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Twins in Death: Chapter Three – Part Two

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Three: The End of Captain Scourge

 

 

 

March 30th, 2002

1:15 pm.

 

            The Weirdo had switched on the news and had briefly watched a story about a hijacked bank, about how the forces inside were demanding many things. Jack, Tommy and Max had tried to go talk sense, but had been beaten rather senseless. He looked at the police who were trying to keep people away, and the people who didn’t keep away, and what happened to them. Super heroes were being slung aside one by one even Omega had been given a serious enough jolt to make him disengage.

 

            Of course knowing that Captain Scourge probably severally weakened Omega might be useful for people studying Omega’s death, which this story isn’t really concerned with. The jolt Omega received did change something in Omega though, as many have noticed it seemed like his powers from the Omega Crystals were interrupted. Most don’t connect the fight with Scourge to his considerable weakness, but we thought it was worth mentioning.

 

            The Weirdo watched Omega flying away from the cameras and turned the television back off, his interest in such things gone. He just couldn’t care about that any more, he had his own problems. There was so much pain in the world, so many people in peril. He couldn’t be expected to save everyone, could he? He got up and then sat back down again, too tired to walk to the bed. He fell asleep in the chair, and snored quietly in the empty room.

 

            The hallway wasn’t empty though, The Gray Man could stand and watch the sleeping figure of The Weirdo from the upstairs hallway. He looked down at the sleeping figure of The Weirdo and felt oddly angry. He wanted to go slap The Weirdo, to tell him to stop acting selfish and get back to work. He didn’t think he could do it though. He didn’t have the strength to tell The Weirdo anything now. Besides, The Weirdo wouldn’t listen to anyone right now.

 

            He then reconsidered that thought, as there was one person who he might listen to. There was just one person in the grand multiverse that he could listen to. There was one hope that might just get him off his ass and into action. It would be a cheap trick, but The Gray Man figured that those were all he had left. After all this time, one had to use whatever tricks they had.

 

 

April 5th, 2002

3:09 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo was sitting in a chair at the kitchen table, his legs tight up against his chest, and he was rocking. It was a gentle back and forth rocking motion that was distracting if not relieving. He wanted to release everything. He wanted to explode, to shout, to scream, to roar, and to cry. Oh, to cry.

 

            He hadn’t cried though, not one single tear. He wanted to, but he couldn’t force whatever it was that made you cry to happen. He couldn’t make it happen, no matter how badly he wanted to release his emotions they simply piled one atop another. The bottleneck was building just behind his eyes, making a sharp stabbing pain just behind his retinas. He felt he would burst, but he didn’t. He couldn’t break down, even though he wanted to. He simply sat and rocked back and forth slowly like a stunned child, wanting to scream, wanting to cry, wanting it all to end.

 

            He looked at the pistol on the table. He was unsure how it had gotten there, but there it was. He picked it up and looked at the gun, and put it to his head. He pressed the barrel against his forehead, just to get the feel of it, and then set the pistol down again. He would save that option  if he needed it, he didn’t expect to need it. It was important to remember it existed though.

 

            There was a tiny knock at the door that stopped his rocking and got him up. He walked towards the front door, expecting to see Tommy, Max or Jack, telling him to stop all this nonsense and get to work. He personally thought that this was just what he needed, but he was unsure whether he would listen. He would at least give them time to explain their message. He owed them that much.

 

            There was no one he could see through the door’s window. He opened it and saw a small child, about five years old. She had deep chestnut colored hair and blue eyes like the sea. She wore a green dress and had ribbons in her hair of the same deep forest color. She looked up at him, tears streaming down her face. Her tiny apple checks and button nose were red from crying; as if she had done all the crying he had been unable to do. As if their souls had some how been intertwined and he had somehow forced all the crying to her.

 

            “Hello.” The Weirdo said. “How did you get here?”

 

            “Please.” The tiny voice said.

 

            “Yes?”

 

            “Mister Weirdo?” She said, tears streaming suddenly again. The tears cracked her tiny voice. “You’ve got to save my mommy.”

 

            “What?”  He asked.

