I don’t belong. Not here. Not now. I have to get back there. But how? The bet was rigged, he made me believe. Now there’s darkness in my soul. I want to die… again. But I chose to come back. Why?
“Services were held today for Lt. Colonel John McLeod at Arlington cemetery in Virginia. McLeod is best known for his courageous involvement in saving the president from an assassination attempt. McLeod rose through the ranks of the Marine Corps following his service overseas. His memory was honoured by the President and vice president, as well as hundreds of officers from all the armed services. His wife, Catharine Blake, remained quiet for the duration of the funeral, but seemed to be in need of help near the end of the proceedings. Friends and family have all been supportive, and will start a new scholarship fund in his name that will benefit the united Negro college fund. Michelle Gail reporting for CNN.”
“Lt. Colonel McLeod, who disappeared from public view shortly after the Hinckley incident, was believed to have been involved with numerous government task forces. Informed sources say that his presence in Botswana at the same time as young blood agents was no coincidence. Frankly, this stinks of a government cover-up. So what else is new? Though I’m sure Lt. Colonel McLeod was a man of courage and great integrity. It’s the government’s boys’ club attitude that appals me. Information is given out in an almost Hollywood-type fashion, and we all know how moviemakers never stretch the truth. Al Simmons reporting for you on My View on two.”
“And the lovely Catharine Blake was absolutely divine in a simple jet-black Versace original. And say, who was that tall, dark and handsome prince on her arm at the ceremony? Well, a little bird tells me that Martin King was Catharine’s closest friend in high school. He introduced her to John McLeod at the much memorable republican convention of 1984.They were together three years and no little darling child. One must be wondering, was it him? Or was it her? Well, where this potential affair is leading remains to be seen. We’ll be keeping an eye out. As for you Mr. Martin King shame on you! Let the poor widow grieve. Besides, she’ll have a tough time replacing the husband voted one of the “The Ten Sexiest Men” two years ago. Even though the government tried to hide this sweet morsel from all of us, this charismatic gentleman couldn’t be kept out of sight. Charles Smith reporting for Entertainment Television.”
I remember there was someone. Someone to love. Someone to hate. And I was something. Something special. And proud of it for a time. Then they turned on me. He turned on me. I remember… dying. And her. Oh, God, she’s so beautiful. I needed. He gave me. I had to. All I could think of… was she. So I promised. And he accepted. All because of her. Damn his lies. He accepted the deal… on his terms. His rules. His way. And somewhere in time he busts a gut laughing. Yes, he gave me my power, but he robbed me of my memories. If I can just find her, then I’ll know what it’s all about.
But… I can’t even remember who she is. None of this makes any sense. Just a handful of images darting through my mind. That’s it? That’s all I have of my life? I feel I can do anything… anything at all with my power. But why can’t I remember? She’ll know who I am… she has to. I’m going to find her. And when I have some answers… I’m going to find him. The one who framed me. But whom do I turn to? Where do I go?
“Boys, looks like she’s got enough for all of us. Fortunately, I get first turn!”
“No! No! Please don’t!” She whimpers as if to beg for her own life, but they don’t have the intention to kill her, do they? “Shaddup whore! Spike gets what he wants, always!”
“I got me an idea. Back off guys. Let’s see how loud the whore can scream after I cut out her tongue.”
“Wait a sec. I want a closer look while the body’s still warm.” As he rips off what’s left the innocent’s shirt and stands back to admire a teenage female form.
“Get out. Now! Or you’re all dead!” A voice comes from behind the pack.
“What the hell?”
“Hey Spike, looks like one o’ them young bloods!”
“Who cares? Check this out guys. I’m gonna carve me a supper.” He assesses the intruder and steps back from his prey. “Hkkkhh!” as the masked hand grasps at a neck no friend of sanitary, it feels nothing but hatred not even the sense of touch. Why is this? He pauses in his actions as swelling eyes stare into his own projecting sorrow with a whisper of light as if there was some good in such a carnation of evil. “SMASH” as the limp body flies through the window, breaking into millions of water droplets throwing reflected light upon a darkness no friend of illumination. “Bad idea. Now, who’s next?” McLeod turns back to his new victims.
“You crazy M.F., nobody jerks with me” One steps forward to an unforeseen fait.
“Fat boy, you’re way out of your league”
“Thud” His heavy fist seems not to inflict any emotion, any reaction.
“Now it’s my turn” “BOOM” The impact of his clenched hand crushes the ribcage and the internal organs explode gracing the ground with a pool of guilty blood.
