Super Problems

Being a superhero wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.  Sure you get fame and name recognition.  Hell, she made a mint being a spokesperson for products from toothpaste (“Knock the plaque right out of your mouth”) to sports cars (“Have a blast while moving fast, even without the spandex”).

Krystal hated the physical beatings she took on a regular basis, and the insurance rates for liability and destruction were astronomical.  The worst though was the impact on your personal life.  Running two different lives, with one of them top secret, made dating a living hell.  The last guy she had been with basically broke up with her and left with the pizza delivery girl one night after a particularly long and painful supervillain fight.

All of that didn’t really matter at the moment as Krystal sent pulses of kinetic energy into the perp that had just ripped the vault out of First Federal Bank.  The pulses hit the robber in the torso, causing the vault to fall down into the rubble of the bank’s back wall.  Krystal floated to the right to get a better angle.

The perp looked up at Krystal and shook a fist. “Damn you Pulsed!”  His voice filled with as much gravel as the rubble around him.

Krystal stopped midair.  Something about the thief struck her as familiar.  Without all the grittiness in his voice, he would almost sound like…

He reached down and with a flick of his wrist flung a huge hunk of concrete her direction.  Krystal barely dodged out of the way before sending another three blasts of kinetic energy into him, two right on the chin and the last to his right shoulder.

The perp teetered but didn’t fall.  He instead leapt into the air and managed to grab onto Krystal’s foot.  She kicked out, enhancing the action with a large burst of her kinetic power, but before he let go he managed to throw her into a nearby building.  She bounced off the second floor before falling the rest of the way to the ground.  She softened the two-story fall with a quick kinetic burst, but still, the landing rattled her teeth and would leave some bruises on her knees.

The perp wiped away some blood that was trickling out of his busted lower lip through his torn mask.  “Stay down and I won’t hurt you anymore,” he said.

Krystal pulled herself to her feet.  She glanced at her communicator on her arm.  The rest of the crew should be on its way.  She just had to stall a bit more she hoped.   She decided to turn up the sarcasm.

“You have a funny way of not hurting me,” she said.  “Why don’t we dance a bit more?”

The perp this time did a double take.  “What did you say?”

“I asked if you wanted to dance some more?”


Hearing her real name coming from his mouth stunned her more than the smashing into the building.  How did he know?

“Is that really you?” he asked.  The gravel was gone from his voice.

Krystal’s eyes went wide as she finally recognized who she was facing.  “Peter, is that you?”

“Well I’ll be damned if this isn’t awkward,” Peter said.  He then laughed.  “So this is what you were doing when you got called into work?”

“When did you get powers?”

“I had them all the time.  I was just trying to play it straight, but then, well you know.  I had to figure out something after I didn’t have a place to live.”

“Shelia dumped you?”


“The pizza delivery girl.”

“Was that her name?”

Krystal saw red.  She flung everything she had left and landed it on his chin.  Peter’s eyes rolled back and he crumbled to the ground very ungracefully.

“Break up with me and don’t even remember her name?”  With that, Krystal slumped to the ground as well.

Her com came to life with Dr. Valliant’s voice.  “Hold on Pulsed.  The cavalry is on the way.”

Krystal muttered under her breath.  “Make sure you don’t drop your coconuts, Sir Robin.”  She punched on her mic.  “The perp is down, so call in the paddy wagon.  I’m going home and ordering a pizza.”



Mother (an acrostic poem)

This is an old one, but still rings true to me each year.  I think this is the only poem on my site I have reposted.  Now I do it for the second time.  I hope you enjoy.  The original title was “My Favorite Superhero”.


Mortal though she may be

Obviously she has super powers

The ability to absorb pain and suffering with a single kiss

Hearing so acute that she doesn’t miss a whisper from a mile away

Eyesight so keen that she can actually see through and around solid objects

Remember that your mom is a superhero!

With Great Power Comes…

Cari looked at her left hand where smoke was rising from her fist.  The wall of the bank in front of her laid in pieces, and the alarm was sounding at a level just under supersonic jetfighter.  She slowly opened her hand and examined it.  Nothing looked different at all.  It looked exactly the same as it did just thirty seconds ago, but nothing was the same.  She looked up just in time to see a man poke his heavily balding head out to see what had happened.  “Sir, please help me,” she pleaded.  All that seemed to do is frighten him back behind the wall.

