Level Up! Complicated Lives: Revamped!

And so, I’m back from the grave. Many have asked, “When are you gonna write something new?” “What are you working on?” “You still doing your blog?” “Spider-Maze? What kinda name is that?” Well, it’s quite elementary my dear interrogators, the answer is simply “I have no fucking clue.” And I say that with a nervous laugh because that’s how honest I am. Except…for the Spider-Maze question. I started calling myself that because like Spider-Man I live a complicated life. Even a friend told me just last night that I’ve a shitty year. I wanted to argue with him, but he wasn’t all that wrong. Not saying the entire year has been shitty. There have been some good moments, some bad, some Pokémon, and some have been groovy as smoothies! It’s just that there has been a multitude of shitty moments. Events actually. Not fun. But the title of my autobiography is The Shitty Times, The Good Times, The Pokétimes, and the Groovy Smoothies for good reason. Anyway, back to the whole “Spider-Maze” thing. Not only has my life felt like that of Peter Parker’s, but I have been reading so many Spider-Man comics these past few months that one day I just introduced myself to someone as their friendly neighborhood Spider-Maze. My mind works in clever ways, I know. So I just decided to keep it. I introduced myself as The Doctor once and the girl I was talking to believed me for about 5 seconds. Needless to say, I feel that my new self-proclaimed title will catch on. And what I also hope will catch on is my writing focus. I wanna write so many things this summer and don’t have much time to accomplish that. I first wanna start out with a short story, I’ve been working on for a couple months now. A story I have written before, but have revamped with all of the writing skills and elements I have learned since the first time I wrote it. To put into geek terms, I have leveled up and want to test out my new writing skills with something familiar. Welp, that’s the end of my monologue and, as always, stay groovy as smoothies, friends.

P.S. I wanna give a shout out and thank you to Sam Sanchez for consulting on this story and validating the legality of certain criminal actions of the characters in this piece.

 

Complicated Lives: Revamped

By

Eliasaph Maze Anderson

 

This is a story of a dumbass. His name is Ezra Best. He lives in a nice two-bedroom apartment in Seattle, Washington. It has the usual apartment furnishings of the 21st century. An island style, granite kitchen connected to a living room furnished with a black microfiber sofa, a dinner table for four, and a TV. All the walls are painted with this kind of tinted sky blue instead of the generic white. This complex is a bit on the fancy side. It’s pricey that’s for sure. “What veggies do you want for dinner, Sammy?” Ezra asked as he lowered the temperature of the rice on the stove. “We have broccoli, cream corn, zucchini, and…” he trailed off because when he turned around from the fridge he found Sam holding his cat right in front of his face.

“Pet Captain Meow Meow,” Sam said with a huge smile on his face. For the record, her name was not Captain Meow Meow. Sam was one of Ezra’s best friends and had been his roommate for almost a year now. He’s a 23-year-old, blonde dork. And…a dumbass. He looked like an intelligent guy, which he was, but he also looked like one of those guys that you can tell was fully capable of leading a four-hour conversation with you about Pokémon before needing a drink of water. Ezra stared at Sam and his cat with narrow eyes. He turned Sam around and inched him out of the kitchen. “But kitty,” said Sam in a disappointed tone.

“I’m cooking dinner, Sammy, I’m not petting your cat.” Ezra started the cream corn. As they waited for dinner, Sam refilled his cat’s food bowl and Ezra took a seat at the dinner table. “Have you seen Kumo? I haven’t seen him since I’ve been home.”

“Oh, I got someone to walk him because he seemed sad being inside the house while we were at work,” he said as he took a seat at the table. Sam had an uneasy smile. Like he did something he shouldn’t have.

“Who did you get to walk Kumo?”

“Just one of the neighbors,” Sam chuckled and backed up into his chair. Ever since Sam and Ezra were kids, Sam couldn’t keep up a lie or a secret for too long. Backing away with a chuckle was how people could tell if he did something stupid.

Ezra leaned towards him. “Sam. Which neighbor?” There was only one neighbor they had that Ezra had a problem with and for good reason. Sam turned his head to the side, but constantly looked back towards Ezra. “You didn’t.” Sam shrugged his shoulders. “You can’t be serious. You actually let her walk-”

“Hey guys,” pronounced a woman at the front door. She had glimmering black hair that went to her shoulders and flowed as smoothly as a river. She wore a red tank top featuring Snoopy and Woodstock, black skinny jeans with small tears, and a pair of red Toms. Her tattoos were intricate. One of a majestic bird could be seen on her right arm while a dream catcher rested on the underside of her left arm. She walked through the door with a Husky the size of a couch cushion; which was trying to shake off its leash. “Okay, Kumo, I’ll take it off just give me a minute.” As soon as she did, Kumo ran over to Ezra and leaped up to kiss his face. Francine moved into the two-bedroom apartment right across from the guys two months ago. She was still looking for a roommate but did pretty well on her own. Mostly because she always came over to the guys’ place and ate all of their food.

“Hey, Francine.” Sam and Ezra greeted simultaneously. Ezra’s grudged welcome balanced out Sam’s elated one.

“What did you do to my dog?” Ezra said.

“Why do you think I did something? Look. Kumo is perfectly fine and loved going on a walk with me. Isn’t that right, buddy?” She stroked the Husky’s back as she sat at the table.

“Because you have a habit of doing idiotic stuff and I’m making sure you didn’t make my dog an unwilling accomplice to one of your schemes.” Ezra’s voice rose.

“Are you still mad about last week?! I said I was sorry like twenty times!” Fran said.

“You think that makes up for it?! We’re just lucky Nick pulled us over instead of some other officer!” Ezra exclaimed.

“Exactly! It’s not like it was put on record!” She retorted in a louder voice.

“We still spent the night in jail!” He retaliated. Ezra usually kept a level head and remained calm, however, Francine was one of those few people who made him loose his cool.

“Okay guys. I think we should just calm down. It’s time to eat dinner anyway,” Sam pronounced from the kitchen. During the argument, he had backed away into the kitchen to check on the food. Francine and Ezra got up and helped Sam set the table. As they started eating, Sam asked, “How was your day, Ez?” He was trying to get rid of the residual tension in the room as if Francine and Ezra were partners bickering at a counseling session.

Ezra tried to focus on Sam and push his problem with Francine to the back of his mind. “It was pretty good. I repaired a few cars that didn’t have any major damages, so they were fairly easy to fix. It was just some engine problems or a leaking gas pipe. There was one car that had a busted heater hose, so that took longer took fix, but I had help. And there was this ninja motorcycle that had crappy suspensions, so that took a few hours to fix, but yea, my day went pretty well.” He proceeded to scarf down more food.

“What was wrong with the suspension?” Sam asked. He was very curious in Ezra’s work because he received his degree in computer science and didn’t know much about the mechanics of vehicles. He also enjoyed any distraction he could get from his own work. It took a second for Ez to finish swallowing his food, so he could give a reply.

“It was very loose and squeaked every time the weight on it shifted. Clearly the owner was dumb enough to buy it in such a dangerous state or the bike was wrecked by someone. I was never told how it happened, but I really didn’t care as long as I got it fixed.” Francine abruptly spoke out as Sam was about to say something,

“You have a motorcycle, don’t you?!” She seemed really excited even though she’s known about Ezra’s motorcycle for weeks.

“Yep. Ez got it from his girlfriend,” Sam explained. As soon as he said that, Ezra gave him a stern look.

“I thought you said you didn’t have a girlfriend?” Francine was very intrigued now. She, as well as Sam, loved meddling in Ezra’s love life, however, he always shrugged them off whenever they wanted to talk about it. He sat back in his seat and sighed.

“You know I don’t have a girlfriend. I got that bike from my ex as a birthday present last year.” He was annoyed now, but there was nothing much he could do about it. They were curious about his life. Especially Sam. To him, meddling with Ezra’s love life was not enough. However, Ezra was not very forthcoming about his past. He hated talking about it. There were many depressing memories that he would rather not even think about.

“Wow. You two must have ended it on a good note, huh? I wish one of my ex’s continued to send me gifts after we broke up. Why’d she break up with you anyway?” Ezra gave her a look that he gave many of his friends at one point in time. The “You’re an idiot look”. His eyes narrowed into a glare and he tilted his head slightly. Sam started to laugh when he saw Ezra give Francine that look.

“Why do you automatically assume she broke up with me? You know what? Don’t answer that. She just gave me the bike as a farewell present or something.” Francine was about to say something else, but Ezra spaced out and was engulfed by a particular memory.

The memory was a bit of a blur. Like a TV channel that fizzes out while you’re watching a show. Ezra was walking out of a house, colored with numerous shades of brown, to the adjacent garage. The sun was shining brilliantly as it scorched the dry air. He slowly walked past the gravel yard into the garage to find a black Dyna Glide with a golden tribal print. On the headlight was an envelope with Ezra’s name on it. The handwriting was so beautiful that it was clearly from a woman. He opened the envelope to find a letter. Ezra’s eyes scanned over the parchment, “I want you to have her as a good luck charm. I love this bike and I know it would be better if you kept her. I love you with all my heart, happy birthday.” At the bottom of the letter was written: Love you, Natalie Moon. Ezra stared at the bike for a few seconds and then suddenly turned around. At that moment, he could hear Francine’s voice.

“Ez. Yo, Ezra, are you still with us? Did you listen to a word I just said?” Francine kept calling him as he slowly came back to reality. Sam started to shake his arm.

“Yea I’m fine,” he said as he removed Sam’s arm. “I just spaced out for a moment.” He turned to Francine. “And no, I didn’t hear anything you just said.” He went back to eating his meal.

“I said that you shouldn’t worry about her. If she wasn’t into you that much, then she’s not worth your time. People come and go, it happens. You should go try looking for another girl. Who knows, you might find ‘the one’.” Francine’s voice lowered in decibels as she spoke. She knew firsthand what it was like having people you trust walk out on you. She realized how sad Ezra was over this and wanted to help him move on, but she knew he wasn’t close to ready to do that. Ezra remained silent.

Sam pitched in, “that’s a great idea. Ez you should go meet some girls, maybe get a few numbers.” Sam nudged his friend. Ezra laid back in his seat, looked at Sam, and reverted his eyes to Francine.

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ll have any luck finding ‘the one’ anytime in the near future.” Ezra said. Sam, excitedly, jumped into Ezra’s eyesight.

“Not if you have me as a wingman. I’ll help you find the right one.” Sam smiled in a way that seemed almost devious.

“Coming from the guy who spent last Saturday night cuddling his cat while watching ‘Frozen’. Again.” Ezra smirked.

“Umm, excuse me, but Butterscotch loves it when I hug her,” Sam said as he picked his cat off the floor, “and I recall you watching the movie, too.” Sam stroked Butterscotch’s fur with his cheek.

“I only watched it with you because it was the only way to get you to watch ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’. I wouldn’t willingly watch ‘Frozen’, ever, let alone the sing-a-long version. Listening to you try and harmonize with Idina Menzel is like hearing Kanye West speak. What comes out of your mouth is so sad, that I can’t help but laugh.” Francine was trying not to laugh herself.

