Who knew mashed potatoes possessed such superpowers? Sure, the buttery mashed tubers sway our senses, paired with bangers or served alongside turkey and gravy. But they can do much more, unexpected feats.
This week, writers played dangerously, pairing mashed potatoes with superpowers. The imaginative responses are out of the ordinary kitchen and into realms you never thought potatoes would take you.
The following stories are based on the November 8, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that pairs mashed potatoes with a superpower.
PART I (10-minute read)
Gravy Witch by H.R.R. Gorman
I put my plate on the table pulled the napkin from atop my crystal ball centerpiece. A tap of my spoon on the orb’s surface initiated my process to scry for criminals.
A man shoveling jewels into a bag appeared in the cloud at the center of my ball. I curled my finger toward myself, pulling his spirit from the ball and dropping it on my plate. It settled in the mashed potatoes.
I tipped my gravy tureen over the potatoes and watched the orb with glee as his body suffered from a heart attack. His soul tasted delicious.
Super Mash by Ritu Bhathal
I sat at the table, awaiting my meal.
It was bangers and mash tonight. My absolute favourite.
I don’t know why, but somehow mum managed to make the best mashed potato ever.
Creamy, fluffy, light, with no lumps: something I had still not mastered, despite copying her technique.
And no matter how I was feeling, it made me feel better. If I was ill, the buttery mash would make me feel better. If I was upset, I’d leave the table smiling.
I don’t know why, but it was that mash. Maybe mum had some sort of mystical mash superpower…
Wielding Power (Part I) by D. Avery
It was Ilene’s idea to include Marge’s senile mother for Thanksgiving.
“Everyone just be whoever she thinks you are. It’ll be fine.”
Fortunately she thought Marge and Ernest were her parents. Marge would wield some power.
“Betty, I think you know everyone.”
“I see Ida brought George.”
Marge smirked. Lloyd was to be her mother’s best friend’s brother; Ilene would have to keep her hands off him.
“Look who’s here.”
Nard spilled his beer when Betty Small embraced him. “Billy! You got leave!”
Marge grinned. “Yes, your fiancé.”
She could have asked Betty to mash the potatoes but didn’t.
Wielding Power (Part II) by D. Avery
“Make room on the couch for Betty and Billy,” Marge commanded. “Let them get caught up.” She laughed at Nard’s desperation as he helped her mother to the couch.
“I’m your father?”
“No. Billy didn’t make it back.”
“She never loved my father as much.”
When everyone in the crowded singlewide had a full plate Nard spoke, holding Mrs. Small’s hand.
“Thanks Lord for these friends and all this food. Lord, I’m grateful for Betty, love of my life… I’ll come home,” he promised.
After a moment of astounded silence Ernest coughed ‘amen’ and everyone dug in.
Wielding Power (Part III) by D. Avery
“Marge, Ernest- epic. Good food.”
“Thank you Lloyd. I sure do miss my mother’s mashed potatoes though. These are just ok. She did something that made hers….”
“Yeah, Lloyd, epic. I wish I knew what it was.”
“Marge, these are fine. A little garlic and rosemary wouldn’t of hurt either.”
But Marge’s mom was already Betty again, mooning over Nard. Nard’s uniform was just his cleanest Dickies from the dealership, but he was soldiering on in his role.
Leaning against Ernest, Marge smiled gratefully. “My mother hasn’t called me by name in two years.”
“Happy Thanksgiving, Marge.”
Mashed Potato Surprise by Rosemary Carlson
The family sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. She had cooked quite a dinner and he had helped. Everyone was at the table and they were both carrying the dishes of food to the table when she heard a crash. She turned around and he had dropped a large bowl of mashed potatoes on the floor, splattering them everywhere. They were everyone’s favorite dish.
He smiled, walked to the table, and pointed his finger. A lightning bolt appeared and at the end, a large bowl of mashed potatoes.
She said, “Hmm, so why have I bothered cooking all these years?”
