Last year, Andrea Phillips and Jay Bushman of Alchemy Storytelling started an online website called My Super First Day. The idea is anyone can contribute to the fiction: “Think up a superpower and write the story of your first day with it. Did you use your powers for good or evil? Were they helpful or worthless? Did it change your life?” You can see the contributions people have already put forward at the website. Now, they’ve opened up submissions for again and so I thought I’d jump in with a short story too. Here it is:
The First Day was Super
Oh how I remember that (real) first day I discovered my superpower. I say â€˜realâ€™ because, well, I experience every day as if it is the first day I discover my superpower. That is the down side — the catch — to my superpower. Iâ€™m well aware of this now though, and so I leave a note for myself, explaining how Iâ€™ve discovered this before. I detail how I shouldnâ€™t call my parents, friends, workmates, no one. They are so sick of me ringing them. Theyâ€™re happy for me and proud of the good I do with my power, but getting breathless phone calls and frantic visits from me every morning was too much.
Iâ€™ve tried many ways to break the news to myself. It is all about timing and easing myself into the truth. Early on I tried leaving a note on my bedside table, an audio message on my alarm, and even a poster on my roof. But that just ruined it for me. I would only have a few seconds of yelling â€˜woohoo!â€™ before I felt like a fool. There is nothing worse than realising youâ€™ve suddenly got a power that can help solve problems for people, solve crime, only to find the solution has already been discovered, by you. For a long time I spent each day depressed, jealous of the morning I first discovered it, and sometimes even resentful of having this superpower with such a stupid catch. But I eventually left a note on my bedroom door. That works, but I have to make sure there are no communication devices in the room, and that I gently explain the situation to myself.
It took many drafts to get that note right. It had to be short enough to ensure I would read it immediately and not throw the envelope to the ground in my race to get out the door. I also wanted to take the time to congratulate myself, and share in my jubilation for a few moments more. As you can see, Iâ€™m more at home with the downside of my superpower. But it took many sessions at Superpowers Anonymous to come to terms with it. What good is having super photographic memory when every night you forget you have it? Yes, my fellow superheroes have had many laughs at my expense. You can imagine the names I get, and the jokes.
But hey, I appreciate you giving people with superpowers the chance to share our stories. Writing the experience of my first day has helped me. I didnâ€™t have the confidence to submit my story in the first round because I wasnâ€™t sure how people would respond. But I can laugh about it now. So give me your best taunts if you like. It would be good to hear a new one. Oh, and if by chance you receive multiple submissions from me about my first day, please break the news to me gently.