FLASH FICTION: Off the Grid

So, look.  Now that we’re alone, I feel like I oughta tell you.  We know what you can do.

Hey, hey, whoa, easy!  Put those hands down, man.  We’re cool with it.  In fact, we’re all just like you.  Well, not just like you.  We all do different things.

What I mean is, we’re basically superheroes.

Well, except without the heroes part. 

No, we’re not villains.  We’re not anything.  We’re just kids, man.  Except we can do things nobody else can do.  I’ll explain everything, I promise.  But first…c’mon in.  Relax, have a look around.  Grab a beer.  In here, everything’s legal.

Nice couch, huh?  It’s leather.  Cost fourteen hundred.  Or it would have if someone paid for it.

So anyway.  We all came together because of Jen.  She’s the telepath, she found us when we thought we were all alone.  There were five of us then.  There’s eight of us now.

Dude, absolutely, go ahead.  Like I said, beer’s free.  Everything’s free for us.

We had the talk back when we started.  At first, we actually thought it would be cool to be superheroes.  You know, capes, masks, spandex, the whole thing.  But that seemed like a lot of work.  Saving the world, fighting crime.  We’d be going round the clock.  And there’s just not enough time, you know?  We all have stuff we wanna do too.

But we didn’t really wanna be supervillains either.  I mean, we don’t hate people – mostly.  And we don’t wanna hurt ‘em either.  Plus, again, too much work.  About the only thing we did that was Legion of Doom stuff was build a cool basement cave.  And that’s something the Justice League would probably do too.

Oh, hey…you wanna see?

Follow me.  It’s down here.  It’s not as cool as our third one, or even our second one.  But we’ve only been here a month or so.  Give it some time.

Pretty sweet, huh?  Pool table.  Hot tub.  Best gaming setup that money can buy.  I really can’t stress enough how little we paid for it.

Yeah, we move around a lot.  Price of living off the grid.  And we’d move around a lot more if it weren’t for Jen.  She constantly tweaks people’s minds, makes it so they don’t see anything unusual in a bunch of kids living together in a mansion like this.  No questions like, “Hey, how’d you kids ever pay for all this?”  Or, “Where the hell are your parents?”  They just smile and wave, and we come and go whenever we want.

She’s not perfect, though.  Sooner or later, she misses something, or someone.  Then it’s moving time again.

No, we pay our bills.  Electric, water, cable.  Jen can’t change everybody’s mind, but if you don’t want the authorities to come poking around asking questions, money works pretty good too.  We come by the money a little dishonestly, but we only steal what we have to when it comes to cash.  And we spread around the robberies, so no one place loses too much stuff on account of us.

Hey, dude, I didn’t say it was right.  But at least it’s not too wrong.

Yeah, so Jen’s the telepath.  Kyle – you met Kyle, right?  Good – Kyle’s the strong one.  Javier’s a shapeshifter.  Lisa’s like Aquaman, only actually useful.

Me?  Oh, I fly.

What do you mean, and what else?  I fly.  That’s it.

It’s more useful than you might think, actually.  I can get up onto roofs before anyone else, pick locks and then open doors from the inside.  I’m great at surveillance, make sure we don’t get caught.

Wanna take a spin in the hot tub?

You sure?  It’s awesome.  We’ve got the fancy kind, with all the special jets.

Okay.  Maybe later, then.  So, if you’ll follow me, I’ll show you the upstairs.  All the rooms.

Yeah, this is how we live.  We don’t answer to anybody.  We don’t hurt anybody either, not really.  That’s the cool thing we figured out about our powers, you know?  All that burden crap?  We can forget it.  With enough of us, what these powers mean is freedom.  Total freedom.

So, these are the rooms.  Nature goddess lives there, you can tell from the plants, right?  And if any girl ever waves at you from that door, don’t fall for it.  That’s just Javier being an ass.

That room?  Well, that’s why I brought you up here.  It’s yours if you want it.

No, I’m serious.  Check it out, man.  Fully loaded.  It’s just like your room at home.  Only, you know, more awesome, with more of everything you could possibly want.  We swiped it all last night.

Why?

Well, why not, dude?  We have the space, and it’s what we do.  Find other people like us, bring them here, and set them free.  But if you really want a reason, well, we could always use your talents.  We’ve got a telepath, a teleporter, a strong guy, and an invisible freak.  No, really.  You’ll never see her.  She can’t help it…it’s just who she is.  It’s gonna freak you the hell out.

But we don’t have any electricity guys here.  We figure, we add you, we can really be off the grid.

So, what do you say, Ace?

********************

Let me know what you think of the story.  If you like it, please feel free to forward the link to your friends!  If it wasn’t to your taste, better luck tomorrow — a new piece of short fiction goes up every day.

Published in: on December 13, 2011 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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