Monday, June 12, 2017

Destroy the City with Me Tonight, by Kate Marshall

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(Superhero) The disease that turns Cass into a superhero makes her almost invisible to ordinary people without her costume. (3,313 words; Time: 11m)

Rating: ★★★★★ Powerful, Sad, and Moving

"Destroy the City with Me Tonight," by (edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Anderson), appeared in , published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Cass doesn’t enjoy being a superhero. She’s lonely. She wants out. But she’s powerfully motivated to do the right thing, so she cannot go along with her boyfriend’s plan to destroy the city—even though the city really is the cause of their suffering.

He has his own agenda: he wants to keep his new powers, but he wants the girl he loves back. His love is much stronger than hers—strong enough that he never forgets who she is. His tragedy is that he could have had her back if he’d been willing to take the treatment and give up the powers. Instead, he loses everything.

The city is the other strong character in the story. Selfish, demanding—it’s almost like a child who needs parents to take care of it.

When she kills him, that also violates her moral code. It’s heart wrenching to us, since we don’t forget things as she does, and we realize he really did love her. And she finally goes for the treatment because she sees that now that she’s tasted blood, so to speak, she’s going to become evil herself.
You can also read this as a metaphor for faceless altruistic people everywhere. Or as a metaphor for how parents give up the lives they once had in order to raise a child, becoming strangers even to each other.

Con: The narrator tells us that when heroes die, the public remembers the ordinary people they used to be. Cass should have remembered her boyfriend (and grieved) once he died.

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