Anti-Heroic

Submitted into Contest #146 in response to: Start your story during a team building exercise.... view prompt

16 comments

Fiction High School Romance

TW: Swearing, a nose bleed, puberty.


The gym coach points at A Group at the other end of the sports field. “Those lucky sons of b… people. People.” Students familiar with the effects of alcohol know that coach B is recovering from a good time. “Those lucky kids have superpowers. You don’t. You can’t run fast, or fly-”

            Above them the bright sun says it’s tough if you don’t want to sweat, deal with it. Grass beneath is having a bad hair day and balding in places. Clouds have better places to be. If the kids want rain on their parade, tough.

            “But?” Asks one kid wearing a T-shirt that belonged to his older brother.

            “No. That’s it. You’re a basic. Like me. Get ready. Get set. Go nowhere.”

            “Thanks for the encouragement coach, you’re an inspiration.” Says Donald, sighing and hoping no one can see pit stains he inherited.

            “No problem,” Coach Dixon slurs. “Alright. I’m supposed to teach you track. Go.”

            “Where?” Asks Donald, shrugging.

            “How do I know?” Mr Dixon asks, “just run somewhere. I need some water. I’m parched.” With that the coach wearing a ten-year-old tracksuit that was once red wanders off. They all know it’s not water in his bottle. It has vapour trails.

            “Dixon living up to his name again,” says Hilary. She thinks braces make her ugly because her sister teases her. She doesn’t know the boys look at her as voyeurs, not critics. “What do we do then?”

            “Watch A Group enjoying unearned glory?” Says Donald.

            “Shut up Donald, shit, he heard you.” A boy with rampant acne turns away from the powered kids because he knows what’s coming.


Arthur ‘Jet’ Jacobs flies towards B Group so fast there’s the crack of a sonic boom.

            “Got a problem with us Donna?” Jacobs asks, prodding Donald in the chest.

            “Just envious Arnold,” says the boy in second hand clothes.

            Arthur’s anger goes perfectly with the costume he has, sponsored by Spike, JUST DID IT. “My name is ARHTUR, moron.”

            “Mine’s DONALD, Adam, nice to meet you.” He smiles as if everything is going to plan. The stomach cramps he’s getting tell a different story.

            “ARTHUR! Say my name properly or I will crush you into the ground.” He’s hovering off the ground, face red from anger and fists clenched.

            Donald looks around and sees that B Group has deserted him, forming a circle at a safe distance. “Killing me sounds like a great way to mess up your scholarship to that academy. That’s your ticket into the big leagues, isn’t it? Marks on your record would screw you completely.”

            Arthur’s face pales. He wants the scholarship more than anything. The academy is the only dream he cares about.

            “I thought so,” said Donald. His smile is genuine now. “Here’s the deal. I hate you. I hate all you superheroes because you got the golden ticket to an awesome life and I got squat. If I tried my hardest for the rest of my life, I could never do what you can.” He wraps a hand around the collar of Arthur’s brand-new costume. “You know what my superpower is?”

            Raising an eyebrow, the flying kid thinks about it. If Donald had powers he’d be in A Group. He’d be popular. He’d be competing with him for the scholarship.

            “My power is that you can’t hurt me.” Donald points to the other kids from B Group. “Any of them could beat the shit out of me and my own dad wouldn’t give a crap. But you, you can’t touch me. Unless you want to be a villain? Do you want to be hunted? Neutered? Imagine never flying again. Imagine the rest of your powers taken away.

            Not having powers sucks. Having them and losing them.” Donald whistles. “That would suck from here to hell.”

            “I should beat you into a pulp. I could drop you from the sky,” says Arthur. He’s incandescent with rage.

            “You could.” Donald nods. “Why don’t you? Hero.” He looks around at Group B. “I tell you what though.” The runt of a boy walks up to another kid called Matt. “You hate me, Matt. Hit me.”

            “What?” Mathew stares at the weirdo who is having a suicidal argument with the strongest super kid in school.

            “Hit me,” says Donald. His face is a sculpture carved from insanity. “Smash my nose dumbass. Hit me.”

            “Get lost Donald,” says Matt pushing him away. The runt pushes back. “I’m serious. Get lost.” The boy in a faded blue T-shirt grabs Matt’s nipple through his shirt and twists it. “What the fuck!” Everyone is watching. Flushed with shame and anger, he balls his hand into a fist.

            “HIT ME DUMBASS,” growls Donald.

            Mathew floors the aggressor with a hook that bursts his nose like a balloon. Blood gushes down his face. The tap keeps pouring as the other kids gasp and swear.

            “Someone got their phone?” Donald asks, spitting out the blood that is flowing into his mouth.

            “Me,” says Hilary.

            “Take a photo.”

            She snaps a shot of him, burst nose, covered in blood. He snatches the phone from her. “Hey,” she yells.

            “I’m sending it to me. Now no one can delete it. It’s in the cloud.” Donald passes the phone back to Hilary.

            Arthur is the personification of confusion. “There is something seriously wrong with you dude.” He hovers higher, taking in the bird’s eye view of Donald’s leaking face.

            “Yeah. But I’ve got you now.” Donald grabs Arthur’s hand and rubs it across his face to cover it in blood. “Try denying you hit me. There’s a photo.”

            “What?” Hilary asks. She’s almost more shocked than the super kid.

            Donald grins, red between his teeth. “Say you’re sorry Alex.”

            “My name is Arthur.”

            “I don’t care. Say you’re sorry to me or I’ll make sure everyone sees that photo. I’ll tell them you did it.”

            “No one will believe you,” says ‘Jet’ Jacobs.

