I’ve always been annoyed by people that complained about not being special. That they aren’t “enough.” They don’t know what they’re asking for or understand the responsibility it comes with. I can change the fucking fabric of reality with hardly a conscious thought. To tell you the truth it’s not that cracked up to be. I have to train myself constantly to not let things get out of control. A simple temper tantrum for someone else could be uneventful annoyance, but for me, I could fry everything in my house. I see “things” too. Sure, sometimes it’s pretty fucking lit but mostly it’s just disgusting or god-damned terrifying. The scariest thing I’ve seen so far has been a letter…

It was the one of those lazy Sunday afternoons, and, I was a couple hours into a nap. I had jolted up out of bed like a strike of lighting. My heart was beating faster and faster. I was terrified of losing control. I’ve had “panic attacks” or whatever the shrinks call it before but this didn’t feel right. My eyes darted around frantically, until I saw something that seemed impossible. There was a light coming from my mailbox, which I could see through the walls, almost like a video game. The closer I got to it, the less intense the pain and light became. Someone was sending me messages in just about every way. I’m not exactly a noob when it comes to the “anomalous” - as the Jailers would word it. With immense hesitation and dread, I reached inside the mailbox and found a new letter inside.

Hello Jimmy! This is your lucky day. We at the Manna Charitable Foundation have discovered your unique talents and have sent you this letter in order to invite you to a group of individuals similar to you. This group is dedicated to mutual support and development of your talents for the greater good of society as a whole. If you are interested, please meet us in the address below next Saturday at midday sharp!

My first reaction: BULL-FUCKING-SHIT.What kind of chump did these assholes take me for? Did they think I was going to walk into their trap like in some after-school special? Really?! A support group for Greenies? I’ve only met one other person with a “gift” like mind and, to be frank, he wasn’t all there to begin with. Honestly, the idea was so ridiculous I couldn’t help but to laugh. A bunch of us addled weirdos in one room would probably undo the universe.

But the reality of the situation sunk in. I had been outed. They not only know my name, and where I live, but, they knew what I could do. I couldn’t help but to scream. It was all over. I was a fucking dead man and there wasn’t a thing to be done about it. Worst of all, I’d have to face it by myself. Sure, I had a few friends here in the “community” but I wasn’t close enough to get them involved.

I got something to admit. I’ve always had a problem with my temper. As a kid a little “banter” with me would leave you with a bloody lip or worse. As I grew up I learned to have more control over myself. Or, at least I thought I did. This set me off like nothing has in my entire life. I was suicidal rage in physical form. I wouldn’t allow myself to be captured alive. They could scrape my bits - along with whoever else was decided to disrespect me - off the wall.

As I began to plan, the lights in the house began to flicker. Little distortions popped in and out of existence fed by my rage. I hate to say it, but, it felt so good. Most of my life has been about self control. I had stifled myself for over a decade, for what? What did I get out of all that work, all that training? “Fuck them!” was my new mantra. It was time to release my pent up emotions.

These sons of bitches clearly thought I was dumb enough to just walk right into their trap. They'd never expect me to show up armed, so the only thing to do was research explosives so I could conjure one. I took the necessary precautions to hide my digital footprints, and concentrated until a hand grenade appeared on my desk. I put on a coat so I could hide it and went toward the address in the letter, ready to have my revenge for the deaths of my friends.

The moment I walked through their door, I pulled out the grenade's pin and started screaming at them. They all turned their heads to me, seemingly unfazed and even amused. I saw my explosive transforming into soap bubbles, and immediately felt like an absolute moron. They didn't let me ignore it, either.

"Seriously? This was your plan? Don't you think we've dealt with this stuff before?" said one of them in a gruff manner, shaking his head. "Sit your ass down. We're not here to hurt you. But the world outside is, so if you want to survive, you better listen to the people who have more experience then you."

I lowered my head in defeat and pulled up a chair. I was averting my gaze out of shame and frustration. But despite that, I found my curiosity growing. "Why haven't you all ganged up on me and put me on an operating table yet?"

There was a mighty laughter coming from several of them, until a serene-looking old man spoke up. "Everyone, please take it easy with the ribbing. He's new and likely scared and confused. You're James, right? Can I call you Jimmy? I'm Frederick." he offered me a handshake.

I slowly accepted the handshake. "Y-y-y-yeah. You can. Sorry about the grenade. I was terrified, yeah."

"Don't you think everyone in this group is?" The gruff man said, and he lowered his hoodie to reveal that his head was totally covered in scars. "You talking about operating tables, boy? I spent 2 years in a facility being cut up and sewed back up. All I want in life is to fucking kill them all so they won't do that shit to anyone else."

