I’m sure some of us feel like discharged superheroes from time to time… especially on a Monday morning.
*This is a short story I wrote in response to the Reddit r/WritingPrompts: you were the world’s only superhero in your teens and early 20s. You’re approaching 30, you now have a day job and have to sit and watch helplessly as super villains wreck havoc around the world (you’ve recently lost your powers for good).*
You roll your eyes and let out a short laugh.
Megan from Accounting looks at you in horror, sets down the coffee pot, and abruptly exits the breakroom.
You shrug, pour your own cup, and slink back to your cubicle. You open your inbox and numbly click through a slurry of “urgent” emails.
Idiots. They don’t know the meaning of urgent. Try dismantling a bomb, holding a baby, while dangling from the underside of a cruise ship. Now that’s urgent.
You turn around and squint out the hallway window. Nope, they still haven’t managed to take out that laser Dr. Orangello bolted to the side of Trump tower. That’ll be at least another 10,000 blasted for tomorrow’s headlines.
You spin back in your rolly chair and tuck yourself closer to your desk. Your plump gut hits the edge and you can’t scoot in any further.
A sudden wave of self-loathing rolls over you. This is all your fault. You killed those 14,512 people.
You feel the bile starting to creep up your throat and bolt for the bathroom.
Locking the stall, you lower yourself onto the toilet lid, and weep, like the pathetic slob you are.
You could have saved them.
You loll your head against the cold metal wall when your eyes land on some graffiti on the back of the door. “The Badass Baron sucks my [+ image of crudely sketched anatomy]!”
You knock your head against the stall three times. You do suck. If only you hadn’t gotten fat. You gaze down at the buttons straining on the front of your shirt. Your butler always warned you “keggers aren’t for superheroes, Sir”. You didn’t listen. Your butler was right to leave you. You lost the mansion too, you worthless human turd.
But worst of all, you lost the suit.
It’s your fault, you were warned. They said as soon as your abs don’t fill this out, the suit will self-destruct.
Now the only suit you wear is that cheap 3-piece you got on clearance at the Men’s Warehouse. You can barely call yourself a man. When the damn suit self-destructed, you did too.
Your phone buzzes in your pocket. It’s a text from your supervisor: “We need you to come take a look at this, Champ, we can’t figure this out. Save Us?”
You blow your snotty nose on some two-ply and head back to the breakroom for another cup of coffee. You don’t look out the window.
For more short stories, follow me on Reddit: u/alixsharpe