Superpower Manifestation

Whew. I was getting worried that it would never happen. Guess I had to hit my mid-forties before they kicked in. Yes, my superpowers have finally manifested. It took years of wandering through abandoned chemical factories, coaxing irradiated insects into biting me (ouch), and spending my evenings being blown about in dangerous electrical storms like a windsock. Not fun. I am unsure which specific event gave me my powers. Maybe a combination of all three. Who knows? Science can study my body after death to figure it out, the vultures. If I ever die, that is.

I am still getting used to my amazing capabilities. It has been quite a whirlwind, let me tell you. The first power to make itself known to me was, not surprisingly, the power of flight. How many of us have dreamed of being able to soar above the planet’s surface at immeasurable speeds, traversing continents in the time it takes most people to cross the street? Many, I am sure. Well now I am the one who can actually do it. Not you. How does it feel to want?

Of course, flight has not turned out exactly as I expected so far. I am able to break free from gravity’s invisible bond and guide myself through the air using only the force of my will. However, I can only get about four feet of lift. This makes the situation somewhat awkward. And I can only move slightly faster than walking speed. Call it a brisk mid-air trot. So I am constantly asking people to move out of my way as I fly through the busy suburban streets. “Superhero coming through!” I shout repeatedly, trying not to let the frustration show in my voice. It is hard, though. Maybe I will be able to go higher and faster over time. I hope so. Superheroes should not feel that kind of embarrassment in public.

And then there is my enhanced vision. Ha ha. I laugh now thinking of what I can see that you mere mortals cannot. My eyesight can penetrate clothing, just as I fantasized back in the Fourth Grade. But I do not seem to possess full control over this ability. I find myself wishing for a sensitivity knob of some sort. Because my X-Ray vision actually only goes about halfway into a person’s garments. So basically what I see is the lining of your jacket. Or your pants pockets - which have a dime-sized hole in them, by the way. I cannot even manage to see ladies’ brassieres. I am just about 2 mils shy of getting there, though. I will practice. I cannot allow an opportunity like that to slip by.

Another superhuman capacity of which I can boast is my ability to communicate with animals. Oh, they have such interesting things to tell us. Though for some reason, it is only the invertebrates with whom I can speak telepathically. Invertebrates do not have quite as much to say as I imagine a wolf or a falcon might. Especially where crime fighting information is concerned. But hey - we make do. Maybe there was a mugging in the city and a Great Pond Snail saw something of interest. Or an ocean liner was hijacked and a Rock Shrimp has information on the perps. It is possible. I will say that I am much more cautious about not stepping on earthworms on rainy days. You do not know the fear that their kind lives with on a daily basis. I have saved many of them. They have even erected a statue in my honor. It is made from mud, of course. That is all they have.

Super-strength is awesome. I can lift several hundred pounds above my head with minimal effort. That would have taken me months of weight training without the superpowers. I do not have that kind of time. I am busy. I spend my days learning to cut and sew spandex so as to keep my costume up to snuff. There is a lot of preparation involved when I set aloft heavy objects, though. You do not just lift an anvil or a rotund, uncooperative woman into the air with one finger. It is not that kind of super-strength. This is reality, after all.

And the stretching beforehand is a bitch. I recently tried to lift a small child out of a well she was stuck in, but I first had to perform arm circles, standing hip flexors, and prone quadricep stretches for like twenty minutes. The girl’s family was ridiculously impatient. I have started carrying one of those exercise balls around with me to speed up the stretches. It is not very convenient, though. The ball is inflatable, but still...

There have been no compromises on my enhanced bodily capabilities. That is one set of superpowers I can freely boast about. My increased healing, stamina, agility, and reflexes are beyond compare. I find myself hoping to get into a knife fight with a band of assassins just to fully test them. I wonder where bands of assassins hang out? Maybe the mall.

Unfortunately, though, my associated mental faculties were not enhanced on par with these physical skills. I was not gifted with any type of pain-dampening powers, so in my efforts to determine the limits of my skills (plunging a katana directly into my heart, placing myself into the path of an oncoming train), I felt a level of pain that I could not have previously imagined. My psyche is not likely to ever recover.

And what good is super agility and reflexes if you cannot fully harness them? A swarm of gnats surrounded me in the park last week, and I spent a good forty-five minutes batting them away without even wanting to. I could not control it. It must be an autonomic function or something. People started laughing at me. Superheroes should not be laughed at - ever.

Yes, my brain does not appear to have received any type of endowment. It is a pity, but with all the other skills I have been given, I still feel lucky. Even what I think of as “the minor powers” are a nice bonus: Invisibility (of internal organs), increased arm hair sensitivity, the ability to manifest forcefields (but only ones strong enough to block out weakly-tossed spitballs), and precognition (limited to about six seconds in the future). While each of these skills may have their limits, they are still “nice to haves”. They are the stocking stuffers of my superpowers.

All in all, I still feel as if I have made out like a bandit where these superpowers are concerned. I now possess quite a generous variety pack of skills to keep me from getting bored. Am I lonely? I would never say that. Demigods do not complain about being set apart from the human race. It is unbecoming.

But I would like a sidekick. An animal helper might be nice, actually. I bet one of those earthworms I have saved would be interested. They are a rather grateful subphylum. Now that I think about it, Skylar would look cute in a little green and yellow costume. I might even design a cape to go with it, as long as he/she promises not to drag it through the puddles. Maybe I should make it half-length.

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