Welcome to my writing corner. Here you'll find stand alone stories and tales that stretch much longer. You'll find tales ranging from medieval adventure to modern stories about real people with a sci-fi twist. If you like/hate what you read, drop me a line and let me know.

You can find the stories grouped by the labels just to the right.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Origins - Kione

This is a little different from the usual, but I'm going to post a couple origin stories for some flawed or just flat out bad guys.

Kione slipped the dark, flat knife from its leathery case and examined it carefully. One edge of the dagger curved in a delicate wave, at first glance it appeared soft and decorative; the type of blade a noble woman may carry with her when walking alone. However, serrated steel teeth decorated the back of the blade, each triangular tip honed to the sharpest point possible. The sacrificial knife was forged from shadow iron, a type of metal only found in the deepest crevices under Mount Manshart. It was said that shadow iron leaked into the world when Zehir and Bahamut met in battle centuries ago. Zehir lunged at Bahamut and drove his poison dagger deep into the Silver Dragon’s back, poison from the blade mixed with Bahamut’s blood, spilled onto the ground and slid into the deepest reaches of the Earth. Kione ran his careful brown eyes over every inch of the blade, flipping the bone handle between his fingers; there could be no impurities or imperfections in the blade for the ritual to succeed. He slipped the blade back into its light brown leathery case and began the rest of the preparations for the night.

As Kione began mashing the dark blue and purple herbs needed for the ritual his mind began to wander back to his dark christening. The trembling hands of a ten year old boy, black robes draped over his wiry frame. A circle of robed figures standing around him, casting shadows that waved in the candle light. His eyes wide as a beautiful woman bore the shadow iron blade; she dipped its tip into a purplish blue liquid as she took the boys forearm. Her ruby red nails, the cool soft touch of her fingertips made the boy shiver. The smell of lilacs as she pulled him close, her deep green eyes teasing him of what was to come later. Then the smell of searing skin and the biting pain as she dug the knife shallowly into him, carving a “Z” shaped serpent into his young flesh. He winced in pain, a slight yelp escaped his young lips, but he bit back the anguish as his eyes shot over to his father. The man stood, watching, expressionless as his boy came of age. The branding complete, the woman let loose his arm, he wanted to pull it back quickly and cradle the pain away, but he did not want to appear weak in the eyes of so many. Kione pulled his arm back slowly, his jaw set tight as the pain seared through to his bone.

The woman’s emerald eyes watched him approvingly as she extended her cool hands out and grabbed his shoulder gently. With practiced experience her fingers pulled apart the knot in his robe and in a single motion the black cloth fell to the stone floor, leaving the boy standing bare. She reached to her own shoulder and repeated the quick motion, the black robe parted and slid off of her curved, soft body. Dried lilacs filled his nose as she pressed her soft, cool skin against his, his stomach twisted into knots causing him more pain than a thousand searing knives as her hand slid down his bony chest and –

“Is everything prepared?” a grating voice pulled Kione from his memories.

“Yes, Adrian, everything is prepared. The ritual will go according to tradition; everything is in its place”.

Adrian was a solid man, in his youth he was muscular, though recent comforts had made his midsection start to grow. Adrian had grown up poor, his parents’ devout worshippers, outcast from their small farming village, they came to the city. In his youth he made little money selling elixirs and love tonics to young women hoping to nab the man of their dreams. Until one day an older noble woman came to him and asked for a concoction to poison her unfaithful husband, Adrian refused until she named her price. The poor young man could never refuse the full purse of a noble woman. The poison did its job well; his reputation among the upper class spread and his coin purse quickly grew fat. Now he was almost as rich as those he sold his designer toxins to.

“Will your wife be attending the ceremony?” Kione’s voice was direct and concerned.

“I doubt she will attend, she has been… ill.” The round noble’s voice was laced with self doubt and deceit.

Kione turned slowly towards the man, “Do not speak falsely to me Adrian. I know Maura has strayed. The ears of Zehir’s faithful have heard her objections to the ritual; the tongue of Zehir has tasted her doubt. While you bare no blame in the matter, be sure that you handle your wife or the other faithfuls will.”

The chubby man nodded slowly, “She will not be a problem Kione, I will deal with her.” He exhaled deeply and clutched Kione’s shoulders. “Just make sure my daughters christening goes well tonight.”

Kione nodded slowly as Adrian turned and left the room. He knew well enough that the noble would not deal with his wife and he was fully prepared to disappear her. Many were the sheep of the world who never knew the dark embrace of Zehir, he faulted them not. However those who tasted the rapture of the serpent god and recoiled should be dealt with. For now, he would need to attend to the final preparations the ritual.

The room was still the same as when Kione was a boy. Tall, fat candles burned throughout the room, wax dripped onto the grey stone floor. A circle of black robed figures stood around a young girl who had barely seen ten winters. This time it was Kione’s hand which held the ceremonial knife, it was his eyes that studied the trembling scrawny body before him. His heart raced with excitement as he now understood the pleasure he once saw behind the woman’s green eyes so many years ago. The shadow iron tip of the dagger dripped with purple blue liquid as he artfully carved the serpent god’s symbol into the girl’s forearm.

The girls scream tore through the soundless room for a moment before she bit her lip so hard it drew blood. The branding over, Kione pulled his hand over the girl’s trembling shoulder; his fingers found the knot in her robe and wrapped around the fabric. He hesitated for a moment, allowing the anticipation in the room to build, he could feel the excitement building within himself, a warm tingle started in his thighs and pulsated upwards. With one deft twist of his fingers the girl’s robe dropped to the floor in a shadowy pile. His brown eyes studied her for a long moment as he reached up to untie his own cloak.

A crash erupted at the door; the sound of steel hacking through flesh filled the air, less than a moment later the dry wooden door splintered under a heavy axe. A dozen royal guards rushed the room, long swords drawn, hungry for blood. Behind the guards stood a pudgy middle aged woman dressed in green, her worried eyes fell upon the nude child.

“Maura! You traitorous witch!” one of the robed figures spat.

“Silence!” A peppered haired guard shouted, his voice full of contempt. “By order of the Royal Guard you are all under arrest!”

A robed figure clutching a silver dirk leapt at the guard. “By Zehir, you will not take us alive!” The pepper haired guard side stepped the cultist and in one fluid motion, cut the man in two.

“Any other takers?” He challenged.

The eyes of the faithful fell upon the cleaved body of their comrade and their zealotry faded. With gritting defeat they sank to their knees and succumbed to the steely might of the Royal Guard.

Cold shackles clamped around Kione’s wrists, his memory lurched backwards for a moment to the cool touch of the green eyed woman and the scent of lilac. A guard’s shove pushed the scrawny man back into the present. As he was pushed from the room towards his certain death in the gallows, his brown calculating eyes flashed quickly to Adrian and Maura, the faithless would feel the serpents bite.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Heist - Episode 3

The thin cards felt good in Trent’s hand. His eyes studied his three opponents, then found their way to the mound of clay chips in the center of the table.

A beefy man across from him with buzzed red hair took another moment to look down at the four sixes in his hand. “I call.”

Another burly man tossed down his hand nervously “Two pair.”

The red haired man couldn’t contain his excitement any longer, he tossed the 4 Kings down on the table and smirked at Trent. “Four of a kind!”

Trent frowned a little and leaned back in his chair, his face set in defeat. Slowly he fanned his cards out onto the table. His fake frown quickly turned to a smile, “Royal flush boys!” His thin hand shot in to sweep the chips toward his already massive stack.

“Bullshit!” the red haired man spat, “No one’s luck is that good, you’re cheating!”

