And so you see, that is how I came to be a superhero.
Yes, I agree, the lamest one ever. Lame power, not-so-smart, not-so-tough, not-so-bright, not-so-good. Really, I was just human, a bit genetically modified, and my greatest successes were no more monumental than anyone else’s—almost arguably less than them. Ordinary everyday heroes did so much better than I did—and April, as a teacher, was definitely one of them.
So why would anyone care about my story? Why bother telling it?
So someone would learn from my mistakes?
“Tell it again.”
Clayton laughed and picked up the little boy, lifting him into his arms. “Aren’t you sick of that story yet? It’s not even a good story.”
“It’s funny,” the boy said, putting out his bottom lip and doing an impressive pout.
“It won’t work. Your Uncle Larabee might have tried to tell you that it does, and it does work on him, but not on me. You know better than that.”
“Dad, come on! Please! I like when you tell me the superhero story. Your story. Mom’s story,” the boy insisted, wrapping his arms around Clay’s neck. “I’m not that tired. Please?”
Clay shook his head. “You know how Mom feels about bedtime. One story. Or one part of it, at least. No more. Now you’ve had the story, and it’s time to go to bed. No arguing.”
“But Dad! You haven’t told all of it. You know you haven’t. You haven’t gone into how I got here or when you went up against the other bad guys. You need to tell all of it. All of it.”
“And when would you sleep then?” April asked, not amused. Their son winced. He knew that Mommy meant business. She always did. “Go wash up and get into bed already.”
“Mom, what’s a Ninety-Nine?”
Clayton set the boy down. He immediately started to protest. “But—”
She pointed him toward his room and shook her head as she watched him go. Clayton went over and wrapped his arms around his wife. She sighed tiredly. “You were telling him the story again?”
“Well, not all of it. That was his main complaint.”
“He should complain about you bad mouthing yourself all the time.”
“He thinks I’m a hero, and we both know that’s not true.”
April elbowed him, and Clay rubbed his stomach, grimacing. “Stop saying that. You’re his hero, and that’s what matters, isn’t it?”
“You’re worried about him trying to do what I can do, aren’t you?”
“Yes. And it does not help that Larabee keeps giving him new superhero costumes every time he comes by. That poor kid. He never stood a chance.”
“I don’t know,” Clay said, rocking her gently in his arms. “I think he stands a better chance of growing up to be a hero than I ever did.”