“Landon, I want you to help me rob a bank.”
I try to ignore my brother, since I clearly didn’t hear him right.
“Won’t you do me a favor?” he asks after letting himself into my house without bothering to knock. Not that knocking would have done him any good since I wasn’t planning on letting him into my house at all anyway.
“No,” I say without bothering to look up from the book I’m reading.
“Just hear me out!” he exclaims.
I lower the book and look up at my older brother Brandon. Thankfully, I don’t take much after him. Not that he’s ugly or anything like that, he’s not, but just because he’s an idiot. And the one thing I don’t want to be is an idiot. “What, Brandon?”
“I want you to help me rob a bank.”
“No! You asked me last week, and I already told you I have better things to do. Like…” I look around as I try to think of something. It’s hard when my life consists of trying to avoid my family and reading every book I can get my hands on. Oh, and did I mention avoiding my family? Honestly, that’s a full-time career when they all have powers that allow them to better annoy the shit out of me. “Work.”
“Mom told me you got fired,” Brandon says as he sits down on the couch next to me.
“I got fired because Mom came in and told the boss that she needed me. When he said I was working and couldn’t just leave, she told him he looks like an overripe nut sac.”
Brandon starts laughing. “That’s so cool.”
“I hate all of you,” I decide as I lift my book back up.
“About the bank. Come on, you borrowed money from me last week.”
I stare at my brother in disbelief. “Five dollars. You honestly think the equivalent of you lending me five dollars is me helping you rob a bank? I’m not going to help you rob a bank again!”
Why am I robbing a bank again?
I’d like to blame it on my family. See, we’re supervillains—at least, that’s what my family claims we are. I think they’re basically a group of lunatics with barely any superpowers who ache to be villains. There are superheroes and supervillains, but it’s not like in the movies where they’re flying around and morphing into giant green humanoids.
There are a lot of people who have what we call powers, that are able to do little things. Super strength, excellent vision, those kinds of things. But powers are judged by strength and deadliness on a scale of D to A. So ninety percent of people with powers fall into the rank of D. It means they’re basically harmless. Almost all of the rest fall into rank C with barely any in B or A. While my powers are in line with individuals who have rank A abilities, I managed to mess with the test so they think I’m only a rank C. My parents are rank D, but my oldest brother, Nolan, is a B.
As for Brandon? His superpower is being a dumbass.
And maybe invincibility. Which puts him into a ranking of C.
Ranks are also how they determine things. Like the main superheroes who protect each city generally have powers that fall into rank A. If they were any lower they wouldn’t be powerful enough to take down the villains who insist on pestering them.
“I don’t have all day,” I say as I wait outside the bathroom for my brother to come out.
“I have to get my suit on!” Brandon says.
“Don’t bother. Your face is ugly enough no one’s going to look at it anyway.”
“Mom says we look almost identical.”
I scoff. “In no way do we even look kinda alike. She screwed the mailman in order to conceive you, and I’m adopted.”
“You’re not adopted.”
I glance over at the mirror that sits in the corner of my bedroom. And there I stand, a grown man of twenty-eight in my supervillain outfit. My parents bought me a real one with spandex and a black cape, but I refused to wear it and donated it to Goodwill. That resulted in Mom making me another one that I grudgingly kept but refuse to wear for this.
Instead, I’m in baggy black sweats over a pair of jeans, a black hoodie over a t-shirt, and a mask that covers all of my face. I look like a burglar out of a children’s TV show. The only visible part of my body is my brown eyes that are currently judging me. Just in case there’s a fuck up, I grab my spare mask and stuff it into my pocket. One can never have too many masks when they don’t want their face broadcast all over the world.
The door behind me swings open and Brandon emerges wearing his new “superoutfit.”
It looks like he went to some adult store and bought a latex suit. Immediately, I start laughing because my brother really can’t pull off a latex sex suit. “Ah, finally embracing your fetishes, I see.”
“What are you talking about? Isn’t this sexy? The ladies can see all of me,” he says as he waves to his groin area, which is showing a bulge that he couldn’t even dream of possessing.
