The apartment is cold and dark. The plates in the sink pile higher. The smell permeates unpleasantly. I try not to think about it.\n\nSince you moved out, the apartment itself seems to be dying. The shower sputters and starts when I turn the taps. The washing machine leaves undissolved powder in streaks on my [[costume|Costume]].\n\nThe [[bed|Day3]] is a mess of unwashed sheets and I [[tangle|Day3Tangle]] myself into them.
I [[was|Am]] selfish.
You would greet me at the door and the smell of dinner would saturate me.\n\nThe apartment is cold and dark. A pile of unwashed plates are in the sink. The only sound is the hum of the fridge, mingling with the thrum of traffic in the city outside.\n\nI lower myself into the couch and imagine my body merging with it.\n\n[[Sleep|Day2]].
The apartment is cold and dark.\n\nI wanted you to be wrong.\n\nI lie awake for a while.\n\n[[Go to the laundromat|Laundry]] or [[stay in bed|Bed]].
Benjamin Graham is @yayben on twitter, and writes things. He is always looking for things to write.\n\nThis particular writing would have been impossible without the Twine resources posted on [[Glorious Train Wrecks|]].
Life [[continues|Continues]].\n\n
A [[burning itch|Itch]] inside my mind pulls me from the apartment before I'm completely awake. I stumble outside and throw myself into the sky.\n\nSmog blankets the city. My mind is slipping through the streets, [[seeking the source|Seek]] of the itch.
Sleep doesn't rejuvanate me as much as it used to. As the //itch// grows deeper my nights have lost their association with darkness and I lose track of the days.\n\nAt times I feel you just stepped out to the shops and I've been having microsleeps. But the apartment around me looks abandoned. Sometimes I'm not sure it's even the right apartment. I can't recall ever living here with you.\n\nYou might tell me: That's because you were never home. You always had to [[leave|Seek3]].
and if I insist that nothing matters, I believe at least in my own [[denial|Breathing]],
As I rise above the city I stretch out my awareness and find the source of the disturbance.\n\nSome two-bit [[villain-of-the-week]] has his gang digging a tunnel into a bank vault. I feel the air on my skin.\n\n[[I swoop|Swoop]].
which is what you said to me,\n\n//[[live|Living]]//,\n\nand it doesn't really matter if they die later,\nbecause we all die later,
Since you left, both the apartment and I have calcified. It's almost a relief when the itch sets in and I can throw myself into the streets to find the [[source|Seek3]].
I flip downwards through the sky, faster-than-a-speeding-whatever, and plunge into the subway. I sweep through the tunnels, shrugging past trains.\n\nMy heightened awareness allows me to easily find the divergence and I streak silently towards the villain.\n\nIt always comes down to the same moment. Usually they have not seen me. Usually they do not cry out.\nIt makes no difference.\n\n[[I strike|Strike]].
accepting, in some sense,\n\nthat the [[choice|Made]] to exist, or not to exist,\nimplies freedom, total freedom
I twist and coil like a snake and when I release,\n\nbolts of energy shoot out from my fingertips, green-black tendrils sinking into every [[skull|Skull]].\n\nSoon, all that remains in the tunnel are bodies.
and I do believe that my monument has a twin,\n\nliving in you,\n\nsoftly fading in unison.
I played back the messages on my phone to hear your voice again but it wasn't there. It'd been replaced by another series of interview requests from another round of journalists. Christ knows how they keep finding my number.\n\nHow long ago did you leave?\n\nAre there any traces of you left [[here|Apartment]]?
I fly towards you and my flight is a faint noise. It builds to a cacophany. The sound is shouting and screaming and yelling. I recognise my voice.\n\nThe noise takes away my sight and I can't find you. My senses numb and I feel the green and black vortex pressing on me from all sides. I am [[unable to move|Move]].
When I was younger I dreamed of a nemesis. Their faces blur together and the action becomes a rhythm.\nWhen I was younger, I dreamed of freedom.\n\nI need to focus. [[Where was I|Swoop]]?
I imagine them racing to bring me another medal.\nI imagine the mayor racing to give me the keys to the city again.\n\nI imagine you racing to my side.\n\nIt's getting so I can't even imagine you at [[home|Home1]].
and it comes to me that to breathe is a choice that I keep making,\n\nand will continue to [[make|Making]],
I fill a garbage bag with unwashed clothes.\n\nWhile I'm loading the machine, a man looks at me.\n\nHe says: Has anyone told you how much you look like[[...|Streets]]
Almost painfully it pulls me to find the disturbance. I am compelled to [[seek it out|Seek2]].\n\n//Your// job lets you call in sick. //My// job pulls at my insides. You said: Addiction.