“They’re gone, you needn’t be afraid.”
“Please don’t, I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Uh! No. Not again. Nooooooo!” Once again his mind explodes with searing pain. A floodgate of memories bursts wide. Yet it is her face that keeps haunting him. Always her face. Who is she? Then things begin to crystallize. He remembers his funeral. Begging and pleading for someone to release him from the darkness. He’s not dead. He can’t be. Then he feels her presence. Warm, caring, soothing, but somewhere deep inside she feels empty now. She has no reason. No meaning. No soul. But his soul lives. While hers is dying.
“Hh-huhhh huhhh” the almighty man breaks down contradicting the very thing he is.
“Hey, come on. It’s okay. You’re all right. It’s all over now.”
“Police are investigating the fourth gangland homicide in two days. The murder of Carlo Giamotti makes the seventh gangland murder this year, but chief of Police Phil Banks denies any truth to the rumor of a possible ‘mob war’. Inside sources have also reported that the three most recent deaths were unlike any they had seen before. It was quoted, “even the bad guys don’t sink this low” The mystery of these deaths seems to have evaded all logic. Michelle Gail reporting for CNN.”
“This might be just what this city needs. With people like Jake Morelli, disguised as a well-dressed businessman, its no wonder the police won’t make any arrests. Police Chief Banks says he’s sent out an investigation unit to flush out some answers. What’s to investigate? Just because something smells now doesn’t mean it wasn’t trash before. I for one hope the police don’t find any answers. Or worse yet, try and stop this latest rash of public executions. If it’s good guys killing bad or bad guys killing bad, who cares? Give me a call if you citizens need any help. Al Simmons reporting for you on My View on two.”
“Once again it looks to be as if we may have yet another record breaking August boasting the hottest temperatures of 1992. And finally, word out of New York is that there’s a new mystery man in the big apple. Only a handful of reports so far, but from what I can tell, our big bruiser has a fetish for Zorro. I mean lets get serious. A cape! With the young blood fashions being all the rage, why would anyone try to bring back such a totally useless accessory? Now those spikes and chains he has, those are simple darling. A perfectly riveting statement. Charles Smith reporting for Entertainment Television.”
So beautiful. But who is she? Why do I keep…God no. She’s my wife. I have a wife. But I can’t remember anything else. I don’t know what her name is or the colour of her eyes, but we were husband and wife, unto death us do part. That’s why she was grieving at my funeral. It was her that made me want to come back. I let my mercenary instincts take over too quickly. Got too caught up in this damn costume. I’m no hero. It’s just that everything is so different. What’s happened to the last five years? I’m stranded here not knowing what’s going on. I know I’m alive but I can’t feel it. The only this I can feel is this damn costume. Got to get it off, get away from it. “My face… Felt like… Jesus! What am I?
Somewhere in time the Devil laughs. Ha ha ha… McLeod… If you think you’ve got problems now. I promise, your troubles have just begun.
“Catherine?” That’s it Finally I remember her name. Catherine Blake. I remember how her grandma had a fit at the wedding, when she found out Catherine wasn’t going to take my last name. Wonder how grandma Blake is theses days. She could be dead for all I know. Hell, everyone I knew could be dead. I still can’t recall all my life, but the pieces are coming together faster now. Every flash of memory adds another piece to the puzzle, which is my life. Funny how being a walking dead man can screw up your life. At least I remembered her name. Was driving myself crazy knowing I had a wife I couldn’t identify. Only thing is, I don’t even know if she’s alive either. With five years of my life missing, just stolen from me, anything might be possible now. After I find her, I can check on my brothers… and mom and dad. Hope they don’t mind having a ghost walk into their lives.
I miss everyone. Even those I can’t remember. Hard to believe I’ve been away only a few days. It seems like a lifetime ago. I don’t know if I even have a life anymore. That’s the scariest part. Some answers seem so damn far away. What I need to do is get the file on Catherine, find where she lives, start from there. And I know just where the boys at the agency keep that information. Ironic yet amusing how I used to bitch about those people for invading peoples’ privacy and they might have the missing clues I’m looking for. Getting into the building will be an cinch with these powers. I’m almost like a young blood. Wonder if they’re still around. There are probably a hundred of them, knowing those government stiffs.
“Exploit and overkill,” the motto of any government system. We’ve got a few scores to settle, Uncle Lucifer and I. Like, number one, how did I die? That one still hasn’t come back to me. I’ll put that one on the back burner, for now. Have to figure out Pandora’s box one bit at a time. First, I have to see Catherine. She’s the only reason I’m even back. Then I’m going to find the Devil, the scumbag who’s messing with my so-called life. For an agnostic, I sure got thrown into a biblical nightmare. Demons, souls, deals, lies, that’s what’s in the great beyond.
