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xRocketman52x t1_j8tc33o wrote

"Oh, well, to be honest, my power wasn't real hard to discover - in fact, it was pretty obvious. I'd say my parents figured it out when I was still in a high chair!"

"That's... fascinating," the health inspector offered, obviously confused. I hadn't actually told him what my power was yet, of course. Still, he diligently kept up with my faster pace, jotting down notes as we strolled through he production facility. He responded, somewhat absently, after jotting down another paragraph. "Most folks learning their power that young, well.. With lots of time to develop, they end up putting on tights!"

"Ah, the super hero route was never for me, to be honest. My power doesn't suit itself to that, and, to be frank, it's much too dangerous work. The plant here? We're as safe as it gets!"

"I admittedly find that odd," the inspector muttered. "Your safety equipment is, admittedly, shiny and new, but... something is off. Employees. The way they're handling things."

"Ah, yes! We absolutely prioritize safety and distance for the employees! If something is about to go wrong, just back off and let it happen!"

"Hm," the inspector hummed, "Most producers would... Well... Put some higher priority on preserving the product. Not to sound cynical or accusatory, of course... but that's a lot of money to let go of."

"Ah, true, but that's where I come in! It's why I'm the production supervisor, after all!"

"Oh? Uh... How so? If you... I mean no offense, but... I don't see how..."

I simply laughed.

"Just believe me, I'm their hero around here. Both the guys on the floor and the big wigs above!"

Just then, we heard shouting. Down the warehouse, a handful of employees were stepping back, pulling away, as a large machine began to sputter and spark. Splatters of the product began to leap out of the device, and finally, with a loud 'bang', a geyser of baked beans spouted from the top of it, soaking the area around it in viscous brown liquid and vegetables. An Old Faithful of barbecue special, a tidal wave of frank toppings, an absolute flood of our famous baked beans covered the entire area. By the time the flow stopped, a full ton of product must have been oozing across the floor.

"Oh, goodness," the inspector said, lifting his clip board to take notes. "That's got to be an expensive mistake."

"See, this is where I come in!" I cracked my knuckles, strode forth quickly, and chuckled. Time was of the essence, after all.

The men cleared the way, with a few apologies and a "You got this, boss!" I approached the edge of the spill, and sat down. With a deep breath, I prepared myself...

I let out a loud, embarrassingly accurate estimation of a baby's laughter. I laughed, I giggled, and I squealed like any good toddler strapped in their high chair and having a good time. I kicked my legs, I flailed my arms about, swung my hands wildly, and twisted all over.

I'm sure an outsider would have been perturbed, and the inspector, I noticed from the corner of my eye, stood aghast, but everyone here at the company loved me for it.

With that, my power activated - the ability to magically un-spill food. The beans shot back up into the air, up into the machine, and back where they came from!

I pushed myself to my feet, and after a few laughs with the team, I strolled back to the inspector, who's jaw practically sat upon the floor.

"Magically returned! No contaminants or anything like that, they're exactly as they were before the incident! We actually have some test results to prove it."

"I..." the inspector offered, at a loss for word. "I don't know what to make of this."

I laughed, and nudged his side.

"I call it: 'The 10-second rule'!"


FjookEnterprises t1_j8thn88 wrote

I want more


xRocketman52x t1_j8xl1tp wrote

"Listen, when the specialist gets here, don't say a word. Understand?"

"Sure, boss."

"No, listen, Lenny. I am serious. Don't even open your mouth. I need to hear you say that you understand."

The young man seemed almost taken aback by how serious I spoke.

"I... Yes. Yes sir. I understand."

"Good. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be a dick, I just... I'm trying to keep you or me or any of us from getting sued."

"I mean... Boss, is this guy... Is he dangerous? We're just doing utility work here..."

I sighed.

"Dangerous? Not really. But he's very specific - we need to watch what we say around him, or it could be disastrous."

I looked to the new guy, and saw his confusion hadn't lessened. He was still curious - too curious. I trusted him, but that curiosity made me nervous.

"Look," I explained, "I've only spoken to his assistant. Best I can figure: this guy, Rodgers? His ability is tied to his perception. It's based off of fixing things - fixing pipes - that seem broken... Specifically, things that seem broken to him. And how they're corrected is also based off his perception. So if you go and say just a little too much, and he starts to understand how this stuff works, maybe his power doesn't work no more. Or it'll start to work differently. That means our stuff doesn't get fixed, and he loses a lucrative livelihood. That's part of why he's very specific."