Our relationship would have been some dead thing,\n\nkept alive by my lack of [[freedom|Grown]], and I'd hate that,
Perhaps I define my course by discovering the paths that [[stray|Itching1]] from it.\n\nWhat if no paths strayed from my course? Does every choice [[circle|Itching2]] towards the same drain?\n\nThere's some parable here about the illusory nature of [[choice|Itching3]],\nbut I don't really feel like discussing it.
I convinced myself that things which happened //frequently// were //normal//. The things which I did with my mind. Every day. Every day.\n\nYou asked me: How many?\n\nI couldn't even be sure how many //yesterday//.\n\nYou asked me: Would it be so easy if they weren't so peaceful afterwards?\n\nI said: [[Eventually|Childhood]] it would be easy, no matter how horrible it was. Eventually I'd be [[done|Done2]] and I could leave.\n\n
Let's be fair. There is something spectacular about being //super//.\n\nI'm circling above a crowd, and many of them will die,\n\nmany of them will die of cancer or cigarettes or\n\n[[live|Live]],
I'm always at this junction,\n\nwith choices spread out ahead of me,\n\nand the truth is I have no idea where they will [[lead|Follow]],\n
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There are many misconceptions about my powers.\nOne is that I can sense motives. I use this power to seek out only the most evil and irredeemable of villains.\n\nI cannot sense motives. All I can do is snuff candles.\nThe bodies begin to twist around me,\n  the sky is twisting,\n    the stars are whirling,\n      and for a moment I can't believe how far away they are,\n        how utterly [[indifferent|Indifferent]].\n
The cold wind presses against me, but it's stale city air.\n\nA wave of nausea overcomes me.\n\nThe stupid inevitability of everyone's death hangs over me.\n\nI'll save you today so your cigarettes can kill you tomorrow, at least it won't be a surprise.\nOr you'll die in a car accident, how tragic that you never lived long enough to give up on life.\nOr maybe you won't die at all until you're so old and leathery that you can't recognise your daughter and they'll call that a rich life.\n\nI //loathe// this place which calls me a hero.\n\n\nMy wanderings eventually lead me [[home|Day4]].
It is usually the //itch// that wakes me, so my dreams are filled with it. But sometimes I wake up with nothing and my sheets are soaked with sweat.\n\nThe clock on the wall shows 7:35 and for a few moments I thought I'd woken up early, but the battery is dead and it's been 7:35 for [[weeks|Weeks]] now.\n
growing ever more delicate,\n\nyour features softening with time,\n\na gentle [[monument|Cleft]] to our lives, eroding softly into the past
and I can choose, with an open heart, to keep pushing the boulder up the hill,\n\nand tomorrow I will do it again.
Joy. Surprise. Relief. //Un-looked-for rescue//.\n\n//Out of the blue//.\n\nThat comes later. The first reaction is usually terror.\n\n[[Back|Strike3]].
freedom to need,\n\nfreedom to [[itch|Sisyphus]],
I'm told the energy creates a burning, blistering sensation.\nYet it leaves no marks on their skin.\n\nMy job is [[done|Done1]].
\n\n\n\n\nUltimately, you left me because I was unwilling to change.\n\n[[...|Day4]]
I eventually drift into a restless sleep.\n\nI dream in green and black. Energy circles around my body and moves over my skin. It is the only sensation I am aware of. Within it, I am invincible. I am untouchable.\n\nNo one can reach me.\n\n[[There are bodies everywhere|Bodies]], staring blindly into the night sky. I can see you standing a short distance away. [[I can't see your face|You]].
and your fingers were always on my skin,\n\nand are with me still, leaving [[traces|Left]],
or if I'd known which choices would drive you away,\n\nI'd have been petrified,\n\nwhich would have been its own sort of [[dead end|Growing]],
and we'll each carry our own version of the story with us,\n\nunsure if it held any deeper meaning,\nbut the real point was to have been there.\n\nand we'll begin again in other stories,\n\nun-looked-for and unimaginable
In that brief window between birth and death,\n\nsome scattered heartbeats,\n\na sense of [[touch|Leaving]],
but if I knew where my [[choices|Following]] would take me,\n\nI'd still be in primary school, paralysed by fear at the deaths carpeting my future,
I remember feeling that unnatural itch for the first time, just a faint and distant worry, but enough to pull my mind out of the classroom.\n\nI walked out of the room almost like I was asleep,\n\nacross the oval, saw one kid had another on the ground, and was kicking, punching,\nthere was blood,\n\nI seemed to get there too fast, felt my hands shaking and throbbing, and //reached out//\n\nOHGOD\n\nOHGOD\n\nI DIDN'T\n\nTAKE ME [[HOME|Done2]].