“C’mon Drake, I don’t cheat, maybe you just need to find a new game.” Trent winked.

“You son of a bitch!” Drake reached to his side and with practiced skill pulled a comfortably sized handgun from its holster.

Obviously taking command from Drake the other two also pulled guns on Trent. For a long tense moment the four sat still, three guns cocked, ready to fire on Trent. “You guys are going to shoot me because you suck at poker?”

Without hesitation Trent launched himself from his seat, with his left hand he grabbed one of the men’s guns, his right hand flung the table up on its side spilling poker chips everywhere. With a quick twist he pulled the gun away from the thug and spun on the other thug, kicking the gun from his hand. Another swift kick to the man’s face and he was out cold. Trent twisted again, lunging toward the first thug, he wrapped the man’s arms behind his back with one hand and then brought his other arm around the man’s thick neck. With quick determination he placed the thug between himself and Drake.

Drake took a step back, gun trained on the entwined pair, the gun waved a bit in his hand as he tried to find a way to shoot Trent without hitting his comrade. Trent grunted as he shoved the thug into Drake, then leapt, grabbing Drake by the wrist and twisting, the black gun wrenched from his hand and fell to the floor. With the men disarmed, Trent made quick work of them, within fifteen seconds all three of his opponents lay unconscious on the carpet.

Trent rubbed his shoulder as he surveyed his work. The thin man pulled two aces he had stashed from his sleeve and tossed them on the ground before grabbing a suitcase full of cash. “My hard earned winnings.”

His feet quickly found the door as the phone in his pocket rang. His slender hands opened the phone and brought it to his ear as he closed the door behind him. “Hey Samuel.”

Monday, November 2, 2009

Heist - Episode 2

Warm light cascaded in through large windows, wide green leaves tapped gently against the glass outside as spring wind cooled the air. Two men sat in a large office, ornate oak trim hung on textured coffee walls, a warm oak desk sat between the men.

The smaller of the two had olive skin, his short black hair curled at the tips, his eyes inquisitive, yet ready to solve any puzzle laid before him. He leaned back just enough to seem comfortable without appearing lazy. “Sounds like good information.”

The larger of the two men wore a white fedora with a matching suit, thick hands protruded from the cuffs holding a large round cigar. “I wouldn’t have called you otherwise Samuel, I can afford the very best.”

Samuel reached into his pocket and pulled out a thick white envelope. “Standard fee for the information, plus five percent of the profits.”

The white suited man took a long drag from his cigar. “Ten percent of the profits.”

Samuel cocked a brow, “Seems your rates have gone up?”

“Only for you, your team can handle any score, but you’re getting reckless. You are a bigger risk now, so your premiums are higher.”

“That doesn’t seem fair, we always deliver.” Samuel knew it was a battle he’d lose, but he had to at least try.

“Fair?” The larger man chuckled, “What can I say? It’s a cut throat market.”

With a long sigh, Samuel slid the envelope across the desk over to the fat fingers. “It’s a deal then.”

Golden rings decorated the hand that grabbed the envelope without even opening it to check its contents, “Where’s the rest of it?”

“You don’t miss a beat, do you?” Samuel withdrew another envelope from his pocket and tossed it on the oak desk.

“In this business, you can’t afford to miss anything. All it takes is one slip, one mistake and you’re out of the game for life.” Fat fingers pulled the thick cigar to his lips again. “You and your crew would do well to remember that.”

Samuel nodded and stood up slowly, with two steps and a flick of his wrist the door was open and the curly haired man soon found himself outside of the beautiful, lavish home of the local mobster that people simply referred to as “The Man”.

Fountains decorated the grounds, large exotic trees stood in every corner and crevice, each blade of grass was cut to length, each flower was perfectly arranged. Samuel slid the cell phone from his pocket as he started to walk down the brick path that lead away from the mansion. His fingers dialed familiar numbers as his feet hit the ground.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Heist – Episode 1

As you may have guessed by now, I have trouble coming up with titles. Anyhow, the current project is a Heist story. I originally wrote it as made for the web movie shot up in different short episodes. I wrote it a couple years back, got everyone together for some pre-production stuff and then we never made the movie due to time constraints. So I'm adapting into a story and here it is. As with "Hero's" Story I welcome your feedback, let me know what you like or dislike. Enjoy.

The room was dark except for the one bright light hung in the center, above the table, dangling from the drop ceiling. The walls were brick, painted over and over again with the cheapest off white paint possible. Sitting at the table was a wiry man, short blonde hair messily spiked this way and that. He was a small man, not young, but small and he leaned back, hands cuffed, an obnoxious little grin on his face.

“You and your little gang have quite a reputation, you’ve been busy the last few years.” Across the table from the man stood a police captain, his blue button down shirt tucked into grey pants. His tie hung just a little too low, thin glasses perched atop his nose, his hair was starting to pepper. A polished badge clipped on his belt read Captain Thomas Jackson.

“Listen, Trent, I know you aren’t smart enough to plan this all yourself, come clean and maybe we can work out a deal.”

The wiry man shrugged, his blue eyes almost passive as he stared up at the Captain. “I work alone.”

Captain Jackson tossed a manila folder down on the old table, surveillance pictures spilled out, pictures of Trent and three other men, all taken over the past few months.

“Try to cover for them all you want kid, but we’ll find your friends and when we do, one of them will break, turn on you and then you’re going away for a long time.”

“You seem so sure of yourself. If you know so much, why are you wasting time with me? Go out there and catch my friends.” Trent scoffed.

The Captain inhaled deeply and leaned down, palms resting on the table, the tip of his tie touching the old wood. “Listen smartass, this is your one chance to come clean, save yourself. You’d better start talking, and talking fast. Tell me everything and start at the beginning.”

A sigh escaped Trent’s lips as his eyes fell to the photos on the table, he wouldn’t talk, he’d never roll over on his friends. The four of them were like family and you didn’t turn on family. Sitting in the cold interrogation room he couldn’t help but let his mind slide back, back to the beginning.

Friday, October 9, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Afterword

I’d like to thank everyone who showed support as I put up the story. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. The idea for this story was mostly inspired by the Marvelous Bob by Michael Buonauro: http://web.archive.org/web/20040701223236/http://www.unknownhero.com/ . Make sure you check it out, he was a very talented guy.

My next project will be a little different, going to do some Medieval Fantasy about a character I developed with Mark Tesone. We will be collaborating and co-writing the tale together. I hope you enjoy what we have in store. Look for chapters of the new story early next week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 28

I exhaled as the weight of the situation filled me. Dead. Julie dead, Bill dead, I couldn’t let this madman take my Son’s life. I tried so hard to be a hero, to save people’s lives. All I had done was ruin them. Shit, I turned a small time burglar into a serial killer.

“Daddy, please..” My Son sobbed, his big brown eyes desperate and filled with fear. What had I done? Looking into his pleading eyes I wished I could take it all back. Never fly again, just spend time with my kids, with my wife, have my family back again. Go on a picnic, tuck the kids into bed, go swimming in the pool. I knew it could never be, not after what I’d done.

Suddenly an idea popped into my head. I inhaled deeply. “Jolt, you let the boy go, or I swear, I will finish what I started when we first met.” My words were bold and self-assured, confident. It was an act, hopefully I could talk him down and it wouldn’t come to…

“You shut the fuck up! I’m in charge now! I’m in control! No more needles, or Wardens, no more rules! This is my world and I’m about to steal everything you’ve ever loved. Destroy everything you ever touched!”

Insanity filled his eyes; there would be no reasoning with him. I looked to my ex-wife.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

I looked directly at Jolt. “Last chance kid.”

“Fuck you old man.”

