Short Story: Hold My Hand

“No.”

His daughter pouted. “I just want to hold hands.”

He reached over to press a finger against the old magazine left on the bedside table. Where skin touched paper, the magazine disintegrated.

“Is this what you want your hand to become?” he asked.

“But you can control it, right?” she said.

“Not always. And all it takes is one slip up. So the answer is still the same. No.”

His daughter pulled her blanket up over her nose, leaving only her expressive eyes visible.

“But my friends get to hold their daddy’s hands,” she complained.

“Your friends don’t have daddies with hands that can destroy anything they touch.”

His daughter fell silent, and he thought that was the end of the conversation.

It wasn’t.

“Mummy says when there’s a will there’s a way,” his daughter declared.

“There’s another saying. Prevention is better than cure,” he countered the familiar statement.

His daughter’s eyebrows quivered as she fought back tears, and it made him feel terrible, even though his caution was for her own good.

He relented.

“You can hold my hand,” he said.

His daughter perked up.

“But you can’t touch my palm or my fingers. And if I tell you to let go, you let go immediately. Understand?”

His daughter nodded excitedly, throwing the blanket off her face.

Carefully, he offered one arm to her, resting the back of his hand on the blanket. He pointed out the safe spots on his hand, quizzing his daughter multiple times to make sure she had them memorised before he let her place her small hand anywhere near his own.

Little fingers rested lightly on his skin. It wasn’t quite handholding, but it was enough for his daughter. She beamed at him, and he couldn’t help but smile back.

“Are you ready to sleep now?” he asked.

“Yes, Daddy,” she said and wriggled back into her blanket cocoon.

He kissed her on the forehead, keeping track of where his hands were at all times.

“Goodnight,” he said.

“Goodnight.”

With the back of his hand, he flicked the lights off and nudged the door closed behind him.

~End~

Genre: family, fantasy

Part of Hands of Destruction.

Short Story: Retrospective Introspection

Genre: fantasy
Start from Hands of Destruction.

 

“The paintings at the beginning are so different from the end,” his friend commented as they left the art gallery.

He thought about his own art, if they were lined up in a retrospective collection from the traditional mediums he began with to the structures he created using his powers that were uniquely his. He thought about how his art journey would have ended before it really hit its stride if not for one fan who fought for him.

“I wonder if she had any fans,” he mused.

“Isn’t it all about the art?” his friend asked.

He shrugged. “Doesn’t hurt to have extra support.”

~End~

Short Story: Third Chance

Genre: fantasy, superpower
Start from Hands of Destruction and Constant Surveillance. Third Chance happens soon after Accident.

 

The arm guards had massive, clunky bulbs at the end that worked by creating a large, empty space around his hands so he was physically unable to touch anything to destroy it, even the arm guards themselves. It wasn’t the best solution, but it worked, and that was all that mattered.

He hated them.

He might have to wear them for the rest of his life.

The door to his cell opened.

“Yo. Missed me?”

It was the counselor who had got him out of the facility years ago.

“Hi.”

“Oh? That’s a better reaction than last time,” she said as she walked in with her briefcase. “In a more years you might even give me a handshake.”

He winced.

“Too soon? Sorry.” She unlatched the briefcase and opened it. Two shimmery somethings sat inside. “So, how have you been?”

“Pretty good. Until…” He shrugged.

“If it helps, Sweet Medic brought his arms back, so all good. We just need to deal with you.”

He looked at the open briefcase.

“What’s going to happen to me?”

“You have a choice. Stay in here like last time, or wear these at all times.” She tapped the briefcase.

“What are they?”

“Specially commissioned gloves by Spellweaver. They’re basically cooler looking seals to nullify your powers. So, freedom or power?”

“Freedom.” Hands down. Every time.

“Well then. Arms on the table.”

He did what she said. She reached over and released his arms from the guards.

Seeing his bare hands again made his breath catch. Tentatively, he touched the shimmering light in the briefcase.

The seal rippled, but otherwise remained unchanged.

Carefully, the counsellor put the seals on his hands. They sunk into his skin like tattoos.

“Right now, they completely block your powers. Spellweaver requests that you visit often so he can refine the seals so it keeps everyone safe but you can still continue your work.”

That sounded good. Too good.

“What’s the price?” he asked. In hindsight, he should have asked that first before accepting the seals.

“A special piece for his sister, who’s been a fan of your work even before you got your powers, who also happens to be me.”

Oh. Oh.

“Deal?” She smiled.

“Deal.”

~End~

Short Story: Accident

Genre: superpower
Read Hands of Destruction and Constant Surveillance first.

 

It was an act of self defense. The other guy attacked him with a hammer. Of course he would protect himself.

The part where he completely vanished his attacker’s arms was a complete accident.

His attacker screamed obscenities at him as the paramedics and police swarmed around them.

“It’s not his fault. The other guy attacked him first. I saw it,” said a passerby who had witnessed the whole thing.

Her words disappeared into the cacophony of swearing and sirens. He quietly clamped his hands out of sight, away from everything and everyone.

Someone approached him. One of the agents who were supposed to keep an eye on him.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled.

The agent pulled out a pair of familiar arm guards. “Me too.”

Without a word, they put the guards on his arms, sealing his destructive touch.

“What happens now?” he asked.

“We wait.”

~Continue the story in Third Chance~

Drabble: Constant Surveillance

Continues the story of the artist from Hands of Destruction and Destroy to Create.

Genre: superpowers, fantasy

 

~Constant Surveillance~

The metal egg blurred before his eyes. In the past, he would have ignored his growing exhaustion and pressed on with his project, but that was before, when he still worked with normal tools and the worst he could do was accidentally cut himself.

He left his work desk and flopped onto his bed, pretending not to notice the hidden agents watching his every move.

One slip up. That was all they were waiting for. An accident with his powers so they had an excuse to haul him back into their secret prison and seal his ability to destroy anything with just a touch.

The close watch was suffocating, and was likely to continue for the rest of his life, but he would accept it. A restricted life was better than no life at all.

~End~