A Hawk & Croc story: One hot, sweaty night
I wrote this back in February 2010, but never posted it anywhere, and found it while cleaning out some files from my harddrive. This story takes place during the high school era of Hawk & Croc, between strips 193 (when Fire Raven gets her powers) and 194 (the beginning of senior year).
It was a hot, sweaty evening in July. Things were pretty miserable for Beth and her friend, Camilla.
Beth’s parents and older brother, Ben, were out of town, which is usually reason enough for a celebration. The two had planned on staying up all weekend, eating butter-flavored popcorn and watching terrible movies. They hadn’t expected a thunderstorm to knock the power out of the entire apartment complex. The movies were out, and so was the popcorn – With no electricity, there would be no microwave. What were a couple of teenage girls in suburban New England to do?
Fortunately, Beth was able to find some flashlights, and, using the flashlights, the girls found some candles and Beth’s lighter. At least they didn’t have to spend all night in the dark.
Unfortunately, the summer heat, combined with the humidity caused by the rain, was highly uncomfortable. The two girls’ skin glistened with sweat, as their bodies stuck to the furniture, making a grotesque peeling sound, whenever they tried to move at all.
“This is dumb,” Camilla said, finally breaking the silence.
“What is?” Beth inquired.
“This whole night. We can’t watch any of those terrible 80s movies on your VCR, with no power. The microwave is dead, so there’s no popcorn. What the hell are we going to do, tonight, Beth? No offense to you, but spending the weekend at your house with your family out of town doesn’t exactly reek of excitement.”
“Well, maybe we don’t need all of that stuff to have a good time. Maybe we can find our own fun,” Beth suggested.
“Yeah, okay. Like what?” Camilla wasn’t feeling this idea of her green-haired friend.
“Well, like, I’m pretty sure we’ve still got some of the board games that Ben and I used to play, when we were little. We have, like, Mouse Trap, and the Ninja Turtles Pizza Power game. I think we still have Candy Land, too – The old one, where Lord Licorice looks like Satan, y’know?”
“Hehe, I remember that. Okay, let’s see if we can find those board games!” Camilla’s mood had completely changed, the games Beth listed off reminding Camilla of a simpler time in her life. The girls stood up and began to make their way up the stairs, when suddenly…
“Beth, did you hear that?!” Camilla panicked.
“…Hear what, Camilla?”
“I heard something, Beth! I heard something?”
“…What did you hear?”
“There was a noise coming from outside the front door!”
“I didn’t hear anything,” Beth answered.
“I swear to God, Beth. I heard something coming from outside the front door,” Camilla insisted, still very visibly shaken up about it.
“Alright, let’s go check the front door, then,” Beth suggested.
“But, what if it’s some kind of monster, or robber, or somebody bigger than us?” Little did Camilla realize that Beth was actually the city’s most famous super-heroine, Fire Raven. In fact, while she told her family that she had gotten hired at Hungry Wolf Pizza and needed to go through training, the real reason that Beth wanted to stay home was because she couldn’t leave her poor city all alone, at night. While crime had subsided since she began patrolling the city’s streets, it had not altogether ceased. There were still plenty of robberies and muggings to go around. A couple of nights off from patrolling, she was pretty sure the city could handle. But if she had completely up and left town? Who knows what kind of dangers could present themselves?
But Beth never thought that those dangers might come to her home. And while she could certainly take care of herself, Camilla was a big wimp. As one of the more popular girls at Leonardo High School, as well as one of the cheerleaders, Camilla was always able to get other people to take care of her problems for her. All she ever had to worry about was making sure she looked pretty, and that she could keep up her basic gymnastics, to maintain her spot on the cheerleading team. Plus, for the last year and a half, Camilla had been dating Dariaan Nighthawk, a member of Leonardo High’s wrestling team. Nobody was going to mess with either of them, for fear of having a squad of 200-plus pound raging teenage boys on their backsides.
