Reality Boy sighed and rebelled against his father, as boys do, telling him to shut up and stop calling him that stupid name.
“I don’t want to be a superhero anymore. I just want to be a normal kid,” Reality Boy said with a weight normal 11-year-old boys don’t carry – the weight of the world.
His breath escaped out into a white cloud in the crisp, cold winter air.
Father and son walked on through the neighborhood of McMansions and townhomes.
Down the hill, a strip mall was going up where lush trees had once stood. The mini-forest had housed a fort built by the Circle of Superheroes. Super Kung Fu Tiger Girl, 7, had recruited the young superheroes from townhomes around the cul-de-sac where they lived.
The little girl lay at home in bed in mourning for the displaced deer. She also missed the toys – and the good memories – the fort held before its sudden bulldozing.
“All superheroes get to that point in life,” the boy’s pedantic parent intoned in a bass meant to convey wisdom while he struggled with the vision of his daughter crying. He knew his focus should be on the boy.
Daddy’s girl would not be consoled by Daddy. That job fell to the boy now walking up into the higher-class neighborhood above their humble cul-de-sac.
The dad’s feeble brain struggled as it drowned in a sea of responsibility he wasn’t sure how to swim in.
“You must understand that with great…”
“Great power comes great responsibility. You stole that from Spider-man’s Uncle Ben,” Reality Boy broke in.
“Have you ever had an original thought in your life, Dad?” the boy asked.
“Well, there was that time…” Dad started to say, but the boy snorted in disgust, cut him off and started to jog past another McMansion on the neat little jogging track running through the subdivision.
Super Kung Fu Tiger Girl put on her costume and lay in wait with gloved hands poised to puncture using talons extending outward from her fingers.
“If I had a rocket launcher. If I had a rocket launcher…” played loudly from her CD player.
She hurled herself into the air, did a snap kick and slash in front of the mirror and thought happily of dismembering bulldozers while Reality Boy came behind dropping his extreme gravity – the weight of the world – onto the destructive machines and their drivers.
Reality Boy refused to join in the plan, saying it was always too messy once gravity smashed machines into atoms.
There’s a lake where once Reality Boy unleashed his anger. The lake formed in the precise concave depression left when his anger-formed gravity well touched the earth.
Reality Boy’s father fondly told how the unimaginable weight had only been used once out there in the wilderness. The uneducated thought a meteor had struck long ago. Geologists opined it was a sinkhole that filled with debris and became a lake.
Once, and only once did Reality Boy lose his anger so totally as to destroy. The boy did not want to hurt anyone, ever again, since knocking out a tooth from a rival during a brief fistfight just next to the playground.
Super Kung Fu Tiger Girl struck a coy pose before her mirror and wondered what it would take to change his mind.
(to be continued…)