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SP – Two Good Eyes

Written by castor :: [Friday, 05 June 2015 04:10] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 10 June 2015 12:19]

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“Three minutes on that raviolis.”

“On it.”

“Three minutes. I should hear fucking steaming, I am not hearing steaming, or sweltering or even a boil … you better get them up in three minutes or you will see a low country boil up your ass.” said Vera

“How is that even possible?”

“Wait three minutes and find out you.”

*****

Vera Savage was a professional chef who worked in an award winning kitchen – hell she had won an award or two in her day.

But the next morning still she got out of bed one foot after another, into her pants one leg after another … and when she got into her kitchen to make breakfast … paused.

This was the fucking hard part. What to make. There was a part of her at least one day a week wanted to make an effort, but for fuck sake. Fuck Sake it was early. She got home at 11:00 last night and it was what 6:00. Her son was going to school in an hour and he probably was going to want cereal or something shit like that. She lets face it would probably want shit like that. Sigh.

Plus, being a professional chief meant that her actual kitchen was seldom used. So she would have to figure things out. She opened the fridge and instantly realized that things were out of order despite her best efforts to keep them there. Where were the fucking eggs? It took forever.

Well for her at least.

Vera was blind. Blind as a bat she would sometime say which was a good description – because it wasn’t great but there. Her eyesight in her left eye was 200/1000 which was good enough for useless. Her eyesight in her right was 100/830 which was good enough to make the world a kind of haze for her most of the times. She lived in a world that other people might if they turned off the lights in there room except it was too bright instead of dark … you could kind of see thing particularly indoors. But not great.

With very thick pairs of glasses that she had to turn from going inside and out otherwise she could get headaches (and frequently got them anyway) she could identify people … kinda by her face. She could see a counter of a kitchen well enough to get around by touch. If she watched a movie in a theater … no but she could make the plot out by the dialogue. She vacillated between Braille and very large text books, and a computer she had set at home that was kind of awkward for other people. Cell phones were tricky. She used a cane, though often it was for show.

But well, she still needed to put breakfast on the table for the men in her life. She worked up waffles. She hoped the eggs were fresh, and strawberries were okay (she felt guilty about it).

Her hubby walked down first. A large lump of a man. He had the look he gave when he was smiling and in a good mood. Which for her was general posture but that was okay. “Hey dear.”

“Hey.”

He didn’t kiss her. Not today. He was good for about 5 kisses a week. And well … she kinda wanted it. Ash well. She still smiled a bit. Terry worked on the docks loading not so much freight (which paid the big bucks) but supplies onto ships. It was good work and good pay, and with their schedules – which were a joke both kinda worked out.

“Have you thought more about it.” he said.

“No good morning.”

“Well it’s on my mind a lot and.”

She shook her head. “I dunno … I dunno.” she sighed.

“I mean it’s your body, your choice.”

“Did you hear that somewhere?”

“What?”

“You body, your choice – it sounds like an ad campaign.”

And Terry chucked “Maybe.”

“I … I have the decent eye. When I was a kid the doctors tried like 3 surgeries to make it better it didn’t work. Meanwhile the bad one just got worse. “

“So you get 4.”

“I’m happy.” said Vera with some firmness “I would like to see better – but lets face I am never going to drive a car … I don’t want to spend a couple of weeks up with you know … hope. Hopes a shitty thing to have

Terry shrugged and went to the table “When you put it that way

Vera sighed. She loved him of course. And as Bill her nearly 6’3 middle schooler walked down the stairs to join him without saying a word( he didn’t talk much – not at home but at school either. He was a quiet one … she felt guilty. It was of course her body her choice(a phrase she would work to incorporate more) … but well …

What they were talking about was this: Her eye doctor had told her that Texas A&M was doing a new study of a treatment for advanced blindness – this wasn’t lasik but something of the idea of lasik. The particularly were curious to try it on patients with eyes with different levels of sightedness. It was free under her HMO also … so …

Fuck.

The waffles at least turned out better than she expected. Better than she expected.

*****

However several hours later she tasted pretty good strawberries as she was walking through a farmers market.

“How much a pound.”

“1.25.”

“My prices?

“1.20 Even we say.”

She grunted and tasted them a second more. They weren’t past there prime, and if she used them quick there weren’t but they weren’t perfect either. This was the tallish end of strawberry season, and they liked to do them for a lot of fancy desserts but … these were good. They had a nice tart flavor that finished strong and …

1.10.”

“Nope.”

“Will come back to you.”

“Still buck 20.”

It’s a cliché that people who are blind have good senses. That it somehow works out. Stupid clichés.

For her kinda. Hearing she was alert, you had to be. Touch ehh … But she had an incredibly good sense of smell and taste, which was useful in her line of work. She could tell imperfections and perfections to fair detail, and if she sometimes wondered if that focused her to much on the negative. Well it was good to have.