The Eye of a Potato Superhero Hurricane by Bill Engleson
There we were, jawing over a cuppa Joe at Ernie’s Eats. Ernie was in a small businessman funk.
He gets that way.
“Spud, its always the little guy that gets the short end of the superhero stick.”
“I don’t getcha,” I said.
“Well,” said Ernie, stroking his chin like it was a cat, “Take dine and dashers. You don’t see guys like the Spy Smasher showing up, givin’ them what for, do ya? Nope. Too darn busy smashin’ spies. What I need is…well, you. Spud Smasher! Yeah! Spud Smasher! Mashin’ those dine and dashers.”
“Dream on, Ernie. Dream on.”
Captain Amazing vs Mashed Potatoes by Teresa Grabs
Captain Amazing was known throughout the universe as the one person you wanted in your corner. He had faced the mighty Balthazar and squashed the Fidget uprising in ’22. After a remarkable career as a galactic superhero, he retired. He had a soft spot for kids, so when Amy cried for help, he had to answer. He misjudged his landing and smashed through the window. Airborne mashed potatoes landed on his head.
“Not mashed potatoes! My only weakness!”
Amy’s mother looked at the puddle on the floor, then at the broken window, and shrugged. She had a turkey to prepare.
Educated Boars? by JulesPaige
As one of three brothers, finally living free from our adversary, I can be grateful to look out of our window and see rainbows after a rain. But we are not so foolish to be lax in our preparedness. Our larder is full of potatoes that we can broil, boil or mash. Our stash is secure.
Our superpower is knowledge. At any time our walls could crumble. We need to prepare for the slyest of villains, keep the hounds at bay and be wary of all wolfs. Especially those in overalls, driving tractors bent on destruction. We are prepared!
Untitled by Michael Grogan
Super Mashed Potato Boy looked out his kitchen window and saw the world was in trouble. There were weevils in the potato patch, and it needed his urgent attention.
There was one way to deal with such a world-wide crisis. A huge plate of mashed potato, eaten hurriedly and washed down with an icy ginger tea.
Having done so, he flew out his window and dealt a deadly blow to the weevils. Around him, grateful farmers sang his praises and the world was once again saved from potential disaster.
He went home and took up his trusty potato peeler.
Hannah by Saifun Hassam
With determination and extraordinary willpower, Hannah transformed the farmer’s cottage into a popular restaurant. Over her faded blue jeans and bright yellow T-shirt, her apron proclaimed “Spuds Forever!” Her magical touch turned mashed potatoes into super delicious meals.
Lunch or Dinner: beef and potato dumplings; mashed potato and leek soup; garlic fried chicken in mashed potatoes; golden fried mashed potato cakes; jalapeno veggie mashed potato quiche; and the intriguing “spiderweb” mashed potato salad bowl.
Cathy and Trish were caught in the early downpours of September rain as they drove through the farmlands. Hannah’s cottage was a warm welcoming shelter.
Mashed Potatoes by Anita Dawes
When I read these words this morning, I was taken back to my childhood, reading the Dandy comic. Desperate Dan with his huge plate of mashed potato with two large sausages sticking out, looking like a bull had landed there.
I have to tell you that no one does mash like Jaye does! The minute she begins peeling the spuds, I swear my kids pick up some strange signal. They come knocking from all over Hampshire, just popping in, big smiles on their faces. They know there’s mash on the go and they say it is just a coincidence…
The Apple Pie from the Same Tree by Chelsea Owens
Ann’s mother was special when it came to food. She could scan a printed page, retrieve a container from the cupboard, and *poof* add to the mixing bowl. Later, the family would eat freshly-baked casserole or chocolate-crusted cake.
And that is why Ann thought she might be magic, too. Surely, by the same means, Ann could create with a pinch of this or dash of that.
After Ann’s first attempt, only her father would taste it.
“Ah. Mashed potatoes?” he asked.
Ann nodded, trying not to feel sick as he stirred her mix of potato, milk, and runny eggs.
