our fates are tied together with a long misshapen thread
even now, i can’t shake the look in your eyes
we meet like this far too often
and it is always pure ecstasy.
subtle glances, subtle smiles
i scan your body up and down
trying to remember every last detail
your very presence sends me into a euphoria
your lips curve into a slight smile
as my world crumbles around me
as always, you leave me
an empty husk
until next time
Spring has finally come - both in date and in climate. It is the first day Yumi has had to herself in a long time. Pouring herself a fresh cup of tea, she sits down and flips to a previously dogeared page of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. At last, some leisure time. Perhaps she can finally make a dent in this book, as she’s been meaning to for years now.
THUD THUD THUD
Three knocks on the door rip her from the dystopian world of the novel she had barely dipped her toe into back into the harsh reality of dealing with real live people. With a heavy sigh, she slams the book shut. She already knows who it is.
“OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDD!!!!” Jove explodes through the door not one second after Yumi unlocks it.
“Today, huh?” Yumi asks monotonously as she closes the door. A rhetorical question, clearly.
“YEAH!” he exclaims excitedly. A glint of nervousness shines across his face. “…will it hurt?” he turns to the left, imagining a horrid scene. “Oh god… not my eyes…”
Yumi looks on with a raised eyebrow. “Of course it doesn’t hurt. Why would it hurt? There’s nothing to be nervous about. It’s really no big deal.”
“No big deal?? This is what will define me. You know how I’ve always dreamt of getting a superpower. Now that we all have the potential to have them, well, it’s only natural that I’d be nervous. I mean, I’m one of the ones that haven’t been able to naturally develop any powers when I turned 14. I have to resort to going to the Unlocker. Isn’t that, you know, an unnatural way to get your powers? Wouldn’t it follow that it should hurt?”
“I still don’t see how that makes sense. It won’t hurt. You should get it over with already. Isn’t it almost time?” she motions to the clock.
“Oh right! …you’re coming with me, right?”
“Fine,” Yumi relents.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Yumi and Jove walk to the testing center. An hour’s walk away, they enjoy the warm glow of the sun.
“So what power do you think I’ll have?” Jove ponders excitedly.
“Well, it’s not really based off personality or genetics or anything like that. It seems fairly random. There’s really no way of telling.” Yumi responds somewhat mechanically.
“But..what if I get a really bad power. I’ve seen some really bad ones.” Jove looks somewhat worried again, his gaze fixed on the sidewalk two feet ahead of him.
They cross into an alleyway - a shortcut that would shave 10 minutes off their journey.
Almost on cue, four miscreants step in front of the two teenagers, putting a halt to their path. Superpowered thugs, no doubt. They’ve been springing up more and more ever since powers started developing in human beings 13 years ago. Judging from the direction they came from and the bands around all of their wrists, they came from the Unlocker. The only thing worse than superpowered thugs is newly powered thugs.
What appears to be the leader of the group steps up. He’s dressed in typical alpha-thug gear: a bandana wrapped around the top of his head, a denim jacket with the sleeves ripped off, a sleeveless t-shirt, jeans, and boots. Oh, and a scar across his cheek.
“Money. Obviously.” The leader of the group says with his chin raised slightly. Cocky. Clearly put at ease by the numbers in his favor. In terms of powers, however, how they size up remains to be seen.
Yumi remains silent, looking somewhat irritated. Jove, however, is one step away from emptying his bowels all over the place. A defensive tactic, assuredly.
Jove takes a step toward them. It appears as though his body is fighting his decision to do so. “D..Do you have any idea who you guys are fucking with??”
“A couple of unpowered kids? Now, money or it’s child beating ti—”
“THREE O’CLOCK. CHILD BEATING TIIIIIME,” one of the thugs says with the utmost intensity as he takes a step forward.
“Just…just leave the talking to me, okay?”
The thug nods and takes a step back. “Yeah.. yeah… it’s cool.”
“…So anyway, money.”
“No.” Yumi’s eyes narrow. Though, it’s hard to tell.
“Well, okay then.” The leader suddenly grabs hold of one of the thugs’ feet, lifting him over his right shoulder, winding him back. The thug is rigid as he’s carried into the air, his body in a slight V shape. The leader hurls the thug at Jove and Yumi.
Power: Able to throw anything or anyone as if they were a boomerang.
Likes: Throwing people like boomerangs, child-beating time, sour cream and onion Pringles.
Dislikes: Not throwing people like boomerangs, raisins.
Jove dives out of the way in a panic. Yumi, however, stands her ground. Her skin tears. An odd shade of green peeks through the cracks. A slight smile forms over her lips moments before her teeth sharpen to fine points. She grows twice in size as her former vessel is replaced by a scaly behemoth.
Power: Transformation into any creature, existing or imaginary.
Likes: Reading, Tea, Solitude.
Dislikes: Cliche villains, soggy fries, people in general.
A combination of complete surprise and utter terror sweeps over the faces of the thugs. As they are frozen in disbelief, Yumi swats the thuggerang into the brick wall.
