prompt: comic, title: how do you sleep in (just like) starting over flash fiction

  • June 28, 2023, 9:31 p.m.
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  • Public

“My parents,” Dakota said gently, “my uncles, their generations were not going down without a fight against fighting.” “So,” Bobby sputtered incredulous, “they gathered a bunch of theoretical physicists of questionable sanity and set off an untested, likely untestable, telepathic generator?”

“They weren’t soldiers, they weren’t warriors. The world was on fire, so they couldn’t use their softer levers of celebrity.” Bobby looked upon the three of his ersatz captors with astonishment.

“They thought that a rational course of action.” “They had to try something even if it was absurd, maybe because it was absurd. What did you want them to do, fuck-off to white picket fences on safer shores while history hit the fan?” Bobby stared dumbfounded at her, awaiting a less-crazy follow-through. “They were women and men of wealth and connections, you know,” Dakota continued, defensively, “most of them could have done that, straight away.”

It was a terrible feeling for a telepath, in the heights of their argument, not knowing quite what someone was going to say before they said it, for the first time since she was a young child. She rarely had to argue, she never had to lie, she always knew what someone else was feeling before it was even said, until then. Decades, until she couldn’t foresee what Robert was about to say:

“If they had, maybe your mother would still be alive-” and she slapped him across the face with as much force as her rather slender frame could muster. “Dakota!” Her Uncle Kurt drew her arm back in horror, just as Bobby’s cheek began turning violet and just as her Uncle Phil returned with five coffees in a little tin carrier. She turned to Kurt and said, with only a little bit less rage, “I’m certain it’s nothing his comic-book quick healing factor cannot endure.” Indeed, as quickly as his face turned colors, it returned to its normal hue, even as his body still reeled.

“She,” Phil chirped up, “pulled that phrase out of my brains.” She smiled. “Thank you, Uncle.”

“Just because it heals faster doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt just as much, maybe even more” Bobby rubbed his face, “but yeah. Yes, that was out of line. I’m not used to… my powers, when they’re active, I’m not used to,” Kurt handed him five more ibuprofen pills, “consequences for actions.”

The beat-up man in the working clothes clenched his facial muscles, attempting to generate some saliva, then downed the medicine dry. “I hope your liver and kidneys,” Kurt said diplomatically, “have the same superhero howzit.” “Some years I wish they didn’t,” the weary traveler grunted.

“I’m,” Dakota said finally, “used to being empowered and in control all the time as well. Clearly, I wasn’t just now.” “What the hell did I miss,” Phil looked around, “you two didn’t tell him about The Feynman-Everett Bridge did you?” Dakota looked at Phil. “We… didn’t tell him we called it that.” “It’s quite the boring nickname.” “What the hell were we thinking?”

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