Mighty Wendy  Chapter 1                 Life for Wendy did not begin too promising. The younger of two girls, theearliest memories Weendy possesed were of her mother being beaten by her father,the constant presense of bruises on Mom, and the constant tenseness andunpleasantness that existed in her house. She remembers when Dad got drunk, howhe would beat Mom, and how he would yell at herself and Stephanie, her oldersister. This went on until that final day when Dad flew into a rage (she did notremember the reason. Dad rarely required one) and how,after hitting Mom, he cameinto our room where we were trying to play, but we were only going through themotions. How could two little kids play with that terrible noise going on? Dadcame in, ordered us to shut up, and for whatever reason drove him, he came at mewith his hand raised to strike. Stephanie stepped in between us trying toprotect me. This enraged him, so he slapped Steph hard, sending her against thecloset door. She lay there, stunned. He stopped, maybe even he was shocked tosee what he had done. He left the room, and Wendy went over to Steph and cradledher in her arms. Wendy grabbed a kleenex and put it to Stephs nose to stop thebleeding, then they both crawled into the closet, covered themselves with ablanket, and cried until they finally fell asleep.

               Later that night, Mom came into the room, found them in the closet, and grabbedthem both, picking them up. She was bruised on the face badly. She carried usout the door into the night air, and put us both in the back seat of the car.

From there we drove the night and part of the next day until we reached Grandmaand Grandpa' place. As soon as we got through the door, Grandpa gave us a bighug, and so did Grandma. Grams took us into the kitchen, but as she looked overher shoulder, Wendy could see Mom collapse crying into Gramdpa's arms.He triedto comfort her, but she was sobbing greatly. Grams said to come with her and shewould get us some cookies. After that, we just dropped from exhaustion.

               Grams and Grandpa tried to make us all comfortable, but they lived in a smalltrailer, and space was tight. Add to that was the fact that Grandpa was tetheredto an oxygen bottle, and tired very quickly. Mom went out and got a job, withthe hopes of getting a place of our own. But Mom had a bad habit it seemed offinding the wrong guys to meet, and before long she was seeing someone fromwork. The familiar bruises appeared shorty afterward. Wendy overheard Grampatelling Mom that she did not deserve this kind of treatment, but it seemed to goon that way for a while longer.

               Then Mom met Dave.

               Dave was a huge man, standing over Mom so much that Mom's head only came up tothe middle of his chest. When Mom first Introduced Dave to the girls, both Wendyand Stephanie were immediately afraid of him. But there was something in hisvoice that was different. The way he spoke with respect to Mom, to Grandma andGrandpa, something was different about him. Mom saw Dave some more, and one dayboth of them came to the girls and asked them if they would like to spend a dayat the zoo. Steph reluctantly said yes, but Wendy just hid behind her oldersister. Dave crouched down on his feet, and asked the girls himself if theywould like to go, and reassured them that the decision was theirs. (Wendylearned later that Mom had filled him in on the treatment their father had giventhem, and they did fear men because of that.) There was something in his voiceagain that was reassuring, so they both (reluctant still) said yes.

               A nice day at the zoo everyone had. At the lion's domain, it was very crowded,and one could not see the animals. Dave asked the girls if they would like tosit on his shoulder to see. Wendy just hid behind Mom, but Steph sheepishlyagreed. Dave reassured her, again asking her permission and assuring her thedecision was hers to make. No pressure. This did seem to reassure her and aftera quick glance up at Mom, she agreed. He hoisted her up on his shoulder, andlater she told Wendy it was like sitting on a giant. She could see everything.

When he put Steph down, he turned to Wendy and asked her, but she said no. Momgave a bit of a frustrated look, but Dave said 'no pressure' and that was theend of it.