Had to be perfect. I bent my knees slightly and flung myself at Jolt. I grabbed his arm with my left hand and my Son’s shoulder with my right hand. I tossed my boy towards his Mother as I tackled Jolt through the wall.

It only took a moment before Jolt lit up; electricity burst from his hands and covered my back, racing up my arms. Without looking, I knew where it was. I hugged Jolt tightly; the shock pierced my skin and tore at my insides as he increased the power. I flew us straight into the pool. Six feet deep we plummeted into the water.

Giant arcs of lightning leapt from the surface of the water. It hurt worse than anything that had ever happened to me. Worse than the Messiah, worse than the tank. Millions of needles poked my skin, wrenched my guts and burned my insides. I could feel my heart ready to explode. I opened my eyes and watched as Jolt overloaded himself and burned out.

His eyes went white as he stopped moving. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care. To see death, to stare in someone’s face as they slide away, no one should have that power.

My body went limp as a gray mist formed to cloud my vision. No longer did I feel the sting of electricity, or the pain of tense muscles. I floated to the surface, my back exposed to the cool night air, face down watching Jolt sink. I couldn’t move, I was too weak to even lift my head out of the chlorinated water.

After a short time I felt delicate hands grabbing at my shoulders, pulling me out of the pool and onto the concrete. I looked up wearily. Staring down at me, blonde hair like a halo, eyes filled with tears, it was my wife.

“This was your secret?” she sobbed, “I would have understood.”

“I, I know.” I tried to reach a hand up to comfort her, but my arm wouldn’t move. “Is he, alright?”

My son poked his head into view, a scratch on his neck, but he was fine. “Dada?”

So weak, so cold, I fought back a wave of darkness that threatened to take me. I had to focus just to breathe.

“So, sorry, I’m so sorry.”

Staring up into the caring, tear filled eyes; I knew I had made the wrong choice. I knew that I should have stayed with her, raised our family. What a fool. There was no time left though. No time left to make it right.

“I love you.” I murmured. It was a strain to even move my lips. It took all my strength to push the sound out of my mouth.

“I know. I know”. She stroked my face with her slender cold hand. It’s the last thing I felt before the darkness closed in on me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 27

I tore across town. My brain was clouded by everything that had happened, that was happening. It was me. Whoever it was, they were after me. Julie, Bill, dead. Now my family in danger, it was all my fault.

I don’t know how long it took to get to my ex-wife’s house. Probably minutes, it felt like hours. I came through the back door, hovering off the ground, trying not to make any noise. The house was quiet. Too quiet. My heart sank as I feared the worst.

Then I heard a sniffle from upstairs, followed by a short shush. I flew slowly up the stairs and into the hallway. I stopped outside the open door into my Son’s bedroom. A man stood, holding my son, smirking at me. A knife in his left hand, head shaved bald, a wife beater with a few drops of blood across the chest. Jailhouse tattoos covered his shoulders and arms.

“So, we meet again?” His voice was gritty, but held something familiar.

“Dad-“ My son pleaded, the man pushed the knife against his neck harder and stopped him.

“Do, do something.” My ex-wife stood in the corner, arms wrapped around our Daughter. Tears streamed down her face.

I must have looked puzzled. The Man’s eyes narrowed in frustration for a moment. Then, like a light bulb going off in his head, he smiled. It was the Devil’s smile. Smug and self-assured, evil. Small arcs of lightning crackled from his fingertips and leapt to my Son’s cheek.


“Now you remember?” Contempt leaked from his mouth. “Now you remember!? I was just a kid trying to get some clothes?” Anger flared in his eyes. “They sedated me for three months until they found a shot that would rob me of my powers. After that, it got worse. I was a soft kid in prison.”

I lifted a hand and took a step toward him.

“Don’t you move, you listen to me, you son of a bitch!” Ex-wife whimpered, son sobbed. “They passed me around like a piece of meat. Beat me, stuck me, raped me. Oh, I took it over and over again. It’s all your fault!” Red rage covered his tongue as he spoke. “I was just a kid trying to get clothes, look what you made me?! A killer!”

“I’m –I’m sorry, I didn’t..”

“Well you know now!” He cut me off, his temper rising, his eyes wide with death. “You’re never going to forget now! I killed your friend, your girlfriend, and now I’m going to kill your kid.” He pressed the blade tighter against my Son’s neck; blood trickled from a small cut.

Friday, October 2, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 26

Back at work the next day, my boss was gone again. After work, I waited until dusk then decided to fly by his house and check up on him.

The lights were all off, the front door was unlocked. I opened it and poked my head in.

“Bill, you home? It’s me.” I heard a wet cough coming from the next room. My heart sank; I could feel what was coming next.

“Oh shit.” He was alive, barely. His face was blood and puss. Arms, legs and fingers all broken. Burn marks dotted his skin, torture, looked like he’d been electrocuted in a few places.

“Bill, who did this?” I knelt beside him.

He coughed blood and forced a smile. “So. Sorry. Lasted so… long..*hurk*gave... finally told him.”

My jaw dropped, this was about –

“You, tor-tortured till I told him about you.*kaff* Tried… to be hero… good like you.”

“Goddamnit, it’s my fault. I’m so sorry Bill.”

“Told… told him your name, just your name, so sorry-“ he coughed once more then closed his eyes and stopped. Stopped moving, breathing, living.

My phone rang. I chocked down the lump in my throat, it was my ex-wife calling.

“Yeah?” I answered.

“Da-Daddy?” My son, he sounded terrified.


A deep voice answered. “Come home, save him if you can.” Then laughter. Laughter coated with insanity. Laughter soaked in murder.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 25

I didn’t sleep, just flew around all night. I couldn’t go back to Julie’s house, didn’t want to risk the cops finding out who I was. After breaking the Fantastics out it was just too dangerous. Stopped some minor crime that night, but I couldn't focus.

I shouldn’t have called 911 from my cell phone, shouldn’t have left the roses, shouldn’t have walked through the blood. Fingerprints, footprints, my cell number, the police would come asking questions. None of it really mattered, Julie dead, I was alone. Besides, what prison could hold me?

Got home as the sun came up, watched some TV, showered, couldn’t sleep, I didn’t even try. I had to go to work, what day was it? Wednesday. Shit, I missed two days without calling in. At least the boss was on my side, he’d help cover for me.

I went into work a mess. Purple bags under my eyes, vision hazy, couldn’t focus. I had to act as normal as possible. Co-workers gave me a hard time, they made jokes about where I was.

“What happens in Vegas, right?” elbow nudge.

“So what? She keep you up,” pelvis thrusting “alllll niiight?”

“Anime convention?” Wink. “It’s cool lots of people are into Furries.”

I was not amused, “Grandmother died” was my excuse. At least it shut them up.

Boss was a no call, no show. Unusual for him and shitty, I could have used someone to talk to. Went straight to the bar after work, I should have been looking for her killer.

Seven beers and two shots later. “Who am I? Fuckin’ CSI? I’m no detective.” I said to no one.

The bartender cocked a brow, “Think you’ve had enough? You got a ride home pal?”

I scoffed, “Pssshh, I’ll fly.”

“Drunk asshole.” Bartender left me alone after that.

I left two beers later. Flew home, damaged an overpass and destroyed two billboards on the way. Flying drunk is harder than driving.

Fell asleep with my head in the toilet, puking and crying.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 24

I knew where he was, her ex-husband. After the split I kept tabs on him, just in case. It had been so long that I’d forgotten about him. I didn’t think he was a threat.

