The Vertigo Vigilante

Avatar Author: Ben Paddon British-born writer and geek humorist living and working in Los Angeles, California. I'm the writer and host of PortsCenter (, the co-creator and co-writer of Dalek Gary ( Read Bio

Darren Hardly wanted to be a superhero. He fit the bill nicely – he was tall and muscular, with that perfect jawline you only see in comic books, the kind you could use to open tins with. He was strong, intelligent, and he could run remarkably fast. What’s more he owned a long flowing coat that could, in the right weather conditions, flap about behind him as he stood posing triumphantly atop roofs in the night.

The problem was he was scared of heights.

He’d tried once. He’d put on his gear (which consisted of shinpads, fingerless gloves, a lot of Kevlar, and that fantastic coat he’d found in a specialist leather store in London) and he climbed up onto the roof of his block of flats.

Then he got dizzy, and he climbed back down again.

It looked so easy on TV. Batman could do it. Spider-Man could do it. Even Captain Jack Harkness could do it, and his only power was an inability to die properly. All Darren had to do was stand there and look triumphant.

Alas, he could not.

And so he became a Dentist.

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Comments (6 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Saint Chuck

    The last line was brilliant, very nice!

  2. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    And he squashed his creativity. Aww.
    He could still listen to police scanners and drive really fast and rescue a few people..

  3. Avatar Elisabeth L. Davis(LoA)

    That’s wonderful.

  4. Avatar Stovohobo

    Nice intro story here. And the last line is obviously great. Works very well as a standalone ficlet.

  5. Avatar jesteram

    At least he’ll be a dramatically dressed dentist.

  6. Avatar lastsyllable

    But what if there is some alternate meaning to the word “Dentist” in the world of this story?!?

    Or… or not. That’s cool too.

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