Written by pansardum :: [Saturday, 19 December 2015 22:42] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 10 January 2016 11:53]
Big thanks to Sarge395 for some short notice proof reading
The young woman stood silently with her fists clenched as she stared up at the massive steel door. Actually, the door wasn’t that big, it was more that the girl in front of it was rather small. She had stood there for longer than she had wanted, trying to muster up courage. She still hesitated before she knocked. A low grunt was heard from deep within. She opened the door, which swung open with a low creak, and made her way into the dark room. At the far end a man sat behind a large oak desk, he didn’t look up as the girl shyly walked through the dark room.
“What do you want?” Said the man as the young woman stopped in front of the desk.
“Ehh … well as you know it’s … you know I was hoping …”
“Spit it out, I have other things to do.” The man said and looked up for the first time since she walked in. The girl stared at the desk and deeply inhaled.
“As you know it’s Christmas tomorrow and I was really hoping I could get the day off.” She said within a single exhale.
The man looked at her for a moment before he put down the papers he had fiddled with. He leaned forward and placed his elbows on the desk, with his fingertips together.
“Do you think I run a charity here? If I gave you the day off everyone would want that and I need you all here. Do you understand?” He said and looked at a picture placed on his desk before he continued.
“Even I would rather be home with my family, but as you know I’m expected to be on a business trip over the holidays … I would already be there if it wasn’t for this bloody weather.” He said and turned to the window, watching the snow that was slowly falling. The girl stood silent. She knew that the only reason he wanted them all there was to maximise his own yearly bonus and that his trip was a badly disguised vacation to meet his boy toy. It felt frustrating knowing that but unable to do anything about it. He turned back to her.
“Be here tomorrow Hanna or don’t bother coming in ever again, clear?” He said before she had a chance to reply. She stood speechless.
“Off you go.” he said and waved with his hand before he looked down on his papers again.
Hanna slumped down behind her desk. That had gone way worse than she could have ever imagined. She knew her boss was a prick but she still had hoped for a better outcome. She glanced down on the post-it on the inside of her hand. All those unused reasons she had come up with to justify a day off. With a sigh she placed the post-it on the desk, beside the large stack of papers that was in her in-box. She looked at the clock on the wall. A few hours left of the day. She deeply inhaled and stood up, if she was to survive the rest of the day she needed some fresh air. After a quick glance around the office she set off towards the staircase in a brisk walk. Trying her best to not look nervous or draw attention to herself and her unauthorized break. It worked and no one bothered to look up as she passed by. She reached the metallic door that lead out unto the roof. She pressed down on the handle and opened the heavy door. It was dark outside. The roof was lightly lit by the lights from the surrounding buildings. Their light reflected on the newly fallen snow that lay on the roof. Hanna was definitely not dressed for the cold, but she didn’t care. It would just be a quick break. She took a careful step with her high heels out into the snow. The door had swiped away a few inches of the snow as it opened, so it wasn’t deep just by the door. She let the door close behind her and leaned against it with her eyes closed. She took a deep breath. The cold air felt wonderful as it sought its way down to her lungs. She instantly felt more refreshed and the day didn’t feel quite as bad. She opened her eyes and exhaled the air as white smoke and that’s when she remembered.
“FUCK!” she yelled and quickly turned around and pulled on the door with all her might. It was locked. Hanna pounded with her clenched fist on the door and screamed. But she knew it was pointless, no one in the office would hear her.Her fists lost a little power with each strike and it didn’t take long before she gave up. Hanna turned around and slumped against the door, its metallic surface felt colder this time. She crossed her arms across her chest and rubbed her hands up and down for some heat. Looking out over the snow covered ceiling she couldn’t see anything that would help her. With her arms across her chest she rose up and stepped out into the deeper snow, making her way to the edge of the roof. She walked with careful steps, trying to keep as much snow outside of her high heels as possible. When she finally reached the ledge she looked over the railing down on the street. 10 stories down the street was mostly deserted, except a few cars that were driving a block away and a small group of people standing at the closest intersection. It was too far to yell, they wouldn’t hear her. Instead Hanna grabbed her head and looked up into the sky “Can this day get any worse? Can I get a break for once?”
