"A local bar caught fire last night around 10 in
the evening." News reporter Jimmy Sanders said, looking into the
camera as he read of the teleprompter placed conveniently next to
it. "Witnesses report to seeing a small figure running from the
scene suspiciously before the building caught aflame."
The TV flashed to a scene of the burned building.
Police tape boarded the building, a few guards lingering for
protection. The left side of the building was blackened the
entire way up from the fire, stretching about midway into the
building. The corner had fallen off, leaving it exposed to the
outside world. The sign that rested on the top of the bar was
half burned, half stained by smoke. It wasn't a pretty sight.
"Yet, only moments before fire trucks and police
arrived, they say they saw a man dressed in black chase after the
The picture flashed to that of an old man with a
microphone that was rather close to his face. The man's eyes
appeared to be closed, his bald head shinning slightly off the
"He was dressed in all black-really hard to see.
But there was one distinct feature that proved he was there." The
man said. Underneath on the television screen, a label appeared
announcing he was Todd McDermott; Neighbor. "He had a
green slash that crossed over his back. It almost looked like his
clothing had been ripped open and underneath was green skin.
Hell, for all I know, his skin was green. Couldn't see a *beep*
part of him."
Sanders' voice spoke over top of the scene as the
camera moved to a different position. A close up shot of the
sign. The damage was much more evident through that position.
"Police later found Charles Kingston tied to a
telephone post only two building from where the fire took place.
They later confirmed that Kingston was the initiator of the
fire." His voice was shaky at first, but Sanders quickly regained
his confidence, finishing up the story smoothly.
"This is not the first time a felon has been
found nearly right outside of the crime recently. Many other
people have reported to see the same Man with the Green Slash on
the scene. Police are now conducting an investigation looking
into who this mysterious man could be, and what his intentions
are." Sanders faked a small smirk, "However, if this mystery man
continues to catch the criminals for us, he might not be so bad."
Sanders composed himself again, pausing for a
moment before speaking, "Next up, a local bakery wins a 20,000
dollar contest. How they did it, and what they plan to do with
the money coming up after the break."
Rick, the cameraman, motioned with his hand that
they were off air. Sanders relaxed in his chair, leaning back.
Mr. Myers, his boss, stormed onto the set, his
face furious. He pressed both of his palms flat against the desk,
glaring at his employee. "What the hell was that, Sanders?"
"What do you mean?"
"You are hired to look good and read from the
teleprompter. Exactly what the teleprompter says." He growled.
"You did my ass." Mr. Myers snapped, "You
completely skipped over the segment on the Man with the Green
Sanders gave Mr. Myers an incredulous look, "Do
you really think our viewers are going to believe what we had
about that? We had no documented proof. It's ridiculous to begin
with. It would only make our company look bad if we had that up!"
"I'll decide that!" Mr. Myers said, "If
you can't do a simple damn job of reading what you're told to
read, then maybe we don't need you to work for us."
Sanders was surprised, "Sir, what you had sounded
as if it was something from a science fiction novel. No one can
actually fly or break bricks with their bare hand. It's
preposterous! Superheroes don't exist."
"Superheroes might not exist, but the public
loves mystery. We're going to grab them by their balls and keep
them paying attention to our every word with this."
"No buts!" Mr. Myers moved back from his
intimidating stance, "If you don't read exactly what's on the
teleprompter from now on, you're fired. Don't think I will
hesitate. Your ass will be off this channel before you can say
'but sir'"-at this point, Mr. Myers raised his voice to mimic a
whiney teenager-"and your career on television will be
ruined. Do you understand?"
Sanders took a deep breath, trying to calm
himself down, "Yes, Sir."
"Good." Mr. Myers walked off stage.
Rick looked over at Sanders, giving him a glance
of pity. "We're on in 30 seconds."
Sanders took a deep breath, licking his lips. He
used all the time he had to calm his heart beat down. When Rick
announced the ten second count down, Sanders opened his eyes,
staring straight into the teleprompter.
This time, he read it word for word.
No one knew they were being watched. At least not
personal. No one knew about the man standing on the catwalk
above, watching the entire scene unfold.
Not a soul.
No one knew about him at all.
The stranger shook his head slightly, chuckling
softly to himself. He wasn't a superhero, but he was damn sure he
wasn't a villain. If the media wanted to portray him that way,
good for them.
But he knew otherwise.
He was a freak, a reject. He was a nobody with a
strange mutation. Not a physical mutation, but an internal
Suddenly, that nobody was about to become a
pretty big somebody.