(Note: This is based on the Reddit writing prompt: “in the year 3017, writers discover marvel comics, and interpret them as an ancient religion.”)
(This story is set in 4017, a thousand years after the discovery).
I always knew I was different. I’ve never fit in at school, and the other kids teased me for being weird. I’ve tried not to let it bother me, but I wanted to be like everyone else, I wanted to be normal.
The scriptures have helped me so much when I’m depressed about school or family stuff. I read those lines, “sworn to protect those who hate and fear them,” and I know that even though other people might mistreat me, I still have to help them.
I’ve talked to my Dad about this stuff. He’s a believer, even though he’s not as involved with church as some of the other dads I know.
“Dad, do you think I could be a mutant?”
“Jack, we all could be. The scriptures say that humans and mutants learned to live together in peace, and that’s why we don’t see the differences anymore.”
“But why doesn’t anyone have powers?”
“It’s because of our own sin and hardness of heart that the Scarlet Witch took all the powers. If we truly learn to love one another the way the Professor taught, then that’s the greatest power of all of them.”
I know those are the right answers, the adult answers. Grownups don’t believe in superpowers, even if they go to church every Sunday and worship people who had them. They see them as stories, parables about how to live, and the powers as a storytelling device to describe emotions. That’s what my English teacher says, anyway.
But not everyone feels like that. I read online, people who follow Magnus, people who say they’ve seen others levitate, lift objects with their mind. Some of out seems crazy and violent, and there’s stories in the news all the time of people injecting Mercury into their blood to get metal bones and the dying of shock, or sitting in freezers and dying of hypothermia while trying to awaken their ice powers. Mass suicides of the Acolytes, trying to reach Asteroid M, their compound burned while waiting for Magneto to save them.
I want to fly, but I’m not about to go jump off a roof.
I follow the news about the archaeologists, excavating ancient New York, in the region where Xavier’s School for the Gifted would have been. If they find Cerebro or a Sentinel, that’s it, the stories were all true. But so far it seems like old houses, nothing that proves the scriptures. I know I should have faith, and I shouldn’t need historical proof to believe, but I want it all the same.
I decided one day that I would find them myself. After my parents went to bed, I went out my window, jumping from the ledge down to the deck below. I took my bike – we live only a few miles from where the archaeologists dig.
Dig reports come out so slowly, and they talk about nothing, about soil, about fragments of glass, but nothing substantial. Maybe I would see nothing, but at least I would see it.
I reached the dig site around 10