The Powers That Be

By Audrey W.





“Ralph said: If I had super powers, I’d wish to be able to BLANK. . .”


The laughter from the audience on television filled the breakroom at Station 51, where some of the crew of A-Shift was watching the game show ‘Match Game 74’. It was a show that had a host, a celebrity panel of six in a two-tiered setting and two contestants seated behind a desk across the stage from the others.


John Gage glanced at the other three men in chairs in line with his. They’d pulled the wooden chairs away from the table in the kitchen area to sit nearer to the TV at the other end of the room.


Marco Lopez, Chet Kelly and Mike Stoker appeared to be giving the game show line as much thought as he was.


While the cast of six celebrities wrote down their answers in secret, Gage offered, “I know what I’d wish for.”


“Wait,” Chet said, holding up his right hand. “Don’t tell me. Let me guess.”


“I gotta better idea. You tell me yours.


Chet shrugged. “That’s easy. I’d want the ability to make every hot chic fall in love with me. . .at least till I got tired of each one.”


The others snickered at his answer.


“Keep wishin’,” John said with another giggle.


I’d wish to be rich.”


Chet shook his head. “That’s not a super power, Marco.”


John nodded in agreement. “Ya gotta come up with somethin’ else.


“Oh yeah? Have you seen how much power rich guys have?”


It was a different kind of power than they had in mind, but they had to admit, he did have a point to a degree. Some might consider that ‘super’.


Gage voiced his ending thoughts out loud. “Super nice.”


“Well, I know what I’d want,” Mike said. “I’d sure like to be able to fly Engine 51 over traffic instead of having to drive through it.”


Captain Stanley smiled as he walked into the room. “Now that’s an idea I can get behind.”


“What would you want for a super power, Cap?”


He walked over to the stove to refill the coffee cup in his hand as he gave Gage’s question some thought.


“We still haven’t heard yours, John.”


This time the paramedic put up a hand to silence Chet.


“In a minute. Let’s hear Cap’s first.”


The curly haired fireman turned to face Marco and Mike next to him in the line of chairs.


“Bet ya a buck, Johnny’s drawing a blank where the blank is.”


The three snickered as the captain finally came up with his.


“First I thought I had was that it might come in handy if I could read each of your minds. But then I realized that might be a little scary,” he remarked with a glance at John and Chet. The two frowned, wondering if bringing him in on it was such a great idea after all. “So I’m going to have to go with a safer one, one that’d really come in handy. The power to keep my wife happy every day, all day, for the rest of our lives.”


“That’s it?” Gage asked, incredulously. “That’s the super power you want? Out of everything you could go for?”


“I can’t believe it either,” Chet agreed, Marco also offering, “Me neither.”


“That’s because none of you are married,” Mike put in.


Captain Stanley gave him a thumbs-up with a wide smile, then took a sip of coffee, his backside still against the counter.


“Your turn now,” Chet reminded Gage.


The paramedic shrugged. “It’s easy. I’d wish for the power to be able to heal every victim we come upon with the touch of one hand.”


The other four looked on with surprise.


After a brief moment Chet commented, “No, really. What would you want?”


“That’s it.” He saw the look of doubt still on his shiftmates’ faces. “Man, I don’t believe this. I didn’t question yours. I mean, think about it, a paramedic who--”


“What’s on TV?” Roy interrupted, having come into the room after a conversation with his wife on the phone in the dorm room.


The five other men looked at him, then the screen on the television they’d been ignoring.


“And that leaves our challenger with five matches after round one, our reigning champ with four. Join us next time on Match Game 74 to see who wins round two.”


“We missed it!”


“Now we’ll never know what their answers were,” Mike added to Marco’s comment about the obvious.


“This is your fault, Johnny,” Chet stated.


He splayed a hand on his chest. “My fault?”


“Yeah. Ya had to ask us the question about what super power we’d want before the show was over. We all got too caught up in our own answers to hear theirs.”


Now aware of what they were all talking about, Roy offered, “I guess there’s one super power any one of you could use now.”




He looked at his partner with a slight grin.


“The ability to rewind the TV.”


Johnny’s expression turned to a pained one. “Hahaha.” Though at the moment, he’d take it.




This was inspired by watching the show on Buzzer TV.  :-)



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