Short Story – The Bestest Hero in the Universe

Tommy’s rocket ship skidded to a stop on the grassy planet. As always, the ship was undamaged and its occupants unharmed – it was, after all, the best ship in the universe. It had to be, because Tommy was the bestest hero in the universe and nothing less would do. Tommy and his robot bear suddenly materialised beside the white ship. “We’d better be careful,” quivered Big Bear, “the Dino Dudes are hiding Princess Lovely Locks somewhere on this planet.”

“Never fear, my faithful sidekick!” Tommy flashed his famous smile, a smile that had conquered many civilisations and had charmed many world leaders. His boyish looks and small stature belied his heroic nature, couragous heart and deadly skills on the battlefield. He swept his blond hair from his eyes and surveyed the area. “I sense that the Princess is over there, in the dark wood.”

“Your telepath… telepathat… mind skills are awesome,” said Big Bear.

They walked a surprisingly short distance to the mass of trees and bushes. Inside were dangers unknown, even to Tommy and his telepathic abilities. “Careful bear,” he said, “there are spiders and grampy-gravies in there!”

“How do we get through?” asked Bear. “I don’t want to get cobwebs in my fur!”

Tommy knew the punishment for taking Big Bear back to base in a state less than perfect; no flying privileges at the very least, maybe cleaning duties too depending on the fierce Admiral’s mood at that particular time. “I agree. Anyway, the Princess is over there now.” He pointed to the small crater on the other side of the planet. During the wetter season the crater flooded into a lake, but in the dry summer months the crater was a big dust bowl. Suddenly the Princess appeared at the very bottom of the bowl, her frizzy blond hair and stiff starched dress covered in dirt. Then the Dino Dudes appeared, surrounding her in a protective circle. Three of them were Stegosaourus in look but bioengineered to fire missiles and lasers from their eyes. The leader, T Rex, was the biggest of the group. He was missing one of his arms from the Dino/Robo wars, but he was no less a powerful opponent. He was no match for Tommy though.

“There they are!” cried Bear. “I’ll stay here and guard the rear!”

“You do that, Big Bear.” With a battle cry, Tommy unveiled his Mega Blaster 5000, pumped it ten times, then unleashed a long stream of laser into the group.

“Help me Tommy!” cried the Princess.

The Dino Dudes scattered, falling amongst themselves as the beam hit the ground around them. T Rex caught a blast to the face, sending it sprawling out of the crater. Tommy leapt behind a clump of rocks as the Dinos returned fire, their rockets arcing high into the air and blossoming into thousands of bomblets. Quickly, Tommy activated his electro-shield and waited for the explosions around him to stop. “Nice try, Dino wasters!”

“Help me Tommy!” cried the Princess.

“You will never rescue the Princess Lovely Locks!” shouted T Rex. “Your powers are powerless!”

“I know you are, but what am I?” Tommy pumped his blaster a few more times and let loose with another laser stream. T Rex’s henchmen went down in the now-muddy ground, their bodies destroyed. Tommy ducked back but no return fire came. He peeked from his hiding place; T Rex had taken the mud-splattered Princess over his remaining good arm and was running to the dark forest – no, the Big Tree in the outer reaches of the planet. “Big Bear, follow them!”

“Yes Tommy!” Bear hopped over the muddier parts of the crater – yes, he got through without any dirt on him – and got to the tree at the same time as Tommy. It looked like an ordinary lilac tree and yet its age was beyond measure. Its purple clumps of flowers contained magical powers sometimes – but not today, Tommy thought. Hanging onto one branch was the Princess, her soft oval face completely obscured with mud, her once-white dress now brown. On a nearby branch, sneering down at Tommy was T Rex, also covered in mud but still dangerous. It launched a few missiles at Tommy but he side-stepped them effortlessly.

“Help me Tommy!” cried the Princess.

“Let the Princess go, T Rex! You’re trapped!” He pumped his cannon again and let fly at the gnashing dinosaur. Bark and bugs sprayed off the branches, covering Princess in debris.

“Tommy! What are you doing? What is that in the tree?” Suzy was suddenly there, looking up into the branches. Her eyes widened once she recognised Princess.

“Uh oh.” Tommy dropped his water soaker. “Princess Lovely Locks got stuck in the tree and I’m trying to get her down. I don’t know how she got there, honest!”

“You’ve ruined her! She’s covered in mud and spiderwebs!” Suzy started to bawl. “MUM! MUM!”

“Don’t Suzy! Please! You can get bear dirty and we’re equal, yeah?” Suzy ran back into the house in floods of tears, leaving Tommy alone under the small tree with his plush bear. He was in deep trouble; no amount of telepathic abilities or electro shields would save him from mum’s wrath. Above him, T Rex grinned.

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