Category Archives: Potpourri
In a certain city at a certain time, people started developing superpowers. Here are their stories.
The indoor thunderstorm came from one source: a little girl no older than twelve. The superpower, despite how destructive it looked, wasn’t actually dangerous, if she could actually control it.
In the past, they would have locked her away for everyone’s safety. Now there were laws against that, so they had to get creative. Considering her age, they decided to lock away her powers and keep it dormant until she was ready.
For years, it was the perfect solution. Then she finished high school, and her parents requested for her powers to be returned so she had some form of self-defence when she moved out for college.
Except, the power wouldn’t wake up.
Genre: fantasy, humour
“My girlfriend likes to joke that I’m a magnet for trouble.”
He caught a scissors that flew at him, accidentally drawn by the magnetic powers he spontaneously developed at a very bad time.
“As of yesterday, she’s technically correct.”
It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“Your sunny disposition never fails to light up my day.”
They had teased him for too long.
“Morning, my only Sunshine!”
It was time to show them that the sun that shone also burned.
“Anyone seen my boots?”
“Where’s my charger?”
“I can’t find my… #$@&*! What’s it doing on the ceiling?”
Patricia’s first fight as a superhuman was an accident.
It was less than one month after her first kiss was stolen, and she still struggled to accept kissing as her price to use her newfound superpowers. Lost in her thoughts, she accidentally walked into a robbery.
She didn’t know who was more surprised.
In moments, she was just another hostage on the floor, hands restrained by a zip tie.
After that, the robbers ignored her, which was perfectly with her. In fact, she was content to just wait it out.
That changed when a robber turned a knife on a kid.
While everyone was distracted, she stole a kiss from the guy beside her.
Her first illusion: she wasn’t there. It would be sad if her identity was exposed before she even debuted as a superhuman. Protected by her invisibility, she gave the robbers a beating to remember.
She trapped the robbers in new walls she created and called the police, stealing kisses from random people along the way to keep her illusions alive. Too many kisses later, the police finally arrived and caught all the robbers. Amid the confusion, she slipped out.
So calling that her first fight was a bit of a stretch, but just because she didn’t trade blows didn’t make it any less of a victory. Despite the odds, she triumphed!
With her morals as the only casualty.
And possibly some first kisses.
Sorry guys. It was an emergency.
Check out the other Kisses stories on the navigation menu here.
Genre: fantasy, superpower
Patricia thought she could do it. Really, she did.
Her first kiss wasn’t as special as she hoped it would be, but that didn’t stop her from treasuring the rest. If she was going to kiss someone, she wanted it to be meaningful.
Inna thought she was silly. Patricia thought they had different values.
After much stubborn persistence, she managed to substitute the price for her power with a kiss on the cheek, and later a kiss on the hand. With her greatest barrier gone, she used her superpower more freely, and her skill grew. She learnt to ‘store kisses’ so she could use her power even if she collected the price hours before. She became more efficient, so one kiss could power two minutes of illusions instead of just one.
Her superpower alter ego changed as well. The price was still one kiss for one minute of illusions, but she had more freedom in how the price was paid and could even give ‘discounts’. No more kissing little kids (she wasn’t a cradle snatcher), no more kissing girls (she didn’t swing that way), no more kissing married men (she wasn’t a family breaker).
She could live with that.
Bitter Medic’s true power was the ability to do anything as long as the right price was paid. When customers knocked on his door with their requests, he told them the price and left it to them to decide whether to proceed or not.
But not this time.
“I’ll pay anything.”
“I can’t bring back the dead.”
That was a lie. He could do it, but too many lives would be destroyed just to bring one back.
The customer slammed the table and stood over him. “I won’t give up. One day, I’ll make you see it my way.”
Bitter Medic sat unfazed, used to the resentment of disappointed clients.
When they met again, it was as captor and captive.
“Have you changed your mind?” his ex-customer asked.
Bitter Medic ignored the knife at his face. “No.”
The ex-customer grinned. The knife glinted.
