MISC, CONTEST: Superhuman World 2009: A Date with the Darkness

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Thu Nov 12 17:26:48 PST 2009

October 29, 2009
Superhuman Dream Date Goes Horribly Wrong!

He dreamed of stars coating the Earth, then darkness eating the stars.
He hoped it wasn't one of his true dreams.


Leon Utwald was in his 40s, and had had superhuman powers for just the
last three years. But he didn't know the source.

Leon could absorb the properties of things he touched. For instance,
he could absorb the material strength of concrete - and also its
immobility, so he'd be stuck until he let the strength go. He didn't
consider that much of a combat power, so he didn't go on patrol with
it - or even use the power in public.

He did better absorbing information. He could touch a book and absorb
what it said - but only as much as he could remember. He hadn't found
a good way to use that power for the good of the world yet. But it
really helped him do his job as a copy editor, since he could absorb a
book's worth of typos all at once.

Leon could also absorb superhuman powers. He'd found this out last
year, when all women got superhuman strength. It had been easy enough
to touch the women he knew to confirm this.

The high point of Leon's day today would be a dinner meeting with a
client: Pam Brown, a kinesthesiologist. Ms. Brown was publishing an
article on Pilates exercise in one of his company's magazines. This
was normal business on the surface, but Leon knew his client worked
for The Combine, one of the superhuman companies that had opened in
the last three years. He'd absorb some information from her if he

The dinner started well. Ms. Brown was twenty-something, with a non-
petite but athletic body. She said, "Call me Pam".

Leon gave Pam a corrected manuscript for her article. The business was
over before appetizers arrived. So there was time for talk. They
started with small talk about the latest alien infestation. Pam's
company had people who'd met the aliens, so Leon was able to steer the
subject to her work.

Leon didn't get a chance to touch Pam, but she was informative anyway.
She said, the superhumans she worked with had been together longer
than three years, and she had had superhuman powers as long as they
had. So he decided to confide in her...

"Pam, I've never told anyone this, but I have powers like that too. If
I touch you, I can absorb what powers you have." And he touched her
wrist. "You've got strength like all women, but there's something

"No! Watch out!"

Leon absorbed darkness. Bone-chilling darkness. And it screamed at

He came to on the restaurant floor. Pam was talking to him. He
couldn't make out what she was saying, but he could tell she was
calling him.

Others were gathered around, but they lost interest after he got up.
So he and Pam could talk again.

Leon said, "That darkness. It's in you?"

"No. We're all in it. It just likes me best for some reason... I paid
the check. I think we'd better go."

So ended Leon Utwald's date with The Bride of the Ultimate Darkness.


Before he went to bed that night, he prayed he wouldn't dream of
darkness. Leon Utwald sometimes absorbed true things from the universe
in dreams. He now knew the darkness was true.


AUTHOR'S NOTE:  This story is posted on the Web at
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2009/desiration.htm#date .  The Web
version has hyperlinks and extra material which links it to other
stories, including my contest entry "The Trillions" from last month.

The lead character is new for this story.  His date, the Bride of the
Ultimate Darkness, is a longstanding character in my fiction.
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2004/journal_dark.htm is a good place
to learn about her.

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