the Empire State Building was on fire, and the guy that was causing it was obviously Dark Chase. After finishing his cheeseburger ASAP, he activated the GPS system on his hoverbike, which was parked in front, and soared through the streets of Manhattan looking for Dark Chase. He found him invading the Empire State Building. The lobby had been thrown into chaos. Shops were flaming, and Dark Chase was trying to burn the eating area. Chase yelled, “Stop, you stupid idiotic nindroid!” Dark Chase turned. His glowing red eyes widened.

“You!”

“Yeah, it’s me, you stupid idiot,” Chase taunted. “Try to get me. Or are your legs too rusty to run?”

Dark Chase growled and Chase took off, Dark Chase on his heels. He leaped onto his tiny hoverboard and shot away, with Dark Chase still licking his heels. But Dark Chase had his hovering tank!

“OH GOD!” I’M DEAD MEAT!” yelled Chase. In his panic, he used a smoke screen, summoned his own tank, and got in. He stuffed his board away, took the controls, and shot laser bolts at Dark Chase from the top turret. Dark Chase dodged and soared toward some old warehouses, with Chase shooting right behind him.

They crashed through the roof of a warehouse, destroying it and crushing crates into splinters. They rose from the wreckage, groaning. The two enemies focused on each other and each one drew weapons: Chase drew his swords and shield, and Dark Chase drew his swords. Chase slammed his shield into Dark Chase’s head and the nindroid’s anger exploded. He summoned his hoverbike and automated tank, which had rebuilt itself, and Chase did the same. Each one jumped onto his hoverbike and started firing laser bolts. Pretty soon, Dark Chase’s tank exploded. Chase threw a metal razor frisbee, and the frisbee’s sharp blades tore into the wiring of Dark Chase’s hoverbike. The hoverbike’s mechanisms short circuited, and it dropped like a stone.

Chase charged at the stunned nindroid and slammed his weapons into Dark Chase’s head. The nindroid crumpled. Chase then stabbed into Dark Chase’s wiring, and the evil nindroid was finally destroyed. Chase rejoiced, but he still had to find the hooded figure who created Dark Chase, and wouldn’t stop until he found him.

He’ll sentence that rotten piece of scum many years in Alcatraz that he’ll be staying there for the rest of his life.

*

At his base in the middle of nowhere, Chase had some thoughts, like who created Dark Chase, where did Dark Chase come from, and why did the creator of Dark Chase try to kill him, and where was the creator of Dark Chase now? Chase knew he should plan about going after the strange figure, but he was beat after fighting Dark Chase, so he figured he should kick back and relax before planning his next mission.

Just outside Chase’s base, the figure who made Dark Chase sneered, and said, “You’ve won this time Chase, but this isn’t over.” With a swipe of his cape, the figure disappeared into thin air.


Send us your superhero-inspired short stories, poems, and essays! All the details are here in our call for submissions. All writing on published on the blog will also be considered for our print zine KaPow! Superhero Edition, which will debut at the Fifth Annual Pittsburgh Zine Fest. Buy a copy of KaPow! Poem-A-Thon Edition to see what other great student writing we've published.