Upon drinking artichoke tea, he found that he'd gained powers. He
leaned against his living room wall and suddenly fell into his bedroom,
as if the border was just holographic, an artificial line. He crossed
back and forth through the wall. Back and forth. For the twelve hours
that the power lasted in him, the bleariness of his life was erased.
The tea came from a Vietnamese vendor who had set up shop near his
building. He'd wanted coffee but the vendor, a foot shorter and his
face stamped with age, confessed he had none, told him the tea was much
more potent. It was bitter, medicinal in taste. He returned daily.
Different disposable powers emerged: levitation, increased strength,
enhanced hearing. One day he discovered teleportation, the ability to
move himself anyplace he desired. He jumped around: Tahiti, Paris, his
ex-girlfriend's bedroom. The savory heart of his pain. He tried to
leave but his teleportation ability died there. She wasn't in the
bedroom but he could hear two voices in the living room, one distinctly
hers. Fourteen stories up, a window exit was impossible. I have access
to power, he imagined himself saying, I'm a different person. He would
walk out into the living room, see her and her lover's confused eyes,
and, powerless, explain himself all over again.
Christian Bell lives near Baltimore, Maryland. His fiction has appeared
in SmokeLong Quarterly,
JMWW, Pindeldyboz, SKiVE Magazine, Tattoo Highway, Why Vandalism? and