Cari looked back and forth, trying to figure out what to do.  She felt drained, almost like normal.  It was hard to believe that pill had changed her that much.  Matt had told her to point her hand at the wall and think about knocking it down.  Just keep calm and she would be done.  That’s all she needed to do to get her daughter back.  That’s all she could think of.

The man came back to the hole, but this time with a gun in his hand.  Cari threw her left hand behind her back.  “Don’t shoot,” she screeched.  “I’m not armed.”

“Both hands in the air!” screamed the man.  “Do it now!”

“I’m not armed,” Cari cried.  She was in a panic, not wanting to move.  The panic fed the power.  It began to intensify.

“Do it now!” screamed the man.  He took aim at her.  “Do it!”

Cari began to cry.  She slowly lifted her right hand, and then her left.  The power was beginning to hurt as she tried to keep it in check.  “Help me,” she said.  “Please.”

The man climbed over the rubble and out of the hole.  He kept his gun trained on Cari the whole time.   “Down on your knees!” he commanded.

Cari heard the sound of sirens coming closer.  She felt like she was burning up.  Time seemed to stretch almost to a breaking point.  All she wanted was to have one more chance to hold her daughter.  The power fed on her anxiety and fear, growing stronger and stronger, screaming to be let free.  Her world shrunk to a haze of pain and overwhelming sadness.

The man stopped and yelled at her again, but she didn’t understand a word he said.  She looked at him and mouthed goodbye to him, her daughter, the world.


The explosion set off alarms three miles away.  Matt smiled waved his team into action.

Scared Straight Part 2

Timmy looked around the hole and shivered, not from being scared, but from the cold.  He picked up the threadbare blanket that was one to two soft objects in this place of steel and concrete and wrapped it around his shoulders.  He began pacing his cell.  Four strides in length, three strides in width, it had a small flat barred window about ten feet up, right by the ceiling letting in a tiny bit of sunlight to supplement the flickering fluorescent centered on the ceiling.

The bed, sink, and toilet were all made of concrete.  The only other source of comfort beside the blanket was the small thin mattress on the bed.  Jimmy sat down on it and laughed.  It was almost as hard as the concrete below it.  The one door had a small slot at the bottom and a larger slot at the top that could be moved by the guard.  Right now both were closed off.

Timmy began to sing at the top of his lungs all the children’s nursery rhymes he could think of.  The place had great acoustics.  After about a half hour of that, Timmy began jogging in circles.  It helped him get a bit warmer.  He tied the blanket around his neck so it fluttered behind him like a superhero.  That only lasted for a few minutes till Timmy got bored with that.  He sat down on the bed in a lotus position and meditated.

After an indeterminate amount of time a different guard pulled back the top slider.  He saw Timmy not moving, his back against the wall with the blanket tied around his neck and panicked.  He hit the button on the outside of the cell which set off flashing lights and a klaxon.  The guard opened the door and was two feet in before Timmy snapped out of his meditative state.  The guard grabbed Timmy by his arm and yanked him off the bed.  Timmy immediately began to collapse to the ground, his legs giving out on him because of the amount of time spent in the lotus position.  Two more guards pushed their way into the cell.  The guard holding Timmy’s arm yelled,” Tony, grab his other arm, Luke get that sheet off his neck.”

The two guards were efficient, snapping to accomplish their assigned tasks immediately.  Soon Timmy was hanging in air, his feet a couple of inches off the ground, and his cape now tossed back onto the bed from whence Timmy had taken it from.

“What is wrong with you?” asked the guard that had originally grabbed Timmy.  “Trying suicide after only an hour or two in the hole?”

“Chill Hobbs,” said Luke.  “The kid didn’t have the blanket that tight.”

“Suicide?” asked Timmy.  “That was my superhero cape.”

Tony began to laugh.  Hobbs wasn’t too happy about that.  “What the hell Tony.  It’s not funny,” Hobbs said.

Luke began to laugh as well.  “Come on man, that shit is funny,” he said.

Hobbs looked like he was about to punch both his fellow guards out.  Timmy decided he wanted the focus back on him.  “Guys, I like it when my feet can touch the ground,” Timmy said.

