Genre: YA Science Fiction
Word Count: 75,000
When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.
It makes you a One.
Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly, or even slowly drift through the air – too bad all she can do is hover.
If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.
Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other. It also doesn’t hurt that Elias is as good at kissing as he is at helping her fly.
Best yet, her mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub’s internship short list.
But when the Hub kidnaps Elias, Merrin must decide if standing up to them is worth losing her chance to become more than a One. Because The Hub's sick experiments don't heal Ones as she thought – they kill them. And if she breaks into the Hub to rescue Elias, she’ll also destroy her chances that the Hub will ever find a way for her to fly solo – her only chance of being more than a One.
Some mornings before sunrise, I sneak to the back of the shed and I practice. This is just another morning in a long string of failed efforts. I push myself off the ground, telling my body to go weightless, and hover. An inch, two, six, a foot. I stay there for seconds, then minutes.
I can’t generate enough tension between my body and the air to take a step - can’t even make myself drift. I’d give anything just to be able to float along like a freaking ghost.
I’m a One – a half-superpowered freak. It’s the same sad story for all of us. Every superpower is made up of at least two distinct abilities. A kid can only fly if she can make her body light and then somehow propel herself forward.
Two powers. Not One.
Every One puts up with getting teased at Superhero High, waiting for their second ability to show up. While they do, that One power starts to fade. There are still shimmers of it, but after a while the kid quits trying and the One fizzles into nothingness. Then their disappointed Super parents ship them off to Nelson “Normal” High, like mine did.
Here's my secret - I never quit trying.
This morning, standing in our weedy backyard surrounded by a chorus of crickets, I go weightless. It happens so fast that I feel like I’m being pushed upward. My heart jumps.