Vera carried a Cane though absolutely she didn’t need it – if she was honest sometimes it was more so people gave her space and didn’t bump into her. Which tended to fuck her up then anything with site? She could get around wellish … But well it helped. Though in situations like the bright outdoors it was near total white light for her at times with only bear glimmers.

As she made her way through the Houston market it smelled wonderful and the sweet taste on her lips lasted. Maybe a buck 1.20 was.

“Here’s some now.” said Fredrico, her surprisingly hulking compatriot on these journeys. He was a younger chief who worked the kitchen with her who could drive her in the mornings, do decent prep work and man a meat station. Not bright but worked hard. He was also maybe 6’6 and looked maybe that far apart, with the kind of Italian charm she could see probably could have got him typecast as “Mob Goon”.

Vera for herself … well she was 5’5 not too big. Her husband once said she looked like a star from 40s with a regal chin and nose that when she made herself(or had someone do it) gave her a tough gal look. Body wise she looked like she walked everywhere and spent her day mainly on her feet. She had strong legs and back and her arm had some muscle from chopping. She looked good. And she knew she looked good, even if she had adopted the Blind trick of only wearing black every way. With her red hair she hoped it was more Mod then Goth. Well at least these days. At 39 she wasn’t a spring chicken.

No she wasn’t.

*****

They walked in with groceries to hear Lorenzo on the phone. Lorenzo owned the restaurant she worked at and was his head chief …

Who talked on the phone a lot.

Well to be fair. He was in the rest aunt 5 nights a week. He did sometimes walk into the kitchen give a few orders to the people and maybe work a meat dish or two, particularly when a VIP came in. He would occasionally walk the restaurant and shake people’s hand. And his name was above the door.

The rest … he talked on the phone. The was more the manager except they that there was also a manager, who equally talked on the phone.

Lorenzo was decent in the kitchen what he did when he bothered to do. He claimed that the Italian food they served he learned from his grandmother’s kitchen. Vera had been to enough Italian grandmothers kitchens to doubt it. It was the kind of Italian stuff they never served in either in Italy or out of a restaurant claiming to be Italian. It wasn’t bad.

But it was also not so much the recipes as the ingredients. Her going to the farmers market or the butcher and finding the best stuff constantly and every day to make sure it all tasted great and looked great. It was her cooking that prepared it each night, and well

Well fuck …

She walked to the kitchen as she heard him chat amiably in Italian with some shit.

Two other cooks Vera who was confused as her lesbian girlfriend a lot (who wasn’t … and though Vera was a lesbian was not the type to have a girlfriend) and mark two of her prep cooks they started chopping.

She sighed.

20 minutes latter he walked in. Smiling and washing his hands

“Let me try one of them strawberries.” he said. Not bothering to even pick it up Vera had to and put it in his mouth

“Ah hmmm how much you pay.”

“1.05.”

“You make the deals Vera.”

Then bother doing anything after he washed his hands walked out and …

She sighed. And went to work, only to find her knife was in the slightly in the wrong place as she had to futz for it for like a minute like an idiot. Fuck.

She closed her eyes which didn’t make all that much of a difference. She had thought about getting her own kitchen with her name. She could do it and probably bump up 20k or so a year in the process easy. She had the talent. No one would doubt it.

Oh by the way Lorenzo was like 28.

She had worked kitchens for close to 20 years, and had gotten damn good at it, busting her night in and out and …

But no one not a manager, not a bank would trust a kitchen to a blind woman. No one.

Fuck. Fuck.

*****

“So what does this actually do?”

She was meeting with Dr. Anders at the center, who was a nice middle aged woman she could make out.

“Lasik people think is we shoot lasers at people’s eyes – and it is. But it's really a two part treatment. First we put in medicine of the eye which lasik effectively activates and heals the damage …”

“And this is a new type of medicine?” nodded Vera.

“It’s the same idea except much more powerful.”

“Like when you put the lasers in I go completely blind powerful.” said Vera “because once I drank so much tequila one night I had problems.”

“Well … I can’t legally say that’s not going to happen. I think it’s unlikely, we haven’t observed anything like that on is primate tests but it’s possible

“Primate Tests?”

“We ran this on Rhesus Monkeys first.”

Vera shrugged “no destroyed visions but …

“Approximately 60% of patients with vision that was categorized as unfixable with surgical means. Improved. Highly variable, but some quite significantly.”

“That’s 40% who didn’t. Side effects

“Laser surgery is painful. There are risks of things like dry eye, increased headache, pain which you already suffer and …”

“Had it before.”

“And this is possibly worse. We recommend not being in situations with extremely light and in effect bed rest for at least a week, possibly longer. Or again maybe

“You just don’t know.”

