Sunday, June 30, 2013

Meet a Superheroine - Lady Knight Hawker

Nicole Zoltack
Word Count: 999
Anthology - yes
Charity - Girls, Inc.
Title: A Defining Choice

Name of female superhero: Lady Knight Hawker

Name of human alter ego, if different: Diana of the Bleak Plains

Superhero Appearance (hair, eyes, body type, etc.): A crown made from arrows sits on her long, wavy blonde hair. Her eyes are sky blue. She's strong and fit, toned. She's far stronger than she appears.

Human alter ego appearance (if she has an alter ego): Seventeen-year-old Diana looks like a medieval peasant, wearing simple dresses in dreary shades, her hair covered. Works on a farm so has a tendency to have dirt on her hands.

Costume: Her body is covered in a tight black jumper. A bow on her back.

Personality: Diana is selfless and always puts others first. She's smart despite having no formal education. She's focuses and goal-oriented. She has little time for fun but enjoys teasing and chasing her younger siblings.

Brief description of how the superheroine gets her powers (i.e. born with them, radioactive accident, mad scientist experiments on her, etc.): Over the years, Diana has become disillusioned. Her people are poor and have no chance of survival once a particularly brutal winter comes. She goes out into the forest to try to find some game. There she finds a massive bear. An even larger wolf

Powers: Lady Knight Hawker' arrows never miss her target. She can float but not fly. She can transform into a massive hawk.

Anything else important: She sometimes teams up with Sir Bear. There are others like them who believe they are superior to humans and pillage and take what they want. Those with powers are divided into three sects: those who do good, those who do ill, and those who care for neither side in the conflict.

A Defining Choice

The howling wind and the harsh pounding of the snow pellets on her back made Diana shiver. Her fingers clutching her arrow were blue. Her last pair of gloves she had given to Kara, her youngest sister. The nights were too cold for so little protection, but Kara could not handle the temperature as well as Diana could.

Their farm's crops had spoiled, and the seven of them were starving. Diana, dressed in her father's ill-fitting clothes so she could walk faster than in her tattered skirts, was hoping to find some kind of game to bring home. At seventeen, her parents often sought her help with the heaviest of the chores. Her father had a bad knee after a horse had kicked him. Their mother was often sickly. Her sisters and brother were too young to help, although Gavin, at nine, did as much as he could.

A strong gust of wind blew snow into her eyes, and Diana used her sleeve to wipe her face. She had wandered this forest for years, knew every twig and bush, but this clearing she now found herself in she had never seen before.

Wary, she lined her arrow into her bow, the tautness of the string giving her strength in its familiarity. Although her knees quivered and shook from the cold, her arms and fingers held still as she swept the clearing with her bow, ready to launch her arrow a the first sign of movement.

Crashing through the underbrush sounded to her right. A massive bear, a good three times larger than a papa bear, rambled into the clearing. It stopped short a meter from her. Its black eyes fixed on her face, and she hesitated. The eyes looked too intelligent to belong to an animal.

The bear pivoted around with speed that belied its size, and another creature entered the clearing. A wolf. Saliva dripped from its fangs onto the snow piling on the forest ground. Its coat was grey, hideous compared to the bear's blackness peppered with white snowflake.

The two animals fought each other, paying her no heed. Even though the wolf had a size disadvantage compared to the bear, he too was larger than his brethren.

Knowing wolves traveled in packs, Diana started to scramble up the nearest tree, so thankfully she had disobeyed her mother's admonishment at her clothing choices this day. The tree was covered in ice and made the climb difficult, but she managed, still carrying her bow and arrow.

Another billow of wind swept through the clearing, and all the rest of her arrows tumbled out of her makeshift quiver.

The wolf nipped at the bear, forcing the huge creature back until its massive body collided with her tree.

She again lined up her arrow and gauged her sight. With a well-placed arrow, she could kill one of the creatures.

But only one.

From her vantage point, she saw no other creature in between the other trees. This wolf had no pack.

This fact frightened her even more. The sight of red mixing with the other colors on the bear's coat positively terrified her. This wolf was not natural. Neither creature was.

Diana's arms guided her arrow between the two. The bear. Or the wolf. Which one should live?

The bear fought back and swiped a giant paw at the wolf. His claws connected with the wolf's snout. The wolf growled, lowering its body to the snow before leaping onto the bear's back.

She could see his eyes now. White. Intelligent, like the bear's.

The wolf jumped down, ad the two roared and tangled their limbs, rolling around. Blood dyed the white snow in the clearing. Neither seemed the clear victor.

At this point, Diana lowered her arms. She could let them fight till they end. They were killing each other. Neither would be victorious.

Unless she killed one.

Diana stalled no longer. One eye closed, she waited for the perfect moment. The whisper of the string releasing the arrow called out to her as it always did. Her arrow found its mark in the wolf's head.

The bear collapsed onto the snow.

She rushed down the tree, her bow falling onto the soft blanket of snow, and rushed over to him. The bear's chest heaved, breathing in and out, slower and slower.

"I'm sorry."

The bear gazed at her for a long moment before closing them.

She wrapped her arms around his thick neck. A warmth she had not felt since the summer's sun relentlessly beat down on her filled her.

A glow burst out of the bear's mouth then its eyes and ears too.

Diana backed away.

An almost transparent form lifted out of the bear. With each passing second, the form took on a more solid appearance although it hovered in the air two meters above the ground. Finally, Diana could see a man dressed in armor.

"Well met, Diana of the Bleak Plains."

She was too astonished to curtsy or respond verbally.

"You have chosen well this day." He nodded toward the wolf. "An old foe of mine. He had lured many to his side, but no more. There is much evil in the world. Will you care to join me in the fight for that which is good? I can give you power to help save all those who suffer. If you are loyal and true, one day, you too will have an animal form."

The chance to help her family was not something she could walk away from.

"I accept."

"Then take this crown." A crown formed out of two arrows -- one silver, one gold -- appeared in his hands. It floated toward her.

She placed it on her head. Immediately power filled her, and she floated in the air.

"Whenever you wear your crown, you will be known as Lady Knight Hawker."

Lady Knight Hawker went on to have many adventures, but her first goal always remained ensuring her family's survival and happiness.


moonduster said...

Beautiful story and written with so much atmosphere. Love it! :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Love it. The crown sounds cool. Not even counting the flying part. lol

Lisa Shambrook said...

Loved the crown too! Really nice to have a medieval Superheroine!

Theresa Milstein said...

I agree, you built a lot of atmosphere. I felt the tension. What a good shot! But I wasn't sure why she had to kill one, knew she had to kill one. Very intriguing!

Angela Brown said...

A superheroine with a medieval twist. That is very different and very cool :-)

Talli Roland said...

Wonderful story, Nicole - so atmospheric.