I shook my head.

"I'd hate to be on the bad side of a guy who loses out on a job that's pulling him this much dough this easily."

"Oh..." Lenny was quiet. "Alright, yea. I guess that makes sense."

"Believe me, it's well worth it, kid," I expressed. "That's why we're paying him the big bucks."

"Oh yea?" he questioned, and I nodded. "How big of a project is this? For him?"

I gave him the side-eye, then figured there was no harm in it.

"We're paying about a hundred-and-twenty-five-kay."

I thought Lenny's eyes might pop out of his head.

"He's getting paid what?!"

"Yep. And if all goes well, it'll be done in five minutes."

Lenny practically swayed on his feet, flabbergasted at the number. If we stood any closer to the road, I'd have been nervous, but at least the guide rail and barrier offered us some security from the 6-lane highway next to us.

I did motion for him to take a step back from the manhole in front of us, though. With only a 2-foot opening, it wasn't likely he'd fall in, but... Well, I've seen stranger things happen.

The sound of tires crunching on gravel made me turn my head, and I saw a large, shiny pickup truck, with a rack over the bed stacked with all manner of plumbing supplies, pull up behind our own utility vehicle. Two men got out - Rodgers himself, of the Rodgers' Perfect Pipe Fix, and his assistant, the man I'd spoken to previously, Franklin. With no experience and no know-how from the owner, this duo had become the most sought-after utility specialists in our entire half of the country.

"Morning, fellas!" I called out as they approached, and received the same in reply. Lenny, much to my appreciation, said nothing at all.

"This the location we talked about?" Franklin asked.

"Exactly," I replied, pointing downwards. "This one under the road."

Franklin nodded, and turned to Rodgers.

"Okay, sir. So... Like we talked about. This pipe is broken. The correct way it should work is: It should be eight-inch plastic pipe running straight from this manhole down to the next one. Normally they have joints every thirteen-and-a-half feet, and they're water tight, through and through. Just remember that picture I showed you."

"Got it," Rodgers replied. "Thanks. Let me get this done!"

With that, the super-powered-professional hopped down through the manhole opening, and began the twenty-foot climb to the manhole's bottom.

"I hesitate to ask," I opened up, once I thought he might be out of earshot, "But... Do you know how he discovered his power?"

Franklin chuckled.

"Yea. He bought his first house a few years back. Was trying to fix the drain trap for his kitchen sink. Got so frustrated because he couldn't get it water tight, kept flooding his kitchen and making a mess. Eventually, he got so goddamn angry he musta blew a gasket, and he said he stuck his head in the sink and just.... Well... You'll see in a second."

We peered down into the dim manhole. At the bottom, the trough was damp, but we'd plugged off the line further upstream, so no sewage actively flowed through the lines. Rodgers got down on his knees carefully, planting them on the shoulders to either side of the trough, and doing his best to keep away from any unpleasantness. He lowered his face to the pipe opening, the place we had issues, and just....


He screamed like a man possessed. I couldn't help it - I recoiled in surprise, and maybe a little bit of fear. I had sort of expected it, but even still - I could hardly blame Lenny, who, standing next to me, nearly stumbled and let out a few curses.

After a minute, Rodgers clambered back up through the manhole lid, and Lenny nervously hopped back down to inspect the work. I shook Rodgers' hand with a word of thanks, and he confidently walked back to his truck, answering a phone call as he climbed inside to wait.

It was only a minute or two longer when Lenny came back up, his eyes like dinner plates.

"Boss, I'm sorry, but what the fuck? It's just... it's all gone! He just... he fuckin' screamed into the pipe and replaced like five-hundred feet of clay pipe from fuckin' nineteen-sixty-whatever with new plastic? What the hell?"

"No... Don't think of it as replacing stuff. Just that he fixed it. Sounds like he did the job, though! Thanks, Franklin," I extended my hand to the other man, who shook it. "Send the invoice to our office, we'll get it turned around with some of those grant submittals and see if we can't get you guys the money fast."

"Sure thing! Gotta get paid."

"Jesus," Lenny sat on the edge of the manhole, his legs dangling into it and his eyes staring into space. "More than a hundred grand. For like... three minutes. He just yelled!"

"Listen, bud," I said gesturing to the roaring highway next to us. "That man just saved us about six-hundred-thousand dollars and about fourteen months of work."

I turned to Franklin, and I couldn't help it - I laughed. Genuine, mirthfully, belly laughed.