Bloody smudges decorated my body as I flew toward his shitty duplex rental. I’d hurt him, I’d beat him until he begged Julie’s forgiveness, then I’d crush his windpipe and watch the light leave his eyes.

The green glow of a television seeped from his dark living room. I burst through the window, plaster and glass erupted like a volcano.

“James!” I cursed his name.

“Eh, what the hell?” he leapt off the couch, startled.

I was on him in a flash, my hand around his throat; I lifted him into the air and reeled my other hand back in a fist.

“You are going to pay, you piece of shit!”

“Wha? What’d I?” he was terrified, something in his eyes made me stop. I studied the deep brown pools filled with fear and confusion. I exhaled deeply and looked around.

The place was a shithole; empty pizza boxes and beer cans scattered everywhere. James reeked of booze and body odor. He wore a gross undershirt and boxers stained with pizza and jism.

I opened my hand and dropped him to the ground. He didn’t kill her, he probably hadn’t left his house for days.

James stood and rubbed his neck. “Jesus you crazy asshole! Lookit what you did to my window! You just come here to ruin my life some more?”

The adrenaline left me, my shoulders slumped.

“I’ve got nothing left!” James waved his arms violently. “Go ahead and finish the job! Go ahead and kill me.”

I started toward the door.

“Now you’re gonna leave? Why’d you even come?”

I opened the door and stopped.

“She’s dead. Someone killed her.” I spat over my shoulder.

He stood silent, his gazed dropped to the floor as the news sunk in. Then his mouth tightened and his eyes narrowed.

“You let someone kill her? Some fuckin’ hero. Where were you?”

I flew off as he yelled behind me.

“Where the hell were you?”

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 23

I knelt down and touched her cheek. So cold. I closed her eyes and took a step back. I stood frozen, unable to move or think. On instinct my hand slid into my pocket, fingers dialed 9-1-1, shaking hand brought the phone up to my ear.

“911, what’s the nature of your-“

“She’s dead.”

“Wha, Sir, who is dead?”

“Jul- my girlfriend. In the bathroom.”

“Okay Sir, stay calm, what’s the situation?”

“Some-someone killed her.” Stomach churned.

“Is the attacker still in the home?”

“No, no one’s here. No one, oh God.” Throat burned like acid. “She was all alone like this.”

“Sir, breathe, stay calm, what is your location?”

“1518 Marigold, Jesus fuck, it’s different.” I gagged.


“It’s different from the others, I know her, I love her.” I gagged again; acid burned the back of my mouth.

“Sir, calm-“

I threw up. Stomach wrenched, I doubled over in pain. Phone fell to the bloody tile. Warm chunks burned my tongue.

“Sir?” the Operator’s voice called out from the floor.

Again liquid filled my mouth, tried to choke it down, I couldn’t. Spit the grossness out onto the counter. Knees trembled. I fell on all fours. Another wave came up, filling my throat, I forced it back down. Grabbed my forehead with a bloody hand and took a deep breath.

“Sir, are you still there?”

Another breath, fuck, fuck, shit, fuck. Two more breaths, count one, two, fuck!

“Sir, Sir, are you alright?”

Alone, I was all alone, she was so sweet, who would hurt her?

“Who!?” I screamed, launching a fist at the vanity. Wood shattered.


I picked up the phone, blood dripped off of it and down my arm.

“He did it. He-he couldn’t let her go.”

“Who? Who is the attacker, are they-“

“I have to go, I have to-“

“Sir, wait there until the police arrive.”

“I have to go, fuck, I’m going to kill him.”

“No, stay right where you-“ click.

I closed the phone and stood.

I looked at her one last time. It wasn’t right, like a beautiful vase that someone took a bat to. Closed my eyes, remembered her touch, her laugh, the taste of her mouth.

Red fog crept up my body, clouded my eyes. I took off. I’d find him and kill him with my bare hands.

Monday, September 28, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 22

We slept in the woods that night. Spoke in hushed tones. Our bodies shivered, not from the cold, but from what had just happened. Adrenaline was replaced by fear and doubt. In the morning we said our goodbyes. They’d go on the run; I knew I’d never see them again. I remember thinking that life seemed just a bit lonelier. If only I knew what I’d done to myself.

I headed home, watched my apartment from across the street for two hours before going in. Bionic erased any electronic evidence of what happened, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. I crashed as soon as the door closed behind me.

I woke up two days later. Took the longest shower of my life, headed to IHOP and ate the biggest meal ever, flew to the top of the tallest building in town and just sat. It was midday; I just listened to the cars driving past, the people shopping, working, living life. For just an hour I felt close to normal. Well, normal for me.

After the last few days my “costume” was trashed. Jeans shredded, shirt filled with bullet holes. Lost my leather jacket when the tank shot me. I spent some time picking up some new clothes, a dozen roses and a batch of fresh cupcakes.

When the sun had finally set, I flew over to Julie’s house. The window was closed but unlocked. I opened it and slid inside.

“Julie?” I didn’t want to scare her.

She wasn’t in the bedroom, or upstairs at all. I headed downstairs and into the living room. An end table was flipped over; the lamp that usually sat atop it lay in a thousand pieces in the far corner of the room. Into the kitchen, it was worse, pots and pans littered the floor, utensils were strewn across the counter, pictures torn off the wall.

“Julie?” My heart pounded loudly in my chest.

Into the hallway, blood pooled on the hard wood, leaking out from the bathroom. Opened the bathroom door; mirror lay in shards, porcelain shattered, bloody towel rack ripped of the wall.

I dropped the roses; they fell into the sea of blood covering the tile floor. My heart sank. Red hair drenched in wet crimson, her limbs twisted impossible directions. Her eyes open, white haze filled them, mouth open slightly, lips glossy with lipstick.


Friday, September 25, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 21

I shook my head to clear the haze. Had to act quick, do something, anything, before I was overwhelmed. Couldn’t take another hit from that cannon.

Soldiers grabbed at me, their hands trembled with fear. They may have seen battle, but I was an inhuman enemy. I shrugged them off and bolted for the tank. My hands grabbed the cool, rough metal and I lifted. Damn it was heavy. Grunting, I heaved with all my strength and flipped the metal behemoth over.

Steel grated against earth as the tank wobbled like a turtle on its back. More soldiers opened fire on me. I barely felt the bullets anymore. Time was running out, I had to hurry. I made my way through the hole in the side of the building. Ran into a pack of guards in the hallway, I didn’t do any permanent damage.

Flare and Lady Speed were three floors straight down. I looked for an elevator, with none in sight I improvised. Balled up my fist and punched the ground as hard as I could. Skin tore, blood dripped from my hand but I ripped a hole in the floor.

I shot down, head first, arms stretched in front of me, hands balled into fists. Three floors, straight down. Covered in dust, scraped, bruised, but still in one piece.

I flew toward the holding cells, more soldiers, quick but tiring work. Finally made it to the cells, they were more like cages. Flare and Speed were strapped down; wires and sensors dotted their naked bodies. Covered in Purple bruises from torture and abuse. Anger surged through me. I tore the doors off their cages, broke their shackles and found them clothes. Lady Speed was in bad shape, barely able to stand. Flare was in slightly better condition.

Cell phone vibrated in my pocket, the screen read: “On roof, surrounded, hurry.” It was Bionic.
I asked Flare if he was okay and he nodded weakly.

“Grab speed and follow me.”

He scooped her into his arms as I rocketed through the ceiling. Eight stories straight up and I burst through the roof. Flare was behind me, flames erupted from his feet.

