You may have noticed there has not been a new chapter of “The New Normal” in a couple weeks. I have put it on hiatus for a little bit while I finished the first draft of my new book, “Cron”, the 2nd book in the Null series. It’s taking most of my time and thought, so I haven’t been able to give it the attention it deserves. The story will continue soon, I promise.
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It was a cool night. The sky was clear of clouds, but a layer of orange smog coated the night sky. The stars barely peeked through the smog, creating dithered specks of light.
Bruce sat on a stack of cinder blocks he had set up right outside the lab’s entrance. He puffed on a hand rolled cigarette and blew small clouds of smoke into the air.
I stepped out of the lab’s airlock and looked up at the night sky.
“Are you sure it’s ok for you to be out here?” Bruce asked.
“Yeah,” I said, “I did an analysis of the air, and the radiation levels are harmless at this point. The only thing that will kill me out here is your second-hand smoke.”
Bruce chuckled, and scooted to one side of his makeshift seat.
I sat down next to him, and let out a deep breathe.
“Where’s Mitsy?” Bruce asked.
“She’s still stuffing her face,” I replied, “she’ll probably be in a food coma soon. For a hundred pound girl, she can really eat.”
Bruce laughed and took another puff. We stared up at the orange sky for a while.
“What do you think is happening out there?” Bruce asked.
“I don’t know,” I said, “but it’s probably not good.”
“What makes you think that?”
“If everyone got abilities then there’s a lot of bad people out there with a lot of power.”
“Yeah,” Bruce said, “but there is also a lot of good people out there who are hopefully keeping the bad people in check.”
“That means it’s a war out there,” I said, “and I still consider that not good.”
Bruce sighed. “Good point.” He flicked his cigarette to the ground and stamped it with his foot.
“Am I the only normal person left?” I pondered.
“You were never normal,” Bruce said, with a smirk on his face.
“Officially, I’m still not,” I said, “if everyone has powers than that is the new normal, and I’m still an outlier.”
“You’ve always been way smarter than everyone around you,” Bruce said, “so you’ve always had a superpower.”
“I guess that’s how I contribute to this new status quo, studying the phenomenon and documenting the new normal.”
Bruce put his hand on my shoulder. “And I’ll back you up.”
Mitsy poked her head out of the lab door. She was chewing on a mouthful of food, but managed to say, “You guys are out of ketchup.”