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.

 

 

Advertisements

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.

 

 

Here’s Part Two

This next story was a challenge for my creative writing class. I had two write a story with these requirements:

Characters: Jewelz and Cyn, married for 1 year, lesbians

Setting: In an alley behind a casino

Conflict: They get in a minor car crash after attending their father’s funeral

POV & Tone: 3rd person & joking tone

Hook: One of them is secretly a spy

I did two versions of this story, but version 1 is better so I’ll give you that.

Secrets and Marriage: Version 1

“Son of a bitch!” Jewelz screamed out. She got out of her car and stared wide-eyed at the dent in her navy blue Ford Focus. A darn shame that a sweet car like that got T-boned while exiting the alley. Like any other Hispanic would, Jewelz started cursing in Spanish. She said something about a jackass and chasing the car if she wasn’t in heels and her favorite black dress. “Can you believe this shit?” Nope. Don’t even know what’s happening. “All I wanted to do was to cut through this alley to get to the reception and this pendejo decides to cross ‘hit and run’ off his bucket list.” While she is about to cut a bitch, Cyn, on the other side of the car, just stands there recollecting her day to this point. Like there is any time for there to be a freakin’ flashback.

This day started out bad enough, Cyn thought as she witnessed her love yelling at the strangers staring at the dented car. It was bad enough we had to attend my father’s funeral, but now this. Sure, the damage to Jewelz’s car is minor, but after the depressing morning we just endured, she has a right to let loose. Hopefully, she won’t realize that her coffee spilled all over her dress. It’s pretty clear that if Jewelz notices, she will either end up arrested because she’ll punch out a bystander or she’ll go into the casino and drink up all of the Heinekens the bar has on hand.

When Jewelz noticed that Cyn had started crying, again, she stopped her ranting and hugged her wife. After one year of marriage she had taken note that her partner was a bit soft and hated conflict. Except sometimes she thought Cyn was a wimp and had to grow some balls. “I know I’ve said this already, but you look stunning in that dress, Cyn.” Cyn looked at her with remorse. Oh no, what did Cyn do? She left the iron on in the house didn’t she? Their house is gone now.

“This is all my fault, babe. My dad, this accident, all of it.” Jewelz just looked at her like she just saw the puppymonkeybaby commercial. “I…I have to tell you something important. I messed up, my cover was blown.” Holy shit, she’s an undercover cop. Cyn wiped away her tears and held her wife’s hands. “Jewelz, I work for the CIA. I’m a spy.”

 

And my third story for the day is a cowboy narrative.

Good Deeds

It was by chance that we rode up on that little town called Ratenny. In the blazing heat of the desert, I took it for a mirage at first. Then Scarlet gone and raced straight for it. I still couldn’t believe mine own eyes until I saw my crew dowsing fresh water down their pie holes. It wasn’t ‘till I had a gulp myself that my vision cleared up. Scarlet’s long red hair was dripping with water after she dumped her head in the water trough a long with the top part of her red blouse. I reckon she woulda thrown off her boots and bathed in the water if our horses weren’t busy drinkin it. I tied Daisy to the post and took a seat on a bench under the shade of this swank hotel by the name of Golden Sun. Unlike the rest of the town with their brown and red and dirty white buildings that looked like they haven’t been cleaned in the last decade or two, this yellow hotel done looked too bright for my own liking. It had also been taller than the other buildings.

Mitchell sat down right next to me and offered me to drink out of his canteen which he had just filled with water. I gulped that sweet and cold and refreshing liquid like every drop was my last. When the people of the town passed us by, they looked at us with strange looks. Like we were aliens or sumthin. But one look at Mitchell’s goldilocks and blue eyes, the women swooned for just a second. He was just one of those guys with that kind of effect on people. “How can Max be out in the sun with that getup? I’m sweatin’ just by lookin at ‘em.” Mitch had a point. Max stood in the heat tending to his horse with his black trench coat on to match his black curly hair and hat. Even if he did have the skin of a native, he must have been sweatin a little.

“Eh. If that moron passes out in the heat, I ain’t gonna be the one to carry him into the shade.” I meant what I said, but I knew that if he did wind up on the ground, I probably would be the one to lug his body into some shade. We all were satisfied with our break from traveling so far without water. I coulda sworn I heard my big sis nagging me during our ride to always travel with more supplies than I’d think I need, so I won’t ever starve in the desert. I never liked it when she was right. Scarlet was walking up to Mitchell and me when she asked, “How long are we gonna stay in this town? Y’ know we only got two days left to find and deliver that treasure.” She stared at us with those narrow, hazel eyes capable of making a wild coyote sit and stay.

