Potato

Originally posted to /r/WritingPrompts.

Prompt by /u/ElectronicLoad:

You’ve developed telekinesis, but to your dismay you can barely manage to lift a pound, with no hope of becoming any stronger


The potato wobbled. I concentrated, contorting my face. Lift. Lift.

Nothing. It was too heavy.

Zapped by lightning and dipped in radioactive sludge at the same time, and this is all I got. The ability to make vegetables wiggle.

Could I lift my own hand? No. I couldn’t even feel my own hand with my power. Apparently it didn’t work on living matter. No ripping the heart out of someone’s chest.

Frustrated, I walked to the other side of the kitchen and grabbed the chef’s knife out of the knife block. Overkill, but I really needed to smash something right about now. I laid the potato on a cutting board and cleaved it in two with a satisfying thunk. The two halves rolled slightly to either side of the knife.

Maybe I could lift two small objects more easily than one big object? With some effort, I levitated one half of the potato so that it floated in front of my face. I tried the other half— strained—

Both halves fell back to the cutting board. No. There was an absolute limit on how much force I could put out at once.

What a useless, shitty power.

I slammed the knife onto the countertop. This was going nowhere. I grabbed my coat off the rack and stormed out the front door of the house.

So many great powers in the world. Apsis could fly at the speed of a jet airliner, Pace could open a portal to the other side of the Earth, and I could tickle tubers without touching them. What I would do to wring a superhero’s oversized, muscular neck right now.

I was mad. More than that—I was pissed. I kicked the dirt in the yard with the toe of my shoe, and a cloud of dust flew into the air.

I felt the dust swirling.

Every individual grain of sand, every clay particle—I could sense its movement. I reached out with my mind, and stopped the motion of the dust cloud. It hovered in place as though time had frozen.

When I stepped into the cloud, the dust tingled as it pressed ever so slightly against my skin. I felt the particles move out of the way as my body passed through.

Apparently, that kick had dug up less than one potato’s worth of dirt.

I rushed back inside the house. Dirt still clung to my shoes as I ran across the tile. I pulled one shoe off, and nearly tripped and smacked my face into the countertop in excitement.

Calm down, I told myself. It was hard to calm down. I knew this would work.

I cleared away the knife and potato halves, then tapped the sole of the shoe against the cutting board. Soil, sand, and bits of organic material landed on the inch-thick wood slab. Gross, but that was something to worry about later.

I held up the cutting board, placing it between my face and a window. The board blocked my view of the early afternoon sunlight streaming through the glass. Very carefully, I levitated a single grain of the loose sand in front of the board. Then, I pushed it as hard as I could.

A tiny prick of light appeared in the center of the board.

Less than one pound of force, but concentrated on an area the size of a pinpoint. A nigh-invisible needle bullet.

Undetectable. Unstoppable.


“Mister Greene. Good to finally meet you.”

Greene extended his hand, and I shook it. He might have been smiling—I couldn’t tell, given his face-concealing green mask.

“The conference room is on the third floor”, Greene said. He gestured to the elevator.

I fiddled with my own mask on the ride up. A dollar store plastic injection-molded piece, on which I had glued some shaped strips of sandpaper. I didn’t have a costume otherwise, just a business suit with a jacket. An ugly rush job—I’d have to get something better later. If everything went well in this meeting, that wouldn’t be a problem.

Greene typed in a code on the electronic lock and opened the door to the conference room. He stepped inside, while I stayed behind in the doorway, my hand inside my suit jacket pocket.

Inside the room was a curved wooden conference table, with a projector and some miscellaneous computer equipment. Around the table were over a dozen supervillains sitting in office chairs. Most of them were C-listers at best, but there were a few masks that I recognized—Brittany Bloodletter, the Old Cicada, maybe one or two others.

“I would like to introduce our newest candidate member”, Greene said.

As I entered the conference room, I removed my hand from my pocket and released the handful of white quartz grains from my closed fist. They flew up in a ribbon, swirling across my mask and around the back of my head. Half of them, I formed into a razor-thin mandala of geometric shapes enclosing my face. The rest, I molded into scintillating bracelets around my forearms.

“This”—Greene gestured to me—“is Pocket Sand.”


[Yes, I wrote all that just to cash in on a stale meme. And yes, I know that raw potatoes are still alive.]

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