Friday, September 19, 2014

Prompt: Suddenly, superpowers

It was just a dinner game! Liz and Jack host our old gang’s own “alumni weekend” at their Topsail Island beach house every year after the summer tourists clear out, but the water and the air are still warm. I wasn’t sure I’d make it this year, what with taking on a couple of big projects at work, and Andy starting high school. But we made it, and as always, I couldn’t believe I’d ever considered not coming. I love these people.

So Sunday night, we’re enjoying the fruits of our efforts from clamming and fishing over the weekend. A storm had blown up the coast, and we had even talked about whether we should bug out and head back to the mainland before it hit. But no one wanted to sacrifice our last day. When the power went out, we just lit every one of Liz’s candles and opened more wine.

These dinners, after all the kids have gone to bed, are the best for me. Sitting around the table, it’s like time falls away, and we’re all in college again, our whole lives ahead of us, open to possibility. There is no way to predict the paths of conversation, into gigglefests of silliness, or serious debates about everything from the existence of God to the impacts of climate change.

Liz started it that night. Holding up a handful of paper slips, she said, “Let’s choose superpowers!” She threw them on the table upside down, and we drew them and read them aloud like fortune cookies, with the obligatory “in bed” after each one.

Which one would you choose? The ability to control the weather? Shapeshifting? Telekinesis? Teleportation? Invisibility? Super speed or strength? Mind reading? The ability to heal any injury or illness?

After we debated the relative merits of each power, we lifted out glasses for a final toast, just as a loud *crack* of thunder crashed over us, and a spear of lightning struck the beach right in front of the house. Jack jumped up and grabbed a flashlight, and we followed him out to look for fulgurites in the sand. We came back in and headed to bed, and I doubt anyone gave our conversation a second thought.

I wondered if anyone else was thinking about it now. “Dammit, Liz! This is all your fault!” I shouted, as I floated against the ceiling and listened to the chaotic chatter of my neighbors’ thoughts…

And so, with a loving heart, I offer you
I’ve heard many translations. Here’s one I love:
The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes
the light of the universe that shines within you.

Dogs in House
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing
40 minutes

September word count


  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, Ch 34
    Time: ~25 min

  2. That made me smile. Nice intro, and great voice to the main character.