Heroes AREN’T Born, They’re made
You know us. You may not think you do, but it’s true. Everyone knows us.
We are the super heroes that reside in comic books. We are the witches that live in the deep dark woods, luring children into candy-covered houses. We are the aliens that watch earth from a galaxy far beyond.
We are the things that linger on your mind at night, the things you question in the morning. We are the shadows that seem to be watching, and every time that something’s off, we’re there. We always have been.
We lie, steal, and cheat. We make you second-guess things, waiting for you to falter. We are the things that don’t belong, the things that thrive in webs of deceit. Do you know us? Do you remember? We were there. That on time that you fell, that one time you messed up.
We were watching. Waiting.
And when you got stuck, when you fell, we helped you up. We made sure you were okay, and then we disappeared. We always do. We keep the balance, the ever-shifting balance that rests on the edge.
So now you know. And next time, you will see us, you will remember. We will crouch in the corner of your mind, never truly forgotten. You’ll know that we are watching, and you will finally open your eyes.
Sitting in the middle of the badlands, nestled between hills covered with brown shrubbery, lies the town of Newport. A single Main Street lined with shops, surrounded by a couple hundred houses slathered in peeling white paint. Rusty pickups trundled along dusty roads, shuttling people to and from work. A town stranded in the middle of nowhere.
If you stood on the edge of town, and strained your eyes hard enough, you could make out squat mountains in the distance, a single two-lane road winding up into the snow dusted peaks.
It wasn’t a desert because it got no rain, it was a desert because nothing would grow there except for cactus and tumbleweed. The landscape was grey and speckled, the dirt light and dusty. A single road woave past the town on its way to the mountains.
The skies above Newport were clogged with soupy gray clouds, and the whispers of wind that danced around had seeped through people’s sweaters, hearding them inside like sheep. The streets were empty, and it felt like the entire town had been frozen in time.
Well, not the entire town.
A girl sat at a small table outside the café. The table wasn’t much to look at, just some thick wire twisted into a crude design, and neither was the girl. She was wrapped in a thick grey coat, and had her hands clasped around a cup of hot chocolate. Her discarded backpack sits under the table.
Her eyes wander around, glancing at the street, her hot chocolate, her backpack. As her eyes roam, she lifts her mug to her lips and takes a tentative sip. The drink is warm, not hot, and seems to seep into her bones and frighten off the chill.
She licks her lips, sets down her mug, and carefully unzips her backpack, pulling out a book. Her eyes skim the pages, but her mind is thinking of something other than Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. It is, in fact, thinking of the duplicated grey building in the next town over that would hold her prisoner the next day.
7 hours of chances for someone to discover her secret, to expose her to the world for what she really was. Sighing, she set down her mug, slammed a five-dollar-bill on the table, and slung her backpack over her shoulder, heading for home.
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