“But we would like to. And

“What do I have to lose? Well a week of vacation time.”

This produced a mild chuckle. Fuck her. She didn’t know how hard you need vacation. You’re standing on your feet all day.

*****

“So you want to take 10 days off?”

“Yeah.”

“Well it is hard but I think we can manage with you. Oh, it’s about your eyes. Good luck on that.”

Fuck him.

*****

The drive over was longer. It was a good three hours, which was a long time in Texas. Terry was taking the day off while Bill was still at school

“Nervous?”

“Kinda.” said Terry “Worry about you.”

“I can take care of myself.” said Vera “remember I have a black belt in judo.”

Terry chuckled. It was a fact she brought from time to time when ever he was frightened (something she did when she was in high school in college). He moved a hand to touch her face.

“You’ll do great here.” said Bill

“Keep your eyes on the road.”

*****

The room was light and airy … two doctors a nurse and anesthesiologist.

“I thought you didn’t have to put people under for lasik.”

“You don’t, but on any new procedure.”

Right.

“Your husband is here to?”

“Yeah.” said Vera “not like I could drive home anyway.

And they just put the mask on her. Whenever Vera was put under the world turned into a haze, a strange white haze. Likely when she woke up for a couple of days it may get even hazier … but as she did she looked through a window out into a hall. Inside was a small little girl walking at random. Who stopped in looked in. Though Vera rarely could see eye to eye with anyone … form contact that way … she did … and she saw … and something in the face … and.

Vera was in dreamland. Maybe it was a dream.

Two hours latter Vera woke up. And her eyes were covered with tissue. That much she could see

“Don’t try to open your eyes for at least 20 hours.” said the voice doctor Anders “Maybe even longer if it’s painful

“Was it a success?”

“Well will have to see.” said Anders in a line that seemed as if he realized that it was a pun a bit too late to put it back in.

“Hey.” said Terry. That voice was at least recognizable

“She gave him her smile though more than normal she had no idea if he could see.

“Was thinking do you want to get a hotel in San Antonio or do you want to drive back tonight. How you feeling?

“Woozy.” admitted Vera “but we get home. Want to sleep in my bed

“I recommend bed rest dark rooms for at least a week. Maybe more.”

“Right. Right.” said Vera

“This maybe odd. Vision is a delicate thing:

*****

20 hours latter Vera was lying in her room.

She had spent most of the last 15 hours asleep at first in the car then at home … then well it felt strange.

Terry was at work. Bill was somewhere on Saturday.

She …

She wanted to be alone when she did this. At first she planned to spend more time in bed listening to music. Till terry got back It felt strange. Because after all that sleep she normally felt. Like more sleep now … she felt awake. Alive like she never did before. She felt tighter, as if her skin was tightening slightly around her body. She couldn’t see of course … but it felt somehow different … and her eyes …

It was light. She almost wanted to call the doctor, but it wasn’t bad. Just different … as if life had entered into her body more off …

And as Vera Savage stood in the bathroom she took the bandages off her eyes … to see what she could see.

She first took out the right one, and she looked outside to see a very beautiful blue day. The trees had a soft mist of leaves as they billowed in the window, her nationhood was bathed in the gorgeous bluish light of sun … there was a little bird she could see flying through the branches … and as she focused on it … the branches disappeared?

Huh?

Huh?

And wait a second they didn’t have a window in the bathroom.

She watched the tree in the neighbor's yard … and saw the bark disappear to see in the weird green wood underneath … then realized she could see water and sap underneath it … and see into it … till it wasn’t there … and the branch behind it and …

She reached for her left eye rapper and tore it off

And there she was … there she. Well her mirror of herself … in detail. She looked at a mirror in focus … and saw it … saw it. It was glass had hundreds if not thousands of little pits and pieces of dirt. How did her family let it stay that dirty and … well Jesus. Her eyes reflected into look at it and she could see it smaller and smaller the little imperfections in the glass the place where it flowed like water a micrometer in spots to give a smallest sense of pores …

And then she looked at herself in it. Her hair was a little long, her skin … it looked tight. As if it had been pulled. Her entire body looked a little thin and gaunt. And my god there she was. At 39 … she was still beautiful wasn’t she … wearing an old black sweet suit …

And she opened up her other eye to see really what she was seeing. She was looking through one eye in microscopic detail or at least could focus it. Could see more detail than anything in the universe.

And in the eye she was looking at the first the glass of the mirror then the metal, then the metal, the wall, the studs, the romex, the plywood the stucco, the outside … she was watching through walls in x-ray vision if that was the word.

And she fainted.

*****

“MOM.” said Billy “Mom are you okay

“Hey Billy, just had this wildest dream.” she said. She realized the silliness as she felt the bathroom tiles … and as she opened her eyes …

Saw his guts.