"He's my hero. Tell him I'm his number-one fan."

Franklin chuckled, and began to turn away. As he walked towards the truck, he called out over his shoulder:

"It's a shit job, but it pays well! And the boss says he gets lots of stress relief!"


codergeorge t1_j8ugv6q wrote

This story and the prompt itself just remind me of Everything Everywhere All at Once haha.


Oba936 t1_j8xfr1x wrote

This is perfect! Thank you so much!


Mr_Woodchuck314159 t1_j8rmaxd wrote

There I am held hostage as the villain who captured me sits down spins three times, pulls out some pepper and sneezes. “Ha, I now have super strength!”

The hero pulls out and opens a carton of milk, pours some out, and cries over it “but it’s no match for my heat vision!”

The villain picks up some litter and shoves it in his pocket, while placing a quarter on the ground where it was “cold breath!”

The hero breaks into a dance, twirling and singing badly, and the villain says “oh no you don’t!” And pulls out a spoon and bangs it on his head three times while the hero throws a banana peel on the ground and proceeded to slip on it, then the villain does a head stand and clucks like a chicken. About this time, I work the bonds loose, as the hero puts on a blindfold and the villain puts in some ear plugs, I leave because those two are obviously busy countering whatever the other one is about to do. I’m just glad my shrinking power is activated by being bound and staying still. I don’t know how small I can shrink, as after a few minutes, I’m small enough that I am no longer bound, but maybe only shrink 10%.

Looking over my shoulder, I am glad I don’t have any of their powers. I now know why super villains and super heroes alike wear masks. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself showing my face either if I had to do, what looks like the Robot dance while wearing a monkey mask as a hat? I wonder what that is for, then realize, I just want to get out of here, and continue on my way.

The hero will notice I’m gone, right?


Zreniec t1_j8s8i0o wrote

In this universe, it may actually be useful to cry over spilt milk it seems


Cat_Ears_Big_Wheels t1_j8sfyfd wrote

The prompt reminded me so much of EEAAO mixed with Dorohedoro, and your writing only further cemented it. Great job!


MolhCD t1_j8vef7j wrote

> I wouldn’t be able to live with myself showing my face either if I had to do, what looks like the Robot dance while wearing a monkey mask as a hat?

that part doesn't give any powers, it's just fun to do


facebotter t1_j8ucpq9 wrote

Mom sighed as I sat down for breakfast in the morning, placing a steaming hot plate of eggs, bacon, and a biscuit in front of me and Dad. She would wake up hours earlier than the rest of us every morning to make breakfast, claiming it was because "her Activation was so embarrassing". I don't think even Dad knows what it is- but, thanks to her, we never have to go out and buy food.

Mom and Dad weren't exactly poor, but they definitely needed her ability to get by. I started scarfing down my breakfast and secretly started poking my finger on each of the fork spokes. I looked around pensively- nothing happened. That definitely wasn't it.

"Thanks, Mom!," I said, grinning through stuffed cheeks. She smiled, and glanced over at the newspaper Dad was reading.

"Honey, is it really necessary to start every day off with doom and gloom like that?" She said. I looked at the headline on the front and saw that another 3 teens had jumped to their death trying to find their Activation just last night. He sighed.

"Darling, I have yet to feel doom and gloom from seeing stupid kids do stupid things. Nick, you know that's the kind of antic you save for when you're 99 and have nothing else to do, right?"

I laughed and grabbed my bag. "Dad, if you ever catch me trying that I expect you to blow me up with your mind powers."

He scoffed as I ran out the door. He still hadn't found his powers yet, and probably wouldn't ever find out. He was completely content with life the way it was, but that didn't stop us from joking about what his powers might be.

I only lived a few blocks away from school, so I usually just walked. Today felt different- there was an energy in the air that I couldn't explain. I often had days like this, where I felt certain that I would find out my Activation and finally get some kind of awesome power. Most of the kids in my grade had already found theirs through insane trial and error- a lot of kids would hold "Activation Parties," where they would set up some kind of deranged obstacle course to try and figure out their Activation. I'd been to a few when I was in middle school, and usually just left with bruised pride- and a limb or two.

I walked for about ten minutes, stepping on every crack I could see for a while, then ignoring every crack, and at one point I even stopped to do a backbend- of course, I immediately fell over and nearly busted open my head.

As I walked past my friend Timothy's house, his door flew open and he dashed outside.

"Hey, Nick!" He called. I waved back, and he grinned at me.