“Do you have a sock rolled up in there?” I ask in disbelief.
“Oh my god. I hope we get caught and you go to jail,” I say as I head for the door.
“We can’t get caught with you helping,” he says as he heads out the door to an old beat-up pickup truck he’s had since he was sixteen. It’s the only thing reliable in his life.
“And you promise that if I do this, you’ll keep Mom off my ass?” I ask.
“Yep. I’ll cover for you.”
“Good. We’re only taking what’s in the registers, nothing else.”
Even though it’s not yet Thanksgiving, the city is filled with holiday and Christmas décor. There are lights and wreaths hanging from the lamp posts. The huge Christmas tree sits in the city square where they open up ice skating and other festivities. The moment Halloween is over, Christmas begins.
As Brandon drives through the city streets adorned with holiday decorations, I contemplate my life and my decisions. It’s really not my fault I was raised by supervillains. Honestly, robbing a bank is like second nature to me. Hell, I was robbing banks by the age of five once my parents figured out what my power was. I used to love it back then because I thought it was a normal family tradition. At school, when the teacher asked us to do show and tell, I brought in a bag of jewels I’d stolen from a safe and told the enthralled classroom all about how I was a supervillain and I stole them myself. We had to move after that.
I was a stupid child.
Then as I got older, I began to realize that no, we’re not normal. Normal people don’t spend their lives trying to become villains. Especially when none of them are any good at it. And once I started refusing to help them, we haven’t robbed as many banks or done as many evil deeds since they’re basically useless without my powers.
Brandon drives past the small local bank on the corner and I look over at him.
“You passed the bank. You’re supposed to park down the street.”
“I will,” he says.
“Brandon, what the hell? They have cameras outside the bank that are aimed at the street. If they see you cruising on by with us in our masks, they’re going to identify us by tracking down your license plate.” Sometimes I feel like I’m the only intelligent one in this family.
He pulls off and parks and that’s when I realize what he’s doing. He lied about what bank we’re robbing. Instead of the small local bank, he thinks we’re going to hit up The Beast. Okay, that’s not what the bank is called, but that’s what the supervillains call it since it’s nearly impossible to break into, let alone get away with any money.
“Let’s go,” he says as he grabs a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pillowcase that he’s planning on stuffing the money into. I don’t grab anything, because I’m not planning on touching the money.
“This is stupid. That bank has crazy reinforcements,” I say, but it falls on deaf ears.
Brandon doesn’t care as he rushes toward it while I grudgingly follow after him.
“I’m giving you five dollars’ worth of help,” I assure him.
He doesn’t seem concerned. “Did you see that chick look at me as I walked past? This suit is the bomb. You should get one.”
I glance around, wondering where this “chick” is. All I see is a confused middle-aged woman. “What? So we can be the Gimp Brothers? No, I’m alright. Thanks.”
“Your loss. I’ll keep all the ladies.”
“You do that.”
“I already said I would.”
“With your ol’ sock dick. You fuck them real good.” This amuses me far too much.
Brandon looks over at me. “You know there are powers to make your dick look bigger?”
“Didn’t a superhero blow up someone’s dick the other day doing that?”
“Might have. But I think it’s worth the risk, you know?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Why don’t you try it out first? If your dick blows up, it’s not as much of a loss, right? You’re probably going to eternally be alone.”
I nearly punch him because nothing sounds better at the moment. The only reason I don’t is because Brandon is punch proof. I would break my hand if I managed any amount of punching.
“Here we go!” he shouts, like alerting everyone of our presence is the way to go as he turns to the front doors of the huge bank. There are cameras outside that are set to recognize people with their face covered because it’s not uncommon for villains to try to break into locations like this. It makes the bank immediately go on lockdown. This means that as he tugs on the door, the door is already locked.
I just stand there, wondering how long he’s going to pull and heave on it. Currently, we’re going on about twenty seconds.
“Man, they’re good,” he says as he pants. He’s not used to exercising.