               Mom continued to see Dave, and after a short time, both girls could start to seeMom do something she had not done in a long time. She started to smile. Afteronly a few months, Dave asked Mom to marry him, and Mom said yes. Dave asked thegirls in front of Mom and Grandma and Grandpa, and he did so in an almostpleading manner. He said that without the permission of both of them, it wouldnot work, and he would not pressure them at all. He did reassure them that heloved their mother, and he wanted the chance to love them both like his owndaughters. Steph had warmed up to Dave fairly well, so she agreed, but Wendyheld back. Dave crouched down in front of her, to be at her level, and in thatsoft reassuring voice of his, said again the chioce must be unanimous, and hewould not pressure her. After sheepishly looking up at Mom and over at Steph,something said that it might finally be O.K., so she softly said yes. All wereoverjoyed, but Dave softly told Wendy (with a tear in his eye) 'thank you'.

               The wedding was small, but hat was the way Mom and Dave wanted it, and so theyall moved into Dave's house and started a new life. Things went along OK forawhile. Mom went back to school, and Dave switched to the night shift so someonecould be with the kids at all time. Stephanie started school that fall, and Momwould take her to school on the way to her own school. Dave got home about anhour before Mom had ta go off to school, so they had a little time together inthe morning as a family.This went on for several months, until......

               The fateful day began normal. Dave got home at the regular time, Mom was gettingready to get off to school, so she was in a hurry. The normal routine was forDave to make breakfast when he got home, and get Steph ready to go to school.

This day was no exception. Mom was ready to leave, Steph headed out to the car,and Mom and Dave kissed before she went off to school. Dave always watched themdrive down the street until they were out of sight, and then  he would normallyread to Wendy some, then do a little housework before heading off to sleep.

Wendy knew to be quiet when Dave was asleep, so she generally played in herroom. Dave finished the dishes, and said he was heading off to sleep, when heheard a knock at the door. When he opened the door, Wendy could see from acrossthe room that it was two police officers in uniform. She couldn't hear whatexactly was being said, but after a couple of moments Dave sytarted to say overand over "NO NO NO".He collapsed against the wall. and buried his face in hishands, sobbing uncontrollably. The female officer at the door steadied him, andafter a few minutes he removed his face from his hands. The male officer lookedover at Wendy , and Wendy heard him ask Dave, 'Do you want us to tell yourdaghter?' Dave steadied himself, and said  'No. This is something I have to do."Dave walked over to Wendy, thee officers waited at the door. He crouched down infront of her, like he had done so often, and started to say ''Mom and Steph,well, there was an accident, and.....'' He started to sob again. The officerswalked over, and the woman put her hand on Dave's sholder, sort of in acomforting fashion. Wendy was always a bright  girl, so before anyone else saidanything, she said "moms not coming back, is she?" Dave looked at her,and thoughhe was still sobbing, he managed to get the words out that Mom and Steph werekilled in an auto accident, by someone who ran a red light. Maybe it didn'tfully sink in at the moment, but Wendy just stood there looking at Dave, butDave reached out and hugged her, and started to cry again.

Mighty Wendy Chapter 2                The funeral was emotional. Dave tried to be strong for Wendy's sake, but allthrough the service, tears rolled down his cheeks. After the service ended,Grandma and Grandpa tried to be as reassuring as they could, but they weregrieving themselves over the loss of their daughter and granddaughter. Davereassured them the best he could, and then walked over to the car. He openedWendys door for her, but before she got in, she looked up at him and said, "areyou going to leave me,too?'' Dave crouched down, and took her hand softly intohis massive hands, and said softly "Kid, I will never leave you. I will neverhurt you. And I will raise you to the best of my ability. I promise you that."With that, he hugged her, and after she got in the car, he closed the door forher. As he walked around the back of ther car, he softly said again to himself"I promise you that."               When they got home, well, the place did not seem right without Mom and Steph,and Dave just collapsed into the big chair and sat there. Wendy watched him fora few minutes, and then asked him if he wanted her to make something to eat.