“We ain’t gonna be here long I don’t think,” I said, completely unsure of myself, “we just need to get some food and water for the road.” Before Scarlet could say anything else, a woman’s shout caught our attention.

“Help! Somebody, anybody please stop that man from running with my father’s money!” The woman herself was running after a middle aged man with a brown sack in his arms. I dipped my hat over my face a bit and stood in the man’s path. He was about to shove me out of the way, though, I sidestepped and tripped him with my foot. Before he even had a chance to fall to the ground, Max appeared and kicked right in the gut. I almost felt a little sorry for the guy when I saw him lying on the ground hugging his stomach and trying to keep from puking. When the woman ran up to us in her white flower patterned dress and yellow apron, Max handed her the sack the crook was carrying. “Thank you so much gentlemen. You see, this here bag has the money stolen from my father’s saloon. If that bad man had gotten away with this cash, I woulda had to close up for the day.”

“Take better care of your shop next time,” Max replied as he walked away. I had to say something quick to make this already disheartened woman feel good again.

“Don’t worry about him, he’s just a bit cranky cause we have yet to eat. It was our pleasure to help you miss.” She looked up at me with a smile and bowed as she thanked me once again.

Hey, I’m a writer

My name is Eliasaph Anderson, however like Rob Base, I’m internationally known…as Maze. I’m starting this blog to get my writing out into the world and see if my writing is actually, somewhat, enjoyable. This is mostly for fun and because college clearly isn’t taking up my entire life. I would greatly appreciate anyone and everyone to leave comments on my stories and to share them with your friends and family if you enjoy it. Or if you hate my stories then share them with someone you hate, I don’t care. So without further ado…

This first piece is one I did a year ago for a friend’s birthday. It’s like 13 pages so if you don’t like long stories then you should really pick up a book once a year or if you don’t have the time then skip to one of the other stories.

Birthday Wishes: The Case of the Birthday Demon

By: Eliasaph Anderson

 

“Today’s November 22nd and I still have nothing for Lauren’s birthday. I need a really awesome present, but I have no clue what the heck I should get.” I said frustratingly. This was a serious matter. Lauren threw me a birthday party for my birthday and I’m getting her pictures of Tucson. I can do way better than pictures. I don’t even take good pictures. All of those thoughts were rushing through my head.

“How about you get her a book or take Becca’s suggestion and buy her that Ed Sheeran record?” Saturn suggested. Saturn’s a half dragon, half human friend of mine that I’ve known since forever. For 518 years old, she looks like a super model with blonde hair and red highlights. She never leaves my side, which can get kind of annoying. She was sitting on top of my bed as I was pacing through my dorm room. For a dorm, it was pretty spacious. As you enter, there are two beds and desks on opposite sides of the room. Both beds are positioned along the side walls with the desks at the end. The bed immediately in front of the door belonged to my roommate with his desk stationed along the side wall at the foot of the bed and a water tower with a half full water jug on top adjacent to the desk. To the wall on the right side of the room was my bed with my desk at the foot facing my bed instead of the wall. In-between the beds, at the back wall, sat my dresser with my 24 inch T.V. and PS3 on top. I paced in the area in-between the beds along the green carpeted floor.

“Calm down, Maze, you’ll think of something,” Izzy replied. Izzy is the ultimate genius of the group. He’s a spiky, red haired super nerd with a talent for working with machines. “Besides, it’s not like you can just ask her what present you should get her. You did that and she told you to send her pictures and nothing else.” Izzy had a good point, as always, which gave me an idea.

“Prodigious! Izzy once again, you’ve proven that you are a remarkable genius. I can’t ask my Lauren what she wants, again, however, she isn’t the only Lauren I can ask.” I said with such excitement because I did in fact have another Lauren to ask.

“You can’t ask T.Z. Lauren! That’s cheating!” Saturn shouted how much of a bad idea that was. It was kind of cheating, but very much a great idea. “Why isn’t it enough to just get her the pictures? Why must you make everything so extravagant? It’s just unnecessary.”