“You’re an idiot. Did you even look into the reinforcements of this place before deciding to rob it?” I ask.
He looks mystified. “People put shit like that up on the internet?”
I groan. “There is no way we are related.”
“We have the same blood coursing through our veins, bro,” he says as he gives me a hearty pat that sends me flying into the front door.
Smashed up against the glass, I say, “I wonder if they still practice bloodlettings anywhere.”
Brandon finally lets go of the door and turns to me. “Are you going to help?”
I sigh and lift my hand. With my power of telekinesis, I’m able to maneuver just about anything. But what makes me ridiculously deadly is the power to precisely manipulate both small and large objects. This means that I could crush a human heart just with a lift of my hand.
But no one knows that but me.
If they did, I can only imagine the shit my family would drag me into. Instead of crushing any hearts, besides my own for falling back into my family’s antics, I grab onto the door with my mind and simply open it. The locking mechanisms instantly break as I pull the door open and follow my brother inside.
Brandon barges in front of me, which is all fine and dandy since he wouldn’t get hurt if he’s instantly gunned down. “This is a mofo robbery, put your hands up and get on the ground!” Brandon shouts through his voice manipulator as we walk into the main lobby where everyone turns and looks at him in alarm. It’s probably mortification over the words and voice he’s chosen to use.
I pat his back. “Please don’t use words like ‘mofo.’ I’m already horribly embarrassed by you.”
“There are children around! I shouldn’t cuss with children around,” he says, like it’s okay to rob a bank with children around but not say the F word.
This is the logic that exists in my family. My childhood was filled with: “You may break into the house after you’re done eating, Landon, but you have to eat your peas first.”
I sigh but step behind my brother as a security officer rushes forward and shoots him with a taser. Brandon doesn’t even flinch and with a flick of my wrist, the security man is pushed safely out of the way.
He looks a little confused as he slides across the floor almost as if by an invisible force, shoes squeaking horribly loud as he moves. Once that’s over with, Brandon rushes up to the desk.
“Give me your money.”
And the woman opens the drawer painstakingly slow. She’s killing time, it’s clear, but Brandon doesn’t seem to notice.
“Tell her to hurry up, we need to get going,” I say.
“Honey, do you mind picking up the pace a little? I have a dentist appointment at eleven I’d really like to make,” Brandon asks.
Oh my god. My brother is an idiot.
That’s when a door opens leading to an office and a man steps out.
The last man I should ever want to see, especially while robbing a bank. Instead, I’m undeniably excited that he’s here.
Also known as Chronobender since he can freeze time for short periods and has super strength. He’s also the greatest superhero this city has ever seen. He’s hot, powerful, and an attention seeker. Okay, maybe I made that last part up since attention kind of comes with the job. I know him, not only because of his superhero nonsense, but because we went to middle school together. I was the kid who sat in the corner and read my book and he was the one who was surrounded by flocks of people who giggled at everything he said.
I might have giggled a time or two as well.
“Chrono is here to save us!” someone shouts.
August looks around in confusion. Clearly, he was just here for something to do with the bank because he’s busy licking his sucker and looking bewildered. “What?” Then he sees us and pops his sucker right out of his mouth. He turns to the woman huddled beside him and goes, “Hold my sucker.”
And it’s so damn hot.
I’ve never wanted to hold a sucker so much in my life.
“Earth to Leviathan,” Brandon says. “A little help?”
My parents thought that Leviathan would be the perfect supervillain name because I could levitate things. Clearly, they had no idea what a Leviathan was, but it kind of made me sound like a badass, and it could’ve been horrible like my brother’s supervillain name of No Harm-O.
But it snaps me out of staring at August. I wave my hand, using my telekinesis to push Brandon to the front door, which he slams into. I really could have stopped him in time, but it was payback for all of this.
But now August is between me and the door and I really, really don’t want to get caught. Even if it would be August pinning me to the ground with his super strength. I almost hesitate, because nothing sounds better.
