Burnt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A runaway teen with powers is in search of an identity.

Submitted: May 31, 2016

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Submitted: May 31, 2016

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Burnt

By: Zach Kiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“How do you think it would feel to have them?”

“What? Superpowers?”

“No, herpes…. Of course I mean superpowers.”

“I don’t know.”

“I think it would be cool, I’d be a superhero.”

“Fat chance of that considering they all either got killed or arrested.”

Thomas sat there listening to the two annoying frat bros sitting behind him in his history class as his Professor was lecturing about what is known as Superhero Revolution. There used to be a time where the world was full of people with superpowers, who were revered as heroes by the people they protected. But eventually, the people turned on them and saw them as more of a danger and a threat to their safety. The world became a darker place and a much less trusting place, and the heroes in the sky no longer gave them hope and inspiration. The governments of the world could no longer tolerate them running around free, so they sought to control them and use them to their advantage as leverage. So began the new arms race to build up armies full of individuals with superpowers. And with that the wars became bigger, and the world more dangerous. Only a few of the worlds largest countries remain because they had large populations, which meant more powered individuals to use as weapons. 

 

“Alright class that'll be all for today, be sure to prepare for the midterm coming up next Friday because it will be worth a significant portion of your final grade.”

As Thomas got up to leave he heard a girl chime into the frat guys conversation behind him.

“Those super powered freaks need to just go away. They are the whole reason all of these wars started.”

“How is it their fault?”

“Because if they could have just not used their powers then all of this wouldn’t have happened.”

“Not use their powers? You do realize they don’t really have a choice in that right?”

“Uh everybody has a choice dimwit”

Before Thomas could hear anymore he hurried out of the classroom and back to his dorm room. He hates the term freak. Thomas has had to hide his powers ever since he got them when he was twelve years old and he woke up in his sleep with his hands engulfed in flames. He started yelling and his parents rushed to his room, but by the time they did his whole bed was on fire. Thats when his parents looked over and saw him in the corner crying. They were horrified and had no idea what to do with him. Thomas remembers them taking him out of school so that they could homeschool him. His family moved from the suburbs to a very rural town so as to keep him away from too many people. They wanted to teach him how to control his powers because they did not want their son taken away from them. They taught him how to control his powers and suppress the fire within him, but Thomas always hated that he had to hide himself from the world. But even he was afraid of the things that he could do, so he felt it best to just go along with what his parents believed to be the right thing for him.

Later that evening while sitting at the dinning hall alone he suddenly had a very strange feeling come over him. He started to feel warm, very warm. Warmer than a person who can control fire from within himself typically feels. So he looked up and across the room and saw nothing, then he heard a voice in his head that sounded unfamiliar to him. 

“Hello Thomas.”

“What? Who the hell are you? And how are you inside my head?”

Thomas began to panic, he was worried that somehow someway the government had discovered that he had powers and had come here to capture him. 

“Don’t worry we aren't with the government and we aren't going to capture you.”

“What? How did you know I was thinking that”

“Well probably because I am inside of your mind right now.”

Well yea they makes a good point Thomas was thinking to himself.

“Obviously I make a good point.”

“Well if you aren't the government then who are you?”

“I am just someone who wants to make the world a better place.”

“Well then why don't you go join the peace core?”

“Because jackass this isn't the 1990s”

Thomas began to get up and try to walk out of the dinning hall and once he got outside he noticed a woman following him. 

“I know you see me you could just turn around and talk to me.”

“Why won’t you just leave me alone?”

“Because I need your help.”

Thomas turns around and looks her in the face to say,

“Why on Earth would you need my help?”

“Because I want to make…”

“The world a better place, yeah you said that but that doesn’t answer my question now does it. Why do you need me?”

“Listen can we not do this here because I don't think this is a conversation for any ear to hear.”

Thomas looks up and realizes now that he is still surrounded by people, people who could turn him in at any moment. He is not about to get captured anytime soon, not after everything he has gone through just to get here to college. So he gets close to her and whispers,

“Listen if this is some sort of trap or joke, then it will not end well for you.”

“It isn't a trap or a joke.”

“Fine come with me.” 

Once they are back in Thomas’ dorm room he locks the door and blocks it just incase his roommate who is never there happens to show up. 

“Alright talk.”

“Thomas I need your help. And I know from being inside your head that you want to help make this world a better place too.”

“Wait I don't even know your name and you think that you know all about me?”

“My name is Bonnie and yeah I do, kinda hard to hide your true self inside of that brain of yours. I’m just surprised you weren't thinking of sex, I can’t tell you how hard it is to find a college age guy who isn't thinking about sex.”