“I believe the right answer here is ‘Yes’.”
Genre: fantasy, superhero
She glanced at her wrist. Only one purple band left. If they didn’t finish soon, she would run out of power, and the rubble she was holding up would fall and crush the people still trapped underneath.
“Hurry up,” she said.
“We’re trying.” The other supers, heroes and villains alike, sped up.
Not long ago, they were fighting. The supervillain team wanted to kidnap another rich kid, and they, the rival superhero team, refused to let that happen.
No one expected the building to fall apart after a hit from a stray attack.
Without hesitation, both teams dropped the battle and rushed to the victims’ aid. They may be rivals, but when it came to people’s lives, they were on the same side.
Alone, it would have been tough to save everyone, especially when they were still exhausted from the unfinished fight, but with both teams working together, they managed to get everyone to safety. She even had half a purple band of power left.
“We still want the kid,” the supervillain team said, even though everyone looked ready to drop where they stood.
“We’ll still stop you if you try,” the superhero team said, using bravado to cover the fact that they were running on empty.
“But not today.”
They nodded and turned away from each other, both sides eager to return to base and crash for the rest of the day.
Genre: fantasy, superpowers
Every year, all registered superhumans were required to choose one of three alignments: superhero, neutral, and supervillain.
There were plenty of superhumans who chose to wield their powers as superheroes or law-abiding citizens, but there were also many who jumped at the chance to cause sanctioned chaos.
The controversial decision to include supervillains as one of the acceptable options sparked debates that never really ended.
On one hand, it was an open invitation for people to abuse their powers and distract the ‘good guys’ from using their powers to help people who actually needed them.
On the other hand, supervillains had to follow a lot of rules (like making sure their plan wasn’t dangerous to the public) to get their funding and their pardon for the crimes they would commit, and the age old fight between good and evil was great for tourism.
Sure there were some bad apples in the bunch, but they were the type that would have become supervillains anyway even without the formal paperwork. At least this way, the battles were more about showing off than life and death, and even made some dreams come true.
And… I came back to Potpourri. The prompt was too hard to resist XP
Genre: fantasy, slice of life
He was always tired. No matter how much he slept, he couldn’t replenish his energy fast enough to replace what his superpower sucked out of him.
Because he was a minor when the ability first appeared, his parents were notified when he participated in the government’s secret super census. He hadn’t been too happy then, but now he was thankful.
They might be nosy and naggy, but they also cared enough to make sure all his teachers didn’t bother him when he slept in class, explaining his constant exhaustion away as a medical condition.
A light touch on his shoulder stirred him from his doze.
“Don, we’re moving,” Patricia said.
“Thanks.” He slid his book into his bag and followed the group out of the classroom. As he turned the corner, his phone buzzed three times in quick succession. He tapped Patricia’s back to get her attention.
“I’m not feeling very well. I’m going to go back early.”
“Ok. Take care.”
Once out of sight, he pulled out his phone. Thundude’s message was a short call for backup from the rest of the team. He changed into his gear and stashed his personal items. All the energy he had been hoarding was for this moment.
Enhancer, on the way.
“I can give you the outcome you desire, as long as you can pay the price.”
This was the part where people reacted differently. The rich magnanimously offered a small fraction of their vast fortune, the poor warily warned him that they didn’t have much to give, and the desperate brokenly promised to give anything he asked for.
Then he told him the price, and that was the part where people reacted the same way.
Not just because money, the answer to everything, wasn’t what he wanted, but because the price he asked was often something they didn’t expect. He asked for memories, skills, attachments, emotions, significant items, or a strange mix that no one would consider as currency.
This was the part were people reconsidered their desires and either accepted the price, negotiated, or backed away.
Bitter Medic kept his face blank, but inside, he prayed his current client chose the last option.
He reached out and switched her clear eyes with her lover’s scarred ones.
Please, don’t let this be another senseless self-sacrifice.
Bitter Medic also appears in Bitter Medic. (That sounds weird XP)
His sister appears in Little Acts of Kindess.