Instead, I turn and run for the back and August, thankfully, picks my brother to go after. I jump the counter and run blindly as I look for a way out. Using my telekinesis, I force open every door because my power makes me a badass.
There is no one who can catch up to me when I want to get away. And that’s when I finally tear open the door to my freedom. I look up in time to rip the security camera off the wall to keep them from watching where I go.
I step through, smug as can be because even August Sexypants can’t catch up to me when I’m using my full power. And I wasn’t even using a fraction of it.
I look down just as a cat slips between my feet, tripping me. I fall forward, crashing down the three steps that lead into the alleyway, slamming down on my face.
“Ow, fuck,” I whine as I roll onto my side. “Dammit, cat!” I yell, but the cat is nowhere to be seen.
I slowly push myself up to my feet, but the moment I put weight on my leg, pain tears into my ankle. What… the hell?
I hear a noise as someone runs into the alleyway. I raise my arms up, ready to beat up the man I don’t recognize who is wearing a full-body superhero suit.
But instead of identifying me as a villain, the idiot goes, “Oh my god. Did the bad guy push you down?”
“Yes. He went… that way,” I say as I point, and the wannabe superhero races down the alleyway.
The issue with crimes is that now everyone wants to be a superhero, so a ton of people show up every time there is a crime because they want a chance to join Superheroes United, an organization that pays the heroes for keeping the city safe. But it gives me a good alibi when my leg feels like it’s died and gone to hell.
I pull my black sweatpants and shirt off. Then, with my face tucked, I switch to the spare mask I’d grabbed, a more simplistic white mask. And with my telekinesis, I send all of the clothes way up onto the roof just in time to see August turn the corner. He eyes me for a moment, but he probably didn’t get a good enough look at me inside since I was hiding behind my brother in case someone got trigger happy. Under the sweats, I’d purposely worn a very tight outfit to make me look thinner than the bulk the sweatpants and hoodie gave me.
“Are you another wannabe?” he asks, clear annoyance dripping from his words. I don’t blame him. I deal with stupid supers on a daily basis. I can’t imagine dealing with them when trying to save lives.
“Me? God no. The mask?” I ask as I point to it.
“No, that’s just a fetish of mine. Are you kink-shaming me?” I ask, like I’m disgusted.
He looks alarmed. “Wait… what?”
“Are you kink-shaming me for wearing my fetish mask?” I ask.
His blue eyes search mine as his head cocks a little to the side. “I don’t think so… am I?”
“Yes. You’re making me feel uncomfortable.”
“Me?” he asks. “I don’t even know your name and you’re going on about your naughty fantasies of having sex with superheroes.”
“That definitely never came out of my mouth,” I say with narrowed eyes.
He starts laughing. “I know. I’m joking.”
“I didn’t know the sweet and loving everybody’s pal Chrono could joke.”
“It’s in my contract that I can’t joke on TV. There’s a list of words I can’t use. Balls, knockers, hooha… that kind of thing.”
“I’m also not allowed to say peanut butter for some reason. I just think the mayor doesn’t like peanut butter,” he says. “What are you doing?”
“Some dickwad blasted through the door and slammed into me, and I think I hurt my ankle, but I’m fine.”
“Your hands are all scraped up too,” he says as he rushes up to me and takes my hand. It’s the hottest thing I’ve ever seen. “Are you alright?”
“I guess. I think I have whiplash from him slamming into me,” I say as I look up at August’s wavy blond hair. Clearly, with my mask on, he doesn’t know that I’m the quiet kid from middle school who sat in the corner. He probably wouldn’t remember me with the mask off either.
“Do you need to go to the hospital?”
“Oh, no. I just sprained it,” I say as I put weight on it. It hurts, but I could walk if I needed to.
“How about I give you a ride home?” he asks.
“Aren’t you supposed to be catching bad guys?”
“I caught the one. The other is probably long gone, but Superheroes United has a team looking for them. I’m off-duty and it’s not like they harmed anyone. If I wasted my time on every little guy out there, I’d never get sleep.”