Tony let him down, but Hobbs kept his other arm hitched up, keeping Timmy off balance.  “Smart ass kid, I don’t like being punked. You know what that earns you?”

Timmy looked hard into Hobbs’ eyes, reading him.  “Normally it would mean you drop in one of your pets to pay me back, but we both know you can’t do that because the Warden would put your balls in a vice.”

Hobbs lifted even higher on Timmy, wrenching Timmy’s shoulder before letting go.  Luckily for Timmy, Tony was still holding onto him, so Timmy didn’t fall down.  Hobbs looked at Tony and Luke.  “Get that piece of shit back upstairs so he can meet the ladies. “  With that Hobbs turned and began to walk away.

Timmy laughed.  “Make sure you let your mom know I’ll be stopping by and paying her a visit,” Timmy said.

Hobbs turned around and threw a haymaker punch, only to be stopped by Luke.  “Let me go,” said Hobbs through pursed lips.

Luke shook his head.  “The kid isn’t worth it,” Luke said.  “We’ve got him boss.  Go walk it off.”

Hobbs glared at Timmy.  “Hobbs, don’t worry.  You’ll get your chance with me.  I promise,” Timmy said.  Hobbs left the cell without a second glance back.

Tony shoved Timmy towards the door.  “Let’s go.  You’ve got a date,” said Tony.  Timmy rubbed his sore shoulder, but for once decided to be quiet.  Besides, it was almost show time.

The Empowered

Josh was late for work, his car wouldn’t start, and he missed the closest bus by like five minutes.  Now Josh was impersonating an Olympic speed walker, strutting down the street trying to get to the next bus stop before he missed that one too.  If he did, he was doomed to walk the five miles to work and even worse, walk the I’m late, sweaty, and tired walk past the boss man.  Josh didn’t want to even contemplate the lasting impression that would make.  Josh preferred to stay out of the limelight, especially if it would be negative, considering how the day was going so far.

As Josh turned the corner onto Main Street and checked his iPhone.  He was going to make it with a couple minutes to spare.  Josh decided to check his email and drop his speed a notch.  Maybe he could answer the first few emails of the day on his way.  That would give him a bit more leeway when he got to office.  His email updated just as he ran into someone.  His phone dropped to the pavement and he could hear that distinctive snap of the screen breaking.  “Damn it all!” exclaimed Josh.

“Excuse me?” asked a rich alto voice in a not to friendly tone.

Josh looked from his broken phone to the woman he had collided with.  He immediately wished he hadn’t.  She was at least six foot four, her afro sticking out at odd angles.  She was carrying various plastic grocery bags in both hands.  She was dressed in a ridiculously large muscle shirt and very baggy shorts showing off as much skin as twelve supermodels in bikinis.  Her skin hung in folds, and the folds had folds.  It reminded Josh of his friend Arnold, who had lost a hundred pounds, but the skin flap around his belly was still there.  This woman must have had the extra weight all over.  She must have been a sphere at one time she had so much extra skin.  Now if she weighed a hundred twenty pounds she would have been lucky.  While Josh was almost overwhelmed by her physical presence, he found himself drawn to her eyes.  The large brown eyes burned with a fire that almost mesmerized him.

“Are you going to apologize?” she asked.

“Apologize?” Josh asked.  He was still trying to figure out the figure in front of him.

“You just ran into me,” she said.

Josh reached down to retrieve his phone.  His couple of minutes were evaporating quickly.  “You ran into me too,” he said.  He tried to move around her to continue, but the woman moved back into his path.

“Are you kidding me?” she asked.  “I should knock some sense into that head of yours.”  She rattled her plastic bags for emphasis.

Josh threw his hand into the air. “Really?  Look, I’m late for work already.  If you want me to say I’m sorry to get you to move, fine.  I’m sorry,” he said.  Yep, those extra few minutes were almost gone.

The woman dropped her bags to the ground.  Josh wondered if a strong wind blew at this moment would she fly away in all that skin.  It made him smirk a bit.  “You think this is funny?” she asked.  “That’s it.  I’m going to rough you up.”

