Superboy sings the National Anthem on Independence Day.
|The Picnic in the park
A Superboy Jamie short story
Happy Independence Day
The Kent’s had finally parked the SUV in the public park’s parking lot, when the five teenage boys started unloading the things from the vehicle.
Greggy was carrying the bags containing the sandwiches for lunch. Madison was holding the bags with the plastic cups, forks, knives, and plates. Wesley was taller and stronger, so he was able to carry a large, glass and porcelain dish containing a cooked casserole in one hand, while holding another large pan in the other. Robby also emerged, carrying some additional bags of sandwiches. Finally, Jamie came walking down the path from the parking lot carrying a large plastic ice cooler, filled with ice cubes and small aluminum cans of soda and water. The cooler was actually quite heavy, but that was nothing for the young super hero.
As soon as the group had found a good spot to settle in the park, the spread out a large blanket over the grass, and Lois and Clark set down some aluminum fold-away chairs on the blanket so they could sit down and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Many other families had come and set down their things on the wooden picnic tables, which were scattered around the large, open field, which was surrounded on all sides by the tall trees which made up the extensive public park. There were many trails and paths, and numerous areas including softball fields, tennis courts, a playground, racquetball courts, and just large areas where people could walk around and toss a football or a Frisbee.
Wesley and Madison decided to toss a Frisbee to one another, while Jamie, Robby and Greggy ventured out further away so they could throw a football over to one another.
After a few moments of fun, Clark had called the gang together for lunch. They all sat at the wooden table and started eating their sandwiches, which Lois had served up to each and every one of them. Clark had prepared the BBQ chicken on the grill, and he gave everyone something to drink. When everyone was finished eating, the boys went right back to playing their games in the park.
After a few moments, Greggy noticed that a couple of kids were flying their kites, just a few yards away from where he, Robby and Jamie were tossing around their football. One particular, blue kite had caught his eye.
“Hey, Jamie! Did you see that kite over there?” Greggy pointed out.
Jamie turned around and looked. Immediately, a wide grin formed on his face.
There were two boys, who were pulling on a long strong, which was attached to a large, bright blue kite. The kite was shaped like a large diamond, and it was all blue. It had the same colors as Superman’s uniform! In fact, it had an American flag on the center, and the Superman logo underneath that!
“Wow! The American flag and the Superman logo are painted on it!” Jamie said. “That’s a really nice kite!”
“Yeah… It looks like they made it themselves!” Greggy noted. “You can tell that it’s been hand painted!”
Just then, Madison and Wesley had joined the two boys.
“Hey! Did you guys see that kite over there?” Madison said. “Jamie! You should put on your cape, and go meet the boy, who made that kite!”
“Yeah… Let’s go ask mom and dad…” Jamie replied, as he turned around and walked back to where Clark and Lois were sitting.
“Dad… Dad!” Jamie shouted, as he walked up to Clark. As soon as he got closer, he began to whisper to his adopted father. “There’s a boy who is flying a kite with an American flag and a Superman logo on it! Do you mind….?”
Clark and Lois just turned to look at each other and smiled. Clark then turned back and saw that Jamie was just dying to put on his Superboy suit.
“Alright, Superboy….” Clark whispered. “Go and make that kid feel special…”
“Thanks, dad!” Jamie said, before he turned around and grabbed his backpack. Then, he raced over to the restroom at super speed, and came out after three seconds, fully dressed in his Superboy costume.
“Hey, let’s put on our suits, too?” Greggy said to Wesley. “Let’s join Superboy and have some fun!”
“Sure… Why not?” Wes responded. After all, they knew what happened last year, when Jamie ended up reading the Constitution as Superboy. Somehow, Wesley had a feeling something similar was going to happen this year.
A few yards away, a boy named Kevin was standing by, watching as his older brother, Charlie, was pulling on the rope, which was attached to the kite that both brothers had built. Kevin was standing there, watching from a distance, looking out over a large, open field, as the large, blue kite was floating across the sky.
“Keep the kite in the air, Charlie, so everyone can see it!” Kevin shouted at his brother. “Keep in moving with it!”
Suddenly, Kevin noticed that someone was standing right next to him.