Her question was met by initial silence, then a car horn from down the street. She let out a harrumph and started to head back to the door. She did her best to walk in her already made foot prints. It was easier said than done and she stepped wrong, which caused some cold snow to make its way into the high heels. The cold made a shiver run down her spine. She finally made it back to the door when she got an idea. There was a fire escape on the other side of the building that she might be able to use. But she hadn’t taken more than a step when her hair rose on her arms. Despite the cold it felt strange. Like something more than snow was in the air. Then suddenly an electric discharge hit her, like lightning from a clear sky. Hanna was thrown violently through the air and into the door which she bounced off and landed in the deep snow beside the door. She laid there, unconscious with her face to the side in the snow. A small trail of white smoke rose from her dark hair, together with her warm breath which was snowy white as it contacted the cold before it rose into the frigid black evening.
“What happened?” Hanna coughed out as she woke up. She pushed herself up from the snow. With one hand on her head she braced herself against the door frame. She looked down at the imprint of her figure in the snow and wondered how long she had laid there. She strangely didn’t feel especially cold. The imprint in the snow from her body seemed quite deep, like it had melted from her body heat. It was like a really crappy snow angel she thought.
She took a step across the roof, with her hand as support on the door. Surprisingly the door creaked and wiggled at her touch. She grabbed the handle and found that she could open it. A sigh of relief escaped her as she hurried inside. She never noticed that the door had bent enough that the deadbolt had broken off inside the door frame.
Hanna dusted off the residual snow as she hurried down the stairs, hoping no one had noticed she had been gone. She got to the right floor, straightened her clothes and walked through the office using the same pace she had escaped with earlier. It worked now too, no one looked up from their desk. She slipped into her seat and let out a breath of relief. On her desk her in-box seemed to have grown even more. She glanced towards the clock on the wall. It was almost 5:00 pm, which came as a small shock. Usually her day ended in just 30 minutes, that meant she had laid on the roof for a few hours. Hanna looked around the room, no one seemed to have missed her.
“Screw it” Hanna thought and grabbed her handbag and headed towards the elevator. This day had been shitty enough to not suffer though the last 30 minutes.
Hanna was alone in the elevator as it made its way downward to the bottom floor. It felt painfully slow, like always when heading home. She glanced up at the indicator above the doors just as the lamp for the 2nd floor flashed. As she looked up the elevator suddenly shook. Hanna quickly grabbed the bar along the elevator wall as the elevators emergency brakes slowed it down to a stop. The lights flickered for a second before the elevator went completely black, hiding the mangled bar from Hanna’s view.
“You got to be kidding me …” Hanna whispered to herself. She took a step towards the doors and yelled “HEY, CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?” There was no answer from the outside. A deep sigh escaped Hanna as she paced in a circle in the dark elevator.
“This can’t be happening …” Hanna said as she stopped walking and slammed her closed fist into the elevator wall. The force knocked loose the emergency brakes and the elevator fell the last few feet to the ground floor. Hanna had barely time to slightly bend her knees and brace for the impact. After a short fall the elevator landed slightly on its side on the ground floor with a loud crash. Inside the elevator Hanna managed to remain standing but slid along the floor before she caught herself against the bottom wall. All eyes in the lobby stared at the elevator as the dust slowly settled. After what felt like an eternity, but was closer to a second or two, the elevator bell dinged and the now lower door slid open and allowed Hanna to crawl out. She let out a small cough as she made her way through the lobby with at least a dozen sets of eyes on her. One pair of eyes belonged to an older gentleman that had just entered the building and now stood confused and watched as Hanna, with slightly unsteady steps, made her way though the room. As she passed the man she pointed with her thumb over her shoulder towards the elevator.
“I would take the stairs, there seems to be a problem with the elevator.” Outside the building Hanna headed down the street towards the closest bus stop. Her usual transportation to and from work. The snow made it hard to walk in high heels but luckily other people had walked up a narrow path along the sidewalk. Very few people were out now and Hanna ended up being the only one at the bus stop. It was probably the first time that happened in the city she thought. As time passed it seemed stranger and stranger. Practically no people were seen along the street and what made her worry was the lack of any buses. Usually there wasn’t more than 5 minutes between them and she had waited closer to 15.
“If you’re waiting for a bus you’re out of luck …”
Hanna looked behind her towards the source of the voice where a middle aged man stood with a shovel.
