Vera Novković

Out of time, out of place, out of sight, out of mind.
On the outside, looking in.
Constantly trying to get around to writing that novel.
Also, would you mind if I did experiments on you?

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen

       YOU WAKE UP. Kick away the covers. Something moans to your left and you turn to find out it’s a woman. You don’t know her. It doesn’t matter. A low grumble rattles your stomach, once again reminding you that you can now be hungry. And hungover. The hungover part bothers you more.

         You saunter over to the bathroom, not bothering to be quiet. After all, the woman in the next room probably wanted to fuck the image of the big, bad, handsome man you used to be. Not the pot-bellied wreck you are now. Might as well make the noises to go with the motions.

         The mirror – your worst enemy for a while now – stares back with bloodshot blue eyes. Once, they were piercing. X-Ray. Soon, you’re gonna have to count yourself lucky if no cataracts pop up in there, somewhere. The glasses you wear are now no longer fake.

       Alcohol was a quite the discovery. It had had no effect on you before, and so you couldn’t understand the fascination. But now? Now it’s the only way to remember what flying used to feel like. Of course, you’re still strong. A real hunk of a man. However, your tolerance to any kind of substance, or lack thereof, is appalling. Or, at least, it had been, at first. You’re a veteran now. Finally something to be good at again.

      She had stayed with you. For a while, at least, right after they passed The Normalization Bill. She guided you through the chemical treatments, the first hundred or so shots of the glowy green stuff. She stuck with you through the pain, the vomiting, the withdrawal – because it had been withdrawal, only no one could warn you, because, you know, losing your superpowers isn’t exactly your everyday addiction-cleansing process – the first ten attempts at saving the world as a puny human being, and the consequential beat-ups, the first time you tried to beat her up. The last time you talked. The last time you saw her. Or, at least, the last time she knew you’d seen her.

         Being a stalker when you’re not a superhero is a lot easier, it turns out. Expensive, though. The trips to-and-from Washington alone cost a small fortune.

       She remarried, of course. She chose the next contestant. Only, back when you were normal – flying, x-raying the bad guys to better punch their lights out, the whole shebang – the contest was nonexistent. There was just you. On top of the world. With her.

       The comedown from the universe’s biggest ego-trip had been a hard one, to say the least. They assigned you a therapist to soften the blow, but really. There were no words that could help you lift up the Empire State Building. Like you could. Before. Read more...

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