“Ez, you’re just jealous that I’m a better singer than you. And your stupid ninja turtle movie wasn’t even that great,” Sam retaliated. Ezra became wide eyed and placed his hand on his chest like he was having a heart attack.

“First of all, the hell you are. And second, don’t dis one of my favorite 90’s movies, ya jerk.”

“Okay, Ez, I’ll let you indulge yourself in your delusions for now, but you’ll have to accept the truth someday.” Sam laughed as Ezra glared at him.

“Alright, guys, we’ve gotten too far off topic. Let’s go to a bar and pick up some girls. It will be fun.” Francine stood as if she was a superhero bettering the lives of two single men. She was so excited by her own idea.

“You say that like that’s an easy thing to do. Do you know us? That argument alone should tell you how easy it is for us to get a girl’s number.” Ezra found the idea of him and Sam getting lucky that night absurd.

“It’s okay, Ez, she’s new.” Sam assured him. Ezra nodded in agreement.

“C’mon. With me as your wingman, you’ll both be scoring. Just imagine all the women we can get if we work together.” Francine tilted her head and gazed at the ceiling.

“What the hell is she doing?” Ezra whispered to Sam. They both searched the ceiling. Francine slowly recomposed herself.

“Hello?” Francine shook her head slightly. “Haven’t you guys heard of having a daydream moment?” Fran crossed her arms. “I thought guys as weird as you two would do something wacky like that.”

The boys nodded their heads in understanding of their friend’s weird gesture. “We used to. When Arthur was still a relevant show on PBS.” Said Ezra.

“Fran, I’ve got a question. Didn’t you mean to say wing-woman instead of wingman?” Sam asked.

“Oh, good question, I was wondering that myself. Most women nowadays prefer being called wing-lady or something odd like that. I’m all for feminism, but don’t care for unnecessary political correctness.” Said Ezra. Francine sat back down at the table.

“The term is completely unnecessary. Women pretend to helpful when they really just wanna have fun sabotaging guys while getting their drinks get paid for.” The boys laughed ecstatically.

“Wow,” said Ezra. Their laughter lasted for a few moments until Sam had come to a realization.

“Fran, why do you want us to help you get girls, anyway?” Sam asked. “You do so well by yourself.”

“Yea, we see a new girl do the walk of shame out of your apartment every morning.” Ezra chimed in. “Sam and I even started rating which walkout was the best. Most of the women come out strutting down the hall like models on a runway or like they just finished a business deal.”

“Some of them even dressed the part,” Sam added. “However, some walk out all hung over and trip down the hall, it’s pretty funny.”

“Oh yea, remember the one from last Thursday?” Ezra chuckled.

“With the one high heel and the bride of Frankenstein afro?” Said Sam.

“Yep.” They were both trying to hold it in, but neither of them could contain their cries of amusement. “That’s the one!” Ezra had his arms stretched out and mimicked the walk of Frankenstein’s monster.

“I don’t see what’s so funny. The last woman I saw walk out of your place was, Butterscotch. And she walked right into my apartment.” Fran said over the boys’ laughter. She didn’t know why she was being so defensive. She couldn’t care less about those women, but she realized how much she needed them. Not them exactly, but what they provided.

“No need to get hostile, Fran, we’re just joking,” Ezra said.

“Yea, sorry, but it was just too funny.” Sam said as he chuckled.

“I know, I didn’t mean to act like a bitch,” said Francine.

“It’s ok, we’re used to it,” said Ezra. Sam didn’t want to but laughed at the remark.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Said Fran. She stared Ezra down.

“I’m pretty sure you know what it means.” Ezra said as he matched Francine’s stare.

“Alright, settle down,” Sam said as he rose from his seat. “Ezra was just joking. Right?”

“Uh huh.” Ezra replied without diverting his eyes from Francine’s glare.

“See? Let’s leave it at that,” Said Sam. He picked up the plates from the table and walked off into the kitchen. “I don’t know what’s been going on with you two lately, if you just haven’t been eating breakfast or something, but you should work it out.” Francine and Ezra lowered their eyes. The tension within them dissipated and they sat back down in their chairs. The only sounds left in the room were the running water in the kitchen, the clanging of dishes, and Kumo’s paws shuffling as he readjusted his napping position beside Ezra.

“How about a movie?” Sam suggested after a brief moment of silence.

“Sure. Let’s watch Star Wars,” Fran announced.

“Ok. What else should we watch?” said Sam.

“Its nine o’clock and you want to watch two movies? Don’t you have work in the morning?” Ezra said. He was glad Sam wanted to have a movie night. Sam’s always so committed to his work that he never has time for anything else. However, tonight, Sam was trying to do anything to avoid his work. Even though he loved his job the amount of assignments he had to complete stressed him out.

“I do, but I got a lot done today, so I can relax a bit.” Sam reassured his friend.

“Alright, if you guys want, we’ll watch episodes seven and eight.” Ezra knew if his friend was over worked, he wasn’t going to stop the guy from relaxing a little. Sam and Francine agreed. As Ezra looked for the movies, the other two took comfort on the couch.

“So, what did happen to you both last week that you have to do community service tomorrow?” Sam said. Francine and Ezra looked at each other and back to Sam.

“Nothing for you to worry about, it was dumb,” Francine said.

“Yeah, nothing too crazy,” added Ezra. Sam nodded slowly.

“Uh huh. And what happened has nothing to do with you two fighting all the time?” Sam said. Francine stroked Kumo’s fur while Ezra took the first movie out of its case. “As I recall, you two were arrested for running a red light?”

“Yep. I told you that when I walked through the door.” Ezra spoke with an exasperated tone, “While you called every place I hang out at, asking where I was…”

“…I was concerned…” Sam said as he broke eye contact. And then reconnecting eyes, he asked, “How’d you not see that the light was red? You’re a careful driver.”

Ezra inserted the movie into the playstation and stood up. “I was distracted.” He glanced at Francine. She glanced at Ezra and bit the corner of her lip as she returned her attention to Kumo licking her hand.”

“You get arrested for running a red light?” Sam continued, “A ticket sure, but arrested?”

“Racism?” Ezra shrugged.

“You said Nick pulled you over.”

“Yes. And Nick still has a job to do.” Ezra contemplated for a second before continuing, “It’s not like if one of our friends worked at Gamestop they would just gave me free games. Nick can’t just not give me ticket or arrest me if I break the law.”

Sam mulled over Ezra’s analogy. “Why didn’t you just tell him it was your birthday?” He smiled.

“How?” Ezra’s voice rose. He paused and let out a sigh. “How does that possibly change anything? ‘Oh, hey Nick. Today’s my birthday, so could you just, you know, not arrest me for being a criminal tonight? Thanks, man, I greatly appreciate it.’ You can’t just do that a drive off willy nilly.”

“Willy nilly?” Francine asked, reverting her attention back to the conversation.

Ezra pointed towards her, “don’t you even start.” Butterscotch purred at Ezra from beside his foot. Only adding to the boiling pot. Ezra quickly shifted his head to the floor, “Don’t you start either!”

“You gotta start thinking about these things, Ez, if you wanna stay out of jail. Play the system a little bit.” Sam said. He clicked a button the TV remote.

Ezra’s hands transitioned from holding his shaking head to opening up their palms to the ceiling. Like watching a flaming flower bloom. “What are you talking abou-” Ezra started to ask, but Sam shushed him.

“The movie’s starting.” Sam had lost interest in his conversation with Ezra. Ezra gave a soft rawr behind pursed lips. An imitation of a cat holding in a purr. Remember when I said only a few people made Ezra lose his temper?

*************

            Five minutes into Episode Eight of Star Wars, Sam fell asleep on Ezra’s shoulder. Kumo’s breathing could be heard as he slept on the floor in front of the couch. Francine reached over Sam to poke the top of Ezra’s head. He turned towards her and whispered, “What’s up?”

“Why don’t you want to tell Sam what happened?” Fran said. Ezra sighed.

“Sam loves his friendships more than anything else in the world. As you can tell, he’s a bit clingy.”

“You two do seem like a married couple,” Fran said.

“He has a big heart. A golden one. Anyway, I may not be fond of you, but he certainly is. If he found out about what happened, he’d be devastated. Probably wouldn’t want to be friends with you anymore.”

“I understand. Let’s not ruin what we’ve got goin’ here,” said Fran.

We don’t have anything,” Ezra replied.

“You’ll warm up to me,” Francine smiled. Ezra rolled his eyes.

“Once you start paying for groceries, sure. Or eat at your own place,” said Ezra. “Just don’t do anything to get us into more trouble, alright? Sam and I have been through too much already.”

“You’re not the only ones,” Francine mumbled. Her smile faded a bit.

**************

So, here’s what happened between Ezra and Francine. Ezra agreed to drive Francine to a friend’s house, so she could drop off a suitcase full of clothes. However, the night was not as simple as either of them had intended it to be.

*************

            “The light’s green,” Francine said. Ezra pressed on the gas. “Did you hear me?”

“Sorry, what did you say?” Ez took a quick glance towards the passenger seat.

“The light. Is green.” Ezra rolled his eyes at Francine’s comment.

“Very funny. I meant the other thing,” said Ezra.

“I said it’s okay to still be heartbroken after a year. You loved her, I get it. It takes time to acknowledge and accept that you won’t be getting back together. For some it’s a year, for others…maybe about a month.” Francine bit a corner of her lip. Her phone vibrated in the cupholder. She reached for it, reading the message.

“I never said I was heartbroken, I just – I don’t feel like dating right now,” Ezra replied. He took a right onto Queen Anne Avenue. “Do you mind skipping this song? I’m not really feelin’ “Hooked on a Feeling.” Fran continued staring at her cell.

“Feeling’s are your problem. You mull over them too much. Learn to enjoy life at face value.” Francine continued to text as she spoke. The car slowed to a stop at an intersection.

“Fran, could you skip- you’re not even paying attention.” Ezra narrowed his eyes at Francine. “And you wonder why I only talk to Sam about those feelings I apparently mull over too much.”

“You know, that special someone is out there for you, don’t stop searching.” Fran put her phone back into the cupholder and returned her focus to the streets of Seattle. With the all so rare Starbucks on her right and the Mezcaleria Oaxaca fading past Ezra’s window.

“Sure, if you believe in that sorta thing,” said Ezra. “Do I Wanna Know” by Arctic Monkeys began to play. Fran looked to Ezra with glossy eyes, but his focus was on the road.

“I do. And I bet you do too,” Fran said softly. Almost to herself.

The speakers sing, “If this feeling flows both ways?”

“Once upon a time, maybe,” Ezra shrugged.

“Baby we both know,” trails off in the background.

