Mick's Rejects

The fiction no one wanted

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THE SENSATIONAL SIX – Chapter 3 part 16

“Okay then,” said Mick. “I’ll sit this one out.”

His back twinged, forcing him to lean over as he walked away to a fallen log.

“I’ll just be over here, planning our strategy.”

Slowly, he lowered himself onto the log. It seemed his back ached no matter how he adjusted his position to watch. Ryan sang a soothing song as Pat attempted to attack him with tentacles of ink. A blissful smile etched itself on Pat’s face as the ink first drooped to the ground, then became a group of teddy bears dancing hand in hand in a ring.

Tension, born of frustration ebbed from Mick as Ryan sang. With it, all pain flowed from his spine, leaving him devoid of pain.

Nick charged. Tufts of hair whipped from Glen’s scalp around Nick’s feet, ripping him from the ground.

Mick looked on. Are they ready?


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THE SENSATIONAL SIX – Chapter 3 part 15

“Yeah, he’s right,” said Ryan. “We’ve all got to use our nicknames, so what do people call you?”

“People do call me other things,” said Mick. “But we’ll be doing battle in front of women and children. I can’t be using any of those names.”

“Then we’d better roll with Mick the Magnificent,” said Glen.

“It’s too long,” said Pat.

“How about M.M?” said Nick.

Mick pursed his lips, waiting for the end of the group’s deliberation. He’d agree to whatever they decided, if only to move them along.

“What about… Mr Magnificent?” said Jordan.

“Great,” said Mick. “Mick the Magnificent. Okay…”

The group stiffened dutifully.

“I imagine Shotgun’s crew shouldn’t be too hard to find when the time comes. Now, we know what they’ve got and what we’ve got. I’m not arrogant enough to think I have all the answers. So before we start… do any of us have ideas on how we are to attack this?”

Jordan stepped forward. “The chaff is always much lighter than the heads of wheat.”

Mick paused respectfully for the explanation that would never come.

“Yes, I see your point,” Mick lied, making a monumental effort not to sound sarcastic.

Listening to Jordan’s sayings, were like subliminal messages interrupting the flow of a TV show.

“Alright,” Mick said. “Jordan, or should I say Captain Pedantic? Imagine I am Politically Correct.”

Jordan screwed his face. “You can’t be. In order to be politically correct, one must flow with the mindless accordance of popular belief.”

Mick overheard a few staggered “he’s got a point” statements from the group.

“No,” Mick said with strained patience. “I am not politically correct.”

“He’s right,” said Ryan.

“Shut up!” Mick barked.

“Oooooh,” said the group sarcastically.

“Okay, let’s start again,” said Mick. “I am Politically Correct…”

Jordan opened his mouth to speak.

“… Not the concept, but the supervillain,” Mick stressed firmly.

He refrained from rolling his eyes as the group muttered statements of revelation.

“Now,” he said, adopting what he thought might be the stance of a martial artist. “Just like Politically Correct, I am an expert fighter. I will teach you to be ready for him.”

He circled warily around Jordan, then lunged delivering a chop to his shoulder. Jordan casually caught Mick’s wrist, and locked it, forcing his arm straight. A yelp escaped Mick before Jordan threw him over his back. Landing hard on his back, Mick groaned, heavily winded. He gradually rolled over onto his knees, when he felt himself jerked from the ground. Nick dangled him by one hand, the back of his shirt bunched in the strong man’s fist.

“Are you alright?” said Nick.

“Yeah,” Mick wheezed.

Before he could say anything else, Nick raised him above his head and tugged his ankles.

“Aah,” yelled Mick with the cracking of his back.

Nick placed him on the ground. Working his back at different angles, Mick found himself pleasantly surprised at the improvement.

Jordan adopted a fighting stance, causing Mick to shudder.

“You seem to have the basics down pat,” said Mick with authority. “Stretch and go for a run somewhere. Later on, I’ll give you some advanced training.”

“Like the crane who stretches by the pond, I have already done so.”

“Well, yeah, good. Go for a run then.”

Jordan broke into a jog.

“Make it a long one,” Mick called after him.

Glen approached Mick, leaning close to his ear.

“Mick, it might be better if the super types spar against each other.”

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THE SENSATIONAL SIX – Chapter 3 part 14

A third man appeared; tall and blond, dressed like a Viking.

“This is Odin; can pierce and electrify with his telescopic whips.”

A man in green costume etched itself from the ink.

