Every writer has a weak spot. It's some style of writing that we openly hate, but secretly like a little. Of course, we'll never really confess to this, but come on, we all know...
Whether it's romance writing or informational studies, weird things always seem to wet writers' whistles...
Oh! Mine, you ask? Well...
It's fan fiction.
I openly despise fan fiction. In my eyes, it's a complete rip-off of others' wonderful creativity. Why steal someone else's characters when you can feel entirely satisfied with creating your own? It just seems a little too close to plagiarism for me to handle.
But, in the half-minute I call relaxation time, I sometimes wonder: could I write for Marvel? Could I make a script for a DC movie? Do I have what it takes to pull something out of my rear and make it must-watch film?
And sometimes I try it out. Every once in a great while, I write and an idea blossoms into something great. This blog post, my friends, happens to be one of those "fan fiction" great ideas. Let me tell you why:
I've always loved superheroes. If you pay attention to my Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter account, you may be aware of my obsession with Marvel and DC Comics. I hope to one day be the owner of my own production agency and have an extensive list of superheroes like the pillars Marvel and DC stand on today. I've even started writing a superhero trilogy that won't hit the shelves for awhile, but it's in the works. It's all part of a greater scheme for the R.T. Donlon universe in the near future.
But while I have time to kill before all of my dreams come true, I write using characters already made up. You know, just for fun. This one is called Darker Days and uses Spiderman (a.k.a. Peter Parker) as the protagonist. We all know Parker's origination story: a high school boy gets bit by a spider that gives him super sensory powers that essentially allows him to rid New York City of the criminals that litter the streets. Blah, blah, blah.
But what about a Spidey well into the future (ten years to be exact) that has overcome a number of serious villains, faced his own demons, and come out on top? What happens then? Well, of course, if you're a superhero fan, you know that a superhero's job is never finished. Cut off the head of one villain and two more take its place (Hail...errrr...). So, naturally, there's a new villain in town. Darker Days explores Spidey's new problems entering his late twenties/early thirties.
As always, I must say the following as a brief disclaimer. This is purely for fun. It's my amateur hour. In no way am I attempting to make a profit nor gain any credibility with this story. It is purely for amusement. Thank you, Marvel Comics, for your inspiration in the character of Peter Parker.
I wanted to share this with all of you - a special treat for staying patiently waiting for the next blog post. I promise the regular schedule is returning!
So sit back, eat your blog-post popcorn, and enjoy!
Fan Fiction written by R.T. Donlon
There’s a silent way the house creaks at night.
When I close my eyes, I can feel it. It’s almost like it breathes differently in the waning hours of darkness. I feel it close to the beating of my heart. It’s an evolving feeling—one that chills my bones to the core. Its cold embrace holds me there, swaddled like a baby under the blankets. And it’s then when I can feel it the most.
Sometimes, when I can’t find sleep, I stare at her—the girl on the other side of the bed—with wide, weary eyes. She never stares back, of course. She’s fast asleep, but there is a resolve in her unconsciousness that I have never seen before in daylight. I love that about her. Even in her sleep, she finds a way to connect to me, as though our very souls have somehow refused to let go of each other.
“What are you thinking?” she asks.
The daylight hours dwindle amidst a canvas of fast-approaching stars and space. She angles her head, letting it bob against the summer breeze. Her hair dances around her.
“Have you ever thought,” she says, “about where we’ll be in ten years?”
I think to the bruises splattered down my ribs in contrasting splotches of yellows, blues, and purples. The butts of a dozen pistols plus fist after fist of angry thugs came raining down on me like a giant surge of unadulterated power the night before. I didn’t have the heart to tell her where I’d been.
The truth is, I think, it’s either the bruises, the scrapes, the gashes…or a grave.
I can’t tell her that, though. She deserves better.
“Peter,” she continues. “Did you hear me?”
Now it’s my turn to angle my head, but my movement is oddly sad, a recourse for more than just late nights and aching muscles.
“Yeah,” I reply. “I heard you.” I clear my throat, raising a hand awkwardly to my mouth. “You really want to know? Somewhere far from here—a house, a dog, two kids…”
A cynical chuckle rises from the point of her lips.
“Cut the shit, Peter,” she says. “We both know that’s a lie. You don’t really want that.” She leans in closer, using her arm for leverage. I could feel her warm breath pulsing against my ear.
Again, I clear my throat, not entirely knowing why.
“Tell me what you really want,” she says.
I don’t want to tell her this, but she already knows what I do during those late nights away. I understand that I cannot hide another secret from this girl—the girl that I will marry someday.
“MJ,” I whisper. “I do want it…someday, but right now, I’m the one who can protect the people that need someone like me. What happens if I leave? There will always be more—”
“Stop there,” she interrupts. “I know. I’m not asking you to stop. I don’t think I have the right to do that, but one of these days, something’s going to happen and, when it does, you’ll have to choose between the future you see with me and the future you see as Spiderman.”
A long, dark pause fills the space between us. My heart is racing, but I can sense hers beating wildly against her chest.
“I’ve been doing this a long time now,” I say.
The faintest of grins spills across the landscape of her mouth. It was meant to be pretty, but it expressed more than that—guilt, awareness, distress. This would be a moment of clarity for us in the future. I am certain of it. She doesn’t know what I know.
She doesn’t know what’s coming.
“MJ,” I whisper again. “Dark days are coming. There is someone—something—that I have to stop. I have to end it. And when that day comes, I promise that I will rise from it. Why? Because I have to. Because without me, this city would be on its hands and knees, praying for the pain to stop. I’ve done it for this long. Trust me to do it one more time.”
MJ turns to the faintest glimmer of sunlight clinging to the horizon in the distance. In a moment that should have been a glimmer of hope, that should have felt connected, felt real, all I felt was fear.
For the first time in over ten years—since I became Spiderman—the fear of being over my head dropped like a weight onto my lap.
“Who’s coming?” MJ asks, but it’s too late.
In the distance, there are sirens. The glare in my eyes must be maddening. I can tell by the sudden panic in hers.
“Get out of the city. I will find you. Go.”
I kiss her—one last time—then watch her run through the street, clicking her way into the darkness.
“Goodbye,” I whisper to myself.
Because I do not know if I will ever see her again.
Because of him.