Not some cute old man in a beard. I hope there is another option at death though, because grandma Blake doesn’t deserve what I’ve got. Hell, no one deserves what I’ve got. It was a hell of a deal I made. “Let me see my wife and you can have my soul.” Sounded simple. I never foresaw that he’d strip away everything I had. My face, my skin. And he seems to be toying with my memories. Giving me selective recall. Well, your time will come, Devil.
Somewhere in time the Devil laughs. “Ha ha ha… Oh, my. McLeod, you poor, pathetic fool! Threaten away you little maggot. It’ll do you no good; because you’ve been locked into a deal I can’t lose. I’ve dealt with your kind a million times. Always begging for more. Always needing something. Something big and mean and ugly! My personal mission is to make your new life a living hell! Yes my dear friend, it wasn’t by accident that you were picked to receive the power.
Your life history made you the perfect choice. How amusing, a hired killer now thinks he can have morals. No, McLeod morals are a luxury we are not granted. We do what we have to, that is enough. We must grow, our army must grow. You’ve been selected to help speed up that growth. And in case you might need a little motivation, I’ve sent a few minions to keep an eye on you. Trust is not strong among us. Yes, you and I made a simple deal. Unfortunately, you forgot to read the small print. Ha ha ha!”
Somewhere between heaven and hell (the C.I.A. headquarters, New York). Got my wife’s file, this should give me some answers. Just need to take care of one small detail.
“It’s almost midnight, Linda, why don’t we call it a night. Perhaps I can buy you a drink?”
“Uh, no thank you, Mr. Miller, but my husband is waiting for me.”
“And how is the new hubby, anyways? Surely he won’t mind if you’re not home right on time.”
“Actually, sir, he, uh, needs me to help cook dinner.”
“At this late hour? Not much of a man if he just sits around waiting for you to cook. Speaking of cooking, why waste those luscious lips on food, when I can think of a number of things I’d much rather see them do. Hmmm.”
“Please, Mr. Miller, I can’t!”
” Oh yes you can. But not tonight I guess. Okay, gather your things. I’ll see you in the morning. And wear that cute little blue outfit I like so much. Hey! Who’s been screwing with my files?”
“Hkkkhh!” Yet again the masked hand strikes, never failing to find the guilty.
” You listen! And you listen well! Word is that since your divorce you haven’t paid a penny in child support. I highly recommend that you correct this mistake quickly, because if I have to come back again, she’ll get the money from your life insurance policy. Do we understand each other?” A hurt yet powerful voice diffuses into the air around.
“Good. There are some of us who would give our lives to have a wife or family. And if you ever so much as touch your secretary again, you’ll never use those hands again. They always said you were scum, Billy.”
“Uhh? How do you know my name? Where are you damn it? Who are you?”
“Pray you never learn.” A faint whisper echoes back into the darkness left by the cloaked stranger.
Somewhere in time the Devil laughs. “Yes! That’s it! Become evil! Vicious! Violent! Ha ha ha!”
She started a scholarship in my name to help the under privileged. Queens? Why would she move there when her parents lived on Staten Island? Must be a reason why. What’s this? No! God save me. No. It can’t be. He reaches to his chest and though his heart has no need to beat it holds him in excruciating pain.
In Queen’s the next day, a twenty-five minute commute from Manhattan stands a nondescript house. White fence. Porch. The perfect little hideaway. And the home of Catherine Blake, widow of Lt. Col. John McLeod.
“Time to change into human flesh again. Wish I could look like my-self, but these powers seem to have a mind of their own sometimes. I can’t even change my appearance. Keep turning into this damn white guy. Worse yet, I look like some Californian pretty boy. And of all of the hair colours, why blonde? That’s it, keep joking. Then maybe your nerves will settle down. Or at least your hands will stop shaking. Even better, I’ll stop talking to myself.”
I feel like some stupid school kid going out on his first date. Now there’s a joke, we dated three years and were married five. Have to go slow. Feels like I’ve been gone only a few days, but five years have passed for her. Hope she’ll remember. Hope I can count on her. Well, here goes everything.
“Be right with you!” Comes a beautiful voice.
“Grrr.” A dog? It’s familiar? It’s my dog, I remember.
“Good day! May I help you? My god she’s even more beautiful.