“The buses stopped going some time ago, guess they can’t handle the snow.” He continued.
“Oh, great. Just my luck.” Hanna said and now seriously wondered how she would get home. The subway shouldn’t be effected by the snow she thought, even if it didn’t go all the way home it would be a lot better than walking.
“Thanks.” Hanna said as she started walking down the street.
“No problem.” The man said and continued shovelling. Hanna hadn’t walked more than a few seconds in the difficult snow before some irritation had built up over how hard it seemed to get home.
“Damn it.” Hanna said and aimed a kick towards a small snow pile on the sidewalk. What she didn’t know was that a large concrete slab was hidden under the snow. Her foot connected with the pile which exploded into a small cloud that surrounded her and hid the fact that a large piece of the concrete slab was kicked loose and launched into the air. Hanna didn’t notice any resistance and spun half around while fighting to regain her balance. She stumbled off the sidewalk and into the street where a taxi slammed on the brakes to avoid to hit her. Hanna stood for a moment like a deer in headlights before she realized that she had found her way home. She quickly walked around the car and opened the back door when she heard a loud crash down the street. The concrete piece had landed through a parked cars rear window and caused the cars alarm to scream into the otherwise quiet street. Hanna saw a few kids run even further down the street, she shook her head and muttered “Damn punks.”
“Thank God I found you. I don’t know how else I would have made it home.” Hanna said as she got herself seated in the taxi.
“Not the only thing you should thank God for, I was really close to hitting you.” The driver said and adjusted the rear view mirror so he could see Hanna, her light blue eyes met his through the mirror.
“How come you’re still in business? Seems like the rest of the city is at a standstill.” Hanna said to change the subject.
“Well I’m from the north and as you might know we are a bit more used to this kind of snow up there.” He said and scratched his balding head before he started driving.
“It’s the house on the right here” Hanna said as they turned unto her street. The taxi slowed to a stop and Hanna paid.
“Thanks for the ride” Hanna said as she stepped out of the back seat. She felt relieved to be home at last. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she accidentally slammed the taxi door with a bit more force than expected. The door slammed shut and forced the taxi to spin 180 degrees. Hanna opened her eyes and looked back at the taxi, she was surprised as she found herself looking at the shocked driver. The drivers eyes were opened wide and his knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel. It took a moment of them looking at each other before the driver slammed on the gas and snaked away leaving a long double ’S’ track as fast as the car would take him. Hanna stood confused, not sure how the car could have turned around in that short time or why the driver now drove like he had stolen the car. She shook her head as the taxi blasted past the stop sign at the first crossing and kept speeding away. They must have strange traffic rules in the north Hanna thought as she stepped inside and closed the door.
The gunman smirked as he suddenly raised his weapon and fired it suddenly at the woman. Hanna stood frozen like a statue as adrenaline quickly filled her body. She wanted to flee but her body didn’t want to respond. She could only watch as the projectile flew towards her, miss by mere inches and hit the wall behind her. When she heard it hit the wall she managed to snap alive and dive behind the living room couch before a second shot was fired. With her back against the couch she could feel her heart pound hard in her chest; she couldn’t remember the last time she had felt this alive. All her senses felt on edge, making her aware of her hard breathing. She closed her eyes for a brief moment, trying to focus on the situation. As she opened them again time seemed to slow down together with her breathing. Now fully focused on her situation Hanna looked around the room from her limited viewpoint. She didn’t know what she searched for. Best case would be a way out, close second would be a way to fight back. To her right she could maybe make it to the kitchen, but without cover it wasn’t a viable solution. Straight ahead was the living room wall with a window above her, but that was also not a possible way out since the window wasn’t designed to be opened. Lastly to her left, the door she had moments ago entered was only a few feet away. But as it was firmly closed it would probably also take too long time to open and escape. She felt defeated, there wasn’t any good options. But she refused to give up and the door felt like her best chance. Time was running out. She removed her high heels and pushed herself up into a crouching position behind the couch, ready to pounce towards the door. Hanna took a deep breath, it was now or never. 3 … Her heart pounded hard in her chest 2 … She deeply inhaled and tensed her muscles 1 … She hesitated for a moment, something had caught her eye just before she pushed away. Something was placed on the coffee table by the armchair on the other side of the door. It looked like another gun. Her heart jumped. Without thinking she grabbed her handbag and lunged out from her hiding. After the first step she hurled her bag towards the gunman and dove towards the gun. Her handbag flew straight through the room with surprising accuracy and hit the assailant hard in the abdomen. He instantly sank to his knees fighting to regain his breath. Hanna grabbed the gun from the table and dove behind the arm-chair. Sitting with her back against the chair she examined the gun, it seem ready to fire. No time to waste. She spun out from behind the chair and with surprising agility crossed the floor towards the gunman without making a sound. He never heard her coming as he stood up with difficulty. Hanna closed the last few feet and raised her gun towards his head. She stopped with the gun only inches from the temple of the assailant as the wood floor suddenly creaked. His whole body tensed up. Hanna smiled broadly, “Dodge this!”