“It’s necessary because she’s my friend, she gave me my first surprise birthday party, she was there for me last winter break, and she was the first one to make me not hate my birthday for one year. I need to pay her back and make her birthday wonderful. I do the same thing for all of my best friends whether it’s buy a present or take you all out to lunch or just buy a cake.” This was very important to me, but sense I actually didn’t know Lauren as much as I thought at the time, it was hard to get her a present without T.Z. Lauren’s help. Perhaps, I should explain. T.Z. stands for Twilight Zone, ergo, Twilight Zone Lauren is a different version of Lauren. T.Z. Lauren is actually a Lauren from another world similar to Earth, but in another dimension entirely. The gang has been to that world before and are able to go back and forth between that world and Earth whenever we want thanks to Izzy’s portal. It’s a little complicated and I don’t have time to explain everything.

“Ok sure go ahead,” consented Saturn, though, not all that thrilled about it. All three of us left the room and walked over to the women’s plaza down the street. It was around 6pm so not many kids were walking about, especially not around the plaza. It was the perfect place to hide an underground lab with a giant dimensional portal. The plaza was a large circle of connecting gray rock archways with women’s names engraved on the top of each.  In the middle was a spiral made of different colored, shiny rocks. Like really shiny. We stepped in the middle of the spiral while Izzy tapped the ground in a pattern of the How I Met Your Mother theme song and then the area we were standing on lowered underground like an elevator.

Izzy’s lab is amazing, but it’s not just a lab, it’s also one of our bachelor pads. I like to think of it as our teenage and not-so-gloomy bat cave. I call it the Renegade Den also known as the KK Den. Renegade Den because in this world, we’re a group of masked vigilantes called the Renegades. KK Den because to us and the ones who know who we really are, we’re the Keyblade Kids. Yes, both titles were my idea. Getting the whole world to call us the Renegades wasn’t easy but it worked. Our den has a huge flat screen T.V. with all the latest game consoles and a bookshelf with numerous games and movies. Surrounding the T.V. are two red sofas and two black egg shaped gaming chairs. Behind the lounge area was the kitchen, not much has to be said about that, and at the back of the den is the lab with the garage further behind that. The huge, grey, oval shaped dimensional portal was to the left of the lab. You know, that giant ring with a whole bunch of wires sticking out and the small step ladder attached to it, so people can walk through.

It didn’t take long for Izzy to finish preparing the gateway with all the coordinates set. Saturn gave me my sword and pistols and I went through the portal. Twilight Zone Winchester is much different than our Winchester. Instead of a small city it’s a huge city. It’s like New York City without the super busy traffic and it has a giant college called Winchester University. Handley is still the same, except for the fact that the campus is bigger. I came out the portal in the T.Z. Keyblade Kids hideout. This base however has a wall for their weapons and outfits instead of a room. There were also a bunch of decorations and a huge white table full of food. Everyone was preparing for some kind of party. “Hey, cool Maze is here!” Sam shouted across the room. Even in this world the guys still make fun of me. This time it wasn’t me they were making fun of but rather T.Z. me.

“Hi Maze!” Everyone shouted. I mean everyone as in Sam, Andrew, Maze, Jose, Ben, Austin, and Brett.

“What’s going on here guys?” I asked.

“We’re preparing Lauren’s 20th birthday party.” Ben replied. “While we’re preparing Blaire is distracting Lauren by taking her shopping at the mall.”

“Yeah, but they’re almost done and Blaire doesn’t know what else to do to keep Lauren from coming here.” Andrew sounded very concerned by this. No one had any clue how else they were going to stall Lauren.

“Groovy, I just came to get Lauren’s help with something.” At the moment I said that, they all smiled at me.

“Maze, you’re gonna need to distract Lauren for us while we finish,” T.Z. Maze said with a giant smirk on his face. I agreed since I needed to talk to Lauren anyway, so it was a win-win.

“Sure, but I’m going to need your car and license,” I told Maze. He gave me his keys and I transformed and rolled out. Shut up, I’m telling the story. Anyway, I drove Maze’s black and blue ’67 Camaro, Lilith, which is the same as my Camaro back home, to the Apple Blossom mall just to catch Lauren and Blaire leaving the mall. I parked in the lot and waved them over. It was freezing outside, but luckily I wore jeans, sneakers, a t-shirt, and my leather jacket over my spring jacket. Even though I came prepared, I was still cold.

“Hey, Maze!” Shouted Blaire as she ran up and hugged me with a bunch of bags in her hands from her shopping conquest. Lauren greeted me and hugged me next with her hundreds of shopping bags. It was odd that Lauren just hugged me like that, usually when I want a hug I have to ask for it. There are rare moments when Lauren actually hugged without me asking, but this wasn’t my Lauren so the rules were different. “So, why are you here, Maze?”