One look and I could see; Bionic was hunkered down, soldiers swarmed toward him, blood seeped from his shoulder. I swooped in, grabbed him and the four of us flew off into the darkness of night.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 20

We stood on the roof of the Super 8 facing the direction of the holding facility. Though we couldn’t see it, I knew it was there, I could feel its presence. I was about to make a life changing action, but I had no choice. Flare and Speedy were my friends; they were like me, and except for Julie, my only friends.

I looked at Bionic, I could never read his expressions but I just assumed he was as nervous as I was. Maybe worse, I mean he wasn’t invincible.

“Okay, you know the plan. I get Flare and Speed; you ‘talk’ to the computers and erase everything they have on us.”

He nodded; we’d gone over it more than once.

He wrapped his scrawny arms around my neck and wrapped his legs around my waist. I was wearing a Bionic backpack.

We took off towards the Federal holding facility. I flew slow and cautious, keeping my eyes open for helicopters, but the skies seemed quiet. When we got within sight of the facility I sped up. The closer we got, the faster I flew. Bionic’s arms almost choked me as he clung to my back.

The building was intimidating. Tall, cream white stone, guards with machine guns, twenty foot tall fence with barbed wire wound across the top. Military vehicles with guns mounted on the roof. Only one word entered my head, “unreal”.

We were spotted approaching; guards pointed at us and shouted commands at each other. Hummers with turrets mount to the top drove toward us. No time to lose, no time to think, I flew through the fence, arms outstretched. Metal flew everywhere stunning some of the soldiers momentarily.

I dropped Bionic; he took off blasting some crazy gun at everyone who got in his way. Weird orange energy left the gun in blobs and when it hit someone, they fell instantly to the ground, stunned, unable to move, but unhurt.

I turned my attention back to my task. Bionic had told me where Flare and Speed were being held, all I had to do was fight a small army to get there. I grabbed a nearby soldier and tossed him into a group of his friends, knocking them down like bowling pins. Had to be careful, couldn’t risk killing anyone.

One of the Hummers sped toward me, bullets whizzed past me, the sound was frightening. One of the bullets hit me in the shoulder and I somersaulted backwards. The pain was intense. Bending at the knees I propelled myself toward the vehicle, grabbed the turret with both hands and ripped it from the roof. I twisted and hurled the scrap at the side of the building as hard as I could.

The broken gun ripped a hole through the side of the holding facility. Guards scattered as brick and metal shrapnel flew through the air. I dove toward the hole as fast as possible. I didn’t make it. As I neared the opening a tank turned the corner of the building and shot at me.

I’d never been shot by a tank before. It hurt like a motherfucker. The huge shell hit me in the side and tossed me like a rag doll. I hit the dirt and slid at least a hundred feet before I stopped. My ears were ringing, dust in my eyes clouded my vision, everything seemed far away for a moment. I looked up and saw soldiers descending on me, machine guns pointed at me. It felt like someone else, like I was watching something on TV that wasn’t real, that wasn’t me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 19

We grabbed a room at a Super 8 just outside of town. I work IT all day and fight crime all night; I can’t afford to stay anywhere else. Bionic was antsy, we both were. It’s not every day you decide to break into a federally run prison. I lay on the hard mattress, on top of the ugly flower patterned comforter, trying to clear my head, trying to sleep.

My phone rang, caller ID said it was my wife, ex-wife. I answered.

“Daddy?” It was my son’s voice. Unexpected guilt slammed my stomach.

“Uh. Hey buddy.”

“Um, Daddy, when are we going to the park? You said we could go to the park and we didn’t.”

“I know.” Broken promises, one after another. Hadn’t seen my kids in weeks, hadn’t missed them. Out of sight, out of mind.

I heard my ex-wife’s voice in the background, “Put the phone down. Who are you talking to? Give me that phone.”

“Okay Daddy, bye.”

She took the phone from him. “Hello?”


“Don’t call here unless you are going to talk to me.”

“Sorry, he called me.”

“Whatever, listen, unless you are going to be a real father and be around your kids, don’t talk to them.”

Click. She hung up the phone.

Reflex kicked in, “I love you.”

Bionic looked over at me, his face puzzled. I shrugged and tossed the phone down on the bed.
I closed my eyes and let the black shadow of relaxation wash over my body.

I woke up to Bionic standing over me, shaking me gently. I sat up, rubbed the sleep from my eyes and looked outside. Night had come, it was time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 18

I reacted almost immediately. I swooped down, grabbed Bionic and took off. There was no way I was going to fight Government Agents; I didn’t want to end up on America’s Most Wanted. I took Bionic up to the top of a building a few blocks off. It’d take them a while to get to us, if I hadn’t lost them.

“What the hell is going on man?” I looked him over, his clothes were torn and he had bruises on his arms and legs.

He looked at me pleadingly. Of course, he couldn’t speak. He made his hands into the symbol for a telephone and held it up to his ear. I understood, pulled out my cell phone and handed it to him. He closed his eyes for a moment as he grabbed my phone, and then held it near my face so I could see the screen.

My cell phone screen went black, green words started scrolling across the screen. “We were abducted by the FBI. They took us to a holding facility and ran tests on us. They still have Flare and Speed. We need to rescue them.”

My powers were straight forward, but his powers were just cool.

“Okay, do you know where they are?” The idea hadn’t really sunk in. I was standing there planning on breaking into a Government prison to spring two people with super powers. Yeah, my world was a little screwed up.

Bionic closed his eyes again and the GPS map came up on my phone, he then mapped directions to the Facility.

“Let’s go NOW!!!” The green letters scrolled across the screen.

“No way. You are beat to shit and I’m in no condition. We lay low, rest for the night and head out tomorrow evening.”

His eyes got wide and he shook his head. It was like talking to a child. “NOW!!!”

“No, if we go now we’ll both end up captured, or worse. We go tomorrow, end of discussion.”

It was then that I heard the whirling thump of a helicopter. I looked in the direction of the noise and saw a black helicopter flying toward us quickly. Black helicopters, I am not shitting you. I felt like I was in a really bad conspiracy movie.

I grabbed Bionic and headed off, we’d find a hotel and lay low for the night and then tomorrow we’d free Flare and Lady Speed.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Hero's" Story - Chapter 17

It was dark when I woke up. I couldn’t tell how much time had passed but my head still pounded and my body felt stiff and weak. I sat up and leaned against a chimney. Guilt ate at my gut, it was complete self defense but I’d killed another person. I shook my head to clear the rush of thoughts that attacked my brain.

A ringing came from my jacket pocket. My cell phone. I pulled it out; it was scraped and scratched up, but still functional. I made a mental note to write a positive review online.

“Hello.” I flipped the phone open.

“It’s Flare!” I heard gunfire and commotion in the background. “Jesus, they’ve got us surrounded.”

“Who? Where are you?”

“The Lair.” I could hear Lady Speed scream in the background. “Shit man, you’ve gotta help us. Oh Shi-“. There was more commotion, some banging, more gunfire, possibly an explosion, and then the line went dead.

I took a long deep breath and slid the phone back into my pocket. I was in no condition to fight, but hopefully I could regain some strength on the flight. It’d take me at least three hours to get there at full speed. I stood shakily and took off for the Fantastic’s Lair.

It took me five hours to get there. The Lair was destroyed; bullet holes and scorch marks everywhere. Some spattered blood, but not much. The doors were caved in, windows broken, glass everywhere. All of Bionic’s computer stuff was gone. After a second sweep I noticed that everything interesting was gone. All their technology, all their costumes, everything that made them heroes was taken.
Whoever broke in wasn’t just trying to kill the Fantastics, they were trying to capture them.

“I thought I saw someone comin’ in ere.” A homeless guy wearing a tattered trench coat stood in the doorway to the basement.

“Who are you?”

