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Almost a Superhero

By Raymond R. Fortin All Rights Reserved ©


Short Story

“Man, I wish I could be like that chick from X-Men. You know, the one that can shapeshift and stuff. She’s so hot.” Joey mashed the buttons of the Xbox controller as if his life depended on it.

The screen flashed K.O. and Seth slumped on the couch. Mortal Kombat wasn’t his thing. “Jennifer Lawrence? She’s kinda cute, I guess… Meh.”

“Nah, man, not the actress. I meant that blue chick. Mystique. The way she shapeshifts, it’s so cool. I could be anyone. I could be the hottest chick on the planet.”

“You’d masturbate all day. Not that you don’t already.”

“Fuck you. I’d totally solve crimes or something. I’d be a superhero.”

“Or you could play with boobs all day.” Seth fondled his non-existent pecks and moaned provocatively.

“You think I’d only morph into chicks? You’re so prejudiced.”

Seth pulled the waistband of his pants and said, “You’d want another guy’s dick down there? It wouldn’t be your own dick. Sounds gay. Just saying.”

“Way to ruin my fun. You’re making me blue.” Like a dye released in water, Joey’s skin turned blue all over. He looked like an angry, fat Smurf with a patchy beard. 

Seth muttered, “Cut it out, dude. Your grandpa will yell at us again.”

“Apparently you’re the bad influence.” Joey laughed and won another round. The speakers thundered with victory music, and from upstairs, Joey’s grandpa yelled that the volume was too loud.

“Bad influence? Me? I’m not the one who pretended to be Satan at the park. Those kids are scarred for life.”

Grinning mischievously, Joey’s skin melted to red. He made finger horns and grunted, “I hunger for your soul!”

“Seriously,” Seth said, laughing, “you look like a mutated strawberry.”

Joey turned back to beige, though there was a hint of red in his cheeks. “Man, all you do is judge me.”

“For good reason. You’re a terrible human being.”

“Fuck you. And you’re any better?”

“I’ve got a cooler superpower, for starters.”

“Your Magneto shit? It’s so lame.”

Seth grabbed a ring from his pocket and put it on the coffee table. “I’ve got a new trick. Take a look.” He stretched out his gangly, hairy arm and pointed at the ring. It started to wobble. Then, the ring flipped over, and Seth jumped from the couch, whooping ecstatically.

Joey shrugged. “Man, you gotta work on that superhero face of yours. The constipated I’m taking a shit look just isn’t sexy.”

“You’re just jealous.”

“Jealous? A fridge magnetic is more impressive. Besides, I’m like the world’s most interesting human being.”

Seth lit a joint and took a deep breath. “So can you do any other colors? I mean, colors that haven’t been invented yet?”

“Put that out, man. My gramps will smell it.”

“No way. He’s senile.”

“Like hell he is. Give it here—” Joey reached for the joint but Seth played keep away, raising it high above the couch. “I’m gonna get in trouble. Give it—” Joey crawled on top of his friend and snatched the joint. He took a quick puff of his own before snuffing it out.

Seth was laughing and coughing. “So—can you—show me some new colors?”

“You’re asking if I can do colors that don’t exist…”


“How the fuck am I supposed to do that? That’s like asking a blind guy to paint a rainbow.”

Seth slouched even more, his hairy stomach showing. “Yeah, but you can turn any color you want. Come on, turn ultra violet or something.”

“Are you being for real?”

“Yeah, I wanna see it.”

“Fine.” Joey suddenly turned violet, a shade away from exploding.

“Dude, that’s just violet. I said ultra violet.”

“Fuck. Even if I could, you wouldn’t see it. Fucking hillbilly brain you got.”

Then, Joey’s grandpa marched down into the basement, waggling his cane like a discipline stick. “God damn you kids.”

Seth giggled hysterically while Joey’s skin drained to white. “Hey, Gramps—”

“God damn it. I said turn this thing off.” The old man ripped out the television’s power cord and shoved it down his pants. “And if I catch you changing colors one more time, I swear I’ll send you to the CIA to be dissected.” He shuffled up the stairs, muttering the whole way.

Joey shrugged. “So what do we do now?”

Seth burst into laughter. “I guess—we could—be productive or something?”

“Yeah. Let’s go scare some kids,” Joey said and turned space-alien green.

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