“The Taste of Blood” was written for the Microcosms flash fiction competition. My prompts were: adolescent sidekick, abandoned theme park, memoir.

 The Taste of Blood

“The only thing that I still remember from that day was tasting blood in my mouth while staring up at the gargoyle-like face of the faded wooden clown,” I lie.

The theme park had been abandoned for sixteen years – since the night I was found. The night of the electric storm.

Everything had been left behind that night. Uneaten food, stuffed animals, dropped shoes and sweaters. That night everyone knew that it was no ordinary electric storm. Everybody knew it was the masked figure in black. He had many names – I just thought of him as The Villain. The one who had killed my parents and left me for dead. Then our city’s hero found me and took me in. Raised me.

“What do you remember after – “ she paused, “tasting the blood in your mouth?”

“Getting struck by a bolt of light.”

“The same kind that killed your father?”

I nod.

“Yet you remain relatively unscathed.”

I laugh at her, then. The latest medical advances and I still bore the tracings of lightning on my skin.

“What will you do now?”

My father’s burnt corpse flashes across my vision.

“What I have done since I was ten. Keep the city safe.”

“You’re a teenager. You should go to school, get a boyfriend – or girlfriend,” she quickly adds.

I stare at her and then nod, though what I want to do is hit her with the IV-stand.

“I want to sleep,” I say and she leaves.

When she’s gone I stare at the table at the foot of the bed, concentrate, and lift it with nothing but my thoughts. I grin. Now I know how to increase my power and scars are a small price to pay.

I’ll need a new costume now, of course. I’ll need a new identity.

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