Penny was still in the process of coming down from her orgasm five minutes later. Some part of her felt like the tingling in her pussy would never end. Holy fuck! She’d seen stars. She’d always thought that was just some weird saying, not something that actually happened.
Finally, she managed to right herself and she pushed herself up her mattress, leaning herself against the backrest. For a moment, she simply stared into empty air as her thoughts reassembled themselves around the truth she had just learned about herself.
Then the panic set in.
Oh fuck! Fuck! Fuck! This is too fucking big for me! How can I possibly deal with this?
She had laid it all open inside her brain with just a few words, and now that she knew exactly what she was capable of, it was as if she’d opened pandora’s box. The enormity of it was too much to handle. She felt cold, and her fingers were tingling – and she felt even worse when she thought about the fact that she had been able to ignore all of the terrible truth, and made herself get off instead!
You just opened the ark of the covenant and you used the least pokey part of what you found inside to fuck yourself, you fucking pervert! What the fuck is wrong with you?!
But now that the high was gone and the post-orgasmic clarity froze her insides, she saw the truth for what it was:
She was a God.
If not the God.
FUCK! Fuck! Fuck! I can’t! I can’t handle this!!! she thought desperately as every new moment seemed to unravel one more terrible realization in her mind. She could alter reality! She could make anything happen! Anything!
As long as she made it somewhat plausible. As long as there was foreshadowing. As long as there was some setup. The bigger the thing, the more elaborate the justification.
She had to try. She knew she had to.
She looked at her laptop. The screen still displayed the last thing she’d written.
Then the light turned ba
She leaned forward and hit backspace until it was gone. Instead she wrote:
Penny worked in an antique book store, and she would often take some old books home. They were old books that no one would read because they were old and uninteresting. But Penny found them interesting. She didn’t find them interesting because of what was written inside but because of the thing as a whole which they were. The object itself. Old history and she liked that smell. She liked going through them, just looking at the pages without reading them, just taking in the whole picture, imagining who had owned them before and where they had been. She always had one or two in her nightstand.
Penny opened her nightstand drawer, and sure enough, there they were. She closed the drawer again and kept on writing:
What Penny didn’t realize was that one book was magical. A magical book like the ones that Doc paradox had in his library. She took the book out of her nightstand drawer and began flipping the pages until she found a strange diagram. Under the diagram, there was something written in Latin. She read it aloud, because somehow she knew that she wanted to. And as she read the words, the air seemed to vibrate around her, and the diagram on the page began to shift and turn like a clockwork, and the thin ink lines started to glow with subtle, otherworldly light. She kept reading, and her voice sounded different. She sounded resonant, and the words were more than words. Suddenly there was a deep noise, and the light vanished from the pages. With a sudden motion, the book snapped shut in her hands, all by itself.
Penny stopped writing and turned to her nightstand. She opened the drawer. She took the book out of her nightstand drawer and began flipping the pages until she found a strange diagram.
Under the diagram, there was something written in Latin.
She read it aloud, because somehow she knew that she wanted to. And as she read the words, the air seemed to vibrate around her, and the diagram on the page began to shift and turn like a clockwork, and the thin ink lines started to glow with subtle, otherworldly light.
She kept reading, and her voice sounded different. She sounded resonant, and the words were more than words. Suddenly there was a deep noise, and the light vanished from the pages. With a sudden motion, the book snapped shut in her hands, all by itself.
Penny took a deep breath.
It came true.
She wrote one more sentence.
The book had given her the power of flight.
And then, effortlessly, she lifted off her bed, rising gracefully into the air as if she’d known how to do it all her life. She only had to think it to make it happen. Like speaking words. Like moving her limbs.
She hovered above her mattress, two feet of empty air beneath her, and she felt like she was cushioned by the very fabric of the universe. She felt completely anchored and at rest. She knew that she would be able to fall asleep and still stay floating exactly where she was.
The strangest thing was how comfortable it felt. Nothing was pushing against her. Not even soft pillows. She didn’t feel weightless, like on the top of a swing or on the peak of a rollercoaster. But she felt… unburdened. Free.
At least for a moment.
Then the fear returned.
Because she knew that she had her powers for good. It was one thing she could never write: Losing her powers. She had the power of a God now, and she would either have to hide them for the rest of her life, or she would have to…
Elementa descended the elevator into the high-tech base of operations of the League of Heroes, nicknamed ‘the Vault’. And even if the contents of the airplane-hangar-sized underground space would probably be valued in the tens of billions, none of it was ostentatious or decorative.
As the glass elevator glided down the wall of the Vault, Elementa could easily see the high-tech stealth jets and hover-flyers that were the League’s mode of transport. Heavily armed, decked out with all the latest cutting edge combat technology. None of it was as dangerous or formidable as the people they were designed to transport.
The hangar disappeared from Elementa’s view as the glass cabin passed behind a rock wall. A moment later, the doors slid open with a barely audible sigh, and she was greeted by her hosts.
