Part 2 of the Young Guns saga. Thanks for reading!
Another fifteen minutes tempted Angel to no end. He could just reset the alarm, thus enjoying a morning of sleep, but he couldn’t afford another absence so close to graduation.
Yawning, the boy pulled himself up and onto his feet, away from the comfort of the mattress. He plopped down in the chair at his desk and picked up his pen, untying the leather-covered journal. Taking a moment, Angel let out of furious yawn that could be mistaken for a painful cry to anyone else.
“Good morning.” Angel turned sharply in his chair to survey the room. He turned to see a man sitting in a chair across the room. The chair wasn’t there before, nor was the man, so how did he miss both? White suit, white shoes, the man sat back in a brown rocking chair. His hands folding, he gave a warm smile as if they knew each other. But he was a stranger nonetheless, and Angel had to get out.
He rushed to the door, opening it to confusion. The door opened to his room with the same man rocking back and forth with the same smile. Angel shook his head; this couldn’t have happened the way he witnessed it, right? He stepped out and slammed the door.
His breathing hastened as his mind tried to sort through the impossible thing that just happened. Angel was startled by the man’s voice behind him, “What’s happening?”
“I’m going to tell you, but I’d like to make a deal with you.” The man’s auburn eyes added to his calm nature, “You calm down and take a seat, and I’ll tell you the truth as I know it.”
Looking back to the door, Angel thought about going through again, but it would probably bear the same fruit. His attention was called back to the seated man, “Do you like it? I learned to loop images and environments around the same time I learned to project myself into the mind of another.”
Hearing that added some clarity to what was happening, but if it was a dream, couldn’t he have just made up the person in his mind? And if that’s the case, couldn’t he just wake up?
“Under any other circumstances, yes you could.” The man said. Angel’s eyes widened, “Yes, I’m reading your thoughts. And there is a lot more that I need to tell you.”
As his lips moved, he gestured to the chair in front of Angel’s desk. The boy’s pace was slow, but he parked himself in the chair with a tension that he seldom felt. He opened his mouth, choose his words, but he couldn’t come up with much before nearly begging the man for answers, “Please.”
“Thank you.” The man folded his hands once again, “My name is Midnight and we are in your mind. I have to begin by apologizing for having dragged you here. I underestimated how long it would take you to absorb everything happening around you. I have been training my mind and body for years, but I hadn’t taken into account that you’ve only been dealing with this for a few hours.”
“With what?” Angel said.
“Your evolution.” Midnight widened his smile as he said that. He continued, “The human race has been changing over the last century, and many cannot understand why. One thing I understand is that the abilities we posses are a gift from nature. What you experienced earlier this evening was the manifestation of your ability.
“Even if I did believe you, why would I want your help? Why can’t I just go home? Where is my dad?” Angel leaned forward in the chair, gripping the arm rest, “First, I’m attacked by a walking tank, then this girl kidnaps me-“
Midnight raised a hand, which stopped Angel from ranting any further, “Crosshair was only trying to protect you. I asked her to get you out of the hospital for your own safety. After everything that’s happened, it seemed to be the best thing to do.”
“The man at the hospital is Fred Sheeler. He goes by the name Boulder and is nearly invulnerable. He was sent to kill you because of your ability. We are all unique in our abilities, but yours is- special. Your father knew about it and did everything he could to keep it hidden, but somehow, they found him, and they found you.”
Frustration built up, but Angel listened on as Midnight spoke of a familiar topic, “Your father- he asked me to watch over you.”
The words were heavy and the smile faded. Angel looked to the man, his frustration traded for hopelessness His father hadn’t come home that night, but it came with his job. Angel knew that his father worked late sometimes, so he went on to do his own thing. As the boy went to bed, he didn’t imagine anything was wrong, but he didn’t want to assume anything. Maybe he stayed at the office. Or maybe he came home late and left early. Maybe he came back and didn’t get out of bed- took a personal day? Angel just knew there was a reason for his father’s absence.
“Angel-” Midnight leaned forward, “They killed him.”