Billy it turned out was composed of a lot of fast moving blood that went around and around his body in a skinless collection of organs and skin that was trying to pick his mother up.

Oh fuck that

The other eye she was able to see what he really was … or correction what the universe had decreed was his skin to prevent people from seeing the hideous things that lied beneath. He was a not too handsome very large and somewhat fat teenager with sharp features and bluish eyes. His skin had acne on it. And as she looked she could see the individual pores that even this second was producing a small amount of oil up to the surface of his pours … to his skin which was covered and dust of dried skin and dirt and …

Huh.

“Mom.”

“I’m okay.”

“Imp going to call the hospital

“No don’t do that Billy … don’t call the hospital I’m fine … mommy … mommy was just learning what it's like to see real good and it's … something … that’s a word. Something … huh..”

“What’s going on.” Billy said getting up

Vera moved and put a hand on him.

“Stay for a second … mommy just needs to get used to looking at you for a couple of minutes.”

*****

“Well the doctor is really going to pleased by this.” said Terry

“I donor.” said Vera “I kinda want to keep this under wraps.”

“You have x-ray vision. Or something. I mean probably not actual x-rays as they don’t really work like that.” said Terry

“How would you know?”

“I was a science geek in high school. You have super powered eyes.”

“Supermom, Supermom. Does whatever A Supermom Does.” hummed Billy.

“Except windows.”

Billy laughed

She looked at Billy. He seemed happier, more engaged than she had known him in years. The process that her mom had well a fairly minor in the scope of thing superpower really intrigued him.

She extended her eyes into his room. In it, she realized, were at least 300 or more comic books put in little plastic bags in neat little boxes. Huh. She also realized there was a porno magazine under his bed, and looking at it she felt a slightly guilty sigh of relief that it was hetero. Ahh … But didn’t he have the internet? Didn’t she raise her kid better?

Vera of course had never read a comic – a little too tricky for her vision – but lived in modern culture and had seen (or been in a living room with) the Avengers movie and Iron Man, and was aware that there were plenty more. Dark Knight, she saw that superheroes.

And well. She could see through walls, in extreme close-ups and extreme details …

“This really should be giving me a headache.”

“Well.” Said terry “If you have superpowers now, it would only be logical that you would have the powers you know to use it and not kill yourself. I would think with x-ray vision it would be way to screwy to use in any kind of logical sense … I mean you have had this what 2 hours really and you’re not a gibbering loon.”

She looked at him … really looked at him. He was a big strong man covered in muscle, but a touch of fat to. He had a kind face that she realized was handsome. And well pimples boils, hair in unsightly places a touch of thin. It was joke she sometimes heard: hey he must be so ugly to marry the blind woman. It steamed her – but, well – until now she couldn’t be absolutely true they weren’t real. He had freckles on his ears, and on his penis … which is something that after 16 years of marriage shouldn’t freak her out but hey.

He was composed of blood tissue nerves and skin. And bone. In short well human.

And she loved him. Loved him dearly. She had to remind herself of that because while it was true it took her a second to connect that it was him. But it wasn’t and as he smiled at her she connected. And she leaned in and kissed him because she loved that.

“Of course the question if you don’t want to go to a hospital with this … what do you want to do.”

“Fight crime of course.” said Billy “I mean it’s only logical.

And Vera really laughed.

*****

It was around 8 by now

Vera was told bed rest.

Vera went for a walk by herself. She didn’t feel tired. After everything else she had slept for like 15 hours …

It was strange that. She had checked and realized that things like super strength etc … Wasn’t part of the package? If there was package. But she did feel strangely energetic. As if life was entering her body … or

Well she was just discovered she was David Freaking Copperfield.

And so she walked out of the suburb setting into town itself. She realized the irony was now she could really drive … but she didn’t know how. So she just walked.

And looked.

People. In their homes, in their apartments … she got better or at least decent at looking into a wall and not seeing guts everywhere and viscera. Not perfect. But better. She even did a little bit of looking at people and seeing in there underwear – better, but not perfect. Ugh. It had to do with focusing her eyes, in a skill. She just kinda could do. It was part of the powerset as it was. Part of the trick.

Huh.

She walked in the street – it wasn’t a crowded night – but people were there and cars. Cars were surprisingly cool looking in x-ray – so many moving parts and chemical reactions she could watch and … learn from it was odd and strange and well some form of magic wow.

She looked around into shops. And she realized something. Fighting crime may not be easy. But committing crime. She could see into wallets to the thick ones and thin ones. She saw a guy who had at least a 1000 bucks in his wallet the Mr. Big shot. She could see into safes and locks and see his pin combinations … to well figure out the combination with a little practice she didn’t have. Yet but well.

