POTENTIAL -A Daniel O’Mahony short story


A clear voice cut through the heavy air of the courtroom. “All rise!”
The muffled shuffling of feet and shrill scraping of chairs accompanied Tadgh
as he stood. While the ancient judge shuffled into place, Tadgh took the
opportunity to glance across the sea of faces that stood behind him. Most of
them stared blankly back at him, but some grinned broadly when he locked
eyes with them. The ones that grinned, without exception, sported cheap
badges they had brought from the vendor just outside the door. Emblazoned
across these badges was the phrase “Imprison the Pot.” Pot was short for
Potential, the idealistic name given to people with enhanced abilities. When
they were first discovered people thought they would be the next stage of

Then they realised you had to be born with these abilities. That’s when
Potentials stopped being something to strive for and became something to be
jealous of. And then something to hate.
Nowadays people liked to pretend that Potential were treated fairly. Treated
with respect. The only Potentials that are treated with respect are the ones
who hide there powers. Hide who they are.
“Defendant, please stay standing. All be seated.” The cacophony of sound
once again filled the room.
“Defendant, you have been charged with the destruction of public and
private property and assault. How do you plead?”
Of course the destruction of property comes first.
Tadgh held his head high and answered. “Guilty only of attempting to save

lives” A satisfied murmur ran through the crowd. They had been looking
forward to seeing him suffer.
“Order, order” the judge lazily drawled, banging his gavel. “Due to the
defendants guilty plea, it is not necessary to show any evidence. I shall now
move to sentencing.”
Tadgh felt the heat rise in his cheeks. He wasn’t following the correct
procedure and nobody had even blinked. As the judge lazily read out his
sentence, the anger in his chest grew. “Stay calm, stay calm” He whispered to
“Defendant, do you have something to say?”
“Well, today can’t get any worse” he thought.
“I have a name, Your Honour” He said as blood began to leak from the Judges