Kelber Knoll had a superpower. He could put people to sleep. Not like he could bore people to the point of sleep, but quite literally, with a light touch and a whisper, “sleep,” he could drop people into a good, solid, deep repose.
He discovered the power one night when he was very young and playing a game with his mother. It was about seven. It was getting late and he was restless and awake. He kept singing into the darkness to pass the time. Eventually, his mother came in to settle him down.
“Goodness, young man,” she said while fixing his blankets and tucking him in. “You go to sleep.” And she tapped him on the nose with her finger.
With a big grin on his face Kelber reached out and tapped his mother on the nose. “You sleep.” After which she crumpled to the ground in a big sleeping pile.
It sat ill with him at first, for he didn’t really understand it. He lay there waiting for her to get up, “Mom?” But he light snore was the only response. About an hour later she stirred, then popped up and sort of picked up where she left off. “Ok, little man, you’ve go to get some sleep,” and she left.
Over the next few months Kelber tested the power of his “magical sleep finger,” as he called it mostly on his mom, because she was around and on Mustang, the family dog. Every sleep worked out to about an hour – depending on how tired his mom was, or the dog. And every time she woke up refreshed and with little memory of what put her off. He also learned it’s best when she was sitting, that way she wouldn’t hurt herself.
The magical sleep finger was really more like a trick than a superpower, but he supposed it was like a superpower in that, as far as he knew, nobody else could do it, nobody that he met could resist it and everybody reacted the same way.
It came in handy a few times for getting out of scrapes. Like the time Andy Duetcheff was bullying him. Kelber dropped him like a bag of rocks was able to climb on his bike and glide away, with Andy never the wiser.
He also found that he could only put one person to sleep at a time, the result of another parental test one night in front of the T.V. That basically dashed the notion of putting his whole class to sleep at one time.
He protected his trick like a superpower by keeping it a complete secret, even from his best friend Gill. Who knows if or when he might need to put Gill to sleep? He didn’t have any immediate plans at the time, but one never knows.
Over the years, with practice, he got quite good at putting somebody under without others noticing. It came in handy during arguments and uncomfortable situations the he didn’t want to deal with at the time.
He tried to use his trick sparingly and only for good, as any superhero would. He could vividly imagine using his power to mess people up and put them in embarrassing situations, but he never considered that a call to the dark side as much as a reminder that even a small amount of unique power must be handled with respect and care.
He tried to only use it if he felt the people he used it on could afford the time, if he or someone else was in peril, or if he felt that person really needed a good solid nap. While his mom wondered what the heck was up with her during his testing years, she never really complained about how good she felt when she woke up.