“Ok, Bonnie, I’ll bite. Why do you need me to help you make the world a better place.”

“For the muscle dummy. I mean yeah sure I can do some damage, but you on the other hand. You could take out this whole campus before anyone could stop you. Except me of course, so if we teamed up we could be unstoppable.”

“What?”

“I want you to join me to help fight crime. I’ve been searching for a while to find another person with powers to join me.”

“You want us to fight crime together?”

“Duh you big dummy.” 

“Why in the hell would you want to do that?”

“To help make the world a better place obviously.”

Bonnie looks at Thomas as though he were an idiot, and Thomas returns that with a very unamused look.

“You want to be a superhero?”

“You don’t?”

“I’m no hero.”

“Well not yet you aren’t.”

“No. I’m no hero.”

“I know you want to make the world a better place. I saw it when you were thinking about your parents helping control your powers. How you wanted to use them for good, but they made you hide them.”

Thomas’ eyes jerk up to meet Bonnie’s and she can tell that she has touched a nerve. Thomas stands up in anger and thats when Bonnie noticed it, she saw the steam rising off of Thomas.

“You were looking at my memories?!”

“Woah buddy lets back down, I only saw what you were thinking about.”

“What did you see?!”

“Just that I swear.”

Thomas then backs down and cools off. Bonnie breathes a sigh of relief knowing that she would stand no chance against Thomas in a physical contest. Bonnie goes to sit beside Thomas.

“Listen I didn't mean to pry I just got excited. I haven't seen another person with powers in a couple years, and you are the first one who doesn't want to run and hide.”

“That’s not me anymore.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that I don’t want to save the world anymore. I just want to see it. I just want to get through life without being made into a weapon.”

“So you don’t want to help me?”

Bonnie looks at Thomas with a shocked face, and Thomas looks blankly back at her.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not a hero. I can’t be like those old folk legends that parents tell their little kids about.”

“They aren't Legends! That is the truth, this world used to be full of heroes with powers who used them to protect people.”

“And now those same powered people are either enslaved in the military as weapons, or they are killed off.”

“Well then we just won’t get caught.”

“What a bright idea I’m sure those old geezers of yours never thought of that one.”

“Those old Geezers, used to be looked at like Gods. Revered by the people.”

“And those very same people turned on them and enslaved or killed them.”

“That’s because they were scared. Threatened by things that they couldn’t understand. But now the people are afraid of the wars, they just want to be safe and it is time that people with powers started protecting people again.”

“Listen we aren't Gods, we aren't going to protect the people of this world or serve any higher purpose you could come up with. We are simply gonna grow old and die and that is the best case scenario.”

“You used to believe in those very same heroes, you even wanted to be one. What happened to you?”

“The real world happened, and when you grow up you have to get rid of those childish dreams of grandeur.”

“What do you mean the real world happened?”

“None of your goddamn business thats what.”

Thomas snaps very harshly towards Bonnie and she slides away from him. It is in this moment that Bonnie realizes something is truly bothering Thomas; that something happened to him that changed that young hopeful little boy. 

“And don't you try to go reading my mind to figure all of this stuff out anyway.”

“I won’t I promise.”

Bonnie gets up to leave and as she is walking out the door and closes it, Thomas says that he is sorry for snapping at her. She says there’s nothing to worry about and leaves her phone number incase Thomas ever needed to get ahold of her.

“There aren't too many of us left anymore, we gotta stick together no matter what.”

Thomas gives a small smirk before seeing her close the door and walk away. Then Thomas realizes he is still a little heated from his discussion so he decides to go for a walk to clear his head. By now it is dark out, but Thomas doesn't mind that after all according to Bonnie he could burn the whole campus down. Thomas laughs at the thought, and then he is brought back to all the endless debates he had with his parents about the same exact topic. Thomas’ parents loved him, but they also thought his powers were too dangerous to be let loose. Thomas just felt that he could use his powers for good, so the debates started as a be open about yourself versus hide your true self but Thomas could never win those debates. So eventually it would become an argument whenever he wanted to leave the house, fighting his parents for his freedom. Thomas loved his parents and he knew they loved him, but that one day it was just too much.

“Thomas for the thousandth time we've told you, you are not going to go away to college.”

“But Dad that’s not fair, it’s not like I’m going away to the city to try to become a superhero.”

“That’s not funny Thomas.”

“I’m not trying to be funny mom, I just want to get out of this house you guys have kept me locked away in here for six years I want to leave.”

“Thomas if you leave and can’t control yourself you are going to get yourself and a lot of people hurt.”

“I can control my powers now Dad you know that.”

“We just want to keep you safe sweetheart.”

