A Different City – Chapter 1: How Superman Got Inspired

When O’Connor showed how easy it was to tame the nine-headed monster, Superman realized the occasional uselessness of his punch. Mere words, and the monster was defeated.

“How—how did you do?” asked Superman, as if he discovered America all over again. “I was so going to battle the monster here. This neighbor was going to be in ruin. This coffee shop weren’t going to be here anymore…”

O’Connor took a sip of the black coffee. Too bitter. “What do you mean how I did it? You were right there. You saw the whole thing.”

Indeed Superman witnessed the entire event, which all the more baffled him. There he was, confronting the most ominous monster he has ever seen, ready to deliver the most power punch. Leaves fell. Sun dimmed. World silent.

Thump. Thump.


The monster was mumbling, “I m hangary. H—Hengery…”

A question was asked, “Why are you so hungry?”

“I dun knot. Mi sthomech hurts.”

The stranger examined the monster’s stomach. “Oh darn, your body is secreting way too much ghrelin?”

No wonder the monster was eating everything, from small cakes, entire cities, to big worlds. He couldn’t stop eating because he missed his annual medical checkup.

Problem solved. O’Connor suggested a nearby clinic. And the city was new again.

Tap. O’Connor stirred the coffee. He finally remembered he hated black coffee. He added five cubes of sugar.

“How did you know he was hungry?”

He took a sip again. “What? He literally said I am hungry a hundred times.”

Superman was silent for some time. He never took criminals’ words seriously.

O’Connor finally remembered he actually hated coffee. He put his laptop in his messenger bag and got up. “Perhaps you should listen more.”

That was the moment of inspiration Superman waited for. The sun shone through the glass door onto O’Connor, made him look like a saint or messiah. Superman wanted to follow this man. He wanted to be like him.

“Where are you going? Is there another monster?”

O’Connor took a step, away from the light and he was a normal human being again. He gave Superman a look. “I am college undergrad. Where else could I go?”

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