This was weird. So many people. Attractive people, the cream society, beautiful girls with tall legs and nice tits … and the tits were just so much fat and particularly weird looking blood vessels. The one fake pair she saw actually looked rather attractive … the fluids in the silicone danced and moved in beautiful patterns.

She also realized her night vision was perfect. When she went through an alley that didn’t have any streetlights on a moonless night, she could see as if it was perfect day. Everything. Now a normal middle age woman may have been scared or frightened of muggers or just bums. But well the muggers and bums had left this place alone. There was no one there, just a couple of industrial buildings and graffiti.

Dogs … cats … squirrels … birds … the road beneath her and the sewers. She could see just about everything … and …

She wondered why she didn’t want to go to a hospital, and after about four hours of just walking … she decided that it was because they probably would try to cure her. To take it back somehow. And that wouldn’t do. Yes this was an incredibly gross ability … but well …

She made it Lorenzo’s around midnight. The restaurant at this time was closing up but well she had a key and as she did the cleanup staff exchanged a couple of words with her. She went to her station.

She wanted to see what this was like to cook with this.

At first she cooked a steak – a pretty obvious little dish – and she watched the meat sizzle in the stove. She became aware of how it was marbled and how the meat crackled with the oil and absorbed it flecking off little bits of juice. It wasn’t a perfect cut, but she became aware of its perfections.

Then she worked up strawberry tortes … and as she chopped she became aware. The Strawberries were a little past their prime. That much was obvious. However maybe with a touch more sugar and maybe a dash of pectin.

This was an actual skill. She would have to learn more about these things, but with work and more skill, combined with what she already knew … with a ton more practice … this would be cool.

She laughed. Superchief. What was that an actual thing. She remembered from the recess of her childhood something called super.

Then she heard something. In another office.

It was around 1:30 AM

She had dimly been aware that Lorenzo was in his office away from the kitchen the entire time. Talking on his phone most of it. He of course didn’t bother much with the kitchen. However she looked up through the walls and the storage locker to see what was going on.

He was Lorenzo talking in person to a man after figuring out the voice and the correct amount of skin to see saw was Philippe.

Philippe? He had been identified a couple of times as a partner in the restaurant. He was a big older guy who had the kinda sunglasses indoors that didn’t mean well. He was a local business owner who was involved in construction.

However as she saw what they were talking about and could kinda make out their conversation. It was odd. Super hearing wasn’t specifically part of her power set – but as she looked in. The words somehow became kind of …

“You lying sack of shit.” said Lorenzo “Where’s the money?”

“Like I said the shipment didn’t come in – problems in the gulf and it's going to take a week.”

“You’re in business for yourself.”

“Seriously – they had to drop the shipment. It’s at the bottom of the ocean, but we can get it. But want to make sure the coast guard isn’t watching before hand

“You always bring me excuses.”

“And you provide me with services. You forget: you’re the guy who works for me. Without drug money to launder why do I need a front?

“I am much more than a front. And I don’t work for you … this is part … this is part … of …”

And Lorenzo took out a gun from his desk and shot him in the face.

The gun … was oddly quiet. Silenced she guessed she barely heard it to be honest.

The body fell down dead … splattering blood. Which after the day she had been having … just looked normal.

Vera felt … surprisingly calm. Vera had been around dead bodies and death before. Her grandfather had a fatal heartache at a family dinner when she was 14 and restaurants were more often than you think a place people went to die – not from her food – but every couple of years there would be a scream and some old man keeled over from a heart ache happened.

Two people had been shot before around her – one in college at a really messy party and one, afterwards, on a street (though both survived. Guns are surprisingly survivable) She was used to violence. Hell, that was one of the things she had learned in judo … but this …

This after getting superpowers in the last 24 felt surprisingly normal.

Huh.

Philippe was dead. Shot directly in the heart. She watched as his heart stopped beating about 10 seconds later and … He was gone. She wasn’t morbid enough to look into his skull to see the synapses stop.

She never much liked Philippe. She didn’t hate him either. It was a weird sensation for a guy who seemed her kinda .disliked was dead. She remembered once when he walked through the kitchen and tried one of her dishes in front of her (she forgot which) “that bitch can really cook.”. She was both pleased by the compliment and distracted by the B word.

Huh.

What precisely to do.

Well there was a guy with a loaded gun in a room two doors down. She reached for her cellophane and called 911.

And got a busy signal.

Eventually like 2 minutes latter she reported that she was in the kitchen and heard a gunshot to a kind of bored sounding women. It was of course the literal truth but – well – it left out the fact that she had watched him die and who killed him … because there was no logical way she would have known that. The police would come shortly.

However even as she hanged up … two guys she didn’t know showed up with a large cardboard box in about a minute. They with surprisingly little talk put the body of Philippe in the box and Lorenzo and one of them took it outside to a car, as the other man came in and cleaned up where the body had landed (producing surprisingly little blood everywhere).

