Hey guys! I’m bringing you the second of four short stories
The prompt is: Nobody knows you have a superpower: The power to identify superpowered individuals. Then one day, someone looks at you and you know that look: They have the same power as you.
Immortal – huh, that’s rare.
I was busy passing the time at my receptionist job, spending the day figuring out what superpower everyone owned. There were a few rare anomalies that had multiple, and a few more that had none. On the surface, I don’t have a superpower. There’s nothing remarkable about my life or my circumstances, but I do have a superpower.
I have the power to identify those with superpowers.
I mean, it wasn’t the best superpower to come from the pool, but I gathered that it was better than nothing.
The day consisted mostly of job interviews, as well as the odd appointment. My superpower came in handy while working as a receptionist at the local physiotherapist, as I was able to accurately pinpoint suggestions based on the clients’ superpowers. Of course, nobody knew what my superpower was, although my co-workers kept guessing. They were never quite on the mark, though.
My thoughts were interrupted by the presence of a smartly-dressed, blonde woman entering the room, and approaching my desk, a tad timid.
‘Um excuse me. I have an interview with Andrea at 10.40?’ the woman enquired. I looked down at the timetable and marked Alexa Goldstein as ‘present’. I looked up at her, replied:
‘I’ve got you here, please just take a seat and Andrea will be with you soon.’ She nodded slowly, before making her way to the seating area.
While she was seated, I could feel her eyes burning into me as I went about my regular work schedule. A phone call here, some mail there, along with patients needing help with their maladies. I, unfortunately, didn’t have time to assess this Alexa woman, although part of my job was to assess their actions in the reception office. However, I didn’t really want to, as Alexa stared at me. I took a free opportunity to address her while assessing her power.
‘Would you like a drink while you’re waiting?’ I asked with a smile, which seemed to throw her off.
‘Oh, no thanks. I’m quite alright,’ she replied stiffly before her face turned to that of knowing, almost like she’d been practising it the entire time she was there. And I feel that I did the same.
We shared the same power.
I pretended that nothing was wrong, and I carried on with my job. I busied myself with the paperwork coming in from the doctor referrals, and even more phone calls and interview attendees, all while Alexa stared at me.
Soon enough, Andrea called her in, and Alexa finally took her eyes off me to attend the interview. I was way too tense to continue my game of power-discovery, and instead, it was just like I was ticking off a checklist. Puppetry, animal whisperer, healer, expansion, dance- wait since when was dancing a superpower?
Only ten minutes had passed before Andrea emerged with Alexa, who, once again, started her staring contest with me as she saw me.
‘Maria?’ Andrea whispered to me.
‘That Alexa girl that I just interviewed. What was she like in here?’ This was the usual back-and-forth, to weed out those who weren’t as polite to the reception staff before the interview.
‘She stared at me a lot. And I mean the entire time she was here.’
‘I see. I guess that means I can rule her out for definite. Thanks for the help! Now,’ she turned to the main room, where the interviewees were sat, ‘Kevin Crackle?’ Kevin the animal whisperer stood up and followed Andrea to the interview room. Receptionist life continued from there.
If only I’d known that Alexa was still staring from the window.