\n\n__Causes of death on this planet__\nHeart disease - 30%\nInfectious disease - 23%\nCancer - 12%\nAccidents - 6%\nSuicide - 1.5%\nWar - 0.3%\n\nWhere's //Caped Villains// on that list?\nWhere's //Petty Criminals// on that list?\n\nNo,\nit's a [[need|Need]].
I don't think I managed to tell you how I manifested,\n\nbut a 'peaceful' //corpse// is\nevery-fucking-bit-as-awful when you're\n//[[six|Regress]]//
My senses penetrate the gloom. A team of crack agents from a foreign Secret Service. They've kidnapped the head of a corporation that researches experimental weapons.\n\nBlack cars form an armed convoy. They are half-way to the airport. They have a private jet waiting. Today I am restrained: my attention shall only focus on the [[cars|Strike3]].
A costumed man is hovering above a screaming crowd, sending bolts of electricity into them, feeding on their fear.\n\nOnce you asked me if I'd like you better if you had powers. No, there is nothing to like about power. [[Power is disfiguring|Strike2]].
\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThen I see that they are tiny candles,\nnot cold at all, but warm and living,\na vast pattern stretching out across the cosmos. I reach out towards them,\n\nbut the green and black energy gushes from me,\nand the candles begin to wink out, slowly at first,\nthen in a rush,\n\nand in a rush the darkness takes me.\n\n[[...|Day4]]
I leave them behind. The ghostly wail of sirens is [[closing|Sirens]]. Maybe I will make the evening news.\n\nFor now all I want is to fly [[home|Home1]] to you for dinner.\n\n
With time comes the realisation that home is not a place, but a fragile concept, easily spoiled.\n\nThe [[apartment|Home2]] is an alien place without you.
instead you left me,\n\nand our story together is [[complete|Own]]: beginning, middle, end,\n\nchoices made or not made, moments remembered or forgotten,
The streets, at this hour, are deserted.\n\nI can hear a fight in the next neighbourhood,\n but I am still satisfied from last time.\n\nI do [[nothing|Nothing]].
I //am// selfish.\n\nToo many times I expected you to carry our relationship. My own powers were not equal to the task.\n\nI said: How many people did //you// save today?\nYou said: You don't respect [[my work|Am2]]
I've resisted the itch,\nand I've thought about resisting the itch,\n\nbut it gets so I can't [[breathe|Breathe]],
The kidnappers are alert. One of them fires his gun at me as I close in. None of the bullets come near me.\n\nI send green-black lances through the air intakes and the unsealed cracks around the doors. In another moment, the CEO is surrounded by limp bodies. The car skids around and crashes into another car. He is rattled but his body does not go limp. He sees me and the look is [[fear and confusion|Reaction]].\n\nI can hear sirens, but my mind is elsewhere. I remember [[how things were|Selfish]]. I depart alone.
Wind whips over my body. In a heartbeat I am above the crowd. My tendrils flicker out. A costumed figure falls to the ground like a [[puppet|Puppet]].\n\nThere's a shocked stillness. Cheers and shouts of joy begin to rise up to greet me. My head throbs.\n\nI depart before it reaches a cacophony. I can't bear to be around [[people|Saving]].
\n\n\n\n\nUltimately, you left me because I was [[unable to move|Move2]].\n
You asked me if it was hard to know I was responsible for so many deaths. Even the deaths of criminals and psychopaths.\n\nI think you were preparing to feel sorry for me,\nbut the answer is\n\n[[it's not hard at all|Killing]].
I've always liked the colour purple.\n\n[[Back|Home2]].
You asked: Why do they keep trying? Why is there always another villain-of-the-week?\n\nI always guessed: Symbiosis. We need one another for this deadly dance. I am drawn to them.\n\nSometimes I guess instead: I am a parasite that feeds on crime. I am their disease and punishment both.\n\nBut in the end I stopped guessing.\n\nI convinced myself that things which happened //frequently// were //normal//.\n\nIn [[time|Done2]], all my wounds merge with me and become me.
I //am// selfish.\n\nToo many times I expected you to carry our relationship. My own powers were not equal to the task.\n\nI said: How many people did //you// save today?\nYou said: You don't respect //me//. You want me at [[home|Home3]] to make everything //easy// for you.
As sleep clears from my eyes the //tug// becomes more distinct.\n\nI sense powers and reach towards them. A costumed man is hovering above a screaming crowd, sending bolts of electricity into them, feeding on their fear.\n\n[[I hurry|Strike2]].