Insanity by Ross Camsell

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SUMMARY: Too late for the 'superpowers' themed flash fiction contest. But I gave it a whirl and I'm happy with my results.

They said I was insane. They said I set my mother alight using gasoline and matches. My own mother, god damn it. All I did was embrace her, and she died, screaming, amidst orange flames.

"Put this sick, sick man in an institution!" the judge said. Uncaring, globulous swine. Two years ago to date.

They said I had no superpowers.

They were wrong.

Two years of imprisonment... two years in which to do nothing but practise: practise for this day. I'd planned it since I first arrived; solitary confinement was my home, my workplace my sanctuary. I repeatedly misbehaved for the purpose of returning to the tiny, dimly-lit cell. And each time I returned, I'd give one hell of a struggle.

But I never really struggled. That god-awful shithole was home to me.

I stared at my hands in wonderment: no blemishes, no scars, no sign of the power within. Soon, I will be free.
The door to the cramped cell opened just the slightest margin; no sound escaped the well-oiled hinges. Light bombarded my retinas.

"Come on, Mr Brown. Your solitary confinement is over, although I can't imagine for long." Larry, a guardian of the institute, grinned at him, tobacco-stained teeth showing behind greyed ginger stubble. "Come on, you know the drill." Before I knew it, I was handcuffed. I'd miss the feel of steel against my raw skin.

It's time, I thought. [i]Larry, you sarcastic son-of-a-bitch, you'll be the first[/i]. I chuckled aloud; Larry took no notice as he led me down the hall. We reached my cell. Soft, white, and incredibly unfriendly. I stepped in and the door closed behind me. Larry removed my cuffs.

Big mistake.

I spun and planted my hands firmly on the cold metal door. Larry turned and stalked down the corridor. I closed my eyes. A race of images flashed through my mind: my mother, the judge, solitary confinement, Larry... the thoughts sped up to become a blur of images, each one melding into the other, faster and faster, until they merged into one, forming a single, pure feeling of white-hot rage. It encapsulated my whole body, like so many times in solitary confinement.

It was time to show the world my power. Why they should be worshipping me instead of locking me up.

I pushed harder against the door and opened my eyes. The metal around my hands glowed a dull orange which quickly flared into red. I grinned, animal-like. The door was melting. I willed more energy into my hands and released the pressure upon the door. As I stared, the entire portal slumped into a molten mess where it once stood.

They said I was insane.

They said I had no superpowers.

They were wrong.

Larry heard my laugh from where he was sat at his desk down the corridor. In shock, he threw his newspaper onto the wooden surface and grabbed his walkie-talkie while advancing towards me; quickly at first, but upon seeing my inertia, slowed to a cautious walk.

"Mr Brown, what are you-"

Larry saw the cooling mass of metal behind me. His eyes grew wide and he wheezed for a second before throwing the walkie-talkie to his mouth, speaking quietly but quickly.

"I need backup in cell block 29 ASAP, over! Patient has explosives!" He straightened and smiled casually, but shakily, at me.

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