Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode one hundred and four.
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Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Tonight we encounter a woman with incredible power, a true hero of her age.
Flash Pulp 104 – Hero, Part 1 of 1
At 2:13 on a warm Thursday morning, her eyes full of fury and her lips smiling, Catherine “Cat” Finch was victorious. The breeze from the open window rustled her long coat.
She was a hero, but better yet, she had had her revenge.
At the age of thirteen she’d seemed destined for greatness in an Olympic-level career in gymnastics. It was at a competition in Guadalajara, Mexico when her father – her coach – got the call. The judging was still under way as, weeping, the pair had booked and boarded a return flight to Texas.
That day, as their jet broke through the clouds which had smothered their few moments of tourism, she swore she would one day slay her mother’s killer.
Her time at the gym did not wane, but thereafter the fire she’d shown for her routines came through in her schoolwork as well. If she wasn’t training, she was reading. Her father began to worry over her drive, but could little complain when she was accepted into university under an academic scholarship, and not for athletics as he’d expected.
She made two and only two friends while away for her schooling: a librarian, and a personal trainer.
Despite her eagerness to begin the hunt immediately, it was obvious once away from campus that she would need to begin with lesser efforts, to prepare herself for the confrontation that now defined her life.
She dreamed of the day of her triumph, both while sleeping and awake. Sometimes she was jubilant, sometimes the thought of the moment left her in tears.
It took decades; years in which her reputation became legend.
The final effort required a team of specialists brought in especially for the job, and no little investment in equipment.
Still, she stood alone in the end, abandoned by her fatigued comrades.
In the darkened room, now silent, she was glad to be able to enjoy the victory unaccompanied.
The vaccine wouldn’t save her Mom now, but it could have then – and it would save thousands of those still alive.
Her fist tightening on the results sheet till it crumpled, she laughed.
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