I'll call myself Quake

Submitted into Contest #48 in response to: Write about someone who has a superpower.... view prompt



Months have passed since Edgar Thorne was simultaneously blasted with a strange purple gas and electrocuted. As a result, his altered body gained that ability to store and discharge electrical energy in a variety of ways. Having lost his job, Edgar found friendship in Peter Mayfield. A fellow listener to their cities local conspiracy radio station. Curious about the gas that created him. Edgar stands firm atop a skyscraper in his new suit. Skin tight, dark green and steaks of yellow accents match his golden tactical visor. Staring into the screen, Edgar scans police frequencies and traffic cameras by thought. Scouring the city at night for the next incident.

Tapping the wireless communication system built into his suit. Edgar asks. “Tell me what we've got Pete. Any signs of the gas?”

Peter clears his throat and replies. “Nothing yet, hold on a second...” Static fills the channel for a second, then Peter continues. “Wait. Yeah. We've got something. A...A radiation spike.”

“Perfect. Where's it at? I've got to get there fast if I'm to catch the event as it happens.”

“Facility thirty six. Just past the downtown exit.” Peter replies with the shake of excitement in his voice.

With a smile, Edgar crouches down into himself. Taking a few deep breaths in he focuses. Each breath sends surges of electricity from his chest down to the tips of every finger and toe. Bolts arc from his body to the concrete and metal of the skyscraper around him, causing a cacophony of sound. Fully charged, Edgar looks down to the street below and laughs saying. “Shouldn't take longer then ten seconds. Over and out.”

Leaping off of the building, Edgar plummets hundreds of feet to the street below. Catching himself with arcs of electricity from his hands connecting to power lines. Edgar gently lands atop the black cable and glides upon it close to the speed of light. Shifting from power cable to cable, Edgar follows the guidance system in his visor and speeds his way to the downtown exit. Jumping from the power cable to the road, Edgar dashes the rest of the way stopping short of the facility entrance. Glancing back down the dirt road he came from Edgar runs his fingers along the edge of the steel fence over toward a private entrance sign.

Lost reminiscing Edgar mumbles to himself. “It's been a while. Hasn't it?”

Ignoring the familiar feelings of his previous life as an electrician, Edgar snaps back into it. Edgar sends a surge of electricity into his legs and leaps over the ten foot fence with ease. Softening his landing, Edgar lands on one knee and rolls forward across his shoulders. Pressing a secondary button on his visor changes from the guidance system to a wide range radiation detector. Taking a good look about the facility Edgar notices a work truck tucked away behind a construction trailer.

The earth trembles beneath his feet at the same time the radiation detector spikes for the entire surrounding area. Focusing on balancing, Edgar grabs a ventilator mask and connects it to his visor and helmet. Screwing an air hose into place, Edgar turns the valve up until oxygen flows like normal.

Taking a deep breath throw his mask, Edgar taps into his communication system asking. “Pete? Are you reading this?”

Speaking through massive static, Peter says and then line goes silent. “Ed...Edgar. I. Something isn't. Communications. Need to. Out.”

Tapping the side of his helmet and visor a few times, Edgar says to himself. “'Must be interference caused by the coming storm. Sorry Pete, but I'll be doing this one without you.”

With a deep breath and a single burst of electricity. Edgar zips his way through the an open window on the side of the building, down two flights of stairs and stops at right before the ladder leading down to the transmission lines. Pausing for a second. Edgar runs back up to the bathrooms on the first level. A tool box sits outside of the restroom with the door propped open. Laying on the floor is a man in a blue jumpsuit working on the pipes underneath the sink, completely ignorant of the ground violently shaking.

Using his visor to zoom in on the mans name tag. Edgar clears is throat behind his ventilator mask and says. “Excuse me, Marcus? I'm going to need you to stop what you're doing and come with me sir.”

Pushing himself out from underneath the pipes. Marcus gives a grease faced scowl asking. “Yeah? Just who are you supposed to be? Boy fucking wonder? Get outta here before I call the cops for trespassing.”

Muttering under his breath Edgar says. “Are you kidding me right now?” Speaking louder Edgar continues. “Sir, there is an earthquake going on, you're in danger and you need to vacate the area. Now.”

Standing up, Marcus wipes his hands on his pants and points a thick finger meaty finger to Edgar. “Hey. Pal. What did I say? You need to leave. This is private property for the power company. Now take you're weird get up and dance along somewhere else. Got it f...”

Fed up with the time wasted on this conversation. Edgar cuts Marcus off with a deep breath. Power surges from within and Edgar grabs Marcus lifting him over his shoulders and runs the man outside of the building. Leaping over the fence, Edgar drops Marcus off on the other side of the road of the facility.

