This week's writing prompt is inspired by the dream I had last night, included below.
|Photo by Rick Campbell|
I was not a superhero.
For those who may be new to writing prompts, the idea is to jot it down and then just write down anything that comes to mind for the next 5 to 15 minutes - words, images, memories, whatever. It doesn't have to be coherent. It doesn't have to be correctly punctuated. It could be a bunch of silly non-words, even. The idea is just to write and not control it. It's like shaking your brain loose.
My superpower was that I could take anything away from anyone and, if I wanted to, I could give back anything I'd taken away. I was building a team of people with superpowers, only they didn't know they had superpowers and they certainly didn't know the truth about me. I called them to me by taking away something they valued - a red baseball cap, a small dog - and then giving it back as though I'd found it. There was one woman I was afraid to be alone with because I was extremely attracted to her. Nothing good could come of being alone with her; either she'd reject me or we'd end up falling in love, and I wanted neither. Once I gathered my team (there were about ten in all) we started moving. We lived in hotels. In the mornings I'd stare at the newspaper and imagine the people who lived in the places I read about. I would take things away from them. St. Louis was proud of its citywide Internet. I took it away. On another page, a map showed that the vast majority of the superpowered population on the eastern seaboard lived right along the coast. I concentrated on the maps and took away all those people's superpowers. I was angry. I was angry with the whole world and I was going to take away what they valued and I would not give it back. I was not a superhero. I was a supervillain in the making. My team did not know I was doing this; they just thought I was reading the paper. I had a premonition that they would one day turn on me and figure out how to prevent me from taking away their powers so they could defeat me, but that wasn't for a while yet. For now, we lived as one big happy family, spending our mornings drinking coffee and reading the paper and talking about what we should do that day.