“I came to get Lauren’s help with a dilemma I was in. If you guys aren’t too busy.” I stared at Blaire with this look saying that I was tagging her out for today and luckily she understood. I’m pretty sure my Blaire wouldn’t.

“Oh no, we just finished shopping and were going to drop these bags off at the lair.” Blaire replied.

“What did you need my help with?” Lauren asked concerned.

“It’s nothing major, I just wanted your help getting your counterpart a present for her 18th birthday.”

“Sure, I’ll help. Do you wanna go now or can I drop these bags off with Blaire first?”

“Oh no it’s ok if you go with Maze and he can drop you off at your house while you help him with whatever he has to do. I’ll just meet you both at the lair and ask the others about dancing.” Good thing Blaire is quick to react or else Lauren would’ve gone to the lair way too early. Blaire was already in her car ready to leave.

“Ok then, I guess we should go look for that present.” With Lauren’s agreement, Blaire left and I helped Lauren stuff her bags in the back of the Camaro. We went to the skating rink because I wanted to have some fun to celebrate Lauren’s 20th birthday. The indoor rolling skating rink wasn’t packed but it was booming with music and lights flashing everywhere and tons of loud people running all around. We sat at the food counter to talk a bit. “So you’re trying to find the perfect present for the other me’s 18th birthday? Why don’t you get her what she asked for?” She looked at me with a questioning glare.

“I am, but I want to get her something better than just pictures of my school. However, I’m stumped on what I should get. I’ve received multiple suggestions but I’m not sure which the best is.”

“Aren’t you cheating by asking me what you should get me?” She laughed as she said it like I was doing something stupid.

“You girls are all the same, you know that? Saturn said the same thing. But, no, it’s not cheating, it’s genius. C’mon, will you please help me?” I had this huge smile on my face and couldn’t help but chuckle at the fact that she thought what I was doing was cheating.

“Yea I’ll help you. However, first, you have to do something for me.” She kept laughing like she had something not so fun in mind. “I want you to help me with a case.” I was shocked. That’s what she wanted, just some detective investigation? I can definitely do that. You see, T.Z. Lauren works at the Winchester police department. Ben and his dad actually are detectives there and takes care of all of the demon related cases. Ben got Lauren to work there as his assistant because of her analytical prowess and the fact that they used to date. Lauren was more interested in helping in the forensics department because it taught her more about being a doctor, but she’s given her own small cases to work once in a while and she loves it.

“Sure thing. I can totally do that. What’s the case?” Now I was excited. Not only do I get help retrieving the perfect gift, but I get to help solve a case and kill some demons.

“This past week, people have randomly turned crazy and have attacked everyone and destroyed everything near them. In some cases, witnesses have reported that the people turned into enormous, black monsters. All that I’ve been able to find out is that this incidents happen between sundown and midnight, the longest event lasted half an hour, and that each person turns back to normal and remembers nothing of their madness, like they were brainwashed. Nothing else makes sense. The times of the incidents are random, these people have nothing in common, and there’s no evidence that says that they were controlled physically or anything.” She suddenly became very serious and I could tell she was really in a rut.

“Yep, this seems like a demon case, but it’s not one I’ve ever dealt with before. This demon must be new and very powerful. Have you asked Ben to help you?” As soon as I asked, I regretted it. Lauren became super mad and then depressed within 2 seconds. I get she was still not over the break-up.

She replied in a much sadder voice, “we were working together at first, but I just couldn’t take it, he’s not the same, too much to deal with.” I didn’t understand, Ben has been my best friend since preschool and he’s always been nothing but a great guy. However, in my world, we separated after preschool and I never saw him again, but in this world, Ben has always been Twilight Zone Maze’s best friend and is also a great guy, but is more silent. As I was told, he and Lauren were great together and he was the happiest guy alive and wasn’t his gloomy silent self. Why they broke up, I have no idea but it was a sore topic at that moment so I did the only thing I could.

“Let’s go skating, dance a little, have some fun.” I put on my skates, grabbed Lauren’s hand, and pulled her over to the rink. I also did the dumbest thing I could, like that’s new. I jumped right onto that wooden floor, flipped back, and fell on my butt. It hurt so freakin much I grunted, “son of a bitch,” though not low enough that Lauren still heard it. She burst into a laugh that lasted so long, I heard the entire song, Centuries by Fall Out Boy, stood up and rubbed my butt until it was comfortable enough to skate around, stared at her with narrowed eyes, and skated one lap around the rink until she finally stopped because she was then on the floor laughing and blabbing about how much her stomach was hurting. I fell on purpose to make her laugh but I wasn’t expecting that. The things I do for my friends, I thought as I rolled my eyes. That day was not the day for me, but then again; what day was?

