An Origin Story

4 Apr

In my spare time I teach English to high school sophomores. All of my students have more than a vague familiarity with my love for comic books and geeky things. I’ve even had my Spider-Man bobble head “stolen” once or twice, and both times quickly returned with a laugh. On of my favorite assignments of the year is when we talk about writing fiction and character development. I use these things as an opportunity to talk about comics and superheroes. The assignment is to write a superhero origin story. I tell the students that I don’t want to read a superhero’s random adventure; I want their origin. It’s always a fun and sometimes wacky assignment.

With almost all of my assignments, I like to complete my own version to use as an example. Here, for the first time on the internet, is the first page of my Superhero Origin story for Mr. White’s English 10 class. Enjoy!

——-When I think about the day–the moment–that affected my life forever, I don’t think about the day it happened, rather, I think about the day after. See, it isn’t the change that effects us, it’s how we react to it, and what we do with that change that makes us the person we are to eventually become. I should digress however before I begin to wax poetic about a day for which I haven’t even set a precedent.. Every great story has its origin.

             In comic books and movies they don’t explain flying the way it truly is. Superman always seemed to jump into the air before he flew, as if flying was some physical act his muscles could force his body to do, much like when you throw a punch. His muscled coiled and reacted. In fact, the saying goes; he could “leap tall buildings in a single bound.” That sounds a little more accurate, and if that’s the case, he never really flew, he just jumped really, really far.

            Storm from the X-men. Now that’s a funny one. She flew, but only because she could control winds around her that forced her into the air. What if it was a clear day? And why aren’t houses destroyed by these violent gusts of wind that could lift a 120 pound woman? See that’s the problem; weight.

            The day before it happened I weighed 203 pounds. I’d always been slightly above average in height, so I carried my weight well, but I always felt I could lose a few pounds. Today I weigh approximately 0.47 pounds, and flying is a matter of conscious thought for me. People often confuse weight with mass. They often neglect the fact that weight is a measurement that can’t be made without gravity; the force that pulls us (and when I say us, I mean everyone but me) to the ground. It’s like if you have two marbles that are both a centimeter in diameter, but one is made of lead. If dropped at the same time, the lead marble drops faster. My power isn’t so much the ability to fly. Instead one might think of it as the ability to counter gravity and neglect weight.

            The day I discovered my ability was a frigid one. I believe the cold air, in it’s thinness allowed my ability to manifest istelf more easily. It was a Thursday, and I had just left school. On my way out, I slipped on a patch of ice. I remember being horizontal in just a fraction of a second. Had I hit the ground, it would have been head first without question. I never hit the ground though. I floated for a moment, suspended two feet in the air, head tilted slightly back. I must have been in the air for a good 20 seconds because I brought my chin down to my chest and looked at the rest of my body hanging in very literal thin air. I’ll never forget watching the steam leave my body, like it had no need to remain inside. I haven’t figured out the science of that yet, but I think it has something to do with hot air rising, and my weight dropping rapidly. Anyway, I’ll never figure out what caused my new ability to manifest itself. Most doctors think it’s something that was always in me, and the shock of the slip scared me into weightlessness. Some people say Angels grab me and hold me in the air, but I don’t feel like I’m being held, and I don’t think I’ve done anything to deserve such guardianship. What I do know, is that six years later I can become weightless at will. I fly for fun sometimes, and for travel, but not often (as to remain fit enough to walk.) Sometimes though, I fly with a purpose. I am the man I am today because I made a choice, and I stick with that choice every day.

            That brings me to the day after it happened.

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