Francine slowly leaned over the console. “That the nights were mainly made…” She cupped his head in her hands. Their faces inched closer to one another. Eyes locked. They could feel each other’s lips separated by what seemed like a canyon when it was just by a hair. “Been wondering if your heart’s still open…” Francine glanced out the windshield. “The light’s red!” Ezra pulled away from Francine, eyes as wild as a child afraid of heights on a rollercoaster he swerved around a car crossing his lane. No other vehicles dared to step into Ezra’s path. He sped through the light. “I’m sorry to interrupt,” is sung through the silence. The song continues, “…I’m constantly on the cusp-”

“Holy shit! Why the fuck did you do that?! Are you trying to get us killed?!” Ezra combed his hands through his curly hair. “You know we could’ve died, right?!” Ezra turned to Francine for an answer.

“Fuck. I wasn’t expecting that.” Francine stared out onto the road for a moment before facing Ezra. “Well, it could’ve been worse.” She gave a weak smile. Suddenly, flashing red and blue lights appeared behind them. Ezra smacked his head against the top of the steering wheel.

“God dammit. I just can’t catch a break,” Ezra mumbled. He pulled over in front of The Thai Kitchen restaurant. Nick appeared at his window. Ezra rolled the window down.

“Hey, Nick. Sorry about the red light. I was distracted.” Ezra said.

“Hey, Ez.” Nick greeted. “Everyone alright?”

“Yeah,” Ezra started to speak, but Francine abruptly spoke out.

“More than fine, officer. We’re just enjoying our cruise.” Francine spoke quickly. Both guys looked at Francine bewildered.

“Anyway,” Ezra continued, “We’re ok, just rattled. I should’ve been paying attention. How much is the ticket going to cost me?”

“I’ll let it slide this time but be more careful, said Nick. “In a city like Seattle, many accidents end up with someone in a body bag.” Nick looked around the car. He saw the suit case in the back seat partly unzipped. “No Sam?” He asked as he squinted his eyes to the back of the car. Francine blinked from Nick to the back seat.

“Nah, he’s busy working,” Ezra replied. Nick noticed a suspicious plastic bag with a white substance peeking from the suitcase.

“Hey. I’m gonna need you both to step out of the car,” Nick said. He moved back from the door. Complying, Ezra and Francine stepped out into the breezy night air. “Could you take the suitcase out for me?”

“Yeah…sure.” Ezra said. He had no idea why Nick wanted to see the suitcase. Nick witnessed Francine’s worried face. Ezra grabbed the suitcase and noticed the same thing Nick had. He opened it up. His eyes slowly grew in circumference. He rose from the seat, glaring straight towards Francine. “What did you do?” Francine was about to speak but dropped her head instead. You could see her bite the corner of her lip before her hair veiled her face. The car cuts the silence wants again as it sings, “Do I wanna know?”

*************

            Ezra and Francine continued to watch Star Wars with the thought that that night would be the most of their worries. Unfortunately, that night would be the start of their complicated lives.

 

 

 

 

 

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Stay Tuned

So I know I haven’t written anything in a while and that is for good reason. Many good reasons actually. Within the past few months I’ve had to deal with seizures, surgery, adjusting to a new job, minor crises, and slap a slab of spoiled, stress inducing probably not kosher meat called school with it all and one would say that these past few months have been more chaotic than normal for me. For the record, that is precisely what I am saying. So, I’ve been MIA from more than just my blog. And unfortunately, I will be for a tad bit longer while I sort some things out and decide on which story I’d like to publish next. In the meantime, I have one very special birthday poem for my readers. Stay groovy, gang.

When You Wanna Write
By
Eliasaph Maze Anderson

When you wanna write, but you got nowhere to go
Nothing is fueling your flow
Got no motivation
What an abomination
You’re letting down your entire nation

Wait, that’s me
When you can’t write, you can’t see
And when I’m down I get myself high
My spirit rides the wind like a kaleidoscope kite
But I don’t need to smoke.

There are better ways to walk amongst the clouds without the dope
So, don’t assume I’m just another writer with a wonderland inside my mind
Because I am
But having an addiction to cope with the system isn’t necessary
I broke the system and had it cope around my true self, not the canary
Found the mute button on that chatty raven pulling my strings
In this realm I’m no prince, I’m king

That revolution was not televised
My demon’s still around so I don’t let people gaze into my eyes

My shadow’s as curious as I am
In the worst way
He opens the doors you keep chained up
Doors that open just a crack and send tremors through your pores

We’re on certain terms though
He will aid in my flow
As long as my dreams are a free zone
So sometimes I don’t sleep.
And I wanna write, but the stress of college and my reaper blood keeps eroding me
Trying to consume my existence like Venom and Carnage
I know I’m close to a level up, but I wanna eject this cartridge

It’s just so much

And I wanna write.
And soon I will.
I need more time to calm my soul from a lightning storm back to a static feel

 

 

 

 

The Amazing Spider-Maze Will Return

Madre

Happy Mother’s Day! Today is a day that I would like to express my appreciation to all the women in my life who have been mother figures to me and who I have had the pleasure of knowing. Most importantly, I’d like to express my appreciation to my mother. She has always been there for me and always will be. I love my mother and I may not always say so or show it, but I do. I am very lucky to have my mom around and there will never be a day that I don’t need or want her guidance.

Madre

            There lives a boy who travels a lot. Always on an adventure. He goes by many names, but the one that always resonates in his mind is the name, Little Red Boy. Only one person calls the boy by this name and that’s how it should be. His madre gave him that name even before he could remember. The little red boy loves his mother so much, there are no words to completely describe it. When the boy looks back on his life, he remembers the days when he would wake up in the morning for school and watch T.V. with his madre. She’d also prepare him breakfast whenever she could. If not a bowl of cereal or some scrambled eggs, then she would at least make him his favorite cup of tea or cup of hot chocolate in the winter.

The little red boy obtained his love for movies, musicals, and books from his madre. Even when she was utterly exhausted, she’d take the time to read him a story at bed time, or watch a movie on a late Saturday night. His madre would wait outside every morning to watch him get on the bus for school. Whenever he was sick, she did everything in her power to keep him from feeling the pain he suffered from. And when he had to spend hours in the hospital, she stayed with him to keep him comfortable and to teach him all he needed to know, so when the day came that he needed to do it alone, he wouldn’t be scared. The boy hated hospitals, but when his mother was by his bedside, he felt safe. He could rest in peace. The boy learned so much from his madre. He learned about life, about history, other cultures, authors, musicians, artists, other countries, religion, how to live, how to love, how to live the way that makes him happy, and so much more.

The little red boy’s mother is the most amazing woman he knows. She is strong in every sense of the word. A strong heart, mind, body, and will. The boy loved that his madre was as fierce as she was. Everyone knew not to mess with her. It made him happy because it meant he never had to worry about her. She is like Cleopatra. Queen of her kingdom. She rules it with an iron fist and a heart of gold. She takes care of all of her loved ones with no exceptions. No matter how much her family may piss her off, she will be there for them when they need her. She is like Mother Teresa in that way. She’ll even take in those who are not her family and treat them like so. No matter how little her and her family have to offer. The boy’s madre is like a star. Her beauty and brilliance is unmatched and unwavering. She has traveled great lengths and has been through so much in her life, however, she continues to get up every day and liver her life. Not only for her children, her husband, her family, but for herself. People may find her love strange because of how blunt and brutal she may seem, she is so out of love. She would not bother to be honest with those she did not love. The little red boy grew to adapt that same quality to his madre’s dismay. However, he loved that quality. While others will listen to her out of fear or the sense of necessity. He listens out of respect and wanting. And those who truly know her would do the same.

The little red boy has received so much from his madre. His love for music, books, movies, Pokémon, classics, culture, traveling, musicals, art, Disney, cooking and much more. He has received so much wisdom from her and always puts it to good use. There is no lesson she has taught him that he does not remember. Unlike other children, the boy’s mother did not give him everything and anything he wanted. And he did not care. He had her love and her company, and that’s all he needed. Even during his travels, that’s all he desires when he is reminded of her. And not a day goes by when he isn’t. The boy often times feels that he is not fit to be her son because of all the mistakes he makes and the life he tries to lead. He does his best despite his madre’s prestige and high expectations. She is a goddess among normal people. The boy even thought that she was a vampire because of her tendency to sleep all day and work all night. Either way, she was immortal. Still is.

The little red boy has become the man that he is today because of his madre. He lives the way he wants and the way he feels is right because his madre lets him. That’s the life she wanted for him, though it may make her mad or worried. Deep down she is proud of him and the boy knows that. When the boy finally returns home, he will make sure to watch at least one movie or T.V. show with his madre. Just like always.

 

 

Complicated Lives

Happy Saturday, everyone! I am proud to announce that I finally finished the first chapter in a new series I’ve been working on called Complicated Lives. Before I get to the story, I should give some background info. For those who have read my last post know what makes someone’s life complicated. It’s not when you have a bunch of crap going on in your life or when life isn’t going your way. A complicated life is when you deal with the hardships of your own life as well as help others live their lives. My parents do it, I do it, and during my travels, I have met numerous people who do or have done the same. You may think that having a complicated life is a fairly common thing, but then you’d be wrong. It’s quite the opposite, actually.

There’s a lesson that I learned from the hit T.V. show, Girl Meets World. It’s a great show, it’s on Netflix, you should watch it. They taught people the secret of life, which is that people change people. What does this mean? It means that your life is affected by the people you surround yourself with. Your knowledge and happiness comes from those people. Many people will tell you that’s not how life should be, that you should affect your own life and generate your own happiness, but the that’s the truth. Believe it or not there is a deeper meaning to that. A hidden secret to the secret of life that I also learned from Girl Meets World. That lesson is ‘what us does for them.’ “Us” are the ones who are blessed with a stable life. The people who can wake up from their warm beds in the morning and eat pancakes with their family. “Them” are the people who are not that fortunate. No, this is not entirely about money. Money only plays a small role in this lesson. I come from a family with little money. There was never a year that we did not struggle, but my parents did the best they could to shield me and my siblings from that fact. All we knew that our parents were struggling and we didn’t know the why until we grew older. Even though we struggled, we were still happy. Even now, my family struggles with money, but we are still able to find happiness in our lives. My family is part of the “us” because we are blessed and fortunate to have loving people in our lives and we help “them.” We have kindness that we share with others. That’s something many people take for granted.

I created this story for those who know both these secrets and live their lives by them whether they realize it or not. My story is about 3 best friends who struggle to live their complicate lives after college. I hope that this will be one of my greatest stories, so any comments I can get are greatly appreciated.

Complicated Lives

By

Eliasaph Anderson

Chapter 1

            This is a story of a dumbass. His name is Ezra Best. He lives in a nice two bedroom apartment in Seattle, Washington. It has the usual apartment furnishings of the 21st century. An island style, granite kitchen connected to a living room furnished with a black microfiber sofa, a dinner table for four, and a TV. All the walls are painted with this kind of tinted sky blue instead of the generic white. This complex is a bit on the fancy side. It’s pricey that’s for sure. “What veggies do you want for dinner, Sammy?” Ezra asked as he lowered the temperature of the rice on the stove. “We have broccoli, cream corn, zucchini, and…” he trailed off because when he turned around from the fridge he found Sam holding his stupid cat right in front of his face.

