Flash Fiction Challenge: Superdude

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This is one of the inmates I met on my little adventure to the asylum. Everyone called him SuperDude.

Most of the time, he seemed as regular a person as you’d ever meet. Once in a while, he would put on his cape and his “helmet of invisibility,” and he would stand watch like this.

I thought it quite amusing until the riot back in November. He showed us all something that day.

In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture and/or the written prompt above. Do not include the prompt in your entry. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time. No political or religious entries, please.

On Wednesday afternoon, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday afternoon, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Then, at year end, the winners will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

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12 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Superdude”

  1. Bennie came to the asylum when he was only eleven. He had just lost his entire family in a house fire. His father heroically saved Bennie, but his mother and sister died that day; his father the next.

    For almost twenty years, Bennie had not spoken and was almost catatonic. On occasion we found him on the rooftop in a cape and red hat chanting “SuperDude, SuperDude”, but never anything else.

    That all changed last week with the fire in his barracks. It caused quite a riot. We found Bennie curled up in his room with his “cape of invisibility” draped around him and moaning, “superdude, superdude.” When he looked up and saw me he ran and hugged me, and said “thank you for saving me”.

    The fire had obviously triggered something. For the next hour we talked; about his family, the asylum, and why for so many years he would only say Superdude.

    Bennie explained, “Since that awful day I have been afraid, especially of fire. One day I had a dream and saw my father calling me. I was ready to be rescued from this horrid place, but I could not speak. Later, I was on the roof and the word just came to me, so I began to call out to him. Each time, when I was afraid, I would put on my cape and hat and climb onto the roof and call him”.

    “But why Superdude?”, I asked.

    “No”, he declared, “ I was saying SuperDad.”

  2. Prisoners running amok in the ‘yard’. Guards attacked. Men yelling, some screaming in rage or pain. Bullets flying from too few panicked guards. Then all of a sudden up high on the edge of the building – it’s Superdude – a figure familiar to one and all. The rioters stopped long enough to look at him and wonder what he would do, Just long enough for the support helicopters to come in and spray a combination of tear gas and sleeping gas to knock everyone out. Sometimes you don’t need superpowers – just a strong presence to capture everyone’s imagination

  3. Food flew everywhere, mayhem with no hope of control, confusion planned by a couple patients that wanted something more, the morphine from the pharmacy. Superdude had taken a food tray to the face and broke his nose in the cafeteria war. He saw them on his way to the infirmary.

    One kept lookout while the other broke the handle of the door and pushed his way inside. The guard had a sharpened butter knife that he tossed back and forth between his hands. Superdude shouldn’t have approached him.

    He couldn’t stand by and do nothing, couldn’t continue his march for his own personal needs. Instead Superdude confronted the inmate/guard. With a fist to the man’s nose and then another to his chin, Superdude took him down.

    With the first one down he took guard at the door and waited for the other to come out. The second patient called out to his friend, then appeared in the doorway when he received no answer. Superdude stood there in a halo of light reflected from the safety corner mirrors, his hands on his hips. “You can’t win, ruffian,” he said.

    The patient sprang for the knife on the floor and threw his shoulder into Superdudes belly. They tumbled to the floor, a scuffle for possession of the blade. After several slashes across his hands and arms they both stopped their struggles. Winded and bleeding Superdude crawled away from the patient. The knife was jammed deep into the patient’s chest.

  4. I could hear the emergency alarm buzz from a distance, till i felt a tap on my shoulder then it got louder.
    A blur figure tries to pull me up as i barely open my eyes from the heavy induced nap i was taking.It was
    crazy dude, well everybody called him SuperDude but i for one thought it absurd. Apparently ”Super” CrazyDude here thinks he is a superhero. He’d walk up to me every single day just to ask if i believed in superheros
    and i always would counter with the same questions ” what are your powers? what powers does the helmet of invisibility wield? “.We always winded up parting ways without answers.

    “Wake up you silly! there is a riot going on, this is our chance to escape this hell hole” calling on me and other inmates to help him pry open a vent lid.We climbed up into it and crawled for hours before meeting a end lid, i could feel the breeze gently kissing me on the cheeks,we were a vent lid away from freedom. “i believe SuperDude,we believe”.I didn’t need to see his face to know he was smiling,i finally got his name right.All seven of us jumped out only to have our jaw dropped. i couldn’t believe it! “You are are unbelievable coco-dude! the pitbull quarters?.He looks up,gives a faint smile and says ” i think i stepped on a tail”

  5. “Stand behind me,” said Clifford. He pulled on a red hat and cape. “I’ll keep you from harm.”