So Brandon got caught.
Again. I’m not even surprised. Our oldest brother will have him out in no time, though, so I’m not too concerned about it.
What am I saying?
“I’d love to ride you. I mean with you.”
Oh my god. My dick is talking.
“Oh…” He looks a little surprised.
Why is it when I’m around him, I’m just as stupid as my family?
I might as well just admit it to myself. I agreed to rob the bank because I hoped August would be the first one on the scene.
I think I need my brain checked.
“Do you need help walking?” August asks.
“Do I look like a damsel to you?”
I realize at this very moment I have two options. Suck up the pain and walk back to the car or ask for help. My leg would literally have to be hacked off before I would rely on anyone to help me. I probably would still figure out a way to drag my stump after me if that was the case, since I hate relying on others or looking weak.
I step forward and dramatically fall toward him. “Oh my god! The pain! The pain! I’m dying!” It sounds a bit dramatized, but I’m working with what acting skills I’ve got.
And instead of swooping in and grabbing me, August lets me fall forward, forcing me to slam down on my hurt ankle.
“What the hell, man? You were supposed to catch me.” In your muscular arms and hold me up.
August quickly looks back at me with wide eyes. “I’m sorry, I just realized I left my sucker in the bank and got distracted.”
“Your… sucker?” His sucker is more important than I am.
“She didn’t want to give it to me because they’re only for ‘kids.’ She said she’d only let me have it if I autographed something. I sold a piece of myself for that sucker,” he says.
“You are the worst superhero I’ve ever met. Now help me to your car.” Self-reliance is overrated when August is around.
“Right, sorry,” he says as he steps up to me. Instead of giving me a shoulder, like I was assuming, he swoops me up into his arms so suddenly that I find myself in some type of wedding night bridal-style carry.
“This… wasn’t what I was expecting. Do you mind—”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Do you want down? They teach us in superschool to just carry everyone because it makes us look good and sometimes I forget that it’s not normal to carry people around, you know?”
“Oh god, no. I was wondering if you minded if I held on?” I ask as I grab onto his bicep and give it a nice squeeze.
“Do you want a fireman carry?” he asks.
“No, I generally prefer being carried like a princess, you know? Feeds my fetishes.”
“Oh… do you… have a lot of fetishes?” he asks as he carries me.
“You know. Normal amount. You?”
“Not until now.”
That’s when the paparazzi come and start taking pictures, and I’m so blinded by August that I don’t even make him put me down.
“Don’t you need to strike a pose or something?” I ask.
“No, all of my photos are natural. I’m just very photogenic.”
“That’s impressive. Not that I look at pictures of you or anything.”
“That’s good. I hate the pictures, but what do you do, you know? When you’re a symbol.”
He looks down at me and raises an eyebrow. “No! A symbol of peace. Wait… you think I’m a sex symbol?”
I dramatically cringe. “No, gross. Gosh. So what color is your underwear?”
He nearly drops me with that one. “What?”
I start laughing. “It was a joke. You were talking about sex symbols and… ahhh the joke failed. I wanted you to laugh.”
He smiles at me, and I feel like it’s just as good. “Sorry. I get a lot of weird things, so I take too much literally sometimes. Some lady sent me her eggs the other day.”
“Like… from a chicken?”
“No, like… from her body. Wanted me to fertilize them.”
I stare at him in horror because he has to be kidding. “You’re joking.”
“No… I’m not.”
“What’d you do with them?” I ask curiously.
“I had my PR people tell her that if she did anything like that again, she would be removed from the city. So I feel like a job well done!”
“So some days you get thank you letters and other days you get unfertilized eggs?”
He starts laughing. “Pretty much. Well… here’s my car,” he says as he walks up to a fairly boring four-door car. I expected him to be driving a Lamborghini around that somehow portrays “I’m hot as sin and better than everyone else.” Instead, it’s much more “I’m a first-time parent who is still struggling to hold on to my youth.”
He sets me down gently and opens the door for me.
I get into the car and eagerly wait as he comes around to his side and gets in.