Standing in the same position as before. Marcus drops his finger confused finishing his sentence. “Fairy.”

Dashing across the street. Edgar takes a tight forward flip over the fence back into the facility. Landing on both feet, Edgar takes on step forward as the ground cracks open a few feet in front of him. Digging his feet into the ground. Edgar attempts to stop his momentum, but is forced to leap across the rift as it spreads across the facility. Purple gas vents from the hole upward and outward. Spreading across the mostly empty lots near the train tracks and this power facility.

Edgar hits the steel fence on the opposite side of the facility with enough force to tear through it like paper. Stopping short thanks to a steel dumpster collapsing in around his body upon impact, Edgar watches in horror as the gas leaks over to the plumber named Marcus. Zooming in with his visor. Edgar records the transformation process as Marcus breathes the gas in. The gas moves as if alive. Swirling around Marcus, changing the central point from the rift to him. As if the gas willed itself to cling to its victim.

Pushing the edges of the dumpster to loosen its grip on him. Edgar drops to the ground and dashes across the pit, over the fence and directly to the gas. Ripping the small tank Peter made for him, Edgar twists the top and sends a pulse of energy into it as instructed. The device rings loud like a vacuum and sucks in a full tank of the gas in the same moment it dissipates.

The earthquake subsides and communications clear as Peter comes back over the wireless. “Ed? Do you read me? Come on man, please be okay.”

“I got it...Pete. I got some.” Edgar says laughing.

“What...Ugh. What just happened?” Marcus asks slowly standing.

Placing the tank full of has onto his back, Edgar raises his hands defensively saying. “Hey...Hey. Whoa. It's okay. You were just in an accident.”

Marcus slaps Edgar's hand away from him in confusion. Stumbling forward he holds his head saying. “My head...It's splitting. I. I. I...feel different.”

Taking a step away from Marcus, Edgar gives him some space replying. “Look, I had the same thing happen. It's okay. I can help you through this.”

Gripping his head, Marcus lurches backward and screams. Levitating, his body spins a foot off the ground. His brown eyes turn gray as nearby rocks, dirt, gravel and sand roll toward him. Picked up on seemingly nothing the debris gravitate around him in an atomic structure.

Edgar steps forward, hands still out defensively and says. “Marcus. It's okay. We can get through this together. I know your body is...”

Marcus plants both feet on the ground causes fractures everywhere in the concrete with a mild aftershock. Lunging forward Marcus plants his fist in Edgar's stomach. The strength behind the punch sends Edgar flying through a nearby building. Hitting his head on the second brick wall renders Edgar unconscious before he skids across the ground and into a car.

Staring at his hand. Marcus makes a fist and grins saying. “So this is real power.” Taking a look at the spiderweb of cracks in the ground caused from his punch. Marcus laughs and continues. "I'll call myself Quake."

July 01, 2020 17:39

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Faye S
16:33 Jul 09, 2020

I love how you have set this up as a "good vs evil" beginning to what could be a longer story, novel, comic book or series. You can take this to a few different types of writing. I will offer a few particular comments. "Lost reminiscing Edgar mumbles to himself." This doesn't sound quite right, I had to read it a couple of times. Try, something else. Lost in reminiscing, or Edgar, reminiscing, mumbles... There are a few typos Last, I am a chemist, and as such I think that misuse of basic scientific principles is distracting in stor...


Ben K
18:11 Jul 09, 2020

I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you so much. To be honest I expect a few typos, I've had a hard time getting back into writing, so I haven't been editing these. I just post the first draft. Which is something I plan to work on in the future. Thank you for the help with the structure of that sentence in particular. I never was sure of how I wanted to word it. As far as the powers go, I really appreciate the help with realism. That is something I personally strive for unless it is strictly fantasy. I like things to be grounded f...


Faye S
21:59 Jul 09, 2020

I think it's ok to use specifics or to remain vague. If you use specifics, it should be technically accurate. If you use specifics, don't go too deep, as you will need to be very well versed in science, and I think this can cause confusion. The first time you mention radiation is "We've got something. A...A radiation spike.” And this is fine, but you are using radiation and gas interchangeably, and that's part of what bothered me. Better would be to add, "from previous incidents we know the gas contains radioactive material..." or somethi...


Ben K
22:27 Jul 09, 2020

That was very helpful. I plan on using this character for a variety of shorts in the future. So I will take your advice. A few small tweaks and it could become very grounded and realistic. Which is exactly how I wanted it to come across. I guess when initially writing it I just sped past the few technicalities I shouldn't have. I appreciate the feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you'll enjoy any future projects with these characters.


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