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Mom Power

by on April 30, 2011

This story was written for Prompt Number Seventeen of the Chrysalis Experiment. Enjoy!

They met every Saturday afternoon at two. Just the four of them, no sidekicks, no guys, no capes, no press. They had an understanding with the coffee shop proprietor, Mr. Juniper, where he always kept a side room open for them and kept their identities secret. It was the one time they could get together and gripe about their lives without worrying about giant robots or psychotic mailmen or television reporters.

Natalie was the last to arrive that particular Saturday. She slid tiredly into her usual chair and grabbed for her usual latte. She missed the grab, and some of the scalding liquid splashed on her hand, but naturally she didn’t feel it. Natalie hadn’t felt any outside pain since she’d powered up in grade school. “Girl,” Lucy said, looking worriedly at her, “you look beat.”

Natalie closed her eyes. “Maddie got her powers.”

“Uh-oh. Which side, yours or his?”

“Both. ”

A murmur of commiseration went around the group. Audrey shook her head sympathetically. “Oh dear,” she ‘pathed at them,  Pyrokinesis and invulnerability. I do hope-“

“We no longer have a bathroom.”

“Ouch,” Trina said. She would’ve said more, but all at once she erupted into a sneeze, which had the interesting consequence of instantly turning her ordinarily gold-brown skin a violent shade of neon green. “Sorry. Rosalie has been fighting a bug all week; hit me last night. I….” she broke off for another sneeze, which turned her invisible. “Anyone have a tissue?”

Audrey levitated one in her general direction; the tissue ducked through the air and swiped at Trina’s invisible nose, quickly becoming smeared with newly-visible snot. “So, Natalie,” Trina’s voice said, “she shoot fire out of her hands or-”

Natalie shook her head slowly.


“Yeah. Ick. I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to the plumber.”

“You just let me talk to them, okay?” Lucy advised. “I had to do the same thing when Zoe powered up, I got all the excuses down pat. We had to get our whole freakin’ house rewired cause she stuck her finger in a socket. Electrician’s all, “how’d the fuses get all blown out,” and I’m like, “rogue lightning strike, I don’t know, just fix ’em, okay? You live in Edison City, you get used to this kinda stuff, you know?”

“Yeah, but an exploding toilet? How am I supposed to explain an exploding toilet?”

You had White Castle for breakfast?” Audrey thought, and they all cracked up laughing.

“Enough about me,” Natalie said when the laughter had subsided, “what’s up with everyone else?”

“Meredith has entered her exceptionally curious phase.”

Trina winced, which of course no one could see because she was still invisible. “Ouch. That is not fun. You can give them an answer but they never stop.”

“Mother,” Audrey mimicked, her thoughts echoing at a slightly higher pitch, “Why can’t I ‘port into the bathroom when William’s in there?”

Because it’s not polite.”


“Because people have an expectation of privacy in the bathroom, and they don’t like other people ‘porting in on them unexpectedly.”


Because if people just ‘ported around wherever they felt like it, it would create chaos. That’s why you shouldn’t port into the bathroom when the door’s shut.”


Because as the classic philosopher Immanuel Kant said in his formulation of the Categorical Imperative, you should only act  according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”


Because he was a philosopher and that is what philosophers do; they formulate imperatives and talk about maxims. “


Because they’re all trying to find the answers to life’s most profound questions.”


Because that’s what defines us as human beings, our tendency to think and ask ourselves why we’re here.”



“Last time Zoe did that, she took only three questions to get all philosophical,” Lucy said. “I’m like, babe, I’m fightin’ Screaming Banshee Woman and her death-shrieks right now, okay? Not the best time to work out the meaning of life, you know?”

“Normal moms do not know  how lucky they are,” Trina complained, sneezing again and shimmering back to visibility, her skin this time the rich purple of grape jam. “You try keeping track of your kid when she’s invisible. I cannot even take her to the park without a thermal detector to track her body heat in case she disappears.”

“Oh, I don’t think I’m letting Maddie outside the house, much less the park,” Natalie said. “Not until she gets power-trained.” She wiped a smidge of ash off her jacket shoulder. “I’m not letting her out of my sight ’till then, not after what she pulled this morning.”

