My Papa told me every superhero or supervillain has a backstory. That’s what you call all the stuff that happened to them before the real story starts. It tells the audience how the hero ended up where they are today. Why they are the way they are.
I figure vigilantes must have backstories too, right?
So here’s the backstory of Harper Hard-Heart.
Once upon a time there was a king and a queen, and everyone in the kingdom loved them very much. The queen was so beautiful that pictures of her face were hung up ALL over the world. And the king’s cooking was so amazing that people would come from very far away to eat it.
They were very happy together, but there was something they really, REALLY wanted. A baby.
But the king and the queen were cursed. No matter how hard they tried, a super evil power stole away all their babies, and this made them very sad.
There was one baby who was different though. She was stronger than the evil, and she was able to escape… Almost. The evil still messed up her lungs and her ears so they wouldn’t work right. It tried to make her weak.
But her parents were so excited to have their baby anyway. And even though she wasn’t the same as the other kids, they always told her that she was wonderful and amazing and special. Their Perfect Princess.
The other people in the kingdom didn’t see her that way though. They thought she was helpless and weak. All the grown-ups felt sorry for her. And the other kids ignored her or made fun of her.
This made the princess very mad. She wasn’t weak! But she wasn’t perfect either. She was… herself. And all she wanted was to prove that to everybody.
She started calling herself Harper Hard-Heart, and decided to stand up to the evil bullies who had mercilessly teased her and her friends. That was how she started her life as a vigilante, dealing out justice and not following anybody’s rules. Just being herself.
It was all so easy, at first. Especially with her friends by her side.
But as the years passed, things started to change.
Her parents still put her on a pedestal… But it became worse than ever before. They started pushing for her to go to university… Even though she really didn’t want to. And even though they were total hypocrites, because neither of them had gone to university either.
“You’re so smart, honey! Uni will give you such a bright future. You’ll see. You can do anything.” It felt like they told her that every day.
It became harder and harder to fight against all the pressure from her parents, especially when her friends began to drift away from her. They still talked to each other and hung out every now and then. But it wasn’t the same as it used to be.
Thad had found a place with the other techy, geeky kids like himself. Sophie became close with the quiet, bookish types. And Nyla spent most of her time laughing and joking with the guys on the football team.
It wasn’t their fault, of course. And Harper wanted to be happy for them. They weren’t misfits anymore. Not like she was. They’d found their place. But it started to feel like she’d never find hers.
It seemed the curse from her childhood had caught up with her once again. The forces of evil had her trapped and alone — stuck between who everyone expected her to be, and who she wanted to be.
And now, as she enters her final year of school, one question remains…
Will anyone ever come and set her free?