"Tim, you gonna walk with me today?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

"Hell no dude!" He said, sitting down on his driveway. He started scooting forward with his legs, like a dog trying to wipe its ass. I could never get over his Activation. Every night I prayed to God that I wouldn't get something that looked so stupid.

After a few scoots, Tim slowly rose about 6 inches off the ground. His grin widened, and he "stood up" from his previous, less-than-dignified position.

"Later nerd!" He yelled, floating away from me at an alarming speed. I groaned and flipped him off.

"You found out about your dumbass power like 5 days ago!" I shouted, and just barely heard his crazed laugh as he zoomed away. Whatever- I kept walking, knowing I'd figure out my Activation enough. Even Tim's stupid antics couldn't keep my mood down today.

I finally arrived at class. First, second, and third period all passed by in a flash. Fourth period began, and I barely paid attention to what Mr. Leck was saying as I tried as many discrete Activations as possible.

Come on! I thought to myself. One of these stupid Activations had to work. I ate a piece of paper, put my notebook on my head when Mr. Leck wasn't watching, and even crumpled up a piece of paper and threw it at Tim. That part was just for fun. He scowled at me and I hid a smile, innocently turning back to face the front. I picked up my pencil and remembered seeing that some kid on TV had found his activation while twirling a pencil around his thumb. I sighed, decided to try it out, and immediately dropped it on the ground. Feeling my cheeks get hot, I looked around to see if anyone had noticed.

Everyone was frozen. Mr. Leck was in the middle of writing something on the chalkboard, Tim was picking his nose, and my pencil was floating in the air, just inches away from the ground.

My heart lept. No way that actually worked.

I looked around a bit longer, my heart racing as the implications set in. I have the power to stop time.

Even better, God must have heard my prayers- my Activation had nothing to do with scooting around like a dog. All I had to do was (fail) at twirling a pencil.

I lept out of my seat, ready to go and do something fun all day before coming back to class to resume time.

Suddenly, a chill went up my spine. The energy that I had felt earlier was gone. I looked up again, and saw something that I definitely shouldn't- couldn't have missed earlier.

Mr. Leck was gone. In his place, there was a- a monster. It had horrible, gnarled fingers, a pale and twisted face, and didn't seem to have any eyes. It towered over everything else in the room and had to crouch in order to avoid hitting the ceiling. I couldn't see anything else- it was shrouded in an impossibly dark robe. The room suddenly smelled of a sharp, twisted scent.

"D-did you do this?" I asked, my voice quivering. "Did you f-freeze everyone?"

The creature's mouth twisted into a crooked smile. One of its hands was raised, and it was holding up two of its tree-root fingers. With a crack, its middle finger snapped down. A raspy voice called out to me, and its words nearly made me retch. It laughed- a sound more horrible than anything I had ever heard.

"Nick, did you have something you wanted to say?"

I blinked, looking at Mr. Leck. The creature was gone.

"Um... No sir, sorry. I just, uh, dropped my pencil." I quickly grabbed my pencil off the floor and sat down to the tune of Tim's snickers.

I forced myself to glare at him, and when he turned away I quickly sat on my shaking hands. Something horrible was about to happen. Something absolutely terrible was happening tomorrow, and I was the only one who knew.

I thought carefully, trying to keep the panic at bay. Its words rang out to me once more, that broken voice echoing in my head.

"The. world is going. to end. Tomorrow."

Mr. Lecks droning voice faded away as the panic began to overcome my defenses, and something horrible clicked in my head. A terrible weight came down on my shoulders.

My activation had nothing to do with that stupid pencil.

My Activation was the end of the world- and my power was to save it.


SnappGamez t1_j8ugv1i wrote

Oh holy shit I need more of this.

May I humbly request that this story be continued?


facebotter t1_j8vffki wrote

I wrote this when I should've been studying for my new job. Maybe in the future though! I'm glad you liked it!


everythingisunknown t1_j8s4c8h wrote


Get down from there!

They shout and stare

As I stand on this rooftop

Without a care


Like a phoenix

Ready to soar

Grasping for power

A want to do more


People have done crazier things

To attain the greatness I seek

But with ground approaching fast

I wish I wasn't so wea-- >!SPLAT!<


redcorgh t1_j8tvf4q wrote

Soar, otherwise I like it! Who'd have guessed that jumping off a building wouldn't activate your powers.


rustyhematite t1_j8uh1kw wrote

The newest hero on the scene poses on one leg, the other foot lifted up to his waist, and his fingers wrap around each other into something Micheal vaguely remembers from elementary school ‘magic’ tricks. Something about a chapel? Then he spins around on his heel and bends forward so he’s looking at the villain upside-down, between his knees. His hands weave together and flap like butterfly wings.

