Circe’s words echo in your ears, sparking a memory that brings an unexpected smile to your face. Yes, pretty much everyone knows that Superman is vulnerable to Kryptonite. But you aren’t everyone, are you? You’re the kind of guy who picks wizard over barbarian, the type of man who shouts a quote from They Live when heading into a brawl, you’re a full-fledged geek of modern pop-culture. Three hundred and sixty four days a year, that doesn’t come in handy in any meaningful way. But, today, on Halloween, it’s a fucking godsend.
“Hey dickhole,” you say, magical energy crackling across your fingertips. “You don’t actually read Superman comics, do you?”
“Nah brah, I just go see the movies,” Not-Superman replies.
“Pity. Movies only tell you the new stuff, it keeps it all simple. There’s a lot more mythos that what’s been thrown on the silver screen. If you had read the comics, you’d know that Superman sucks at dealing with more than kryptonite. Like, just for example…” You take a deep breath and try to pull out every bit of mojo still pumping through your body. Your hands are practically glowing with energy, but still you press more into them. You tongue darts out and moistens your lips, preparing to call forth untold power.
In this highly unlikely scenario, your go-to evocation is perfect for the situation. So, just this once, go for it. Holler than sumnabitch to the rafters. Make the moon shit its pants.
“…Fuckiiiiiiiing MAGIC!” You hurl both arms out as you scream, releasing a bolt of energy easily as thick as a sumo wrestler’s leg. Not-Superman could dodge it, but it’s only as the blue blast is about to make contact that he understand the meaning of your words. Even for someone pilfering the powers of the man-of-steel, it’s just a second too late. The magical blast strikes him dead-center on the giant “S” and envelops his entire body in an explosion of light. When it finally clears, there is a crater in the stage, five feet across and three feet deep, as well as scorch marks going out for another ten feet behind it. In the crater’s center, keeled over on his back, is some douchebag with frosted tips. All that remains on his body is a tattered pair of work-out shorts and several poorly drawn tribal tattoos. He opens his mouth to speak, however instead of words all that comes out is a small wisp of smoke. With that, he falls completely back into unconsciousness.
Yes. Fuck Yes.
Your ears are still ringing from the explosion, which might explain why you don’t notice the air behind you shimmer or hear the soft rustle of wings. You do, however, hear the loud “RIIIIIIP” sound that come as your costume is shredded across the back. For a moment, your stomach drops away and you feel as though you’ve fallen into a pit of molasses. Then it’s over, and you’re normal again. Completely normal, in fact. Your hands lack any blue sparks of magic and you are now clad in a tattered Snuggie and wearing the shredded remains of a wizard hat. You have no idea where the rainstick went, you lost that shit early in the night. With some trepidation, you slowly turn around.
Gazing back at you is a grinning girl with pointed ears and fairy wings. In her right hand is a dagger that still has scraps of your robe clinging to the blade. Unlike the fairy you saw grinding on Frankenstein earlier, she’s quite tall, adorned in dark purples and blacks, and her smile is more predatory than adorable.
“So close,” she says, her grin stretching to the corners of her mouth in a way that leaves you deeply unsettled. “Silly boys, always underestimating the power of a good illusion.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen and all other creatures,” Doctor Willowbrook calls, whereabouts still unseen. “It seems we have only one costume left, so by default Midnight Fairy is our costume contest champion.
The girl who just destroyed your costume, and hopes for winning, gives a deep bow. Her wings flutter in excitement as she begins to rise from the floor.
“All other contestants, please leave the stage. Midnight Fairy, please come to the spotlight so I may present you with your prize.” A beam of light appears near the entrance, and she immediately heads that direction.
You do as your told, trudging off toward Circe and Jim, a numb sense of disbelief still wedged solidly in your stomach. This is nuts, you should have won. You beat fucking Superman. It seems wizards aren’t called glass cannons for no reason.
After a quick walk, you rejoin your friends, receiving a fist bump from Jim and a high-five from Circe. Jim has, somehow, recovered the cup of infinite beer and is chugging away before the sun can rise.
“You did well,” Circe tells you. “There was no way you could have seen the fairy coming. Not with Big S Asshole taking up all your concentration.”
“No joke,” Jim agrees. “I can’t believe you beat him without kryptonite.”
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” you tell him. “Even a super one. But I had a little help. Thanks, Circe, for helping me remember. Actually, thanks for all of your advice in general.”
Circe beams at you, making a face that’s almost tolerable, even with her hideous visage.
A scream from the front of the room tears away your attention. Before your eyes, a mummy’s bandages fall away, revealing a normal girl only a few years your senior. That alone would not be so bad, but what is terrifying is the woman standing next to the former-mummy. It’s the old lady from Transient Collectables. A slight green coloration washes over your face, as you realize that is up and you haven’t paid your price. What’s more, you never got around to helping Circe, either. This is just a fuckbundle no matter how you slice it.
You scan the room, noticing the old woman move quickly and efficiently, appearing at each person’s side as their costume melts away. You can see the first few rays of dawn poking through the windows, it seems the magic is failing sequentially, not all at once. As you sweep things visually, you notice that there is another door, all the way at the back. Maybe it leads somewhere further away. Maybe not. Still, it’s better than nothing. Or is it? Perhaps the dream she takes won’t be so bad. Then again, you still don’t know what Circe’s price is. Screw it, all this waffling is getting you nowhere. Circe and Jim are staring at you, waiting for your direction. Time to act.
You tell them to run