The morning sun was peaking into my window as I woke up, unsure of where I was. A stranger’s sheets were wrapped around my torso, and I moved them off of me slowly, body aching from strenuous activity. Looking around, I realized this was not my bedroom.
A voice came from outside of the room, sounding very awake. “Hey, there’s coffee in here,” the stranger said, her voice casual. I found my clothes scattered amongst strange belongings and slipped them on before walking out into a living room. “I figured you’d be awake by now,” the woman said, looking me up and down as she leaned against her kitchen counter.
“Wha — What happened…”
“You’re at my apartment, and you probably don’t remember what happened last night.”
“Yep,” she sighed, a smirk appearing on her face. “You don’t remember, do you?” I just shook my head, brain still foggy with sleep. She turned and grabbed a coffee mug from the cabinet above her, standing on her tip toes as she did so. “It’s okay that you don’t remember,” she told me as she poured hot coffee into the mug. “I can’t really remember all that much either. Lots of shots.”
“We met at Ralph’s. Covid party. Remember, everyone had to test negative before going? I brought you home.” She handed me the mug, the scent of black coffee instantly waking my senses up.
“Did we have sex?” I asked, voice breaking slightly.
“Yeah,” she chuckled. “That I remember.” Even though I knew we were both adults and hook ups were normal, I couldn’t help but blush as she smiled at me. “Then, something weird happened…”
“Yeah, you started glowing all bright ‘n shit,” she told me, gesturing around herself. “All over your body.”
“Yeah, man. I just thought I was too crossfaded and I imagined it, but looking at you right now…” She squinted at me a little, her smile faded. “I’d say that might not have been a drug and alcohol fueled dream.”
I instinctively touched my face. “What do you mean?”
“Go look in the mirror. Bathroom’s on the left.”
I walked briskly in the direction she pointed me to and found the bathroom, turning the light on with earnest and looking at myself in the mirror. Nothing was too off about what I was looking at. Same big, curly hair (that definitely needed moisture after sleeping without my bonnet), same brown eyes, same dark skin. There were some bruises on my neck and chest, but I figured being in someone else’s apartment was the reason for those…
“Do you see it?” the stranger called from the kitchen. “Look at your arms.”
I looked down at my arms and didn’t really see anything new. Raising them up, putting them down, moving them around…Nothing. “This is all the same,” I called back. “I don’t feel any different.”
A sigh came from the kitchen, and footsteps told me she was coming to the bathroom to show me what she saw. Her head whipped around the corner. “Come with me,” she said, looking up at me. “We’re going onto the balcony.”
“The balcony? What? Why?”
We walked outside, onto a small apartment balcony. The city was quiet underneath our feet, the streets soon to be bustling with late Christmas shoppers and people trying to go to brunch despite all of the mandates and restrictions. I shook my head, thinking about how stupid I was to go to a Covid party in the first place…judging brunchers was the least of my worries.
The stranger stood in front of me, back towards her apartment door. “My name is Jane, by the way,” she said. “I figure if you can’t remember last night, you can’t remember my name.”
“I’m Jasmine,” I responded, causing Jane to chuckle again. “I’m guessing you remembered that?”
“I did.” Jane got a little closer to me and I backed away slightly, back hitting the railing of the balcony. “It’s cold out here. What are we doing right now?”
“I’m trying to show you what happened last night,” she said, getting even closer. “Do you even know what day it is?”
“No,” I admitted, looking behind me. It was a long fall down. My heart began to race as Jane took my hips, and I looked down at her with a sense of dread bubbling in my stomach.
“It’s December 21st, Jasmine,” Jane told me, her eyes searching mine. “You really don’t remember last night?”
“No, I don’t.” My voice was shaking as I gripped onto the railing. “What happened?”
“You got super powers at midnight,” Jane said, smiling wildly as she threw me off of the balcony.
I tried to scream, but could only gasp as I felt the air beneath my feet. But I was not falling. I could feel something on my arms, something that was prickly and moved with the billowing wind around me. Moving my arms up and down made me go up drastically, and I looked at them to see wings sprouting from the backs of my arms.
“What the fuck,” I gasped as I flew unceremoniously upwards. “What the fuck is going on?!”
I could hear Jane laughing from her balcony, and I tried to figure out how to get back down to her so I could confront her. Rolling around in the air for a minute to no avail, I finally just put my arms at my sides and began to scream as I sank down quickly.
I felt a hand grab my ankle, and I swung down, hitting my body on the balcony roughly. “Ow, what the hell!?” Looking up, I saw Jane, her hands made of steel, one gripping onto the railing tight enough to crunch the metal, and one holding onto my ankle gently.
“Yeah, I got them too,” she said casually, pulling me up. Her arm slowly turned into steel as she did so, the strength from her own body supplemented by the new powers within her.
“I didn’t think that was real!” I shouted as I landed on the balcony floor, ass hitting it hard enough to illicit another pained groan from me. “I thought that was just a meme?”
