Hands Down

Author: Rick Tobin

Aaron’s dark green Volvo continued in the interstate fast lane, at the legal speed limit, when suddenly a bright red SUV swerved around him, honking, almost striking the front of his car. He smiled as the aggressive driver sped ahead, then veered suddenly into a retaining wall and down into a ditch. Aaron passed the wreckage, remembering a nasty finger wave the other driver shared as his SUV passed within inches of Aaron’s front fender.


“Please sit.” Emil Brasso was terse in his directions to Aaron as he entered the sparse interrogation room featuring a single metal table with a worn green top, overlooked by a large mirror obviously allowing others to watch unseen. They seated across from each other in sterile, steel chairs with thin, hard seats. Brasso kept his right hand below the lip of the table as he fumbled with his left, opening a brown manila folder in front of his captive.

“I’m confused. I registered yesterday at your Agency’s request. No idea why. So am I under arrest?” Aaron flung back his mop of long, blonde hair while staring steely-eyed into his interrogator.
“You are surely familiar with the concerns of your government since the Pence administration. Following last year’s saucer landings, people started expressing unusual skills…some dangerous. You’ve heard of the Marvel Syndrome?”

“Sure, but that’s comic book stuff. Is this some kind of witch-hunt? Besides, your accent tells me you aren’t even one of us. Who are you, anyway?” Aaron leaned forward, red-faced with anger.

“You may call me Mr. Brasso. I am from the Netherlands with the Hague, specifically as an investigator for the World Bank. Did you or did you not brag that you could move decimals at will? That is quite serious, if true. Such actions could risk financial instability for every nation’s economy.”
“What?” Aaron’s mouth opened in astonishment.

“Did you not tell your mother that you could, in fact, change decimals at will, from a distance?” Brasso brought his bandaged right hand onto the tabletop, emphasizing his point as he pushed the folder towards Aaron. Aaron noticed the bruises around Brasso’s eyes.

“My stepmother? She’s an idiot. That is not what I told her. Obviously, she turned me in for some pittance of a reward. She switched things around in her empty head when I told her my superhero name should be Digitalis. I can make digits disappear…not decimals.”

“You mean numbers, like in a series?” An added note of concern rose from Brasso.

Aaron smiled, slowly, as he looked down at the table, “Not exactly.”


  1. Jae

    As superpowers go, bye bye trigger finger and commensurate agony definitely has uses. Good tale.

  2. SimonJM

    That’s quite the nasty power, and i am guessing not reversible; one wonders how he realised what he had and how to control it.

  3. xdhz8

    There’s something strange going on here, but I can’t put my finger on it. Fun story.

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