Supernova (Excerpt)

A star doesn’t just die. You won’t wake up one day and see one less star in the sky. It takes time. The first thing that happens when a star dies, is that it runs out of fuel, there’s nothing left to burn. Three months ago, I stopped a rocket ship from crashing into Earth. I’ve done it before, but it was harder than ever before. I thought maybe it was moving faster than other ships. Maybe they still had the thrusters on. After reviewing the flight logs and video footage, I saw that wasn’t the case. Two months ago, I struggled to hold up a collapsing building as people escaped. I knew something was up then. I made an effort to relax, and not jump to every emergency. Maybe I was just tired. That wasn’t the case. The star that powers my body and gives me my powers was dying, and when it died, I would go with it.

The next stage of a star dying is the final flash. This is when most of a stars remaining energy is expended. In one last show of excellence the star shines brighter than ever before as it attempts to burn off energy to stay alive. I’ve already had my final flash. It was last week. I took a life for the first time. I had to, nobody else would have been able to stop The Mad Calculator. Nobody could before either. On that day, some of my powers started to fail. I blasted him with an energy blast. It was more than ever before. I blasted through the ceiling. I vaporized Mad Calculator, and half of his latest doomsday device. They said the blast could be seen three states over. I don’t remember anything beyond firing the beam. I woke up two days later in a hospital. They didn’t know what to do with me, so they just let me sleep.

The last stage of a star dying is when it goes supernova. It happens after the final flash. Sometimes, it’s immediately, sometimes it takes a while. When the supernova happens, the star collapses. It turns in on itself as the core crumbles. Afterwards, there’s two options depending on the size of the star and the remaining energy. The star can either explode and send pieces across the universe, or it can turn into a black hole. I’m not sure which one I’ll become. Either way, I know I need to get off Earth before it can happen. Otherwise, I’m sure I might take out some innocent parties. I don’t have the size of a regular star, so it won’t be an earth-shattering explosion. A black hole is the worst-case scenario. I never really looked into it before now. I knew I had a star as a heart, I just didn’t take the time to learn about stars. I wonder if there was anything I could have done to keep it going longer. Probably not, even if there was I should be making peace with my fate right now.

For the last sixteen years, I’ve been a hero. No, a superhero. That still doesn’t do it justice. I was the superhero. The inspiration for almost every hero that came after me. The people loved me. Free food, free entertainment, free cars. There were so many perks to all of this. I loved every single one of them. But, I didn’t take advantage of them. I still paid rent, I still had a normal job. I could have been some kind of cliché journalist or scientist. I chose to live as a garbage man. There weren’t many other people I had to speak to on a regular day. It was a nice contrast from the life of a hero.

To be Continued in Super Shorts
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