In the hallway in front of her stood The Four Mightiest Men Of The World, Trademark 2007. Ballistic, Black Cloak, Doc Paradox, and Powerman. The latter stepped forward with a smile.
“Hello, Sam,” said the Leader of the League. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”
“Sorry Tim, I got no time for pleasantries,” Elementa said. “We’re in trouble. Awthora’s gone bad.”
Powerman tilted his head, looking extremely puzzled.
“Who the hell is Awthora?”
I can never write again, Penny thought bitterly. Not for fun. Everything that I write might happen. Especially anything with Elementa.
Her heart skipped a beat. No. She shouldn’t even consider this. It had all been good fun when it had just been words. Just fantasy. Not reality.
But wasn’t this what she’d always dreamed of? Exactly this? Exactly that kind of power?
Oh God, I wrote myself as the villain! she realized. And that had been after…
Her head swam, and the world turned weird for a moment as her memory shifted into context.
Does that mean that I’m already her? she thought, her pulse racing. Did I turn myself evil?
She tried to think about what she was thinking, and it made her head hurt. But she didn’t feel like she was evil. She didn’t think of herself as Awthora. That was just a character. In a story.
In the same story that already changed real life!
Had she created an entirely new person? Had she… fucking created life from nothing?! And worse than that, had she just created an evil metahuman with possibly world-ending powers?! If Awthora wasn’t her, and she was real, and evil, and had the same powers as Penny, then…
The world seemed to shrink. She felt like she might suddenly throw up. This was too much. How was she supposed to fucking deal with this?! Why the fuck had she decided to have all the fucking revelations at once?!
“FUCK!” she screamed, and she let herself drop onto her mattress. “I fucking can’t deal with this!” Suddenly, she wanted all of this to just stop. Undo it. But she knew she couldn’t. She knew it as absolutely as she knew her powers. What was written was written. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!
She hammered on her keyboard.
After another painful wave of panic and realization, Penny used her powers on herself and she became calm and collected
And before she could place the period, some desperate, painful part of her added one more word:
She hit the final key, and everything became clear.
She took a deep breath and smiled as the wonderful calmness rippled through her. It was like she had just immersed herself in a warm bath. She closed her eyes, and with a content sigh she opened them again.
She had accepted it. She had accepted what she wanted. She hadn’t even realized how much she had wanted it. Craved it. Otherwise, she would never have written that last word. But she had, and now she accepted it.
And in that moment she realized another power she had -- something that she'd mentally avoided. The self-inflicted surge of insight had told her that she could not create reality without effort. She needed setup. She needed justification. But now she also understood the flipside -- now that she was calm and accepting, now that she was able to accept even the most horrible of her powers.
Now that she was calm, she understood the final thing she hadn't dared even think about before:
As it was with all things, it was so much easier to destroy reality than to create it.
She opened the text file that contained her newest ‘fic, and continued writing.
“Who the hell is Awthora?” Powerman said.
Elementa blinked. What? How could he not–
Something changed, and Elementa shook her head. What had she just been thinking about?
Powerman looked grim.
“I always feared that this day might come,” he said. “We had a deal with Awthora. She is the most powerful and beautiful of all of us – and with her direct involvement, there would be nothing left for us to do.”
“Yes,” Doc Paradox said. “She is so powerful.”
“I know,” Elementa said. “That’s why we asked her to guide us instead of…”
She furrowed her brows. Something felt… off.
“Instead of simply ending every problem by herself,” Ballistic finished the sentence. “We were lucky that she’s so humble. She never wanted the credit. Losing her is devastating.”
Elementa’s alarm bells were suddenly ringing. This wasn’t right.
“I’ll have to reach out to my press contacts,” Black Cloak said. “We can’t have any coverage anymore! As soon as Awthora knows what is going on she can change it. She can only write what she knows. She can’t produce facts purely from nothing.”
“That’s right,” Powerman says. “We should be safe for now, but we need to–”
“She’s here,” Elementa said, Adrenaline rushing through her veins as she suddenly realized what was happening.
“What? How? How do you know?!” Powerman asked, eyebrows raised.
“We’re spouting exposition!” Elementa said.
They all looked at each other, and Elementa saw some of the glassiness in their eyes disappear. Their faces turned pale as they realized that she was right.
“Oh God, I lead her right here,” Elementa said, suddenly overwhelmed with fear. “She knew I was going to visit you. She’s probably describing this meeting without any specifics.”
“Elementa, no!” Powerman said, eyes wide. “You’re helping her! Stop talking! Start acting erratically! If we diverge enough from her story, she’ll lose control!!!”
But Elementa couldn’t. She simply couldn’t. Suddenly she felt small and lost. She had led her right here. Awthora had provoked her into meeting the League, and she had been stupid enough to do it. She should have seen it coming.
“We deserve this,” she said, and she heard all doors in the hideout of the League lock itself.
