Flash Fiction Friday – Practical Uses of Superpowers (#1?)

This piece is pracically autobiographical – apart from the fact that I don’t have telekinetic powers, and that my name isn’t Mandy. But if I did have telekinetic powers, this is exactly the sort of thing I’d use them for. I think it might be fun to do a while series about ways in which superpowers might be used for more everyday things. We’ll see if I get around to it, but for now I think this one was quite cute – and very me:

Mandy flipped open the lid to the toothpaste and reached for her brush, then paused with each in one hand as a lightbulb suddenly turned on in her mind. What a brilliant idea! How had she not thought of it sooner? Admittedly, the four days since she first started manifesting telekinetic abilities  after that weird explosion on her bus from campus had been a blur of tests and physical examinations and talks with counsilors and mor etests. She’d only been allowed to leave the swanky downtown research facility where they’d all been taken after being cleared by the paramedics that afternoon, so she hadn’t had much chance to think of practical, everyday uses for her new skill.

Until now, that was. She was so thrilled she felt like clapping. Duolingo had been part of her evening ritual for a while now. Though the language varied a bit depending on her mood, it was part of her routine while she was on the John, while she waited for her wheat-pillow to heat up in the microwave, while she stretched out her claves. It had always annoyed her a bit that she had to stop while brushing her teeth, but her fine motor skills with her left hand weren’t good enough to brush her teeth or  spell German verb conjugations so she hadn’t had much of a choice. Until now, that was.

She flipped open her phone case and fired up the app, starting up a new lesson. As she read the first question, she started brushing her teeth. Focusing her mind on a small spot, as she’d been practicing earlier with the TV remote, she tapped the answer she thought was right. It didn’t register. She blinked in surprise and tapped it again, pushing harder. Nothing. What the fuck was going on? Sure, during the first day at the lab, the researchers had warned them all that their powers might be temporary, but by the time the third day rolled around and they had a million charts to consult, they’d all sounded pretty confident that this wouldbe a permanent things.

Switching her focus to the soap on the side of the sink, she gave it a shove with her mind. It slid across the porcelain and slipped down into the sink.

“Huh…” she said around the toothbrush. What was going on- ooooh! Of course. Electricity. Touchscreens like this worked due to electric conductivity, not pressure. Mandy made a mental note to call the lab in the morning and tell them about this, in case it hadn’t occurred to them to check in any of their battery of tests whether her ability was electrically charged. She really couldn’t remember; there had just been too much going on these past few days, too many tests to do to remember what the point of them all was.

Taking the toothbrush out of her mouth for  amoment, she looked between it and the phone, reconsidering her situation. “Let’s try this instead…” she said, and focused her ability on the shaft of her toothbrush. She moved it back and forth in the air, checking her control of the light object, then tested moving it in small circles. With her now-free right hand, she reached for her phone.

Nearly ten minutes later, she left the bathroom just as she was completing the lesson. It felt like she still had toothpaste up her nose and her left nostril was a bit sore – her mind had slipped a few times and sent the toothbrush in unexpected directions – but her teeth were probably as clean as they were on those evening when she was just too tired to make much of an effort. With a little practice, this would be a piece of cake.

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