Dave just said yes, without thinking. She was not old enough to be handling astove, but she wanted to help, and after all, she watched both Mom and Davecook. She thought she could do something.  She went into the kitchen, and spieda bag of rice on the counter. Since she was still too short to reach up there,she pulled the stool over to the counter and pulled the bag to her. She lost herfooting on the stool, and as she fell she grabbed the bag of rice and flung itall over the kitchen floor. She fell to the floor with a thud. Dave walked up tothe door, just looking at her and the mess she just created. At that moment, allthe memories of her Dad came flooding in, and how now neither Mom or Stephaniewere there to protect her. As Dave took a step toward her, she just closed hereyes, tensed up her body, and waited to be hit or slapped, or yelled at in someuncontrollable way.  She waited, and waited, and........ Finally shefelt.......a soft brush on her left cheek. She opened her eyes to see Davecrouched before her, softly brushing away her tears with his left thumb. Heclasped his hands in front of him and softly said......"Oh , Hon......" Hepaused, then he continued slowly   "Hon, I know your early life was rough, but Ididn't realise how deep the scars were. I want you to listen to me, verycarefully. You may not understand all of what I am about to tell you right now,but one day soon, you will. " He bowed his head, almost in  a reverentialmanner, and continued. "The day I met your Mother,  it was the blessing in mylife that I waited for. When she agreed to marry me, it was the happiest day ofmy life. " He looked up at her. There was a tear rolling down his right cheek,but he continued..." I loved your mother deeply. The day she died, a part of medied with her. I loved Stephanie dearly too, as my own daughter. With her went apart of me, too. " His voice was trembling, but he continued, "And kid, I loveyou too. You are all that keeps me going now. Remember what I told you at thecar?" She nodded yes.  He reached over, took her right hand, cradled it betweenhis massive hands, and said  "I tell you this again, I will never hurt you, andI will raise you to the best of my ability. And, and, I will never leave you. Ipromise." Now he looked over at the kitchen floor, strewn with rice, and he letout a little sigh, and said, "My fault."   Wendy said "but....." Dave stoppedher, and putting his hands on her shoulders, he gently stood her up, and turnedher in the direction of the mess. His voice cleared and changed tone. No moretrembling, he said to her  "You tried to do a good thing here, didn't you?"  She softly said  "Yes, I guess so."  He continued  "did you try your best?" Again she said " Yes."  Then I am proud of you. As long as you do your best,even if things don't work out the way you want them to, just as long as you tryyour best, then I will be proud of you. Do you understand?"  She again said "Ithink so."  He said "Good."  and then, as he was standing up, he kissed hersoftly on the top of her head, and then walked over to the wall. Taking thecordless phone off the wall, he handed it to Wendy, and said, " Why don't youorder us in a pizza for tonight, while I clean up this mess?"  As Wendy took thephone, he lifted one eyebrow and said, "Please, no anchovies."  Wendy smiled alittle. Something told her that things might actually be alright from then on.

                Life was not real easy, mind you. Dave was a sadder man, to be sure. She wouldsometimes catch him sitting at the kitchen table, softly talking to a picture ofMom, telling it of my latest accomplishments, or saying how much he missed her.

One night Wendy heard him sobbing from her room. She went downstairs, saw himcrying at the table, she just walked over and gave him a big hug. He hugged herback, and through his red eyes, he said " Thank you, kid. I needed that."               As she grew, he lived up to his promise. When she needed a computer for school,even she knew they could not afford one, but he got her one. She got good atusing it, and he would comment about how he wished he could catch onto things asfast as she did. When he had what should have been the Mother-Daughter talk withher, he was so nervous that sweat was just rolling off his forehead. He used oneof her Barbie dolls to explain where  no one, not even him, was allowed to touchher, and again he was so nervous and his hands shaking so hard that he droppedthe doll several times.  But throughout her life growing up, she knew his sayingwould always be "I'm proud of my little girl." When she brought home her first'B' (A straight A student up to that point,) she sheepishly showed Dave herreport card, expecting t o get some kind of reprimand. Instead, he asked her"Did you do your best?"  she could honestly answer him "yes" and his answer was"then I'm proud of you. As long as you do your best, I'll always be proud ofyou."                And so she grew, finally finishing high school, with college coming in the fall.

