Flash Fiction: Karma Boy

Chuck Wendig‘s flash fiction challenge this week: mash a superhero story with some other genre.

So, superhero + horror? Superhero + noir? Maybe.

How about superhero + YA romcom? That has potential.

Karma Boy

ketchup

My name is Brody, and I can move things with my brain.

I quit telling people that when I was ten because my mom wanted to put me in some special home for crazy kids. My dad wanted to call a Catholic and have an exorcism. Whatever. It was easier to pretend I made the whole thing up. No nut houses. No Catholics. Everyone was happy.

That didn’t stop me from creating the occasional “odd phenomenon”, though. Especially if someone pissed me off.

Last week was the first week of eleventh grade. No big deal. Just had to slug through another day, another month, another year. I have a few friends, but they’re like me. No, they don’t move things with their minds. They’re dorky. We’re more inclined to trash some dude’s mom on X-box on a Saturday night than go to a party full of posers.

And girls? Please. The girls I talk to are dorks too. I thought about taking one to homecoming this year, but only because it would save me from having to take my cousin.

That was until yesterday, when Kaylin arrived for her first day at my school.

You know those cheesy movie entrances where the girl walks through the door with the wind blowing behind her and all her friends are laughing at some wonderfully witty thing she said? When I saw her, it was like that. Only there was no wind. Or laughing. Or other girls.

Really, it was just her walking through the door, her long, brown hair tossing from side to side as she looked at her schedule, then down the hall. Schedule. Hall. But I was enraptured.

Against everything I would have done two days ago, I walked up to her. “Hi. Can I help? You look lost.”

She smiled and brushed her hair from the side of her face with her schedule-holding hand. “Um, yeah. Where’s the science department?”

I took her the long way to the science hall, which she figured out. She called me on it but seemed flattered. We’re going out tonight.

That’s right. I have a date. With a non-cousin girl.

I arrived at the burger place early, so I’m chilling in the waiting area and having a little fun. Nothing major. Make a mint slide across the bar when only a kid is watching. Knock that dumb girl’s phone out of her hand. Stuff like that.

Kaylin and her flowing hair arrive, and we’re seated next to the window.

“What do you do for fun?” she asks me after the waitress delivers our sodas.

“Uh, well, I play games with my friends.” And I screw with people by moving things from across the room.

“What kinds of games?”

I slump. “Video games. But don’t worry, I’m not one of those guys who does it all the time.”

She laughs. Thank God.

“My brother is one of those guys,” she says. “He just -”

“I told you I don’t like sour cream! Do they hire people with brains around here anymore?” The angry man’s voice booms from two tables over.

We both look at him. “Wow. Nice guy,” I say.

She scowls and sips her drink.

“Wanna see something funny?”

She faces me and squints. “Okay.”

“Keep an eye on that guy.” I tilt my head towards the belligerent customer.

She does. I wait for the opportune moment.

As the guy pulls his drink to his mouth, I give him a little arm spasm. He splashes beer all over his front and swears.

Kaylin laughs and faces me. “How did you know that would happen?”

I shrug.

“No, really. How did you know?”

Only one other person knows about my gift – my friend, Jake. I swore him to secrecy with the threat of directing a bunch of birds over his car until they poop.

But I think Kaylin is okay. “Let me show you a few more things.”

She nods. I survey the restaurant and see the annoying girl with the phone again. She’s holding her phone over her plate and texting.

“Look at her.”

Kaylin turns, and I knock the annoying girl’s phone into her food. She yelps and rescues her phone as her mom scolds her for being clumsy.

Kaylin faces me again. “Did you do that?”

I grin. “Some people are good and sports, some are good at music. I can do this.”

“What? Make people drop things?”

I laugh. “Sometimes.”

The waitress delivers our food, and Kaylin reaches for the ketchup.

“Hold on. Let me.”

She sits back and grins.

I telekinetically slide the ketchup across the table and stop it next to her drink.

“Amazing. How do you do that?”

I exhale, thankful that she didn’t run out of the place screaming. “I don’t know. I just do. Only one other person knows about it.”

“Why did you show me?”

Heat rushes to my face. “I guess I thought I could trust you.” I look towards the beer-soaked guy. “And he needed a little karma.”

She laughs. “Is that how you plan to save the world? By giving jerks what they deserve?”

I shrug. “It’s a start.”

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