“Uh… hello… I’m from the… the…”
“What’s the matter? It looks like you’ve seen a ghost. Excuse my appearance. I was just trying this dress on to see if it fits. Big business party tonight. You know the kind. Lots of people. Lots of food. Minimal fun. But if I don’t go, then the whole office gets uptight. So what do you think of it?”
“You’re gorgeo… I mean it’s gorgeous.”
“Sniff, sniff, sniff.”
“Thanks. Anyway, you rang the bell. So what can I do for you?”
All right now, you’ve already gone over this a dozen times. Hit her where she’s got a soft spot. “Uh… I’m from the N.C.D.L., and we’re going around the neighbourhood, checking to see if the dogs have been licensed. We’re having a special this week where you can renew the license for twelve dollars or register for fifteen dollars so if this is you first…”
“Mama! Mama!” What?
“Why you go, Mama?” Tugging at the arm of her stolen mother.
” Excuse me.” She attends to her offspring. “Sweetie, mommy had to get the door. A man wants to know if your doggie is okay.” A girl? The file didn’t say anything about a child. How can it be? We couldn’t… I thought she couldn’t… “I’m sorry. She’s only 15 months old and still at that clingy age. Every time I leave the room she thinks I’m abandoning her. Silly girl mommy wouldn’t leave you.” We always wanted children, but something wasn’t right. Doctors said it was no use. But it was me! God damn it, it was me! “Now, where were we again?” I couldn’t give her what she wanted most… what I wanted…what… “Unnhh.” Something runs clean through his soul, an agonising pain that he could only stop by losing consciousness. “Michael! Michael! Quick! Get down here now! I need help!”
“Mama, man fall down! Tee-hee-hee.”
“I think he’s coming to.” Soothing words come from a familiar voice. They were the words of a friend. Where am I? No! Jesus, the file was true! Michael did marry Catherine… “Hey, buddy, take it easy now. You okay? Do you want us to phone a doctor or something? Maybe I could call your family or your wife?”
“I don’t have a wife anymore.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“Yeah, me too. Kills me every time I see her.”
“She must have been really special.”
“More than you’ll know. Thing is, I don’t know why I lost her.” He wants to tell everything but he has to hold back. “It’s okay, buddy. Catherine lost her husband five years ago, too. Killed in the line of duty.”
“All of us were. He was the best friend I had. But somehow through that tragedy, Catherine and I found each other. Took us a long time, though.”
“Arf.” The dog walks up to McLeod and tilts it’s head to the side as if to remember something.
“So you see, we’ve all been though life’s limbo. And even thought the hurt never completely goes away, the memories of good times are yours to hold on to. Say, how’re you feeling anyway?”
“Like a man out of time.”
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, our dog likes you… a lot! She was my late husband’s dog, and she hasn’t warmed up to anyone since he died. As a matter of fact, she hates everyone… even Michael. You must have a kind soul.”
“Not anymore.” He can now tell the truth but it is that, the truth he must still hide.
“Oh, don’t be silly! You strike me as a very strong person. Take that gift and share it with others. I’m sure your ex-wife doesn’t want you to stop being yourself.”
“My wife… I mean my ex-wife doesn’t know anything about me anymore. If I try to tell her my feelings, I think I’d ruin her life. She seems really happy now. I don’t know what to do about that. She’s remarried, has a family now. Even though I love her more than ever, I don’t know if it’s right for me to invade that happiness. She’s as happy and beautiful as you seem to be.”
“What a sweet thing to say. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Sorry if I ruined your day.
He disappears into the sunset. I wanted to tell her! But I couldn’t! As night falls, his pain only mounts. “Why? Why are you torturing me? What kind of sadistic pleasure are you getting from this? You want my soul? Then come get it! Just try and get it! I was going to give it to you willingly! Do you hear? I just wanted my wife! Can’t you understand that? I don’t want these powers! I never asked for them or anything else! I only wanted one thing… to see my wife! You could have had my soul.
You could have had anything! But you’ve lied and cheated for the last time, I promise you! You’ve stolen Catherine from me, taken my face, my very existence away. And you even had to prove it was me who couldn’t produce children. You knew she wanted a child more than anything. Now she has that child. How can I ethically get in the middle of that? If you’re going to screw me, I’m going to screw you! You want my soul. Then come get it! Let’s see who’s got the power! You scumbag.” As if on cue… “Yo!” Uh?
