Ayesha Franks walked into the room like she owned it. After all, she did. She'd earned it the hard way.
Her glass heels chimed on the shining marble with every step down her personal spiral staircase. Eyes averted from the momentary gleam. Not just her shoes, not just the diamonds in her hair, along the razor edge of her cheekbones, wrapped tight around her long throat. Not just the gown itself, airy and electric blue, with shadows full of strength and strongly- worded suggestions.
Ayesha Franks was tall, smart, and she owned the room in every way. She was radiant.
Diamond discs lay flush across the backs of both her hands, held tight by loops and rings of hand-worked gold. Gilded vines of copper bound two more across the tops of her feet. A matching diadem fell just above her eyebrows, like the hawk's beak of a warrior's helm. Gold chains whispered music underneath her gauzy gown, just one more secret carried by her strut.
Just below her collarbones, a diamond the size of a human heart pulsed to the bass beat. She'd shaped and circuited the setting to cover a gunshot scar. Her heart stopped once; never again.
"If you're here to view paradise, simply look around and view it," she declared. She spread her arms, grinning white-toothed like a lioness. "Anything you want to? Do it!" She licked her lips at their applause, a little more dramatically than necessary. She bit them when she was really eager. "Want to change the world?" She sat on the steps, raising her glass. "Nothin' to it."
The crowd fell to a hush from her presence. Some poor man - her stylist - gasped. She laughed.
She struck the glass with a finger-snap, a perfect B note thrum. Diamond disco balls all around and above hummed to life, illuminating her showroom. Outside, the grid of synthetic diamond lights expanded. With one snap of her fingers, her reactor powered fifteen city blocks, clean and crystal clear. Instead of the whine of turbines, an operatic hum swallowed their stunned silence.
"See? Pure imagination, " she whispered. "We win." The crowd erupted.
It wasn't the standing ovation she was expecting. Mostly, it was MAC-10s and screaming. Without so much as a rebuttal, lead rain popped and hissed for her. Her eyes narrowed.
Sheets of priceless fabric sheared loose from her dress. The silly glass heels chipped down, inch by chopped inch, until bare feet struck the ground. The ends of the glowsticks holding her bun snapped, sending her braids slapping down her back. The flowing gown downsized to a party dress. Just as planned. She was radiant and she was unafraid. They couldn't even touch her.
Against the hail of hateful lead, she stood adamant and stood her ground. Grinning.
The bullets struck bands of humming light, ephemeral armor floating an inch above her skin. The diamond discs burned a wicked blue when a stray shot killed the lights. The bullet spray illuminated her perfect defense and her white-toothed lion smile. So they aimed for the crowd.
"For real?! Oh, HELL no!" With a single finger-flick, barriers snapped to life halfway through their blaring magazines, bursting it like a row of Black Cats in July. It was her party, after all.
Ayesha Franks was born under the boot of violence. Rather than fear, she bit her lip in anticipation. "You get nothing. You lose. Good day, sir!" She laughed. Her fists clenched.
"I said good day!" Then, step by marble-slicing step, Adamant descended. And she was radiant.
Prompt: A comical Anonymous asked me:
I wanted to envision a black heroine with some of that Stark-brand swagger, but her own take on technology. Someone applying peace technology to necessary war, rather than the other way around...but having (maybe too much of) a good time with it. A millennial hero, I hope.
(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, feedback, questions, etc.