“Pet Captain Meow Meow,” he announced with a huge smile on his face. For the record, her name was not Captain Meow Meow. Sam was one of Ezra’s best friends and had been his roommate for almost a year now. He’s a 23 year old, blonde dork. And also…a dumbass. He looked like an intelligent man, which he was, but he also looked like one of those guys that you can tell was fully capable of leading a four hour conversation with you about Pokémon before needing a drink of water. Ezra stared at both of them with this questionable look. He turned Sam around and inched him out of the kitchen. “But kitty,” said Sam in a disappointed tone.

“I’m cooking dinner, Sammy, I’m not rubbing your cat.” Ezra said in a monotone voice while he started the cream corn. As they waited for dinner, Sam refilled his cat’s food bowl and Ezra took a seat at the dinner table. “Sam, have you seen Kumo? I haven’t seen him since I’ve been home.”

“Oh, I got someone to walk him because he seemed sad being inside the house while we were at work,” he said as he took a seat at the table. He had an uneasy smile like he did something he shouldn’t have.

“Who did you get to walk Kumo?”

“Just one of the neighbors,” Sam chuckled and backed up into his chair. Ever since Sam and Ezra were kids, he couldn’t keep up a lie or a secret for too long. Backing away with a chuckle was how people could tell if he did something stupid. Ezra leaned towards him.

“Sam. Which neighbor?” There was only one neighbor they had that Ezra had a problem with and for good reason. “Sam, you didn’t.” Sam shrugged his shoulders. “You can’t be serious. You actually let her walk-”

“Hey guys,” pronounced a woman’s voice. She had glimmering black hair that went to her shoulders and flowed as smoothly as a river. She wore a red tank top featuring Snoopy and Woodstock, black skinny jeans with small tears, and a pair of red Toms. Her tattoos were intricate. One of a majestic bird could be seen on her right arm with a date underneath while a dream catcher rested on the underside of her left arm. She walked through the door with a Husky the size of a couch cushion, which was trying to shake off its leash. “Okay, Kumo, I’ll take it off just give me a minute.” As soon as she did, Kumo ran down the hall and jumped onto Ezra’s lap. Francine moved into the two bedroom apartment right across from the guys two months ago. She was still looking for a roommate, but did pretty well on her own. Mostly because she always came over to the guys’ place and ate all of their food.

“Hey, Francine.” Sam and Ezra greeted simultaneously.

“What did you do to my dog?” Ezra accused.

“Why do you think I did something? Look. Kumo is perfectly fine and loved going on a walk with me. Isn’t that right, buddy?” She petted him as she sat at the table.

“Because you have a habit of doing stupid stuff and I’m making sure you didn’t do anything terrible with Kumo.”

“Are you still mad about last week? I said I was sorry like twenty times.”

“Well, it wasn’t enough. I won’t forgive you so quickly for something so stupid. You’re just lucky Nick pulled us over instead of some other officer and we got off with a warning.” Ezra exclaimed.

“Exactly. It’s not like it was put on record.” She retorted in a louder voice.

“We still spent the night in jail!” He retaliated, raising his voice slightly higher, but not fully yelling. Ezra usually kept a level head and remained calm, however, Francine was one of those few people who made him loose his cool.

“Okay guys. I think we should just calm down. It’s time to eat dinner anyway,” Sam pronounced from the kitchen. During the argument, he had backed away into the kitchen to check on the food. Francine and Ezra got up and helped Sam set the table so they could eat. As they started eating, Sam asked, “How was your day, Ez?” He was trying to get rid of the residual tension in the room like Francine and Ezra were partners bickering at a counseling session.

Ezra tried to focus on Sam and push his problem with Francine to the back of his mind. “It was pretty good. I repaired a few cars that didn’t have any major damages, so they were fairly easy to fix. It was just some engine problems or a leaking gas pipe. There was one car that had a busted heater hose, so that took longer took fix, but I had help. And there was this ninja motorcycle that had crappy suspensions, so that took a few hours to fix, but yea, my day went pretty well.” He proceeded to scarf down more food.

“What was wrong with the suspensions?” Sam asked. He was very curious in Ezra’s work because he received his degree in computer science and didn’t know much about the mechanics of vehicles. He also enjoyed any distraction he could get from his own work. It took a second for Ez to finish swallowing his food so he could give a reply.

“It was very loose and squeaked every time the weight on it shifted. Clearly the owner was dumb enough to buy it in such a dangerous state or the bike was wrecked by someone. I was never told how it happened, but I really didn’t care as long as I got it fixed.” Francine abruptly spoke out as Sam was about to say something,

“You have a motorcycle, don’t you?!” She seemed really excited even though she’s known about Ezra’s motorcycle for weeks.

“Yep. Ez got it from his girlfriend,” Sam explained. As soon as he said that, Ezra gave him a stern look.

“I thought you said you didn’t have a girlfriend?” Francine was very intrigued now. She, as well as Sam, loved meddling in Ezra’s love life, however, he always shrugged them off whenever they wanted to talk about it. He sat back in his seat and sighed.

“I don’t have a girlfriend. I got that bike from my ex as a birthday present last year.” He was definitely annoyed now, but there was nothing much he could do about it. They were curious about his life. Especially Sam. And it’s not like he had been very forthcoming about his past. He hated talking about it. There were many depressing memories that he would rather not even think about.

“Wow. You two must have ended it on a good note, huh? I wish one of my ex’s continued to send me gifts after we broke up. Why’d she break up with you anyway?” Ezra gave her a look that he gave many of his friends at one point in time. The “You’re an idiot look”. His eyes narrowed into a glare and he tilted his head slightly. Sam started to laugh when he saw Ezra give Francine that look.

“Why do you automatically assume she broke up with me? And no, we didn’t end it on a good note, but she just gave me the bike anyway. Like a farewell present or something.” Francine was about to say something else, but Ezra spaced out and was engulfed by a particular memory.

The flashback was a bit of a blur. Like a TV channel that fizzes out while you’re watching a show. Ezra was walking out of a house, which was covered with numerous shades of brown, to the adjacent garage. The sun was shining brilliantly as it scorched the dry air. He slowly walked past the gravel yard into the garage to find a black Dyna Glide with a golden tribal print. On the headlight was an envelope with Ezra’s name on it. The handwriting was so beautiful that it was clearly from a woman. He opened up the envelope to find a letter. Because the memory kept fizzing out, all that could be read was, “I want you to have her as a good luck charm. I love this bike and I know it would be better if you kept her and fixed her up more because I know that you have the talent to do so. I love you with all my heart, happy birthday.” At the bottom of the letter was written: Love you, Natalie Moon. Ezra stared at the bike for a few seconds and then suddenly turned around. At that moment, he could hear Francine’s voice.

“Ez. Yo, Ezra, are you still with us? Did you listen to a word I just said?” Francine kept calling him as he slowly came back to reality. Sam started to shake his arm.

“Yea I’m fine,” he said as he removed Sam’s arm. I just spaced out for a moment.” He turned to Francine. “And no, I didn’t hear anything you just said.” He went back to eating his meal.

“I said that you shouldn’t worry about her. If she wasn’t into you that much then she’s not worth your time. People come and go, it happens. You should go try looking for another girl. Who knows, you might find ‘the one’.” Francine was actually concerned now. She knew firsthand what it was like having people you trust walk out on you. She realized how sad Ezra was over this and wanted to help him move on, but he was not ready for it. He remained silent.

Sam pitched in, “that’s a great idea. Ez you should go meet some girls, maybe get a few numbers.” Ezra was unsurprised how delighted Sam was with this idea.

“Coming from the guy who spent last Saturday night cuddling his cat while watching ‘Frozen’. Again.” Ezra smirked.

“Umm, excuse me, but Butterscotch loves it when I hug her,” he said as he picked his cat off the floor, “and I recall you watching the movie, too.” Sam stroked Buttersnap’s fur.

“I only watched it with you because it was the only way to get you to watch ‘TMNT 2’. I wouldn’t willingly watch ‘Frozen’, ever, let alone the sing-a-long version. Listening to you try and harmonize with Idina Menzel is like hearing Kanye West speak. What comes out of your mouth is so sad, that you can’t help but laugh.” Francine was trying not to laugh herself.

“Ez, you’re just jealous that I’m a better singer than you. And your stupid ninja turtle movie wasn’t even that great,” Sam retaliated. Ezra became wide eyed and placed his hand on his chest like he was having a heart attack.

“First of all, the hell you are, and second, don’t dis Green Arrow’s first blockbuster movie. It was amazing and did way better than the first one.”

“Okay, Ez, I’ll let you indulge yourself in your delusions for now, but you’ll have to accept the truth someday.” Sam laughed as Ezra glared at him.

“Alright, guys, we’ve gotten too far off topic. Let’s go to a bar and pick up some girls. It will be fun.” Francine seemed so proud of herself. She was so excited by her own idea.

“You say that like that’s an easy thing to do. Do you know us? That argument alone should tell you how easily it is for us to get a girl’s number.” Ezra found the idea of him and Sam getting lucky that night absurd.

“It’s okay, Ez, she’s new.” Sam assured him. Ezra nodded in agreement.

“C’mon. With me as your wingman, you’ll both be scoring. Just imagine all the women we can get if we work together.” Francine stood up and gazed at the ceiling.

“What the hell is she doing?” Ezra whispered to Sam. They both searched the ceiling. Francine looked puzzled.

“I’m having a daydream moment. Do you guys not do that here?”

The boys nodded their heads in understanding of their friend’s weird gesture. “Oh we do, we just haven’t done it in a while. When’s the last time we did one of those, Sam?”

“I’m pretty sure it was last Christmas.”

“Ah, good times.” Ezra reminisced.

“Yea, that was an eventful Christmas. We should bring back daydream moments.”

“Great idea. Maybe next week.” Francine didn’t know what to say or do.

“Fran, I’ve got a question. Didn’t you mean to say wing-woman instead of wingman?” Sam asked.

“Oh, good question, I was wondering that myself. Most women nowadays prefer being called wing-lady or something odd like that.” Said Ezra. Francine sat back down at the table.

“That’s what feminists like to call themselves to show that they can help guys get dates, but really they just fuck shit up.” Francine’s explanation made the boys laugh ecstatically.

“Burn!” Ezra announced. All of their laughter lasted for a few moments until Sam had come to a realization.

“Fran, why do you want us to help you get girls, anyway?” Sam asked. “You do so well by yourself.”

“Yea, we see a new girl do the walk of shame out of your apartment every morning.” Ezra chimed in. “Sam and I even started rating which one was the best. Most of the women come out strutting down the hall like models on a runway or like they just finished a business deal.”

“Some of them even dressed the part,” Sam added. “However, some walk out all hung over and trip down the hall, it’s pretty funny.”

“Oh yea, remember the one from last Thursday?” Ezra chuckled.

“With the one high heel and the Mrs. Frankenstein afro?”

