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Pyromania: To Be An Immortal

By: Atton Brown

Page 1, This is from Josh\'s POV. It takes place a few months after the first part. This time Josh and Terry close in on the Pyromaniac but the pressure collapses in Terry. He and Josh...split and Josh begins to embrace his hero.

 

Would you like to be an immortal?
 Really?
To live in this world
With all the problems
You face
And the pain
You have to endure.
To live forever
In a world
With so much corruption?
Would you like to be an immortal?
 Really?
 

 
 
137
My feet glided down the roof, searching for the edge. As soon as I find it, I leap off towards the next roof. It’s exhilarating, the feeling to leap small buildings in a single bound. T was too stubborn to try it though.
         I look down at my watch, “Crap,” I whisper, “I’m late.”
         I picked up speed and flung myself into the air, my eyes fixed on the Place. I tried to muffle my landing so I rolled a bit as I hit the top of the house. I ran down the roof of the house and leapt forward but as I landed, I misjudged the distance and fell short of the edge. I crashed into the ground feeling my arm crunch. I stood up and it slowly realigned and healed.
         I started running to the Place and the shoes amplified my speed. It wasn’t even like running anymore because I couldn’t feel my feet touch the ground. I was so taken by the sensation that I zoomed by the Place, not knowing how to stop. I turned around and screeched to a halt just in front of the wall. I slowly pushed through the door and see T and Casey waiting.
         “You’re late,” Casey tells me.
         “No,” I shrugged, “you’re just early.”
         T looked down at my feet. “You just had to test the new shoes.”
         “Hey,” I began, “Nirvana gives us these gadgets for a reason. But the hydraulics are way too powerful,” I continued. “Did I miss it?”
         “Yeah,” T nodded, “but he just wanted to give us this.”
         He showed me a newspaper and on the front cover was nothing more than what seemed to be a stick figure.
         “What is it?” I wondered.
         “That’s you,” Casey almost yelled.
         “What, it’s a bird,” I shirked it off.
         “Josh,” T said sternly, “I remember that day. It was the first day Nirvana gave you the shoes. We’re supposed to be a secret.”
         “I’m sorry dude, I messed up,” I apologized.
         “It’s cool,” he sighed, “just don’t let it happen again.”
         I panted a little, finally catching my breath, “No problem.”
 
 
  
138
If I scrape my knee, I can mend it. If I cut my hand, I can heal it. If I am shot, I will not die. I have not seen my own blood in almost three months. My name is Joshua Rider and I am an immortal.
         It has only been a few months but I love it. You already know my two best friends Casey and Terry (T). If you don't, let me give you the lowdown.     
         First, there’s T, he’s my best bud, and I’ve known that dude forever. Him and me, we’re roommates in an apartment we rented. T is a cool guy, but he gets kind of uptight sometimes. He’s eighteen, like me and we were both raised in the Field. T is real tall, like a few inches taller than I am.
         A little while back, he and Casey, this girl he’s had a crush on for as long as I can remember, got together. I’m happy for him, really, but lately he’s been somewhat obsessed with her. I do not blame him for going with Casey though, if T and I weren't friends, I’d totally… I mean…uh–yeah… she’s cool but we don’t always see eye-to-eye.
         Casey is a year older than me and T and she’s Hispanic. Many times, she’ll go into to some crazy Spanish rant and we don't know what she’s saying. She’s the smart one out of us. Actually, I’m probably smarter than her she just shows it more and prides herself on trivial grades.
         Then there is me, Josh. I’m a lot more laid back then T or Casey. I am not brainless, even though it may seem like it sometimes. I mean, why work my butt off, and have no life, when I can just get by and still have fun? I can be serious when I have to but if I don't have to, I like to have fun and I do what makes me happy. I used to be the pothead of the group but that didn’t make me happy anymore so I quit, simple as that. I’m the jokester too, even in fires I joke sometimes.
         What fires? Well, me and T are looking for someone called a Pyromaniac. He’s the psychopath that, decided to burn all of the victims of some myth named Vigor only to cause me more grief. I thought he was just a legend. I left out a lot of details but I’m not the greatest writer.
         Anyways, my story starts with a simple phone call to Nirvana…
 
 
 
