24-Hour Superpower

In honor of Book 4 in the MetaWars series, Chimera, coming out November 11, as well as a value-priced eBook bundle of all four titles in the MetaWars series coming that same day, we asked urban fantasy writer extraordinaire Kelly Meding to come visit us on XOXO. Learn what she would do if left alone with the powers her characters possess. See what a wizened writer suggests would be a good 24-hour power, and then leave a Comment telling us which super-talent you’d like yourself and why!

A few weeks ago, a website I frequent asked readers to tell them about a superpower they would like to use/abuse/enjoy for twenty-four hours. The post was new, so only a few folks had commented. I skimmed the answers, but the crux of the question had my mind whipping to different things, including the superpowered characters in my MetaWars series.

Superpowers are something with which I am intimately acquainted—not on a personal level, of course (although introverted, quirky writer could be just a cover), but a professional one. The MetaWars series is about superheroes and their unique powers, and how they use those powers for good or evil. These stories interest me as a reader, a writer, and as a person. My fascination boils down to the famous Spiderman quote: “With power comes great responsibility.”

In the MetaWars universe, powers were not handled responsibly, and the entire world suffered for it, particularly the United States. Aside from the fact that superpowered people exist, it’s a world not all that different from ours. A world where human beings struggle to survive in a bad economy, do their best to raise their kids, hold prejudices a little too closely, and, a lot of times, make bad choices. Or reckless choices. Or downright illegal choices. We laugh, we love, we try to do the right thing, we condemn our fellow human beings for being different.

Which loops me back to the original question that prompted this post. Superpowers. If I could have a power for twenty-four hours, what would I choose? Why? What on earth would I do with it?

Let’s examine some options.

Super-strength doesn’t appeal to me, and I don’t know what good I could do with it in twenty-four hours. Pick my entire sofa up so I can vacuum under it? Useful, but no.

Invisibility, maybe? I could sneak all over the place, listen to secrets. Heck, if I was a dishonest person, I could probably rob a bank or two and set myself up for life. But as cool as such a power sounds, I don’t find it very practical. Although it could be fun to use it to totally mess with Congress….

Telepathy and mind reading is totally out. I don’t want to know what people are actually thinking inside of their heads. My own thought processes scare me sometimes. I don’t need to know what’s in yours. The only way this might be super useful is if I was in law enforcement. Then it would be kinds of badass to pick information out of a suspect’s head.

Telekinesis and the ability to move objects with my mind? Ding! I think we have a winner!

I’ve long been fascinating by the idea of telekinesis. TV remote is on the coffee table and out of reach? No problem. A tractor-trailer fell over sideways on the highway and needs to be righted? Easy peasy. Help a friend move their entire household worth of furniture and knickknacks without breaking a sweat? Absolutely. Dinner would cook itself. The apartment would get cleaned while I sat on my butt. I wouldn’t even have to go get the mail. The mail would come to me.

Who wouldn’t want that superpower for twenty-four hours? I know Renee Duvall would love it. In Chimera, the fourth MetaWars book, Renee constantly doubts her own usefulness to her team. Her Flex ability to bend and stretch her body like a pretzel has never been the active power she’s longed for—especially considering her teammates can create and shoot power orbs, fly and summon the wind, and shapeshift into a big black panther or crow. After an enemy attack leaves Renee with burns on more than half of her body, her Flex powers diminish, leaving her feeling less than useless to her friends.

But even the coolest, most badass superpower in the world can’t replace family, and Renee’s family of heroes won’t abandon her. No matter how many rude remarks and sarcastic comments she throws their way.