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When life gives you an upgrade, make something happen.

A collection of short stories set in the same universe, some progressing through a plot, some unassociated from others, but all exploring points of view from those developing superpowers!

001 Bolt

The moment I first used my power, was indeed the most important time of my life, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here writing this today. You see, the moment I could use my power, was the precise nanosecond before my time to be killed. No one was murdering me, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, except I couldn’t have got it so perfect.

I was on my way home, and my car was in the garage due to a problem with the exhaust. I had to get the bus, however they were running late so I decided to walk. It wasn’t far, maybe a mile or so however I would take a different route to the bus. About 20 minutes into my journey, it started to rain. It had been a very grey day, with scattered showers all afternoon, however it was much darker now and you could feel the weather changing. I got out my umbrella, and pulled up my collar on my jacket to protect myself from the winds. It was fine until the thunder came, but I had to continue on, as there would be no shelter until I got home. I could hear the thunder from what seemed like miles away and the lightning sheets could be seen across the sky, however there were no fork bolts to be seen. The rain started to get heavier as the wind started to pick up speed. My useless umbrella was blowing against the wind, to and fro until finally it slipped from my grip. I jumped to catch it but suddenly there was a flash of light and I fell to the ground. As I looked up from the floor, white light was emitting from behind me, and everything was stopped still. Frozen in mid air, raindrops appeared as small spears hovering in the air. Then I saw the bright light. Suspended in front of me, was my umbrella, engulfed in white flames, charring in slow motion. The light however was not emitting from the fire but instead the lighting fork hitting the umbrella and sparking off each of the spikes of the arms. A jittering electrical bolt rooted from the clouds and splitting down through the umbrella and attempting to reach the ground to singe that too.

That’s when the realisation has occurred to me. There were stories of people getting extraordinary gifts at random times in their lives, but the thought still hadn’t occurred to me that I would be one of them. Had I not have got this power, I would have been that connection between the umbrella and the ground, and be surrounded in flames too. A moment like this, one could not forget, but in that moment, it’s so alien, it’s unbelievable. Especially when there were questions now filling my head. I had to get out of there.

Using the light from the bolt I continued my path towards my home. The light cast shadows and beams of light further than my sight, and walking through the still rain kept me wet. I had got about 200m up the road and looked back, only to see the umbrella separated, singed and scattered in the air, the bolt now reaching the floor, but providing a stronger light force than before as the bolt became thicker. Despite my power slowing the time down to an extremely slow rate, I still would not have much time until the bolt would disappear and darkness should fill the streets again. I started to pick up some speed, however I also accidentally kicked a stone, which to me, was travelling at normal pace. The stone dragged along the ground, etching its path in the road.

The light of the bolt went out and the world around me plunged back into darkness. The stone was now smoking above the earth due to its high velocity. I continued homeward in hope I would not be hit by lightning again and told my wife as soon as I got in. She wouldn’t believe me, but after many arguments and opinions, and an attempt to fully prove it, she soon came round, but that was to be expected. This was not the end however…

002 Nightmare

I was asleep and I was dreaming. I was shrouded in darkness, standing awake in my room. I could see myself sleeping but I was just stood there. Time passed and I watched myself sleep. It felt like a strange dream.

I heard a noise behind me, and I was startled. Startled enough to move. I had turned and I relaxed from the surprise sound that turned out to be nothing but the house creaking in the night. I could see into the mirror. I could see what I looked like. I wasn’t happy. A tall dark figure with glowing pupils stood before me. Naked but body coloured like the night sky. Hair too, lost in a body of darkness. As I came to realise that this was myself, I looked closer at the reflection and started to walk towards the mirror. I stared down at my hands but it was true. My body was darker than the room I stood in.I tried to leave the room and find some light but I was still trapped. Every time I attempted the door handle, I passed right through it. With this knowledge I tried passing through the door but it still acted like a barrier. Every wall stopping me from passing through and every object unavailable to touch. My very own prison from hell. Rest assured I needed someone else to open the door for me.

