The smell of brisket and gravy, honey-baked yams, and green bean casserole spreads through the house like the summer heat. Sitting in his grandparent’s kitchen, Nathan absorbs the smell, mostly the yams, and his stomach noisily asks, what’s the holdup. Grandma pulls herself away from Murder, She Wrote just long enough to open the oven and inundate Nathan with swells of crisping honey. Mom and Dad stroll into the kitchen, Dad stealing a piece of brisket. The gravy never makes it to Dad’s mouth, though, and hangs desperately from the end of his dark chocolate mustache. Grandpa comes through the kitchen and into the living room, whispering something to Grandma before she shushes him away. Nathan puts his face into his hands, wondering why nobody notices his new suit: the red and blue fabric, taken from pieces of different pajamas, cut to arms, legs, body and carefully stapled together on the inside for appearances; boots, his black galoshes spray-painted red; the cape he’d fashioned out of Mom’s old, satin bed sheet; the “S,” cut from his pillowcase, meticulously affixed by staples. The staples, though, occasionally nick at Nathan’s chest. Nathan imagines that chest hair will feel similar when it grows in and immediately dislikes the thought. Grandma again appears in the kitchen, checking the oven, microwave, simmering gravy, then whisking back for Jessica Fletcher’s revelation of this week’s murderer. Nathan hates both Jessica Fletcher and waiting for dinner, so he runs around the kitchen, making whoosh noises with arms outstretched. He flies into the Florida room, then kitchen, then Florida room again, landing with poise beside the china cabinet where Grandma always hides her jelly beans. Grandma wasn’t allowed to eat jelly beans on account of her dentures, but Nathan caught her on many occasions sneaking into the china cabinet and removing the third row of plates from the bottom, behind which lay quite possibly the largest collection of jelly beans in the north Ft. Lauderdale area. Nathan does the same, filching the final three, scantily supplied, cherry jelly beans and again takes flight. The Murder, She Wrote end-music ricochets through the house and lures the family into the dining room. Except for Grandma, who waits for next week’s episode preview. Nathan flies to the table and chooses a seat different from his usual. He prefers the corner seat, which usually becomes so crowded with food and serving plates that no one can see him, but tonight he must be seen. Tonight, he is Superman. Dad brings the brisket to the table, tonguing the rogue drop of gravy caked onto his mustache. He and Grandpa squabble over the end pieces before Grandma says shutup and takes the pieces herself, splitting the portion with Mom, who doesn’t even like end pieces. Nathan takes three small pieces, along with a spoonful of green-bean casserole and four-person helping of yams. Neither Mom, Dad, nor Grandpa likes yams; Grandma, though, does and takes some, including the crusted honey on the bottom that Nathan really loves. Nathan asks for a small taste of the honey crust and Dad says Mom, give him some, but Grandma’s head shakes no as she consumes meat and yams in a single bite. Nathan, after taking several capable bites of yams and returning a piece of brisket to the platter, leans back in his chair and flaunts his “S.” He clears his throat and taps coyly under the table but is ignored as the dining room fills with sounds of chewing and swallowing and sipping at lukewarm water. Forks and knives cling-clang against the florally designed plates and Grandma’s top dentures slip from her mouth into the gravy boat. Damn brisket, she mutters through naked gums, and Grandpa’s fork sludges through gravy in search of teeth. Mom laughs and gasps, while Nathan dreams of flying from the table and saving a man careening off Key Largo Bridge. Teeth found, Grandma washes them off in her Chardonnay. Dad takes the extra brisket returned by Nathan and tells the table that his new job starts Monday and they are very excited about it, but Grandma interrupts with People are morons. Grandpa asks why people are morons; Nathan kneels on his chair making the cape and “S” clearly visible above the dinner plates. Grandma says people are morons who watch Murder, She Wrote and don’t see that Jessica Fletcher is most definitely murdering all of those people to get book ideas and then cleverly framing innocent people. Grandpa asks then why do innocent people confess to the crime at the end, and Grandma argues that Jessica Fletcher most definitely offers them royalties from the book sales based on the crime. Nathan slides his arms under the table and tries to lift it up over his head, show everyone that he is Superman. The table rattles and fidgets a bit, but everyone is distracted by Grandma’s theory. Dad again attempts to talk about his new job, getting as far as the Sun-Sentinel is a great paper to write for, before Grandpa interjects why wouldn’t anybody catch on if she were killing everyone. Grandma gets huffy and tells him he will never understand without watching for himself, just before the fidgeting table knocks over Mom’s lukewarm water. The tablecloth absorbs most of the spill, but everyone throws in their napkins anyway. Nathan feels tears goading at his eyes and wants to scream to everyone-Look at me please I am Superman!-but instead asks for green bean casserole. Grandpa argues with Grandma, Mom stares at her glass of wine like it’s a crystal ball, Dad’s hands are full-biscuit in one, fork-full of brisket/yams/green beans in the other. Nobody motions towards the green bean casserole for Nathan, so he reaches across the vast expanse of table, his yam-sticky fingers coming up just short. He shifts his legs to make himself taller, but before he reaches the casserole, a loose staple from his suit catches on the tablecloth and tears the “S” from his chest. The ripping of fabric captures everyone and Grandma asks what the hell was that, while Nathan stares at the “S” in front of him. Mom rubs Nathan’s shoulder, honey did you make that, and Nathan nods yes. Grandma asks what are you wearing, and despite losing his insignia, Nathan smiles, validated, and tells everyone that he made this suit because he is Superman, or at least he wants to be Superman. Mom continues rubbing his shoulder and Dad winks. Grandpa talks to himself about Jessica Fletcher and her impetus for such slaughter. Grandma, through mouthful of food, gawps bewilderedly and asks what is Superman. Nathan explains Krypton and Smallville and Clark Kent before Grandma laughs hysterically, nearly losing her dentures for a second time. She says that the story is just a story and the truth must be that the only “Superman” around is Alan Superman, their sixty-eight-year-old Certified Public Accountant living in Tamarac with his wife Alberta, and who recently had triple-bypass surgery. Nathan shakes his head and says Grandma, you don’t understand, but Grandma contests that she does understand that Alan Superman is a man but “Superman” is fantasy and that is okay with her if it is okay with him. Nathan quiets, letting the statement settle, and realizes that it is not okay with him, that Superman is not a fantasy because he is Superman. He feels a pain in his chest and wonders if his heart is broken before he sees a large staple anchored obtrusively into his flesh. He pulls out the staple and asks for any remaining yams and their honey-crusted complements, as well as requiring Grandma to never again speak about Superman being their Jewish accountant. Grandma agrees, and while Nathan dreams of flying through clouds and infinite sky, Grandpa stands and decrees that there is no possible way for Jessica Fletcher to have murdered all of those people without getting caught, and that Grandma is most definitely losing her mind.