Thursday, September 5, 2013


It was eleven-thirty at night.  His parents were asleep.  He could feel them away in their room, sensing them through walls.  They had fallen into a deep slumber, once again leaving the television on.  Their room was on the other side of the house, far enough away for him to normally not hear the sounds of the ABC Late Night News.  However, things had changed, things were now far from normal, about as far from normal as they could possibly get.  He concentrated just a little.  The more he willed it, the more he could hear … or even see.  He stopped.  He would never violate his parents’ privacy.  

He paused, stood still and looked at himself in the mirror.  He very much liked what he saw.  On his feet were black Timberland boots.  He wore baggy black Girbaud jeans, but not too baggy.  He didn’t like the style, and if his mother ever saw him wearing his pants off of his backside, she would personally give him a wedgy.  He completed the outfit with a form-fitting black sweater. 

He had really given the outfit some thought.  He had cobbled together three outfits so far that he thought conveyed the way he felt, modern superhero.  They all used the same boots and pants, but he had a white sweater, a black sweater, and a blue sweater.  He had the same colors in a form-fitting t-shirt, for when the weather changed.  However, it didn’t really matter, since the weather didn’t bother him anymore, unless he let it.

He had thought about trying to sew a uniform, like Spiderman did in the movie, but that proved to be a very difficult proposition, despite all his power.  He could not sew.  And his ideas for outfits were heavily influenced by the dreams he had had, when Ean showed him a possible future in the Sfresonal.  Those outfits looked like Superman and Spiderman outfits.  He also remembered himself looking bigger.  No, what he was wearing now would definitely do and he didn’t care to try and figure out something comic-bookish … at least not yet. What he had suited him.  There would be time enough for spandex, or whatever his dream outfit was made of.  Time enough for DragonCon later.  

He flexed his biceps, admiring the way he looked.  He was just a tad bit bigger, a bit of extra lean muscle over what he had before.  He had no idea how strong he was.  His frame now housed a tremendous amount of power.  He didn’t know how much.  He didn’t like thinking about what his limitations may, or may not be.  It scared him. 

“Okay, let’s do this.”

He walked over to the window, opened it, and paused.  He had been doing this for weeks, and the humor of it still hadn’t worn off.  He didn’t jump towards the window and fly out.  That seemed corny, and risky, too TV like.  He didn’t stand on the windowsill, and launch himself into the sky.  He had tried that.  It worked just fine, accept for the fact that when he had returned, he realized he had left his window open all night.  That morning his mother awoke to a brisk chill in the hall.  She checked his room and found him in the bed asleep, but his room was freezing.  She was about to have the house inspected for leaks in the insulation, until he told her he had left the window open.  This of course, warranted a good round of chastisement. 

Since then, he had changed his approach.  He simply stepped out, floated, and closed the window behind him.  He did this now, hovering next to the side of the house.  The usual feeling of exhilaration came over him.  He floated away, around the tree outside his window, over to the backyard.  He sensed something, or rather someone … someone he definitely recognized.  He smiled and gently floated to the ground.  Suddenly, the presence he felt appeared.  Where there was nothing, now stood the Sfresonal, Ean.

“Greetings, Champion.”
“Hello, Ean.  Been a while.”
“As I’ve told you—”
“I know.  Then the question becomes, why are you here?  Is something about to happen?”
Ean paused, examining Champion.  “You seem calm.  My presence in no way alarms you.  You’ve grown accustomed to … the situation.”
Champion smiled.  “I guess you could say that.  The things I’ve been doing the past few weeks … well, I’m not sure if anything will ever surprise me again.”
Ean laughed.  “Don’t talk too soon young Champion.  Just this planet Earth alone is incredibly fascinating.  There are things in this world, on it, off it, and in the next, that will most assuredly astound you.”
“I can fly.”
“Yes, and a lot more.”
“I don’t know how strong I am.”
“Potentially, your strength is without limit.  However, as with all things there are limits.”
“That doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
“Well sure it does.  It does to me.  It should to you, if not now, then in time.  I do recall a Champion with limitless strength.  He had an indomitable will, and this fueled his strength.”
“Another Champion?  You’ve said that before, that I’m just the latest in a line, that you possessed this power before me.”
“I did, and so did countless others before me.  Imagine if you will, a line of your mothers and fathers, progenitors extending back to the very beginning of this Universe, and a great many others.”
“I can’t quite get my head around what you’ve just said.  That’s an awful lot for a man to swallow.”
Ean smiled.  “Colloquialisms, how quaint.  I’ve found myself falling into your human idiosyncrasies.  I’m going to become one of you whether I like it or not.”
“Are we that bad?”
“Just look around you.”
Josh paused, considering it.  “Well, I was chosen, and I’m human.”
“Point taken.  And besides, your world isn’t the only one that needs you.”
“You keep saying things like that.  Why can’t you just talk to me straight?”
“And what would be the fun in that?”
Champion frowned.  “You appear whenever, you say whatever.  Is this how it’s going to always be?”
“Maybe, maybe not.  And oh, on that matter of you being a man?  Not quite, not yet.”
And with that, Ean slowly began to fade.
“I fail to see the point,” Champion whispered to himself.  “What good is he?”
He felt there was no reason to dwell on the Sfresonal’s words.  He had important work to do.  Thinking of self-assigned duty made him smile.  He was feeling more and more like a hero.  This was his city and he was tasked by fate with the job of protecting it.  He looked up into the night sky, looked at the stars, and reached for them. With only the slightest sound of wind, he shot into the sky.