short story, story promptConnor has no intention of being any sort of hero. He really doesn’t have the physique for it, after all. But he won’t stand by and watch an innocent creature be tormented.


Connor’s strength was fading fast. Four against one were not good odds, no matter who you asked. Especially when the four were huge, buffed-up bullies and the one was him – a wiry, not-muscled-at-all nerd.

He wheezed as he caught another punch to his gut. He fell to one knee and clutched his stomach. One of his eyes had already swollen shut with the force of a blow he’d received earlier.

One of the boys snickered. “Had enough yet, runt?”

Connor braced himself for a moment then got to his feet, swaying. Two seconds later, he was lying on his back, gasping for air, a fresh bruise rapidly developing across his ribs.

Laughter echoed in the alley as the bullies jeered. “Not much of a hero now, are you?”

Connor groaned and rolled onto his side, facing away from the boys. Through his good eye, he could see the white-and-brown fluff ball of a puppy cowering in a corner, as far away from her tormentors as she could get. Streaks of blood matted her fur.

He struggled to his feet again. There was no way he was going to stand around and let these pathetic excuses for human beings kill an innocent creature. He wasn’t trying to be a hero. He was just trying to save the poor thing’s life. It was the right thing to do.

Turning to face them, he resigned himself to more beatings. As long as they were focused on him, at least they weren’t killing the dog.

A shrill cry tore through the alleyway. One of the boys crumpled to the concrete pavement, cradling his knee. He continued to whimper as a girl stepped over him nonchalantly.

“Oh, I’m sorry. My foot must have slipped.” She grinned at them all. It was a scary grin, Connor decided. Her hair was mostly black and cropped short at the back. At the front, it was left long, framing her face. Deep red highlights gleamed brightly in what sunlight managed to filter through the tall buildings around them.

She wandered over to Connor, her eyes picking up on the puppy in the corner. “Need a hand, geek?” She punched him in the arm. He guessed it was supposed to be a friendly punch, but his already bruised skin protested painfully.

“Uh, sure.” She’s tiny. What good is she going to be against these brutes? Although, to be fair, she’d already taken out one of them which was a whole 25% better than his take-down rate…

“We don’t wanna be hurting any chicks,” one of the boys said.

She tapped her chin as if thinking his statement over. “So, you won’t hit a girl, but you will try to kill a defenceless puppy and gang up on someone half your size. Wow, you guys really have standards.” She rolled her eyes. “Don’t worry, if it makes you feel any better, I’ll do all the hitting.”

There was a moment of confusion amongst the bullies then loud guffaws. “You think you can take us on? You’re even punier than the nerd!”

She chuckled. The sound was distinctly sinister. “Haven’t you heard? Deadly things come in small packages.”

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