The Amazing Adventures of Paul and Janet

Season One, Episode Three – The Creature at Blue Lake

We’d barely put a name to the way we felt when we swam unknowing into the midnight water, moonlight slanting from your wax-pale cheeks, our bodies pressed so close not a drip of moisture slipped between us. Remember how we smiled weeks later when your stomach swelled, not realising we’d been tricked by the fiend beneath the pool. Instead of love and lullabies there was nothing growing in your belly but ink black clots and gelatinous tendrils.

Season Two, Episode One – The Ice King of Glass Mountain

The king raged and ranted in his translucent palace when news reached him of our union. He deflected every effort to warm his frost-bitten heart. He didn’t like my back story, said heroes never came from my side of town. He told you if you left the mountain, he would crystallise every surface rendering it invisible – you would never find your family again.

Season Four, Christmas Special – The Enchantress of Castle Creek

The flame-haired witch appeared when we’d been arguing about the amount of time I spent away from headquarters. How many episodes saw me trapped at the local tavern brainwashed by her potent brew? You frustratedly chanting counter incantations on my return. Finally, you were forced to leave headquarters to tend to the matter personally, pouring beer over the head of the impassioned sorceress so that she melted in a frothing mess at your feet.

Season Six, Episode Five – Professor Toxic, Harbinger of Doom

We’d just settled into our final season and of course that was our fatal mistake. We forgot the golden rule – never let your guard down. Just as we were swapping our capes for comfy flats and gentle strolls in the country, Professor Toxic came around the corner and zapped you with his death ray. The doctors at the hospital took turns to zap you back, firing radiotherapy and chemotherapy relentlessly. We wondered what the chemical storm would do to your powers, perhaps you’d end up with x-ray vision or stone-crushing strength just like you’d always wanted. I slept beside your bed, regaled you with every triumph of our past lives until you did your flashback face. Remember how we defeated the septic phantom in season four? And that trick we pulled on the many-headed beast in season three’s double-length finale? The point is, we got this. No matter what they throw at us, Paul and Janet always are and always will be perpetually, obstinately, unconquerably fine.

Jo Withers writes short fiction from her home in South Australia. Previous work appears in The Caterpillar, Milk Candy Review, Molotov Cocktail, Spelk and Best Microfictions 2020. Jo occasionally tweets @JoWithers2018

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