Extract From "A Report on the Supervillain Population of Kilcullen, Co. Kildare"

Young children with superpowers have been the bane of civilised society ever since the famed Twilight Zone episode featuring the young gentleman who was capable of putting those who thought 'bad thoughts' in the 'cornfield'. This was one of the main reasons for the establishment of the Superpower Research Institute in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare. Here at the SRI we specialise in studying the causes of superpowers. Hence, every day, hundreds of eager young volunteers are subjected to atomic blasts, thrown in vats of eerie green chemicals, and bitten by a veritable menagerie of radioactive fauna.

However, one of our secondary functions is to serve as a home for young superheroes and supervillains. Many of these poor unfortunates cannot return home, God bless their cotton socks. Some may even have destroyed their homes and eaten their families in fits of rage. We take in these youngsters and help them to adjust to their position in society.

It was through this aspect of my work that I first came into contact with young Robert Evil. His superpower was a rather rare variant on the more conventional laser vision; he was unable to smell anything without it being incinerated in a blinding flash of light. As you can imagine, this presented quite a difficulty for the young man and it was only through good luck and bad sinuses that he had survived until we found him and took him in.

The standard treatment for uncontrollable laser vision is a set of specially designed reflective sunglasses. These come in a variety of chic designer frames and can be adjusted to allow a controlled beam to be wielded at will. Unfortunately, this was impossible in Robert's case, for obvious reasons. As he was too young to grow a large bushy moustache, it was decided to give him a large fake nose with attached moustache. This apparatus was attached to his face by way of a large pair of non-functional glasses. The overall effect was to give the wearer an uncanny resemblance to Groucho Marx.

Although his superpower was now contained in a much more manageable form, Robert, who had chosen the supervillain moniker 'the Evil Nose', was teased by the other children. Not only did he look like one of the kings of comedy, but his inability to smell resulted in a horrifically offensive body odour. All jokes were turned from the Human Platypus and redirected at 'the Nose'. Robert became bitter and twisted.

He began to resent the staff at the Institute, particularly those who mistook him for one of the Groucho clones we keep for research purposes. He refused to co-operate with experiments, often sulking when asked to remove his gargantuan false proboscis. The scene was set for one of the most dangerous young men ever to come to my attention to strut his stuff, as it were.

It would seem that Robert had been stockpiling Cajun black pepper from the Institute canteen for several weeks. When the time came to make his move, he took the pepper and, in one swift movement, removed his mask and inhaled. Once the echoes from the ensuing sneeze had died down and those present were once more able to open their eyes, nothing remained but a fuzzy moustache and some scorch marks.

As there was no body found and young Mr Evil's nose appeared to be impervious to all known everything, it must be assumed that he is still at large in the Kilcullen area. As with all supervillains, citizens are asked to use caution when approaching this individual. Superheroes should refer to Appendix Lambda for further details, or they may contact my office at the SRI with enquiries regarding suitable spices.

Originally written for English homework, under the title An Ungrateful Child.

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