This is a bit longer piece of fiction. It’s almost a short story. I am super curious to see what you think about it, so don’t be afraid to leave a comment in the penny jar below.
Roger looked at his phone. No new messages and it was 15 minutes after four. She was late. He didn’t even know who ‘she’ was. A mysterious message telling him to meet with an Empowered woman who had been saving people around the city for the last five years. River Oak City was barely a city so to have its own Empowered vigilante was a pretty big deal but as a journalist for the local paper, he thought he would have heard about one in the last five years.
A woman walked through the door. Every person in the coffee shop stared at her, completely mesmerized. She was tall and wearing a stunning red dress with matching heels. She had immaculate pale skin which contrasted nicely with her golden blond hair and ruby red lips. Her large shamrock green eyes had a mystical essence that kept the patron of the coffee shop riveted.
The glamorous woman sat across from Roger and smiled. Roger thought he saw a shimmer of sadness wash across her face before she spoke. “Hello, Roger. Sorry, I’m late. How have you been?”
“I’ve been–” He stopped in confusion and then said, “I’m sorry, but do I know you? I think I would remember, you leave quite an impression.”
She laughed. It was a pleasant laugh which had a mystical tone that brought up images of a faraway grassy hill covered with mist. After the brief laugh, she said, “One would think. Well, are you ready for the biggest exclusive of your life?”
“I am.” He said bringing out his notepad and pen.
“Do you have an audio recorder? You’ll want one, no video though.”
He pulled his audio recorder from his pocket and placed it on the table. She brought up her hands and cupped them over his. Her lips turned into a large smile at his discomfort. He removed his hands slowly and she pressed the record button.
He coughed, holding his hand to his mouth. “For the record, I am speaking with a woman who claims to be an Empowered individual who has been protecting River Oak City for the last five years. What is your name?”
“Freyja, that’s Norse, isn’t it?”
“It is, very good,” she said.
“Tell me Freyja, what are your abilities that you consider yourself an Empowered?”
“There is not a person who looks at me that can keep focused on the task at hand. I simply have to be present and anyone trying to commit a crime will keep their entire attention on me and forget what they were trying to do. This hypnotic aura allows me to subdue any criminal with a simple suggestion that they fall asleep.”
Roger shifted in his chair while he tapped his pen. After a few moments of silence he commented, “That is quite unique. Do you have any other abilities?”
“I am quite strong, physically, which is typical for an Empowered person. My aura seems to interfere with video recording. Any attempt to record me ends up in static.”
“How is it we have never heard of you before now?”
She pursed her lips and closed her eyes. She drew in a deep breath before opening her eyes. She gazed at Roger for a good minute before responding, “Minutes after I am gone people lose all memory of me. It’s as if I was never in the room.”
“Well that seems pretty terrible,” Roger commented. “Can you turn off your aura?”
“I can’t. I have worked with the best trainers dealing with Empowered but nothing has worked. And yes, it is a giant downside.”
“I would imagine you feel quite lonely.”
A tear slid down her cheek and she nodded, “If you were to ask me what my greatest desire is, it is to have a connection. To be remembered.”
Roger didn’t quite know why but he reached out and held her hand. She smiled and the two sat in silence. After a few minutes she took her hand back and coughed. Roger shook his head in attempt to focus. He looked over and asked, “What triggered your abilities.”
“It was the Great Acorn Charity ball six years ago. I was there with my fiancé when the Fearsome Six crashed the event to rob everyone.”
“I remember that event, I was there to cover it for the paper.”
She nodded, “I know. When the Six stormed the event center, I hid behind a table with my fiancé. I was so scared but he held his arm around me — I felt safe in that moment. Then one of them threatened to kill the mayor. That was the moment I changed. It felt like a switch inside of me flipped. I stood up and yelled stop. To my surprise they stopped, everyone stopped. All eyes were on me and no one moved. Soon after the police arrived and apprehended the Six.
“I thought that would be the end of it and went looking for my fiancé. I found him but he didn’t know me. I tried to convince him of who I was — who we were together — but it didn’t work . I didn’t know until later that I had changed physically but that wasn’t why he didn’t recognize me, he had no memory of me whatsoever. My previous self died in that moment and Freyja was born.”
Roger didn’t quite know how to respond. He was stunned at her brief story, tears came to his eyes. He felt the sadness emanating from her and he choked out, “I am so sorry.”
“No need to apologize. It isn’t your fault. You’d better continue your interview, I don’t want to leave it on that note,” she said.
“How is it that you have kept on the path of helping people? With abilities like yours you could be a serious Dark Empowered.”
“I have been tempted. Anytime I feel the desire to do something terrible, I make time to meet with my former fiancé. Seeing him helps remind me that there are good people out there worth fighting for.”
“That must be very difficult.”
She gave a curt nod. “Very. But it is worth it. Oh is it worth it.”
Roger continued his interview with her, asking various questions about her adventures and the crimes she had stopped. The minutes passed quickly as the two talked. It ended when her phone buzzed. She looked at it and said, “I’m sorry Roger, but I have to go. It’s been good seeing you again.”
The two stood and she embraced him with a firm hug. She held him for a very long time, not wanting to let go. Roger was about to say something when she let go and then vanished out the door.
Roger sat down. What an unusual experience. He had met the most remarkable — wait was he speaking with someone? He looked down at his audio recorder, it was still recording. He looked at the scribbles on his notepad. Pure gibberish. Why would he record nothing and scribble nonsense? He shook his head and deleted the recording. He must be crazy to sit at a coffee shop and record nothing.