We skated around for a good 2 hours and ate some chili cheese fries until, an incident occurred. A woman screamed from the other side of the rink, “Help! There’s a monster near the bathroom!” We dashed to the bathrooms to see the monster cornering the screaming woman by the vending machines. I left my weapons in the car so instead I yelled,

“Hey, ugly your mother is a monkey!” The creature slowly turned around and roared at me. It wasn’t until then that I actual observed the demon. It was black, huge, had short hind legs, tall front legs, and its face creeped me out. It had two scary yellow eyes, ears like a bat, and a mouth like a predator from Aliens vs Predator. Demons like these scared the holy bejesus out me. This is why I absolutely hate scary movies, I don’t even want to touch a scary movie because it might transfer this creeper into my dreams. After it roared, Lauren and I ran so fast I thought time slowed down.

“Really!? You call it’s mom a monkey!?” Lauren shouted.

“Monkeys are ferocious little beasts!” I yelled back, but I knew that was not what she meant. We ran back towards the food counter and faced the approaching abomination. Lauren took out some knives from her brown, high heeled boots and threw them at the demon’s eyes. Only one managed to hit, but once it did she then fired her pistol at it which must have come out of her holster under her leather jacket. She shot half a round, but it did no good, the demon kept coming. I needed my sword, though, it was blocking our way to the entrance. I looked at Lauren and gave her an “I’m ready” look and ran towards the demon. Lauren shot at it to distract it as I slid under the giant as it swiped its arm at me. As I was relieved it missed me, I was still scared because now it was chasing me out of the building. It completely destroyed the glass doors.

“Over here you behemoth!” Yelled Lauren as she shot at it. I finally made it to the Camaro and grabbed my sword from the back seat. When I got to the ally Lauren led the demon into, I saw her throwing two glimmering boomerangs at it. They were blue and silver boomerangs that left a trail of snowflakes whenever they were thrown. They were pretty but they were also very deadly because they are so sharp, they could cut skin like it was butter and if hit by them they would also freeze you. She must have pulled them out of those pockets attached to her jeans. I have no idea where she kept all of those weapons on her without people noticing. Though her attacks were actually affecting the beast, it was still slowly charging toward her and she was cornered. I unsheathed my blade and charged at the demon. I climbed up its back and jumped off his head. It was a Marth flip from smash bros., took me a while to master, but super cool when it works. I came falling down facing the demon and slammed the flat side of my sword on top of its head. As I landed on the ground, the demon collapsed and made a huge rumble. As I stood up, Lauren shouted, “Maze, watch out for-,”

“Ouchies!” I shouted. I then realized what the end of that sentence was. “Watch out for the boomerang.” It sliced my left arm and frosted the area. It hurt so much I thought I was having a sickle cell attack. “Really?! You couldn’t have not thrown it as I was attacking the stupid demon?”

“Well, I wasn’t the idiot who jumped on the demon as I was attacking it. You didn’t even warn me.”

“If I did, then that thing wouldn’t have been distracted, would it?” She stared at me with a judging look on her face. “Could you stop thinking I’m an idiot and please fix the wound your killer boomerang gave me?” She pulled out this vial from her boomerang pouch with a crystal like liquid. She poured a little on my scar and the frost melted away along with the pain. After bandaging it she asked,

“What are we going to do with that thing?” After her question, the monster shrunk down back to a human 20 year old guy.

“Well, that answers your question, I guess we take him back to the roller rink.” We picked the guy up and dragged him back inside the rink where a girl had recognized him.

“Oh Chase,” she gasped and ran over to us while we laid him on the floor. “What happened to him?” A question I couldn’t answer clearly, but I tried my best.

“Unfortunately, he drank something from the vending machine that caused him to go out of control. We found him passed out outside. You should call an ambulance quick, to make sure he didn’t hurt himself.” Lucky for me she didn’t ask any other questions and called 911. After her call, it was time to ask her some questions about this Chase guy.

“Do you know if there was any other reason why your boyfriend may have gone crazy? Just in case it wasn’t the soda from the vending machine.” She looked at me when she said the last part. Like she had a better lie to tell.

Now the lady was starting to cry, “No I don’t. We just came to celebrate his birthday and he went to the bathroom for a little bit. I realized he was taking a while in there and his cake was ready, so I went to check on him and then the monster came out and started attacking me.” She was down in tears now, still scared of her monstrous boyfriend attacking her. “I thought that monster had done something to Chase, but when some people went in to check, he wasn’t in there.”