“Jus’ a guy. Sleep out back, in tha alley. They’re gone ain’t they?”

I nodded.

“It’s a damn shame. They was always nice to me. ‘Specially the computer guy. Always shared ‘is sanwiches with me.”

“Did you see who took them?”

“You gotta brain in that head a yers? Course anyone knows who took ‘em. It’s the goddamn Government. Big brother, alla that shit. Goddamn motherfuckers can’t keep their hands outta a good thing. Gotta fuck it all up.”

I sighed, “Thanks.” Crazy old man.

I flew outside and up above the city, I wasn’t a detective and had no clue where to find them or even where to start looking. That’s when I noticed a man running through the street. He looked terrified, close behind a dozen men in black suits carrying guns were chasing him. I flew closer, it was Bionic and he was being chased by Federal Agents.

That crazy old man was right.

"Hero's" Story - Chapter 16

He didn’t have all my powers. He could jump high, but he hadn’t flown at all. That was the difference, he couldn’t fly. Now all I had to do was use it to my advantage before he murdered me with his bare hands.

The “Messiah” was taking his time walking over to me, he raised his arms in triumph and the crowd of cultists was invigorated. Seeing their master standing over the “imposter” had them in a frenzy. When he finally stood over my bleeding, bruised, battered body he lifted his arms. A silence took over the crowd.

“Now you see! The non-believers have sent their puppet to kill me! But I still live! As it was predicated, as it was written I am the Son, I am God! Now I will slay this demon and prove it to the world!”

A savage growl left my lips as I summoned what little energy I had left and pushed myself off the ground. I wrapped my arms around the lunatic and flew as fast as possible straight into the air. He squirmed and wriggled, but I held him tight. When he couldn’t break free he started punching me in the side of the head. My brain pounded, my vision grew dim but still I shot upward. The air grew cold, the wind whipped at us, the ground below disappeared, only clouds remained. I’d never flown so high. The air started growing thin, still I would not relent.

Finally I couldn’t breathe, the air was dead cold, no sound could be heard, the “Messiah” was no longer trying to wriggle free, but he was trying to hold on. I stopped flying and looked into his face where I saw absolute terror.

“Sorry.” Was all I could say as I changed directions and shot us towards the ground. I flew faster than ever before. The wind tore at my face and deafened me, still I flew faster. The clouds broke, I gripped him tight as we sped closer to the ground. Once we got below the tops of nearby buildings I shoved him away from me. I leveled out and stopped, he plunged into the concrete. There was a massive explosion of concrete and dirt as he burst into the ground. It sounded like a freight train running into a skyscraper.

I hovered above the crater and waited for the dust to clear. After what seemed forever, I could make out his limp body in the bottom of the pit. His clothes shredded, blood seeped from his mouth. He didn’t move or breathe. I killed him.

I felt so weak, my head spun, the adrenaline left my body and I realized just how messed up I was. I took off towards home, but only made a block before I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I landed hard on top of a nearby building and blacked out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 15

It was afternoon, I was at work. My boss came to my cube and pulled up CNN’s website. Top Story, a cult was having a rally outside a local Federal Building. All wearing white robes with symbols tattooed down their arms. They were starting to get rowdy; there were already reports of scattered altercations with the cops.

“Take the rest of the day off.” My Boss winked.

As I flew near the scene, things had gotten even uglier. Cultists were throwing rocks at the building, riot cops descended on the crowd. Suddenly a man leapt from out of the crowd. By leapt, I mean he jumped thirty feet in the air. The cultists went crazy, chanting “Messiah” as the man landed in the center of the riot cops and started pummeling them with his bare hands.

He’d downed over a dozen cops before I plowed into him and sent him skidding across the cement. The crowd grew quiet. In a flash the “Messiah” was up, he ran at me, superhumanly fast, and punched me in the jaw. I’d never been hit so hard in my life. The blow hurled me fifty yards into a parked van.

Cheers erupted from the cultists. I lifted what was left of the van and threw it at him. He took one step forward, caught the van and tossed it at the police. He jumped at me and we exchanged blows. After a few seconds blood poured from my nose and mouth. He barely had a bruise. He grabbed me by the throat, leapt high into the air and body slammed me through the roof of the federal building. My body shredded through five floors and finally stopped at ground level.

He lifted me by my hair, looked me in the eye and said.

“I am the Messiah!” His voice was loud, high from adrenaline and filled with crazy. He laughed, wound up his fist and punched me through the front of the building.

I hit the pavement a bloody mess. Cultists shouted in frenzied tongues. I was about to die. About to be murdered by some methed out David Koresh wannabe with powers. He was faster and stronger than me. He had all my powers amplified. As he walked over to finish me off, something clicked in my brain. He didn’t have all my powers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Hero's" Story - Chapter 14

A meeting appeared on my calendar at work the next day. It was a one on one with my boss. I’d taken off as soon as he had recognized me the day before and hadn’t figured out what I’d tell him.
I sat down in the conference room as he closed the door.

“First of all, don’t try to play dumb. I know it was you.”

He just trumped my first tactic.

His eyes lit up as a light bulb went off in his head. “That’s why you are always tired, and why you come in late all the time!”

There was nothing else to do, so I nodded.

“Shit! What you’re doing is important man. From now on, whatever you need, just ask. Your secret is safe with me.”

I sat, dumbfounded and alone in the conference room. I didn’t even get to talk. What the hell just happened?

I got a lot of sly winks, high fives and shoulder slaps from my boss after that. He was in on my secret; he was the only one in on both halves of my life and it made me feel awkward.

Soon after that, I was on patrol and picked up a couple selling meth. A guy and a girl dressed in white robes with greasy hair and arms tattooed with weird symbols. They were selling to some college kid when I caught them. They immediately got on their knees and bowed before me.

“Do not strike us master, we are earning money for the cause?”

“What cause?” Yeah, I was baffled.

“The second coming has shown himself. God’s hammer will strike the wicked.”

“Are you serious? I’m taking both of you to jail.”

They got up quickly and sneered at me. “You are false! You are an imposter! He will smite you! The Messiah will smite you!”

I’d had enough crazy cultists chat for one day, so I hauled the pair off to the police station. The entire trip was a headache. They went on and on about the second coming and judgment day and how selling meth was “God’s Work”. The two of them kept ranting and raving, even as they were locked up.

As I left the police station I remember thinking ‘I’m glad to be done with this’. Why am I always wrong?

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Hero's" Story - Chapter 13

I kissed Julie for the first time shortly after I got back. I remember the day exactly; it would have been my wedding anniversary.

A few weeks later I was in divorce court. I gave my wife full custody of the kids, I didn’t fight for anything. I knew I couldn’t be a father and the other thing at the same time. I regret it all now, but it was probably the right thing for everyone.

That evening I went to Julie’s house, she left the window open for me. I flew in and saw her lying on the bed, dressed in red lingerie. Candles burning, rose petals and champagne.

“Cupcakes.” I mumbled.


“Never mind. You look…amazing.” I skipped patrol that night. It was incredible. I’ll keep every detail of that night in my brain for as long as I live.

I ducked out a little before dawn to fly home. I noticed a car on the road swerving badly. As I flew in closer the driver lost control and sped up into oncoming traffic. He was about to ram head first into another car when I swooped down and lifted his car up. Damn drunk drivers. I set the car down gently in a nearby parking lot and stepped to the window to reprimand the driver.

It was my boss. His jaw dropped as he recognized me. “You” was all he said.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Hero's" Story - Chapter 12

They turned to look at me and like a flash the woman had my hands and legs cuffed. Super speed apparently was her thing. I didn’t even struggle.