Super Foods by Di @ pensitivity101
‘It’s a special dinner, made to make you strong. That’s why it’s blue, just like Superman.’
Celia looked at her nine year old son as he ate. Mashed potatoes were the only thing he could manage just now, but it was a start.
Tomorrow she would add red dye as well as the blue, and it would be Spiderman to encourage him.
He snuggled down under the covers, exhausted, but he’d eaten most of what was on his plate.
‘Mom?’ he asked sleepily.
‘Batman hasn’t got any superpowers, so please don’t give me black potatoes.’
Super Carl by TNKerr
Carl knew he was different from his classmates. Yes, he had superpowers like all the other kids, but his gifts were more eccentric. He couldn’t see any practical applications for them.
Carl had the ability to manipulate plants. He could also transform himself into a gelatinous substance, like potatoes mashed with an electric mixer.
School was torture and constant teasing until he slathered up the opponent’s lanes at the track meet against Eastwood High. Their star runner, Flash, never left the starting blocks, he couldn’t gain any traction.
All the trees and shrubs in the schoolyard fell over laughing.
The Time-Traveler’s Thanksgiving by Haley Booker-Lauridson
Paul watched the last glob of mashed potato splat onto hardwood floor. His eyes moved to the baseball, to his wife, to two mortified faces.
“What did I tell you about playing ball in the house?”
“Not to,” his sons answered in unison.
Paul sighed. “Honey?”
Alice obligingly closed her eyes.
Alice started awake. Darting to the kitchen, she saw her husband fussing over the turkey, mashed potatoes safely on the counter.
She turned. A ball speeding to the bowl of mash instead smacked into her raised hand.
“What did your father tell you about playing ball in the house?”
Mo’s Superpower Mash Disaster by M J Mallon
Mo had always wanted to know what people really thought about her so she developed a special mash infused with a truth serum. What a disaster! Mo’s cafe was now closed until further notice. No one wanted Mo’s magic mash infused with such a bizarre superpower. Who would want to be on the receiving end of that kind of damaging ability? Finding out what people really think about you isn’t great – unfiltered thoughts and comments hurt. Mo’s Mash cafe reopens tomorrow with a new menu topped by:
Tell a bunch of lies mash to keep the regular punter’s happy.
The Super Food by The Dark Netizen:
One whiff of it, and I knew it was ready.
It was almost time for the meeting. I had promised my peers that I would cook something pep their moods up. And boy, did we all need a boost. We had lost for the tenth time in a row. Few of us had already decided to call it quits. However, as the team leader, I decided to take matters into my own hands. With my experiment turning out to be a success, one spoonful of my mashed potatoes, and we would remain villains no more.
We will become super-villains!!
PART II (10-minute read)
Blown Cover by Allison Maruska
Anyone who thinks having superpowers is so cool doesn’t have a sister.
McKenzie hasn’t stopped sucking up to Mom today. She set the table, cooked side dishes, and collected coats at the door.
Time to prove she isn’t so nice. I just have to make her randomly lose her temper.
I turn invisible and creep to the Thanksgiving table, planting myself behind her seat. When she lifts her full glass to her mouth, I shake her arm, soaking her.
I dart away, but something warm and gloppy hits my invisible shoulder.
My cover is blown.
Taterman To The Rescue by Patrick O’Connor
Look, out the left window. It’s a squirrel. It’s a train. It’s Taterman!
Taterman. A superhero who gets his strength from mashed potatoes.
His favorite mashed potatoes are from Popeye’s Chicken. It’s all about the cajun gravy.
Whenever there’s a call for help, Alvin Wyatt becomes – Taterman.
His secret lair is in his mother’s basement.
In his regular life, he’s a struggling comedian.
Alvin doesn’t pay attention very well and forgets punchlines. He’s frequently unemployed.
The next time you need help, cook some mashed potatoes and Taterman will be there shortly.
Don’t forget the cajun gravy. He’ll respond faster.
Mash Master by oneletterup
“More garlic!” He shouts. “I’ll do it.”
Masher in one hand. Stick of butter in the other.