    I clutched my notebook close. The beating of my heart made it bounce against my chest. All I wanted was to write a story about a modern psychiatric hospital, something that I could get published. The one I wrote about the Northgate asylum nearly got me committed. No reputable newspaper would touch a ghost story. If I survived this riot I just might have something.

    “Out of the way Super-Dude,” said a patient holding a metal pipe. “I want that pretty girl.”

    “I won’t allow you to harm her. Turn away or I will be forced to use my powers.”

    Pipe man and his three friends laughed. My stomach twisted. The guards were dead or soon would be. All that stood between me and this crazed mob was a sweet little lunatic who thought he was a super hero.

    “I’m gonna shove that cape and helmet of invisibility down your throat,” said Pipe man. He marched forward, his face twisted in a sneer.

    My friend shook his head. “You’ve been warned.”

    Clifford vanished. The inmates gaped at the empty space where he had stood. So did I. A second later Pipe guy fell to the ground. Blood streamed from his nose. When the second man fell, his friends fled.

    My hero stood guard until the riot ended. I had quite a story to tell—one that only Super-Dude would believe.

  6. “I hate this job. I hate this asylum. I hate my life. God, I hate it,” I thought as I poured yellow and red pills in a paper cup.
    “Randy,” I shouted. “Your turn.”
    Randy appeared wearing his underwear over his pants and a bed blanket tied around his neck.
    We called him Crazy Randy; he called himself Super Randy. And to this day I still wonder which is which.
    “Super Randy, at your service.” He bowed. Silly old man.
    I rubbed my temples; I had barely slept that night.
    Randy thinned his eyes. “I see you feel unwell. What villain has been tormenting you?”
    “Just take your pills.”
    He didn’t.
    Randy stared at me, his arms crossed. I wouldn’t get rid of the pills unless I fed him with some invented tale. I thought of something ridiculous, involving a maniacal villain, or maybe an invading alien or random crap like that.
    Instead, I told the truth.
    “My wife left me, my family hates me and I’m stuck in this stupid retarded job and . . .” I gulped. “. . . there’s a rope awaiting my neck back home.”
    “BAM!” Randy punched in the air.
    “BAM!” Crazy old man did it again, and again. He was panting by the end of it, I kid you not.
    “The evil has been defeated.” He put a hand over my shoulder. “I love you. That’s why I saved you.”
    Crazy Randy grabbed the pills and flew away.
    Super Randy saved me.

  7. The asylum had once been a Roman church brought down by hate.

    His inmates thought they were safe, once the caped protector admitted himself. While he stayed, something in the back of his brain gnashed fangs with hunger deeper than the pit of his stomach. Doctors pumped medicine into his body, put him to sleep, ran their tests. Every blip of their computers showed normal brain activity. They told him the growls were not real. He could fight this illness.

    Every once in a while, he stood outside, where the animals in his head sounded distant. They were close, but it was just an echo from the hospital. Watching him, the inmates clamored behind their windows. They howled, some bared their teeth, mocking his illness.

    For the sake of his inmates, he had to silence the monsters before they exploded out the back of his skull.

    One morning, waking him, a venomous snarl jolted down his nerves. His skull split. They had come! Donning his cape during the sprint, he made it outside just in time. He felt their fangs on his heels. The front door behind him clanged shut. If he put enough distance between himself and the hospital, they might quiet down. His fellows, still within, screamed bloodily. He smelled, one by one, the coppery rancor of inmates opened up and painted across walls. He’d listened to the hate ever since he joined. He should have known the worst monsters were beneath their feet.