“It’s alright now, the monster is gone and your boyfriend is safe and sound. There is nothing to worry about.” Lauren quickly consoled the woman and we went to the car to sort out our situation. “Well, that wasn’t very helpful, this incident happened exactly like all the others, we having nothing to go on.” She was super bummed. Though she still missed the most important clue. I drove to the precinct and dragged her to her desk to view the case files. “Why are we here?” She was so not on her game that I was becoming irritated and blunt Maze was about to burst, but I remained patient.

“I think we need to look at these files again, who knows maybe something’s missing.” I smile as I sort the victim files in a way that you could clearly see the shared birthdays. It took a while but she finally found it.

“Oh look! These victims all had these incidents on their birthdays! I can’t believe you didn’t see that!” She slapped my arm playfully because she was excited. I was about to blow it when I remembered that she was going through some things and it was her birthday so I let it go.

“Jeez, for being a young detective best known for her analyzing and observation skills, I can’t believe you didn’t see it before, but you’re amazing.” I put just enough sarcasm in there that she didn’t notice. Just after that moment a lady made an announcement on Lauren’s police radio.

“There is a 217 at the Fairaday Apartments on Cork and Cameron. Wife going rogue at birthday party.” And that was our cue to drive over to the apartments. By the way, a 217 is police scanner code for an assault with intent to murder. Just as we rolled up, a huge black figure burst through an eighth story window falling toward my car. I screamed out,

“Not the car, not the car, please not my car!” And thankfully it didn’t land on Lilith, but the car next to it. This demon was basically, a black praying mantis with bigger and sharper claws. The demon quickly ran down the street while attempting to slice at anyone whom had been running out of its way. Lauren looked at me and asked,

“‘Not my car?’ That thing could’ve hurt innocent civilians and you ask it to not hurt your car?”

“What? Lilith is very important to me and I do not want her getting hurt. Is that so wrong?”

“There is something extremely wrong with you. I think you’re insane.”

I laughed, “Like no one has ever told me that.”

“Let’s just capture this monster and hopefully find out what is causing this mayhem.” Lauren started running down the street when I suddenly got this strange, dark vibe. It was coming from the apartment rooftops, however, when I looked up there was nothing.

“You go ahead, I’ll catch up!” Lauren just kept running so I assumed she heard me and hurried to the roof. I found a figure standing at the edge of the hotel where Lauren was fighting the mantis demon. I found it odd they didn’t get that far, but wever. Anyway, I pulled out my sword and got the figure’s attention, “Don’t worry, just stand right there and I’ll end it quickly.” The figure turned around and it surprised me to find that it was Ben in a black cloak, a red and black jacket, black jeans, and red and black sneakers. “Seriously? You’re like a red Nightwing spying on Batgirl because you don’t think she can handle herself.” For those who clearly don’t pay attention when I educate you in comic book trivia, Nightwing is the older Dick Grayson who dated Barbara Gordon, who became Batgirl and when she did, Dick became crazy protective and was against her becoming a superhero.

“I had to. She might not have wanted me working with her, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have her back whenever she gets in trouble.” I knew he was hurting inside even though he was trying to seem like he was alright.

“You’re still depressed about the breakup, she didn’t want you on the case, so you’re helping her behind the scenes so she cracks the case and feels good about herself, while you make sure she doesn’t get hurt. C’mon, Ben, I’m not that much of an idiot, get your head out of your ass and help your ex fight that demon.” Just as he was about to reply,

“Or you can both die right here,” said a creepy voice that sounded like there was a sub-voice also talking at the same time. That terrible vibe immediately came back and it was coming from an ugly, black lion-man demon with a silver mane. Okay, that demon wasn’t very ugly, it actually looked freakin sweet. Ben ran up to me and said,

“If you’re the demon causing all of these incidents then I can’t wait to kick your ass.” I looked at him and back at the demon and just went with it.

“Yea what he said,” I said as I readied my blade.

Lion guy just laughed and said, “Unfortunately, I’m not done hunting for my prey yet, so I’ll leave you two with my colleagues.” Then twelve regular mutated zombie men demons appeared around us and silver lion jumped off the roof. I slashed and hacked at the small fry while Ben just put six bullets through six demons in one second.

“Well, that was easy. Nice shooting Quick Draw.” Ben put his pistols back in their holsters and hi fived me.

“You continue helping Lauren and I’ll track down that demon.” He ran off the roof before I could even say anything. I got a phone call from Lauren telling me to meet her at the Camaro.