“Files say this one is Grappler; a freak of agility.”

The next image melted from a man into the form of a large panther.

“This is Multibeast; able to transform in part or in whole to become any creature of his choosing.”

An armoured man appeared on a rooftop, peering through a rifle scope.

“And then there’s this one. Ex alien military, turned mercenary. They call him Javelin because of his sniper capability.”

The ink collapsed and returned to Pat’s arms.

Mick resumed placing his hands behind his back and pacing.

“As you can see, men, we have our work cut out for us. Not only do we have to work as a team, but we have to work individually. We each will have to fight our opposite number. Jordan, you will fight Politically Correct.”

He bowed.

“Glen, you can take on Odin. Nick, you’ll have to fight it out with Javelin. Pat, you’ve got Multibeast. Ryan, you’ll have to deal with Grappler.”

“And you get Shotgun?” said Ryan.

Mick shuffled nervously

“No,” he said meekly.

“Then what do you do then?” asked Pat.

“I told you; I’m the leader because I have an exceptional mind.”

“I heard bizzare,” said Jordan.

“My files say twisted,” said Glen.

“Alright!” Mick cut in. “I have a strange mind, but God requested me for this situation.”

Ryan dropped his head.

“It’d be better if you had superpowers,” he muttered.


“Well I mean, would it kill you just to eat a bowl of icecream with vinegar and oyster sauce?”

The others winced and shuddered, looking away from Ryan.

“It might actually,” said Mick. “Now… back to business. There are two things you’ll notice about Shotgun’s crew that intimidate people before they wreak havoc. The first is, their names. Each name weakens the resolve of their opposition, so we must each have a name. I suggest we use our nicknames. What’s yours, Pat?”


“Okay, good; and yours?” Mick asked, indicating Ryan.

“The Sonic Songster,” he said proudly.

“Good,” Mick said, struggling to sound optimistic. “What about you, Glen?”

“I don’t really have a nickname, but the secret service community have codenamed me Weird Beard.”

“Then Weird Beard, it is. What about you, Nick.”

“They call me Brick.”

Mick smirked as a couple of the others tittered.

“Jordan, what do they call you?” Mick asked.

His eyes fluttered among the group.

“A leaf neither feels exhilaration nor fear as it is cast to lofty heights on the wind.”

“What do they call you?” Mick asked.

Jordan reddened, saying something unintelligible.

“What?” Mick asked.

“Captain Pedantic!” Jordan bellowed.

The group stared in shock a moment before laughing.

“Yeah, well what’s your nickname,” said Jordan indignantly.

“They call me Mick the Magnificent.”

“No they don’t.”

“Yeah, they do. It’s written on my suitcase.”

“You wrote that.”

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THE SENSATIONAL SIX – Chapter 3 part 13

When they had eaten Mick ushered them all to the edge of the cave.

“Alright, we’ve got to work together to get to the bottom of the mountain as quickly as possible,” said Mick.

He pointed.

“Nick; can you carry me and Ryan down?”

“I’ll need a harness,” said Nick.

“That’s where Pat comes in. Would you mind?”

Pat nodded and extended his arm. Ink flowed from the limb and sketched itself into a two seater harness strapped to Nick’s back.

“Climb on,” said Nick.

Mick and Ryan climbed into the seats with no apparent discomfort to Nick. Jordan had already bounded past them and began the rapid scrabble down the side of the cliff. As Nick vaulted over the edge, he effortlessly clung to outcrops and made his way down the side. Glen joined them at their side; his hair gripping and lowering him down.

Seconds later, Pat gracefully soared by them, carried on the wing of a tattooed hang glider.

Mick followed his route to the ground.

He’ll get there first.

Ryan produced a packet from his shirt pocket and tore open the top and offered a muesli bar.

“Would you like a garlic muesli bar?” he asked.

“No, I don’t want a garlic muesli bar,” Mick said gruffly.

“The both of you; settle it down back there or I’ll stop this harness,” Nick said angrilly.

“See what you’ve done?” said Mick.

He regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth. They made him sound so infantile.

What am I saying?

They eventually alighted on the ground where Jordan stretched, bending his head back to his ankles as the others looked on.

“Does that help?” Mick asked.

“The sperm whale is the largest of beasts, yet its throat is but wide enough to roll an orange through,” said Jordan.

Like the others, Mick waited in silence for the explanation of Jordan’s axiom. When none came, he waded in front of the five heroes, now standing loosely in a line.

