Tales From the Krypt

By Anne Spear <njspear@aiov.com>

Rated G

Submitted September 1999

Summary: 15-year-old Liz Kent is facing a lot of changes in her life, so she decides it's time to start chronicling her thoughts in a journal. This is a fun, sweet take on the next generation!


My name is Elizabeth Lara Kent. Everyone calls me Liz. I was born one very snowy morning, December 20th, fifteen years ago. Mom called me her Christmas miracle. Before I was born, my parents had been told that they couldn't have children together. Four years later, my younger brother, Robert Bruce was born.

Recently, I received some really shocking news. I decided to keep this journal to record my thoughts.

It all started in May of 2014. Dad finally gave in and let me get a summer job. Actually, it was Mom who convinced him. She felt it would be a good way for me to learn responsibility, and once she'd set her mind on something, Dad just couldn't say no to her.

So, I finally had permission to go look for a job. Dad thought I should talk to Uncle Perry about working for the Daily Planet, but I decided against it. I wanted to get a job on my own merits, not just because I was the daughter of Lois and Clark Kent.

I got busy with the want ads right away. I tried the internet first, but every job search web site wanted a resume submitted, which I didn't have. So I went about finding the perfect job the old-fashioned way.

Even with the dogged determination I inherited from Mom, it was June by the time I was hired at a bakery just two blocks away from the Planet. Mom thought it was great that I'd learn how to make chocolate eclairs, her favorite, and Dad was happy that I'd be so close to his and Mom's job. That way, they could drop me off and pick me up every day.

So my hours were 9-5, Monday through Friday, which was also great because I could still do things on the weekends with my family and friends.

Finally, after the first two weeks on the job, I got my first paycheck. I was thrilled, especially when Mom said I could take it to the bank to deposit it into my own savings account alone. I know that doesn't seem like much, but, at the time, it was a big deal to me.

When it was time for my lunch break, I paid for a croissant and ate it while I walked to the bank. Once there, I filled out a deposit ticket and got in line. There were two people already working with the tellers and three more ahead of me.

Soon, one person left and the next one in line went to the available teller. I started to realize that the two other people still before me were together, so they really counted as one.

A man walked in, filled out a slip and got in line behind me. For some reason, I kept looking back at him. Something about him just didn't sit right with me. He was in his late 20's, over 6 feet tall and had sandy colored hair. He was wearing a tattered army jacket, the kind with all the different sized pockets, and he looked like he was down on his luck. That's not what bothered me, though. Looking back, I think it was his nervousness. He kept looking back and forth, almost studying everything in the room.

Suddenly, he pulled a handgun from a pocket of his jacket and yelled, "Everyone down on the ground, NOW." He waved the gun at the two tellers, "Both of you, get out here with the others."

As they were leaving their stations, the rest of us lay down on the floor. All of a sudden, I heard a high pitched squeal. I thought one of the tellers had hit an alarm, but no one else seemed to hear it and the thief was not reacting. Rather than create a problem, I just ignored it.

The gunman forced the bank manager to go behind the counter and fill his bag with money from the tellers' drawers. While he was waiting, his gaze went around the room again. It stopped on me and his face changed to a look of recognition. He started to walk toward me and I tried not to panic.

Just then, I heard a very familiar sound and turned my head to see Superman standing just inside the door. He looked down at me and smiled, as if to say, "Everything's going to be fine now," and I believed him.

For anyone reading this who doesn't already know, Superman is good friends with my parents. We've never really talked about it, but I figured he and Dad grew up together or something, because he's really close to Nana and Pop-pop Kent, too. There were times, when Nana didn't know I was watching, she would look at Superman with such love and pride in her eyes. And, over the years, whenever Mom and Dad got into trouble while working on a story, Superman was always there to save them. In fact, Mom once told me that she had a huge crush on Superman before she fell in love with Dad.

Anyway, Superman was standing near the door and the gunman was two feet behind me. As soon as he saw Superman, the thief grabbed the back of my shirt and pulled me to my feet. He held the gun in his right hand and locked his left arm around my neck.

"Don't come any closer," the gunman warned Superman. "Yeah, I know who this is, just like I know you don't want to have to tell the Kents why their brat got shot." To emphasize his point, he put the end of the gun muzzle to my temple.

The next thing that happened was really weird. Under any other circumstances, I probably would have freaked out completely. I heard a voice, in my head, that sounded just like Superman. <Liz, if you can hear me, without moving your head, look up then down.> I did it right away. <Good. I have to ask you a few things. For yes, look up and down, for no, look side to side, understand?> I looked up then down. <Great, is he alone?> Up and down. <Has he hurt anyone?> Side to side. <Are you hurt?> Side to side.

The whole time this conversation was running in my head, I could also hear Superman talking to the gunman, trying to keep him calm.

<Ok, I have a plan,> the voice stated. <Do you remember those Judo lessons your mom gave you?> I looked up and down. <Good. When he drops the gun, I want you to hit him with everything you've got, ready?> I looked up and down, again.

Superman started staring at the gun and I could see two thin red lines going from his eyes to the weapon. I'd seen Superman use his heat vision lots of times, but I'd never seen this effect before. As all the other times, the gun started to glow red and the thief dropped it and shook his right hand. Immediately, I threw my left elbow into his rib cage and flipped him over my shoulder. Superman moved to stand next to the prone figure, looked down and said, "Don't even THINK about moving."