“I think everyone did, honestly,” Jane sighed, shaking out her arms to get the steel to go away. “But I started to glow pretty soon after you last night.”
“Why you?” I abruptly asked. “You’re…”
“I’m light skinned, honey,” she said, hands on her hips. “I just look like a White girl, but I’m high yellow…according to my aunties, anyway.”
I sat there, cold and confused on this stranger’s balcony, watching as the strange wings crept back into my skin. The prickliness turned into a strange burning sensation, like when one pricks their finger on a million needles. I couldn’t help but let out a small groan as they finally slid back underneath, invisible to the naked eye.
Looking up at Jane, I asked, “So what do we do with this information? I mean, did we ALL get superpowers? Every Black person got superpowers. Is that what I should believe? I mean, what is this?!” I waved my arms around helplessly. “This isn’t normal! I know I’m not still fucked up from last night, it felt too real to be fake.”
“Oh, it’s real,” Jane said, opening the door to her apartment. “I think we were supposed to be at the party glowing with the rest of them, but we were just too, well, horny for each other, I guess,” she shrugged as she helped me onto my feet. We walked into the apartment and she went back to her post, leaning against the kitchen counter as if nothing crazy had just happened. “Ralph mentioned the meme a lot last night. I just thought he was excited about some story.”
“We all were, everyone was,” I groaned as I paced back and forth nervously. “We all thought it was just a meme, didn’t we?”
“I mean…yeah, but…” She shrugged again. “A little part of me wanted it to be real. Don’t you feel the same way?”
I threw my hands up in the air, overwhelmed. “I mean I fucking guess,” I cried. “I didn’t think that would mean that the people in charge of this fucked up life would actually make it happen!”
“Definitely the work of God, some would say,” Jane said, resuming her coffee drinking. “I’d say Mother Nature’s giving us some justice for being cast aside so often in our past lives…”
“Bitch, you’re White!”
“Well you look it,” I spat, knowing that my anger was slightly unjustified, but angry nonetheless. “You have so much privilege just because you pass. I don’t have that right. For all we know, your ancestors could’ve been in the house, looking down on mine for working in the fields.” Jane didn’t say anything, and I had stopped pacing to yell. We stared at each other for a moment before I finally cleared my throat, stood up straight, and calmly said, “That might have been a little too much. I’m sorry about that.”
“You think it was a little too much?” Jane said, sarcasm dripping from every word. “Oh, I don’t know, I’m sure you could’ve been more hateful there, I don’t know if that was your best work…”
“We just met,” I said, anger not fully gone from my body. “You know nothing of my best work.”
“You sound like an Anime character,” Jane said. I saw the hint of a smile on her face. “Super powers already going to your head?”
This caused me to smile as well, albeit not by choice. “Whatever,” I grumbled, turning away. “I’m going home.”
“Wait,” Jane said suddenly, coffee cup down on the counter as she hurried towards me. “I’m sorry for pushing you off the ledge and ignoring the obvious White passing privilege I have. Even though you don’t remember it, last night was great. Maybe we could figure out this super power thing together? Maybe we can call Ralph and see what’s up with him? If we’re the only ones with super powers, we should probably know before we start talking about it all crazy.”
I looked down at her, her hand on my arm. I could tell that she was trying to appear aloof, but her eyes were earnest, as if she was scared. Honestly, I was scared too. Seeing that Tweet and laughing about it was one thing, but actually waking up to superpowers? It didn’t make sense, and I knew that even though I didn’t really know Jane, I would rather figure out the situation at hand with her than alone.
Sighing, I turned towards her. “You have Ralph’s number? I don’t.”
Jane’s face lit up and she let go of me, rushing back to the kitchen to grab her phone. “How do you not have his number?”
“I got invited by his girlfriend Frankie,” I told her. “We’ve been friends since college.”
“Right, Frankie,” Jane hummed as she looked for the number. “She’s really nice. I just met her last night.”
“How’d you get invited?” The party last night was very exclusive in the sense that only people Ralph knew could be invited. The fact that I was allowed to come at all was shocking to me. Having the party underground was the smartest thing to do because of the restrictions in the city, and although I knew I could be compromising myself by going, I hadn’t left my house since March. I needed to be around people.
Apparently I needed to satiate the sexual being inside of me as well. I looked over at Jane, who was calling Ralph again after he neglected to pick up the first time. There was no wonder why I thought she was anything but Black; her skin was barely tan, her hair stick straight. In the darkness of the night, I would not have known any better. Under the influence, I would not have cared.
“Hello? Ralph!” Jane looked at me, eyes wide. “Ralph, do you remember last night?”
“Put it on speakerphone,” I whispered.
Jane did so, and Ralph’s deep morning voice came though the phone’s speaker. “Yeah, a little bit. You wake up with a weird feeling too?”
“Bro, we have superpowers,” she said excitedly.
“Ralph,” I started, “It’s Jasmine, from last night. I don’t remember anything.”
