Written in response to the prompt ‘facade‘.
With a lot of patience, hard work, and special paint, she had made her greatest masterpiece.
Her latest client was an emerging superhero team who wanted to move their headquarters to the top of a hill. While the view was breathtaking, the downside to such an exposed location was that it was an easy target for their enemies to hit.
That was where she came in.
Knowing her extensive experience with painting skies, they hired her to paint the outer shell of their hideout to blend into the sky.
She didn’t need to worry about painting one sky to blend into any weather (which she didn’t think was possible in the first place). She just needed to paint a few skies according to a list (sunset, twilight, rainy days, sunny days, the whole spectrum) using a special paint which would let the superheroes switch between skies at will.
As for the little discrepancies her static painting couldn’t hide, they had someone on the team with a superpower that could complete the illusion. Must be convenient to have superpowers.
“All done?” the superhero team leader asked.
The superhero’s hand shot forward to her face and slammed her to the ground.
“Nothing personal, but we have a ‘no loose ends’ policy.”
Her brother shot out from her shadow and threw the superhero off her. Before the masked man could recover, her brother pulled her into the hideout’s shadow and back into their home.
“I am now.”
“Leave them to me. I’ll take care of them.”
Within the week, her client hit the news as an illegal villainous organisation hiding behind the facade of a superhero team. Alongside the shocking news was the list of people who had fallen victim to the group, a list that she would have been on if not for her overprotective brother.
“Now you see why I don’t want you to take jobs from strangers?” he asked.
“They weren’t strangers. They were superheroes,” she pointed out.
“That just makes them famous strangers. From now on, if anyone offers you a job, let us do a background check first.”
The last few times her brother said that, she just waved him off. Her brother was already so busy with his saving people job, she didn’t want to add to his workload. But she could have died this time. Would have died if he hadn’t been on annual leave while she worked on this job.
The thought sent a shiver up her spine.
The girl is the same painter from One Sky, Many Faces.
Her brother can also be found in Help from the Shadows.