Tags: #romantic comedy, #satire, #single mom, #super hero, #series book, #scifi comedy, #mom heroine, #comedy scifi, #heroic women, #hero heroione
Seduction of Being
Harper Landmark Books
New York / London
Copyright © 2012 Keith Kornell
All rights reserved.
The Change Begins
The first clue came the day I innocently jumped
to get a bowl off of a high shelf. This was not a big leap, mind
you, just a little hop. But I found myself chest deep through the
ceiling and into my upstairs neighbor’s kitchen. Amazingly, my
first reaction was to wonder how my neighbors got a new
refrigerator and stove out of our cheapskate landlord. And was that
a new dishwasher? Mine barely worked.
Until that moment, I was simply a single mom
with a dead-end job and a sullen teenager, destined to remain in my
hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, forever. But stuck halfway up
through the neighbor’s floor, I began to suspect this had
I looked around their apartment and was glad to
see no one was home to see me like this, except their small black
poodle, who padded over and dropped his empty food dish drop for me
to fill. Although he was cute as hell, it wasn’t going to work out
between us, as my hands were still down the hole in my kitchen.
When I failed to produce any dog chow for him, he found a little
red bouncy ball and tossed it to me. It rolled right up against my
I looked into the little dog’s
expectant face, sensing a sweet kinship to him. In that moment we
seemed connected. I smiled at his pure acceptance and felt the
weirdest sensation shoot like a bolt through my body. I saw a
blinding flash of blue light, but it did not come from the room
around me. Instead it felt like it was coming out of my eyes at the
little dog. While I tried to figure out what was what, another
flash blinded me, but this time it was a green, focused light. I
saw it beam out of my eyes in my reflection in my neighbor’s new
stainless steel refrigerator door, while the little dog barked with
excitement. Even the flashes didn’t scare me. They just left me
with a warm feeling that made the dog seem another piece of my new,
My face must have told the poodle I was
sorry for being unable to move, being unable to play, and flashing
him with bright lights, so the little guy came over and licked me
on the nose, just before gravity took over and I returned to my
kitchen with a thud. I got a nine point five from the Russian judge
for my Olympic performance
My little four-legged friend
peered down at me through the hole with beaming eyes and his tongue
extended in an excited smile that said,
Let’s do that again.
lil’ devil barked at me and then dropped his red ball through the
hole—it bounced several times at my feet before landing in my lap.
I sat on my butt, tossed the little ball back up through the hole,
and listened to the clicking the nails of the dog’s frantic feet
made on the tile floor above as he ran off in hot pursuit.
Gee, I wish I could meet a man who was so thrilled
to have met me, and equally as understanding of my little tiny
teeny weeny peculiarities, like making mystery holes in my
That hole took some explaining. I told the
landlord my nephew’s rabid, over-filled basketball was responsible.
..Kids. That, and a heavy contribution from my renters insurance,
seemed to make the cheapskate satisfied. Anyway, those nasty
basketballs are a plague in my town, punching holes everywhere.
Best be careful of those lil’ suckers.
A few days later when I went out for my annual
“I should- really-start-exercising” jog, it happened again. As
usual, I had tucked in the earphones to my music player. I began
the jog down Henry Street. As usual, I was bored before I reached
the corner, my mind drifting into the music and away from the
pounding of my running shoes. I should have known something was
wrong right then and there. There was none of the usual burning in
my bum knee. In fact, there was no bum knee anymore. Beyond that, I
wasn’t even breaking a sweat or breathing heavily. But instead of
wondering what these clues meant, I was content to drift into the
music. I guess ignorance is bliss, for a while.
The next thing I knew, I was bumping into
people in crowded plaza that could only be Times Square in New York
City, some hundred and forty miles from Henry Street. The mob of
people seemed to be in a frantic hurry to get somewhere. I stood
amongst the flashing billboards, loud music, and car horns that
echoed down the concrete caverns, wondering how the hell I’d gotten
I backed up against a storefront and
tried to put it all together and figure out how to get home. But
something made the sense of fear and uncertainty evaporate in a
second. Suddenly, I was glad to be there. I looked into a nearby
storefront and there it was, the stilettos my little black dress
had been missing it whole life.
shoes on sale?
After that I got smarter. I realized I could
use my newfound powers to my advantage and began testing and
probing their limits…and expanding my shopping universe to find
great shoes. Scranton was hardly the hub of the fashion shoe
industry, and seeing those shoes at Times Square made me aware
there was a big, bad world out there beyond my commitments to my
family, my hometown, and my daughter.
I waited for dark, until my daughter, Paige,
was off at her friend’s house. I pulled on some black sweats and
snuck out into the cool October night. A nearby high school
athletic field seemed the perfect “roomy” place for the test; no
rabid basketballs in sight.
I stood on the track and began to
stretch my thirty-something-year-old muscles before
? I started running and finished my twentieth lap before the
dust from the first had hit the ground. My bad knee was fine. I
wasn’t even winded, so I laughed and ran fifty more laps.
That should cover me for the whole year!
It was more running than I’d done in the last
year…okay, five years…okay, lifetime.
