No Mutants Need Apply.
My grandfather had been a cop, before it skipped a generation in the family, the way diabetes misses the kid who gorges himself on corndogs for breakfast every day. He’d tell me stories, sitting on his knee, playing with his badge, of his own grandfather.
“Back then the immigrants couldn’t find an honest job. A thousand people a day coming in on the boats, and not one of them offered an honest day’s labour. Oh there were offers alright. The kind that put bread on the table and silence in the bedroom.”
Back then I was too young to understand it. I was fascinated with Them. Toby was one of Them. To a six-year old, the question of why Toby could fly but I couldn’t had no satisfactory answer. As I grew up, as we all grew up though, I stopped asking though. I stopped wishing I could fly or shoot electricity or move a pencil with my mind.
Toby died in hospital. Up until that moment in my life, coming out of the hall after prom to find my friend lying across the parking lot, one arm trying weakly to rise, the police were just a distant family memory. When he died, I cancelled my college applications. I joined my grandfather’s old precinct.
I did good. Maybe that’s hindsight speaking, or resignation. Supernatural Action Taskforce. Fist fights ending in third degree burns. Domestic disputes where the husband was found in three different places. We did what we could.
And then that fucking call-out. 18 Diamonte Place. He was crazed, that glint in the eyes, that feral twitch as you said everything was okay, just put your hands behind your head. Eleven years old. Maybe twelve. Two shots and he didn’t get any old. I was still going to the shrink when I finished physical therapy, at first because it was office-mandated, but then because I wanted to. Then because I needed to.
I can feel it. Delayed Onset Transient Syndrome. Like he’s behind my eyes. It’s what happens when you get what isn’t yours. The kid must have caught it from someone else or otherwise knocked off a super himself. I don’t know which was more frightening. The original powers would manifest every now and then. I’d go to take a piss in the night and find the world screaming at me in full colour, every detail popping in my vision. But then it would get too much and my body would shut down, total blindness until my sight could return, greyscale and bleak.
I did good. That’s what I tell the shrink.
Prompt originally posted by holomoon on reddit and received 8 upvotes.