I turned back to my body. It was my body. This was just a dream. I needed to wake up but I’ve not had a vivid dream like this before. I tried to shout but I had no voice, however it made my body squirm. I tried shouting more. My body murmured. I was getting angrier. I needed this to work. I silently screamed and shouted at my body to the point where it flinched and cried and then a bellowing howl came from it. I stopped surprised. Just as my body did. I heard footsteps. This would be it. I heard my mum scratch the walls for the hall light switch. Light beamed out from under the door. Still dark as night, I saw stars within my body glimmer as the door started to open flooding light into the room. I edged forward to meet my mum. She screamed but I lurched forward to hold her. One touch and she fainted. I was able to grab her as she fell. But she was asleep lying in the hall.

I looked up and saw my dad. He looked at me in confusion. I didn’t know what I’d become so for him to look at me like this was another thing. He reached out to the storage cupboard and grabbed a rounders bat. I panicked and returned to my room, to my body hoping I can reason with him. I tried to tell him it was me but no sound escaped my mouth. Looking at my body for hope. I grabbed my sleeping self and the body turned wispy like a silver mist. Rising up inside me, I breathed again once the mist had fully entered me. I turned back to my dad, still with night sky skin, and weeped. The sound could finally be heard but before I could explain my dad swung to hit my head but it phased right through me, he hit my shelves off the wall as he swung round unexpectedly. He threw the bat down and demanded where his daughter was. I turned to the empty bed and back again. I told him it was me. He misinterpreted as me who took her and went to grab my neck. The first touch as I flinched and he fell towards me. I tried to keep him upright but I am not strong so he laid at my feet.

On the floor, my parents slept the night through. But I had gone by then. I left the house. I couldn’t open the door but I was able to walk through it. I went to the one place I knew would be safe.

003 Shelter

Imagine lush fields of green flowing over each other, the whistling wind blowing through the rich trees and flowers sprouting their first bloom. You turn your head and hear the sound of children playing around a tree, swinging from the branches, making daisy chains on the grass. You watch them. You smile. They’re your children. But then you hear a thunder behind you, surprising you. You turn your head quickly and see a meteor heading down, down towards the tree. You watch and run towards your children unable to help them.

I woke up though it didn’t feel like sleeping. It was like a daydream. Whatever it was, I shook it off quickly. I was walking home with my children from town. I decided to walk today as it wasn’t far and they could play in the park as a treat. We stopped for a picnic by a small oak tree. The kids had their lunch and wanted to have a play while I finished mine. My eldest climbed into a tree while my youngest made a few daisy chains. I had this feeling in my head like déjà vu. Then I remembered the daydream. I ran and shouted to my kids to come to me and leave when suddenly there was a loud crash thundering above us. It was different this time but still we had no time to react. I grabbed my children and held them close to me. I closed my eyes ready for impact but about 5 seconds later, nothing happened.

We were still on the same patch of grass. I looked out and saw a powerful blue translucent dome surrounding my family and outside a crater of black and smoke. The dome surrounded half the tree so the other half was now missing. I could hear the soft crackle of fires then screaming in the distance. We needed to move. The smoke started to ease and I could see the dome was still attached to some untouched grass. We all hopped through the shield onto the intact but singed grass. We turned back to the dome, but it faded and the tree, grass and dirt fell into the dusty ruins within the crater. Sirens were moving closer and screams felt louder.

Whatever that dome was, it gave us shelter when we needed it. We had to hurry home as if we were bystanders. We can’t let the public figure out if any of us were powered. After what happened with my husband I’m not sure I want to be in that public eye. My son was questioning our actions but I could hear in his voice he was excited by this. My daughter, like her father, was reassuring me that it would be okay. They were brave like him too but I kept worrying and pulled them home.

