Fiction Fragment Friday
This week’s story was inspired by a Music League I am in on the Gaming With Gage & Friends Discord. The theme was Alarm Clock Songs.
My alarm woke me with the most obnoxious beeping sound I could have possibly set for it. I’m the type of person that has to set multiple alarms for myself five minutes apart to make sure I actually wake up in the morning. That morning I flung the alarm across the room where it smashed into the wall breaking into multiple pieces. That was when I remembered that I use my phone as an alarm. It was supposed to be an easy way to ensure I wake up in the mornings. Instead, it was becoming a very expensive decision.
I crawled out of bed and stumbled my way into the bathroom. In case you can’t tell I am not exactly a morning person. When I wake up it takes a while before my brain can catch up with my body. I don’t know why exactly because my body is pretty sluggish itself for a while. Half the time I kick something or hit my shoulder on a door frame. You don’t even want to know what happens if I actually have to talk to someone. This is morning for me. A haze of moments that I don’t remember later.
You might think that these are minor inconveniences, but you would be wrong. When you are the most powerful being on the planet and you stub your toe on a bookshelf it does not hurt. The bookshelf collapses from the impact. When you bang your shoulder on a door frame the frame shatters. I am not a rich man nor am I particularly skilled at home repair. In fact, I am particularly bad at handyman style work. I just don’t have the mindset for it and every time I try the final result looks pretty poor.
Every repair means a new search. I can’t pick one repair guy that I like and rely on. They would want to know why they were fixing my door frame for the fourth time in a month. If I want to keep my secret identity, I have to spread the repair work around. At this point I think I have used every handyman in a fifty-mile radius at least once. I will say you meet some very interesting people that way. For example, one guy whistles, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” while he works. No matter how long the job takes. With his head bobbing back and forth the whole time. I would have kicked him out, but he was actually one of the better craftsmen I have had had in the house. Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices.
I looked back and forth between the shattered remains of my phone and the dent in my drywall. It just had to hit a stud. If the phone would have hit pure drywall it would have gone through and probably survived. It survived shattering the ceramic vase I had flowers in yesterday. Even the water didn’t cause any issues once it dried out. Phones of course are another issue. If I don’t destroy them in the morning, there is a good chance they will get hit during a fight and destroyed that way. I’m waiting for the phone company to notice how often my phone model changes as I swap sim cards. I try to stick with the same model, but again I’m not rich. I’m also not a tech guy so I don’t know if they can tell a difference even if it is the same model.
All this is to say I hate mornings and being a powerful super being is incredibly difficult sometimes. I sometimes wonder what my lifestyle would be like if I didn’t have to put so much of my money towards fixing things. I might actually have a savings then or at least not have crippling credit card debt. I find most of my teammates are either independently wealthy or struggle like I do. There are not a lot of middle-class superheroes. Hard to keep a stable career when you might need to disappear at a moment’s notice. The propensity of work from home jobs the past few years have really helped the more technical minded of my peers. That is not me though.
After a few minutes of wallowing in self-pity I remember what I was doing and head to the bathroom. After completely my morning routine I always feel much most awake. I tend to want to punch someone early in the morning. It helps me feel better about the rest of the day. Rescuing people is far more satisfying, but also tends to be more complicated work. I try to save that for after lunch when I can really focus. As I perch on my windowsill ready to leap into the sky I can’t help but wonder. Am I the worst superhero ever? If I’m not is it only because of how powerful I am?
These are dangerous thoughts. With my physiology most medications don’t work on me. This includes the medications that my doctor prescribed for anxiety and depression. I might be able to work through things in therapy, but how much can you work through when you can’t talk to your therapist about half of your life. Having a secret identity makes life so much more difficult, but I’ve known heroes who didn’t. They all ended up either sued or unable to have any semblance of a normal life.
As I take to the sky looking for someone to punch, I am reminded of the good aspects of my powers. How freeing it is to fly through the air. The look of gratitude on someone’s face when you save their life. These are things that keep me going. Sure my powers complicate my life, but I am one of the most free people on the face of the planet in other ways. For now, that is a trade-off I am willing to make.