“Who are you?” the leader asked. Thin, brown hair, flames danced around his knuckles as he stood, ready to fight.

“You’re like me. I came from up north to find you. You’re like me.” I snapped the handcuffs like they were plastic toys.

“Those aren’t free you know?” The woman reprimanded.

“Sorry, you’re right. Can we go somewhere and talk?”

They took me to their secret Lair ; I swear that’s what they called it. The leader was Flare, he could shoot fire from his hands and feet. If he shot flames from his feet he could fly. It burned the hell out of everything around and he was clumsy, but he could fly. The woman was Lady Speed, and she was really fast. The third guy was Bionic, he was really handy and could kind of “talk” to machines and get information out of computers. The only downside was that he couldn’t talk to humans. Whenever he opened his mouth it just sounded like a modem trying to handshake.

Flare, Bionic, and Lady Speed, they called themselves the Fantastics. And people wonder why I don’t have a super hero name.

I spent the weekend with them. They seemed like good people. They weren’t quite like me though and I still felt alone, even among them. Flare told me about a few others like us. He shared some stories about criminals with power they put away. I’ll never forget the last thing he told me before I left.

He said, “Watch the ones you put away. You know, the ones with powers. They all escape eventually.”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Hero's" Story - Chapter 11

After a few hours on the Internet I came up with reports of “Super Heroes” in about a dozen cities. There was a news interview with three of them just a few hours away. I decided I’d take a three day weekend and head there soon.

Getting time off of work while you are on final warning is a bit tricky. Luckily there was an opening second shift. I snagged it. Most people with powers work second shift. You head in late enough to sleep and get out early enough to patrol. The shift change was the first thing to save my job, which was good. There was no money in “crime fighting” and whoever heard of a homeless “Super Hero”?

A couple weeks later I got my time off, packed a backpack and flew the next state over to find these Super Hero guys. I combed the city with no luck the first night, stopped some minor crime. The crooks in this city seemed less surprised by my powers. Obviously these Heroes had made an impression.

I ran across them in action on the second night. They were stopping a bank robbery. I hung back and watched them work. One guy, seemed to be the leader, shot fire from his hands. Another guy was strapped with crazy gadgets and was firing some kind of futuristic gun. The third one was a woman, and from what I could tell, having a big rack was her power.

After they stopped the robbery, I flew down and said, “Hey.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 10

I’d seen Julie a couple more times. We talked and flew around, she liked heights. I was on final warning at work for coming in late. I found a studio apartment downtown; it helped to be near the action. I slept less than ever. I survived on a diet of Red Bull, Monster, coffee, and Mountain Dew, it felt like college all over again.

One day at work, lawyers served me divorce papers, the separation from my wife hadn’t really sunk in until then. On patrol that night I heard a security alarm going off at a GAP. Burglars. Burglars were generally only mildly more intelligent than muggers. I flew down to check it out and noticed the door was ripped off its hinges and the doorframe was scorched.

I stepped into the store and saw a scrawny kid with a fohawk trying on cloths, not what I expected at all.

“Hey kid, down on the ground.”

“Better keep walking, mind your own business old man.” If he looked 23, he sounded 17.

I walked toward him. “Kid you’ve got no idea what you’re up against. I’ll ask you one more time, get down.”

I’ll give him this, the kid was about action. He extended all ten fingers and white arcs of electricity shot at me. Have you ever stuck your finger in an outlet? It’s like that times a thousand. The force tossed me into a rack of thongs. As I tried to clear my head, I heard him walk over to me.

“I’m Jolt. Remember it when the cops find you.” Jolt? The kid named himself after a soda? Where the hell do people come up with these names?

I pushed myself forward and tackled him into a display of polos. He looked amazed and confused. Good, it was his first time meeting someone else with powers too. We trashed that GAP; what he didn’t electrocute and fry, I knocked over or smashed. In the end I had to fly his unconscious ass to the police station and warn them in person. The cops were confused as hell and begged me to take him. Yeah, your tax dollars hard at work.

After that I sat atop a McDonald’s billboard on the side of the highway and thought. If there are more people like me, how could I find them?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 9

“Are you cheating on me?” her eyes were red with tears, her voiced cracked and dry.


“You are gone all the time, you come and go as you please, you never call. The kids cry every night and ask where their Dad is.”

“I’ve been busy.” Why wasn’t I telling her? Earlier I was sure I'd be able to tell her.

“With what? Just tell me what?” Her eyes were pleading; she wanted me to tell her so desperately. I could have said anything and she would have believed it.

“You wouldn’t understand.” I couldn’t do it; my mouth wouldn’t form the words she needed to hear. I knew she would understand, but something wretched in the pit of my stomach that made me stop.

“Help me understand.”

“I can’t. It’s about me, you wouldn’t understand.” Did I think something was wrong with me? Was I afraid of how she’d look at me when she found out what I could do? What I was?

“Either explain or get the hell out of here.”

“Honey, don’t do this.” What a half hearted attempt.

“No, no more, explain yourself or get out.”

I could have fought harder. I should have fought harder. I was just so tired, tired and afraid. I shared my secret with Julie, a complete stranger, but I couldn’t bear to tell my wife. What a chickenshit.

Whether it was the empty look in my eyes or the silence, I’ll never know.

“Just get out, leave us alone.”

I packed a duffle bag full of clothes, kissed my sleeping kids and flew off. I felt numb, I didn’t even cry. That night I blamed her for not understanding, not giving me my space. It wasn’t her though. I was transforming, becoming someone who could never be a husband or father. Shedding my old life in preparation for what was to come next.

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 8

I knocked on her window again. She came over and opened it slowly. Tonight she was wearing a dark purple dress; she’d done her hair, she was wearing makeup and perfume.

“I wasn’t sure you’d come.” She smelled like vanilla. “Why don’t you come in?”

I had the last twenty-four hours to guess how she’d repay me. My mind wandered to some pretty fantastic places.

“Cupcakes.” I tried to mask my despair.

“Chocolate cupcakes, and coffee too!”

They were delicious and the coffee was perfect, Jamaican. We ate and drank in silence for half a cupcake. When it started to feel uncomfortable I spoke up.

“These cupcakes are good, thanks – eh, I’m sorry, I don’t know your name.”

“Julie, I’m Julie.” There was an awkward pause, “What do people call you?”

“They don’t really call me anything.”

“No fancy superhero name?”


“Not Superman or Incredible Guy or… Captain Crime?”

“Captain Crime?” Clearly Julie did not read comic books. She grew quiet; my tone had obviously offended her. “Want me to fly you?” I’d never flow anyone before.

“Sure, okay, is it safe?”

“I do it every day.” I wrapped my arms around her. She was warm and she smelled so good. We flew around the city, mostly in silence, for about an hour. I took her home, thanked her for the cupcakes and flew off. Julie, it felt good to share my secret with someone.

As I headed home, I felt a pang of guilt. Though I hadn’t done anything physical, I felt like I cheated on my wife. I would tell her first thing tomorrow, I’d tell her everything. About my powers, and my “missions”, about Julie, about everything. It was the only way to make things right.

I got home at 4:30am, I had flown and forgot my car at work. My wife was still awake, waiting for me when I walked in the door.

“I didn’t hear you pull up.”

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 7

My marriage went downhill pretty quickly. I couldn’t get the red haired woman out of my brain. My wife and I grew more distant too; we understood each other less and less. Then the sex went away completely, it made me think about the girl even more. Finally one night, I went to see her.

I flew to her window and saw her, face mostly healed, sitting, watching TV. After a few minutes I felt like a stalker so I tapped on her window. Till this day I don’t know why she didn’t call the cops, but she came over and opened her window.