“Yep.” They were both trying to hold it in, but neither of them could contain there laughter. “That’s the one!” Ezra had his arms stretched out and mimicked the walk of Frankenstein’s monster.

“I don’t see what’s so funny. The last woman I saw walk out of your place was, Buttersnap. And she walked right into my apartment.” Fran said over the boys’ laughter. She didn’t know why she was being so defensive. She couldn’t care less about those women, but she realized how much she needed them. Not them exactly, but what they provided.

“No need to get hostile, Fran, we’re just joking,” Ezra said.

“Yea, sorry, but it was just too funny to pass up.” Sam said as he chuckled.

“I know, I didn’t mean to act like a bitch,” Francine apologized.

“It’s ok, we’re used to it.” Sam laughed at Ezra’s comment. Ezra looked at his watch and started cleaning up the table. “It’s getting pretty late and I don’t feel like going anywhere, so we’ll go out with you some other time, I promise.”

“You two aren’t ready, I understand. So, what do you guys want to do tonight?” Francine asked. They all looked at each other.

“How about a movie?” Sam suggested after a brief moment of silence.

“Sure. Let’s watch Star Wars,” Fran announced.

“Ok. What else should we watch?”

“Sam, its nine o’clock and you want to watch two movies? Don’t you have work to do tomorrow?” Ezra was very confused. He was glad Sam wanted to have a movie night, but Sam’s always so committed to his work that he never wants to make time for anything else. However, tonight, Sam was trying to do anything to avoid his work. He loved his job, however, the amount of assignments he had to complete stressed him out.

“I do, but I got a lot done today, so I can relax a bit.” Sam reassured his friend. He was lying and Ezra knew it.

“Alright, if you guys want, we’ll watch episodes seven and eight.” Ezra knew if his friend was over worked, he wasn’t going to stop the guy from relaxing a little. Sam and Francine agreed. As Ezra looked for the movies, the other two took comfort on the couch.

“…Ok, I just want to know? Do you guys think I’m a slut?” Asked Fran. She didn’t want to let things go. The guys looked at her. And at each other. And then looked away as they uttered words Fran couldn’t hear. “C’mon, you can tell me. I promise I won’t get mad,” she pleaded. Sam and Ezra looked at each other and back at her and shook their heads.

“Nope,” Sam said.

“No, just easy.” Ezra replied in a hushed voice.

“What did you say?” Fran said a bit too loudly than she intended.

“Hey. Don’t yell at me, I was just repeating what Sam said the other day.” Ezra had his hands raised in fear with one of them pointed towards Sam. Fran stared at Sam with narrowed eyes.

“Woah. Ez was the one who said you were a nympho,” Sam said. He started to laugh.

“You said what?!”

“That was not what I said. I said that you were probably a weirdo. Sam’s half deaf, he most likely misheard me. Like always.” Ezra tried really hard to defend himself, but no one was buying his crap. He looked at Kumo resting on the floor by the couch. “You believe me, buddy. Right?” Kumo lifted his head and stared at him for a second and laid he head back down. “Thanks, bro. You truly make me believe in the whole ‘man’s best friend’ saying,” Ezra said sarcastically. Kumo gave a soft bark as if to say, “You’re welcome.” “You suck.” Francine and Sam laughed.

“No, Ezra, you suck. And you’re a dumbass. Who argues with a dog?” Fran couldn’t stop laughing.

“Clearly, I do, so you both can just shut up.”

“You sounded like a five year old,” Sam said while Ezra took a seat on the couch.

“You’re a five year old,” Ez retaliated. He scowled and puffed out his cheeks like a toddler who had to share the toy he was playing with. The movie started to play.

“If you ask me, I think you’re both children,” Francine added.

“We didn’t ask,” the boys said simultaneously. They all laughed at the coincidence. They continued cracking jokes as they watched their movies. Neither of them wanted the night to end. They knew that once it did, they’d have to face reality. And reality sucked.

Volt and Ash Part 2

It’s been a while, but I’ve finally finished another story to share. Ha…llelujah. Go ahead, somebody from the crowd give me an “amen!” And don’t worry, it’s now culturally acceptable for white people to do it too. Mostly. It depends. Anyway, I’m not the religious sort so church is not my cup of tea, though, I do applaud those goodhearted human beings that do and will reward you with a break from whatever deity you wake up so early to pray to and a healthy dose of comic book fan fiction created by your friendly neighborhood writer. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

A New Dawn:

Volt and Ash

Part 2

Austin started to adjust to his situation the more he ate his burger. He spoke very little since the ride over to S.T.A.R. Labs. He ended up embarrassing himself when he bombarded Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow with questions. He asked them how they got their powers, how they operated missions, if they were going to the Watchtower, and if he was going to meet the Flash. Maze wasn’t able to stop him from ranting because Maze passed out hard after a few minutes on the jet. When he fell asleep, everyone got worried because his body started to absorb the electricity from the jet. Austin could have sworn that Batman was about to attack his friend, so he lightly blasted Maze with smoke until Maze woke up. Austin informed his friend of what happened and Maze apologized with a laugh.

From that point on, Austin spoke carefully and made sure not to do anything that might piss off his idols. Maze on the other hand wasn’t concerned in the slightest. If he was, he did a great job not showing it. Austin was also too tired to want to do anything but sleep. After having a recorded interrogation with Black Canary for an hour and waiting even longer in a cold cafeteria for the Justice League to decide what to do with him, sleep was all he could think about. He stared at his cell phone. Lifeless. Probably filled with messages from his girlfriend and his family.

Maze watched Austin as he chowed down his second burger. He loved In-N-Out burgers. So simple, yet so deliciously perfect. Unlike his situation. Attending college to get an engineering degree with a crap ton of debt and loans to pay for was complicated enough. Now he had to deal with the world of super heroes and villains. Even though he hated his situation and just wanted to go back to his apartment and sleep for a whole day, he also felt oddly excited. He had always dreamed of getting powers and being a hero. He finally had the power to make a difference in the world. To save lives. Unfortunately, becoming a hero was not as easy as he would have liked. After almost getting beaten up by Batman because he did something he wasn’t aware of or even control, going through an annoying interrogation that was recorded for some reason, and having to wait for what seemed like eternity in the coldest room ever with some of the young heroes from earlier guarding the exits.

Maze finished his fries and picked up Austin’s phone. He slowly pumped it with electricity until the battery on the screen turned green. He then proceeded to do the same to his own phone. “It’s four in the morning. Wake them up and let them know you’re safe before they report you missing.” Maze got up and stretched. He was preparing for any hero who finally decided to confiscate their cellphones.

“Thanks, bud.” Austin smiled as he tried calling Selene. “Nice to see that you’ve got your strength back. All you needed was a nap and some food, huh?”

“Well, that and sucking the power from a jet, causing it to almost crash, perked me up a bit, too. I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna play with my powers while we wait.” Maze started to lift a table with his electricity.

“Nah, I’m good, I’m too tired to do anything else today. Just don’t destroy anything, you’re in enough trouble already.”

“I unknowingly threaten to bring down one plane and everyone wants to throw a fit. I don’t think we can stress enough how new these abilities are.” He tried blasting the ground to hover in the air, but didn’t get enough height.

“Are you trying to fly?” Austin asked as he set down his phone. He couldn’t reach anyone.

“Yea, I’ve always wanted to fly. I just don’t know how to do it with these powers.”

“Let me try.” Austin stood up and gathered smoke into his arms. He blasted the floor and soared into the air. “Woah, this is fucking great!” Austin hovered across the cafeteria as Maze looked on in amazement. Austin lowered to the ground right in front of his pal and was filled with excitement. “That was insane! Did you see that?!” He made sporadic movements as if he was trying to pump out even more excitement.

“That was totally awesome. I’m disappointed that I can’t do it, but that was cool, either way.” Maze couldn’t help but laugh at his friend.

“I guess it’s just not one of your abilities, bud. You could do what Static Shock did and use a disc to fly around. Like a trash can lid.”

“Yea, but I don’t want to copy someone else. That’s not cool.”

“Yea I feel ya. What else do you want to try?”

“I thought you were tired?”

“I was, but I’m jonesing now.” At that moment, Black Canary walked into the room and the boys went silent.

“Nice to see that you’re making yourselves comfortable,” She said as she walked towards them. “I have some news for you guys.” Maze and Austin turned to each other and talked some things over before turning back to their jailer.

“No offense, Black Canary, but if the news isn’t about us getting a hot shower and some sleep, we’re not interested,” Maze declared.

“I understand. We will get you properly arranged soon, but first, we need to go over some important information that has to do with your new abilities.” The boys gave each other questionable glances and silently agreed on what to say next.

“Okay, we’ll listen, however, what did you mean when you said you’d get us ‘properly arranged’?” Austin asked. The boys had an inkling of what their host meant and hoped that wouldn’t be her answer.

“The League has decided to keep you boys here for a few days in order to run some tests. We think that the mist you two were effected by activated your meta-genes, causing you to develop super human traits. Unfortunately, we can’t be sure without running tests and then we can see how else the mist may have affected your body chemistry.”

“And then can we go home?” The duo asked simultaneously. They stared at each other in shock. Canary was also stunned. She recollected herself and sighed,

“I’m not sure. It depends on the results of your testing.” The duo knew they had no choice, so they agreed. However, they both knew there was more that Canary wasn’t telling them.

“We’ll do the tests as long as you are completely honest with us, we’re in our twenties. We can handle it.” Maze hated when people beat around the bush. He wanted people to just say what they wanted to say straight out. “And you can start by telling us how many days we’ll be here, exactly.”

Unlike Austin, Maze had trouble staying asleep in their not-so-comfy hospital beds. He despised hospitals. All his life he had to stay in one cold, sickly building after another. Now he wasn’t even in a hospital and still had to sleep in one of those uncomfortable beds. He would’ve complained about there being hospital beds in a lab facility if he hadn’t already done it days ago. Maze decided to talk a walk around S.T.A.R. Labs. Because his clothes were torn up too much to ever wear again, he had to settle for wearing clothes bought by Black Canary. At least she got the clothes he requested. A pair of blue jeans, a new black and blue jacket, even a new blue beanie. He thought the lightning bolt t-shirt was a little much, but he had no choice. It was better than wearing those stupid white jumpsuits with the yellow S.T.A.R. Labs logo on it.

Actually, the entire facility was white. The walls, the floors, the furniture. Like someone went out of their way to prove how uncreative they were. Austin told him that maybe the person who built the place was being creative by having everything in white, but Maze couldn’t accept that. That was pure bullshit. As pure as the whiteness of the halls. Whomever cleans this place should get a serious raise, Maze thought. He had reached the roof. The nicest part of the building, for sure. A wooden deck with yellow lawn chairs and a quaint yellow table to eat at. There was even a random white couch. This was the oddest area of the whole property. As if someone else found the original layout absurd and said, “screw this,” and placed this here.

It was nine in the morning and the sun was already blazing over San Francisco. Maze gazed at the colorful city landscape when he announced, “it’s useless sneaking up on me. I saw you before you came outside.” Maze didn’t bother looking back.