“Alright,” Mick said with hands behind his back as he paced before them. “As you know, we’re about to face six of the most dangerous men in the world. It’s important that we know our enemy. Can I leave you to sort that out, Glen?”

“Already done so.”

He took his phone out of his pocket as a few fleas streamed inside. An image of a pale, bald man, wearing a long leather coat appeared on the screen. Pat reproduced a larger version of the man in their midst.

“My intel says that this is the leader of the group, Shotgun,” said Glen. “He absorbs and expels kinetic energy.”

Another man appeared, wearing a blue costume with the large letters across the chest; P. C.

“This man isn’t human; at least, not from earth, just like the other gang members,” said Glen. “It’s possible they come from a parallel universe. They call him Politically Correct.”

“Is that his name, or are you saying he’s ‘Politically Correct?”‘ queried Nick.


Nick went to open his mouth.

“Because he’s both,” Glen blurted.

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THE SENSATIONAL SIX – Chapter 3 part 12

Mick awoke to the beat of helicopter blades. He opened a bleary eye to see a military helicopter lowering a crate suspended by chains at the cave entrance. Tufts of hair snaked out from Glen and pulled the crate closer to the cave mouth. Barely able to reach around the sides, Nick clamped hold of the crate and carried it inside. With a tap of his fist it broke open, revealing a fridge, a small gas stove, and food supplies.

Glen waved to the pilot. Receiving a wave in return, before the helicopter angled away and flew in the direction of the rising sun. The group swarmed over the food, trying to organise breakfast.

Mick rolled out of bed and joined Glen.

“Was that a friend of yours?” Mick asked.

“Not specifically,” said Glen. “He’s only delivered supplies to me once before.”

Fleas swarmed from his beard, forming a glowing cloud.

I will – thank – them.

They flowed into Glen’s phone and immediately began texting. Glen turned the screen away from Mick.

“You’ve got to understand that I can’t let you see the number,” said Glen. “I work freelance missions for different secret service communities.”

“I see. So these fleas…”

“… Eve.”

“So Eve can send texts?”

“She can do anything if she can slip inside of something.”

“That’s good.”

“By the way, I’ve alerted the Aussie government of our involvement. They say that when we’re ready, we can fly home for free. And they’ll promise to provide anything we need.”

“Okay then. I’m making you my second in charge. Let’s get something to eat.”

Already, the sound and scent bacon and eggs frying filled the cave. The last chocolate biscuit still remained on the centre of the coffee table. Mick handed out plates and cutlery when everything had been cooked. They knelt around the table, as he prayed “thanks” to the Lord, ending in a chorus of “amens.” All, including Mick ravenously attacked the repast. His chewing slowed as he gaped. Half chewed food dropped from his lower lip in his gaping. The others slowed their eating and stared as Ryan happily poured maple syrup over his bacon and eggs before eating.

“You drown your bacon and eggs in maple syrup?” asked Pat.

Ryan’s smile fell a little.

“Well normally I like to put chocolate topping on them.”

“I see,” said Mick. “You’re not pregnant, are you?”

“No, you don’t understand. This is the source of my powers. I add unusual foods together. I first had healing abilities when I spread strawberry jam over a steak. Then for dessert, I might have an apple pie with fried onions mixed in, then smothered in gravy.”

“Oh Lord, give me strength,” Mick groaned.

“It’s better than the seaweed and rice I used to get,” said Jordan.

“You ought to try it, Mick,” said Ryan. “It might give you powers too. In fact, if you like, fellas, I’ll make lunch for us.”

“No!’ they all boomed in unison.

“Eat up, men,” Mick said, trying to adopt an officious tone. “For after we have eaten; we train.”

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THE SENSATIONAL SIX – Chapter 3 part 11

“Can we watch TV?” asked Nick.

“Watch TV? Where do you think you are? This is a cave?” said Mick.

He picked up a book from the floor beside his bed and slapped a random spot on the cave wall, bathing him in light. Opening the book where he left off, he began to read.

“Have you got anything else to read?” asked Glen.

“Just my Bible.”

“Can I read that?”

Mick pointed. “It’s on that shelf.”

Glen noted the three shelves mounted on the far wall. A tuft of hair sprouted and reached for the Bible giving it into his waiting hands. Already getting used to Glen’s gift, Mick almost closed his eyes, then opened them widely. The atomic fleas living in Glen’s beard swarmed into a luminescent cloud above his head, enabling him to read.

