Hello, wonderful readers! I find myself once again needing to apologize for being incredibly inconsistent… and yet again, my only excuse is life. Usually, this would be the part of my post where I assure you that I’ll be more consistent. But since that has failed each time I’ve tried, I’m not going to say that.
Instead, I’m going to let you read this story that I’ve spent the past few weeks working on. I was inspired to write it after going to youth group (what a surprise). Somehow while at I was there, my mind combined the superhero stories I love reading, with the amazing chaos of youth group. And that is how I started writing this story.
– – –
I hesitated in front of the door, my wings fluttering nervously as I wondered what in Calamity I was doing. I generally did my best to avoid people. Not only did I prefer to be alone, but my… powers made human interactions awkward. It was incredibly hard to have a decent conversation with someone when they spent most of it staring at the pair of giant purple wings sprouting from your back.
Yet here I was, about to enter a building completely full of other humans. And even worse, they were my age. Faith had assured me time after time that everyone here was super nice, and that almost all of them had powers… but I was still extremely nervous.
I stood there for ages, fidgeting nervously from foot to foot before finally making up my mind. I had told Faith I would come, at least this once, and I would.
Taking a deep breath, I shoved open the door and walked inside. Immediately I was overwhelmed by dozens of sounds. Kids laughing and yelling and shouting, loud music blasting out of speakers. It was shocking at first, but after a few seconds I adjusted and made my way hesitantly towards a table set up in the hallway.
Standing beside the table was a young woman with bright green hair, her eyes glowing a creepy green. She was chatting with a slightly older man, seated at the table, whose hair was… on fire. I stared at him in complete shock, but the flames just kept burning and he just kept… sitting there.
The woman noticed me, turned, and smiled in a friendly, almost familiar way.
“Hi, so glad you came! Is this your first time at Cornerst-” She was cut short as my friend Faith burst out of a door to the side, grinning wildly.
“Kate! You finally came!” She said, hugging me in excitement. Before I could reply, she had grabbed my hand and pulled me into the room she had come from.
I allowed myself to be dragged along, making sure that my wings didn’t get caught on the edges of the doorframe. Faith’s excitement was infectious, my heart racing with excitement as we stepped into the room.
The first thing that hit me as we entered the room was the sound. While the blasting music that shook the floor and excited yells which pierced my ears had seemed relatively loud from outside the room, they were a dozen times louder inside, and I had to resist the urge to cover my ears.
Alongside the usual noises you would expect from a room full of kids, I was surprised to notice stranger noises, such as animal calls, bursts of wind that sounded like the flapping of wings, odd pops and explosions, and dozens of other things.
As I looked around and noticed, well, everything else, the stranger sounds started to make sense. At least, most of them corresponded with what I saw. The room seemed to be bursting with the strangest sights. On the stage at the back of the room, a group of kids was skating on ice as it was being created by a short boy wearing a dark hoodie.
In one of the farther corners, three girls sat, giggling with one another while a cloud overtop of them alternatively rained or snowed. Part of the room seemed to have been turned into a miniature jungle, with vines, plants, and even small trees obscuring the group of kids creating them.
I jumped in surprise as a sudden noise cracked the air, and seconds later fireworks burst far above our heads. Water, fire, ice, or just plain glowing balls of electricity flew about the room. My heart nearly stopped beating when bear lumbered through the room, then transformed into a young man. I felt a sudden gust of wind beside me, and saw a faint blur, quickly followed by a second one, rushing past me. The blurs proceeded to run around the room several times before one, which turned out to be a young woman, slipped, sliding to a stop just before running into the ice skaters on the stage.
Glancing up again, I was stunned to see nearly as much activity in the air as there was on the ground. A small teen with a monkey-like tail had climbed up one of the trees in the room, and was conversing with a few kids floating in the air. Higher up, several more teens seemed to be crawling along the ceiling. Dozens of people floated in the air, some using wings like mine, others floating on their own, others standing on shimmery force fields similar to the ones I had seen Faith create dozens of times.
I grinned, delighted by this entire place. The craziness, the completely exotic and odd yet familiar feel of everything was amazing!
A loud thump behind me startled me out of my silence observations. Turning about, I was shocked to see a boy about my age lying on the floor, seeming to have fallen from the ceiling high above us. For a moment I panicked, wondering if he was dead. Then the boy sat up, looking rather abashed.
“Sorry, Pastor Jackson.” The boy said, addressing his words to a tall man who, I realized, had just teleported to where we were. “I lost my grip. Um…” he glanced down. “I can clean any blood off the carpet.”
Pastor Jackson sighed, though it seemed like this was an every day routine for him.
