​I’m a lone-wolf superhero. Heck, I’m not called Solo Shield for nothing! So, I wasn’t keen when Long Vision suggested we buddy up as a “dynamic duo”.

“I don’t know, Viz,” I replied. “Neither of us wants to play Robin to Batman.”

“It won’t be like the comics, Solo,” he asserted. “We’ll be equals, battling bad guys and keeping the streets safe. It’ll be the power of two!” Viz added, passing his hand across the space between us as if conjuring a banner.

These are the opening lines from my short story, The Power of Two, shared on the Tall And True writers’ website.

Please note: There are spoilers in Story Insight below.

Story Insight

I wrote The Power of Two (originally titled The Duo) for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s June 2024 Furious Fiction writing challenge. The brief was:

  • Your story must strongly feature a relationship between TWO characters: a dynamic duo, a couple, a rivalry, siblings, or anything!
  • It must include someone whispering.
  • Your story must include the words JAR, UNIFORM, NEEDLE, and EDGE. (Longer words are okay if the exact spelling of the shorter words is maintained.)

In a section headed The Power of Two, the Writers’ Centre expanded on the first part of the brief, the TWO characters, again mentioning they could be a duo, superhero or otherwise. And this inspired me to write a story about an unlikely pairing of superheroes, Long Vision and Solo Shield, with the reluctant “lone-wolf” partner, Solo, as our narrator.

A Furious 55 Hours

I had fun researching the superheroes’ names and powers. But there are so many Marvel and DC comics with Long-something, Vision-this, Solo-that and Shield-thingy that finding unique names with powers to fit my story took longer than I’d estimated.

Writers have 55 hours from Friday afternoon, when the Writers’ Centre releases the brief, until Sunday’s midnight deadline to write their stories. However, I had Tasmanian friends visiting my hometown, Sydney, on the Furious Fiction weekend. We enjoyed dinner on Friday, lunch on Saturday and footy on Sunday. So, I didn’t have a free 55 hours to write my story, let alone research superheroes (and get some sleep!).

Fortunately, I sketched an outline with possible plot, characters, and places for the required words on the train to and from dinner on Friday (pencilling in to leave a door aJAR!), had a late night writing the first draft on Saturday, and squeezed in edits and rewrites on Sunday before final proofreading and submitting my story with an hour to spare before the midnight deadline.

Share Your Writing on TallAndTrue.com

No Guernsey

The Duo” didn’t get a guernsey (Sorry, Viz, a uniform!) from the Furious Fiction showcase and longlist judges for June. But I still loved what I’d created on a furious weekend of writing, so I revisited the story, made a few more edits (while respecting the brief and word count), and retitled and shared it on Tall And True.

I hope you like The Power of Two, too!

© 2024 Robert Fairhead

Thanks to Paul Macallan for sharing the nighttime alley image on Pixabay.

N.B. You might like to read a post about another of my Furious Fiction stories that also missed out on a “uniform”, Moving On.

This post was proofread by Grammarly
About RobertFairhead.com

About RobertFairhead.com

Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of Robert Fairhead. A writer and editor at the Tall And True writers' website, Robert also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads podcast. In addition, his book reviews and other writing have appeared in print and online media, and he's published several collections of short stories. Please see Robert's profile for further details.

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