  8. Many of us in here, me included, were basically normal, regular guys, so slightly broken that most of the time no one could tell the difference between us and the ‘sane’ people.
    I was just recovering from what they officially called a psychotic episode.
    The day of the riot, we were up on the roof having some outside time. As more and more people gathered on the street below SuperDude keep his silent vigil. Soon angry words and the sounds of breaking glass floated up to the rooftop. As the crowd become more and more menacing SuperDude became more and more agitated. Soon he was pacing unsteadily back and forth muttering incoherently to himself.
    The attendant looked up from his IPhone long enough to yell at SuperDude, “Get down from there ‘fore I make you come inside.” “HEAR ME!”
    Superdude, upon hearing these words turned toward the attendant then spun a full circle, raised his arms over his head, yelled “turnip” and leaped from the ledge.
    I slowly walked over to the edge and looked down.
    There far below lying in a pool of blood and surrounded by uncaring people lay SuperDude.
    My body started to shake uncontrollably from my excitement. A feeling of euphoria overcomes me as I adjust my cape and step out onto the ledge. All the while muttering my most secret incantations.

  9. One moment he was a cabaret singer à la Toulouse Lautrec’s Aristide Bruant (complete with boho cape and red accessory); the next he was a darkly mysterious illusionist making things disappear. He bounced from being Super Dude with ‘tude to Helmut the invisible.

    On a foggy day in December, Dr. Federspiel got called away from their session. He grabbed the doctor’s notebook and read, “Patient continues to exhibit symptoms of bipolar disorder, paranoid delusions and a propensity for violent outbursts. Possible candidate for electric shock therapy?”

    He slunk down in his chair and adjusted his cap of invisibility

    That night, he decided to embrace a new persona. He’d always had a flair for the dramatic…or perhaps that should be flare. Like the proverbial moth to a flame, he’d always been attracted to pyromania. He satisfied that urge by setting fire to an abandoned wing of the asylum. When firefighters arrived to put out the conflagration, he managed to slip away unnoticed.

    Heading for the woods, he accomplished his most fantastic feat yet…vanishing. They never did find him. Just his cape.

  10. At the end of my visitation session, one of the other inmates caught my eye.

    “They call him SuperDude,” a guard told me. At the mention of his name, SuperDude perked up and approached me, a goofy grin on his face.

    “Wanna see me fly, sir?” he asked.

    “Um, I don’t think humans can fly, unfortunately.”

    “Sure they can. I can! Tee hee hee!”

    “That’s great, uh…”

    “You don’t want to see me fly?” He looked confused, almost angry. “Why don’t you want to see me fly, sir?”


    “Why don’t you ever fly with me!?” His voice was rising, his face reddening.

    “I’m sorry, I-“

    “You’re the worst father ever! I hate you!” He reached for the pie on a nearby table and threw it square in my chest. “I HATE YOU!”

    Frightened, I quickly hurried back to the lobby. I walked up to the guard, who saw my shirt and laughed, which made me angrier.

    “Aren’t you going to do something about this?” I asked, exasperated. “He thinks I’m his father.”

    “That’s because you are.”

    “What? I am?”

    “Yep. We told him that every man who walks by his room was his evil father and he had to throw a pie at him.”

    “Why the hell would you do that?”

    “Why the hell not? He’s crazy. I’m crazy. Heck, we’re all crazy.”

    “I’m not crazy.”

    “Sure you are. With that red pie stain on your shirt that looks like an S? We could call you Superman.”

  11. The alert signal on my monitor was beeping as I ran to find an exit to escape from black smoke billowing up the hall way. Screams of panic echoed as I waved my hand over the wrist device to hear the incoming message. “ WE ARE SENSING DANGER AND ARE ABORTING EARTH’S ASYLUM MISSION AT ONCE. STAND BY FOR DEMATERIALIZATION IN 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5,4, 3, 2, 1.”

    On the 100th anniversary of Zenith’s jump room program we have a very special guest here for you this evening, but before I introduce him I would like to tell you a bit about this extraordinary pioneer.
    It was this month so many decades ago I met our distinguish guest, still barely dry behind the ears, but with a passion for space travel that I haven’t seen match to this day. Endlessly studying in his profession in psychiatry, while specializing in DNA mutations, our guest has traveled over 5 light years in his career, seeking answers to our universes most mystifying uncertainties. Our guest is famous for pioneering the DNA restructuring program, (DNA-R) where in he has become widely known for his discovery in unifying his past selves in many different life times, in many different dimensions thought out our universe.
    With no further ado and just back from mission “Earth, The Insane Asylum” where he has once again traveled to another time and place to study his own mutations, please welcome, Dr. Super Dude!

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