In short in about 10 minutes the crime scene looked normal … as all three of then drove away into the night her supervision could no longer followed.

When about 20 minute after the call a pair of cops showed up. Of course.

She talked to them, and made up a story that she was in the kitchen and she thought there was something in the restaurant and she made them walk around with her to the rooms and in his office. To find a perfectly normal looking office. She expected that a full CSI may have found something.

But well this wasn’t full CSI.

She had a friend who was a cop who told her that the kind of CSI shit you see on TV cost about 5 to 10,000 a day or even more. That cops almost never could afford to do that. The friend had told her what she was missing from an entertainment standpoint but …

They took her story. They wrote a report. This was Huston. She was sure shots were heard every damn day of the hour somewhere. And she was sounding a bit to the two men kinda like a scared crazy person.

“Guys I have x-ray vision. I just know that someone got shot in this room. His name is Phillipe … I don’t know his last name.”

Yeah she said it. Yeah it just got polite nods.

Fuck.

She wondered if it made the report.

They left about 30 minutes latter.

She sat in the restaurant, ashamed. Ashamed and frustrated.

She couldn’t have saved him. That was obvious.

But she could have done more to bring justice to his killer. Or could she have? Even if she had told the tail of the x-ray vision would that have made the police come any faster or quicker. Or

*****

“What are you going to do.” asked terry. It was the first thing out of his mouth as he was driving her home. She realized it was more a statement then a question.

“I don’t know.”

“So this whole time you have been working at a mob front.” said terry shrugging

“I mean: yeah. Now that you mention it … kinda makes sense.”

“Well … I always thought it was a little shady.”

“Well.” said Vera she paused “you have a point.”

She lowered her head a bit.

“So … you are going to quit looking for a new job. I think that’s the minimum you can do here.”

Vera shrugged in her seat side to side.

“I.” she shrugged and finished the car ride in silence.

Bobby was awake sitting in the living room when she got home. “What Happened?”

“I saw my boss murder someone.”

“What? Did you kick his ass.” said Bobby who wearing long johns that were blue she realized for the first time.

“No.” said Vera. Of course not

“But you’re a superhero.”

“I’m not a superhero. I mean if there was a hero it wouldn’t be me … sure … yeah I got this. I got this … but I couldn’t. What could someone like me do? Fly in and take him to superjail?”

“But with great power comes great responsibility

Vera sighed lowering her head unable to quite meet his gaze. Wow that was a first.

“This. But does with medium level power comes medium level responsibility?”

“It comes with the responsibility to do what you can.” said Bobby as she was lectured by a guy with dirty magazines under his bed. “And can you do more.”

Vera sighed. The answer to that she saw, not with her super eyes, was yes. She could have done more.

*****

“So you want a refresher course.”

“Exactly.” said Vera “ I completed my second Dan, but well haven’t regularly practiced in years.”

“Want to get back into it for sport.” said the surprisingly small non-Asian guy at the dojo.

“Something like that.”

*****

“8 … 9 … 10 … rack.” sad the trainer.

“How am I doing?” asked Vera as she lifted the dumbbell in the gym

“For press 80 pounds pretty impressive for a woman of your age …

“Huh. Think I am going to need more than that.”

“You’re in pretty good shape though. You got great stamina.” said the Personal trainer “You can make this work give me a couple of months and you run a triathlon..”

“Got 8 days.” asked Vera

“Well we can’t work miracles.”

“Right.”

*****

“So this is Spiderman 2. For many people it’s considered one of the best superhero movies ever made.” said Billy

“How does this help me?” asked Vera.

*****

Vera was tossed onto the floor by the trainer in a quick sweeping motion

“So second Dan?”

“For as good as it's doing me.” replied Vera.

“Actually you're quite good. You say 15 years and I believe you. But your base fighting style. It’s quite unique and interesting. There are plenty of my black belt students who you could beat … it are just …”

“What.”

“It's like you’re depending on something. It’s like when I had blind students – blindness isn’t a giant disadvantage in this sport but it something. You fight like you're blind, but you can see.”

“Yes, yes I can.”

“You must learn how to see in your fights. If you do that, if you master that you can go far … for there is much to see in the world.”

*****

“And I don’t see anything.” said Vera “A blank.”

“Well that makes sense.” said Billy as he held up the piece of metal darkish metal.

“Why?” asked Vera.

“It’s lead.” said Billy “and Superman x-ray vision doesn’t work through lead.”

“Huh.” said Vera “Great. That’s likes kryptonite.”

“In real life they use Lead to block x-rays at hospitals. It’s why when your at a dentist they put a lead blanket on top of you

“Wonderful. I bet who ever wrote Superman. Stan Lee Wasn’t it? Thought of that and said. Wow that’s kind of logic a kid would buy.”

