Bones of Glass, pt.1


In a world where everyone has superpowers, people fly around from country to country, others lift buildings off people in rescue efforts… and you? You were born with paper skin and glass bones.


“Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!” Your brother says, slapping a fist on his palm.

You roll your eyes as he bumps his rock on your scissors.

“C’mon Gia, you’re not even trying,” he says, settling deeper into the carpet.

But you don’t take the bait. Instead, you push yourself to your feet. “What’s there to try? It’s just a game of chance.” The windows are closed; it’s just starting to get cold outside and your parents don’t want either of you to catch a chill. Well… they say it like that, as if they’re really worried Kyle might catch a cold. Everyone knows it’s mostly you they’re worried about.

Kyle hops to his feet. “Harry, from next door, says that it’s all just a matter of knowing your opponent. He beats me every time! It’s so cool!”

Yeah, well, Harry’s got a useful ability, you think. Only twelve years old, and already he was finding something useful to do with his abilities. You’re mostly confined to the house. That’s what happens when you’re more flammable than most and your bones are made of glass.

“Won’t you at least come outside and play Heroes and Villains with me?” Kyle says, sounding quite lonely.

But you’ve got another idea, one that Kyle couldn’t know about unless you want him blabbing to Mom and Dad. “I’m going to take a walk,” you say. “Make sure Mom knows if you go out.”

You look back at your brother, who’s put on his pouty-face. “Why don’t you have to always tell her where you’re going.”

You don’t bother to respond; he knows the answer. He may have a useful superpower, but he’s still several years younger than you, and not allowed to be outside without someone knowing about it. Your parents worry for your safety, perhaps, but at least they know to give you a bit of freedom.

You head to the door, grabbing your jacket before you head out. It’s chilly, and the jacket doesn’t seem to do much good, but being outside in the free air is better than being inside and feeling claustrophobic.

Everyone keeps promising that a person gets their superpower for a reason, and that you’ll find out what yours is for sooner or later. It’s starting to become a bit of a joke.

Don’t be jealous of your brother, Gi-gi; he can’t help what he got any more than you can. Kyle’s strong. He was able to lift three hundred pounds on his eighth birthday, easy.

Several people are walking about outside, many of whom you know to be your neighbors, even if you don’t really know their names. Rob from next door — Harry’s dad, incidentally — waves across the fence. You wave back, and then scuttle off before he tries to make conversation.

It doesn’t matter what superpower you have, Bug, her father said once, a few years ago. He’d tapped against your chest. What matters is in here. A hero isn’t super because of what she can do; a hero’s only a hero if she’s got the heart to use what’s available to her. 

They’re just words, but today they sit funny in your heart.

It’s time to be just as good as the rest of them, you think. No… better.


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