Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bonus Post: The Fortress of Mirth

And now, for no good goddamn reason at all, an expansion on a scene from the Gravity Girl story, written in the style of Edith Wharton:

s183erthanksAs Kent stepped out of the basket he saw Chief Parker, tall and re-splendent, leading the troubled Hank Handley away in hand-cuffs; and heard Handley say, as he beamed on the law-man with his large painted smile: "But I've often reflected that on another world you should be a criminal yourself, or some manner of ape, or even a woman--." Behind them, waiting his turn to inspect the now-earthbound balloon, Kent noticed Willaby Fenton, the youthful voyeur whom he had once discovered behind a crape myrtle at Professor Phineas Potter's. As Mrs. Lang remarked: Fenton carried between his freckled temples and under his rude shock of chestnut-brown hair, a register of most of the scandals and mysteries that had smouldered under the unruffled surface of Smallville Society within the last eleven years. When he chose to, he could wield this knowledge with a surgeon's skill, excising whom-ever he wished from Smallville's good graces. The wonder was that he chose so seldom.

Kent felt a touch on his arm and saw Miss Lana Lang looking side-ways at him from the pure eminence of yellow cotton and a black velvet hair-ribbon. "It was good of you, dear Clark, to take my place in the basket while I attended to my books. I told Gravity Girl she must really come to your rescue."

He was aware of smiling at her vaguely, and she added, as if condescending to his natural chauvinism: "I've never seen you looking manlier. Pete Ross thinks you the handsomest boy in the town."

He was silent, and they walked on a few yards without exchanging a word. Finally he said: "I shan't begrudge Gravity Girl my admiration for her promptness -- and yet I confess I had rather hoped to see Superboy in her place; one can always be assured that Superboy will set matters a-right, while Gravity Girl's efficacy remains yet to be proven. Indeed, I shudder to think what weaknesses she might conceal -- and I daresay it's a mistake for Gravity Girl to be flitting over the town square in her abbreviated skirt, at the crowded hour."

Miss Lang's face looked pale and apprehensive, and Kent feared her rejoinder might disagree with his own fine opinion. But she said nothing.

They passed the rest of their stroll without further conversation.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, but if only Ms. Wharton were half as good at pushing along the story!

Sleestak said...

Don't hate on Edith.

Bill S. said...

Would that this were a series of Gravity Girl vignettes written by authors I had to read in pursuance of my English degree. Toni Morrison? Mark Twain? Sure, that might work. But THOMAS PYNCHON! "Gravity Girl's Rainbow," anyone? ("Gravity's Rainbow Girl" would be more appropriate for the second-in-command on the H.M.S. Exquisite.)

Bully said...

How about written by Frank Miller?

Clark pressed himself back in the seat as the g-forces hit him and bit his lower lip. Little Lana. She grew up. She grew out. "W-w-who are you?" he stuttered.

From underneath the metal helmet the cold sharp voice rang back in a hollow, derisive echo. "Who am I? What, are you dense? Are you retarded?" She laughed. "I'm the g-d-ed Gravity Girl."

Blockade Boy said...

Anonymous and Sleestak: Yay, a Literati Fight! *grabs a folding chair and a bag of microwave popcorn*

Bill S.: One of my favorite books growing up was "The Beaver Papers" by Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs. It imagines episodes of "Leave It To Beaver" as written by various authors like Faulkner, Dostoevsky and D.H. Lawrence ("Lady Cleaver's Beaver"). Even the theme song gets new lyrics, including a set by Johnny Cash ("I punched a squirt in Metzger's Field, just to watch him cry."). You can probably find it on eBay or Amazon.com.

Bully: Oh god, I'm dying! Must be the g-forces!

Bill S. said...

I'll definitely check it out. Thanks!