Josh took a couple of steps back and held up his hands in surrender.  He didn’t want to have to hurt this woman if they got into it.  He had to be twenty years younger and outweighed her by a hundred pounds of muscle.  The blessings of being on the track and field team through college.  ”Look, I’m sorry,” he said in a tone that showed he meant it this time.

The woman seemed less ticked.  “You better be,” she said.  “I’d hate to open a can of whoop-ass on you.”

“Is that what you carry in those bags?” Josh asked before his brain had processed what the sarcasm generator had created.  Josh winced as he waited for her response.

The woman let out a surprising musical laugh.  “That’s a good one,” she said.  “You have a pretty quick wit there.”

Josh joined her in a smile.  That smile crashed and burned as he saw the bus pull up to the bus stop.  Josh was way too far away to make it.

The woman noticed him staring and turned to witness the bus doors open.  “If you hurry you can still make it,” she said.

“No way,” he said.  “Those doors will be closing any second now.”

The woman looked at him with those intense eyes again.  “You can make it.  You have something special inside of you.  I can see it.  If you want to know more come find me.  I’m always around these parts.”  She then bent down to get her bags.

Josh decided to see if he could get at least get close enough to wave the bus driver down.  If the driver was nice they would let him on.  Josh began to run, reaching deep.  He felt his feet move faster, almost on their own.  He hadn’t dug this far down since the last race he had run where he had come from behind to win his only cross country event in his whole running career.  Each step brought him closer and closer until he was at the bus stop and the doors were still open.  Josh was surprised the driver hadn’t pulled away yet.

“Thanks for waiting, man,” he told the driver as he swiped his payment card.  The driver just stared at him, surprise on his face.

Josh didn’t give it a second thought.  He just sat down in an empty seat and smiled.  That run had felt good, really good.  Josh tried to figure out why he had stopped running.  He always loved it when he was younger.  He knew he had a second gear that was fun to kick it up to, but in competitions he just couldn’t find it.  Heck, when he was running with someone he couldn’t find it.  It was only when he was on his own, running to his own tune when the speed just seemed to come out of nowhere.  Josh was happy it had come out today.

“Close the doors already,” called out a woman on the bus somewhere behind Josh.  Josh looked up and the door was still open.  The bus driver was just staring at Josh in the rear view mirror.  Josh sheepishly smiled and waved at the driver.  That seemed to snap the man out of it.  The driver closed the door and pulled away from the curb.

The rest of the bus ride was uneventful.  Josh couldn’t get that woman out of his head.  Of course she must make an impression no matter where she went.  Still, Josh wondered what she meant about seeing something special inside of him.  By the end of the ride, Josh had figured it must have been his great sense of humor.

As Josh got off the bus, the bus driver stared at him again.  “Dude,” Josh said, “take an Instagram, it’ll last longer.”

The driver blushed.  “Just never saw an Empowered up close,” he said.

Josh was about to respond when the driver closed the doors and drove away from the curb.  Empowered?  Last time Josh checked his sarcasm hadn’t counted as a superpower.  Those people were freaky.  Now having a superpower might be cool, but all that responsibility?  No thank you.  It was nice being normal.

Josh waved at his boss on the way to his desk.  The woman looked almost upset that he had made it on time.  Maybe she was the one who had sabotaged his car.  Now that was a funny thought.  He opened his browser and checked the email he couldn’t do on his broken phone.  After seeing nothing important he headed into the break room to get a coffee.  Suzy and Fred were already there, mugs in hand.

“Did you see it Josh?” asked Suzy.  “I heard it was incredible.”

Fred nodded his head so hard Josh thought it might tumble off.  “It was awesome.  At least that’s what I heard.  I wasn’t there, but a friend of a friend tweeted me about it.”

“What are you two talking about?” Josh asked as he poured a large dose of the black stuff into his mug.

“There was a dust up between Shyla and the Dark Hatter this morning,” Suzy said.  “They took out a small part of Broad Street, just a couple blocks away from Main.  Shyla finally clobbered the Dark Hatter, leaving him for the police before disappearing.  She is so amazing.”

Josh took a sip.  Nice and strong, just like he needed it.  It did need a hit of sugar this time, so he put in half a packet.  Much better.  “That explains the bus driver this morning.  He looked like he had seen a ghost when he picked me up on Main,” Josh said.

