Alright, I’ve got to admit that you are a creative bunch. I was thoroughly entrained by all your entries for this one, I would even suggest some of you save your ideas for a story of your own. I honestly wish we had more than 2 copies to give away because you nailed it so hard. But there must be only 2. The 2 winners are Macdeth and CDevil. You both win a brand spankin’ new copy of Peter Clines’ Ex-Heroes from Broadway Books!
Both of you must message me and give me your mailing addresses and full name. I will then have the publisher send you your book! Head past the break to see the winning submissions.
“I would have a desiccating touch. Anything I come in contact with looses its moisture and turns into a husk. My body would consequently look withered and somewhat mummified (not all that different from the zombies we’re trying to kill). Lack of blood would make me largely ignored by the zombies and my nervous system wouldn’t be able to actually process the virus, making me effectively immune. This would make it easy for me to kill zombies by touching them, though impossible to actually be intimate with another human being.”
“(While a lot of interesting ideas are listed here, most of them miss the point of how many of those in Ex-Heroes had power at a price. Barry can’t touch people in his Zzzap form without hurting or killing them. Gorgon can’t look at people without his goggles without draining them. Even Stealth is to a degree affected, needing to sacrifice her personal identity to make her superhero persona work effectively.
My power has its own price.)
I have the ability to absorb the ex-virus (as well as other harmful viruses and diseases), from living humans or exes. I do this using tiny, needle-like spikes I extrude from the inner surface of my hands, piercing the skin and tapping into the flesh and blood of my target.
A you may guess, it’s a painful process for living people. On the other side, I can drop an ex in seconds, faster if I get a grip on their head.
Interestingly enough, absorbing sickness from others (I call it “cleansing” them) temporarily enhances my body, making me stronger, faster, and tougher. I regenerate damage faster, too. It’s come in handy more often than I care to dwell on.
Unfortunately, there’s another, more gruesome effect.
You know how they say you are what you eat? Well, I’m not very pleasent to look at. My skin is a mottled mix of green and grey, making me look much like a newly revived ex. It doesn’t help when people see that exes ignore me like I’m one of them, either.
That’s why I wear the head to toe leather outfit, complete with full-head mask and eye protection. Better for people to think I’m a little strange than condemn me as a freak. That happens eventually anyway once someone’s bitten and I have to cleanse them to save them.
And so I wander, a unique being, existing somewhere between the world of the living and that of the walking dead, while having no true place in either.
I am human.
I am ex.
I am… the Monster Man.”