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June 23, 2005

Filed under: fiction»micro

With Not-So-Great Power

"Did you hear about Bob?" Mr. Bizarre asks the Siren as he passes her in the grocery store, lifting heads of lettuce with his telekinetic powers and checking them for rot.

"No! What has he done now?" The Siren's eyes flash behind her cold blue mask, her voice at only a hint of its full seductive power. Down the aisle, Rubberboy earns money for the summer by stacking soup and canned pork on the very top shelf.

"Last night, there was a fire in a Georgetown apartment building. He called the fire department and then pulled two children out of the blaze." Mr. Bizarre continues, awestruck. "And this morning I heard that he defused a hostage situation by talking the gunmen down."

The Siren looks a little skeptical. "I don't know," she says. "I was talking to Doom Monkey and the Painted Avenger, and they said that he's never thrown a car, stopped a bullet, or blown anything up. It seems so hard to believe."

Mr. Bizarre shakes his head, sending lettuce cascading to the floor. "Believe whatever you want," he replies sadly, "but I think he's got a lot to teach us."

The Siren just nods, a little chastened, and takes her leave. As they walk away from each other, both of them consider the work of Bob: a decent, ordinary man in a world of unimaginative superheroes.

Future - Present - Past