Fred pulled out his phone.  “You’ve got to see this picture that friend of a friend took.  It is freaking amazing!”

Suzy grabbed ahold of Josh’s arm.  “You saw someone who saw Shyla?  How awesome is that?” she asked.

“He seemed more spooked than awesome,” Josh said, “and I don’t blame him.  The thought of people who can do all the stuff they can just doesn’t seem right.  Who is supposed to keep them in check when one of the Empowered goes rogue?”

“Here it is,” said Fred.  “Check this out.  Shyla is like a solid muscle.”

Josh took the offered phone and glanced at the picture, not really caring.  Then he did a double take.  There in the picture was the skin fold woman, except she was almost busting at the seams with muscle.  Her muscles had muscles.  How could this be?

“Shyla keeps them in line,” Suzy said.  “Her and the rest of the Enforcers.  They believe Empowered should live by the same laws.”

Josh handed the phone back to Fred and returned to drinking his liquid intelligence.  His mind was still trying to reconcile the scarecrow of a woman with the powerhouse in the picture.  “I still love how she just disappears after dealing out justice,” Fred said.  “Must be hard to blend in with all that.”

Josh almost choked on his next swallow.  “Something like that,” Josh said.

Suzy struck a heroic pose.  “I wish I was Empowered.  I would be out of here like a shot,” she said.

Josh thought back to what Shyla had told him.  She had seen something in him.  Then he had run and caught the bus.  That should have been impossible. The bus driver had said he had never been near an Empowered before.  He wasn’t talking about the fight.

Josh put down his mug.  “I’ve got to go,” he said.

The boss entered the room.  “Back to work I hope,” she said.

Josh smiled.  “Nope, I’ve got a bus to catch,” he said, and with that he disappeared.


Shyla fumbled for her keys.  She didn’t want to put these stupid bags down.  It would be nice if she could just kick down the door, but she didn’t want to bulk up just to damage her own place.  She tried to place the key into the lock, but it fell from her plastic limited fingers.  “Damn!” she said.  The keys stopped falling and the key magically appeared in the lock.  “So you figured it out,” she said.

“Yeah, it took me a bit,” Josh said.  “How did you know?”

Shyla put the bags on the step and turned around to look Josh in the eyes.  “It’s in the eyes.  That’s why most of the time we Empowered wear glasses of some sort.  Stops us from giving ourselves away.”

Josh stroked his chin.  “But why didn’t you have yours on?” he asked.

“I broke mine while fighting the Dark Hatter,” Shyla said.  She took the broken pair out of one of her bags and showed them to Josh.  “And they were my favorite pair.”

Josh looked like he was having problems figuring out what to say next.  “How do you, I mean we, do what we do?” he finally asked.

“Come inside.  I’ve got a proposition for you,” Shyla said.  Josh looked like he was about to comment when Shyla waved a finger in front of his face.  “Don’t make me kick your ass.  You know I can do it.”

Josh smiled.  “Only if you can catch me,” he said.

Shyla smiled.  “We can discuss that over some food.  Going large always leaves me starving,” she said as she opened the door.  “And keep you mind out of the gutter.”

Josh shook his head.  “I think this might be more fun than I thought,” he said as he followed Shyla inside.

Kiss of Death

“Who would you kill if you could kill anyone, anywhere, with a single thought?” asked Tatianna.  She never broke stride as we walked between dorms on the way to the science center.  It was cold outside.  The spring semester had just started and the cold winds had also just come back from vacation.

Still it was that question that stopped me in my tracks.  “Why did you say that?” I asked.

Tatianna stopped and laughed in her typical tee-hee fashion.  “Darling, it was just a fun thought tease,” she said.  “All these reports of people having superpowers freaks me out.  Still, if I had the power to kill someone with just a thought, I would use it.”

Man I loved that accent.  It was one of the reasons I was so madly in lust for her, not that she knew that.  It was one of the many secrets I held from her, not that I wanted to.  It was just easier this way, or at least that’s how I slept better at night, when I could sleep.

“Well, I don’t know.  Who would you kill?” I said as we started walking again.

Tatianna hooked her arm around my elbow as we picked up the pace.  Man it was bitter with that wind.  “I would start by taking out all those terrorist assholes.  Then I would move on to the drug cartels,” she said.  “After that, we would see where the crap floated to the top.  There would be plenty of crap once I got back home to St. Petersburg.”

