Fantasy Speculative Friendship

”Christ, it’s hot out!”, Gavin expelled the remainder of air from his lungs and slumped down next to Deirdre. ”It must be upwards of 90 degrees!”

”I know. Last I checked it was 86 and that was a while ago. I’m cooked already.”

It was the middle of summer and the community pool was filled to the brim with people. A cacophony of sounds was bubbling below them; laughter, kids playing, music streaming from a radio somewhere, splashes of water and wet feet running.

”That life guard isn’t burning any calories. He hasn’t touched that bullhorn since I got here.”

Deirdre nodded towards the lanky teen in the tower.

”Always the bridesmaid never the bride huh?”, Gavin snickered. ”Imagine spending summer holiday cooped up in an oversized high chair looking over friends and family having the time of their lives. You’d be bummed out too.”

”I’d still do my job! What if some kid goes under and drowns while he nods off in the sun angry at the world? He would have to live with that.”

”Im sure he’s on top of things.” Gavin looked down at his legs that dangled over the edge of the roof. ”Besides. There are parents all over, someone would be there to help even if Babewatch over there isn’t.”

Deirdre sighed.

”Some hero you are.”

”Oh come on, I'm on vacation! Lighten up. We’re up here, having a wonderful view. The sun is shining. Do we really have to imagine every horrible scenario? Can’t we just enjoy a great day?”

”I guess.”

Gavin elbowed her lovingly in her side.

”You guess correctly.”

For a moment they just say there, catching breezes as they came, wiping sweat from their brows and overlooking the merriment taking place around the pool.

Gavin broke the silence just as a chubby kid dive bombed from the diving board, soaking his friends and a couple of not so happy adults.

”Hey, what kind of superpower would you like to have?”

Deirdre looked at him.

”What do you mean?”

”What’s the best superpower? To have? Like if you were a life guard like that guy, you would want to elongate your arms or be superfast or something wouldn’t you?”

”Are you saying IF I could elongate my arms or be superfast would I WANT to be a life guard or that I SHOULD be one if I had those powers?”

”Perhaps your power should be not overthinking stuff…”

Her laughter merged with the squeal of a child being catapulted into the air off his father shoulders.

”Don’t ask if you don’t want an answer then. I like to be thorough”

Gavin rolled his eyes.

”Yeah yeah, so what’s your answer?”

”I don’t know. What’s your answer?”

”Jesus….ok….I think being able to fly. That is so cool.”

Deirdre adjusted her goggles and the hairs stuck to the rubber headbands.


”Think about it. Just swooping down to grab someone if they need help. Or… just going away. No traffic jams ever! The wind on my face…I would love that!”

”What about invisibility?”

Gavin shook his head.

”Useless power. Why would you want that? Because you don’t wanna be seen or so that others couldn’t see you?”

”What’s the difference?”

”I mean do you wanna be left alone or do you want to spy on people? Because that’s all that it’s good for really.”

”Both sounds nice.”

”Also, you would have to be naked in order to be fully invisible.”

”You LOVE being naked!

This time it was Deirdres turn to nudge him.

”Ok, then over thinker, think about this; isn’t being naked without being seen a bit of a waste? I mean clothes are something we put on in order NOT to be seen naked.”


”I don’t know…”

”Hope that sounded smarter in your head.”

”Anyway. I say flight. A warm day like this you could go wherever…or just up. Too hot? Go up!”

In unison they both looked at the sky. The sun was drifting slowly to the east laying down shadow umbrellas next to every sun bed below.

”I think I would have the ability to speak every language”, Deirdre said after awhile.

”Like...talk to animals and stuff?”

”No”, she continued. ”I don’t think I would want to talk to dogs.”

”That’s not a superpower then. You could just learn every language, it would take some time but it’s not impossible. I mean SUPER power! Not like being a mom is a super power.”

She scowled at him.

”I hate when you do that voice.”

”Ok ok, but NOT like being reeeally good at the piano, but like being excellent at eating lava.”

She groaned.

”Ok. Then I would like to be able to read minds.”

Gavin looked at her.

”You don’t wanna read minds.”

”Not like all the time. But when I choose to.”

He let her sit with those words for a moment as if to let her come to his conclusion. She stared back as if actually reading his mind and refusing to budge.

”So, you wanna listen in on peoples thoughts huh? What, like a super detective or something?”

She smiled.

”Why not?”

”Girl, if you knew how insane peoples thoughts were you would never be the same. Trust me.”

”I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

”Believe me, everyone is having weird thoughts. Everyone.”

Deirdre shrugged and wiggled her toes in the air.

