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Week #43: Creative Writing Challenge – Superpower Support Group

December 15, 2021

Write about someone who has a superpower.

They meet in an empty high school gym at 8 pm every Tuesday night, carrying their guilt, anxiety, loneliness, and fear of failure like bulging grocery bags. They are a group of eight teenagers, aged fifteen to nineteen. Some wear their hair long, or in a mohawk, or cropped close. Others have shaved heads or tight braids. One is pale like fine china. One is black like ink. Everyone else is a color in between. Some wear ripped jeans, cotton t-shirts, and leather. One wears blue sketchers. And one wears glasses to see all the colors, worn or inherent. They meet in a circle, each equal in their desire to be elsewhere, and each equal in that they have no place else to go.

“Let’s come together please,” says Lucas Picadot, the leader of group. He is a licensed therapist with a PhD in mental health issues among people with superpowers. “Today’s topic is going to be the thing that scares you the most. Remember that we always use “I” language when responding to others. You don’t have to contribute to the conversation if you don’t feel comfortable, but this is a safe space and I think you’ll be surprised to learn that others in the group feel very similarly to you.”

Lucas turns to his right where a boy wearing a blindfold sits. “Samuel, would you like to take off your blindfold today? Remember, everyone agreed at our first meeting that they were okay with it as long as you just close your eyes if you lose control.”

Samuel slides the blindfold to his neck and glances around the circle with lavender eyes. His gaze finds the floor and stays there until a girl across the circle speaks up.

“I can start Doc,” she says.

“Certainly, Sonia. What scares you the most?” Lucas says.

Sonia stretches her legs out toward the center of the circle and slides down in her chair, stretching out her body. Her braids, black with a dash of silver, fall over the folded arms across her chest and down to her exposed stomach and a small puckered scar the size of a quarter near her jeans. “Well, It’s funny because six months ago I would have said the thing I’m the most scared of is eating my mother’s meatloaf.” Sonia draws a chuckle out of the circle. “But now, I think I’m the most scared of the thing I love the most.” She looks up at the sports banners hanging around the gym and sighs. “Before I got shot, I loved to fly. It was like I was free from all the hassles of everyday life. I knew it was only temporary, but knowing that I could just fly off if I wanted to, meant that I could handle more. Now I’m just scared that something terrible is going to happen again.”

“You’re not scared of getting shot?” asks an asian boy with lightning bolts tattooed down his neck.

“No. I’m fucking pissed at the asshole who shot me. There’s more anger than fear there. But just flying. I haven’t done it since the accident. I’m scared that I’ll fall out of the sky, for whatever reason, and this time I won’t land on something soft.” At the last part she takes one of her hands and slams it into the other, palm to palm. The smack startles Samuel whose face turns a shade of strawberry and closes his eyes.

Lucas looks around the circle. “Does anyone else have a similar fear?”

“Of flying?” A guy with a mohawk says with a grin.

“No Abel.” Lucas rolls his eyes, but returns a smile. “Is anyone else scared of your power? Sometimes when we can’t control something, we fear it, even if it’s a part of us.”

Everyone leans forward to hear a small girl with a shaved head say, “Sometimes, when I practice generating flames, it feels like they’re burning me and I get so scared that I try and fling them away. When I get up the courage to practice it has to be in a flame retardant room or I catch everything on fire. I know the flames can’t burn me. I know it, but they still scare me.”

The conversation continues with each teenager talking about their fears. Lucas is right, each of the teenagers is scared of their own power in some way. This is why they can’t control their powers, why they think of their powers as something separate from everything else they are. It’s time for phase two of Lucas’ plan.

“Great session this week. Next week I’m going to ask your teachers to join us. I think it’ll be helpful to hear about the fears of people successfully practicing their powers. It’ll be a good perspective. I’ll see you all next week and don’t forget that if you need anything before then, please call my cell phone,” Lucas tells the group before they disperse.

As Lucas puts chairs aways he wonders if he’ll have to find a new place to meet after next week. He plans on asking the teenagers to show each other how their powers work. It could go well, or they could bring the building down around them. Lucas hopes that he won’t have to use his own powers to save anyone. It’s happened before.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Yael Kisel permalink
    December 17, 2021 3:53 pm

    I really like this one! I like the characters and approach to superpowers. Would love to read more from this world 🙂

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