After that, things started happening really fast. First, the police arrived and arrested the thief, while people were getting up off the floor to thank Superman. Then, Mom was there hugging me and checking to see if I was bleeding or anything. I told her I was fine, not even a scratch. She looked over at Superman, who nodded then went to give a statement to the officials. Somehow, I overheard the conversation between him and the policeman.

"Miss Kent is still a little shaken. Is there any way you could wait until tomorrow to take her statement?" Superman asked.

"Well, since we have your account, and all these other witnesses, I don't think we'll need to take a statement from her, since she's a minor," the officer answered.

"Thanks," Superman shook the man's hand. "Her parents will be very relieved."

"Mom," I said, "that policeman just told Superman that I don't need to give a statement. Can we get out of here?"

"You heard them all the way over there?" she asked. I just nodded. "Let's go home," she suggested.

First, we told Superman that we were leaving. Then, we went to the bakery and Mom explained to my boss what happened. He was very understanding and told me to take the rest of the day off. On the way home, Mom commented on how quiet I was and asked if something was wrong.

"I was just wondering," I answered, "has Superman ever spoken to you or Dad telepathically?"

"He spoke with you today?" she asked. I nodded. "We'll talk at home," and she squeezed my hand.

When Mom unlocked the front door, we found Superman waiting in the livingroom. Mom didn't seem surprised.

"Where's Bobby?" she asked him.

"He's still playing over at Steve's," he answered. He looked at me, still standing nervously by the door. I felt very weird. I mean, I'd known Superman my whole life. He used to entertain at my birthday parties, and now I didn't know what to say to him.

"Next time I ask you to give it all you've got, don't take me so literally," he said, with a grin.

"What?" I asked. I wasn't sure what he meant.

"When you elbowed the gunman …" he started. I nodded. "You broke a rib. The police think it was a fluke, that you hit him at just the right angle and made it worse when you flipped him. But we know better."

"You flipped him?" Mom asked with pride.

I nodded. "I thought I felt something give when my elbow connected," I confirmed.

"I figured you might have some questions," Superman suggested.

"Well, that whole telepathy thing still has me wondering," I answered. "I didn't know you could do that."

"I can't, except with other Kryptonians," he explained.

Suddenly, it was like a light dawned. All the looks Mom gave Superman. All the exclusive stories. All the times he'd saved her life. All the times she'd smiled at the mention of his name. I was shocked.

"How could you?" I screamed at my mother. "What about Dad? How could you betray him like this?"

"Liz, it's not what you think," Mom tried to explain.

"Oh, please," I interrupted. "I'm not a child anymore. We already had that talk, remember?"

"Kitten, listen to me," Superman started.

"Only Dad can call me that," I mumbled, looking down at the floor.

"Maybe it'll help if I change," he suggested and spun so quickly that he was just a blur. When he stopped, it was Dad standing there.

I was amazed. I couldn't believe I was so quick to think the worst possible explanation. I turned to Mom with tears in my eyes. "I'm so sorry," I apologized.

"It's okay," she said, hugging me. "You're not the first one to jump to that conclusion."

"But I should've known better," I said. I wasn't ready to forgive myself yet.

"Nana and Pop-pop are the only other people who do know, so you can't tell anyone, not even Robert," Dad explained.

"I know. So will I start getting powers like yours?" I asked.

"We're not sure," Dad answered. "Since you're half human, we don't know what will happen. We know your telepathy works and the increased strength …"

"And the super hearing," Mom added. "She overheard your conversation with the police at the bank."

"I also think I heard the silent alarm," I supplied.

"We won't know what you're really capable of until you try each ability," Dad explained. "How about we go camping next weekend, just the two of us. The cabin's in the middle of nowhere. We'll be able to test what you can do, and maybe I'll show you a few tricks."

"Cool! Will you teach me to fly?" I asked with a huge grin.

"We don't know if you'll even have that power, so don't get your hopes up," Dad warned.

So now it's been a week and I'm really looking forward to the trip tomorrow. Mom suggested I write an article telling what happened to me in the bank. She was sure that getting it out of my system and onto paper would make me feel better. I decided not to because I'd have to leave out all the best parts. Instead, I decided to start this journal. Dad told me that a future society will be based on Superman and his descendants. Who knows, maybe someday, this journal will be a part of that design. If so, I hope it lives up to the Kent family tradition. If not, well, it's still something to show my kids someday.


"Mr. Wells?"

H.G. Wells shut down the computer file he'd been reading and turned toward the voice. He recognized the museum's curator.

"Mr. Kent, you're looking well this evening."

"Thank you. You're reading Elizabeth's first journal entry again?" David Kent asked the well-known time traveler.

"Yes, well, it IS my favorite," Wells answered.

"Unfortunately, it's closing time," David informed him. "You know I'd stay here twenty-four hours a day, but Sandy worries when I'm late."

The two men began moving toward the rear entrance.

"I know, and please extend my apologies to your lovely wife. Good night, Mr. Kent." Wells placed his hat on his head and climbed aboard his time machine.

"Good night, Mr. Wells," David called as he turned off the lights and closed the door, without bothering to lock it.