A Hero in the Darkness

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
What happens to a hero when they die? What happens when they are born?

Submitted: July 25, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 25, 2016



A Hero in the Darkness


As I walk back to my hotel, clutching my bag of collectibles from today’s event, I recount all the memories associated with them. Having one of my “Watchmen” comics signed by Zack Snyder. Shaking hands with Chris Sabbath and having the opportunity to take a picture with him. Me and my friends being allowed to take a main stage to showcase our cosplays. We had dressed as our favorite Anime characters designed and stitched by our friend in school. I had dressed as Goku from the “Dragon Ball” series. I was not as toned as him, but I was muscular with a flattering physique. It was an awesome experience overall and I couldn’t wait for the final day.

I realized it was very late and I had lost my way to my hotel. I stopped, pulled out my phone, and begin looking for the number of a taxi service. It was then that I heard faint screams and shouts. The curiosity had struck me and I begin to look for the source. My walking grew faster as the screams had gotten louder. I jumped into a full sprint when I heard the words “please” and “stop” ringing through the air. I stopped in front of a dark alleyway where the screams were the loudest. My eyes were still adjusting to the new sense of blackness that surrounded the narrow alley. As I had grown comfortable to the darkness, I made out the shapes of two figures, one on top of the other, sprawling on the ground. The one on top was a man with his buttocks exposed to the night. The other, I assumed was female, due to the fact that heels adorned their feet. I didn’t know what to do, what should I do?

I had to do something, so I shouted, “Hey!” This got the attention of the man and he jumped to his feet, pulled up his trousers, and stumbled while pulling a knife from his pocket. I took a step back and looked to the woman on the ground, but it wasn’t a woman. It was a man in drag, which is not uncommon in this day of age, but did give me a shock.

“Hey fucker!” The knife man barked at me. I took another step back. “This ain’t none of your business, so get the fuck out of here.”

“Please, call the police.” The man in drag said to me as he whimpered.

The knife man kicked the drag in the ribs. “Shut the fuck up!” The drag coughed and rolled over on his side, away from his assailant. I took this time to run and push the man with the knife while he was looking away from me. He stumbled back and the knife flew from his hand to be engulfed by the alleyway’s darkness. I tripped over him and onto my back. The man in drag got up and ran for his purse, hopefully to call the police. The attacker gathered himself before I could and jumped on top me, placing his hands around my throat. He put all of his power into the grasp and I started gagging. My eyes started to water. It was an extraordinary pain that I can’t describe as I writhed and wiggled on the ground. The alleyway started growing even darker around me as I realized I was losing consciousness. I placed my leg under his groin and started kneeing it as hard as I could. I saw his face contort and grimace with each blow that I inflicted. Finally, after a couple more hits, his grip loosened enough for me to pry his hands away from my throat and throw him off of me. I coughed and ran my right hand along my throat. I got up before the man had time to retaliate. I kicked him in his head near his ear and straddled atop him. I pushed his hand away from his face and began to punch him in the face. I didn’t stop until he was out cold. I noticed his face. Bloody, mangled, and swollen in several places. How many times did I hit him? It seemed like a mere second to me, but his face told a different time. I got up and heard the wailing of sirens approaching. I walked toward the sidewalk and watched the drag waving frantically and sobbing. As the street lights started to cast on me, I looked down at my hands and shirt. They were covered in the man’s blood and that’s when the copper stench hit my nose. The sight and smell made me dizzy, I dropped to my knees, and caught myself on my hands before completely keeling over. My elbows were shaking and I couldn’t tell if it was from shock or my own weight bearing down. The cops got out of their cars swiftly and brushed past me into the alleyway. I heard commands being yelled, but I couldn’t make them out. Everything seemed to be getting fuzzier and I assumed I was on the verge of fainting. I eventually passed out after fighting the feeling for so long.

In my unconscios state, I had a strange dream of a man or a boy in a black hood far too close to my face. His green eyes staring directly into my mine. I could even make out each vein in the white area of his eye. He was so close, but I couldn’t move to push him away. I woke abruptly in an ambulance. Two EMTs were checking my vitals and placing a cold, wet towel on my forehead. They didn’t speak and I didn’t ask them anything. The female EMT smiled at me as she noticed I had woken up. I smiled back and felt relief all over. I was admitted to the emergency room to make sure my neck was fine and that the blood on my body was not my own. They stripped me and examined every inch of my body.

“That looks pretty nasty,” said the doctor. I looked down and noticed an inch of grotesque bruising under my left pec. I don’t remember getting that and I tried explaining the doctor the possibilities of getting it during the struggle, but I couldn’t. As I tried to speak a severe pain shot to the front of my throat. The doctor cooed and shushed me. He titled my head up and to the sides to examine my throat.

“I wouldn’t talk for a while. Don’t worry we’ll get you all fixed up. Some ice chips and pain relievers should help both your throat and that bruise.” He walked away and I sat on the bed. I looked down toward the ground and thought about the previous events. I got so deep into the scenario until I saw two bare feet with black nail polish on them. I looked up, but whoever it was had vanished. I jolted back and cowered on my bed. I calmed myself down and told myself it was just a trick of the mind. I laid back on the bed and looked toward the fluorescent bulbs hanging above. I focused on the hum that it gave as well. I lost track of time and dozed off soon after.

