By Mary Potts aka Queen of the Capes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March 2005
Summary: Sometimes even Superman just has to be a normal dad, despite the abnormal circumstances. And if an eager young wildlife photographer just happens to catch you teaching your son to fly on a fine day … well, what's a superhero to do?
High above the mountains, in an area where few men had dared to set foot, an eagle soared majestically. It spread out its wings, catching the breeze and rising higher and higher into the air. Nothing could compare to the splendor of this magnificent creature as it surveyed its home, its *kingdom*; nothing could compare to the awe-inspiring beauty of this grand bird in its flight!
And Carter had it all on video-tape!
From where he stood on the mountain ledge, Carter had an *excellent* vantage point for his documentary on the great birds of North America! He adjusted his telescopic lens, following the eagle as it dove and swooped, past peaks and crags and Superman…
Carter looked. Sure enough, Superman was standing atop a cliff in the distance. There was someone else there, too—a boy. Could this be a rescue in progress? Carter looked around. There were no news crews nearby; perhaps he could tape this and sell the footage to LNN. He zoomed in on the two of them.
They seemed to be talking about something—what, he wasn't sure—and the boy kept looking around nervously. They were extremely close to the edge of the cliff. Carter swallowed. It was a good thing Superman was right there—the boy was in serious danger of falling off!
The boy seemed aware of this. Superman, on the other hand, appeared to be quite calm. They continued talking, apparently having some kind of minor disagreement. The boy now looked very scared. He tentatively peered over the edge of the cliff. Superman placed a hand on his back—
—and shoved him off!
Carter's jaw dropped as the boy began plummeting earth-ward. He couldn't believe it! Superman had just committed murder! A young kid, no less! Fear for his own life was the only thing that kept Carter from crying out in horror. If Superman could do that to a young boy, what would he do to witnesses?
He kept the tape rolling. Superhero or not, Carter was not about to let *anyone* get away with murdering a young kid! He would turn this tape in to the police department as soon as he got back to town!
Carter followed the boy's free-falling body as it continued its descent. Down and down he fell, his arms flailing, his legs kicking, his fall slowing…
Carter adjusted the focus of his camera. It was no optical illusion— the boy had slowed down and now hung suspended in mid-air!
The boy looked around, almost uncertain. He flapped his arms and kicked out beneath him, and succeeded in turning himself upside-down. This, however, was apparently not the boy's intent. After some squirming and twisting, he righted himself, and then he tried “swimming” the air.
Much to Carter's astonishment, the boy began to rise. He rose higher and higher until at last he was eye level with Superman, who stood on the cliff watching with increasing joy—and pride.
Carter kept his camera trained on them. This was remarkable! Superman stepped off the cliff and joined *his son* in empty space. He began making slight alterations to the boy's posture, and from the way he spoke and gestured, Carter gathered that he was giving the boy tips. They flew together for a while—nothing fancy, just going around and around in a large circle. Such an odd duo they made, the graceful expert and the awkward amateur.
After a while, they broke the circle and began flying in free-form. They tumbled and rolled, and swooped and dove. Then, much to Carter's surprise and delight, they began to play-wrestle in midair! They played and laughed, and their laughter echoed in the mountains.
Suddenly, they stopped and seemed to focus on something. Gone was the laughter and frolic as they stared intently at something in front of them—something they didn't seem too happy about.
It took Carter a moment to realize they were looking at *him*!
Father and son stared at cameraman. Cameraman stared at father and son. Finally, the son tentatively reached up and waved. Carter returned the wave. They turned to look at Superman.
Superman stared at the camera, his expression unreadable. He looked at Carter and seemed to size him up. Then, much to Carter's relief, Superman smiled. The hero waved at Carter, and Cater waved back.
Carter continued to wave as the hero and his son flew off together, disappearing into the horizon. Where they went, he would never know.
Later that day, Carter packed up his equipment and returned home, having collected *more* than enough footage for his documentary. In the privacy of his study, he inserted one of his tapes—the one with Superman and son—into the VCR and pressed play. Nothing happened.
Funny, it was almost as if the film had been exposed.