The author of Sunset Beach (2009) and Beach Dreams (2008), Trish Perry lives in Northern Virginia with her hilarious teenaged son. She discovered her love of writing while earning a degree in Psychology. She switched career paths in 1997 and never looked back. Her debut novel, The Guy I’m Not Dating, placed second in the 2007 FHL Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, and her second novel, Too Good to Be True, finaled in the 2008 FHL IRCC, the GRW Maggie Awards, and LCRW’s Barclay Gold Awards.
Can Your Superhero Beat This?
It’s a big bad world out there, and sometimes it takes more than your standard fictional hero to save the day, or even to survive it. American author Jerry Siegel originated Superman for DC Comics, and a slew of books have since been published about the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet man.
But how about writing a novel about someone not necessarily faster than a speeding bullet, but simply impervious to one? We have so many real-life examples of such people, we’ll create a new superhero category just for them. Say, the Bulletbusters League. Our team isn’t composed of people born on Krypton-like planets. Our story’s heroes simply possess the uncanny knack for having exactly the right item in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to stop otherwise deadly bullets.
Our cast of characters:
Cell Man: R.J. Richards of Covington, Louisiana, was mowing his lawn when a stray .45-caliber bullet hit him. Good grief, I hope there aren’t a lot of .45-caliber bullets, especially stray ones, flying around when I mow my lawn. R.J. calmly turned off the mower, reached into the chest pocket of his overalls, and pulled out his cell phone, which promptly fell to pieces. Now, plenty of us have experienced problems with our cell phones, but seldom do they fall apart because they’ve taken a bullet for us. I think you have to pay extra for that. Cell Man typically keeps his phone in his pants pocket, but this particular day he put the phone in his chest pocket. He’s sure God told him to do that. For that alone, we dub him a superhero.
Golden Boy: Vann Streety of Melbourne, Florida, managed to stop a bullet with a coin. As an officer with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Vann possessed a special commemorative coin with the phrase Honor, Integrity, and Justice on one side and FWC SOG Police—Fish and Wildlife Conservation Special Operations Group—on the other. Why Golden Boy had the coin in the rear pocket of his pants that day, we don’t know. But when a lowlife criminal (I’m picturing Ned Beatty’s doofus henchman to Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor) shot at our hero, one particular bullet lodged in Golden Boy’s wallet, after being stopped by the now-bent golden coin right alongside it. What? You don’t think superheroes carry wallets and coins in their back pockets?
You don’t think they have back pockets? Hey, they’re doing wonders with spandex these days.
Weave Woman: When Briana Bonds broke up with her boyfriend, he didn’t take it well. He shot up the back of her car while she was in it. Can we take a moment to credit Briana with excellent discernment with regard to this boyfriend? Weave Woman survived the one bullet that found its mark, because the bullet lodged itself in her hair weave. Yes, superheroes get hair weaves; you got a problem with that? Anyway, this was one super weave, and the police removed the bullet, leaving Weave Woman unharmed by the dastardly villain.
We have two more women on our amazing team. Fifty-seven-year-old Ms. Wonderbra from Detroit deflected a speeding bullet with her titanium underwire. Okay, it wasn’t titanium, but I’m wearing one of those bras the next time I mow my lawn. And the Silver Silicone’s . . . well . . . enhancements actually saved her life when she was caught in a crossfire between police and drug dealers. That is what I call getting your augmentation money’s worth.
Slim Goodbody is the name of a real superhero character, but we’re going to borrow it for our next-to-last superhero. Weighing in at 280 pounds, Rolf Mittelhaus, forty-nine, was drinking when his superpowers were called into play. He was mugged but didn’t realize until two days later that he had been shot. The bullet fell out of his rolls of Slim Goodbody chubbiness during a routine examination. And all this time I’ve been trying to cut the fat. Bring that chocolate lava cake back here, stat! I have my personal safety to think about.
Our favorite superhero? That would be Bible Trooper. Brendon Schweigart of Andover, Florida, was shot at by a sniper while helping to retrieve a tank in Iraq a couple of years ago. Brendon had a Bible in his pocket, and a bullet was stopped by the good Word. Schweigart thinks prayers from those in the U.S. protected him, as well. For that, we designate Bible Trooper captain of the Bulletbusters League. If he influences the rest of the team, we might well have a new superhero catchphrase:
To eternity and beyond!