Wendy decided she wanted to be a doctor, more specifically a surgeon. She hadthe grades, the smarts, and the drive. Dave encouraged her too, so this wasgoing to be the last summer at home. She received a scholarship from the Stateuniversity the next state to the west, so she would not be too far from home,family, and friends. Dave was the only family left, however, as bothgrandparents had passed away several years ago. But Dave was all for her move.

"No, I won't get to see you that often, but don't pass up anb opportunity likethis on my account." This is what he told her, and this is what he meant. "Enjoythis last summer at home. To become a doctor will require a lot of hard work,but i know you can do it."                Little did she or Dave or anyone else know how much her life, and everyone elseswould change over the summer.

 Mighty Wendy Chapter 3                Wendy's friends were having a party of sorts at the park. Pot luck, so shebrought some food like everyone else did. She opened the hatchback of her carand took out the food she brought and walked over to the crowd, comepletelyoblivious of the fact she left her lights on. It was a warm late July evening inthe city, New Alanis, and even through the wash of all the city lights, shelooked up to the clear skies with some stars shining through. She was dressedfor a warm evening, only wearing her ribbed short sleeve sweater and her(somewhat) tight jeans. She had a set of athletic shoes on, even though shepreferred heels, but this was a park, and heels would be awkward. Wendy toppedout at five feet four, and she really did not feel short. Next to Dave anyway ifshe was six foot, she would have still been short, byt to Dave, she was 'hislittle girl' and size made no difference. She just liked heels.

               The party lasted well into the evening, as most of her friends were collegebound, they compared notes on colleges, or just plain told stories. Finally theparty was winding down (a few had just a little too much to drink) so it wasfinally time to go. After the goodbyes, Wendy grabbed her dish, cleaned out, andheaded back across the park toward her car. As she walked up to it, she saw thelast faint glow of her headlights as the battery died. "Nuts!" she grumbled. Oh,well, it was a clear, warm night, and home was only two miles away. She couldwalk home and Dave could bring back some jumper cables. She looked around to seeif she could catch a ride with anyone, but the only ones left were just a littletoo tipsy to be trusting with a car. She put the dish in the car and locked it ,and started off for home. 'I'll cut through the center of the park' she thought.

It was a very large park, and there was a large stand of cottonwoods at thecenter, but it would cut her walk by a third. So she set out acrooss the park.

Wendy looked up at the stars again  'How beautiful' she again thought. Thegolden glow of the city did not douse the majesty of the night sky. "I wonderif..." her voice trailed off as something caught her eye. A shooting star wasmaking it's way accross the sky. "How beautiful" she thought. As she watched it,she noticed something odd about it. It really was not moving, but it was gettinglarger. "It's coming right at me!" Before she could react. the meteor impactednot more than 200 feet from her. She covered her face with her arms, and shefelt the sting of ground and gravel hit her. When she lowered her arms, shecould see the impact crater.  She ran over to it. "Not very large" she thought.

In fact, it was only about eight feet in diameter, and only a few feet deep.

"Must have been one small meteor" she thought. As the dust stttled, she noticeda small red glowing object at the center, only the size of a small marble.