“Oh, hey, Frankie’s friend! Yeah, you and Jane left like thirty minutes ‘till midnight. Guess quarantine life had been getting to you both, huh?”
“Sure,” Jane said quickly. “What are your powers?”
“Dude, I think I can move shit with my mind,” Ralph said, voice full of wonder. “I didn’t even reach for my phone when y’all called, it just floated over to me as I thought about picking up. Some weird shit, huh?”
“So it’s not just us?” I said, looking between the phone and a relieved Jane.
“Nope, it’s all of us,” Ralph said. I could hear the silly grin in his voice.
Jane hung up and looked at me, face void of any one emotion. “So…I mean…what happens now?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?” I asked as I tried to collect all my thoughts. “This is unprecedented.”
Jane hummed, looking out of the window as she thought. I began to gather my things up silently, only stopping when she let out another sound. “You see that?” she said, motioning for me to come over to her. I walked over and looked at where she was looking. “Is that…”
“What is that?” I asked, looking down at the city below. From her apartment, we could see the top of the statehouse. From where we were, it appeared as if there were people on the very top, smoke pouring from the building itself. “Are…are people raiding the statehouse?”
“Wow,” Jane said simply. “I guess after no one listens to peaceful protests, when we get a chance like this…”
“…Who’s really not going to take it?” I finished. The two of us exchanged looks, utterly baffled. “Amazing.”
“You wanna go protest? Burn down some government buildings?” I joked.
Jane laughed, shaking her head. “I’d rather use my powers to bring people together, not…make things worse for us.”
“Or they could be better,” I suggested. “After all, we don’t know what’s going to happen now. Black people having superpowers might be what turns the tide in this whole Black Lives Matter thing we’re all fighting for…But I’m not going down there,” I added, pointing outside. “Even with superpowers, I’m too much of a pussy to go down there and fight if there’s a chance I can be shot in the street.”
“I unfortunately agree with you,” Jane said. “I went down and protested during the summer…I saw those people get ran over by the police cars. I got tear gassed. The whole thing…brutal. It was a warzone. I’m okay to make all sorts of donations and help in that way, but I don’t want to be shot…regardless of what I look like,” she added. I didn’t realize my face was reacting to her words, and I pulled my judgment away quick.
She was right. No one had been safe during those summer protests. “Well…I guess I should go home,” I sighed. I pulled my coat on and grabbed my mask from the coffee table. “Thank you for last night, even though I can’t remember it. Sorry about that.”
“We can always try again,” Jane suggested, a sly smile creeping onto her face. “After all, you’re officially in my bubble. Everyone at the party is.”
“You think people lied about their test results?” I asked, randomly thinking about how many people were there last night.
Jane shrugged. “Maybe. I guess we’ll find out in two weeks.”
“Maybe our powers will protect us?” I said, laughing at my own joke.
“Maybe? I don’t know how it works,” Jane said, laughing as well. She leaned against her couch, watching me as I opened the door. “Well, Jasmine…you have my number.”
“I do?” I reached for my phone. Sure enough, her name was at the top of my text messages, kiss emojis in the preview window. “Oh!”
“Did it before you woke up,” she said, winking. “Come over again soon. Maybe we can practice our super powers on each other?”
“You just want me to carry you around while I try to fly.”
Jane smiled. “Only if you say yes.”
God, I had wings in my skin. This stranger had super strength steel in hers. It was the day of the Great Conjunction, four days before Christmas, and the memes had been true. Black people had super powers after all. I had super powers.
“I can fucking fly,” I said aloud much later, on the train home. No one looked at me as I let myself deflate in disappointment. “Why the fuck am I on the train?”
Hello everyone! If you’re wondering what today’s writing prompt was all about, look no further than Twitter dot com. The whole “Black people are getting super powers” thing is one of the best things about this month for me because it’s just so funny and outlandish, but stirs up the “What If?” that people love to dwell on so much. I love the idea of only Black people getting super powers. It’s been fun to see all the memes of what people would do with them (most concerning seeking justice for all the wrongs society has wrought over the years).
I suppose if I had super powers I would try to use them for good, but I know I’d end up being an anti-hero based on what my morals are (and what my temper is) in a normal, everyday setting. Seeking justice would be my only goal! It’s kind of cheesy, but I don’t have to worry about it too much; after all, I didn’t wake up with super powers today. I still fight the good fight for the BLM movement in other, less dramatic ways!
I really hope you liked this story! If you did, consider leaving me a tip on Ko-Fi! You don’t have to, of course, but I am working towards self-publishing my NaNoWriMo project from this year. If you want to help with the funds for that, be my guest! Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter to see what kind of shenanigans I get up to in my day to day life. If I get super powers after all, Twitter will be the first to know!
Thanks for reading, everyone! I’ll see you back here for the end of month, end of year wrap up! I can’t believe it’s that time already, but we can get into that disbelief next week. See you then!