By Folc4evernaday (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Submitted: May 2018
Summary: Eighty years of good deeds comes to an end when good intentions and an old myth cause everyone to question what Superman is hiding. This is in response to the “Liar’s Bridge” challenge.
Story Size: 843 words (5Kb as text)
Okay this came to me this morning when I read the thread on the Fanfic Challenge forum. Thanks to Kathryn84 for posting the Liar’s Bridge Challenge. Thanks to DC for her ideas for the challenge. I went with scenario #2. I hope everyone enjoys this.
He should never have done it.
He knew the story.
He knew the story. He knew what would happen, but he’d done it anyway.
He saved a life.
He saved a life and now all anyone could talk about was that bridge.
The Liar’s Bridge.
Legend had it that ‘should a liar cross the bridge it would groan and collapse.’
Who knew how true that legend was?
Unfortunately for him, the collapse of the bridge had been broadcast for the whole world to see.
Superman the Liar!
What is He Hiding?
The headlines seemed to flood in from everywhere. He couldn’t live like this. His family couldn’t live like this.
He sighed, taking a look around the living room of the home he shared with Lois. It was where they had raised their family, watched each child take their first steps and experience the joys and heartaches that life threw at them. It pained his heart to know that after today everything would change.
It was longer than most people ever dedicated to a career. He should be proud to look back on all the good Superman had done for the world. Still, it felt like a cop-out. He wasn’t announcing his retirement because he wanted to, but rather because he had to.
He had to tell the truth.
He had to clear the air.
It wasn’t a noble decision.
The idea seemed almost laughable.
Could he do it?
Could he finally let the world in on his biggest secret and still continue to help people as he had before?
‘No.’ he thought to himself, recalling all too well the close calls he’d had over the years and by, the grace of God, he had been saved at the last minute. His mother’s hologram machine. A faked photograph. A witness becoming confused. All of these things became something he used to his advantage to continue the lie.
Superman stood for truth.
Superman stood for justice.
Superman was a liar.
There was no way around it. He lied every day. About where he was going, where he’d been, how he’d gotten information. For the longest time the only people that saw him, the real him, were his parents. Now, there was more.
Dr. Klein had been brought in on the secret around the time Lois had become pregnant with their firstborn, Jon. Sam and Ellen had been told shortly afterward to ensure there were no shocked babysitters. Everyone seemed to understand. Once the kids got old enough to be let in on the secret they began preparing to take on a secret identity of their own.
Now everything they’d built was being threatened. The trust that had been put into Superman for the last eighty years paved the way so his children could follow in his footsteps. Wars and rivalries had been settled off the battlefield due to that trust. If things continued the way they did, he could be looking at World War III. The most recent peace treaty had been signed with the help of the United Nations and Superman to keep both parties happy and see the greater good that came from putting down their weapons. Now, after the bridge collapse, the fighting had begun as both sides questioned Superman’s integrity and motives in the peace negotiations. Everyone was asking “What is he hiding?”
Everything from a secret fetish to another life was thrown out by the mainstream media. That had been enough for Lois.
Those had been the scariest words he’d ever heard Lois say to him. This was her permitting him to put an end to everything. Unlike before when he’d almost told his secret to the world over seventy-five years ago, she supported this decision. Things weren’t nearly as bad as they used to be. The world had changed. Violence was practically non-existent. There were still a few incidents that required Superman’s involvement. Last week’s bridge rescue was a prime example.
Of all the dishonest people to cross the bridge, why did he have to be the one to make it fall?
He looked up to see Lois dressed in a grey pantsuit, offering him a supportive smile. “I’m ready.” He said, standing up and taking her hand. He looked back at the room once more, taking a deep breath before they headed out the door to face the crowd of reporters waiting for them. “Story of the century.”
Read the sequel “The Press Conference”