“Mr. I sold my soul to the devil! You don’t know me but I know you. Very well. I thought it was time we share some of our common interests. Like Killing! And slaughtering! And destroying! All the things you did when you were with the government? Remember? You and I could have a million laughs together. Ha ha ha!”
” I don’t know what you are, but I guarantee you’ve picked the wrong time!”
“Good. Hey said you had a lot of spunk!”
“If you’re from the same hell pit I came from, then I’ve got a message to send back to your boss!”
“So let’s see how much heart you have!”
“Gkh!” A long agile hand thrusts into McLeod’s chest and retract taking with it the heart of it’s victim.
“Hmmm… that was simple! The master will be pleased. I live to serve the master. Don’t know why he
wasted so much time on this guy. I heard he had some special powers. Obviously, not enough. I’m tired of others always being afraid of someone else. It’s me they should fear most. Not some soft flesh-and-bones of a mere human!”
“Excuse me demon. Who said anything about being human? Let’s try that again. But this time, try and do some real damage.” A confidence is found but this must be used to hide his confusion.
“I don’t believe it! Who gave you such powers? Since when did humans begin to rate? They’ve always been too fragile for this.”
“Say something new school-boy.”
“He doesn’t need a heart! I thought you said you’d give me the power! You said I’d be stronger than him! How can he survive without his bloody heart? No one warned me. I thought this was going to be an easy assignment. Not an immortal human. The master and I shall have words.”
He continues his silence. For what does a man say to an offspring of the pit of hell? Perhaps the obvious. “I believe this belongs to me as he slowly takes his heart and returns it to its rightful place, his own chest. “That’s better. Now pay attention demon, I know your master. The scum’s screwing with my life too. He seems to enjoy ruining people’s lives. And for the life of me I can’t understand why. But if he’s messing with you, and changing whatever deal you’ve made…that’s your problem. I’m still trying to deal with mine. Unfortunately, you think things can’t get worse for you. Wrong! You’ve got an immediate problem to take care of. Namely me. Because I’ll be damned if anyone’s going to rip my heart out… and not pay.”
The force of his blast carves a hole through the demon. Fragments of bluish, rotting chunks vomit themselves from the wound… The brick walls now have a mural of crimson gore. As the blood runs softly down the wall, he is taken aback for a moment. Not by the blood; he has seen and spilled far too much. Nor is it the force of his power. It is simply that all this even exists. How…can he repair a dismembered heart? Why… does he even have such powers? When… Is all this madness going to end? Where… does he go, now that he has lost everything? The questions ricochet through his brain… and the scariest part for him is that he is almost getting used to all the insanity around him. “You idiot! You’re not the only one that can survive an organ transplant. I had the power long before you stumbled upon it!”
“So what’s your point?”
“My point, dear boy, is, if you’re looking to play the old eye for an eye game, you’re more of a fool than I thought! Allow me to demonstrate!” The demon picks him up by the chest and throws his body against the wall consuming him in the demons own blood. “So what’s your point?”
“Listen, I’m not here to play games. I’m here to keep you in line, to make sure you don’t stray. Why he’s making such a deal out of you, I still haven’t figured out. But until such time, it’s my job to show you the ropes. Just hope I don’t strangle you with hem! Now wouldn’t that be a pity! Ha ha ha!”
He, yet again, unleashes another blast. Feeling that he’s being drained, of power, of life. “Ha! Nice shooting! You’re supposed to hit the target, Chump! Let me give you a pointer. Like this!”
“No! You take this! And that!”
“Ow. Big deal! I didn’t need that arm anyway! What about you?” Both stand, still, both with only one arm. “Enough! I gave the both of you far too much credit. It is not necessary to mutilate each other… when neither of you can die! Like a pair of jealous siblings, you don’t realize the two of you are part of the same family. And like it or not, I’m your Daddy! And like a good parent, I can see the need to share some of my insight, so you two boys will know exactly what’s going on. Destiny and damnation.. you control neither. So, even though you struggle to make sense of what’s happening it doesn’t matter because I run both you lives! “Go to hell!”
“Believe me, he already has.”
“Ha ha ha… Vigour and humour! What an unlikely combination. You boys do warm my soul! Don’t be so surprised. I do have a soul… and eight billion others! Nearly enough to satisfy my need! Evil can be very addictive, especially after death. The accumulation of the souls of the damned can have only one outcome. The destruction of God! Yes, McLeod, there is a God! For an atheist like yourself that might be a shock. But with all you’ve been through, I’m sure it’s not such a hard concept to follow.
