This story is based on the Reedsy.com prompt "Write about a character coming out of a long hibernation (either literal or metaphorical)."
"Another day to work towards my goals." Leftover thought to himself as he woke up. He slid out of bed and walked towards his dresser to get his phone. He would need CCC to alter his appearance so he could enter the public areas of the castle and keep up the facade that he was normal. He looked in the mirror, prepared to see the reflection of the dark silhouette form his body was stuck in. To his surprise, the human the rest of the country of Prosperity knew as King Lenny Overature stared back at him.
"No way! Am I.... cured?"
Overjoyed, Lenny ran out of his room and down the stairs. He had his life back. He didn't have to be Leftover anymore. He was ready to put his grudge against Hugh's hero network aside, and end his plans of destroying them and building his own superior group of heroes. First he would find his father, and start fresh with him. He would not need to hide his silhouette appearance and have Hypnorc control the former king's mind anymore - they could have a real father and son relationship again.
Lenny was in the dining room, or where it should be anyway. But he found himself outside on the castle grounds. The sky was dark and foreboding, not how it should look first thing in the morning. He looked back and saw the castle crumbling into dust. Lenny then looked at his arms and watched as they faded to dark. Before he knew it, his body was nothing more than a silhouette, and he was back to being Leftover once again.
Leftover studied his surroundings, and observed that the outdoor castle grounds were not what they used to be. What was once grass was now guacamole. Giant stalks of bacon stood where the trees used to be. A river nearby had the look and scent of coffee.
"Such delicious things.... if only I had a mouth still." Leftover mused out loud. "Still, what is happening to Prosperity?"
"Do you like the new decor?" A man approaching Leftover said. Leftover thought he recognized the man, and once he was close enough, his suspicions were confirmed: Hugh was standing before him.
"The last time I saw you, I turned you into a silhouette." Hugh said. "Oh wait, that wasn't actually me, just someone posing as me.... well, you blame me for your condition anyway!"
"It is your fault!" Leftover responded angrily. "If your employee didn't banish Bill to the Reflection Dimension with my features, I could have returned to normal!"
"Yeah yeah, everything's my fault, you want to kill me, you think you can replace my life's work with your own network and become a better hero than me." Hugh said condescendingly. "You think I have a team of pawns and your team is made up of queens. You're a silly man, your little fledging group of wackos wouldn't stand a chance against my worldwide network!"
"Worldwide network, please!" Leftover snapped. "The same six people are the only ones I hear about in these short stories.... what kind of worldwide network has only six heroes? Way to overwork your people Hugh!"
"Now now, I can't control how many of my employees the writer chooses to focus on." Hugh laughed. "However, I can assure you that there's more than six. The ones you are referring to are probably all I need to win against you anyway."
"Wrong, I will destroy you and the rest of your network, regardless of how many there are!" Leftover said, making a yellow helmet with a toothy smile appear in his hand. He donned the helmet, which then covered his body in armor. A sword then appeared in his hand.
"Oh yeah, you had that modded and stole it from me, didn't you?" Hugh asked. "I give you credit for using a different design, but that really does look terrible! And Leftover is your villain name? How lame can you get? Are you going to destroy a turkey dinner?"
A beautiful woman stood in the distance, mocking Hugh's foe by yelling "Leftover turkey dinner!" repeatedly in her jeers.
"Shut up, shut up, shut up!" Leftover shouted.
"That line has already been used in Final Fantasy XV and Persona 5." Hugh laughed. "Are you Leftover because you have no original material of your own, you have to use what you can find?"
"I am Leftover because your network's failures have left me as a silhouette. But rest assured Hugh, when this is over there will be nothing left of you and your team at all."
"That line is kind of cool, but you've already used it in three other stories." Hugh mocked. "Well, I guess it is time to dispose of the leftovers. That gorgeous woman over there wants a turkey dinner fight, so let's give our fan what she wants!"
Hugh's body began to grow, and soon enough he towered over Leftover. Hugh's head remained the same, but the rest of him resembled a floating cooked turkey. A cannon popped out of the turkey, and the cannon fired steaming hot mashed potatoes at Leftover. Leftover dodged the delicious blast, then made a laser gun appear in his hand. He fired a shot at the cannon, destroying it with a direct hit.
"Not bad, Leftover." Hugh said. "You may have a terrible name and a plan that is destined to fail, but your shooting game is top notch."
"I don't need your approval Hugh, my days of idolizing you are over." Leftover said heatedly. The laser gun disappeared, and Leftover readied his blade. "My father never let me carve the turkey at Easter dinner, I guess I should thank you for this opportunity."
Leftover ran towards Hugh until he was close enough, then lept into the air and repeatedly slashed the fowl version of his former hero. Once he was finished slicing and dicing, all that remained of Hugh was a floating head.
"I may have underestimated you, perhaps my network and I should be concerned about your schemes after all." Hugh's head said in a tone of reverence. "I now understand what you meant when you chose the name Leftover."
"Like I said, I don't need or want your approval." Leftover said, summoning his laser gun and destroying the leftovers of Hugh. Leftover looked into the distance, and noticed the woman that made fun of him was no longer present. Leftover then heard a loud whooshing sound, and everything went dark.
Leftover rose from a cot he had apparently been laying on. He was deep underground in the castle where he and his team plotted against Hugh in secret. As his vision became less cloudy, he noticed a man in his 30s dressed in a fancy suit looking at him.
"Doctor Sic.... what's going on?" Leftover asked.
"You volunteered to test my newest toxin, a drug that traps its victims in their nightmares unless they overcome the fear within." Doctor Sic replied. "You have been asleep for a month."
"A month?" Leftover cried out. "Has anything changed? Any signs of Lifer?"
"Lifer has not appeared recently, and there have been no reports of random things coming to life." Doctor Sic answered. "CCC has been out helping his 'clients' mostly, but he has also been modifying some of our servants to look like the old you on the throne in order to keep up the appearance. Hypnorc has been keeping your father under his control, and thanks to that the former king still has the kingdom believing you are your normal self. Willy is getting stir crazy and awaiting a mission where he can use his worm transforming powers. The only hero from Hugh's network that has been sighted lately is Chris, and all he has been doing is stopping minor crimes."
"Thank you for the report, I am grateful that you all have been holding down the fort, and keeping our existence under wraps for the time being." Leftover replied.
"So, how do you feel about the toxin?" Doctor Sic asked. "Shall I pick a place to administer it, and maybe draw out our rivals? Maybe Lifer will show up as well."
"I approve of this course of action." Leftover said. "I can assure you from my experience that your latest creation is something else."
"If you don't mind me asking leader, what was your dream about, and what did you have to overcome?" Doctor Sic asked.
"I'd rather not say." Leftover said. "But if your toxin affects Hugh's network like it affected me, then the only thing left of them will be the bad memory that they are!"
*Author note: my wife picks on me for naming my main antagonist Leftover, often asking me if he has won against turkey dinner yet. So some writing credit for this story goes to my lovely wife.*