The Summer 2023 CABB Challenge


We all love reading about favorite characters in our beloved BatB world. They have become familiar and dear to us, and we look forward to spending time with them within the stories created by our talented fandom writers. There’s a level of comfort and warmth when we are able to revisit cherished people and places and learn more about them.

But, just like in real life, it’s also intriguing to meet someone new. It can be an adventure to discover just what makes that person who they are, to see how your life might intertwine with theirs, even to try to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Such an experience always changes our worlds — and maybe even ourselves – in unexpected ways.

For the Summer 2023 Challenge, we asked writers to create a new character or two and write a story where they interact in the lives of Catherine and/or Vincent. As always, we had a wonderful response and received stories with some amazing ideas, intriguing new characters, and thoroughly enjoyable tales! Many thanks to everyone who participated!

And many thanks, too, to all of you who will read the great stories in this collection. If you’d like to leave comments for the writers – which are always much appreciated – you now can do so very easily on the CABB website.

Our next Challenge will be issued soon, so please watch for it. In the meantime, we hope you’ll  find a few minutes this summer to pour a glass of iced tea, relax in a comfy chair, and along with Vincent and Catherine, meet a host of new characters from Above and Below.


Thanks for the Angels by Nancy

When I Grow Up by Linda S Barth

A Gift Very Grateful by J. L. Rowan

Khy and the Fairy Prince by PearlAnn SnowStar

Like a Circle by JoAnn Baca

One Rainy Day by JRo

Back In Time by Nelly



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CABB logo: crystal and rose




CABB logo: crystal and rose







by AM

“Local temperature is 89 degrees with a heat index of 102. Stay inside if you can. Drink plenty of water and remember, don’t overdo it. It’s a scorcher out there today, folks”.

Catherine cursed the weatherman as she wiped the sweat off her forehead.  “Great. What a perfect time for the air to go out.”

The thought of going outside made her cringe. It was Sunday, so her office would be locked.

“I need to get out of this heat. I’ve got it!” Catherine giggled as she had a wonderful idea.

She went through recycling looking for something she could use.

“Nothing,” she said, frustrated.

She hurriedly changed into a comfortable t-shirt and jeans and hurried to the nearest store. She would’ve run if it hadn’t been so hot.

She sighed with relief when she stepped foot into the cool store.

She picked up some water guns.

No, too violent, and would be frowned upon, she thought as she put the guns down.

She went searching for safer things.

Balloons? No, leaves a mess to clean up.

Her eyes lit up when she saw them. “Spray bottles!!! Perfect!! Hmmm. There’s 50. That should be plenty.”

She grabbed up all the bottles and headed to pay.

It seemed like forever before she headed back to her apartment with her treasures. Instead of going directly to her apartment, she headed to the tunnels. It wasn’t long before she ran into Eric.

“What’s in the bags?” he asked

“It’s a surprise, and I need you to do me a favor. Could you gather all the kids and bring them here?”


“Oh, and Eric?”

Eric turned to look at her.

“Bring as many buckets of water as you can.” She winked at him.

He returned in record time with all the tunnel kids, each carrying two buckets full of water. Catherine passed out the spray bottles and helped fill them up. Once all the bottles were filled, boundary lines were drawn, and safe places declared, they were ready.

“On your mark, get set, GO!” Catherine yelled.

The fight began in full force. Laughter, shrieks, and happy screams echoed through the tunnels as the children chased and sprayed each other. Catherine found herself in the crossfire several times, but laughed as hard as the children. When bottles emptied they were quickly refilled, and the fun continued. Soon adults came to find out where the happy noises were coming from. Some smiled, shook their heads and went back to their previous activity. Some helped by refilling empty buckets. Others just couldn’t help joining in the fun. Catherine noticed Vincent walking towards them.

“I need to borrow that,” she said to Kipper.

He smiled and handed her his full bottle. She placed the bottle behind her back, walked calmly up to Vincent, and sprayed him in the face.

His look of shock made Catherine laugh. Vincent calmly watched the children play for a few minutes before casually picking up a bucket that was a quarter full. He turned to Catherine.

“Vincent, you wouldn’t dare.”

“Perhaps, but then how would I return the favor?”

With that, he dumped the bucket over her head. The children erupted with laughter to see Catherine soaked.

A tapping on the pipes made them all stop. Dinner.

Groans quickly spread among the children. They reluctantly started handing the bottles to Catherine.

“Vincent, why don’t you keep them for the next time?”

The children’s eyes danced with glee. Vincent put the bottles in the buckets and handed them to the children to carry.

“Would you join us, Catherine?” Vincent asked.

“I would love to.”

Vincent took her hand and they followed the children to dinner.