James longed to be a superhero. He slathered himself in toxic waste, shot himself with alpha, beta, and gamma rays, traveled through unknown dimensions, unearthed mystic objects, allowed mutant insects to bite, sting, and lay eggs on him, built super suits and weapons and handheld jet engines, bathed himself in solar wind and rays, electrocuted himself five different ways, spent decades learning martial arts and magic resonance, drank super serums, trained in assassin organizations, made vows he could not unmake, and stole all sorts of alien technology. Though battered, beaten, and bruised, he lived …and called the experiment a failure.
One peer review of “Superhero”
Very nice. There’s of course a choice whether to split the sentence into two, or keep it as one to have the sentence pace match the unrelenting deluge of his efforts. “Spent decades learning” is something I struggle with in my own writing, let me see if I can put the struggle into words – decades is more technical-sounding than years or aeons, and is a middling period of time (not a century, not a year), so it describes a long span of time yet is fairly precise. It also strikes a different tone than the more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants clauses in the rest of the sentence. Something to think about.
I love the point of this story: of trying to make yourself a (in this case super) hero by doing and surviving things that themselves qualify you as a superhero; I especially like it because we think of superheroes as those with necessarily super-human abilities (with batman lurking in a grey area, as he often does).
As it happens, I started experimenting with short stories as a writing practice tool recently – I’ll drop you a line, it would be great to chat. Nice work!