She pressed the trigger and the nerf dart struck her room mate clear in the temple. His body fell to the floor in a heap. Hanna walked over to his body and placed her foot on his hip, “You are terminated, Taylor.”
Taylor opened his eyes with a smile and instantly groaned while holding his midsection. “Damn, you hit me good with your purse.”
“Oh, so that will be your excuse? Don’t be such a sore looser.”
“I’m serious” Taylor said as he rose to his feet, “I might have broken a rib.”
“What are you even doing here? I thought you would be at your parents by now.” Hanna said and picked up her purse.
Taylor slumped down into the couch. “You noticed the snow right? No planes are flying today. So I’m stuck here at least to tomorrow.”
“Oh, you can believe I noticed it. I was only lucky to get home. Well I hope you’ll have better luck tomorrow.”
“Yeah, it will be nice to get out of here for a while.” Taylor said and started the TV.
Hanna leaned over the back pillows, “I’m that hard to live with?”
“You know what I meant. I’ve had much to do and It’ll be nice to get away from it.” Taylor said and looked up at Hanna.
“I know, just messing with you.” Hanna said and patted Taylor’s shoulder. He groaned and grabbed his shoulder with his other hand.
“What’s wrong?” Hanna said and stood up.
“I’m not sure, it just really hurt when you touched my shoulder.” Taylor said and massaged his shoulder.
“Maybe you hurt yourself when you pretended to collapse?” Hanna said.
“Yeah maybe …” Taylor said and again focused on the TV, “Hopefully it will pass with some rest.”
“Yeah it probably will.” Hanna said. “I’m heading to bed, it’s been a long day and I’m completely exhausted.”
“You do that, I’ll just stay here for a while.” Taylor said and looked up from the TV and followed Hanna with his eyes as she headed towards the staircase. He groaned as he adjusted his position slightly, still clutching his stomach and shoulder.
She instinctively groaned softly as she suddenly regained consciousness, feeling suddenly energized more than she had ever felt before. Hanna had never been a morning person so it was a new sensation to wake up refreshed this early. Without knowing what had woken her she glanced towards her night stand and instantly became a bit confused that there wasn’t a trace of the alarm clock that was usually placed there. But she somehow felt too good to let that bother her. If she had search only a little after the clock she would quickly have found it in pieces over the floor around the night stand. She rolled off the bed towards the other side and slipped on a a ruby red robe; while walking down the stairs she tied the robe’s belt around her thin waist. As she reached the bottom of the stairs she heard Taylor from the kitchen.
“Strange to see you up already, what has happened to your routine of an hour of snoozing?” Hanna walked into the kitchen with a smile on her face.
“You know, I feel too damn good today. Besides my alarm clock was gone when I woke up, strange huh?”
“What do you mean? I know I heard it a moment ago.” Taylor said without looking up from the newspaper on the table. Hanna walked up to the fridge and opened it.
“I’m serious it’s literally completely gone.” Hanna said as she grabbed the juice package and took a sip out of it.
“You’re not drinking from the package, right? You know what I think of that!” Taylor said. Hanna quickly returned the package and with closed eyes stretched out her hands into the air.
“No … no I promise I don’t do that any more.” She said through a suffocated yawn. She closed the door and spun around. Taylor sat and simply stared at Hanna, his bottom jaw nearly touching the table.
“What’s wrong?” Hanna said, becoming more and more self confident. She quickly looked down on herself while turning her lower body, inspecting her robe. “Did I spill juice on me?”
“N … No, you just FLEW!” Taylor spat out.