“So you improved your electroreception. Great job.” Canary took a seat at the table. She wasn’t dressed in uniform. Instead she wore yellow capris, a blue blouse, and heels. The only black item she wore were her sunglasses. The light of the sun reflected off her blonde hair into Maze’s eyes.

“I was tired of people getting the jump on me. I improved more than that, though. You’ll find my results from the last five days pretty shocking.” Maze smirked.

“It doesn’t seem like your jokes have improved,” Canary smiled back.

“Ouch. That was uncalled for.” Maze took a seat. “What’s with the normalcy? I didn’t think heroes got a day off.”

“We do sometimes. Being super all the time can be stressful, believe me.”

“There you are, bud. I thought you snuck off to the city aga- oh hey, Canary, I didn’t recognize you. You look good.” Austin stopped talking before he made things even more awkward. Maze’s head hang in disappointment. The two of them worked real hard to keep their ventures into the city under wraps, but they could say goodbye to that now.

“Nice to see you Austin. And don’t worry, I’ve known about your trips for a while.”

“You have? How?” Austin wasn’t the only one stunned. Maze couldn’t believe it either.

“Articles about a vigilante duo beating up robbers and stopping a gang war aren’t common in San Francisco.” Canary set a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle on the table. The headline read, “Hooded Metas Blowup Gang War.” Maze started laughing.

“Hell yea, man! We made the news!” Austin read through the article.

“What I want to know is why you had to blow up half a block of the Mission District and how you did it when there weren’t any explosives present.” Canary had the demeanor of a cop conducting an interrogation.

“Well, that’s kinda hard to explain,” Maze answered. “You see, we sorta, accidentally, combined our powers, causing a huge blast. It didn’t kill anyone, but it did destroy much of the street we were on and injured a bunch of gang members. Which also made them easier to capture, so that was a plus.”

“At least we weren’t on Mark Zuckerberg’s street or we would’ve destroyed his mansion.” Austin added. Maze glared at him.

“That’s not helpful, bro.” Canary just shook it off.

“Okay, clearly you both need more training, but I am here thank you nonetheless. You two single handedly crippled the power structure of three gangs and halted their underground drug trade.”

“Does that mean we don’t have to stay here another week and can finally go home?” Austin asked as his face lit up.

“Sorry, Austin, but no. Instead I’m here to give you the day off and taking you both on a field trip.” The guys looked at each other with uncertainty. “Oh, and while we’re in public, call me Dinah. Dinah Lance.”

Dinah drove the duo from the Financial District to the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins hotel in Nob Hill. It was a fairly large and elegant old bricked hotel. Top of the line. The duo followed Dinah to a room on the seventh floor. After a short pause in the hall, the trio were greeted by a man in business attire. A gray haired man wearing a gray suit greeted, “Hello, Dinah. I assume these are the boys you told me about.” He shook both of their hands as they walked in a rather spacious suite. A one bed living space with a living room set with a couch and two chairs all matching the tan and light brown color scheme. “It’s nice to finally meet you two, my name is Lucius Fox. And I believe you have already met my colleague.” He gestured to a blonde boy about the same age as Maze and Austin in a green hoodie with a single orange line across it. He pushed his glasses up his nose and said,

“I’m Richie Foley. You guys met me back in Phoenix when I was Gear.” He smiled at them. The boys had no words. What the hell is going on? Austin thought. This was not his idea of a day off. Finally, Maze replied,

“Is the secret identity rule not a strict nowadays?” Everyone besides Austin just laughed at the question. Austin tried to figure out why they were brought there.

“It’s nice to meet you both. I’m Austin Parslow and this is my friend, Maze.” They both waved at their hosts. “Could you tell us what we’re doing here?” Dinah stepped in.

“Lucius is CEO of Wayne Enterprises and supplies the League with much of our technology. Richie here, also known as Gear, has the power of super-intelligence and creates many gadgets to help with the hero business.” The duo nodded their heads. They still didn’t know what any of that meant.

“Okay…” said Austin. Canary picked up on their confusion.

“In other words, if you and Maze are going to continue playing hero with your powers, you might as well look the part and equipped for potential dangers.” Austin and Maze’s eyes widened.

“Does that mean?” Maze asked. They all approached a sheet at the back of the room.

“Fellas, I present to you your very own super hero costumes!” Richie and Lucius unveiled two full bodied manikins. One had a black suit paired with dark blue boots, a leather, hooded jacket, a blue eye mask, and blue, fingerless gloves. Two blue lightning streaks ran up each side of the torso of the tight, short sleeve suit and down the arms. The same design appeared on the jacket, also black with a blue hood. On the suit’s chest was a blue V-shaped lightning bolt in a static circle. The same insignia was found on the dark blue utility belt, except in black. The second manikin had a red and gray outfit. A red mask and fingerless gloves as well as a tight, short sleeve suit. The pattern on the torso were gray flames that turned red at the tip. The rest of it was red. A hooded vest had the same design, but the hood was also grey. The outfit was completed with dark gray paints, dark red boots, and chains wrapped around both arms. Austin and Maze were so shocked, they had to take it all in for a moment.

“Holy shit! Those are our suits!?” Austin didn’t take long enjoying his moment of silence.

“I can die happy right after I try that on,” Maze rejoiced. Lucius starting explaining the details of both suits.

“Like many of current heroes’ costumes, these costumes are made out of triple-weave Kevlar-lined material that can withstand standard gunfire and most sword strikes.”

“Did he just say ‘most’?” Maze interrupted.

“And ‘standard gunfire’,” Austin added. Mr. Fox continued.

“They are also lined with Nomex-reinforced fabric which makes them fire-resistant. You’re masks, vest, and jacket are made of the same material, but not as much Kevlar. And both pairs of boots are steel-toed. You will find several accessories attached. For Austin, we have two shatterproof polymer chain whips that can attach to your person as you see fit. And for Maze, we have a utility belt with a few gadgets made by Richie to accompany your unique abilities.”

“This is so awesome. Thank you all so much.” Maze and Austin’s wildest dream was finally coming true.

“What’s with the static V on Maze’s suit?” Austin asked.

“That is his symbol. It stands for Volt. It’s your hero persona. And yours is Ash. I came up with them myself.” Richie smiled, eagerly waiting for a response on the names.

“Those are cool, but a bit too simple,” Maze replied. “If you’d give us a moment.” Austin and Maze turned around and started whispering ideas. Their expression changed from delight to disappointment to confusion and disgust over the span of two minutes. They finally turned back to the others with pride.

“We’ve decided,” Austin proclaimed, “we will be known as Volttech and Steampunk.”

End of Part 2

 

Hooked On Comics

This is a great day for comic book fans. My friend Austin is a huge DC Comics fan and he inspired me to write a DC fan fiction story. I never realized how hard comic fan fiction was until I tried writing this story, however, after countless hours (actually, I can count them, it took 3 days) working on this, I think I found an almost perfect balance of comic and novel. My story also takes place in the TV show, Young Justice, universe a few years after season 2. If you haven’t watched the show on Netflix yet and then start studying. If you’re unfamiliar with the super heroes then here you go:

 

 

A New Dawn:

Volt and Ash

            As the fans flooded out of the concert arena towards their cars to either go home or find a party to attend to drink more than they should, one group of college kids had other plans. “Alright, let’s get this show on the road,” rallied Austin. He’s one of those hipsters you wouldn’t know was a hipster until you listened to his Spotify playlist. He sported a red, star wars shirt with black shorts and a pair of red Chuck CONS. His friend in the black and blue sweatshirt, beanie, jeans and grey skater shoes looked more like a hipster. Which he was.

“Can we go get some food before we leave? Let’s go downtown and relax a bit.” Maze had never been to Phoenix before, so he wasn’t eager to leave without exploring a bit.

“Yea, I want food,” Bre chimed in. Every group has to have some feminine influence and she wasn’t quite it. She had the looks of an innocent, Asian woman, but was more of a guy than actual guys some times.

“It’s decided, time to get dinner,” Selene concluded. This strong willed Hispanic on the other hand was definitely a woman to be reckoned with. Bre and Maze cheered as the gang drove downtown.

Downtown Phoenix was hot. Unlike most places in Arizona, Phoenix had many tall buildings, making it much warmer than it should be. The area was full of college kids, drunks, and drunk college kids. Maze noticed one suspicious duo in black hoodies, but took it as a common thing. He was too hungry to care. Austin was watching news on the Justice League’s heroics on the pizzeria’s T.V. He was a total fanboy, especially when it came to the Flash. He idealized all speedsters, really. As the night continued with laughs and mouth stuffing, a commotion erupted across the street that gained the gang’s attention. “Hey, asshole, I’m talking to you!” Some frat guy was yelling at one of the black hoods from earlier. “The drugs you sold me, killed my buddy!” He grabbed one of them by the arm and ripped off their hood. The dealer turned out to be a girl. Her black hair flowed about her face as elegantly as a model. She brushed off the angered frat guy and continued to walk away. The other hood, however, confronted the guy. After he threw off the jacket, he punched the loud mouth so hard that he flew several feet through the crowd. The buffed up black man grew even bigger as people started to run in every and all directions.

The gang, like everyone else, realized they were near a Meta and decided to leave before the situation got worse. Suddenly a whistle was heard in the air and a bunch of goons in red and black gear carrying sonic blasters came out of alleys and manholes. “What the hell is happening,” yelled Selene. She was frantically running past people and masked weirdos while holding on to Austin’s hand.

“We should head back to the car,” Bre announced. Maze and the others were headed to the parking garage down the street when a group of masks surrounded them.

“Well, this is not good,” Maze said, “I’m pretty sure we didn’t pay for our pizzas. We’re gonna die because we dine and dashed.” He chuckled at his own joke. Bre looked at him like he was crazy.

“Really? Really, Maze?” The others had no response because they were too frightened by their situation. The masks were about to shoot when some of them levitated and were flown against a nearby wall while others were hit with electricity or beat up by a guy in jeans and a black superman t-shirt.

“You all need to get out of here now!” Superboy ordered. They nodded their heads and resumed their escape from the now increased chaos. Maze looked back at the destruction and saw Static Shock, Miss Martian, and Gear flying around while Nightwing, Blue Beetle, and Kid Flash were battling it out on the ground. Maze was so interested in what was happening that he ended up tripping over rubble from a damaged building.

“C’mon, bud, we need to get out of here pronto,” Austin said as he helped Maze up. Maze saw the drug dealer girl from earlier running on the other side of the street. She stared at him like he was the strangest thing she’s seen all day. She disappeared down an alley right before a huge explosion shook the ground. Austin and Maze watched the ground crumble before them. They tried to catch up to Bre and Selene, but the ground collapsed beneath them before they could and they both fell into the abyss.

“Oh man, I will never ask to explore this city ever again,” Maze moaned. He woke up to a nauseating stench and aching pains all over his body.