The smile on my face must have been big enough
to drive a dump truck through. I was having fun. Do you remember
fun? I hadn’t felt that simple childish joy of “just doing” for
years. With raising a kid alone and trying to keep everyone in my
big family from killing one another, there was little room for fun
or “just doing.” So for years I had hidden behind the limits of
those responsibilities and built walls to protect Paige and
everyone I knew. Thing is, when you build walls around you, they
become a prison.
I remembered the remodeling work I had done to
my kitchen ceiling by jumping, so I decided to give it a try again,
to see how high I could jump. I gave my creaky ol’ legs a bend to
find they weren’t the least bit creaky anymore, and they propelled
me up into the sky. I didn’t stop. I just kept rising until
Scranton shrunk into an irregular circle of lights.
It was beautiful, but when I began to drop, it
scared the shit out of me. I panicked as I plummeted. I held out my
arms. I flapped them like a bird. But still the image of the ground
below began to shoot up at me like a rocket. My arms and legs
flailed as I struggled. I remember having the time to tell myself
what an asshole I was for doing this.
Then, as I neared the ground, I recalled all
the skydivers I had seen in movies, how they always laid out and
used their chests to slow their descent. I assumed the position
and, just before reaching the treetops, prepared for the crash. I
angled my body, and suddenly felt myself banking to the left and
rising back up over the neighborhood. I continued the turn until I
was back up in the air, high over Scranton.
Yahoooooo!” I screamed, and
proceeded to bank left and right, doing it for kicks. I soon
learned even subtle tilts of my arms, legs, and torso would control
my flight. After a few minutes of practice, I was spinning, doing
barrel rows, quick dives, and exhilarating climbs into the starry
I cut my flight short when I began to worry
about someone seeing me in the moonlit sky. Hell, the ‘barbies’ at
the PTA had finally just began to accept me as a single mother in
their midst. We do school fundraisers and volunteer work, not
loop-the-loops. What if they found out I had a secret?
Everything went fine until I
contemplated landing. How?
—that was the clever advice I gave
myself. I fooled with different body positions until I found one
that seemed to slow me down. I came in over the football field,
flew through the back side of the goalposts—
it’s good, three points
!—then laid out
my body in hopes of slowing. I slowed, all right, cutting into the
field with my chin, chest, and shoulder all the way from the end
zone, down the field, and into the other end zone before
I shook my head, dizzy and
light-headed, amazed I felt no pain and thought,
. That was
enough fun for the night.
Other changes appeared. I began eating like a
horse, or two—okay, maybe a team of horses. But here’s the good
part: I just slowly continued to lose weight. I guessed that my
powers sent my metabolism into high gear. I was rapidly eating my
way down, dress size after dress size, my pre-baby body slowly
returning. It was fun, until Paige caught me finishing off a half
gallon of ice cream after dinner. Luckily, she didn’t see the bag
of cookies beside me that would have been next.
Eeeew, Mom, that is soooo gross. No
wonder you never have a date!”
I have dates!”
I mean with a real man,
What do you call Jason
She paused reflectively, “Farm animal, some
sort of sub-species, pure Booty Call.”
Paige! That’s not true!”
Mom, He burped the alphabet for
your birthday!...and he takes pride in his farts.”
I began to speak then closed my mouth and
reflected for a moment, “You know…you’re right. I don’t have
dates.” I looked at the ice cream and dropped my spoon.
From then on I had to become a closet eater.
But with a sixteen-year-old’s social schedule, Paige gave me plenty
of time for snacks, as well as dinner #2 and #3.
She wasn’t completely right about the dates.
First of all, let me defend myself by saying that the men of
Scranton my age are like children—okay, morons. We are not talking
slim pickings, we are talking no pickings. Long ago I had given up
on finding Mr. Right. With so much of my time dedicated to my
daughter, all I had time for was Mr. Right Now.
The new part of my problem was the fault of
another change the powers brought on, this one…not so good. My
current friend-with-benefits, Jason, decided to get frisky the
other night as we watched a reality show on TV and he drank my
beer. we made a beeline for my bedroom.
Just as I had drifted into the music while
jogging, I let myself drift into a potent arousal. It’s all a bit
foggy to me still. I wasn’t thinking or planning anything. I just
began doing what felt good. I do remember being totally impatient
with him and tossing him onto the bed. He bounced like a basketball
for a few seconds before I pinned him to the bed and…climbed on
board. I remember quickly changing positions, directions, and
angles of attack without finding the one that would get me home.
I’m afraid Jason’s equipment wasn’t made to handle many of the
slants or twists I chose.
When one try failed, I remember offering his
tool various sorts of encouragement before trying again. Somehow
I’m guessing his yelps meant I encouraged him a bit too much. And I
don’t think my verbal encouragement worked either. (On second
thought, “Can’t you do that?,” “Is that it?,” from a woman
possessed weren’t the best choices if I wanted “firm” results.) I
didn’t snap out of it until I heard Jason’s incoherent jumble of
expletives, followed by moans of pain.. I tried to figure out what
had happened. He yelled at me and struggled to get his clothes on
as he made a slow escape from my bedroom, He stopped at the
What the hell is wrong with you,
Excuse me? You’re calling me a
bitch when you couldn’t even satisfy your own hand with that little
thing? Sure, I’m a bitch and proud of it.”