“Please stay away from the ceiling, Everett,” he said. It looked like he was about to say something more, but there was an ominous cracking sound from one of the trees in the room. With another sigh, he turned around and disappeared, only to rematerialize several dozen feet away, working to stop the trees from falling over.
“That was Everett.” Faith told me, pointing at the not-so-dead boy who had just fallen from the ceiling. “He’s got crazy healing powers. And the man teleporting around to try and keep this place from burning down is Pastor Jackson. The girls under the rain clouds are…” She then proceeded to name every kid in the room.
I nodded along, still surprised by the entire youth group. Faith laughed, pointing at the boy making the ice rink. He was now partnering up with one of the girls sitting under the rain cloud, and together they were making a giant ramp, like one you’d find at a skateboard park.
“That’s Dylan, and helping him with the slide is Amy,” Faith explained. “Dylan and his friends always try some crazy stunt each week.”
Several of the teens flying up by the ceiling started dropping onto the slide, zipping down it and then soaring off the long ramp at the end. One boy with a giant set of dragon wings (“His name’s Anthony,” Faith told me. “But everyone calls him Smaug.”) started bringing kids who were stuck on the ground up to the top of the slide, which they proceeded to soar down before shooting off the end, where they were caught by a few of their flying friends.
I laughed, watching it all in slightly longing amazement.
“This is amazing, Faith!”
She smirked at me, which plainly said ‘I told you so.’
“I know. Now come on, Ethan’s waiting for us.” She spread her hands, palms face down, which made a forcefield at her feet that started to move upwards, lifting her with it.
I watched her slowly move upwards for a bit, then realized I was supposed to follow. I spread my wings, careful not to knock anyone over, and soared past my friend. It felt odd to use my powers around so many people, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I climbed quickly, then flipped about, tucking my wings to my sides and plummeting down towards Faith, opening my wings as I approached her.
She rolled her eyes at me, muttering, “Showoff.” I could barely hear her over the loud music. “Here, we’re headed to that rafter higher up.” She pointed at one of the many large metal beams crossing the ceiling of the room. I nodded, taking off in that direction while my friend followed at a slower pace.
It took me a few tries to land directly on the beam, my large wings becoming cumbersome when I tried to do ‘detail work’, but eventually I managed to land on it, just as Faith glided up to it on her force field.
Ethan, our young telepathic friend, sat on the beam, looking partially annoyed and partially terrified.
“Hey, Kate. Glad you came.” He managed, before turning to Faith, very annoyed. “Faith.” He said. “If you ever leave me stranded up in the ceiling again I-”
Faith waved her hand casually.
“You know I wouldn’t leave you here forever. You just said Kate was here, so I went to see here.”
“You could have brought me!” He complained in exasperation. “It’s better than stranding me on this beam, with no way of getting down.”
Faith laughed, but nodded her agreement. She made her forcefield slightly bigger, sitting down on it and gesturing for me and Ethan to get on. We both scrambled onto it and she moved us out to the middle of the room. I looked down and grinned at being up so high. It was exhilarating. Ethan didn’t quite seem to agree with that, looking a bit sick at how high up we were, with only Faith’s field protecting us.
Faith and Ethan struck up a conversation, talking excitedly about some of the trips that would be happening later in the year, and other youth-group-ish things. Occasionally I’d join in with their discussion, but I found that most of my attention was directed at looking about the room, taking in the sights.
Looking about the room, I found myself intrigued by how all the different cliques seemed to be by someone’s type of superpowers. Only a few groups defied the trend, including the group of boys headed by Dylan, the boy with ice powers. There were about six boys in that group, all of whom seemed to be best friends. Aside from Dylan with his ice powers, there was ‘Smaug’, then a boy who was ridiculously strong, and a few others. Together, the boys ran, flew, or slid around the room together, laughing, teasing, and playing pranks on one another.
Then there were the four girls who sat side by side along the wall, giggling with each other while experimenting with their powers. I peered closer, trying to see what exactly they were doing.
“Kate?” Ethan interrupted my thoughts.
“Hmm?” I looked up, and Ethan sighed, while Faith just smirked at my usual distractedness.
“I wanted to know if you were going to keep coming to Cornerstone now that you’ve been here once.” He explained.
“I think so.” I shrugged.
My friends grinned, both very happy at succeeding in getting me to stop being an ‘antisocial hermit’ as Faith usually put it.
Before we could continue the conversation, the music faded to silence and Pastor Jackson started speaking.
“Hey, guys! So glad you came tonight!” He called out, his voice reaching throughout the whole room. “If you could all take a seat, we’ll get started in a few minutes!”
– – –
There you are! Please comment if you enjoyed it, and come back in a few weeks for another post!