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Chapter 13

I had finished the entire stack of work in the amount of time it would usually take me to complete just one. I marveled at my own work, amazed by how simple each of my classes seemed to me now. I couldn’t wait to get back to school.

A few days passed, each seeming to chug along meaninglessly. I heard ambulances and police cars race through the city each night as my mind continued to play my own words about superheroes over in my head, again and again. I had the power to help people. I could be a hero. I contemplated my choices up to the edge of restless sleep.

Finally, one fateful night, the sound of screaming for help startled me awake. I tried to ignore it but something inside me, some insanely reckless part of me took control and I ran downstairs, looking for the box of Halloween supplies. Finding it, I tore it apart and found a blue superhero mask Charlie had used years before. I also found a blue cape and put it on. I ran back upstairs and changed into a pair of jeans and a plain grey t-shirt. I put on my grey leather boots and climbed out the window. I silently climbed down the side of the house and followed the sounds. A large building had caught fire and was coming down quickly. I heard the ambulances and firefighters on their way but knew that by the time they would arrive, it would be too late. I spotted a nearby water tower and watched as it began to shake with the force of the water inside. Eventually, it exploded and sent water raining down onto the city, which I quickly collected and used to put out most of the fire. Once the task was completed, I ran inside the charred building and followed the sound of coughing and begging for help. Someone was standing near an open window. I realized the roof was unstable and dived towards them. I wrapped my arms around them as we fell, hoping to protect them from the fall. I prepared for the pain of the asphalt against my body, but it never came. I looked down and realized we were flaoting a few feet above the ground. I set the little boy down gently and flew awkwardly back into the building to look for whoever else might still be stuck inside. I called out and followed the sound of pleading. I repeated a similar process with each person who followed the first before everyone had been cleared from the building. I realized a crowd had grown to watch me work and a great feeling of pride fell into my heart as camera flashes stung my eyes. I jumped into the air, trying to make it seem as though I hadn’t noticed the pictures. I glided swiftly through the sky as I followed the familiar path home, doing my best not to fly into anything but getting extremely close several times.

I twisted myself around to come in “feet-first” and crash-landed onto my desk at the far wall facing my window. I picked up a pillow and placed it on my desk to use as a platform for an excuse. I heard footsteps coming from my parents’ room and quickly dove into bed, covering myself in pillows and blankets to avoid any questions.

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