Category Archives: Hands of Destruction
An artist receives the ability to destroy.
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.
“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.
“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.
With the back of his hand, he flicked the lights off and nudged the door closed behind him.
Genre: family, fantasy
Part of Hands of Destruction.
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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“Deal?” She smiled.
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.
~Continue the story in Third Chance~
Genre: superpowers, fantasy
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.
Written in response to the prompt protest.
~For The Missing Ones~
The first time her family found out about her little brother’s super power, she was arguing with him. She couldn’t remember what the fight was about anymore, but it was enough to make her little brother so angry he hit the dining table and shattered it like crispy sugar.
For a long time, all of them remained frozen in place. Then…
“What was that?”
Equal parts bashful and disappointed, her brother told them about his new abilities. Finding out that her little brother was one of those people with super powers was a shock, but not as shocking as what happened later that night. Someone broke into the house, and no one noticed until the next morning when they found her little brother gone and his room trashed.
This happened during the early days when people with super powers was on the verge of changing from rumour to fact. It wasn’t hard to read between the lines and link her brother’s disappearance to the local council’s promise to protect ‘public order’.
Wasn’t her brother part of the ‘public’? What happened to human rights?
She was fully prepared to fight the council and its secret army herself to get her little brother back, but it turned out she wasn’t alone. There were others whose loved ones had ‘gone missing’.
They banded together to organise protests aimed to expose the kidnappings and fight for the freedom of current and future super powered individuals. Their numbers grew as more people disappeared, but it wasn’t until the right people joined the cause that things changed.
Now, they had a team inside the office negotiating for new rules to protect these new group, while the rest of them waited outside in fear and hope.
Fear not, little brother. No matter the outcome, I will not rest until you return home.
This takes place between Hands of Destruction and Destroy to Create, which are both written from the point of view of the little brother. The connection just happened as I was brainstorming the prompt, so I ran with it 🙂
Genre: superpowers, fantasy
~Destroy to Create~
The door opened and closed. He didn’t bother to look up. Negotiations may be underway for special laws to protect those with special powers, but the facility wouldn’t release him so easily, not when he could destroy anything with just a touch.
His visitor settled into the seat opposite him and cheerily introduced herself as an alternative counsellor for ETIs, Extraordinarily Talented Individuals (working title. Yay? Nay?).
He stared ahead.
The counsellor continued without missing a beat. “I hear you’re an artist.”
He looked down at his arms, covered from the elbow down with a guard meant to neutralise his destructive ability.
She reached into her bag and pulled out a rock the size of her head. After setting the ball on the table, she reached over and unlocked his arm guards.
“Make something for me. I didn’t bring any tools with me, but your ability should work fine enough.”
Make something? With these hands that could only destroy?
But his hands, itching to do something after so long in captivity, had already reached forward. Wherever his fingers touched, the rock crumbled away, as if he was back in sculpting elective, chipping away at a class exercise.
Then his concentration slipped, and an ugly crack split the rock into pieces.
“No worries. I brought another one.” His visitor pulled another rock from her bag and pushed it under his fingers.
He didn’t want to destroy another thing, but he hadn’t made anything in ages. Pushing away his hesitance, he dove straight into the new project.
Inspiration struck before he made many changes to the surface of the rock. Anyone could change the exterior of the material, but he had this unusual ability, he could do something different. Pulling together every bit of control he had, he carved out the image he had in his mind.
When he was done, the rock looked unchanged other than one small hole. But that hole was only there so that the artwork inside, created by removing parts of the rock, could be seen.
“Very nice,” she said.
She grabbed her bag and put it on the table. There were more rocks inside. How strong was this lady?
“Keep the rest. That should keep you busy. I’ll see you again next week.”
She patted his head and swept out of the room before he could respond. The door closed behind her, but no one else came in to put the guards back around his arms.
He was still stuck inside the small room, cut off from the rest of the world, but for the first time in a long while, he smiled.
My response to the August prompt ‘destroy’.
Genre: superpower, fantasy, angst
~Hands of Destruction~
He stared down at the fractured remains of what used to be a solid desk.
There it was. Proof. He was one of those ability holders or supers or meta humans or whatever they were calling people like him. Most people would be at least a little excited at their new powers, but he would rather have none at all than have this ability to destroy anything with just one touch.
He was an artist. If he had an ability, it should be something that could create, not this destructive power. His only consolation was that he had (almost) complete control over his ability. If not, he’d rather destroy himself and be done with it instead of spending the rest of his life wondering when he would finally destroy something that actually mattered.
He grit his teeth and grasped the edge of the broken table. With a thought, the rest of the table crumbled into nothingness, just like the art project he accidentally destroyed when he first discovered his ability.