“Well yeah.” said Billy “But well. You're here.”

“And you’re a kid.”

“And I believe in you mom.” said Billy “I believe in what you can do.”

“Look.” said Vera.” This is silly. This is extraordinarily silly. I mean you hear the newspapers these days and it’s pretty silly out there…but that’s not me. I am a middle age year old woman with a trick. A neat one I’ll grant you but just a trick. It doesn’t mean I get to go out and put on underoos and fight crime.”

“I Believe in you in mom.” Billy said, saying the exact right words at the moment. Vera sighed. At the very least…something.

Well …

“And it wasn’t Stan Lee.” said Billy “They would have taken away my comic card if I let that slide.”

“Oh. Wasn’t he in the movie?”

*****

Vera ran up the hills south of town. It was easy.

Vera until about three years ago had been about half a pack a day smoker and had been for most of her life till one day she gave it up as she realized she had no one to look cool to. She drank, and while she was pretty thin ate a lot of fatty foods (and made them). She was in pretty good shape. It was hard to be blind and not be….but well she was not the most imposing presence ever.

But well she seemed okay she ran and ran. And was tired but not that tired. This was workable. .That much she had ready.

But what the fuck else?

What the fuck else. What would she actually do what could she actually do?

*****

Lorenzo walked into the restaurant, and into his restaurant it was around 2:00 as he usually did. He had just gone to the gym a bit and had that just washed his hair. Good feeling.

He walked through the kitchen. Vera was supposed to be in here today after her illness. This was good. Vera was competent and he liked the dyke, but she wasn’t ready to run a kitchen – too nice to the other girls … It was …

He walked into his office opening the door and closing it …

“Hey Lorenzo.”

… to see Vera sitting there

“Vera you’ve startled me.” he smiled. She was wearing dark glasses “How’s your vision better.”

“Some … um Lorenzo. This is a moment. “

“Okay.” he said with a polite chuckle

“A big moment for me … and this maybe a very silly moment so …

“You want to quit. Sorry to see you go. You’re a good chief and I wish you the best.” smiled Lorenzo.

“Wow that’s … actually kinda..”

“You know I am not a bad guy. We know each other for what 6 years. You know I know the local restaurant reviewer … you do half of what you do here, I’ll make sure you get a couple of stars.”

“Jesus that’s nice.” said Vera “I didn’t expect you to be nice.”

Lorenzo grinned: “You got a restaurant.”

“Well I am quitting … but that’s not why … I am quitting and you’re quitting. If you turn yourself into the police nothing bad is going to happen.”

Lorenzo laughed. But she could tell it was a guilty laugh even under her dark glasses (which didn’t obscure her vision much at) she wanted to keep the advantage.

“You killed Philippe your partner.”

“Nonsense.” said Lorenzo as he went behind his desk.

“No ones had seen him for over a week. It was over your drug smuggling operations.”

“No.”

“This is front.” said Vera “Your mob connected. And if you know what you do you can confess to the police, maybe state's evidence. I am not a lawyer.”

“Come on.” asked Lorenzo as his smile faded

“I saw you do it.” Vera replied

“What do you want some money to start up your new joint? You aren’t going to play me.”

“I don’t want anything of yours ever again..” Said Vera “And I didn’t particularly like Philippe.”

“Fuck you get the fuck out.”

“I’m am going to the police, just thought I would give you the courtesy of doing it first.”

“They’ll believe you.”

“Will find out. People say I hound beat you up but that’s nuts.”

“The blind girl.” said Lorenzo “Saw it.”

“You know there’s not a registry of that.”

“There never going to find the body.”

“I was going to say where the body is buried but, you didn’t bury it.”

Lorenzo drew a gun from the table “How the fuck did you know.” (Actually that was a guess)

“You’re not going to shoot me.” said Vera. “We’re in a crowded restaurant with 5 people here

“Don’t want to but if you don’t.”

Vera stood

“Do want you don’t frighten me. I am not

And Vera not finishing her sentenced proceeded to kick the gun. In such a way that it both her foot and the gun hit him right in the face. This was lucky.

He fell down on his desk very awkwardly. The kind of awkward you don’t see in movies. He still had the gun though in his hand and lifted up to shoot her. Blank

“Cause I took the liberty of removing the fucking bullets first.”

She grabbed his head and hit right into the desk with all the force she had. Which was quite a bit.

He now dropped the gun and fell of slumping down.

“You can’t prove anything.”

“Right.”

“Call the police I am going to say you attacked me in the office, that you were a crazy bitch.”

This was working out pretty well for her.

“I am going to bet the police know a lot about this place and your biases. And I can supply enough details to get them here.”

