Madeleine Price found herself tangled in her bedsheets as she woke up. She rubbed her eyes and squirmed her way out of the sheets, knocking them to the floor. Madeleine yawned big and rolled out of bed. Her legs wobbled and almost gave but she stood up nonetheless. It had been a hard night after all. She had foiled three hold-ups and one bank robbery. She had done it all by herself which left no time to do her math homework. Mrs. Belle was going to be so pissed off. This was the second time this week and if she kept this up, there would be no getting out of sixth grade.
Casually, she picked the first shirt off of the floor that looked clean and slipped it over her head. She reached down and slipped on some gray denim pants that were only slightly torn. She grabbed her sneakers from under the bed. The right one was actually pretty difficult to find but she found it behind a small pile of socks and underwear eventually. She paused in front of the mirror and thought she looked pretty good but she knew her mother had one minimum requirement. She reluctantly grabbed the hairbrush and dragged it through her hair, wincing each time it snagged. She had to admit it looked a little better as she tied her hair securely into pigtails. Still, she despised getting up in the morning, especially when getting up was followed by school.
Maddy picked up her watch carefully from its place of honor on her dresser and attached it around her wrist. Now, the watch was the only possession Maddy had that she truly cared about. It had been designed and built by her sister Jan in total secrecy from any of the adults. It held the ability to “phase” in her hero costume by rearranging the fibers in her clothes. She had no clue how that worked but it worked and for that she was very grateful. After all, if Maddy was going to run around as the superhero Quick Lass, wouldn’t she need a costume? It paid to have it so close at hand and accessible with the flip of a switch.
Maddy looked up at the old poster of Comet Man above her bed and smiled. She had watched the auction for weeks, stayed up until six in the morning and had spent plenty of allowance to get it. The fact that it was now a little vintage made her like it even more. Comet Man had been one of the pioneers in the superhero business and Maddy admired the hell out of him. When her super speed powers had begun to develop, she had put on her costume because of him. If it were not for guys and girls like Comet Man, she might have ended up using those powers for evil purposes. Hell, it would be so easy. Speed powers would make theft a cinch.
She walked down the stairs to the kitchen and picked up the bagel off of her plate. Jan hardly looked up from the coffee machine she was taking apart. However, her mother turned around and gave her a sly little smile that said ‘good morning’.
“Hurry up, Maddy. You’ll miss your bus,” her mother said. Maddy merely nodded and kept chewing her bagel. “No superpowers.” She threw in as an afterthought. Maddy nodded and got up and got out the front door with only a sigh in response. She hated that rule her mother had thought up one day after Maddy had cleaned her room in record time. Even extraordinary girls should experience an ordinary life. What good was a bus to a girl who could run faster than the speed of sound? Actually, what good was a bus that was presently starting to pull away from the curb a few yards down the street. Maddy’s eyes went wide and she ran to catch up but she had to suppress any superhuman bursts of speed and the bus pulled away well before she could reach it.
She changed directions and ran behind her house a little bit until she reached the old aqueduct that still ran from the city to out here in the suburbs. As soon as she had climbed down into the aqueduct she typed in her access code on the watch, spun the dial and activated it. With a flash of light, she could feel her clothes change instantly. Her loose cotton clothing constricting into lightweight but tight spandex. The costume gripped her skin so it would not catch on anything as she ran and it was designed to be more frictionless than normal clothing. She could feel the mask adhere to the area around her eyes like a weird suction cup. It felt weird and nice at the same time. Swinging her backpack back onto her shoulders, she began to stretch briefly. Then she took off running toward school.