Audrey furrowed her brow in confusion. “But Ben is in Scotland at present, fighting Thunder Lass, is he not? ”

Yeah,” Natalie replied. “But I got a babysitter. Charity’s certified for super-sitting, don’t worry. She brought asbestos diapers and everything.”

“That is most peculiar. The sitter I engaged was likewise named Charity. She did not inform me that she was minding your child as well.”

Trina’s amethyst eyes opened wide. “Charity is watching Rosalie too. She didn’t say anything about Maddie or Meredith either.”

“If y’all are thinking about the same Charity, she’s got my Zoe too and she darn sure didn’t tell me-holy crap.” Lucy sprang to her feet, lightning flaring around her. “She’s a bad guy and she’s got our freakin’ kids!”

“Hold on,” Audrey commanded, her face white with alarm. Trina grabbed her left hand, Natalie snatched her right, Lucy gripped Natalie’s hand, and the coffee shop blurred around them, and all at once they were flying through swirling chaos and flashing lights, and then they were outside Natalie’s still smouldering cookie-cutter house in the suburbs of Edison City. A drab grey van was parked outside, and a woman clad in black was running towards it, carrying a carseat that at first appeared to be empty. Then a loud squall of distress split the air. “Rosalie!” Trina screamed.

Charity saw them then, and spun to face them, a gun visible in her hand. “Stay back!” she yelled. “Or I’ll shoot her!”

“You can’t even see her, ya moron!” Lucy shouted.

“Meredith!” Audrey’s thoughts cut through the storm of emotions in all their minds, flashing to the van. “‘Port! ‘Port out to me!”

But Mother, you said I shouldn’t-“

“STOP IT!” Charity screamed, waving the gun at Audrey. “I know you’re ‘pathing with her or whatever you freaks call it, and if you don’t stop it right now I’ll shoot Rosa-”

A sudden shriek of sound sliced through the air, and her gun split cleanly in half. Before Charity could register that she had just been disarmed, Lucy unleashed a bolt of lightning that struck the woman square in the head and knocked her out cold. She dropped the carseat as she fell, but Audrey ‘ported over in a microsecond, catching it neatly in her hands before it even came close to hitting the ground. Natalie ran to the grey van and tore off the metal door, flinging it out into the stratosphere. Inside, Maddie and Zoe lay slumbering peacefully, with no idea of the threat they’d been in. Meredith hovered cross-legged in the air, though her small face was twisted up in confusion. Mother said I shouldn’t ‘port before, and now she says I should. Why?

Natalie laughed in relief. “Kant’s Fourth Imperative. If a crazed psychopath has locked you in a minivan, you can ‘port out of it anytime you like.”


Go ‘path your mom about it. Right now’s not the time for philosophy.” She took up the still-sleeping Maddie in her arms, and carried her back towards the house. At that moment, all the toilets in the world could’ve exploded and Natalie wouldn’t have cared one bit.

Lucy looked around. “So, how’d she get dis-“

“That would be me,” a cold voice said, and Screaming Banshee Woman dropped out of the sky, her skull-shaped earrings glinting in the sun. “Oh, don’t be like that. I’m not gonna fight you twips. I had a problem with Charity myself.” She ducked into the van, and emerged with the one child Natalie had missed; a placid toddler with ice-white hair.”No one makes off with my kid. No one.”

  1. Aaaah! Loved it. The coffee shop near the rich end of where I once lived used to have a weekly Mommy Meeting every Thursday morning. Awful women, to be honest; you know the type–perfect hair, nails, BMW, personal assistants,permanently bored-and-botoxed expressions, and holy terrors for children who literally kicked you in the calves while you tried to pay at the register. lol. This was such a better version of that! Very fun.

  2. This is awesome Michael!! I love how you revealed the world without having to spell it out/explain it 😀 It flowed really well!

    • Thanks! I actually had trouble with this one, because I wrote it just after watching Muppet Treasure Island, so I kept thinking of Kermit and Miss Piggy. Lol.

      • Haha I can imagine how that would have interfered with the creative process 😉

  3. I loved this one! Superheroes rock, especially when written well!

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