“Call him what you will. He is now your enemy! And it was your choice. I don’t have the power to turn people away from God. They have to do that willingly. But once they do I need to seize that moment and make them mine. Once I have them, my powers can and will control them forever. Which is where you come in, my dear son. My army of evil is not quite complete. I need billions more for the forces of good are naturally quite strong. To ensure my eventual victory, though, I need agents to do my bidding. Your past human life made you the perfect candidate. Young, arrogant, destructive, ruthless… and a hired killer. There’s not too many of you around. As one of my agents, you need powers to set you apart. That was simple. But I’d be a fool to make it limitless.
You’re wise enough to have sensed the draining of the power. If not, let me explain. The more you use your energy, the faster you come to a second death. The slower you use it, the less chance you have of stopping evil around you. Either way, I eventually end up owning your soul! The only choice you have is… how fast you’re willing to give it? All this because of some petty emotion called love. You see, my child from hell, I can’t lose.
It’s either the depletion of your power, which leads to your death, which leads to losing your soul to darkness and simultaneously killing the so-called bad guys, which helps build my army that much faster… or… you do nothing! Just let the evil and ugliness prosper her on earth, while your emotions grow colder as you justify to yourself why you needn’t do anything to those who prey on the innocent. Now that you have been fairly warned, let me offer my assistance. I’ll give you the new arm. No sense you wasting any more power, my child.”
“Hey! What about me? How about a little something for my effort! Look boss, I did a hell of a job here! Kept an eye on some on the criminal activity, made the cops think there’s a lunatic on the loose, even put a bit of fear into his heart. Speaking of which, no one warned me of his powers when I got this assignment! I mean look at this arm! Not a pretty sight!” as he holds up his severed limb, the wound already crawling with maggots. ” And this hole in my stomach, it’s worse than a bloody ulcer!”
“Silence!” As he picks up the 20ft demon in the palm of his hand. “You have failed me miserably! It is incompliments like you that make my battle against the God so laborious! I sometimes think there are traitors among us! You, my child, are a sad excuse for hell! I made you in my image, told to keep a watchful eye on him. Prod him if called for. But you abused those powers, going on a killing spree with no agenda in mind. Now, the New York criminals are being cautious. Paranoid thieves serve me no purpose! You my erratic child, are being grounded! Lucifer closes it’s hand all three fingers touch his palm.
“For now, I’m through with the two you! In an instant he’s gone. Disappeared without a trance but a triangle of three stones. Both children of hell ponder the significance of this and both fail to see any meaning. The demon is returned to it’s human form left clueless with only six fingers and two thumbs. “Oh great! Jut great! Go ahead. Kick me while I’m down! This is just damn perfect! I work my butt off to try and please you and what do I get for my troubles? Squat, that’s what! There’s just no pleasing some people! But that’s okay.
I don’t mind being short, fat and ugly! As a matter of fact, I kind of enjoy it! So if this is the worst you can do. I’m not impressed! Who wants to live in hell anyways! Makes me sweat like a pig! And this guy, big hairy deal. You call that an agent? Don’t make me laugh. Damn you! This sucks the big one!” With the battle ending so quickly, the police are once again too late to intervene. That suits our character’s needs. Until he sorts out the dizzying events surrounding his new life, being unknown and undetected will be his only source of comfort. A hat and a trench coat, removed from the back of a cars, serve to disguise him. He is now nothing more than a two-bit thief, he thinks wandering the late-night streets in search of peace, of some semblance of sanity. Power. To use or not to use; that is the question. If he can’t decide maybe his fate will. “Rob, Look! It’s that new superhero!”
“Right on, man! Let’s check him out!”
“Cool! I didn’t think he really existed!”
“I saw him first!”
McLeod looks over his shoulder to see two young boys sprinting towards him. “How? H-how did you know?”
He turns away and closes his eyes. “Hey mister! Watch out!”
“Uh?” Are they talking to me he thinks.
“Aww cool, man! Look at him Kobe!”
“It’s that dragon dude from Chicago! I told you he was cool.”
He escapes the scene but fails to escape the nightmare.
Is this my destiny? Is it meant to be that I live in paranoia of someone discovering my truth, my identity? Our hero is left to his own devices; it is now his task to dance with the devil. He is a superhero, but not a super hero born through good and fighting for good for he is born of the pit of hell, born through evil but fighting for good. He has no choice. He has nothing. Many people spend many years of their lives trying to find their true identity, trying to find themselves. But for our hero he has no identity, nothing to search for but he has the many years. He has too many years. He will die slowly as he watches his reason for returning grow old, wither and die.