“And cream.” “Garlic and cream.”
Twenty years old. Slouching. Half awake.
Scruffy beard. Stained sweatshirt.
Waving them aside.
He scoops up twelve cloves. Minced and done.
Their eyes water from the steam. Whirr of the beaters.
“Taste!” he commands.
The garlic bite smoothed out by the creamy russets.
The pot of potatoes transformed.
They watch awestruck.
His eyes brighten. He stands up straighter. Grinning.
“You’ve done it again,” they cheer.
The Almighty Master of Mashed.
Where Farmers Get Their Strength by Molly Stevens
“Grandma, what it was like when you lived on a farm growing up?”
“It wasn’t an easy life, Nick. Everyone worked hard – my parents, brothers, sisters, and hired hands. We got up before the sun, and worked in all kinds of weather – from blistering heat to frosty mornings.”
“What did you do?”
“I milked the cows, shoveled manure, drove a tractor, and picked potatoes. But that was nothing compared to the hours my parents put in to keep things going. It was like they had superpowers.”
“Where did they get their strength?”
“Mashed potato – it was their kryptonite.”
Count Spudula by Susi J Smith
“That’s your superpower?”
Count Spudula grinned, posing with hands on hips as he awaited applause from the studio audience.
The presenter cleared her throat. ”You un-mash mashed potato?”
“I call it…re-formation.”
“So no laser vision, or invisibility?”
His smile faltered.
“No curing the common cold?”
“What about mushy peas, or diced carrots?”
The count lowered his arms and sighed.
“Just spuds.” He dropped down onto the armchair and rubbed his brow. ”I spent a fortune on gamma rays…changed my name legally…My wife left…”
The presenter smiled, rubbing his forearm. “Maybe next time, Gary.”
But the Greatest of These … by Anne Goodwin
He isn’t the man she married. Not even the man whose passions she failed to comprehend. Ten hours to cook a meal consumed in ten minutes? Ten herbs and spices to flavour the flesh when one would do. Now the gourmet’s reduced to eating pap.
When the diagnosis came she panicked. How would she live with his shell when the man it was built for was gone? Now, feeding him mashed potato like a baby, she draws on the power he gave her long ago. Back when he found her, lost and wounded, and, by loving, taught her love.
Potato Dead by Deepa
“It was the table’s mistake!” I came crying and hugged mom tightly.
“It hit me!” I murmured slowly with heads down.
“You have got the first potato on your head, Roy!”
Mom laughed and kissed the bump on my head.
When I was four years old, it was a challenging time for mom to handle me. She tells me even now that she never had to detox or diet to lose her post-pregnancy fats. All she had to do was follow me wherever I ran.
Super Spud by Kay Kingsley
“If Popeye can eat spinach and get super powers, I can eat mashed potatoes and get MY superpowers!”
“Kevin, who wants to eat mashed potatoes to get super powers? That’s lame. Wouldn’t you rather get bit by something and turn into something cool?”
“No. Why should I have to get bitten by something?”
“Um, because that’s what happens. Duh. Mashed potatoes… so lame.”
“It’s my drawing. Stop looking!” I covered my paper with my arm. I was SUPER SPUD! A 50-foot potato with huge mashers for feet, ready to squish my brother, my red cape flapping in the wind.
Mashed Miracles by kate @ aroused
My love for humans is so divine.
with their hearts mine does entwine
as a universal one I regard them mine
Know they have hardships to work through
by doing so they will become more true
add mashed spuds made like glue
So they can unite through adversity
know they must embrace diversity
wherever they live rural or city
Such power will truly transform their life
if for kindness and insight they do strive
they will blossom and emerge from strife!
They can develop clairvoyance and healing
if they avoid drama and stealing
live ethically dealing with their feeling!
