New Zealand

"Let the world shine through you and throw the prism light, white hot, onto paper."


June 21, 2016

Gwen and Clint are running around the paved outskirts of a park at night, the streets are deserted.

GWEN   Only you...

CLINT   What?

GWEN   Only you would make someone run at this hour of the night.

CLINT   It's cooler, and anyway, if some dodgy homeless guy comes up to us we can work on our combat skills as well as our fitness.

GWEN   As if, you'd probably just ask him for fashion advice.

CLINT   Why must you hurt me so? I pride myself on my collection of vintage T-Shirts.

GWEN   You do realise having holes in them doesn't actually make them vintage, right?

CLINT   I'm not going to answer that question, and how are you not tired yet? You've hardly left the house in three years, let alone gone running.

GWEN   All those years of beating you in fights benefited my fitness, I guess being the superior sibling does that to you.

CLINT   You should learn to respect your elders. I'm employed, unlike you, so I could probably just pay someone to kill you in your sleep. 

GWEN   Your job is lame. Anyway, I'm stopping.

CLINT   About time! They could give you a shield and call you Captain America.

GWEN   Yeah? And who'd you be, the shield?

CLINT   Obviously. I'd rather be the one stopping people dying than the one actually dying.

Gwen pauses, and slides down a tree trunk, settling on the ground.

GWEN   Wouldn't we all?

Clint wipes the sweat off his brow, tugging at his hair before sitting down next to Gwen.

CLINT   I'm sorry.

GWEN   I know.

CLINT   You can insult my fashion sense as much as you want. It's horrible, even I know it. 

GWEN   ...

CLINT   ...

GWEN   Clint?

CLINT   Yeah?

GWEN   I don't want to die.

CLINT   I know. I won't let you. As your big brother I have authority over that sort of thing.

GWEN   Clinton Smith, the grim reaper cowers in fear of him.

CLINT   Smart guy. Anyone in their right mind would fear me. 

GWEN   You know mum and dad would kill you if they knew you'd taken me running?

CLINT   Obviously, why else would I have done it. I thought you needed the fresh air anyway.

GWEN   I guess dying under a bush after being killed by a stalker rapist dude is better than dying alone in a hospital bed.

CLINT   ... You won't be alone. If you're ever in that situation, I'll always be there.

Gwen blinks back tears.

GWEN   Don't go soppy on me now. 

CLINT   Wait... don't tell me? I've broken her? The beast, I actually made her cry? This is a day that should be commemorated!

Gwen wipes tears hurriedly and grins.

GWEN   I'm not crying!

CLINT   I'm going to tell everyone that I broke a long, long streak of dry eyes. I'll be a hero!

GWEN   Not if I kill you first!

Gwen and Clint scramble up and chase around the park as dawn breaks over the horizon, and the watery sunlight illuminates their distant figures. 


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