 

            “The bad men have my mommy.” She looked like she was about to collapse into a pile of tears. “Save her Mister Weirdo, please?”

 

            “That’s not what I do anymore.”  He said, wanting to turn away, but something was freezing him to the spot, making him watch, Grandma made him watch.

 

            “Nobody else can do it.”  She said, more tears rolling down the reddened cheeks.

 

            “I’ve got to be just a normal guy now.” He said, the words ashen in his mouth.

 

            How had he come to make a statement like that? How could someone like him ever grasp something like that? How could he, who called himself The Weirdo, ever even try to concede to that? He was too smart to be the sort of stupid person who was called normal, too daring, and too alive. Even if he felt dead inside, that excluded him from the half-life that the normal people lived. He suddenly felt deeply ashamed for not going immediately.

 

            “Sweetie, there are lots of people who…”

 

             But that wasn’t true, was it? There was really only one person who could do it, wasn’t there? If he didn’t decide to do it, would others even try? Wouldn’t people just cock it up like they always did? People often say someone should do something, but no one wants to be the one who steps forward.

 

            “Please, Mister Weirdo, save my mommy.” Her voice was choking with emotion.  “Heroes are supposed to save mommies and daddies and help people who can’t help themselves.”

 

            And that was it wasn’t it? Sometimes you might think you can walk away from what you are, but being a hero is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. You can’t just stop being gay or black, these are things a person is. A person couldn’t stop themselves from being a drunk, or from being a hero. You might stop drinking, or fighting evil or even marry a person of the opposite sex, but you’d always be what you were. The gods made some men to love other men, made some to eliminate all the whiskey in the world by drinking it, and some to fight evil. You’d always come back to that.

 

            That’s what he was; he was a hero, not a normal person, not another one of the guys. He was the sort of person who could never be that lost to thoughtlessness. He was a hero, and that had certain responsibilities to it. It was part of the great power quotient.

           

            He looked at the tears glistening down the child’s face. Shame suddenly was upon him in an amount he’d never believed could exist. There wasn’t enough room in the cosmos for the deep unbridgeable shame he know felt. His eyes suddenly couldn’t land on the child, but rather they spiraled anywhere but to her.

 

            Something cracked on the surface of The Weirdo’s heart. Then the crack went deeper and it found something soft in the hard crust. He wanted to slam the door on the child’s face, but he couldn’t. The shame, that universe filling shame wouldn’t let him. There was no door to slam, just this deep shame that filled everything. Every molecule in all of space had been suddenly replaced with some sort of atomic particle of shame. There was no way to escape it without some great explosion. He heard Grandma’s voice again, telling him that it would be wrong to let what happened to him happen to her.

 

            Then, an explosion of the sort that gave birth to everything happened. The shame was blown away, and now something he could grip and control was replacing the old world. He suddenly felt anger, anger on the child’s part. It was anger on the part of the people whose families were being torn apart and anger at those that would hurt a little girl’s feelings. He knew the anger wasn’t for him, but that didn’t matter right now.

 

            Anger of any kind he labeled as good. It was something he could hold onto, something he could anchor himself with. Anger, that was something he knew how to deal with, it was depression he had a problem with. He didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a turning point. He looked down at the rolling tears and pulled out a white handkerchief. His hands didn’t shake at all. In fact he had become so calm you might have thought him dead. He wiped away her tears and smiled. Anyone who had seen a person under complete and total control of their emotions would have noticed the look on his face, he was trying so hard not to let her know how angry he was that he severely overcompensating.

 

            “Okay kiddo.”  His gentle voice was calm, and he smiled at her.  “Let’s go save your mother.”

 

            He stood up and looked out into the woods beyond and wondered how the hell this kid had gotten here. He looked down and found she was gone, just completely vanished. Well, no matter, he’d go save the day anyway wouldn’t he? He looked down and again and noticed a small green piece of ribbon. He picked it up and placed it in his pocket. Oh yes, he was going to save this girl’s mother, save the day. He was going to save mommies and daddies and people who couldn’t save themselves.

 

            After all, that’s what heroes do.

 

 

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

 

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July 9, 2012 - Posted by | Fiction | ,

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