I, under a bushel, far from light, tucked away my powers, stored them even, so that they, in conjunction with me, could no longer do harm.
Hidden away like that, I was, without powers, of course, fair game for all shade of crackpot and villainous menace, particularly those with whom I had previously tangled and who, as a result, bore me at least some level of grudge. They, my past tanglements of villainy and evil, were by far the worst. Their viciousness, flamed by revenge, aimed in my direction where I, for all the world powerless, could do nothing more than hide in much the same way as I had hidden my powers. Rays and bullets skimming the top of my head, singeing my hair as I ducked down or dived away in just the nick of time. For I have failed to mention so far, haven’t I, that I retained, in anticipation of such a state of affairs, the power, if you can call it that, to sense – at least sometimes – danger. Actually, now that I think of it, it was this particular power, the ability to sense danger, that caused me to retain this power, sensing, of course, the danger I would face after hiding away all my other powers. Ah.
But my, I must have been a particular kind of stupid – my friends said – to have tucked away my powers like that. Where, they asked, was the good in packing off powers such as the ability to fly, to walk on walls and ceilings, to shoot laser beams from eyes, to breathe underwater and in space, to grow as big as the moon, to lift a thousand times more than my own weight? Eh? they asked. And I, with a sigh, or a sorry shake of my head, a slight turn of my eyeballs, replied how the deaths of all those innocent people and bystanders was becoming far too much to bear. And what, I asked, turning the tables a little, am I to do with the fact that my wife was murdered by my arch enemy, thrown from the Brooklyn Bridge and I too slow, too dull-witted, to save her? Why, I asked again, must I shoulder this burden of great power and why should the responsibility to do good at all times be one I must adopt at all times? What, I continued, if I wanted, just once, to be bad a little, to live not bad but as a human being with flaws and weaknesses and a whole host of other puny, wretched shit? What then? I asked.
My powers then for a spell, a long spell, nestled neath hedgerows and overgrown from view and soon even the villains, even they, grew bored of the easy chase and hunt with the final frustrations of their inevitable misses. And I, too, then, also became bored of a life without terror and, considering that one option of suicide was not even really an option, I opted instead to don cape, mask and flashy garb, and tread once more the pavements where I, long ago, embedded fear and bullets into the hearts of evildoers and baddies everywhere. My powers, of course, dusted off and shaken down, reattached to their previous owner where, although a little rusty, they revved and spat as if nothing had taken them from their course. I was, as the newspapers gleefully declared, back.
Next ish: The Red Streak Rises!