4 Short Parables Revolving Around the Theme of Travel
by A.B. Goelman
I. Frequent Flier
When third-generation superhero Walter Bennett Remington III swooped down from the sky, supporting the 747 on his back, no one applauded. Not the people in the airplane, not their worried relatives on the ground. Everyone knew about the second law of thermodynamics. They werenâ€™t sure of the details, but they knew the basics: all power has to come from somewhere. Each time power changes hands, you lose a little of it.
And they knew where the power that had Walter swooping in the sky, grinning and pirouetting, had come from. It had come from them. The passengers felt littleâ€”smaller than they used toâ€”as they climbed down the stairs to the cement landing pad. One older man pressed his hand into his back. â€œI already had a slipped disc,â€ he told no one in particular, â€œbut it hurts worse now.â€
Walter pretended not to hear, although his super hearing made it impossible not to. Instead he flew off to his familyâ€™s Ski Chateau of Solitude in the mountains of Switzerland.
â€œThe world doesnâ€™t appreciate us,â€ he told his mother. She was halfway down the mountain on her new short skis, but she heard him just fine. She skidded to a halt, kicking up a plume of previously untouched powder. â€œGreat skiing today, Wally,â€ she told him. â€œReally great. Pure powder.â€
â€œDonâ€™t call me Wally, Mother.â€ Walter flew past her to the highest mountain in the Swiss Alps. The view would have been spectacular for anyone, but with Walterâ€™s super-vision it was incredible. He could see most of the inhabited world. Billions of humans going about their business. Working in factories, farms, offices. Sitting on the street begging for pennies and walking down the sidewalk in their business suits. And they all hated him, and the rest of his type.
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"4 Short Parables Revolving Around the Theme of Travel" is roughly 2400 words.
A.B. Goelman has published short stories in On Spec, the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future anthology, and Dragon, Knights, and Angels. His next short story will be appearing in the Spring issue of Fantasy Magazine. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and the rain.