When humans evolved and got superpowers, not everyone got a cool power. Of course, there were the super-strong people, the super-fast, super-tough and those that could fly, teleport or read minds or throw fireballs, or pretty much do anything cool.
Then there were the uncool or odd powers.
Some people could smell the future or see around corners, others could transform into a fish or summon custard pudding. Not all uncool powers were nasty, though. Many of these Pseudo-supers or “Pseuds” (as they became known) were accepted and loved in society kind of the same way you would accept and love a weird cousin.
But some of these Pseuds were downright creepy and ended up being ostracised.
On the fringe of towns and far out in the country, clusters of the Creeps (as they were known) would live together much like leppers had done centuries before. Not even the Pseuds wanted to be around them.
Little Tim had demons. They followed him around.
The first one had appeared after his father had left him when he was about five years old. It was a vague, shadowy demon with horns that said nothing and just followed him around. It had scared his mother who had sent him away to live with his Uncle Pat and the other Creeps.
That was when his second demon had been born. It was a pale reflection of her; gaunt and twisted as it was dark and eerie. It spoke only to other people and never to him and, mostly, just tried to sleep with them. He did not like it, as it was disliked by most people who do not have a fetish for ghosts.
Little Tim also had the snotty demon from when he was really sick that one time and the spiky one from when the bullies beat him up in the alleyway. He also had the creepy one from the old lady in the apartment below his mother’s place.
Yes, Little Tim had demons and they all obediently followed him around.
His Uncle Pat took him under his wing on the farm–the Creeps lived on a Collective where they grew their own food–and taught him the value of friendship and love. He taught him that you are not your superpower, but rather the collection of decisions on how to use it. If you use it to make the world a better place, you were a good person. If you use it for your own advantage, you were a bad person.
Uncle Pat, himself, had an awkward power: he could induce nightmares in people. Not very useful in homes with children nor in crowded cities. But, it was quite useful for the criminal justice system as an alternative form of punishment for offenders who–for some or other reason, most likely to do with their superpowers–could not go to prison.
All Uncle Pat would do was make them dream that they were in prison and serving out their full term. If a dream feels like it lasts a lifetime, then the dreamer has, in fact, dreamt a lifetime. They would wake up mere hours later but changed people.
The break-through for Little Tim was when he sat down with his demons and spoke to them. They all had a heart-to-heart. They were all stuck together; them and Little Tim. The least they could do was be friends. They, too, had not asked to be here but merely appeared. They, too, did not want to be abandoned.
Little Tim and his demons hugged afterward.
The other Creeps threw a party that night for Little Tim. Even Little Tim’s demon’s joined the party and, once they opened up, got on (more or less) wonderfully with everyone.
“Everyone is fighting a hard fight and is worth knowing when you get to know them”, Uncle Pat said and everyone agreed to loud cheers.
That was the night Little Tim kissed his first girl. Susan had lizard eyes, mosaic-scaled skin and a flickering tongue. It tickled him and they both laughed. She was very cute and Little Tim’s heart fluttered like a butterfly each time he thought of her.
When Little Tim woke up the next morning with a big smile on his face, a beautiful angel was standing at his bed. His demons stood around moping and shadowy, but the angel was radiant and smiled at him. He smiled back at her, suddenly understanding everything.
“Uncle Pat! Uncle Pat! Uncle Pat!” Little Tim panted, running through the farm to the lead-lined outer shed that Uncle Pat slept in so that he did not infect everyone else with nightmares while they slept, “Uncle Pat! I have an angel now!”
“Uh, wha–” Uncle Pat rolled over on his grubby mattress as the heavy lead-lined door squeaked open and light spilt in, “Timmy, what is it?”
“Uncle Pat, this is my angel. I now know what I have to do to make the world a better place!” Little Tim was smiling.
Uncle Pat sat up and yawned, smiling at the kid. He patted the mattress next to him, “Come sit here, Timmy, and tell me all about it.”
Little Tim dropped down onto the mattress, beaming: “I don’t just have demons. I also have now have an angel. All the bad makes my demons, but all the good can also make them. And those will be angels. And those angels will make the world a better place!”
Uncle Pat nodded, thoughtfully. He glanced up at the pack of eerie demons just outside of his shed’s open door and the single, radiant being that stood gracefully in their brooding midst. He felt peace and joy looking at her brilliance. Her light washed over his heart and lifted his spirits.
He smiled and hugged Little Tim, who hugged him tightly back. They were both crying now. It was tears of joy, maybe.
“Right, Timmy,” he began in all seriousness, choking back his tears and smiling widely, “You know what we have to do now, don’t you? We have to make sure that you have the most amazing, brilliant and happy life ever and, by the end of it, you will have filled the world with angels.”
When the world was filled with angels, happiness and light literally walked down the streets and joy stalked in every heart. Civilisation was at peace and the Creeps and Pseuds did not matter anymore. Neither did wars nor wealth. Society was healed and brought together in harmony.
A new age dawned for man and the President personally thanked Little Tim. In so doing, the President spawned a whole host more of angels that looked a lot like him. In fact, every street the Little Tim walked down, strangers hugged him and thanked him for all the light he had brought into the world.
It was still the same world, but it was now filled with angels, love, happiness and hope. The darkness was banished and no one had nightmares anymore.
But Little Tim still had his few demons. His father, mother, the snotty one, the spiky one and the old woman. They hid from all this light back in his apartment in the city. He felt sorry for them and spent time talking to each one of them.
They did not like the light, but he told them that they were very important. Without some darkness, there would be no need for light, he told them. Susan–who was now Little Tim’s wife–told them so too.
Uncle Pat would come over and induces terrifying nightmares in the demons. They loved it. They could escape into the darkness and terror of dreams, but when they woke the world was still full of blinding light.
And so, Little Tim, Susan and Uncle Pat closed all the windows, sat all the demons down and turned the lights off. Sitting in the darkness of the living room, the demons felt better and they began to talk. They spoke of their hopes and dreams. They spoke of their years of silence when no one looked and they spoke of Little Tim, Susan and Uncle Pat.
By the end of it, they–all of them–were crying.
“Everyone is fighting a hard fight and is worth knowing when you get to know them”, Uncle Pat said, choking back a tear.
Everyone nodded, agreeing in the darkness.
Little Tim stood up and hugged each one of his demons. They were his friends, and he wanted them to feel better. And they did.