Pat raised an arm from his bed. Ink flowed from the limb and flowed onto a bare section of ceiling. It became two ships from the 1700s firing canons at each other. The scene changed. Naval officers on deck quickly conferred as to battle tactics against the pirate vessel.

The other men crowded around the bed to watch the movie. Canons fired again and the men cheered.

“Can you turn that down a bit?” Mick asked.

Pat offered a shifty smile.

“It doesn’t have a volume control.”

Canons fired again and again without dialogue as the audience watched, making Mick wonder if Pat manipulated the action. The men cheered and laughed. Mick turned away, placing his pillow over his ears. Over the course of the evening, canons boomed, swords chinked and men cheered. The entire time, Mick kept the pillow over his ears as he slipped in and out of consciousness.

He half opened an eye to see how Glen fared. Glen’s fleas had retreated into his beard as he slept soundly, mouth open with earphones on.

“Shut up!” Mick said.

He said it a couple more times; sure the volume and intensity of the canon shots increased. Without warning, the cave settled into silence.

Mick sighed. “Thank you.”

Unfolding his pillow, he nestled his head down to sleep. Seconds later, giggling permeated his consciousness and the faint strains of Swan Lake.

“Mick,” said one of the men.

He couldn’t discern who as he had his back turned to the group.

“Mick, Mick,” said a couple of the others.

At the same time, they laughed, calling his name more insistently. Eventually he was sure he heard all of them virtually chanting his name.

“What?” he demanded, rolling back.

A tattooed version of himself wearing a tutu danced on the cave ceiling.

“Yeah, real funny,” he groaned, closing his eyes, too tired to care about their antics.


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THE SENSATIONAL SIX – Chapter 3 part 10

Becky reappeared on camera.

“Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’m forced to take us to the weather, but rest assured, we’ll keep up with updates as they happen.”

The weather girl appeared in the next scene. After a few minutes of mundane dialogue, Glen made a hurried search on the net.

“What are you looking for?” Mick asked.

“Newspaper headlines. There,” Glen said, tapping in a final key.

Six super villains terrorise Sydney! Appeared above their heads in tattooed ink.

“It’s real,” Glen gasped. “What we saw was real.”

He turned off his phone, ending the tattooed graphics, and leaving the six men in stunned silence.

Eventually, Mick spoke. “We can see why we’re here.”

“We’ve got to get back to Sydney,” said Nick.

The other’s gave staggered “yeahs.”

“That’s what we shouldn’t do,” said Mick. “If we get on a plane before we gel as a unit, then those super freaks will kill us. It’d be a case of six individuals taking on a team.”

The group settled into reluctant silence.

“We’ll start training tomorrow,” said Mick at last.

He pressed a section on the cave wall. Electric motors whirred, putting a screen door across the cave entrance.

“Have you got anything to eat?” asked Nick.

Mick gestured at the last chocolate biscuit on the coffee table in their midst.

“Is that all you’ve got?” asked Jordan.

“Well yeah,” said Mick. “I’ve conditioned myself to live on a nibble a day. That would’ve lasted me another month.”

For the next two hours, the group stared at the biscuit;saliva dripping from the corner of their mouths. Each man considered it too polite to eat the last one. Mick, already full from an earlier nibble, headed for the only bed.

“I’m going to bed,” he said. “There’s blankets in that cupboard there, when you’re ready.”

“Where?” said Ryan.

Mick Pointed. “Just press that section of the wall.”

Ryan dabbed at where he thought Mick meant.

“No, there,” said Mick.

Several attempts at varied spots later, something clicked. A door seam appeared and slid aside, revealing shelves stacked with linen, blankets, and ironing gear.

“There’s not a lot in there, I’m afraid,” said Mick, “but then it’s only for me. Fortunately we’re in the warmer months, so I have a few to spare.”

“Not enough though,” said Nick.

“I’ve got my own bedding arrangements,” said Glen.

“So do I,” said Pat.

They handed the few blankets among the rest of the group. Mick turned to one side on his bed about to close his eyes when he saw Glen wander among the stalagmites. He laid down on the floor. His hair sprouted into two long tufts, gripping the stalagmites and raising him from the floor. Extra tufts sprouted and spread beneath him, weaving a hammock to support him within seconds. More hair became a blanket, covering him up to his chin. To Mick, it seemed creepy to see Glen nestled in tufts of hair. It made him look like a spider’s prey.

Pat lowered his arm. Ink ran from the limb and became a four poster bed, complete with bedside table and reading lamp.

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