Unusual Super Power

You wake up one day with an unusual super power that seems pretty worthless—until you are caught in a situation that requires that specific “talent.”

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One thought on “Unusual Super Power

  1. kathleenmagner

    Stanley stared at the glittering pennies tucked into his polished loafers. They twinkled in the afternoon light, as vibrantly as Jackson Meredith’s braces through his smirk. Wincing at the parallel, Stanley looked up at the crosswalk’s illuminated crimson hand. It stayed steady as passing traffic shot by in a speedy churn. Grasping his backpack’s straps, he gazed at the brake lights and wondered if the drivers were heading to where they wanted to be or just where they had to go.

    The stoplight changed, halting the exodus from downtown, and Stanley joined the glut of harried pedestrians swooping across the striped asphalt. He veered along the opposite curb, darted before a bike messenger, and dipped through the opening in the park’s stone wall. Shade blanketed him, the fading leaves providing a gentler shelter than the surrounding skyscrapers.

    When he spotted their bench, he slowed, his backpack ceasing its thump. Finding it empty, he checked his phone, the digits admonishing him for being early.

    “Better than staying behind.”

    Shuddering at the thought of dawdling in the fenced-in schoolyard, Stanley plopped onto the weathered wood. He slouched, crinkling his uniform’s blazer and, with his khaki covered legs swinging, faced his phone’s screen. His nimble thumbs tapped up another round of Block Crusher and the gems and bricks aligned at his command. The connected fours and fives exploded in a firework shimmer or ash plume, and the display announced his arrival at level six by the time a figure’s shadow fell upon him.

    “What’s with the glum puss?”

    Pausing his game, Stanley stood and tucked the phone into his blazer’s pocket. “Nothing Pappy.”

    “Silence never did anyone any good Stan.”

    Without looking up at what he knew would be Pappy’s white browed scowl, Stanley nudged a pebble into the surrounding underbrush.

    “Come on then.” Pappy’s wrinkled hand landed upon Stanley’s shoulder and guided him along the trail. “We’ve got a park to walk.”

    Hanging his head, Stanley endured Pappy’s expectant quiet. To either side, the grass seemed to perk with their passage, the weight of coming winter lightened in the day’s echo of summer. As they strode, Stanley watched his loafers crunch the first autumn leaves. Their copper color made his shoes’ pennies gleam and brought Jackson’s sneer back to mind.

    “They did it again,” he whispered.

    “Meredith and his posse?”

    “I don’t get It.” Stanley kicked an errant rock out of the way. “Just because I can answer a few of Mrs. Fisher’s questions faster than the rest, they think they’re better than me.”

    “They don’t think they’re better than you, Stan.”

    “I know, I know. You think they’re scared of me. I’m not sure how they could be when there are three of them, and I’m no bigger than Reynolds’ arm.”

    “They’re scared of what you’ve got up here.” Pappy thumped his own temple feathered by receding gray. The motion rustled his sweater’s woolen sleeve and his gilded frames tilted on his bloated nose.

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