Jun 7, 2018

QK Agent Round: Capes and Clorox

Title: House of Heroes
Entry Nickname: Capes and Clorox
Word Count: 87K
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy/Romance


As a member of the exclusive housekeeping staff at C.A.P.E Quarters (The Crime-Fighting Association of Powered Entities), Dee’s duties include more than just windows … try cleaning up excretions of acidic slime, forgotten outwear-panties, and husks of skin left on the war simulator/foosball table.

Maybe Dee should be suspicious when super scientist Dr. Wisdom convinces her to participate in an experiment. But if the heroes don’t suspect that he is working for a telepathic megalomaniac, why would the cleaning lady?

Thank goodness Henry, the lovable jet mechanic, stumbles upon her just as the experimental laser knocks her flat. The laser alters her genetic makeup and suddenly she isn’t just Dee Dalsey anymore. She trades her apron for some spandex to become Prism, an invisible, ultraviolet-ray-wielding, forcefield-generating, bonafide superhero.

As she transitions from housekeeper to hero, Dee struggles to let go of her old life, including her secret love for Henry. Fortunately, Titan, the beefiest of the packing powerhouses, is doing a super job helping her move onwards and upwards. Turns out, a good way to get over unrequited love is to be five hundred feet in the air, legs wrapped around a perfectly sculpted torso. Sometimes spandex can be too constricting.

Dee is flying high until, one after another, superheroes begin touting a "might is right" philosophy … even Titan. According to Henry, who surprisingly moonlights as a genius rocket scientist, Dee’s powers might be the key to the superheroes’ increasingly violent behavior. He suspects Deity, a telepathic villain with out of control entitlement issues, and he thinks he knows how to stop her. Dee realizes that to free Titan and the rest of the heroes, she’s gotta free herself first.

A hybrid of Maid in Manhattan and The Avengers, House of Heroes is a funny, feminine take on the superhero genre.

First 250:

Most people don’t realize that there is a right way to clean a toilet. There is a specific process. It’s practically an art form. However, when it’s your job to clean the toilet bowls of the most powerful super-humans on the planet, you become this specialized kind of artist.

With a click of my thumb, the blue tip of my toilet wand plopped into the garbage bag. I pulled off my Peep-yellow gloves and gave my project a final flush. Beautiful.

"Damn I’m good," I said to myself. By the end of the day, the solitary nature of my job got to me. I ended up either having entire conversations with myself or singing without shame to my painstakingly-crafted 1980’s playlist.

"Dee Dalsey. Keeping superheroes hygienic one toilet at a time," I said in my best Diane Sawyer voice. I raised an eyebrow and flashed a toothy smile as if posing for a headshot on the six o’clock news. 

"Cute," an unexpected voice answered from the doorway. My heart lurched into my throat.

"Henry! I didn’t see you standing there."

He made his "oh, please" face. I knew all his faces, and he had a whole repertoire locked and loaded behind those big brown eyes.

Did his fiancé know all his expressions so well? Was it slightly pathetic to even wonder?

His features shifted into his “genuine smile” face. "Like you would have reined in your weirdness just because I was standing here."

Good point.

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