Photo by Quin Stevenson
Growing up I always loved to read comics. I could never get enough of the X-Men, Avengers, and every other comic book ever made.
We’ve all had the thought cross our minds, “What if I could have super powers? How cool would that be?” It was cool at first, at least until I realized what was happening to me each time I disappeared.
It started out being a harmless disappearance. I thought nothing of it. Mainly because I was asleep while it happened.
Since I was a kid I always had a kind of super power. I could focus every ounce of energy on something, and it would happen. Thinking it was some kind of fluke or coincidence, I began testing it.
I would try to move the newspaper with my mind. Nothing happened at first so I tried harder. I tried day after day to get the paper to move but it wouldn’t no matter how hard I willed it to move. It wasn’t until my brother came along and threw it across the room did it move.
“Quite being a stupid idiot. You can’t move things with your mind, you’re too stupid for that.”
He was a jerk that way. Always making fun of me and calling me names.
I would yell at him, “One day when I find my super power, you’ll be sorry.”
Laughing at me while saying, “Whatever super-dork.” He took my threats without any care that I spoke the truth, he would be sorry.
The years passed as the torments continued. Our relationship turned bitter as he grew even bigger and stronger than me. I had to find a way to even the playing field. He was 17 and the star of the football team. Me? 16 and pathetically small. My brother liked to rub it in my face along with other things as much as possible. His favorite being dog poop from the backyard. His day was coming.
I woke up hearing my brother yelling my name, “Jim! I’m going to kill you!”
He came barreling into my room and didn’t withhold himself this time. The punches came raining down to my upturned face. Our dad had been abusive to us and it seemed to be passed down to Hugh. The punches continued until I lost consciousness.
It felt like I had an out-of-body experience.
I was light as a feather and quite as a gentle breeze. I didn’t really understand what was going on. I walked noiselessly around the house looking for the other members of my dysfunctional family.
Coming upon Hugh, my hatred was launched against him without reserve. I had the element of surprise as long as I could stay on top, I could possibly win this fight. We crashed into a heap upon the floor as he began to thrash about swinging madly.
“No! Dad stop!” Hugh was hysterical. I had never seen him like this. He was wide-eyed looking around for his assailant. His eyes passed over me several times as I stood in the middle of the room.
Why couldn’t he see me?
I awoke the next day with vertigo issues. I had a hard time balancing myself as I went to bathroom to see about my morning business. I never liked the blinding lights on this early. It only hurt my eyes so I typically took in the darkness and felt my way around.
It was Saturday morning and I didn’t want to do anything just yet so I staggered down the hall to my room. Pulling up the corner of the sheets I slipped into the caressing warmth of the bed.
I was just about to return to sleep when I noticed a breath upon my face.
Freezing, my breath caught in my throat. Had I mistakenly gotten in bed with Hugh? If he found out I had done this, I would be visiting the hospital again for stitches.
I began extracting myself from the bed. Stealth was my wing-man as it was the only thing that would save me. With one leg out and the other close behind, I heard the person breath deeply and let it out.
I would be caught within moments!
I rolled and scrambled to make a break for it when the person grabbed me and pulled me close with a death-like grip. I flailed and struggled with everything I had.
“Come here.” The voice was low and in my ear.
That was the last thing I heard before my body starting recessing into the other body.
I woke up sitting upright in my bed. I took in my surroundings, my room, my stuff. Ripping the sheets and blankets off the bed revealed no one. My hand went to my head then my body, what had just happened?
The day proved to be normal in the sense that no one tried to absorb me. I couldn’t get the feeling out of my head from the dream. It was like water being absorbed in a sponge, only I was the water.
People were people today. Which was nice. I didn’t need more weirdness on my mind.
Sliding under the covers after my shower that night was really relaxing. I would sleep well tonight.
No sooner was I asleep did the floating feeling come again. I opened my eyes to find that I was standing in my room.
How did I get here?
I rubbed my eyes and sighed, pulling back the covers revealed a hand.
Dropping the covers and jumping back all the while letting out a girlish scream, I tripped and fell backwards. Crashing against the wall and toppling to the floor proved painful. Trying to catch myself only resulted in overextending my shoulder. I had a screaming pain in my arm now.
I lay there deathly quite.
“Maybe they’re still asleep?”
“Could anyone sleep through all that?”
“I hope so.”
“What if they’re not asleep? What if they’re dead?”
This conversation with myself was working me into hysterics. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I looked towards the bed. No movement. Good.
“Wait, what was that?” I was always talking to myself even in the face of danger.
Breathing could be heard coming from the bed. That deep breathing which comes from deep sleep. This person could sleep through a tornado!
I raised myself cradling my sore arm. Who was in my bed and why can’t I sleep that good?
Carefully and silently I crept closer to the bed where the hand had appeared. The breathing continued undisturbed. Lifting the covers again revealed the hand right where I had seen it previously.
Rough scarred hands, definitely a guy. But who?
Swallowing the lump in my throat and gathering my nerves, I lifted the covers further and there in front of me was me. I was looking at myself sleeping.
I had to be dreaming.
There was no way I could be looking at myself asleep.