I shook my head.  This is where being a philosophy major had its perks.  Okay, this might be its only perk, but it is still a perk.  “I don’t think it would be that easy.  Where do you begin drawing the line?” I said.  “I think it would be easier to just let things play out on their own and not get involved.  Things get complicated way too quickly.”

Tatianna leaned in close as the wind rose in fury.  “This is worse than the time I visited Siberia.  Let’s cut through Proctor.  It’ll be shorter,” she said.

Proctor was a small park that sat on the edge of campus that was one of the only wooded places that might cut this accursed wind.  It was also after dark and all sorts of people used the place to hide, from drunk under aged colligates to the occasional rapist.  I made it a policy to avoid the place at all costs.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.  I would rather play it safe,” I said.

Tatianna turned us towards the trees.  Did I mention she is a six foot two inch blond amazon goddess?  Oh and I’m only five ten and maybe one sixty wet?  She wins, not that I tried too hard.  I did mention I was in lust.  Maybe under the trees we could find a romantic spot where we wouldn’t get frostbite while we make out.  Oh, and maybe I would win Miss America as soon as they open it up to young scrawny males who have good hair.  I do have good hair.

“So why couldn’t you find a line?” Tatianna asked.

The wind blew her hair into my face and I inhaled the perfume she wore, or maybe that was her shampoo.  Either way I was not complaining.  Choking on paradise, maybe, but not complaining.  “What about the kids of those you kill?” I asked.  “They don’t deserve to lose their parent.”

Tatianna leaned in close as we entered the trees.  The roaring wind died down to a moaning and the sound of tree branches dancing to a tune they didn’t enjoy.  “This place always freaks me out,” she said.

“Then why, pray tell, did you come here?” I ask softly.  I’m sort of freaked out as well, but I don’t want her to know that.  Hopefully she didn’t notice my shaking a bit.

Once again the tee-hees pour forth.  “If you could see your face right now,” Tatianna said.  I knew I blushed, but in the dark and bitter cold I hope she mistook it for frostbite.  Yes, I know frostbite is white, but I was still hoping.  It is darker amongst the trees. She continued to pull me along.  “But what about the kids of the people those dictators killed and maimed?  You don’t get off that easy,” she said.

I kept my head on a swivel.  Okay, I kept my eyes more on a swivel.  I was enjoying leaning in and breathing Tatianna.  Still, all was quiet on the eastern front, or was this west?  Doesn’t matter, all was quiet, minus the tree and wind thing.

“Relax,” Tatianna said.  “It’s too cold for anyone to be out in this.  You would need to be crazy, or desperate.”

“So what does that make us?” I ask, then immediately regret it.  I have a wonderful case of athlete’s tongue from all the running of my mouth.

“Hopeless fools?” Tatianna responds, giving me a small peck on my cheek.  Okay, I almost fall over with the brute force of that small kiss.

I stop and look into those pale green eyes.  I can’t really see them well in the dim light, but I have them on speed dial in my memory.  I leaned in close and pressed my lips to her.  I could feel a tingle pass through my entire being as we kissed.  I didn’t want that moment to ever end.

I didn’t want that moment to end, especially as I was flattened by a truck the size of a linebacker.  I rolled to my side and saw Tatioanna sitting on the ground with a large guy standing over her, holding that beautiful blonde mane in one ridiculously large fist.  Two other guys materialized out of the dark trees as well.

“Look at what the wind dragged in for us guys?” said the thug holding Tatianna.  “Looks like we get to have a bit of fun.”  The two other thugs looked at Tatianna in such a way that left little doubt what they considered fun.

“Leave her alone,” I said as I began to stand up.  The two other thugs took that as their clue to practice river dancing on my spine.  My attempt at rising ended in a lot of groans and me getting into the fetal position to protect myself as much as I could.

“That’s enough boys,” the first thug said.  “Don’t kill him yet.”  Tatianna moaned.  The thug looked at her.  “You behave, and we’ll let you and your boyfriend live.  Understand?”

Tatianna looked at me, pleading me to do something.  I wanted to.  I wanted to be that hero, but I couldn’t be.  I watched the thug grab her breast hard and Tatianna just went limp.  She was giving up everything, just so we could live.