“Hey” she said.

“Hey.” I hadn’t really planned what I’d say.

“So, thanks, you know,” she crossed her arms over her robe,” for the other night.”

I’d been thanked a lot; I’m still bad at accepting it so I just shrugged. “So, just checking in on you. You alright?”

“Yeah, I pressed charges. He moved out.”

“That’s good.”

“Wait, do you check on everyone you save?”

“Er, no, you’re the first.”

“So, why check on me?”

There were a million answers but I just shrugged again.

“Why don’t you come back tomorrow so I can repay you properly?”

“Okay, see you later.”

“See ya.”

I stopped two muggings and pulled a car out of a ditch on my way home that night.

I was more distant than usual the next day. Burned my toast, took the mirror off my car backing out of the garage, I got written up at work, but I didn’t care. I didn’t even go home after work that night. I had a drink and pulled an early patrol. Turned my cell phone off after ignoring eight calls from my wife wondering where I was.

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 6

I started patrolling nightly. With a job, marriage and two kids it’s harder than it sounds. I was sleeping two or three hours a night, constantly late for work, dozing off in meetings. At home I’d nap through dinner and slink out late at night. Bruce Wayne makes it look easy.

As for my costume; jeans, t-shirt, black hiking boots (for those rough landings), leather jacket (for when I got in a scrape). When you work in IT it’s hard to explain to your wife why your clothes are always torn up. I still should have just told her the truth. The worst part was the sex. When you are sneaking around all the time, pissing your wife off, you never get any.

I was safer now too. I promised myself there would be no more Marie Swansons. Things went well for a long time, surprisingly only about 10% of my ‘missions’ ended up in the news. You have no idea how much crime there is that you never hear about. Cops took credit for a lot of my work too, I didn’t mind though; I wasn’t in it for press coverage.

Everything was fine until I saved her. It was 2am and I was flying over a small subdivision when I heard her scream. I knew it was probably a domestic. I stopped a lot of domestics. I flew down to take a peek, it’s best to look before acting on these kinds of things. Broke in on three strange sexual encounters before I learned that lesson. It was a nice house in an average neighborhood, pretty common for marital disputes.

There she was, long red hair, pretty face, well, normally pretty. She had a good sized welt on her face that night. He was drunk, standing over her yelling. She was sobbing, clutching the phone to her chest. Probably threatening to call someone, they always threaten, they never call. He reeled back to smack her and that’s when I moved.

Broke through the window, snapped his arm and smashed the coffee table with his face. I reached down to help her up. As she touched my hand and looked up at me with those big green eyes, I knew I was fucked.

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 5

Double homicide, no leads, it was all over the news. I burned the uniform. Every time someone mentioned the incident I lost my breath. It took six months before I could smile without faking it. My marriage suffered, my work suffered. I had to push it all out of my head; I forgot about missions or costumes and tried to get my life back. I even stopped flying.

A year went by and things started to feel normal. Then the bank, I won’t lie, it felt good. I was at the bank withdrawing some cash when he burst through the door, orange ski mask and shotgun.

“Everyone get the fuck down!”

A teller hit the silent alarm. The robber stuffed two duffel bags full of cash before the cops showed up. Red and blue lights flashed everywhere. Robber thought he needed a hostage, so he grabbed me. He pressed the shotgun to my neck, I almost laughed. I bent the barrel and tossed him out the front door. The glass doors shattered, the police swarmed in on him. People started to move toward me. I couldn’t afford another fifteen minutes in the spotlight; there’d be too many questions.

I still remember the tingle in my feet as I took flight. God, it always feels good to fly. I flew off before anyone could get to me. That’s when it started for real, that’s when I knew I could never go back to normal.

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 4

I hadn’t told my wife, I hadn’t told anyone. Who would believe me? And if they did, I’d just become a freak. I should have told her though, she would have understood.

I wish I could say that the worst part about my first mission was the costume. It was hideous; an old black Halloween cape, black jogging pants, tight black t-shirt, and a tattered bandana with holes cut for the eyes. What a joke. I went flying over the city looking for crime.

Even now I’m surprised. Even in the nicest town you can find someone to help in five minutes, if you are really looking. I found her in fifteen. A back alley, a college girl, and a man with a gun on top of her. Would have just been a rape if I hadn’t shown up. I landed in the alley and demanded “Stop!”

“What the fuck?” the punk turned his gun on me.

“I said stop.” I stood, chest puffed out, so goddamn confident. I took two steps towards him.

It hurt so bad, the punk shot me, apparently invincible doesn’t mean you don’t feel pain, the bullet never penetrated my skin, but it hurt so fucking bad. I fell over and screamed. I heard another bang as he shot the girl, Marie, her name was Marie Swanson, and in that instant she became just a mess of red hair and blood. I could hear his footsteps hitting the pavement as he took off running.

I launched myself towards him blindly. He made it a block before I plowed into him. I hit him three times in the face before he went limp. I caved in his skull and snapped his neck. I sat over him, covered in blood for forty-five minutes before I could more again.

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 3

Everything started happing pretty quickly after that. I went to the hospital; they wrote me a clean bill of health. Some local news station interviewed me, some local churches started calling me. I got what everyone wants, 15 minutes of fame, lucky me. A month and a half later the excitement died down. I was yesterday’s news. All except for a nagging feeling in the back of my brain.

There was a buzz, a feeling, a nagging, that woke me up each morning and kept me up each night. Something was different with me; I could feel it with every inch of my body, from my head to my toes. It was July 24th, the day before my birthday when I closed my front door so hard that I knocked it off its hinges and into the neighbor’s yard. Later that day I bench pressed our Sedan. Two weeks after that I tripped and fell walking on my deck, only I never hit the ground. I flew three blocks before I could stop myself. I spent the next week learning to fly. God, I still love flying.

There I was; invincible, flight, super strength. I thought I was ready. I was so sure of myself. I was such a fool.

“Hero’s” Story – Chapter 2

I always expected that if I was in a car accident that everything would slow down to “bullet time” like in the movies. I was wrong. As I smashed through the windshield a quick image of my wife flashed in my mind. I was hurled out of my car; my body flew into the rear window of the silver Saab and continued out the front windshield of the Saab. At that point they tell me I bounced off of the trunk of a Cadillac that was in front of the Saab and skid about 30 yards across the pavement and into oncoming traffic.

As if that weren’t enough I was hit by a Geo Metro doing 55, which is about as fast as I think they go. It was at that point that I stopped traffic by defying science and common sense by standing up. My clothes were shredded to almost nothing but there I stood, not a scratch, bump, or bruise. Not one scrape or broken bone. Not a one in a million miracle but an impossibility. My life would never be the same again.

"Hero's" Story - Chapter 1

This series of stories was inspired by Unknown Hero, a web series by Michael Buonauro.

Chapter 1
I still remember how I found out. I was driving home from work, singing to the radio. Tom Petty, Free Falling, is that irony? I never can tell after that Alanis Morissette song. Later I’d find out that it all started when a semi ran into a minivan full of Girl Scouts, but at that moment all I saw was the red break lights on the Saab in front of me.

I locked up my breaks, yanked the wheel to swerve but still rear ended the silver Saab. Metal folded against metal like tectonic plates, the impact threw me out of through the windshield. Should have been wearing my seatbelt. I think about that a lot. If I was wearing my seatbelt, this story would end as a one in a million miracle. But I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt and what was about to happen wasn’t a miracle, it was impossible.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

“Hero’s” Story

So, I've been posting this story into Facebook using Notes. A beautiful woman suggested I post it here instead. So here it is, let me know if you like it.