“That’s ridiculous.” Hanna said with a laugh.
“No I’m sure of it, I saw you fly! How long have you been able to do it?”
“You’re crazy, I can’t fly.” Hanna said and did a little jump to prove her point. Falling down on the ground as usual.
“That’s what anyone that could fly would say. Are you some kind of superhero?” Taylor said and practically jumped up from his seat.
“I’m not living a secret identity. You know me good enough that it isn’t possible. You know I stubbed my freaking toe on the sofa so bad that I swore for 15 minutes 2 days ago. What superhero would do that?”
Taylor stopped for a second and rubbed his chin, suddenly serious expression. “Well, did something happen to you yesterday?”
“No … Well … I did kinda get hit by lightning …”
“Are you serious? That probably got you superpowers!”
“Oh, really? That only happens in comic books.”
“How do you explain that you can fly then? Or this?” Taylor said and pulled up his shirt. His abdomen was multiple different colour ranging from red to blue.
“Well, I don’t believe I can fly. Because that’s crazy … and you should probably get that checked out, could be dangerous if something internal is damaged.” Hanna said and headed to the counter where some bread was on a plate.
“But how do you explain it? I slept on the damn couch cause I was too sore to even move!” Taylor said.
“I admit it was a solid throw, but that looks like you got hit by a rubber bullet. Not my soft purse.” Hanna said and started preparing her sandwich.
“Exactly, that’s not normal.”
“Maybe you’re allergic?” Hanna said and smiled.
“What?” Taylor said and looked confused at Hanna.
“Maybe you’re allergic to purses?” Hanna said trying to hold back her huge grin.
“Really? Trying to joke it away.”
“Better than jumping to crazy conclusions.” Hanna said and flung her arms out. The room fell silent. Taylor stood and rubbed his chin, trying to connect the dots while Hanna raised the sandwich to her mouth.
“But superpowers? You probably think I have something crazy like heat vision too.” Hanna said before she took a bite.
“Probably, have you tried?” Taylor said as his eye shone up.
“No …” Hanna said with a laugh.
“I bet you have that! Try it on …” Taylor said and looked around the kitchen. What would be a suitable target to test heat vision on. Suddenly he saw the perfect target and almost yelled. “The TOASTER!”
Hanna looked at Taylor with her hands crossed over her chest and head slightly leaning towards one side. “So, what should I do?”
“I don’t know, try to stare at it.” Taylor said with enthusiasm, almost jumping on the spot. He watched as Hanna put down the sandwich and looked at the toaster without anything happening.
“Maybe more angrily” He added. Hanna looked at him through the corner of her eye before she once again focused on the toaster with her brow furrowed. But still nothing happened. For Taylor it felt like the air almost vibrated, not from any heat vision but the sheer tension. They both stood for a moment and just stared at the metallic toaster when the bread inside suddenly popped up, scaring them both. Taylor and Hanna’s bodies tensed at the surprise and with that a short but powerful burst of energy escaped Hanna’s eyes. Her eyes followed the bread as it jumped slightly out of the toaster and when it landed it was nothing more than a lightly burning crisp.
“Oh, that scared me.” Hanna said and blinked her eyes, one of her hands went reflexively up across her chest. Taylor stood silent for a second before he rushed to action. He grabbed a towel and hurried to the toaster to put out the smouldering remains. “What the heck happened?”
“I don’t know but clearly you need to lower the heat for the next batch.” Hanna said and picked up her sandwich.
She walked out into the living room while taking bites out of her sandwich. She headed towards some weights that were under the staircase. Between bites she held the sandwich between her teeth and moved the weights into the living room. She liked to keep herself in shape and these weight were almost a daily routine. Taylor had slumped down on a chair in the kitchen and stared at the black remains of the bread in his hands. Never had the toaster done that to his sandwich before. He heard Hanna clinking around with the weights out in the living room. There was a short pause and then the sound of weight plates hitting each other started again. Did she rearrange all the weights he thought.
“Taylor?” Hanna yelled from the living room, snapping Taylor from his thoughts.
“Have you messed with my weights?”
“No, why?” Taylor said, at the same time Hanna entered the kitchen again carrying a fully stacked barbell.
“Don’t really feel as heavy as usual …” Hanna said as she casually flipped around the barbell and lifted it a few times.