In a panic, the thug leader turns to his two remaining cronies. With a scream, one of them bursts into flames.
“WHY DOES MY OWN POWER HURT ME?!” The leader picks up the flaming thug and throws him at Yumi. The flaming thug screams in pain all the while.
She runs at the screaming projectile as he flies toward her. Leaning forward, she begins running on all fours and shrinks three quarters in size. Her mouth and nose grow forward into a snout. She sheds the scales covering her body, revealing sable fur as she accelerates in speed. She ducks below the flaming projectile, beelining straight to the leader. Leaping into the air at an incredible speed, their heads collide. The leader falls to the ground, unconscious from the searing pain.
Yumi’s sheds her fur, sending it scattering in the wind. She slowly gets back upright, standing on her two legs. Yumi then turns to the remaining thug, wearing a scowl across her young face. He seems nervous, but is standing his ground.
“I’ve never used my power before, but the Unlocker told me what it is. I have an explosive power. To explode. If you don’t want to die, I’d back off.” The remaining thug looks confident in the strength of his power.
Yumi takes a step forward. And another. Then another.
“I.. I warned you! Say goodbye, kiddies.” In an instant, the thug’s body bursts. His innards and outards are sprayed all over the alley and all over Jove and Yumi.
Suspended in the air, I am free. My thoughts disperse into the wind, graciously feeding the creatures coexisting in this shared airspace. Free from my constraints, I am finally happy with my newfound kin.
Hatred spilling forth, the curtain call approaches.
I never thought it would end on a day as beautiful as this. The irony is inescapable. Four shadows spreading their message to all our kin, all we can do is sit back and watch in quiet awe. They work magnificently, leaving a wake of bodies unparalleled by anything we can muster. It’s a wonderful sight, really, as the sunset hues are reflected in your misty eyes. The shadows are converging. The credits will soon roll. Your parting words are sweet and drip like honey filling every crevice in my brain. I, however, remain silent. This seems to trouble you, but you don’t seem surprised. They’re here now. As the shadows painfully drag you away, I greet them as my own. With a steady breath, I quietly follow them into a waking hell.
I over-think to the point of oblivion
I push myself deeper in fear of losing my Self
“Death becomes you,” he says as he smiles deep into her eyes.
A night on the town, to say the least; the two of them reek of the departed. Or the departing, rather. It’s become a daily activity to them - flaunting their abilities to those who will never get the chance to utter a word of such unreality to the smallest soul with a passive ear. Hell, they won’t even get to off-handedly mention this thing they may or may not have seen to their pet in an awkwardly depressing conversation over their frozen dinner. No, not once you’ve been selected by this pair.
His smile slowly melts away. The silence is disconcerting. Leaning back, he looks at the flashing lights of the cityscape, a repeating pattern that reminds him of Morse code. He chuckles. ”Kind of ironic, isn’t it? For us to be taking public transportation? You’d think we’d at least be able to fly around. Or at least take a flying bus. It is, after all, the 21st century. Where are our robots and all that?”
Met, yet again, with an averted gaze, he begins to worry. ”Are you okay?”
“No, I’m not,” she says, her gaze distant as ever. ”Do you remember three years ago? When we first decided to get together like this? Over a cold carton of fries. It was going to be great, we thought. Heroes, we decided.”
He furrows his brow. It’s all coming back to him now. What these two didn’t realize at the time is that the power has a certain influence on you. It corrupts. That explains the lack of good in the world. It can make even the purest intentions of their teen-aged selves (not many teenagers ever actually have pure intentions, which is what makes the corruption even more remarkable) black as night. The intent to do good has twisted into a cruel joke that not even their teen-aged cynicism would get the slightest bit of amusement from. He turns his head back to the window, scanning through the past to discover an exact moment in which things took such a dark turn.
He turns back to her with an assurance of change, only to be confronted with dead air. She has the habit of vanishing. It’s what makes her so good at what she does. Not surprised in the least, he turns back to the window. Trying his best to avoid meeting his reflection.
There is a disconnect. Between brain and mouth, I cannot properly convey. The real is trapped in the isolation; the hidden is laid bare. Looking into the reflection, meeting an unfamiliar gaze; an unsure, stuttering, stammering mess. Frustration swelling up, I can’t seem to escape, imprisoned behind the frame of this bumbling fool.
It’s occurring right before my eyes - the degradation of the immaterial. Close, or so I thought, it was something I held dear; something on which I thought I could rely no matter how hard things got. Ironic as it is, the introduction of reality is what caused its downfall. The introduction of me is what caused its downfall.
I need to get this off my chest.
I’ve had a terrible day. The worst in a while, actually. Bad luck, isolation, and silence taunt me relentlessly. Ghosts of the past bombard me, reminding me of past oblivion, past mistakes, past selfishness. Add to that a sense of betrayal that only serves to confuse. No matter how hard I try, I’m constantly being beaten to the curb. I’m really getting tired of all this.
Light-hearted futures are all I desire. To achieve it would mean to cut out everything I hold dear. I’m not prepared to do that just yet.