When Angel was thirteen years old, his father showed him how to make mashed potatoes. The boy was so excited to make his favorite dish that he told his dad he was ready to make it all by himself. First, he boiled the water with a tablespoon of salt. This added a tinge of flavor that could be absorbed by the potatoes. While the water boiled, he was very careful not to cut himself when skinning and cubing the potatoes. Angel was slow to place the cubes in the water, but he eventually got them all in. He was even careful in testing the softness of the cubes with a fork.
Angel didn’t like doing dishes. It was a stupid chore, so he didn’t do them the night before, especially not before he began making the mashed potatoes. There was just too much excitement! He took the big, white strainer from the cabinet and placed it on top of the sink full of dishes. Turning the stove off, he grabbed the oven mitts and ferried the pot of steaming water and potatoes. When he got to the sink, he took a deep breath and hoped the water would go away from him into the sink. And as he poured, that was the case until the white hot stab of pain ran from his feet up into his legs, then throughout his body.
He couldn’t believe it, but had just enough forethought to place the pot on the counter before collapsing to the floor in pain. Shouting and screaming, he looked at the soaking wet socks that cover his burned feet. Cradling his legs on the kitchen floor, Angel was in the worst pain of his life. In that moment, as his father scooped him up and rushed him to the ER, he thought he’d been hurt pretty badly. Washing the dishes or even taking them out of the sink would have prevented weeks of pain and a big scar on his right foot as a souvenir. That was within his control and he could have done something about that to avoid the greatest pain he ever felt.
While he could control that situation, Angel never had a chance here. And it was over something he couldn’t control, yet it was his fault. What the fuck was happening? He tried to get a grasp on the events of the last day, but sitting in his room across from a strange man was a distraction.
“I’m so sorry.” Midnight said, “Your father was one of my best friends.”
“Friend?” Angel snapped, “He never mentioned you or any of this!”
He darted out of the chair to the door, but he stopped. The door would only lead back into the same room, wouldn’t it? He needed to get out- to get away from Midnight and back to his life. He was somewhat content with the day-to-day, and now there are abilities and powers? It wasn’t even like a normal hero story where he had an idea of what was happening. Things just took place.
“I’m sorry for your loss, and I feel your pain.” He heard Midnight’s voice behind him, but didn’t want to face him. Something in the man’s voice told him more than words could. Midnight was sincere, and since all Angel wanted was an explanation, he should be grateful for that. He felt he should be grateful, but he wasn’t. If what happened earlier was real, that means that his dad may, indeed, be dead.
“I can’t go back can I?” Angel let a heavy sigh fall from his throat as he hung his head. He already knew the answer.
“No.” He heard the rocking chair creek as Midnight stood. Angel turned to the man and listened, “It’s too dangerous for you there. But if you stay with us, I can promise that I will help you through this. For now, you need your rest.”
Angel opened his eyes and sat up with a start. Could that have all been a dream? As scanned the darkness, all he could make out was the light coming from a cracked door across the room. He sat for a moment trying to scan the room, but he couldn’t see anything else. Angel pushed up on feet that were no longer bare. He reached down to feel boots, and then he felt his pants and shirt. Someone had dressed him while he was out, and left him a way out. He still felt a bit dizzy as he opened the door, but he wasn’t sick anymore.
Angel squinted at the light in the hall. Natural light poured through the dusty window panes. The hallway went in one of two directions with windows lining the wall opposite him. He turned to look back into the room he was in- it looked smaller from the outside. The twin bed he was on looked comfortable enough with the plain comforter and pillow. He looked to his right and saw a door toward the end of it. To his left stood an opening with stairs leadings down, which seemed more appealing. One step in that direction and he heard a loud crunch underneath his boot. Looking down, he realized that he’d stepped onto broken glass that had been scattered on the floor from one of the panes. It looked like the glass had been shattered as if something was thrown clean through it.
Young Guns: Apprentices Part 1
Blog entry posted by Barrenx2, Jul 22, 2012.
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