“Wait,” he says. He stares at his hands. “Wait, no, that wasn’t right.” He unfurls himself, shakes out his limbs, and holds a finger up. “Just, give me a moment.”

This is the fifth time he’s said this. He has yet to introduce himself; merely showed up and began his convoluted routine.

Micheal is one of a few people still watching this. The villain of the hour is another. The Armory, master of melee weaponry, who has been seen plenty of times hitting heroes built like tanks through multiple brick walls. The property damage from her attacks are always staggering.

Her sword, a bastard sword Micheal thinks, is planted tip first into the street. She rests one elbow on the guard, picking at her nails as she watches the hero.

Micheal has his phone out, recording this to maybe sell to some news site, and he’s starting to run out of battery. Not that he thinks anyone will want to buy this anymore. Maybe for some ‘Funniest Videos’ montage. “This is so stupid,” he mutters to himself.

Armory’s head tilts towards him. Micheal breaks into a cold sweat. He hasn’t found his power yet, and is suddenly aware that Armory could break every bone in his body using a toothbrush if she wanted.

Instead she raises one shoulder in a shrug. “No, no, give him a chance,” she says. “At this point I’m interested in what he can actually do.”

“But you could just end this?” Micheal asks, wondering all the while why the hell he’s still talking. His hands are shaking, the last minutes worth of shots ruined.

“Sure. But I have some sympathy for people whose activation is that ridiculous.” There’s a thud as the hero trips over his own foot nearly four minutes into his routine, cursing under his breath. “Not everyone’s is as easy as mine.”

“What… is yours?”

“I just have to hold the weapon the wrong way,” Amory admits. “First time I did it, I wasn’t paying attention, grabbed a knife by the blade and tried to chop carrots. Shattered my countertop, lost the deposit on the apartment.”

The hero stumbles again and slams into a car. The car alarm blares and he stumbles away, hands over his ears, into another car. Micheal’s ears are ringing, and he drops his phone to cover his ears too. Armory sighs.

“Keep recording for me, okay? I want to see what all this comes to later.” She salutes as she pries her weapon out of the asphalt - indeed gripping the sword by the blade as she does so - and walks towards the nearest used car dealership. “Now, I have to go see a man about a broken cooling system.”


reikutohno t1_j8uzr4v wrote

Finding out about your superpower was a gamble. It can be ridiculously stupid or deathly embarrassing. I guess that’s why these people wear masks, huh?

I can’t really do that. Nope. Not even with a mask. I’d like to pretend that I haven’t figured out my ability yet. There’s no way in hell I’d tell anyone how it activates either.

But… it looks like I have no choice.

The asteroid was already a few light minutes from Earth. The shattered remains of our moon would soon rain down from the skies.

Both heroes and villains alike were doing their best. Some were dancing. Someone was walking upside down. There was one that started clucking like a chicken. Every time they laid an egg, they cracked it open. A random weapon of sorts popped out.

I rushed to the bathroom. My coworker saw me clutching my stomach.

“You really got Taco Bell for our last meal, huh?”

I guess he was hiding his despair with humor. I just chuckled and went to the bathroom.

As I sat down and did my business, I pondered really hard.

‘What if… there was a barrier around the earth. It would be like a part of the atmosphere. It could maybe possibly deflect debris from space. I really don’t get it. But what if…’

I kept thinking as hard as I could as I pushed the pain out from my stomach.

After I did my business, I cleaned up and went outside. People were cheering. It seems like there was a hero out there that did something. What it was, they didn’t know. All they knew was that the moment the moon shards and the asteroid disintegrated. It happened as soon as it made contact with the atmosphere.

My coworker was crying. "We're not gonna die..."

“Yeah,” I nodded. “That would have been [Really Shitty], right?”


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TigerRod t1_j8rfonc wrote

"My name is Joseph Joestar and my ability activates when I punch a camera!"

"How'd you figure that one out?"

"Trial and error!"


kpsi355 t1_j8sh2c2 wrote

Everything Everywhere all at once.


Ruffruffman40 t1_j8u0dd7 wrote

Kinda like “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”


CableTrash t1_j8vhg5l wrote

Thank you. I was trying to remember where I remembered this from.