139
“Uh, hello can I speak to Nirvana please? I’m a friend,” I said, unsure of who I was talking to. I could tell that it was not Nirvana, though; I could clearly hear it was a man.
         “Who is this?” I heard an angry voice bark.
         “Josh,” I trembled.
         “Well, she’s not here,” he said gruffly.
         “Who's that on the phone Zak?” I could hear Nirvana in the background.
         “Hey, I can hear her,” I tried not to yell. I didn’t want to upset whoever I was talking to, they seemed angry enough. “Let me talk to her.”
         “Zak, give me the phone,” Nirvana said, taking the phone, “Hello.”
         “Hi Nirvana it’s me, Josh.”
         “Oh hey, Josh. Sorry about Zak he can be a little… overprotective,” Nirvana explained.
         “I can tell,” I rolled my eyes.
         “How’d the shoes work out for you?” she wondered.
         “Great,” I told her, “a little too strong though, T advised me to lay off for awhile. But I called because I want to ask you something,” I started.
         “Um, okay, shoot,” Nirvana optimistically replied.
         “I was watching some old Superman movies and was wondering…”
         “Yes?” she asked.
         “You know how Superman always gets weak around Kryptonite?” I continued.
         “Josh, where are you going with this?” Nirvana wondered.
         “Even though me and T are supposed to be invincible or immortal –or whatever I have to ask. What is our weakness; what is our ‘Kryptonite?’ ” I finally asked.
         “Hmm,” Nirvana seemed surprised. “That’s a good question.” There was silence for a while. She took time to think then said, “It’s possible you might be vulnerable to Criobite.”
         “You said that Criobite can only hurt the undead,” I noted.
         “Well with all the crazy things you said you've done you should be dead but you're alive,” Nirvana explained.
         “So does that make me undead?” I wondered.
         “Maybe,” she guessed.
         “Okay Nirvana, thanks.”
         “No problem, Josh. Bye.”
         “See you later.” I hung the phone up. “Criobite,” I said to myself.
         T walked in. “Come on man, He wants to see us.”
         He was an unnamed man, obviously. We get all of our information from Him and it’s always head on and reliable. Me and T always meet him in the Place. Yes, that’s the name; creative huh?
         “What’s He want T?” I asked.
         “He said he had some information. That’s all he ever says,” T told me. “Come on Hannah is warmed up.”
         Hannah was my car and she was sexiest car on the face of the earth. Couldn’t give you the make or model but if it was a girl I’d date it. Yes that’s weird but that's me, you’ll get used to it.
         “Right,” I rolled my eyes. “So why’d we have to bring Casey?” I asked. She never helped us and If she tried, she just got in the way. I did not want to tell T, but it was like she wanted us to fail.
         “Like it or not,” he started.
         “I’m part of the team,” Casey chimed in.
         I hated when she finished his sentences. It wasn’t cool or cute it was just annoying as crap.
         “Yeah but,” I thought about what I was going to say and I didn't say it. “Never mind,” I said pulling up to the Place.
         “No, what were you going to say?” she wondered.
         “Trust me on this one Casey,” I told her, “you really don't want to know.”
         P.S. I am the one that drives them everywhere and do I ever get a thank you; no not a one, just a lot of ungrateful put-downs and Casey. What fun! (Sarcasm intended).
 
140
When we got in, He was waiting in the shadows. He looked to his left then to the right, He always does that. He wants to make sure no one is watching. For those of you that do not already know, The Place used to be the hideout for The Valinior Force.
         “Staying hidden?” he inquired, I guess that was directed at me.
         “Of course, what you got for us?” I asked.
         “I have new information on the Pyromaniac,” he said discreetly.
         “You know who it is?” T wondered.
         “No,” He admitted.
         “Why not,” I said annoyed. “We’ve given you more than enough time.”
         “He’s right,” T continued, “months of time working on the same case. You should have already had it solved and started working on the next two.”
         It was sort of routine for T and me to interrogate Him this way. One; we didn’t fully trust Him and two; it was the best way to get information out of Him that he may be withholding.
         “Josh, stop hounding him,” Casey snapped at me… after her boyfriend was helping me do it. “Why are we here then?”
         “I know he is working with someone new,” he confessed.
         “Who is he?” Casey asked.
         “She,” he corrected her. “It seems the Maniac is working with a partner, a ‘femme fatale.’ ”
         “So do you a have a name for us or not?” I said irritated.
         “No.”
         “You always have something. Don't tell me you're slipping,” T raised his eyebrow.
         He did not respond. Maybe He was slipping or maybe he was hiding something.
         “Don't lie to us,” I said skeptically. He looked up at me.
         “I would never lie to you guys,” He snapped but I was unconvinced.
         “How do we know that? We don't know if you just get lucky or weasel your way out of a lie. So how do we know that we can trust you?” T said suspiciously.
         “Have I ever given you reason not to trust me?” he asked.
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