“How.”

“It’s my tricks Lorenzo. What is your game anyway?”

“My uncles the head of the mob in the city has been for years. Financed me in cooking school, opened a restaurant with some of his partners to funnel some stuff. And now. Well my uncles giving me more to do.”

“Interesting.” said Vera “Sure the police will be fascinated.”

She kicked him in the head.

“Your a cop?”

She kicked him again

“Cops don’t as a general rule kick people in the head.”

When she got hit in the back of her head herself.

Okay that hurt a lot as she staggered around the room

“What does that bitch think she’s doing?” Said Lorenzo.

Vera turned to see her attacker … and it was Fredrico her big hulking assistant chief who looked like a mob goon. Huh funny that.

“What’s going on?” said Fredrico

“She’s found out about us.” said Lorenzo

“Just go Freddy.” said Vera “walk out of this.”

Vera got to her feet … as Freddy punched her in the gut

Well that wasn’t happening as she retched. It hurt a fuckton.

Vera got the first real good look at the guy she considered a friend for four years. He was 6’3 with a ton of muscle-less like a bodybuilder as someone whose upper body was just huge pecs on pecs slabs of strengths. She could see the muscle under his skin, and the scars on top of it. He wasn’t a handsome man.

“Freddy.” she got up …

And she watched him swing … and when it happened. It wasn’t as if he was in slow motion, or at fast speed. But she could see the swing move from every angle inside of him, starting as his fibers tensed and twitched and formed into long meat hooks in his Skelton as it expanded forward. Someone like Fredrico wasn’t built for speed; he was built for force tremendous force.

Force that .8 second later she was pretty easily able to dodge.

Fredrico reeled around and she watched as she got back and went for another punch. This one she was able to avoid as well getting in a quick punch to the face as well. Not much effect but it was there.

He went in again as she watched his move his muscle tense …

And grabbed his armed and through him over her shoulder in a classic judo throw.

He hit the ground head first.

She kicked his head once and watched him fall out like a ton of bricks.

“Sorry about that.” said Vera

“What the fuck.” said Lorenzo who had gotten up? And was intelligently loading up his gun with shaky billets

Vera looked up at him around the room, which didn’t have any windows. It was in fact being lit by a single bulb and.

She picked up a knickknack on the table and tossed it at the bulb. And with a smash the room was dark

“Jesus fucking Christ.” he said as he took the gun and shot it forward missing Vera entirely

Vera of course could see perfectly. Perfectly.

Lorenzo shot again this time to the left, then to the right shooting profanities as Vera simply ducked behind his desk. Which given the power of the silenced gun wasn’t likely as good enough cover to avoid any danger. Afraid frightened

And Vera realized something as she moved up and grabbed his head turning him around such that he lost his balance and fell to the floor.

Empires would sacrifice a million lives; wars had been fought, won and lost not on strength. Not on Speed.

But on information.

Knowledge was power, and as she watched his mind continue to turn to mush, to continue to panic. Literally watched his brain do this as synapses flowed she had that. She had the power of information in a dark room.

“PLEASE.” Lorenzo screamed as she pushed the desk on top of his body.

He dropped the gun and she picked it up. She could shoot him easily. She walked over and put it against his head for a second

But well morality is what you do in a dark room.

She walked to the door and left the two men on the floor,

“Police are going to come in a few minutes. Talk to them. Cause if they let you out, I’ll come back.”

Wow. She was really good at the badass bit. Huh.

The trick was not to bring up the low country boil.

*****

“So how are the new glasses?”

Vera walked with Billy and Terry in the park wearing the new dark glasses. It turns out lead used to be a common additive to glass. It was dangerous – yeah – but so much was going to kill her so …

“Interesting.” said Vera “I can kinda see out of both of them … it’s like … I am going to guess 20/5 vision or something. Better then normal but who am I going to say

Terry chucked. “My supergirl.”

Billy smiled “Have you thought of your new costume your supername yet. Like Nightwolf or dark, or x-ray.”

“Bit on the nose that …” said Vera.

“Well Supermom you could do. But well it would only be accurate for me

And Vera chuckled hugged her son.

There is a cliché about blind people. An old one. That there alone, that there just by themselves in some prison of the dark. But as Vera walked with her family, walked with the people she loved she realized that wasn’t true. That was never true. And even as the world of blank turned into a world if anything of too much, she realized as long as she had her family with her the same logic applied. Whatever adventures her superpowers lead her on, wherever it went, as long as they were together, she was never quite alone.

And she laughed.

 

Vera decided on a black kinda suit of spandex and gore-tex separated into like a track suit which looked kinda like something you could wear outside and not be to ridiculous but in the right circumstance be impressive She liked that. And the name Nighthawk. Cause well … clichés are clichés for a reason.

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