I have to admit, when I first heard about the shot, I was intrigued. I had always been fascinated by the stories in comic books. The thought of becoming an actual, for real 'super hero' really attracted me. There were risks of course, but really, what was I risking? I hated my life. I was stuck in a place that would not allow me to be who I was. So why not become something new? Even if I had a fifty percent chance of dying, what difference did it make if I wasn't really living now? Really, I had nothing to lose.
So I found it. Promicin. It wasn't that hard. Really, if you try, any of you could find it.
Yet, that one little word that now means so much. I have to be honest, when I first injected it, I prayed for death. Really it seemed simpler. Yet, I live on.
For a while, I thought it didn't work. I didn't die. I didn't gain some extraordinary power. Nothing happened. Life went on.
I had always felt a little disconnected from life, but it became more pronounced after I took the shot. It was almost as if I had denied normal existence. Except this time, existence had paid attention, and rejected me instead. Those moments where I most wanted to deny the world, I could.
Some people who say that I could go insubstantial, and move around like a ghost, but really they would only have realized a part of the truth. I never faded. It was the world that did that. All around me, things would go hazy, and I would stay. I would remain real and locked in place, as the world slid around me. When it stopped, things were better.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mean that things were easier. Sometimes, as the world stopped shifting, I was in a really bad spot. Like, well? let me explain, the first time was like this?
I had taken the shot almost two months ago. The fear had passed. For more than a week afterward, I had thought that if I slept, I would never wake up. Or wake up bleeding from every orifice; eyes, nose, mouth, ears, everything. That faded in time, right along with my hope that it would make me someone special.
I was stuck. Nothing could change it. So life went on.
So there I was, just getting off work, on my way home. The day was so mundane, nothing stands out in my mind until the fire. There is something about the scream of a new mother, terrified that her baby is dying only a few floors away from her that sticks with you. For a moment, everything crystallized. I was captured by that scream. Transported by it. I had no kids of my own, hell, I was hardly old enough for them. Just the same, that scream captured me.
One look out my window and I knew that the apartment was already a four alarm fire. I also knew that even that much attention would not halt that blaze, the flames already licked the sky far above the top floor. Sitting in my car, the cry pierced me. Simultaneously more painful than any sword, and more pitiful than anything like it, I was frozen. In that moment, the world around me stopped.
Now understand, I did not move. The world itself moved around me. As insubstantial as a ghost, I slid up into the very fires of hell that blazed within that building. In the blink of an eye, I went from a familiar song playing on the radio, to feeling the hair on my head curl and wither in the heat. The air scorching my lungs, a new cry pierced me. The cry of a child, not more than a year old. Again, the world slid under my feet.
Appearing over the child's crib startled me, but not so badly that I lacked the presence of mind to pick him up. Really, you couldn't blame the kid, it hurt me to breathe up there. Once more the world began to slide, but this time, I focused on the movement, and was aware of everything I slid though . Even now, if you asked me, I could describe each kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom that I fell through. Yet, in the blink of an eye, I was standing in front of the crying, panicked mother.
When I appeared in front of her, there was a moment fear, quickly replaced by recognition., and in that moment, I could see that she realized that she didn't care where her baby had come from. All that crossed her mind at that moment was 'Thank God my baby is safe'.
You know, at that moment, that was exactly what I felt like too; 'God's hand'. I've never claimed that. Never will, really. Just the same, from that moment, I knew that this was a good thing, and that I could make a difference. I just knew it.
But you know, the thing is, the world has always just moved around me. Before I had my power, I had no ability to effect the world. After I took the shot, I changed things. Changed them for the better. At first.
You see, when I went insubstantial, and the world just slid around me, I thought I was teleporting. I thought that the shot had allowed me to close in on people who needed help. Through the shot, I thought, I was able to help them.
The reality is that the world never stopped moving. Every time I slid, the real world was just that much further away.
From here, I can see the planet. Yea, the whole planet. I have slid many times, each time a little further away. Now I can see the planet as only astronauts have seen it. It's beautiful, and terrifying.
I have always been alone, and the more I use my power, the more alone I am. I know that now. I understand what I have done, and I am glad that I helped people. I'm glad that I made a difference. But, can you hear me?
Any of you? Those lives I've touched, those people I've saved; can any of you hear me? I'm still here! So close. At least, I was close! Every time I have helped someone, every time I have changed a life the world has fallen away from me. Fallen so far that now I am as alone as I feel.
Oh God, can't anyone hear me?
-- Joshua A