“How appropriate, to be flying a kite with an American flag on Independence Day!” a boy mentioned to him.
Kevin didn’t notice the boy at first.
“Yeah… I added the Superman logo to the kite as well…” he replied.
“That’s why I really liked your kite a lot!” the boy added. “I liked the colors! They matched the colors of my clothes…”
“Your clothes?” Kevin wondered. “The kite has the Superman logo on it. That would only match your clothes if you were…”
When Kevin turned towards Jamie, he gasped when he realized that it was Superboy himself, who was standing right next to him!
“Holy smoke!” he shouted. “You-You’re Superboy!”
“Yeah… I saw your kite!” the Boy of Steel said to Kevin. “What a nice job you did on that! I really like it a lot!”
Kevin turned around and called on his brother to join them.
“Charlie! Charlie! Look who’s standing next to me!” Kevin said, as he pointed to Superboy.
“Do you mind if I take a look at your kite?” Superboy asked him.
“No… Not at all!” Kevin replied.
Superboy leaped in the air and flew over to where the large, blue kite was flying. He gently grabbed hold of the kite by the edges, and he pulled it down with him, as he slowly descended back on the ground. As soon as Superboy’s boots touched down on the grass, the boys ran towards him and surrounded him, as the young hero admired their work.
“Hey, Superboy, would you mind putting your autograph on the kite for us?” Charlie asked him. “That would make it special!”
“Yeah!” Kevin added. “I’ll hang it in my room, then!”
“Ooh…” Superboy chuckled, as he took the black marker from Charlie, and started to write his signature on the paper surface of the kite. “Are you still going to fly the kite after I sign it?”
“Probably not!” Kevin replied honestly. “It’ll be a collector’s item then!”
“Thanks, Superboy!” Charlie said, as he took the kite back from Superboy.
As soon as the boys walked away, the super heroes started tossing the football around for a few moments, until they heard a voice coming from a microphone, which was set up near the center of the picnic area.
“Ladies and gentlemen… welcome to our independence day celebration!” the announcer said. “My name is Officer Jones, and I’m from the county fire department. I’d like to welcome you all to the park on this Independence Day. Before we go any further, I’d like to start us off with the singing of the National Anthem, before we continue with the fireworks show this afternoon and evening. Do we have any volunteers who can come up and sing the National Anthem for us?”
A couple of people started to mumble among the crowd.
“I know the National Anthem!” Wesley pointed out. “I can sing it!”
“Oh…” Jamie said in a sad tone of voice. “I don’t know it…”
“Me neither…” Robby added.
“I know it… Some of it…” Madison replied.
“I think I know it….” Greggy pondered. “Or at least… Some of it…”
“Okay, you guys… You know the melody; I just need to teach you the words….” Wesley whispered to the other four.
Wesley pulled Jamie, Greggy, Madison and Robby together for a few minutes and he taught them the words to the “Star Spangled Banner”.
After a few minutes, Wesley raced over to the announcer at super speed.
“It has come to my attention that there are a couple of young super heroes among the crowd in the park this afternoon” the announcer began. “They are going to come up and sing the National Anthem for us!”
Clark and Lois just stared at each other with wide grins on their faces.
“Was this your idea?” Clark wondered quietly.
“No, not mine!” Lois answered. “They came up with this on their own!”
“I’m so proud of those guys…” Clark whispered back.
“Yes… Look, even Madison is joining in on the singing….” Lois noted.
They noted that a few other kids had joined the super heroes as well. The group crowded around the microphone, and Wesley had taken the lead, as the oldest.
“Alright, Speedy… Just say when…” Superboy said to him.
“Come on, you guys… Let’s do it. You’re making me nervous!” Greggy grumbled.
“Be quiet, Stormy!” Madison instructed him. “Get ready!”
“Alright, you guys.” Wesley ordered. “One, two…. One, two, three, four…”
Finally, the boys stood at the microphone and began to sing together.
“Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight'
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
Everyone in the crowd got up and cheered for the kids, who had participated in the singing of the National Anthem!
Happy Independence Day!
For more information about “The Star-Spangled Banner”, please visit www.usflag.org.
By Rex Torres, July 4, 2007