”Weird can be anything. You seem to think of it as horrific and bad. I don’t believe that.”

Gavin let his hand sweep in front of them presenting the scene down below.

”Look, down there. That’s a microcosmos of the population don’t you think? We have grannies and grandpas, kids and parents, teens, right? I promise you if you looked into anyone of them you would be absolutely horrified”

”I can’t believe we’re arguing about this”, Deirdre said, shifting from side to side.

”It’s not an argument!” Gavin pointed to a couple by the pool. ”Look at those two. They look in love don’t they? But is that what they think or is that what they want others to think? I bet you a thousand that guy is having impure thoughts about a slew of ladies around the pool.”

”Or”, Deirdre said. ”You are just projecting your own insecurities unto others. Ever think of that?”

”I’m not the one wanting to read peoples minds.”

They both sat quietly watching people. Gavin pulled at his moist board shorts while Deirdre wiped her goggles with her thumb.

”Are those things good?” Gavin nodded towards the blue plastic lenses in her hands.

”They are good yeah, they are prescription”

”Ah…good good”

”Good for flying around.”

She winked.


”Yeah, imagine being a thousand feet in the air. You won’t be able to see anything due to tears flooding your eyeballs. And I can’t read a license plate from a distance let alone a street sign. So, at ten thousand feet I would fly blind if I didn’t have prescription goggles on. The earth would look like a glob of wasabi.”

She could see a tiny smile flicker in the corners of his mouth.

”So, do you really think everyone is bad?”

”I didn’t say that, I said everyone has bad thoughts. Sometimes. Look, we don’t have to talk about this anymore.”

She turned towards him.

”I just wanna know why you think like that. Not everyone is dishonest. Some people are just…people.”

”Yes, but people are human, and humans are an evolutionary mistake. Doing everything wrong while bragging about being so great. It’s quite sad if you think about it.”

”Man, who hurt you?”

”Oh stop it. I’m just completely honest with you. Let’s turn it around. Why do you think people are so good?”

Deirdre thought about this for a moment.

”I think….we are created to be good.”

”Here we go…”

”No, I mean it. Why were we created if not to be good? What would be the point of having a bunch of assholes running around scheming and hurting each other?”

Gavin looked at her. She sensed it even before she saw him.

”That’s it isn’t it?”, he said.


”You want to be able to read Gods mind don’t you?”

Deirdre scoffed.

”Don’t be ridiculous. That would be impossible.”

”Impossible why; because you can’t see him or because he doesn’t exist?”

”Because…Gods mind is too big to comprehend. It wouldn’t make sense to me.”

”As long as we’re imagining stuff, let’s imagine you could. What if there was no mind for you to read? Would you accept that?”

”I would accept that I couldn’t read minds then.”

”That is not the world we’re talking about right now. What if….you could read minds…and found out that God wasn’t there?”

Gavin was pressuring her for an answer. He could see her cogs turn and hated himself for what he was doing. But couldn’t stop himself.

Deirdre answered.

”Why would I have the magical ability to read minds, if there was no God? Why would anyone have wonderful abilities? Why would some people be blessed, why would babies be born, soldiers reunited with their families, cats rescued from shelters. There is good in this world. Not everything is terrible.”

”Yes, but if there was a god; why would cats even have to be rescued?. Why make some happy or blessed, and others on the brink of horrible every single day. Why were some chosen and others not? Is that fair?”

Deirdre sat still.

”I don’t have an answer for that” , she said softly.

”I know”

”Don’t do that!”


”Don’t sit there acting like this was a win for you! You always do this, and it’s extremely arrogant!”

Her eyes shot daggers.

”I have my beliefs and you have yours. Respect that!”

”I do”

”No you don’t! You set up this scenario where none of us can know and then strut around like you’ve won when someone admits to not knowing. Not knowing tells us nothing about what is. You don’t know and neither do I. It’s a tie.”

She looked at him. He said nothing.

”You even look smug.”

”I didn’t say anything!”

Deirdre got to her feet.

”You didn’t have to. I’m so sick of this. We were having a god time and you did what you always do and ruined it!”

As she looked down she wasn’t too surprised to see a pair of wet shorts in the spot were Gavin had sat.

”And you’re such a coward.”

She turned around and yelled out into thin air.

”I hope your ass is burned off when you get home!”

As expected she got no answer. Deirdre looked down at the pool area. None of the people down there seemed to have seen or heard them and where still enjoying their day.

Deirdre put her goggles on and adjusted the headband. The world turned blurry but that was only temporary.

She knew that she would have the sight of a hawk when she got up there.

July 02, 2022 20:16

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