I looked at the two thugs who had been dancing on my spine, then I turned back to the thug holding Tatianna.  His hands groped her back into a standing position.  I could feel my anger overwhelming my helplessness.  “Leave her alone,” I growled.  This earned me a few more kicks and I almost blacked out, but I kept my eyes on the thug holding Tatianna.  He tried to kiss those lips that had just graced mine with their presence.  Now they were the site of a hostile takeover.

“Leave her alone,” I said again, the red haze in my vision coming from the hatred or the brain damage I was receiving.  I didn’t know, and I didn’t care.  I felt something snap inside of me, but it wasn’t a bone or an organ.  It was that moral place that always knew where the line really was, and I had never crossed it.  Now though, the line had snapped.

I looked at the two closest thugs to me and I pulled my mental trigger.  The two of them fell like someone had cut their strings.  The thug holding Tatianna broke off his assault on Tatianna’s mouth and looked at me like his world had just been blown apart, which it had, since he fell to the ground dead as well.

The bad news was Tatianna fell to the ground too.  Her eyes were open wide and her breathing was fast and shallow.  I tried to comfort her.  “Tatianna, it’s going to be okay.  Everything is going to be okay,” I said, as I tried to get to a sitting position.  Okay, maybe a bone broke in there as well since my ribs ground against each other.

Tatianna then put on a bright smile.  “I know it will be.  I promise.  Everything will be okay,” she said.  She took out her cell phone. “I have the subject in custody.  Send in the sweeper team.”  Then she blinked.

Just Another Normal Day

Marshal stormed into the house and slammed the door behind him.  His mother’s voice called out from the kitchen.  “How many times have I told you don’t slam the door!  I don’t want to have to replace it again.”

Marshal dropped his book bag to the floor and it sounded like he had dropped a ton of bricks.  Marshal said, “Sorry, it’s just that they made me angry!”

His mother came around the corner and gave him the parental glare.  That helped put some of the anger in check.  “Sorry mom,” he said.

“So what happened this time?” she asked as she let the glare up just a bit.

“I saw two cars get into an accident right in front of me and I couldn’t do a darn thing,” Marshal said.  “There was another of the damn video traffic cameras.”

“I’m sorry dear,” his mother said giving up the rest of the glare.  “But you know you have to protect who you are.”

Marshal added on a ‘and protect your friends and family’ to that as well.  “Mom, why did you and dad have me?” he asked.

“Now honey, we are not going to go there,” his mother said.   She disappeared around the corner.

Marshal hurried after her.  “Oh no, I want to know.  If I can’t be who I am then why am I here?” he asked.

His mother tried to turn back on the gaze, but Marshal was having none of that.  “Look, you had to know I was going to be different,” he said.

“We didn’t know no such thing!” his mother responded.  “Genetics are weird things.  Our condition is recessive.  You’ve taken biology.  You know it was a one in four chance at best.”

“Now you’re a science teacher too?” asked Marshal.  “Can you tell me about the Marianna Trench?”

“The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the world’s oceans, located just to the east of the Mariana Islands,” said his mom.  She then put her hand over her mouth.  Marshal immediately was sorry he went that far.  “So you decided to use me as Google?” she asked.  “Go to your room!”

“Mom, you have a gift, just like me.  You could go on Jeopardy and make a million,” said Marshal.

“You know perfectly well why not,” she said.

“Because the norms would try to kill us,” said Marshal.

“Because people fear something or someone different, especially if they have powers and abilities that everyday folk don’t.”  His mom could see the hurt in Marshal’s eyes.  “I’m sorry you have to pretend you are somebody you aren’t.  For most people it means pretending they like their boss or that annoying kid that sits behind you.  For you, it means no lifting cars and making sure the bully actually gets to think he beat you up.  Look, life isn’t fair.  I still use my powers, so do you.  It’s just that we have to be careful.”

“But with all these cameras everywhere, how will we ever be able to help, and I mean really help.  I know I could save lives,” Marshal said.

“People are so scared that they want complete control,” she said.  “It means they would rather have limited success in defeating the bad guys then letting us help them along.  Maybe someday we can come out of the dark, but not right now. “

“It still sucks,” said Marshal.

