Christian Bell

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 flashquake.

To link to this story directly:

Photo detail on main page courtesy of Chikache.

w i g · l e a F               05-14-08                                [home]