004 Bloom

Hello. My name is Penny. The day after my 11th birthday I got a superpower. I can control plants. Here’s what happened.

I was doing homework at my desk when I heard a noise behind me. It sounded like a tap on the window but no one was there. There was a box though. A box wrapped up in glittery wrapping paper. The tag read:

Someday you’ll thank me for this.

I instantly assumed it was from my dad as he had forgotten on the day and my mum would not be happy to see him. I opened it up and it was a silver and white daisy chain necklace. I kept it under my tshirt because I knew if mum saw I had it she would throw it out. After their divorce, they never see each other and if they do, it always starts and ends with screaming and shouting. He’s a good dad, he just forgets about the important things and focuses too much on his work.

Anyway, I think the necklace kickstarted my ability, because strange things started to happen after. I have this balcony outside my bedroom leading out to the back garden. I have to climb out the window to sit on the bench but it’s worth it. I went to read a book out there and halfway through reading the first page, my leg had a vine wrapped around it. I peeled it off and began reading again. I was indulged in the book for quite sometime, that after about an hour, a dog barked next door and made me jump. I turned my head and was facing a large bush of flowers around me, some I’d never seen before. My balcony was bare before with a bench and ivy running up past it, now felt like a tropical rainforest. I heard a creak from the bench and climbed back into my room.

The bench felt like it was going to give way with the amount of plants on it. I looked through the window and saw an ivy branch rise from the balcony to it. I was startled but carried on staring as it pointed and tapped on the glass towards my chest. I looked down at myself and held my hand to my chest and remembered the necklace. I shook my head and it pulled away. I shouted at all the plants to go away and they did. I went back to my desk to place down my book and noticed a small withered daisy on the desk. I picked it up to throw it away but in my fingers it turned back into full colour and grew back remaining petals that had previously fallen off. I was amazed and looked back at the window, the plants all gone. I went back to the box which the necklace was in and pulled out all the padding and paper. A small note was written inside the box from dad saying:

If it’s too hard to figure out, you can find me at HOME. It’s going to be confusing but everything will be ok. Love always.

I thought I should try heading there another time. If mum found out, she’d be furious.


005 Phase
I was on the my way home, sitting on the train, reading my book about a a spy trapped in the gulf of Mexico, when the train came to a slow stop in the middle of the countryside. The lights blinked out a couple times which wasn’t too odd, these trains tended to be years old  and they never get fixed. I heard some kids screaming in the lobby and not before long they came running through the cabin. I peacefully ignored them and carried on reading. Getting to the end of the fifth chapter and noticed we still hadn’t made a move. We hadn’t heard anything from the driver either. A few people went to investigate but no one ever returned. Finally the announcement bell rung but all anyone heard was a few short breaths before the power kicked out and we got submerged in darkness. The sun had now set so it was only going to get darker on the train. Panic set in as passengers started screaming and shouting. I leaned against the window to see if I could see what was happening ahead when suddenly I fell through and hit the gravel hard. Other people in my carriage had seen me fall through and attempted the same, but failing. I looked down the train and saw what our problem was. The front three carriages had completely burned up. And a flying woman, known as Pyrette, was starting to burn up the next carriage with fire spouting from her hands. I heard screams from inside my carriage as it became pitch black inside. That was soon heightened the sound of smashing glass as this and several other carriages attempted to escape. Those who got off the train started running through the fields to get to safety. A  window smashed in front of me. I crawled backwards as a stampede of people came thundering onto the gravel and stumbling away from the train, luckily none of them trampling me though it looked like it came close.
Pyrette wasn’t alone. It was getting dark out, but that carriage had no light whatsoever. Darkness and shadow was emitting from the carriage. I was certain another power was in play here. Pyrette was an anti-hero, out to save the day but didn’t feel much guilt so didn’t feel for the culprit or victims. She once destroyed a towns hospital to stop a nasty virus from escaping. Her power was ferocious and really needed some control.
She turned her head towards me. I froze, shocked she saw me in the darkness. I wanted to run but couldn’t. I started to sink through the ground. Closing my mouth I held my breath as I watched the dirt glide past me. A rabbit jumped through my chest as I found myself falling past a burrow. I felt my body harden after I floated slowly through what seemed like Stone. I hit the stony floor of a sewer pipeline. I was in a sewer. I had no idea where to go so I walked down the tube hoping for light. The smell was horrendous but about half an hour later I found light at the end of the tunnel and figure out where I was.
006 Victim