“Where are we and where are my glasses?” Austin asked disoriented. He stumbled over rubble and sewer water until he hit a wall. Maze found his glasses in the river of sludge and wiped it clean before handing it to Austin. With his vision clearer, Austin assessed the situation quite nicely. “Fuck.” He looked to the hole they fell down from and said, “Guess we aren’t going back through there.”

“Nope, we definitely are not. We should go down the tunnel until we find another manhole to climb out of,” Maze proclaimed as he shook the sewer water off of his jacket. Austin swiped pebbles out of his dirty blonde buzz cut when his phone rang.

“Hey, Selene,” he answered. “Yea, we’re both fine. We’re about to find another manhole to climb out of. No, I don’t see any.” Maze just leaned against a grey, bricked wall while he waited for Austin to finish. He checked his phone and found it dead. “Yea, babe, we’ll meet you at the parking garage. Fifth floor, got it. Ok see ya later. Love-” the phone ended the call and turned off. He looked at Maze who was eagerly waiting for a response. “We’re going to meet them at the parking garage.” Maze just nodded. “I hope they’ll get there safely.”

“One of them is a short Asian, lesbian and the other is a Mexican with mace around her neck. I think they’re better off than us,” Maze reassured him.

“Help! Help us!” A voice cried out from down the tunnel. Austin and Maze ran toward the screams. The duo came across a woman trying to lift a huge boulder. She saw the duo approach her and pleaded, “Please, please help me get my husband out from underneath this rock!”

“Of course we’ll help you ma’am,” Austin pronounced without a moment’s hesitation. Maze joined him in trying to lift the stone off of the man’s legs to no avail. They could lift it up, but not enough to get the rock off completely.

“You all need some help?” A twenty-something guy came out of the shadows offering to lend a hand. He had long black hair tied up in a knot and was wearing a black bandana. The effort of the three boys was just enough for the woman to pull her husband out from danger.

“Thank you so much, I am in your debt,” the husband moaned.

“Yes, thank you all for your help,” the wife added.

“No worries, ma’am, it was the least we could do,” Austin smiled.

“Yea, we were just doing what was right,” Maze chimed in. He and Austin continued to head through the sewers to what they hoped was the direction of the parking garage to meet up with the girls while the married couple went a different way. “Hey, where’d the Native American kid go?” Austin shrugged. At some point in that encounter, the stranger had disappeared. Maze was hoping he was alright, but soon had more to worry about.

“It seems I have two new guinea pigs for the boss to play with.” A man dressed in baggy clothes approached from the direction the duo just left. He looked like he just finished taking a nap in a back alley. Austin and Maze looked at each other and started running. The mystery man’s arm drooped to the ground and turned green. He then threw it down the tunnel grabbing Maze’s back.

“What the heck is this?!” Maze freaked. He was being pulled back toward the slime man, who was all too happy with his catch of the day.

“Look at this little piggy. You’ll do well in my master’s experiments,” slimy had the breath of a stray dog.

“Hey, I don’t know what you’ve heard, but I am not free. I need cash up front,” Maze retaliated.

“Don’t worry, bud, I got you,” Austin announced as he grabbed a huge rock and threw it at the assailant’s face. He screamed out, putting his face in his hands. Maze caught up with Austin and they continued running. Austin was clotheslined by the black bouncer from earlier. Maze tried to pick him up, but he was out cold.

“Great,” Maze announced, “Like Mr. Slime Man wasn’t enough, I have to deal with the black Mr. Clean.” He was then tagged with another slime arm and was slammed into the ceiling.

“How do you like that, punk?” The baggy man slammed Maze into the ground and was going to do it again until his partner stopped him.

“Sludge, calm down, they’re still of use to us.”

“Brick, do you always have to ruin my fun?”

“Boss’s orders, you know how he gets when we damage his goods.” Brick picked up Austin, who was still passed out, and Maze and carried them down a secret tunnel entrance behind a fake wall.

The metas traveled down into a room in the tunnels with cages full of handcuffed civilians. The kids were about to be put into a cage when Brick screamed out and let go of the two.

“We’re not late to the party, are we?” Asked Static Shock. He, Gear, and the other heroes from earlier were blocking the entrance to the room. Maze and Austin stumbled over to corner of the room with a few extinguished campfires that the bad guys used when watching over the prisoners.

“Team, free the civilians!” Nightwing was barking orders while fighting off some of the masked men from earlier. Sludge, rushed to a large canister near one of the cages and released a green gas that spread throughout the entire tunnel system. Everyone started to get weak except for the masked guys and Brick and Sludge.

“What is this stuff?” Superboy asked.

“I think it’s some kind of neurotoxin designed to disable our powers,” Gear explained. The heroes tried to continue the fight, but were losing fast. Static tried to blast Brick by absorbing electricity, but the giant man grabbed him and threw him across the room before he could finish.

“Watch out!” Maze shouted as he pushed Austin away from him before Static collided with him. The collision caused Static to discharge the electricity he had been building up and electrocuted himself and Maze. Austin, on the other hand, fell into one of the fire pits and became covered in hot ash. He yelled at the pain, but soon realized that it wore off. He couldn’t feel the soot burning his skin anymore. He figured it was because he was too tired and turned his attention to Maze.

“Hey, bud,” he forced himself to speak, “are you…alright?” Austin’s eyes felt as heavy as elephants, however, he would not let himself pass out without confirmation that his friend was still alive. “Maze…stay with…me.” The gas got to him and knocked him out. One by one the young heroes fell and were surrounded by the metas.

Maze, Austin, and all the heroes were locked up in the cages with the thirty or so civilians. Maze woke up for a short period to listen to his captors talk about their plans for them. “The boss will be here in a few hours to retrieve the test subjects,” announced the bouncer. Him, Eddie, and another man Maze had never seen before were standing at the entrance. He tried to make out what Sludge was saying, but he dozed off again. The only thing he heard was slimy mention “The Chosen.”

As Austin slept, his body started to burn. Smoke was secreting from his body into the air. His hands burnt his cuffs off and started to burn Maze’s hands. In retaliation, Maze’s body sparked with blue electricity. Being shocked with increasing voltages and slowly being cooked caused them both to snap into consciousness. “Hey, why’d you shock me, man?” Austin looked at Maze with disbelief for Maze was now surrounded by electricity. “What happened to you, bud?”

“What are you talking about? What is going on with you?” Maze stared as Austin’s body was shrouded in smoke and embers.  They looked at each other and at themselves and back at each other to only respond with, “whoa.” Austin responded with an elongated,

“Shit. What happened to us?” Austin tossed a ball made of smoke back and forth in his hands. Maze found that they weren’t the only two in the cage. Static Shock, Gear, and Nightwing were also unconscious, except they had strange black collars around their necks. Maze surveyed the room and found the rest of the heroes in other cages with the same collars. It wasn’t until Austin waved for his hand for his friend’s attention that he realized that Austin was the only one not wearing cuffs.

“How’d you get your cuffs off?” Austin just shook his head and said,

“I don’t know.” They found his melted cuffs on the ground, which gave Maze an idea.

“We gotta get free, so we can free the heroes and rescue the civilians,” Maze explained, but Austin was too busy awing at the fact that he was sitting right next to his childhood heroes. Austin always dreamed of meeting the Justice League and their sidekicks. He owned so many comics and watched every news report on their actions. The fact that he didn’t pass out from excitement at that time was amazing. “Hey, focus. We need to get out of here before those metas comeback.” Austin looked back at his friend and replied,

“You do know that we are metas now, too, right?” Maze looked at him like he just asked a stupid question.

“No, that was not to my knowledge,” Maze said sarcastically. “Will you please melt these cuffs off of me?”

“Oh yea, right, sorry,” Austin just chuckled at the remark. “So what’s your plan, bud?”

“My plan is to free Nightwing and the rest and let them come up with a plan to get everyone out.” Maze massaged his wrists and observed the collar on Static’s neck.

“What? That’s all you have?” Austin couldn’t help but laugh.

“Like you got something better.” Maze gave the collar a jolt and nothing happened. He tried again with more power, popping it right off. “Groovy smoothies. While I do this, you melt the lock on the cage.”

“Sure thing.” Austin melted it with ease. Maze tried to wake up Nightwing after he got the collars off while Austin went to the other cages to free everyone else. He had to carefully melt the collars off of the other heroes.

“Who are you and what’s going on?” Nightwing didn’t respond well to Maze’s wake up call. Austin was glad he wasn’t taking the heat and continued the mission. “You have five seconds to answer my questions before I force you to.”

“Well, my friend and I were running away from the bad guys when we fell into the sewers, got captured by the bad guys, you guys tried to save us, green mist went everywhere, made everyone go to sleep, woke up in cages, Austin and I, Austin’s over there,” Maze pointed to one of the cages behind Nightwing and Austin waved at them, “we found out we suddenly had powers, now we’re trying to save everyone before the bad guys come back, and that was more than five seconds.” Nightwing observed the room while taking in Maze’s report. He wasn’t sure who the kids were, but he knew that his first priority was to rescue the civilians.

“Ok, Maze, right? You and your friend are going to help us get all these people to the surface and then we’ll talk more about who you two are.” Nightwing observed the hallway and addressed his comrades. “All right team. We need to find a way out of here and get these people to safety. Kid Flash, run reconnaissance around the area and find a way out. Superboy, use you’re heat vision and tell me where our captors went. Miss Martian, assess the situation on the surface.” Austin and Maze stood and watched as Kid Flash disappeared for less than three seconds and returned with knowledge of a tunnel that lead straight to the surface. Superboy stared at the walls and reported that most of the goons were in one giant room next door. Nightwing thanked Miss Martian even though she never came back and told everyone that backup had arrived. After a moment, Nightwing motioned his head toward the two new metas and the other heroes gave them a once over as if they were two new kids who had joined their class. “Ok team, you know what to do, let’s get out of here.”

Austin and Maze walked near the back of the crowd of frightened citizens. “Was it just me or were those guys communicating silently?” Maze whispered to Austin while looking around at the superheroes who kept glancing at them.

Austin whispered back, “Martians have the ability to psychically link people’s minds in order to hear each other’s thoughts. What do you think they’re gonna do to us after we escape?”

“I have no idea, but I don’t want to stick around to find out. We should just sneak away and find Bre and Selene.”

“Works for me, I’d rather not be interrogated for something we don’t know anything about.” Austin took his phone out of his pocket and found it dead still. He hasn’t heard from Selene in hours and was getting worried.

“You mean how we got these powers, right?” Maze made his fingers spark. “I think it had something to do with that green mist, but I’m not sure what it did to us, specifically.” Maze searched and didn’t see Nightwing, he guessed that he was doing some other mission. The duo were too wrapped up in their own heads to realize that they were traveling through a tunnel with a slow incline. Maze saw a glimpse of movement in the shadows, but didn’t know where it came from. He closed his eyes to try and remember if he saw one of the bad guys from earlier, but what he found was not what he expected. Instead of seeing nothing while his eyes were closed, he could see electric waves coming off everyone around him that resembled sparky silhouettes. There was one figure he saw, that he couldn’t see with his eyes open. He whispered to Austin, “Could you conjure up one of those smoke balls for me?”