“Where did you go?” She asked as she was leaning against Lilith, arms folded, and a mix of anger and a tiny bit of concern. I felt more scared of her than the lion demon.

“I found the demon causing all this on top of the roof, but it got away. How was your demon chase?”

“You found it?! And it was easy, I froze it and it turned back into a normal woman soon after.”

“Groovy smoothies. Anyway, yea I did.” I told her about everything that transpired on the roof, except I left Ben completely out of the story. Better not to mention that he had been secretly watching hear. Once I thought about it, I realized that was kinda stalker-ish. It was going on 7 p.m. and we were lost. We couldn’t do anything until another incident occurred, so I proposed a new plan. “How about we wait until the demon comes for you and then we’ll kill it?” She didn’t take it well,

“I should shoot you,” she said. I laughed nervously. Of course she would say that, most girls get angry when I use them as bait. How many times have I done it? Many. Some girls know they’re bait, others do not, the ones that don’t usually slap me if they do find out. Either way, no girl likes the idea of being bait for dangerous monsters.

“I understand that, however, this thing is going after birthday guys and girls and you’re most likely next on the list, so when lion guy comes after you, we kill that birthday disaster. Sound good?” She stared at me, sighed, and finally said,

“No, that is a terrible idea, but it is the only one we have so fine.” With that, we went back to the lair and surprised Lauren with her party. She was super excited. Everyone was there and dressed in suites and dresses. Somehow Ben made it there before us and dressed as well. Lauren left to suit up in one of her new dresses.

The party was amazing. The disco lights, yellow and blue balloons, a Squirtle cake, songs by Ed Sheeran and The Supremes, and lots of food. I was scarfing down some chicken nuggets when Lauren walked back into the room wearing a red and silver spiral cocktail dress with her silver high heeled shoes. Her shiny light brown hair flowing in the air, her brown eyes sparkling like diamonds. I almost stopped chewing my food the moment I laid eyes on her.

“You get a good look there, buddy?” Asked Ben as he patted my back. I almost choked when he did it.

“Me? Yea I’m peachy keen. I’m sorry for staring, I’m just an idiot.” He laughed. I was actually worried he would be kind of angry, instead he laughed.

“It’s cool bro, I don’t blame you.”

“Groovy.” Lauren came over and asked what we were talking about and we just laughed. She didn’t understand, but she didn’t need to. We all chatted, shared some drinks, ate, danced, and joined in Andrew’s terrible singing of numerous songs. We had a blast. Once it started getting really late, I knew it was time for a chat. I pulled Lauren aside and asked her, “Have you figured out what I should get for my Lauren?”

“I’ve thought about it and yes, I have the perfect present.”

“And…….” I waited for her answer.

“Honesty.” I looked at her like she wasn’t making sense because well,

“You’re not making any sense. What now?”

“Honesty. Be truthful with Lauren. Be a true friend to her.” I was still confused.

“I’ll say it again. What now?”

“Be a true friend, Maze. You’re still not very close to Lauren because you’re scared.” I was scared now, I didn’t know where she was going with that. “You wonder why you’re not as close of a friend to Lauren as you are everyone else because you don’t want to be. You don’t share all your feelings with her, you refuse to let her know everything about you and your life, and you just use her to dump your problems on so you feel better.” As I listened to her rant, I grasped that she was right. When I first met Lauren, she was just this awesome comic book loving girl who I barely knew and liked chatting with. As I continued to hang out with her, I told her secrets I never told my closest friends. Meanwhile, we rarely hung out. We talked every once in a while and went to the movies every four months or so. I was in a dark place when I was with Lauren, but after I became happier, I hung out with her less. I truly wasn’t a good friend to Lauren. Just like everything else, I was too scared to get close to someone. Let them know the real me. “For her gift, be a real friend to not just her, but everyone. Stop being so distant and stupid and let go of yourself. Of your past, your fears, your doubts, and be with your true friends. That’s the present you should give.” I just stood there, astonished. I’ve been in college for only a semester at that time and I was lonely. I missed all of my friends back home while I was off on a crazy adventure looking for one. I learned that semester, that my friends and family in that quiet little town were all I needed in the world for me to feel like I was at my perfect home.

“Saturn has to stop talking to you, you know that?” She stared at me while Longest Time by Billy Joel played in my head. “But, you’re right, like always. I know what I need to do.” At that time, my bad vibe erupted as Lauren almost passed out. We knew that lion head was nearby and it was time to go hunting. We drove out to the Winchester University Gym and prepared for the demon to show.