Peculiar, she thought. It should not have survived impact. At that moment thesmall red object in the crater flared to a brilliant red blinding light. Wendycovered her face again with her arms. She felt something go through her. Heat,and not heat. Solid, and not solid. Even though she faced the object, she couldfeel the sensation all the way through her body. The lighht and heat penetratedher arms to touch her face. And just as quickly as the flare began, it died backdown. She lowered her arms slowly, just in time to see the last of the red glowdie from the object. I t turned completely black, then crumbled to dust. Thereality was slowly starting to settle in on her. "OH, NO" she thought toherself. "I just took a massive dose of radiation."  She had a strangesensation, several actually. Every nerve in her body was on fire. She wasexperiencing vertigo.  As she was trying to take it all in, she heard someoneyell behind her  "Over here. It landed over here!" She swung around to seeseveral people approaching rapidly. The first two arrived, and one of thempanting hard, asked her "Did you see it hit?" Still reeling, she answered yes,but......several more people approached. She said a few disoriented words, butshe noticed that they were not looking at the impact crater. They were lookingfirmly as her. "What are you staring at?" she inquired. No one answered. Sheasked again "What?" The look of alarm on their faces bothered her, as well asher own sick stomach. Radiation, she thought. Finally, one of them, a smallerAsian guy, slowly said to her, "Miss, you're....... you're glowing. GlowwingRED!" Wendy lifted her arms slowly. He was right. Her arms glowed a definitered. A taller sandy haired man said "We better get you to a hospital. Whoknows.............." His voice trailed off. Wendy was awash with a newsensation. The tingling sensation was intensifying, and now she felt some kindof floating or flying sensation. She tried to focus her eyes. It was true! Shewas starting to float above the other people there. She was above their heads!Just then, she lost her balance and stumbled a little bit, but then rightedherself. But the thoughts were racing through her head. She looked down at herfeet. They were still attached to the earth. She looked back up at the people.

She was defineately over their heads. The realization hit her fast. SHE WASGROWING!                She tried to comprehend what was going on. Tried to take in her surroundings.

Her nerves were on fire. She was dizzy. Sensations of vertigo. She had thepresense to look around her. The people were scattering. Some were just plainrunning away from her. Others were backing up more slowly, watching her as theymoved away.  She tried to do some quick calculations, but the world around herwas spinning. She looked down at her body. What ever was happening to her, herclothes were expanding at the same rate as her body. 'How can that be?' shethought to herself? She looked up just in time to see that she was topping thestand of trees that she was in. In only a moment,she was looking over them, outonto the city lights of New Alanis. She tried to put some comprehensive thoughtinto it all, but the sensations were overwhelming. She was fighting just to keepher balance. None of this seemed real. How could this be? I'm growing to giganicsize. I AM BECOMING A GIANT! That really did not sound real to her. I have to bedreaming, or someone slipped me something, or.........And then the sensationstarted to subside. Her ears popped. The dizziness faded. The vertigo, no thatwas still with her. Her nerves ceased to tingle.  Slowly, her senses came backto her, and the reaization hit her hard. She looked around. It was like standingon top of a very tall skyscraper. But she looked down. Those were her feetplanted firmly on the ground. She looked more closely. Her feet had snapped ormowed down a large number of the trees in the stand.  She looked out accross thecity. Everything was below her. Nearby, MacArthur Boulevard ran by, and to herit looked like a bunch of matchbox cars moving by. This was a strangesensation.  Her senses were rushing back on her at an alarming speed. This was alot to take in so quickly. The thought crossed her mind; " How will everyonereceive me? How will I be percieved?" The answer came sooner than she realized.

 Mighty Wendy Chapter 4                Wendy looked below her, found the largest, most open grassy area of the park.

"No people there' she thought. She lifted her foot and took a step, into theopen area. A couple of picnic tables were in the way. She crushed themunderfoot, and her weight sank her into the grass some.  'At this size, how canI even stand, much less walk?' she thought to herself.  She did not have anyreal time to ponder the mysteries that had just been thrust upon her. The grassyarea gave her a chance to see what was around her feet, but unfortuneately, itbrought her much closer to MacArthur. A major thouroughfare, even at this hourit was flowing with traffic. Or, it WAS flowing with traffic. Obviously, she hadbeen spotted. Traffic was careening into each other. Accidents were too numerousto count, and every passing second brought a new one. People were running, nodoubt screaming with panic at the sight of her, but she was just too large andtall to hear anything clearly at strees level. She looked out over the city. Hersenses were clearing now. She could not help but think to herself that all shehad to do was start walking, and cars, buildings, people,...... she stoppedherself. Yes, people would become victims. She looked down at the city that layat her feet. People were running madly away from her. Like some kind of monstermovie. But this is real! And she is the monster! She picked out one personrunning, a man. She tried to mentally trade places with him. Her eyes followedhim. What if it was him up here, and that was me running for my life? Would Iknow what kind of person he was? Would he just start stepping onto this city athis feet like some kind of toys to be crushed......she shuddered. It would beall too easy to fall into that train of thought. She looked closer to her feet.

