They were the perfect team. Bunny was said to have hearing so sharp that she could literally hear paint tighten as it dried. Chester could outrun any human alive and could go one hundred miles without stopping to rest, even at top speed. Rahsaan had lungs so huge he could hold his breath underwater for nearly twenty minutes and blow house doors in with the same effort you and I would use to blow out a candle. And Atlas could juggle a dozen large trucks as if they were nothing more than apples. They had come together to exhibit their talents in a modern-day sideshow but very quickly realized that, when combined, their talents could be put to better use.
Originally they considered robbing banks. It would have been nothing for Rahsaan to blow in the doors, for Bunny to listen to the tumblers fall on the safe combination, for Atlas to carry a vault’s worth of money to a safe location, or for Chester to lead police on a false chase to divert attention, but in the end they decided to use their powers for good and not evil.
Which turned out to be boring. Atlas would rescue people buried beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings and coal mines, Chester would transport medicines and live organs across metropolitan areas clogged with traffic, Bunny could actually hear earthquakes before they struck in enough time to warn people, and Rahsaan would blow back brush fires or divert toxic fumes from cargo spills. As a team their organization was called on almost daily to help people all over the world, they had fame and were well compensated by grateful citizens, which was why it caught everyone off guard when they decided they’d had enough of their own altruism.
“Why are we working so hard. Let’s just do what we do best, grab what we can, and retire,” said Rabbit.
“Agreed,” said the others.
They used their networks to find people who could not only use their skills but would be willing to pay anything for them. Governments would have to pay up front to be saved from natural disasters. Families would have to threaten mining company executives to get them to agree and pay for the Supernatural services. Only the wealthiest people could afford their services, and everyone was forced to read and sign an agreement not to sue the Supernaturals for any failure that resulted from delays caused by waiting for payment. Within a year they had become the four wealthiest people on Earth. They dissolved their organization, shook hands, and parted ways. They each found secluded homes and lived in carefree ease for the rest of their days.
Happily ever after, as far as anyone knew.
And that is where the story ends for some. But for those who seek the truth there is another ending.
There came to be a Super Secret Society of people who had lost loved ones due to the selfishness of the Supernaturals. People whose family had perished while the Supernaturals dallied and dickered over their fees, people who might otherwise have lived if they hadn’t been force to wait while bank deposits cleared and legal departments were consulted. The Super Secret Society grew and spread with the single goal of hunting down the Supernaturals and making them pay for their greediness.
Bunny had retreated to a home on a mountain top where she could sit and hear nothing but the sounds of nature for all her days. She could hear strangers coming up her road from miles away and erected a series of gates to prevent visitors. But one day she received a notice that there was a massive infestation of a foreign insect that was devouring local vegetation. The county was warning citizens that they would be spraying pesticides and insisted citizens stay indoors for two days during the spraying to avoid inhaling dangerous chemicals. Bunny took the appropriate precautions – sealing her doors and windows, stocking up on food, installing air filters – and settled in with some books to pass the time. On the appointed day planes flew overhead spraying the mountainside around Bunny’s house, and after an hour or two they were gone. Happy that the spraying hadn’t been too invasive Bunny carried on until she went to bed.
But she couldn’t sleep. Outside her windows there was a sound scratchy sawing, and all around her the sound of a thousand mouths crunching on potato chips incessantly. It didn’t take long before Bunny realized that the planes hadn’t sprayed pesticides but instead unleashed millions of tons of noisy insects. Crickets and cicada writhed like a living blanket over ground, rock, and tree, chirping and creaking. Inside her walls Bunny discovered hives of bees, hornets, and termites were buzzing and chewing their way into every available space. To her sensitive ears the noise was constant and deafening. It was said that members of the Super Secret Society also dropped a listening device nearby and for days could hear Bunny screaming. Her house burned down mysteriously one night but no one went to put it out or investigate what happened.
Chester took refuge in a tropical rainforest where he could daily go for long runs along jungle trails and not be seen. A keen follower of all sports, he spent most of his waking hours watching, studying, and analyzing games and events on the internet and via satellite TV. One day he saw a story about a runner that had begun to beat speed records he had previously held. Chester tried to ignore the possibility, but more and more it began to eat away at him. He began studying this runner who went by the nickname of Zot and quickly began to suspect a scam was involved. Over and over he saw places during marathons where runners were out of view of cameras and it seemed to Chester as if there was cheating going on. He finally decided to expose Zot as a fake by entering the race under a false name and disguise intent on proving that he still was the fastest human on earth.
On the day of the race Chester made sure not to draw attention to himself. When the race began he deliberately stayed buried in the lead pack and waited for Zot to make his move. Chester had studied the course in advance and knew there was a perfect opportunity about two-thirds of the way through the race. As Zot pulled away from the pack Chester dropped out and sped through side routes to meet up with Zot at the cheating place. There, Zot met up with his twin brother Scott.
“Hah! I knew you were a fake!” said Chester.
“Fair enough,” said Zot, “You caught us. But while we may lack your stamina we can still beat your record in short distances.”
“Oh, really?” said Chester. “Then let’s finish this race, and if I win I will expose you as frauds. If you win your secret will remain safe with me.”
As they started out Scott and Chester jostled for the lead. Then suddenly Scott pulled back and Chester ran all out. Soon Scott had stopped running altogether and Chester didn’t stop to wonder why. Running almost as fast a race horse Chester couldn’t see the razor-sharp wire that had been stretched taut across the route and crossing it like an invisible finish line sliced him cleanly in two across the middle. Neither Scott nor Zot finished the race and were never heard from again and it was presumed they were part of the Super Secret Society.
Having heard about Chester and Bunny, the remaining Supernaturals became worried.
“I think someone is after us,” said Rahsaan.
“Agreed,” said Atlas, “And hiding from them won’t change anything. So let’s build a trap together. When they come to get us they’ll be in for quite a surprise!”
To lure in the Super Secret Society, Atlas and Rahsaan wrote a joint memoir about their early lives. It was a bestseller, and to promote their tour they decided to do only one public author event. It was agreed that they would appear in an outdoor sports stadium with the strictest security ever devised. As part of their presentation Atlas would hoist a 30 ton boulder above his head and Rahsaan would blow it out of the stadium and into a vacant lot several miles away. People eagerly paid good money for the chance to see the remaining Supernaturals perform this amazing feat. In fact, they were counting on the Super Secret Society to try an attack on them so they could prove that they weren’t scared. This was the full extent of their trap. Atlas and Rahsaan had strengths but logical thinking wasn’t among them.
The day before the event Rahsaan and Atlas decided to do a dry run of their stunt. Rather than waste time and energy throwing the actual boulder (which had taken three days to get into place) Atlas suggested they bring in an empty shipping container and they fill it on site with water. Their assistants made the arrangements and shortly before midnight they were ready to test their stunt. Atlas easily held the shipping container above his head and instructed Rahsaan to get in position. Unseen and unknown to either of them, one of their assistants was a member of the Super Secret Society and had arranged for the container to be filled with liquid nitrogen instead of water. The shipping container had been rigged in a way that a remote switch would open the cargo door and dump its contents all over the stage… including on Atlas and Rahsaan. In an instant, the door opened and the liquid nitrogen froze them instantly into statues as fragile as glass. Unbalanced, the container came crashing down and shattered the two remaining Supernaturals into fragments the size of tiny glass shards. The event was cancelled, everyone got their money back, and the only complaint many had was that they couldn’t have been there during the rehearsal to see the “accident” first hand.
The Supernaturals were gone and the world lived happily ever after.
c. 2011 david elzey