“Nice for you to trap yourselves for me. It makes it easier to capture my prey,” silver lion said in that creepy 2 person voice. A swarm of zombie looking demons surrounded us with the big cheese watching from afar. Lauren and I looked at each other and nodded. We charged in and kicked demon butt with no weapons. They were easy, why not have fun? Anyway, I punched a few in the gut and roundhouse kicked some others. Lauren just flipped all over the place, kicking skulls one after another. After a bit it got tiring, so I shot at a bunch with my guns and Lauren sliced the heads off the rest with her boomerangs.

“Give it up, birthday demon, you’re next,” said Lauren with total seriousness. I understood why. It was 11:30 p.m. meaning that we only had an hour left to finally kill that son of a bitch. The lion-man just laughed.

“You have it all wrong, you are next.” He paused and as he transformed to an uglier form of himself with four arms wielding swords and a huge split mouth with drool seeping out, he added, “On the menu tonight. You see I’ve been turning humans into demons to rebuild our army while also searching for the perfect human to eat. And you little runt will taste quite delicious.” He said all of that as he slowly inched toward us.

“She’s small, but not that small,” I added, I wasn’t sure what else to say, I had no insults at the time. Lauren just looked at me with displeasure.

“Why on people’s birthdays? Why only during their birthday?” She was thinking of a plan I’m sure. Either that or she was just curious.

“Because birthdays are when extreme emotions come out. Whether of joy or sadness or anger, those emotions make it easier to create demons and make human flesh taste very delicious.” His explanation just creeped me out even more. So much that I just wanted to hurry up and kill him, so I didn’t have to look at his ugly face anymore. It was like looking at a mangled puppy or Andrew’s face. Actually, Andrew’s face was worse. Out of nowhere, Lauren collapsed. Darkness was jutting right out of her body and as she rose, her hair turned black, a purple and black scythe appeared in her hand and her eyes turned yellow. Unfortunately, she just turned into a demon. A powerful one at that. I was greatly confused because the somewhat lion demon attacked her although she was a demon. I guess she changed because of the lion’s power of turning birthday people into demons, meanwhile, Lauren was different because she was a little in control of her demon self. She not only tried to kill the birthday demon, but me as well.

I had my sword drawn and blocked all of Lauren’s swings of her scythe as I attacked the demon as well. It was a battle royal throughout the gym. After a while of dodging and striking at the demon, it was able to knock demon Lauren to the ground, too tired to get up. I then faced the four sword wielding demon myself. It was hard. I jumped and dodge rolled around it, but there was no shaking that thing. I was immobilized with blocking two of its swords’ attacks. Lion face was about to end me when I saw a scythe cut the demon’s head clean off and the body dissipated into black smoke. From the smoke, Lauren walked my way, looking for another kill. I readied myself to keep fighting when all the darkness inside Lauren also dissipated, reverting her back to normal. “Whew, that was a hell of a lot of fun. And weird at the same time.” I made a questioning look at what she just said.

“You try to kill me and say that was fun? And you said I was crazy.” She just laughed. There wasn’t much left to say after that I guess, so I laughed as well. I walked over to her, fist bumped her, and said, “Well, we did it with 1 minute to spare, but this case is officially closed.” We got our things and went back to enjoying the rest of Lauren’s birthday party. And that everyone is how Lauren and I spent her 20th birthday and how I found the perfect gift for Lauren’s 18th birthday.

“So you did what T.Z. Lauren told you and just became a better friend?” Ariella asked.

“And just gave Aunt Lauren the pictures she asked for?” Klaus chimed in. Sam, Jose, and Andrew didn’t say anything, but were also curious.

“Have you been paying attention at all? For 11 year old kids, you two are dumb,” I said with a chuckle. “Of course not. For Lauren’s birthday I gave her those pictures and an honorary Renegades jacket and access to our lair along with telling her the secret about the gang being the Renegades and all the adventures we’ve been on. Now that’s a birthday present.”

“Dad, you told us that long story with all of that random heartfelt stuff, just to tell us about your adventure getting a birthday present? You are crazy.” Ariella wasn’t a huge fan of the story, but I liked it. It was one of the good ones. Unfortunately, everyone else except for Sam agreed.

“What? You two wanted a bedtime story so you got one. Now, be good kids and go to sleep. And don’t you even think about firing your pistols at the wall.” They both moaned and went off to bed. As they did so, I stared at the picture of the Twilight Zone gang and myself at Lauren’s birthday party and continued to reminisce.