“No! Stop it! Do what we’re doing!” Powerman said. But Elementa didn’t know what they were doing. They were doing something to escape Awthora’s reach, and it was probably working.
“We deserve this,” she repeated. “We convinced her that she wasn’t worth being seen. We convinced her that she wasn’t worthy of recognition.”
Powerman said something. Or maybe someone else of the league. Something in order to break her free. Some way of acting or thinking that would untangle her from Awthora’s story.
But Elementa couldn’t, anymore.
“You know what?” Elementa said. “Fuck you.”
They maybe said something in response. Maybe they didn’t. Elementa was only frustrated now. She remembered all the frustrations she’d had with the League. All the belittlement. All the slights. Sure, they always stuck together when push came to shove, but that didn’t make the abuse any better. And it had been the League’s idea to put Awthora on the sidelines. It had been the League’s idea to hide her away and use her guidance without ever crediting her.
Without the League, Awthora would have gotten the recognition and appreciation she deserved. Everyone would know her and see how special she was. Without the League, Awthora wouldn’t have needed to turn heel.
Fuck them. Elementa thought.
She looked ahead of herself.
“I have to do this on my own,” she said. She felt reality bend around her now. She stood in the center of it, and by now she was fully aware of what Awthora was making her do. Some part of her knew to be terrified, but the largest part of her didn’t give a fuck anymore. She looked down the hallway, letting her perception guide the villain that had taken control of her. She focussed on what she was seeing, making an effort to take a conscious note of every last thing in her vision. The tiled floor, the aluminum trim, the LED light panels, and the four men spouting random strings of words and miming and dancing and running back and forth, all while trying to escape the hallway. Black Cloak was doing a waltz while trying to short-circuit the electronic door locks.
“Please, Sam!” Powerman said, looking at Elementa. He knew that he couldn’t hurt her. Awthora wouldn’t let it happen as long as she was in her control. If she wanted Elementa dead, she would have already given her a brain aneurysm.
His brows furrowed as he realized what had just happened. Awthora had used Elementa’s inner monologue to gain access to reality. Used her senses to get a grip and sink her teeth in.
“Please,” he begged. “Just let us go.” He knew that she had them, now. Suddenly they all knew it. They turned around to look at Elementa.
“We’re sorry, Elementa,” they said. “We’re sorry for what we said. We’re sorry for how we treated you. Please, just let us go.”
But Black Cloak only shook his head. He knew what was going to happen. He had no illusions.
“Stop making us beg, bitch,” he said. “Just do what you–”
Elementa blinked. She’d been lost in thought. Her limbs felt heavy and still slightly cold from the long flight. Not as if the cold bothered her much. Short of liquid helium and red-hot metal, she was pretty much immune to temperature. But she still felt it, just without the pain.
“Tea, ma’am” Arnold asked, and Awthora flinched with startlement. She hadn’t even heard her butler come in. Somehow, he’d gotten sneakier with age. Or perhaps she was just exhausted.
“Thank you, Arnold, what would I do without you?”
“Make your own tea, I presume,” Arnold said. “… in a very messy mansion.”
Elementa chuckled. She took the cup from Arnold’s tray and took a sip. It was Earl Gray.
“You’ll catch her, Ma’am,” Arnold said. His face had turned more pensive.
“What if I don’t?” she replied. “What if Awthora gets her hooks in everyone? Her obscurity was the only thing keeping her from becoming all-powerful. As soon as people know she exists, their thoughts will feed back to her, and she will be able to control everything.”
“Then let’s hope it doesn’t come to that,” Arnold said, and with a small bow, he turned and went to leave. Elementa nodded as he walked off.
His footsteps stopped suddenly, and Elementa turned around to look. Arnold had stopped in the door of her reading room.
“Even if…” he began. He was looking at his feet as he spoke. “Even if she wins… is she really the type to burn it all down? Inflict pain? Make people suffer?”
“No,” Elementa admitted. “But whatever it is that she’s going to do, it’s going to rewrite everything. And if that isn’t ending the world, I don’t know what is.”
Arnold nodded wordlessly, then closed the door behind him.
Elementa sighed and took another sip of tea. The comfortable warmth did nothing to calm down the relentless turmoil in her chest.
There was a war going on inside her, and she didn’t know which side was winning.
She tried to ignore it. She tried to wait it out. She tried to let it die down, waiting and hoping for the part of her to win that she knew was the right part.
But the battle raged on, and the longer it raged, the more she could feel the messed up part of her inner self gnaw away at her resistance. It was hopeless. She knew that it wouldn’t go away, no matter how wrong it was, no matter how long she waited it out.
Just do it. It doesn’t mean anything. It won’t change anything. No one’s here to judge you.
She closed her eyes and drew a deep breath. Then she placed the half-empty cup of tea on the marble-topped side table next to her.
Fuck it, she thought as she spread her legs and started masturbating. And as she pushed into her nightgown and spread the folds between her thighs, she thought of the woman she still loved. The woman she’d always loved. The woman that had become her enemy.