His mother gave her son a hug.  “Agreed.  Now please go pick up your things.  Your father should be home any minute.”

There was a large puff of black smoke and Marshal’s father appeared before them.  “Hi everyone, I’m home.”  His dad noticed Marshal and his mom hugging.  “Bad day?”

Marshal shook his head no.  “Nope, just another normal day.”

Top Ten Superhero Powers for Parents

I always have wanted to be a superhero.  I’ve always wanted to be a super parent.  Is in honor of New York City Comicon, I bring you the top ten superpowers every parent wishes they had, or if they have them, gloats mercilessly at every party they go to.  To those parents I have just one thing to say, I double dipped in the punch bowl.  So without further ado, here is my top ten super powers every parent wishes they had.


10)  Teleportation – My kids are too young for this to really factor in, but I talk to other parents and they would give their, and their kid’s, eyeteeth to be able to transport kids to and from various events, sports, and the dreaded dates without breaking out their pimped out minivan.  Me, I would use it to kill my one and a half hour commute one way to work.  Oh, and I do not live in Los Angeles.  Yeah, you read that right.  Oh, and then when my kids were old enough I could teleport the boyfriends to Alaska and my girls to a convent.  Just don’t tell my girls that.

9) Cleaning dervish – My house looks like 2.4 million people live here.  Okay, four girls and two parents, but that must add up to 2.4 million.  The cleaning dervish power would allow me to keep my house so clean that Martha Stewart would bring people over for dinner parties ON MY FLOOR!  That’s right, tables and chairs would not be needed for a black tie affair because my floor would be more than adequate.

8) Demon banisher – I dread that middle of the night wakeup from my girls about the bad dream they had.  Getting them calmed down and back to sleep is my duty, but I am human.  I think about the job I need to get to on time in the morning and wonder what it would take to get them back to sleep as soon as possible.  If I had this super power it would be with a snap of my fingers.  Then we both could go back to dream of pink ponies flying airplanes through strawberry milkshakes.  What you say you never have dreams like that?  I feel so sorry for you.

7) 360 degree vision – We all want to have eyes in the back of our head.  Some people seem to actually do so.  Are they aliens or superheroes?  This should be a competition in the Olympics or something.  Have little ones try to take cookies from the cookie jar, and the mom who could detect this from farthest away would get the gold.  That, and a free examination from that guy on the Discovery Channel with the crazy hair that loves his aliens.

6) Healer – No parent wants to see their child hurt, and we all pretend to kiss the booboo away.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if it really worked?  I would give a lot for this power.  I would then volunteer to be Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal healer.  It would be a job, but a job I could get behind, after my jaw was reset after my wife was done.

5) Cloning – How many more of me would it take to make sure everything gets done each day.  I can guarantee you more than one.  I have a feeling it would be more than two.  If you asked me my honest guess it would be 17.6 clones, but I would round up to 18 since 0.6 clones would be yucky.

4) Commanding voice – I have this every once in a while, but if I had it all the time… Of course I wouldn’t have to work or earn a living and I would be a horrible human being.  That being said, there is not a single parent that would give for this power at one time or another, or every day.  I would give a lot just to be able to get what I ordered when I go through drive thru.  I mean, seriously, how hard is it to get my order right?  I did it twenty five years ago.  I mean fifteen years ago.  Okay, I wish on that last one.  Man I’m getting old.

3) Sleep inducer – This is one I really need to work on.  My wife and I are night owls.  Unfortunately we have passed this down to our children.  If anyone knows how to claim this super power without the use of alcohol please let me know.  Of course that would mean I was able to get my own stuff done, so this power without the cloning might not be as handy.  Then again…

2) Produce food from thin air – It amazes me when I am able to pull this off.  I have four children vying for my attention, not to mention my wife, but still everyday food appears on the table at some time in the evening, and most of the time it is not coming out of paper bags.  I love to cook, but if I could just wave my arms and have nutritious, delicious food appear, my days would be so much easier.  Oh, and with the way food prices are going, I would be a lot richer.

1) Love fountain – Needs no explanation.  This is the one superpower that almost every parent has, and one that is the most important in raising children.

Does your top ten differ?  Let me know in the comments below.  I dare you.  :>)

Oh, and be super for your children!