“Yea, why?” He formed a small smoke ball in his hands so none of the civilians would see it.

“There’s someone following us, so when I say so, throw that thing in the direction I point to, alright?” His friend nodded in agreement. When the group reached the surface, they found themselves in the middle of an abandoned warehouse. All the civilians walked out onto the downtown area of the city that wasn’t horribly destroyed. As soon as they reached the top, Maze spotted the invisible figure, with his electric waves, about to fire a gun at Gear. “Do it now!” He pointed at the figure and Austin hit him right in the face with smoke. The figure became visible and had gained the attention of all the heroes in the warehouse.

“I got him,” Blue Beetle pronounced as he bound the Meta dressed in all black to the ground with what looked like a large, blue staple. At that moment, screams were heard on the street. The group found a swarm of masked goons terrorizing the area once again and the duo were wrapped up in the heat of a massive showdown.

“We should help them, Maze?” Austin knew that the plan was to run, but had a strong urge to do the right thing. Maze shrugged and said,

“I guess we fight.” He started blasting mask after mask with electricity. Austin blinded numerous guys so that they wouldn’t shoot them both. It worked for a while, however, there were too many masks and the duo kept getting knock down by sonic blasts.

“There’s way too many of these guys!” Austin grabbed a bike chain and started using it as a fiery whip. He got so annoyed and angry that smoke and embers engulfed his body. He was fighting from so many directions that he started turning into smoke and popping up at various places around the battlefield. Maze looked in astonishment and took action.

“Ok then, it’s my turn.” He put his hood on and exploded with electricity. He blasted the sonic guns and made them explode in the bad guys’ faces. He was full of so much electricity, he zipped around like he was on a sugar high. After two minutes of non-stop fighting, the two showed signs of exhaustion. A string of goo would have hit Maze in the back had he not had his eyes closed at the time in order to predict oncoming attacks and jumped out of the way.

“I see my favorite guinea pigs have been affected by our drug. I guess the Meta gas was more effective than we had originally thought,” said Sludge as he walked down the wall of a nearby building.

“Yea and now that we have these abilities, we’re gonna kick your ass for all the crap you guys put us through.” Maze’s hands were wrapped in electricity ready to be fired.

“We can take him no problem,” Austin added as he swung his whip in circles. Maze shot several blasts at the slime man, but he kept stretching his body to dodge the attacks. Austin spread smoke all around him and Maze. Sludge stretched his gooey arms into the smoke cloud, hitting nothing. He got frustrated and jumped in only to find no one there. He was confined by a smoking chain from behind and couldn’t get free. “Now, Maze,” Austin ordered. Maze came out of the smoke and electrified the chain around Sludge. He then lifted the human sack of goo up and slammed him to the ground.

“You’ll regret this you freaks!” Sludge tried to slip out of the chain, but it was no use.

“He’s calling us freaks? Has he looked in a mirror, lately?” Maze then looked at his and Austin’s own clothes, which were torn and covered in stains from the dirt and sewer water, and decided it was still better than the walking booger’s look.

“I have no idea, let’s get going.” They decided they did enough and walked down a dark alleyway. “That was totally badass, bud. How’d you magnetize that guy?” Even though he was tired, Austin was still excited.

“I don’t know, I just thought about it and it happened. How’d you smoke dash before? That was awesome.” The only reason Maze didn’t pass out from exhaustion was because he still had a tiny bit of electricity fueling him.

“I don’t know, I was just trying to not get shot again. We should try calling Selene and find out where she and Bre went. Could you charge up my phone?” Maze stared at him dumbfounded.

“Did you just ask me to charge your phone? Now of all times?” Austin just shrugged as if he knew it was a longshot. “If I had the juice, sure, but I’m out. I probably would’ve had the energy if I wasn’t an asthmatic who just ran for his life for the past few hours, fell into the sewers, was man handled by a creepy conglomeration of goo, and just finished going super nova on a bunch of bad guys.”

Austin laughed and said, “Yea, you’ve got a point. We’ll figure out something when we get to the car, finally.”

The duo ran into a surprise when they reached the parking garage. “Dude, where’s your car?” Maze glared at Austin.

“I don’t know, did someone steal my car?” Austin started to freak out. “Not good, Maze, not good. If the car was stolen then where’d Selene and Bre go? We can’t contact them, we can’t get home without my car, we’re probably gonna be arrested by the Justice League for being persons of interest, and why aren’t you panicking with me?!”

Maze said nonchalantly, “Because you already took that role.”

“What?”

“You just claimed that role, so now I have to be the calm one, if we’re both panicking then we’ll be here forever, now I have to be the calm one to calm you down so we can figure out what to do next,” Maze said rapidly as he was panicking a little. He took a deep breathe. “Where are your car keys, maybe we’re on the wrong floor?” Austin checked his pockets and had an epiphany. Maze didn’t like what that meant. “What? What did you do?”

“I just remembered that Selene has my keys.” Maze glared at him again.

“Why the hell does Selene have your car keys?”

“Because she was going to drive back home.”

“So she and Bre have your car.”

“Yep. And we’re stuck here.”

“This day sucks.”

“Now what?” They both looked at the space where Austin’s car should’ve been.

“I have no idea.”

“Mind if we offer a suggestion?” The duo slowly turned around to find Superman, other members of the Justice League, and the younger heroes surrounding the garage floor. Austin and Maze raised their hands above their heads in unison.

“Nope. I think if you just point us to the nearest bus stop, we’ll be just fine.” Maze was speaking nervously while Austin was too shocked to contribute.

“This kid has jokes,” Green Arrow chuckled.

“We’re going to need you two to come with us for some questioning,” Superman interjected with sincerity.

“Didn’t you guys get our early Christmas present? The family sized Jell-O? Doesn’t he count as a get out of jail free card or something?”

“Sorry, son, that’s not how that works. Now I insist that you come along before we take you in by force.” Superman kept inching his way toward the duo.

“Ok then, we’ll go quietly. Can I ask just one question?” Maze desperately needed this question answered.

“Sure.”

Maze cleared his throat and asked, “Will there be food?”

End of Part 1

 

Of Monsters and Men

If you like a good horror story then this next story might help with your weird interests. Let these interesting beasts broaden your knowledge on demonic lore.

Unleashed

My eyes started to adjust to the scenery and then the next punch came. Smacked my right cheek. I guess he had his fun because my vision finally adjusted. Wasn’t much to see, though. A grey, dreary cell with heavy duty steel door. I had a comfy cot to the left, all nice and solid like a stone slab with a sheet should be. This is the part of my day where they hang me up on a random ass hook in the middle of the room. “Oh? No snarky remark today?” Don’t worry, Victor, nothing but happy thoughts here. “I think we finally broke the bitch, fellas!” All the goons in the black ops gear laughed. I just stared at Victor with my, “yeah, you’re so funny face.” He thinks he’s so cool with his black dress pants and green dress shirt. He even has the sleeves rolled up. He’s such a dick. I haven’t even gotten to the fact that I am deeply offended by the “bitch” comment. Do I look like a woman to you? I’m shirtless, dude. It’s more than clear I have no boobs protruding from my chest. You’re a bitch. “Stop staring at me with those damn blue eyes you son of a bitch.” There’s the next punch. Darn. He was right on the money with that insult.

My eyes are the only part of my body I can shift while I have these stupid cuffs on. I hate diamond-stone. Once I realized my blood was dripping down my face, I started to laugh. A little more maniacal than I intended, but I got my point across. Scared myself a little to be honest. Mr. Suave got all pissed and went for another punch when the alarm went off. Loud sirens were heard across the entire compound. “The hell is going on!” Victor was not happy now. “All of you guard the hall, I’m taking this prisoner off site.” I could smell my pack coming, shedding blood on the way. My friends aren’t very sneaky. They’re showy, but mostly straight to the point. Just my style.

Victor scurries me down the hallway opposite of the guards. I would’ve asked to put on my shirt, but that asshole torched it days ago along with my favorite jacket. As he was doing it, I told him I’d kill him for that. Make his death so terrifying that he’d have nightmares of me in his next life. We walk down a second hallway when the wall suddenly explodes. Lucky for me, my cuffs brake off. I look at Victor and give him a huge grin. “Will you look at that,” I say as I start to shift, “looks like we get to play one of my favorite games.” My silver fox tail and ears grow out and my body becomes covered in fur. I’m too tired to go all out right now, so I’ll stop there. I let blondie run down the hall. I stare down the hall and chuckle as I announce, “the chase is the best part.” I dash through hallway to hallway, not even at full speed. The soldiers try to shoot me with no avail. I bounce from one wall to another and kick one guy in the face and quickly punch another in the gut. It feels so good to stretch my legs…and arms…and tail.

I knock out more and more guards as I pursue my prey. I stay just far enough behind Vic, so he can see me coming, but thinks that he can outrun me. I know, I’m so cruel, but I am having so much fun and don’t have any fucks to give at the moment. I might have some in stock later. I finally find my way outside and find Victor guarded by ten men aiming their rifles right at me. I’m so flattered and so disappointed that he thought ten guys could stop me. Such a foolish human. I start to walk towards them and before any of them can get a bullet out of the chamber, they’re all shot down by two shadowy figures flipping through the air and landing behind Vic. As I continue to walk toward Vic, my companions walk out of the giant, gated entrance. I see small balls, slowly retreating backwards and smile. I shift completely, growing to seven feet tall, blue wolf fur mixing with the fox. My claws grow out long, thick, and sharp. My face morphs into what many people may refer to as a werewolf. My dark blue eyes stare down Victor so hard that he completely freezes. I skewer him through his chest with my claws. His face in awe. Because I couldn’t care less, I let my instincts take over and I chomp down on the bastard’s neck. All of that because of a shirt and a jacket? That’s what you’re thinking, right? Damn straight. He torched my favorite jacket, which I got from my parents as a Hanukkah present and had worn for seven years. That bitch had to go.

I throw the body to the ground and say, “chimeras can’t be kept in a cage forever,” as I walk out of the gates, slowly shifting back to normal. Except for the blood dripping down my face. I find my friends waiting for me in front of the passageway into a dark forest. Cheyenne is always wearing some kind of combat gear. Black boots, jeans, and a yellow tank top to match her blazing yellow eyes. She tosses me a blue shirt, a pair of Adidas, and a black leather jacket. As I put on my clothes, Charlie announces,

“Let’s get the hell out of here, I’ve got tons of ladies waiting for me to take them out for dinner.” Charlie’s my best friend. Long, curly, black hair, a red, short sleeve hoodie, shorts, and converse was his favorite look. Someone should tell him that the women he fantasizes about will never date him. Oh wait, I have, numerous times. His scarlet eyes gave his joyful persona a bit devious look. I walk past them both.

“We need to get back to the pack, Alpha is waiting,” Cheyenne demands. I wasn’t going back just yet.

“I have a promise to keep,” I say as we walk into the shadows.