            “Sure? That sounds like a gamble. What’s second place on your dreams list? If you don’t get to be a superhero?” He waits. Arthur isn’t talking. “Exactly. Say you’re sorry and you can go back to your fellow super holes.”

            “I’m not apologising,” says Arthur but all his certainty is gone. He’s not flying.

            “Cool. I’ll go and see the headmaster then. He’ll be disappointed.” Donald shakes his head. “He had such high hopes for you.”

            “Fine!” Arthur growls. “I’m sorry.”

            “What?” Donald cups a hand to his ear. “Didn’t hear you.”

            “I said I’m sorry.”

            “Better, but not quite enough. Tell all of us that you’re sorry. You’re sorry that you were lucky, and they weren’t. It’s not fair.”

            “I’m sorry,” Arthur starts, looking around at B Group.

            “No. Individually.”

            Arthur raises a clenched fist. Donald just waves a hand at the mess of his T-shirt and shrugs. His smile is supervillain perfection. He does have a cat at home, and a swivel chair. The cat is one reason his trainers smell so bad.

            Face burning with shame that a basic human cornered him, Arthur apologises to everyone in Group B. They all nod, hoping it will be over soon. They’re scared of the super kids. Occasionally a kid with powers loses it and it hits the news.

            “Is that enough?” Arthur asks.

            “For now,” Donald says. “Just remember I have that photo and that it’s not going anywhere. Bye Anne. Enjoy the rest of your awesome life.” He waves a twig of a hand, covered in blood.

            Arthur flies away.

            “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” Hilary asks, the moment the superhero to be seems far enough away. She knows that Jet Jacobs can still hear them. She also knows that somehow Donald beat him. Covered in blood and looking like crap, he beat the wonderkid.

            “I shouldn’t talk about it,” Donald pretend sobs. “I’m scared what might happen to me.”


Hilary runs to catch up with Donald after school. “That was amazing. What you did in gym. You’re crazy.”

            He has cotton up his nose. His face is purple. He’s wearing clothes from the lost and found. “Yeah, well.” He doesn’t know what to say. For one thing he’s liked her for years. He’s trying hard not to think about her, or the word hard. This isn’t the time for an erection, it rarely is but being a teenage boy, hormones don’t care.

            He shrugs.

            “It’s like your superpower,” Hilary says.

            “What is?” He looks at her.

            “Bravery,” she says. She’s blushing. “You didn’t give a shit.”

            “No. Trust me, I almost gave a shit right in my shorts. It was fucking terrifying. I don’t know why I did that. It’s just, coach is right. It’s not fair. I’ll never have a life like Jacobs.” He kicks a stone. The stone bounces off a tyre and smacks him in the shin.

            “You stood up to him, to all of them. He apologised to me. To all of us. You did that. He’s like a god and you made him say sorry. Do you know how powerful I felt right then?” She smiles, showing the white teeth and the braces.

            He wants to kiss her, but he doesn’t even know how.

            “No.”

            “I felt like I could do anything. Thanks for that, Donald.” She kisses his forehead and leans back, blushing.

            He has no response. His loins are trying to pitch a tent so he gives a squeaky, “thank you,” and starts walking away as quickly as he can.

            “See you tomorrow,” she says.

            “Yeah. Yeah.” There should be other words, but he’s thirteen and a girl just kissed him. She has his number. He rounds a corner and starts running. He’s no superhero, but he runs like the wind.


May 19, 2022 12:04

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16 comments

Piper Ollie
23:51 Jun 04, 2022

Such a fun story! I really liked it!

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Graham Kinross
06:33 Jun 05, 2022

Thanks Piper.

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Kaizlees Stories
01:30 May 20, 2022

Oh wow I didn't see you uploaded today sorry lol I love how you fit super heros into the story it's neat keep up the good work

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Graham Kinross
01:37 May 20, 2022

Thanks Ko.

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Annalisa D.
18:56 May 19, 2022

This was a fun story. I like the writing style and the way you described things. Especially with the sun, clouds, and grass at the start. That was cool and gave the setting a bit of personality that set the tone well. I also think it's an interesting depiction of superheroes from a view that people don't always see. I really enjoyed it. I hope you are doing well!

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Graham Kinross
21:32 May 19, 2022

Thank you, I’m good. Trying to squeeze as much writing in as I can before I become a dad. What are you up to?

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Annalisa D.
01:06 May 20, 2022

Congrats! That's exciting. It does seem like you've been writing a lot. That's awesome. I hope to read them all. I've been having a bit of a stressful week. I was in two car accidents in one week so I've been resting mostly. The ferrets are doing good and we've been going on adventures together.

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Graham Kinross
01:36 May 20, 2022

Two accidents? Are you alright? Glad your noodle bears are ok, good company for recuperating.

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Annalisa D.
02:06 May 20, 2022

Yeah it was really bad luck. The first I was in the passengers seat and my boyfriend who was driving accidentally hit a deer. It was on a highway and it really surprised us both. We were okay but the car and deer were not. I was an emotional mess because I felt so bad for the deer. But he normally is very good at seeing them and stopping so it sucked this time we missed her. Then the next one I stopped to let a tractor cross the road at a crossing that the farm has set up but a car came down the road behind me and must have not been paying a...

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Graham Kinross
02:10 May 20, 2022

Awful luck. Hopefully that is turning around and you recover quickly. Hopefully the deer is alright as well, they’re tough.

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17:47 May 19, 2022

Definitely not my favorite genre but... it was good. You did a great job writing it. The beginning could be a little more interesting. (To make the readers WANT to keep reading.) But you did good. Great job! Also...not that it wasn't interesting. It just wasn't different. yk?

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Graham Kinross
06:32 Jun 05, 2022

Thanks.

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