Everyday I was bullied. That’s when it started. Everyday I’d go into school and try to do my best, but the other kids made fun of me. I got beat around because I’m strange to them. I got made fun of because of the way I look. I don’t know the cause of my blue streaked hair, it just happened one day. The teachers didn’t help me because I was falling asleep in their classes because the nightmares I had over my bullying. I didn’t have many friends because who’d want to be friends with the troubled kid. No one protected me.

It was late one night, and I couldn’t sleep. I ended up watching a few videos online. I stumbled across one that was a kid standing up to his bullies. The next day I thought I’d give it a try, because what else could I do. I tried to get to sleep but the nightmares of powerful beings beating me down caused me to have nightmares again.

At lunch time at school. I found a bench on the corner of the playground and was able to sit and read for a few minutes. A few of the pages were torn out a few days ago so I decided to just guess what happened in the story. That’s when I saw three beefy guys walk up to me. I put my book in my bag and just waited for them, my head down watching their shadows. Two sat either side of me and one stood in front. In my head I guessed they would hit me harder if I stood up to them but my arms were already bruised, I’m sure a few more wouldn’t be too bad. They started with the names. I said for them to go away but it was a bit quiet. They heard a murmur and pushed me to spit it out. I said it louder and they shoved me again. They demanded I say it loud.

JUST LEAVE ME ALONE, I shouted to them. Their faces went blank and one by one, they left. I thought this was a joke and flinched in case they attacked again. I relaxed when they were on the other side of the playground playing football with other kids. But in the corner of my eye a few of the girls were heading my way, asking me where they went. I got my book back and shouted to the girls GO AWAY too. Again they were overcome with blank faces and turned on their heels and walked away in different directions.

I thought that I was better at this than expected so I decided to take a walk around the playground. Something I’d not done in a long time. I got some funny looks from people but I told them to look away if they didn’t like me, and they moved on. I went to get some lunch at the canteen. I still had some money in my shoe because I also had money somewhere so the bullies couldn’t take it all. I took my shoe off in the hall and got the money out. A hand appeared only shoulder and I turned while saying WHAT NOW? JUST LEAVE ME–! I was turning and it was my Geography and Spanish teacher who were pointing at my shoe. My shoe was untied but hadn’t noticed. Before I could say anything, the two teachers faces went blank and kept backing away still pointing at my shoes. I continued down the corridor tripping on my lace to the canteen. I remembered my words to everyone. Everyone was doing what I was telling them to, without hesitation. I looked at the old canteen label and demanded she gave me some chips. Some kids turned their heads to which I shouted at everyone to ignore me. The old lady came back with a plate full of chips and I handed over the money. She smiled, held her hand up and said not to worry. I walked to an empty table and ate some nice hot chips. In the mirrored tray I could see my hair wasn’t streaky blue, but a neon green and linked the two strange occurrences  together. After eating I must have drifted off because the canteen lady nudged me telling me to leave as I was late for class. I thanked her and ran to Art class.