THAT Thanksgiving by Kerry E.B. Black
I always knew Momma was more than her lithe frame suggested, but THAT Thanksgiving I was sure. Money was tight, and winter’d set in with a merciless, frosty stranglehold. “How’re we gonna feed everyone?” I wondered, but Momma sang as though she hadn’t a care in the world. Baking turkey perfumed the air before guests arrived. Stuffing spilled from its belly when we carved. Golden gravy and ruby cranberries sparkled like treasures beside a heaping bowl of mashed potatoes light enough to be an angel’s cloud. I wept, ravenous. She’d done it. With meager rations, Momma produced a feast.
If Only by Norah Colvin
Jake pushed the plate away. “Don’t like mash.”
Mum sighed and turned away.
As Jake stared at the potato, out popped a tiny, lumpy, and obviously grumpy, old man. He shook his fists.
Jake leaned forward. “Pardon?”
“Ya always push me away. Say ya’d rather chips or roasties. Doncha know we’re all the same—inside—only outside’s different.”
“Your kind—unkindness—never do. Gotta learn ta look beyond the differences, kid.
Learn ta love us all.”
“What?” said Mum, turning as Jake scooped the last spoonful of mash into his mouth.
Into the Wild by Liz Husebye Hartmann
Lizzie stared at the monitor, hands folded in her lap. The cursor blinked.
Sighing, she trotted off to the kitchen for more coffee.
Returning, she sat again and watched the cursor blink.
A dearth of inspiration.
Even that third cup didn’t raise Lizzie’s superpower: quirky imagination.
“Wonder what the weather’s doing?’ she clicked to raise the radar map on her screen.
And there: a dense cloud of snow skating toward her town, like a sneeze of mashed potatoes.
“No inspiration inside? Then it’s outside for me!”
Lizzie rose to dress in layers, inspired enough to don a bra!
Smashed Potatoes by Miriam Hurdle
“What are you doing, Meg?”
“By doing what?”
“Smashing the potatoes.”
“You do what? For what?”
“Didn’t you read the email from the Community Center. They need additional 50 lbs smashed potatoes with opinion power to serve the Thanksgiving dinner to the veterans.”
“Oh no, let me check the email.”
“I’ll do 10 lbs mixed with fortune cookie opinions.”
“OMG. That’s what it says. Let me call Judy.”
“Meg, let’s pick up the smashed potatoes and cook them.”
“What did she say?”
“Judy made some typos. We still can make mashed potatoes with your smashed potatoes.”
Fast Hands (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
Nancy Jane flung the bowl of mashed potatoes at Horace. The bowl bounced off his shoulder and Hickok caught it midair. Horace hadn’t even moved except, Sarah noted, his eyes had widened the way a cow might look when protesting a lead rope to the milking barn. No one spoke as glops of white, buttery mashed potatoes slid down Horace’s shirt. Nancy Jane growled and slammed the heavy oak door when she stomped outside. Sarah understood her friend’s upset with how poorly Horace had handled Cobb’s interference at the station. More than that, she marveled at Hickock’s super speed.
Super Power Heroes by D. Avery
See how the engineer’s designing a structure to retain the gravy?
The starving artist here, she’d rather sculpt and splatter than put fork to mouth.
Her twin’s a musician. He’ll plop and slop and get every sound he can from this meal. Every fork’s a tuning fork in his hands.
The historian’ll tell you all about pomme de terre, and how the reason it’s associated with the Irish is because the English couldn’t be bothered to steal them from under the ground.
That one’s a magician, mashed potatoes disappear in a flash.
Me? I fed them on the cheap.
Mash Flash by D. Avery
Pal, you sleepin’?
Started readin’ that book, Creative Courage. Been thinkin’ on Shorty’s post.
I know Kid, it’s intriguin’ ta think on what Anne Goodwin would think.
It is Pal. An’ I’m inta the epiphany of it ain’t gotta jist be the protagonist that changes. Could be the writer or the reader- any an’/ or all.
It’s a trifecta all right. Makes sense, long as someone gits some elixir.
Pal, have you been inta the elixir?
Yep. Ornery come by, brought some product.
He never comes by.
Came fer the mash.
Ain’t corn mash, it’s potato flash.