“Mom you aren't keeping me safe you are suffocating me and keeping me prisoner just like the government would.”

“Just like the government?”

“Gary calm down…”

“Dad thats not what I meant.”

“Do you wanna know what the government would do to you Thomas? DO YOU?”

“Gary!”

“He wants to know Margaret!” 

“Dad I know what would happen.”

“Then you should know that we aren't keeping you prisoner like the government and if I hear you talk to me or your mom like that again then you won't be leaving your room for a month.”

Sitting across the dining room table in their old farmhouse from his parents, Thomas was beginning to fill with anger at the fact that his parents were keeping him cooped up in his house. So he just decided to go to his room himself and not continue the argument. Until later, when he knew that both his parents were asleep, he was able to distract the family dog with some leftover steak so that he could slip out of the house undetected. The county fair was that night and he needed some time out of that house and away from the farm. Games, rides, and girls. This was the first time Thomas was having some fun in as long as he could remember, but the group of girls that he had began talking to were apparently off limits because right after he did then a group of big burly corn-fed boys came up to him and started pushing him around. 

“You better back off you little homeschool freak.”

“Johnny leave him alone we were just talking to him.”

“Shut up Catherine and stay out of this.”

“Trust me guys you don’t want to do this.”

There were four of them in total, and all four of the guys were bigger than Thomas. He could feel himself starting to get hotter with ever push and every insult they hurled at him, until finally one of them punched him across the face and he fell backwards hitting his head on the ground. Then all four of them surrounded him and started punching and kicking him, it didn't matter that their girlfriends were yelling at them to stop they just kept on going. Thomas was just trying to focus on keeping his powers under control he didn't want to hurt anybody, but he could feel himself getting hotter and hotter. He was trying his hardest to hold it in, but the fire within was getting stronger and more uncontrollable until he felt a relief. The boys had stopped hitting him. Then a scream. Thomas opened his eyes to see what was going on and all he could see was bright orange. The four boys and all of the area surrounding Thomas were up in flame. All the people at the fair were stopped and staring, or running and yelling. The screams of the four boys as they were burning was something that Thomas would never forget. The pain in those screams is unforgettable. Thomas didn't know what to do so he ran. He ran until he was no longer on fire, and then he ran until he couldn't anymore. He was afraid. He didn't know what to do, and he couldn't go back to his parents after what he had done. So he decided that his best bet was to take their advice and try to lay low. The only issue is he was a runaway teenager with powers, there isn't a single person who would try to help him. He had to try to find a way to help himself so that he could stay hidden, except the only way he felt he could do that was if he used his powers to get himself enough money so he could go somewhere far away. So that is exactly what he started to do, he started using his powers to get money anywhere and everywhere he could. Using them to rob people, stores, banks. Anything so that he would be able to just get away and finally once he got enough of it he hitchhiked his way across the country, but by the time he got anywhere he had totally forgotten the person that he used to be. The one who wanted to help people, instead he became the criminal that everyone thinks powered people are. The only way he could think of fixing it was trying to continue the life he had and trying to go to college and try to become a better person. That is what has led him to where he is today, three years later still trying to atone for his sins.

Thomas is beginning to get chilly so he decides to head back to his dorm room for the night. It is then that Thomas realizes that he is being followed, he looks around and doesn't see anyone. But when he starts walking he hears footsteps behind him. He turns around and there is no one there. So he starts walking again, then the footsteps start again. Thomas begins to move faster and so do the footsteps. Thomas begins to start running, but it feels like he can’t get away from the footsteps no matter where he runs to, so he turns around ready to fight hands ablaze. Thats when he hears her voice, so distinctly familiar in his head.

“Gotchya”  

“Bonnie?”

Thomas feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around and as he does he sees Bonnie standing there in front of him. 

“Oh thank goodness I was worried for a second it sounded like someone we following me.”

“Yeah that’s what I made you think, I just needed to be sure.”

“Be sure of what?”

Then in an instant Thomas felt a sharp pain in his head. A loud ringing that couldn't got away, and the pressure inside his head was so strong it felt like his brain was about to rip out of his skull.

“Bonnie what’s happening?”

“I’m killing you ya big dummy.”

“What why?”

“Because you killed four kids, you didn't honestly think you could just get away from that did you?”

“What? I thought you weren't with the government?”

“Well if I had told you I was you would've tried to fight me, besides you young ones are always just so easy to trick.”

The last thing that Thomas sees is Bonnie standing over him laughing, and then he feels blood run out his nose and ears and then black.

“Yea boss, I got him. It was a piece of cake, all you have to do is mention the heroes and it gets em every time.”

 


© Copyright 2017 Zach Kiser. All rights reserved.

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