The teacher was strict, but I knew what to do now. When I walked in the room, everyone went silent. Miss Barnsley asked me to see her outside asking why I was late. I followed her back outside and she crossed her arms in demand for an answer. I told her MARK ME IN ON TIME. I watched as her face went blank and so I smiled. This was the best day ever. I decided to nap in the corner of the room as I had told the kids to IGNORE ME and Miss Barnsley to WAKE ME WHEN CLASS ENDS. I ended up carrying on my day telling people what to do to get my way in class. No one bullied me, no one hit me. I didn’t get told off…

At the end of the day, my hair was streaky orange. I didn’t know what the colours meant, but the power was cool. It’s certainly something I’ll explore with all my bullies for the rest of the week!

007 Gone

It began with my brother and I having a fight. Not an argument, more like a power battle. We can both control elements of light. We don’t have the same ability but we both counter each other so it’s good to work off. My brother AJ has anger issues too so it’s a good outlet to release emotion. He can control and emit light, which is very powerful. He can use the light around him to power his ability and the beams he emits can knock you back quite violently. I however can manipulate darkness. I can absorb the light into shadows which grow from behind me and I can turn them into solid shade that can slice objects and block light. I can also emit dark light creating pockets of darkness to those that enter. Everything I chuck at him can’t touch his light, but everything he chucks at me is absorbed into darkness. So we have to use our abilities creatively to gain the upper hand.

We practice in an abandoned steel factory. For some reason no one wants to buy the land so we spend most of our days here. Our parents died not too long ago and the foster system wasn’t helpful especially with our abilities. Our younger brother JJ is fine, he lives with a family a few streets away and we make do in the factory. He often comes to help with strategy around our abilities. He’s clever and we’re glad he has a home.

Anyway, AJ and I were having a battle. A “Save the President” game where JJ sits on top of a crane and we have to save him from the other brother who is likely to be a spy trying to kidnap him. I was using old boxes to block his light so I could create shadows closer to him in attempt to slice his legs. Any slice would hurt, disable and distract him as he needs to use his light to heal himself. Yeah, he has that too! A few slices in the ankles caught him off guard. I push a wall of shadow into the crane and caught JJ as he fell. I had to get back to base to win but a bullet of light hit my shoulder and I fell with JJ in arms across the ground. I got up as quickly as I could and went to grab JJ but he had gone. I pulled in shadows from around me to find his location but I could only feel boxes and a faint AJ as usual (as a beacon he doesn’t give off many shadows). I built shadow walls around AJ to remove the light source and pulled my shadows in again. JJ wasn’t there. I pulled back the walls as AJ leapt through and raised my hands in submission.

“You win! I don’t know what you did, but you win”

“What? Why?”

“I can’t find him. You took him and I have no idea how you’re hiding him from me!”

“TJ, you cut me, I healed, then you trapped me in a box. I haven’t been anywhere near him since you took him!”


“Is this some stupid tactic to get me to surrender?” His hands started to glow bright, charging for a beam of light to blast at me.

“No I’m confused. I can’t find him. I can’t feel his shadows.” I started to cloud my hands in darkness, ready for his beams to hit me. Suddenly he sent them early and in reaction I burst solid shade blocks from my hands to block.

“WHERE IS HE?!” The anger was building, JJ was better at calming him down than I, but I could keep blocking him until he wore out.

“I’ll find him, just stop hitting me” He shot his beams skyward, tearing through brick and glass to burst and shatter. I created an umbrella of shade above me and caught the debris. A shard of glass caught AJ’s cheek. “You’re bleeding.”

“I’m fine. FIND HIM!”

I closed my eyes and summoned all the shadows in the factory. I could feel the layout to the building across my skin. I opened my eyes, black, like a dolls eyes. I looked out could see through walls and floors. Out past the building, I could see the shadows. It was like looking at blueprints but only the shadows were visible. I could see people walking down the road but none took JJ’s face. He wasn’t here. He couldn’t have got far. He was gone.

“He’s not anywhere” I said, returning my eyes to normal. It took a lot of energy summoning that many shadows to reveal to me and I couldn’t focus anymore. Beams of light shot into the ground and a bright light shone in front of me. AJ burst through the roof and flew away and he was gone too.