Wednesday

Spider-man rescues Jane Austen

It could happen ...

Jane Austen was sitting at her writing desk, but pen was not making that swift movement from paper to inkwell at the moment. No, her hand was at her head in a contemplative posture, as she asked herself, “Oh, how should Emma react to Mr. Knightley’s reprimanding her for her treatment of Miss Bates after the picnic on Box Hill?” Jane felt the need to stretch, deciding to take a walk about the garden as she contemplated her main character’s reaction. “Should Emma get angry? Should she start to cry? Should she defend herself, or even shoot back some accusation?”

As she was deep in thought about this, all at once, from her peripheral vision, what seemed to be the most enormous bird caught her attention. Turning her gaze into the sky, she looked in every possible direction for it. Seeing nothing, she concluded she had just imagined it, for how else could such a large creature be gone so quickly? Had it not been for the icy chill going down her spine, Jane Austen could have forgotten about the phantom giant bird and returned to the dilemma of Emma’s reaction. She was at the point of refocusing her mind when suddenly she felt herself enwrapped in the arms of someone, or something, and her feet leave the ground.
“I beg your pardon!” she protested, “A woman doesn’t mind getting swept off her feet, but this is not quite the idea!” Getting a view of the person in whose clutch she was and observing it to be a snarling, bald, ugly man with the appearance of a large bird, she added, “Well, I suppose this is the only way you could manage the feat of sweeping a woman off her feet.”

“Listen, lady, just listen! You wrote that story about Mr. Darcy, didn’t you?”

“A brute like you has read Pride and Prejudice? Perhaps you are not quite as unrefined as I first thought.”

“Shut up and answer the question—are you Jane Austen or not?”

“I see refined is definitely not the word for you, sir, but yes I am she. Though I must say, you might reread P&P and pay closer attention to those with good manners.”

“You can keep your manners, I’m not interested in them. I want to tell you how to make your story better—I want you to write another one with Darcy being like me. That will make a really great book, way better than what you have with all that good manners stuff.”

She gawked at the stranger, replying, “You want me to what? Now see here ...”

“Ok, Beak Head, I hate to ruin your fun, but this is Jane Austen and she is
used to men with better manners!” came another voice out of nowhere. At that moment, Jane found herself pulled out of the grasp of the ugly bald man and his winged suit, only now she was somehow suspended by a thread and being placed gently on the ground. Looking up, she saw someone in a red and blue form-fitting outfit spinning a web around the winged man and very politely placing a note to his forehead for the local police.

“My, my, I just came outside for a change of scenery, hoping for a bit of inspiration ... this has certainly been more invigorating than a whiff of roses!”

“Sorry about that, Miss Austen,” said the man in the red and blue suit, “but ol’ Beak Head—or Vulture, as he prefers to be called, but I don’t like insulting the real birds with the association— he hasn’t learned how to behave in decent society, as you would say.”

Jane nodded her head in agreement. “And what are you called? And why do you fellows from America choose to go flying through the air as you do? Isn’t walking like an ordinary person good enough?”

The man laughed, “I’m Spider-man, and if it doesn’t make me sound too conceited, I would say I am not exactly ordinary. But all that aside, can I ask what prince charming there wanted with Jane Austen?”

She answered with some loathing, “That barbarian wanted me to write another story about Mr. Darcy and ... excuse me, but do you know who that is?”

“Sure, from Pride and Prejudice—love the book.”

“Why thank you, sir! Well, as I was saying, he wanted me to make Darcy be like him. The nerve of the man—have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous?”

“No way, I see your point. If you made Darcy like our feather-brained friend, he wouldn’t be Darcy anymore.”

“Quite right! Now tell me, what would you think of someone making up a story about you and this bald-headed winged man, but when you arrive on the scene as you did for me just now, you get angry and turn into .... oh, I don’t know, let us say some giant green thing, and he is changed from his winged costume into some other thing, a jungle creature such as a rhino, perhaps?” Giving her hands an upward toss, she cried, “Now, do be honest, the story would no longer be Spider-man versus the Vulture ... do you see my point?”

“Sure, I get it, but let me correct you ...” Miss Austen inclined forward as he continued, “ ... the Thing is a big rocklike person and the giant green angry one is the Hulk.”

Miss Austen rolled her eyes and laughed, “I see, but let us not get sidetracked from the main point: changing a character’s identifying traits entirely changes the character and, therefore, giving them a certain name doesn’t make them that character; such a thing would be nonsense. Even if this vulture was called Darcy, he wouldn't be my Mr. Darcy!”

Spidey nodded his head, “Absolutely! If someone wants to put one of your characters in some other story setting, that is something that could be interesting, but the real beauty of it would be if the character is still the same person you came up with. Otherwise, why not just make up some other name for the character?”

“You are a young man of good understanding. How refreshing! And speaking of refreshment, I should beg your pardon; the least I could do after you saved me from that savage is to offer tea.”

“That sounds good, but I must be going now.”

“Oh ... well then, I sincerely thank you for saving me, kind sir.”

“My pleasure, Miss Austen, and if I hear of anyone messing with your characters, you can trust your friendly neighborhood Spider-man to give them a stern talking to!”


copyright © 2017 by NoeandCindy ***********************************
Jane Austen art by Gracie Klumpp I found this beautiful art piece by Miss Gracie through a Google search, and you can find her and more of her work on Facebook and her website. Thank you so much for the permission to use it on our story, Gracie!

Vulture clipart: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/348452.htm This was found with a free clipart search and downloaded from this site.

Spider clipart: http://clipart-library.com/spiders-cliparts.html This also was found with a free clipart search and downloaded from this site.