There were the houses and residential area between herself and MacArthur. Only afew blocks, but still peoples homes. They looked like small versions of herdollhouses. Wendy focused her eyes on two people. They were obviously elderly.

The woman was walking with great difficulty, and her husband would not leave herside, but he would look up at her. Even from her height, she could see theterror in his eyes. Just then, another person, a younger man who also had hiseyes fixed on her, and not watching where he was going, ran right into thiscouple, slamming them to the ground. He got back up and started running again,leaving the elderly couple lying on the street. "That's it!" she muttered toherself . The feelings of immense power were overpowered by feelings of sympathyand remorse. She muttered under her breath "I will not become history's worstmass murderer!" She also thought to herself  'I've got to stop this panicsomehow.'  She crouched dowm on her feet, and she reached out her hand andextended her index finger, placing it in the path of the fellow who just knockeddown the elderly people. He froze where he stood. "You. look up here." He didn'tmove a muscle. She pondered her next move from his vantage point. A fingerlarger than a semi truck just blocked his path. What would I do? How would Ireact? She softened her voice and said "Please?"  He slowly turned and looked upat her. Again, even at her size, from her vantage point, she could see that hewas trembling, almost uncontrollably. With the softest, most reassuring voiceshe could muster, she said "First, I am not going to hurt you.  Do you understand?" He did not move. Again she said, "I won't harm you. Do youunderstand?" Slowly he nodded in the affirmative. "Good. Now, do you see theelderly couple at the other end of the block? The ones you ran into ?" Again, henodded yes. "Good. Go back and help them." She withdrew her hand, hoping that not blocking his exit might put him a little more at ease. He started walkingback towards the elderly couple, but he kept his eyes fixed on Wendy, maybeassuming she would still hurt or kill him. Wendy looked at the elderly couplenow. The man was looking up at Wendy, fear in his eyes. Wendy spoke softly tohim , "Your wife, is she hurt?" He nodded yes. Wendy's heart sank. She spokeagain, "Do you live here? In one of these houses?" She pointed at some homescloser to her feet. He nodded yes. By then the young man hag come back to them.

"First, this nice guy is going to apologise for knocking you both to the ground.

"   She did not chastise him. Who could know how anyone would react ifconfronted with a giant, a creature up until now confined to stories andmythology. "Next, he will help you both back to your home, so she can be takencare of.  " The three of them looked up at her. the woman in pain, and all threehad fear written across their faces. "I won't pretend that I  know what I mustlook like from your vantage point down there." she tried to make her voice assoft and friendly sounding as she could, "but please believe me. I am not goingto hurt you. I will not smash your houses, or destroy your neighborhood. " Thetext did not even sound real to her.?  'Smash your houses?'  Surreal. Shecontinued, "I have to stop this panic. Your home is the safest place to be .

Please go back. I will not harm you." The two men picked up the woman by thearms, and slowly made their way towards a house that was very near Wendys rightfoot . No wonder they took off. Her giant foot was practically across the streetfrom their house. She looked around.  Car wrecks were everywhere. People wererunning panic-stricken away from her. Some how, she had to stop this, or a lotof people were going. To ger hurt. But how?  At that she looked off to herleft.  Police cars were making their way toward her. 'At last, '  she thought toherself.  'Maybe now we can get the situation under control, and I can convincethe city that I am not a threat.