Frederick sighed. "Come on now, Ted. Don't be like that. It's not what we are here for, and you might give the new guy the wrong impression about us."

Ted just groaned and sank further into his chair, squeezing a plastic ball to relieve his stress. Frederick sat beside me and gave me a compassionate smile.

"You see, everyone here had bad experiences due to being different. But the purpose of this group is to help you all realize you are gifted. But what makes you special is not your gifts, but how you use them."

"Oh, that's REAL fucking nice! Why don't we just go out there and fix everyone's problems, then? I'll tell you why, Frederick. It's because most people still see us as monsters and trophies." said Ted.

"That is unfortunately true, but it's our responsibility to prove them otherwise, don't you agree?" He gave me a sideways glance as if to ask for my opinion.

"Ummm…I don't know? There's so much that can go wrong by going public, but I don't think going on a killing spree will do us any good…" I replied, feeling awkward still.

"BULLSHIT! They'll never leave us alone! We either kill them or they kill us!" Snarled Ted.

The room began to change as Ted got angrier and angrier. The temperature increased by the second, and some flammable objects caught on fire. Frederick hurried to put out the fire, and I looked at Ted with a mixture of fear and pity.

"Hey Ted. My friends got killed for being different too. I know you're in a lot of pain, but you don't have to stoop to their level." I suggested.

"Listen here, and listen good. I don't need your pity. I don't need it from any of you." He hissed as he slowly calmed down and the room's temperature went back to normal.

"Then why are you here? I'd imagine that you want some sort of help, otherwise you'd have gone out there and started your killing spree already."

Ted went silent for quite a while. "Because I need to convince people here to join me. I don''t stand a chance all by myself."

Frederick offered an aspirin to Ted and patted him on the back. "We already joined you. We're here for you, just not in the way you think you need."

"I…I guess you guys are trying, yeah," admitted Ted. "I just don't want others to suffer like I did, and I see no way to make this nightmare end."

"That's alright, we'll figure it all out one of these days," encouraged Frederick. "But with that being said, what are your thoughts on the matter, Jimmy?"

I wasn't used to being the center of attention. I would almost always avoid drawing attention to myself so I wouldn't hurt anyone by accident. This was weird, but calming somehow. "I'm neutral, to be honest. I'm just trying to live my own life, not tell others how to live theirs."

"I see. Well, whatever you choose to make out of your life, you can count on us. Right, everyone?" Frederick said, and the people in the room agreed.

The kind old man then prepared snacks for all of us, and others talked about their experiences and goals. Time seemed to pass much faster than I expected, and soon I had to leave. I swapped contact info with some of them and stared at my cellphone well into the little hours of the morning.

Was it really safe to trust anyone like this? Anyone could be a monster in disguise. My paranoia was nagging at me to run away and forget it had ever happened, but I was tired and ended up falling asleep.

The next few weeks I mustered the courage to return there, and I got closer to Ted despite his initial hesitation to open up. But one day, he didn't show up to the meeting and we failed to contact him in any way. We assumed the worst and started panicking. Fred was the one to calm us down before the building uprooted itself and flew away. He then turned to me, shaking and full of worry.

"Jimmy! You're closer to Ted than any of us. What did he last say?"

"Oh. Oh God. He said that he was done with everything and was going to make it stop."

I got onto my motorcycle and looked at my phone to take another look at Ted's last message. He told me where he was going and warned me not to try and stop him. But I knew that he wouldn't share this information if he really wanted to not be stopped. Frederick came with me, and we drove like crazy until we found him in front of highly secure building where he thought there were Jailers.

"Ted! STOP!" I shouted. But it was too late. The street went up in flames and people started screaming as their skin peeled off their muscles. I got my pistol and fired at Ted, only for the bullets to turn into molten slag as they got near him. He wasn't smiling like he said he would be. Maybe we still had a chance.

I got off my motorcycle and put away my pistol, then jumped through a ring of fire to meet Ted. He turned around and looked at me with a confused look in his face, but his usual anger seemed to be missing.

"Why do you even bother?" he shouted through the roaring flames.

"You don't have to do this! You're better than this!" I implored.

"Turn around and go away if you know what's good for you."

I ignored his warning and ran toward him, only for a bullet to miss him and hit me instead. I fell and started bleeding, the immense heat and pain making me lose my focus entirely.

Ted's eyes widened in shock as he realized who had fired the bullet. The poor police officer was immediately turned to ash by Ted, and the other officers ran away as they requested for backup.

The last thing I saw before losing consciousness was Ted taking me into the fire and the city around us disappearing as we were taken somewhere else.

[End of part 1]