The two girls could not have come from worlds any more different. In fact, it was because Beth had been befriended by Dariaan that she came to know Camilla. While the two were not the best of friends, they tended to travel in the same social circle. Beth had recently decided that she hung out with far too many boys, and thought that Camilla would be a good female friend to have.
This situation, however, was proving to be harder than it was worth, because Camilla was being SUCH a girly-girl. And to top it all off, the rain had started a major downpour, again. This may have cooled the air off a bit, but it certainly didn’t help either girl’s peace of mind.
“Alright, Camilla. You go upstairs and hide in the bathroom. I’ll see what the commotion outside is,” Beth requested.
Camilla’s face went ghost-white. “What? No! I can’t leave you to face those kinds of dangers alone, Beth! You’re just a teenage girl, like me! We can’t defend ourselves against robbers with guns!”
Sighing, Beth responded to her frantic friend. “Camilla, remember when we first met, and I told you that I was taking kickboxing classes to keep in shape?”
“Well, that was only partly true.”
“What?! You mean you weren’t taking kickboxing classes at all?!” Camilla instantly felt betrayed.
“What? No! I mean, I was taking those classes to learn how to defend myself and my friends. I just told you the part about keeping in shape so you wouldn’t think I was too much of a tomboy,” Beth revealed. The absolute truth was that she was taking kickboxing classes to help her in her career as Fire Raven, but what she told Camilla was close enough to true, she figured. But she needed to shoo Camilla away, in case there actually WAS some kind of danger, here – Beth didn’t want to have to reveal that she was actually Fire Raven to anybody, unless she had to!
“O…Okay. I still don’t feel right leaving you alone, though. Can we check the door together?” Camilla was also terrified of the dark, but no 16-year-old girl would ever want to actually admit that.
Beth considered this for a moment. “Alright, Camilla. You know the closet by the front door? I want you to hide inside of it. There’s a baseball bat and my dad’s golf clubs in there, and the door locks from the inside. If there’s a problem, you can hide in there, and I can come in with you if I need to.”
“That sounds like a good plan! Let’s do it!” Beth took point, with Camilla trailing behind her. The two snuck around towards the front door, carrying their candles. And then there was a loud banging at the door.
Whispering, Beth confirmed Camilla’s fears. “Yup. I definitely heard something, that time.” Beth tensed the mucles in her upper body, ready to spring into action. Camilla tensed up in fear, ready to run away and hide. After a few moments, the duo reached the front door. Beth reached for the knob, grasped onto it, and squeezed with her fingers. Turning it gently, she prepared for the worst as she pulled the door toward her, to reveal…
“Dude! Beth! Holy crap, the rain is coming down SO HARDCORE, right now!” It was Camilla’s boyfriend, Dariaan Nighthawk, and his wrestling team buddy, Biff J. Rockenheimen, with a cooler and a box.
“H…Hawk? Biff? What are you two doing here?!” Beth was shocked!
“Hawky-luv!” Camilla ran and lept into her boyfriend’s arms.
“Just as you predicted, Hawk!” Biff noted.
“I know! That’s why I had you hold the cake, Biff!”
“Ohmigawd, CAKE?!” Camilla’s face lit up.
“You guys invited yourselves over with cake?” Beth was confused.
“Well, yeah! We heard that the power over on this side of town was going out, and the two of us were hanging out over at Biff’s house, which isn’t too far away. Camilla told me she’d be spending the night over here, and so I said to Biff, I said, ‘Hey, we should go make sure the girls are okay. And let’s get them a cake. And some milk, in case Beth’s has gone bad, ‘cos the fridge went out,’ and he was like, ‘Right on!’” Hawk began explaining.
“And then, when we were at the grocery store getting the cake, we saw these old-timey-looking sodas in glass bottles, so we got a couple of six-packs for us all to split!” Biff finished.
“Actually… that sounds like fun. Okay! Come on in, guys,” Beth smiled.
And so, the four teens spent the night eating cake and drinking sodas, until the power came back on. And then all four of them watched terrible 80s movies until they passed out.