Today’s nerdy blog is a little bit different…. A while back, my library’s writing group all drew random prompts. Fate was with me as mine was: If you could have any superpower what would it be? *cracks knuckles* I’d been preparing my whole life for a prompt like this. Today, I thought I’d share that story, mostly because: (A) It’s super nerdy; and (B) It was a ton of fun to write.
We’ll skip the origin story. As a dedicated comic nerd before I became an actual superhero—and, yes, I know how crazy that sounds, but hear me out—I know that origin stories are everyone’s least favorite. I mean, don’t get me wrong: You can’t have Batman without Crime Alley or Spider-Man without great power and great responsibility.
But we all know those stories. We want to get to the action, to the grit, to the “How will they save the day” and the “Does the day even deserve to be saved?”
The latter is for edgier comics, though, and if my real life ever became a comic book, I doubt it would be all that edgy. I don’t think a 4’11” librarian can pull off the angst that, say… Daredevil can.
That’s not to say I haven’t had some hard times in my life. But everybody has. Everyone has had wracking sobs and shaking fists. We’ve all been heartbroken and we’ve all been furious. The difference is whether we let those moments be our molds or our ladder rungs: Do they define us or do they lift us higher?
I tend to lean towards the latter, because… well, like I said, I can’t pull off the doom and gloom.
And besides the past is in the past… in the origin story. And this isn’t really an origin story. This is how Sarah Davidson became the fastest librarian alive.
You wouldn’t think being a librarian has that many occupational hazards. (Though we tend to joke that the compulsion to take home a new book at the end of every work day is a real danger.)
And, yeah, except for the occasional pulled muscle or papercut, things are pretty quiet.
Minus the freak accident that gave me my powers: an early morning storm, a lightning bolt, and me working on the computer. I don’t know how, but somehow the electric shock that surged through the computer and into me… gave me super-speed!
Super-speed is by far the best power. No more driving—because now running is actually faster! Plus, there are technically no speed limits for running. (But who would have guessed anyone would ever be hitting Mach 3?)
Not that I can go my fastest. The speed would tear up the sidewalks.
People are starting to talk about a strange blur throughout this normally quiet small town though. No one’s suspected superpowers… mostly because that idea is crazy.
But super speed also comes with speed brain—which means I can think as fast as I can move. That comes in handy whenever I’m typing—those two books I’ve been wanting to write? I finished them last week.
Now I just have to edit them….
Unfortunately, super speed did not come with super motivation.
Plus, I can vibrate my molecules fast enough to go through solid objects. Locked myself out of the house? No problem!
I can also vibrate quickly enough that I appear invisible… though I haven’t experimented with that much… yet.
But that’s not even the biggest plus to super speed. The best part? Superfast metabolism. This speed is always a part of me, even when I appear to be still. And that speed needs fuel—10,000 calories per day fuel. I can lose the weight I want, and then eat whatever I want just to maintain my new figure!
And that is especially good news for a chocoholic.
It’s been a couple months since I got my speed, and I’ve grown pretty accustomed to it. I mean, there was definitely a learning curve (namely passing out a few times because I needed to eat and then there was that one time I meant to go get my mail, but I ended up in Fiji….)
I never had any patience, but now with super-speed always itching at me, I find it’s nearly impossible to be still. I get up earlier in the morning and then I get three times as much done as I used to. Dishes, no matter how high they’re stacked, take only 5 minutes.
I spend the rest of my free time writing (and wearing out my keyboard) and reading (I’ve already read 200 books this year!) And at work, I can put books away in a blink of an eye. I’ve also already scheduled all the employees for the next five years! And I’ve outlined programming for the next ten!
Huh… maybe speed brain doesn’t mix well with being a planner….
Of course, most of the time there are fellow librarians around. And that means I can’t use my speed (which is like asking a seven-year old with a water pistol not to shoot it). But I manage. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of hiding my powers (as long as no one looks at the floor under my desk—there’s a pretty good sized hole from my incessant foot tapping).
About a week ago, I started wondering how else I could use my super speed. I’ve gotten ahead at work, at home, and with my hobbies. I’ve helped around the house at my parents’, and I’ve even let my engineer brother run some experiments on me.
But today, as I was sitting at my desk, double-checking the schedule for October 2022 for the tenth time, I couldn’t help but wonder if I could do something more.
I’m a pretty… normal person. I’ve never been one to rush into danger. I’m more than a bit squeamish, and I’m very introverted. Even when just reading comic books, I would find myself wondering how the characters could take such colossal risks.
But then I started paying attention to the sirens. This might be a pretty small town, but it’s surprising how often sirens blare.
And that’s when it hit me: Every comic I’d ever read: “With great power comes great responsibility.” “Life doesn’t give us purpose. We give life purpose.” “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
What reason is there to have abilities if you don’t use them? And as I ran to the siren, I realized that was true of any ability, not just this strange super speed that had miraculously come my way. If you have the ability to write a story or give a speech that moves people, if you have the ability to open up young minds to the world around them, if you have the ability to make people laugh and forget their troubles—whatever it is, how can you not use it?
This particular siren was just for a domestic dispute. Nothing I could help with. But there will be others—fires, or robberies, or who knows what—where my speed might be helpful.
I’ll keep an ear out, and my running shoes nearby. And in the meantime, I’ll keeping putting away books at lightning speed….
Because I’m Sarah Davidson. And I’m the fastest librarian alive.
Note: I do not own any of the references to DC comics. I am simply referencing them in this parody work.