Maelstrom was the very first Superhero; he had it all, fame, fans, money, and the government at his feet, that is until others with super powers started to come forth too. Now when he’s 51, he’s beginning to think that he’s getting too old to be saving the world. His world seems to falling apart. The woman who once worked for him, Tempest, now is leading his league of superheroes, Zephyr has gone and she doesn’t seem to care, his arch nemesis hasn’t been seen in over a year which can only mean that he’s planning to take over the world, the new villains are causing problems and the old ones are just getting plain annoying, and on top of all of that, he has to worry about the progressive heroes down in Austin giving them a bad name. This story though at first glance may seem like a comedy and there are certainly comedic parts to it, is about life. It just had superheroes too.
Night had fallen on the city, it was oddly quiet. For some unknown reason, the cars were not racing down the streets, following the orders of the driver who had some errand to run. There was no one on the streets; the normal buzz of the city was not present that night. The moon loomed like a watching giant over the building on top of which the boy, who was no more than six years old, sat, curled up, his eyes closed tightly. His breathing was short and raspy, it filled the empty air. He seemed to be the only presence of life in the densely populated city, until the door to the roof creaked open. The boy turned around just as suddenly as the door had opened. A woman, her hair askew and blowing in the wind, her shirt half-way undone, and her eyes surrounded by a dark combination of eye shadow and mascara that continued in streaks down her face, walked out onto the roof. Crying softly, she moved closer to the edge of the building, ready to jump and break the unnatural silence of that soft with the soft noise of her life ending on the pavement.
The boy stood up and moved closer to her. In a moment, he felt himself moved into another’s shoes. He was reliving the woman’s life. He was seven, when he was at school and gave the boy he liked a valentine that he had worked on for hours, selecting the correct words to describe his feelings, and then it was thrown in the trash after the candy was ripped off, before it had been read. Then he was seventeen. It was prom night and his sister had a date but he didn’t. He wore the dress that had cost so much money, but alone at home, watching Mean Girls. Then he was being fired from the newspaper he wrote for. After months of hard, good work, fired for one mistake. Then he was sitting at a dinner table with his boyfriend. He was saying that it wasn’t working, that it would never, ever work. Then he was standing on the rooftop, about to jump, and then he was back. He ran to the women and grabbed her wrist. She turned suddenly to him, almost falling to her death from the shock of someone touching her when she thought she was alone. Then she looked into his large, dark eyes, and she was on her first date. The boy she was with kissed her and told her she was beautiful. Then she was at her high school graduation, when the boy of her dreams confessed his love for her. Then she was in college, being told by her professor that she would do great things, as long as she had the confidence. Finally, she was at her first job, right after she had written her first article. It had won an award. All her memories of happiness were coming forth. She was back on the roof, the small boy still holding her wrist staring up at her.
“You can still do great things,” he said in a quiet voice.
She looked down at him and stepped away from the edge. This seemed to satisfy the boy because he smiled gently at her. He let go of her wrist and started walking back to the place he had been sitting.
“Wait,” the woman called after him, “Who are you? What are you doing here? Where are your parents?”
The boy stopped and turned to her, “I see I can no longer stay here, now can I? My name is Memoir.”
The boy now turned to the door and disappeared behind it. The woman ran after him, but when she opened the door, he was gone. She stopped and looked around. It was as if he had never been there. She paused for a moment, then all of the sudden, all noise in the in city commenced. The buzz was back, people were talking, cars were racing, but the women stood in her place, lingering in the moment of silence that had been present just a moment before. It was eerie.