“How much is that?!!??” Taylor yelled and jumped up form his seat, throwing the burnt bread remains unto the table.
“8-6-4-2-1-0.5-0.5 …” Hanna counted the disks on one side, stacked with the largest towards the centre. “44 kg plus the bar I guess.”
“You guess? That’s insane! I could never even curl that with both arms.” Taylor said.
“It really isn’t that heavy.” Hanna said and placed the barbell vertically on her index finger, carefully balancing it. After a moment it became a bit unstable and after a few failed tries at correcting the barbell it fell towards the floor. Hanna quickly caught the falling barbell with a loud groan from the metal. They both looked at each other, they had both heard it. Hanna grabbed the outside of the weights with both hands, which allowed them to see the now clear finger indents on the solid metal bar.
“This is crazy!” Taylor said and took a step back while Hanna stood speechless fiddling with the weight. Her hands shook slightly and caused them to rotate slightly. The bar groaned once again. Suddenly the 2 sides of disks slammed together and Hanna dropped the ball to the floor. It landed with a loud thud and obviously broke into part of the hardwood floor.
“I … I didn’t even try.” Hanna stuttered while she stumbled a step backwards.
“Do you believe me now! ? You are super.” Taylor said as he rushed forward and grabbed Hanna’s shoulders. He tried to shake her but she didn’t budge or even notice his effort. She took another step back, and looked confused from Taylor to the metal ball embedded in the floor. It slowly dawned on her.
“I’m super?” Hanna said and looked down at her hands. It suddenly clicked. She looked up at Taylor with a smile. Hanna did a little jump and slowly twirled around in the air before she floated down to the floor. As she landed she stared at the toaster which instantly burst into flames and started melting.
“It … It’s actually true, I’m SUPER!” Hanna yelled out as she again looked at her hands. She took a few steps backwards into the living room, it still felt completely surreal. Taylor curiously followed after. Hanna looked up from her hands at Taylor and a moment later rushed up the stairs. She only seemed like a blur to Taylor who stood awestruck. He had barely seen her leave before she reappeared in front of him, now fully clothed and knocking him over from the draft. She hadn’t more than stopped as the stair seemed to disintegrate in her wake. The wooden staircase practically exploded outwards, sending chips of the railing into the surrounding walls. “Huh, guess I’m quite fast when pushing it.” Hanna casually said as she looked behind her with a smile, her short skirt had barely stopped blowing in the draft.
“Look what you have done to my house?!” Taylor screamed and pointed with his hand towards the destroyed staircase.
“Oh, like that really matters right now?” Hanna said and with straight legs bent down towards Taylor. With a steady grip she placed her hand under his jaw and easily straightened herself, lifting him up in the air. She looked deep into his eyes while his feet dangled in the air.
“And by the way … Don’t you think I can make it up to you?” She said with a smile as she carefully lowered him to the floor. Taylor stood speechless, staring at the new woman before him. He suddenly noticed that she looked different, it was still Hanna but her cheekbones seemed more defined, her slightly upturned nose was even cuter than before and her blue eyes seemed deeper than the ocean. Hanna didn’t wait for Taylor to snap out of it and walked past him, towards the door.
“What will you do?” Taylor finally said, which stopped Hanna a few feet from the door. She turned around with her left hand scratching her head.
“I’m actually not sure …” She said while a smile spread across her face. “But I’m certain it is going to be a good day.” With that Hanna turned and walked up to the door and swiftly kicked it with her bare feet. The door flew off its hinges and across the street, embedding itself into a parked minivan which skidded a few feet. Hanna adjusted her tight top and walked through the remaining hole, with a quick glance back into the house she saw Taylor standing transfixed. Her smile was so big it would have hurt … if she hadn’t been invulnerable.
“What if it’s temporary?” Taylor half shouted after her.
“I’ll make sure to enjoy it as long as it lasts.” Hanna said and then half whispered to herself, “And I would love to see someone try and stop me!”
Hanna bent her knees slightly and in a classical superhero mannerism raised her closed fist into the sky before she pushed off. Left in the snow were 2 small foot marks and a small snowy crater from the updraft. Taylor ran out through the broken door and looked up in the sky. He had barely found Hanna in the sky before a sonic bang rang though the neighborhood and she disappeared across the sky.