“So… what’s your fetish name?” he asks as he waves to my mask. “I’m sure you don’t have a superhero name since you’re not a superhero.”
“Uh… yeah, I haven’t gotten that far yet. Just call me Landon,” I say. I went by the name of Lan in middle school since my mom thought she has to abbreviate everything, so I doubt he’ll connect the dots.
“Just call me August, then,” he says with a smile. “So, you have a power?”
There’s no sense in lying about it; I have to carry an ID around with me everywhere that states what my power is. It helps that my card explains that I’m telekinetic, but they just have no idea how powerful I am since I managed to mess with all of their exams. They also think the supervillain me can only manipulate metal. It’s the only smart thing my parents have ever done. They even went to the extreme of my family wearing metal in their shoes so if they’re ever caught, they simply explain that I was able to move them so easily because of the metal. So supervillain me is a powerful metal bender and regular me can make papers occasionally flutter if I squint and groan like I’m constipated. They really need to fix their tests.
“So were you actually there to help with the bank break-in?” August says.
“I didn’t even know the bank had been broken into. How’d you let that happen?”
“I let it happen?” he asks with wide eyes.
“Sounded like it. What were you at when it happened?”
He looks a little embarrassed. “Um… something very important.”
“You already said you were in the bank worried about a sucker.” I just have the sudden desire to embarrass him more.
“I… might have been. Shush, you’re not allowed to judge me. That’s not included in a free ride home. Now where am I taking you?”
And that’s when I realize that I have to give him an address of some kind.
“I was actually heading to the library.”
“With a bum foot? You should go home and put ice on that. What’s your address?”
“You… forgot where you live?”
“You can just direct me then.”
“I got amnesia from my fall.”
“Wow, that’s awful. Why don’t you want me to see your house? Is it some like villain den or something?”
“HA HA! You’re so cute. No, it’s just like… you’re so rich and stuff, and you’ll judge me for my quaint little sad house, you know?”
“No, I won’t,” he assures me.
Really, there’s no reason why he can’t know where I live. It’s not like I have “Hey, I’m a villain” written all over my house. It’s just a normal house.
“Okay, I’ll direct you,” I say. “So… what’s it like being a superhero?”
“I love it. Yeah… fun… I guess,” he says, but he doesn’t look like he loves any of it.
He doesn’t have the same smile I fell in love with in middle school, and I can’t help but wonder why.
“Right here,” I say, pointing at the house I live alone in. I moved out of my parents’ place the very second I turned eighteen. Like I was standing at the door with my bags packed, waiting for the clock to strike midnight. My parents bought me a house for being their “favorite child,” but I’m sure they just felt obligated to since all the money they had was from me as a naive child stealing it for them. I didn’t know I was stealing it.
I was a stupid kid.
August looks shocked as he pulls into the driveway. “Here? This is your house? You were… you didn’t want me to see your quaint house? Your house is twice as big as mine!” he says with wide eyes.
“Really? I assumed you live in a mansion,” I say as I look at my three-story house… mansion… eh, words are meaningless.
“Yeah… no, I don’t. I’m paid well but not this well. What do you do?”
“Oh, it’s family money. My parents bought it for me.” With the money my grandpa left us and maybe some money I stole for them as a naive child.
He parks the car. “I’m sorry to be a bother, but could I come in to go to the bathroom really quick?”
As a supervillain, it’s obligatory to let the superhero into the house to capture and torture him. But the only way I want to torture him is by tying him to my bed. My family would lose their minds if they knew I was letting August into my house with no plan on destroying him with anything but the power of my penis.
“Sure,” I say as I get out of the car.
My ankle aches, but I’m able to walk on it as I lead him up to the house and unlock the door. As I step in, there is a loud burst of noise as everyone screams, “Congratulations!” and streamers are being popped in my face, confetti is flying everywhere, and my eyes lock onto the sign that says, “You’re Officially a Supervillain!” while the world’s fifth most powerful superhero stands behind me wanting to take a piss.