The next day, my friends came to visit me in the hospital. The girls were crying and the guys were just silently half-smiling in the back. They asked me hundreds of times if they could get me anything and if I was ok. All I could do was nod or shake my head in response. My throat still hurt so I couldn’t say much. They kept me company until two police officers entered my room. They asked me questions about the previous night and I wrote my answers down on a piece of paper. They thanked me for my time, but before they left one of the officers patted me on the shoulder and said, “You possibly saved a life last night and convicted an evil one. Be proud of that fact.”

They left and my friends turned to me in silence.

“What happened last night?” One of them asked. I shrugged and just smiled at them. My hospital door was thrown open and the man in drag from last night burst in followed by a nurse asking who he was.

The man stood across the room at me and clasped his hand over his mouth. Tears formed at the corners of his eyes and he held his arms out to me to give me a hug as he started making his way towards me. I was horrified as the large man in drag threw his arms around me and squeezed.

“Oh baby, Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” He said this over and over as I cringed in his embrace.

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for allowing me to live another day. I’m goin’ to church right now to pray for your wellbeing and for that asshole to get raped in jail like he tried to do to me. Fuck these assholes think they can get up inside me. Oh, but you saved me my dear.” The man said. He left, but before, he gave me a big kiss on the forehead. It made me shudder and I frantically wiped my forehead after he exited the room.

“Seriously! What the hell happened last night?!?” Shouted another of my friends. I let out a breathy laugh and my throat responded with pain. I lightly massaged my neck and noticed a figure in black peering through the door’s window. It moved away as soon as I had noticed it. I bolted for the door, but when I opened it all I saw was the dark alleyway from last night. I took a hesitant step through my door and felt the cold, cemented sidewalk. I turned around to walk back, but I was met with the asphalt of the road. I started walking toward the alleyway with slow, hesitant steps, but I stopped as I heard someone running. It was…me. Me as in the previous night me. Dressed in costume and running toward the same alleyway. The same events played out from last night. I tried calling out to myself, but my throat still hurt. I approached and tapped myself on the shoulder, but I did not notice. It was like a movie, playing without being able to manipulate. Everything was the same, until the part where I tackled the knife man. I knocked him down, but I was turned onto my back with the knife sticking out from under my left pec. The same spot as the bruise. I touched the bruise and flinched at the feeling. The knife man had again positioned himself on top of me and began choking me out, but I did not struggle. My body did not move at all. The knife man was squeezing and squeezing and picking up and throwing my head against the pavement. As each click of skull against surface was made audible, I winced as if it was happening to me. I felt queasy and I turned around to run, but there was the same black hooded male looking up at me with green eyes. He touched my bruise and I blacked out.

I woke up on an operating table with straps around my ankles and wrists. I looked around and noticed the black hooded figure looking at me, eating an apple with his feet underneath him on a swivel chair. He looked interested and never blinked as he sat there eating and watching. I wiggled in the straps and gave him a pleading look to undo the straps.

“You can talk y’know,” He spoke in an airy whisper.

“No I can-,” I cut myself off as I realized it didn’t hurt to speak, nor was it hard to. “Can you please undo these straps.”

“What straps?” He inquired. I looked back at my wrists and noticed that straps had disappeared. I sat up and looked at him. He stared back and tilted his head slightly. I noticed the black nail polish on his fingers and toes, which were also filthy with what looked to be ash or soot. The apple he was eating was badly bruised and dark brown on the inside.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“That was a death echo.” He said in his airy tone.

“What?” I asked.

“The alleyway.” He took a bite. “That’s where you died.” He said as juice spilled from the corners of his mouth. He began to swivel in the chair and stare at the ceiling. I puzzled the thought over in my head. I closed my eyes and imagined the images over and over. I opened my eyes and the guy was staring right into my eyes, like from my dream.

“You’re dead.” He said. I shuddered and backed away from him on the table. I blinked and he had vanished from the chair.

“It’s ok to be dead.” He spoke into my left ear. I gasped and doubled back onto the floor.

“Does it make since now?” He asked. As he leaned down over me and peered into my eyes. I thought about the whole situation and nodded.

“Great.” He said as he stood up and pulled an apple from nowhere. I thought about my family and friends. I thought about the wife I do not have and the children I would never know. I would never see attend school or have a family of their own. I sobbed a bit.

“You have a choice.” The hooded male said. I looked up toward him. “The events in the hospital is the reality that could have happened, had you not expired. You can choose that life and live it out until you expire once again with no memory of this interaction. Or, you can create your own reality. What is your choice?”

“What about heaven and hell?” I asked, not that I believed in religion or anything, but I assumed those were real.

“I don’t know what that is. Choose.” He said.

“Well, what really happened after I died?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Choose.” He said.

I figured he wasn’t going to give me any answers so I thought. I thought about the options and what they meant. If I’m already dead, it sounds like he is giving me an option to return to normalcy until I die again. I don’t know what that means, but he is giving me the option to basically play god. My own reality. I thought about what that meant.

“Ok. I choose the second option.” I told him. He walked away from me and stopped.

“Hey,” I started, but before I could continue he turned around and lunged the apple directly into my face, knocking me out.

I woke up in the hospital gown and apple shards covered my face. I realized I was in the alleyway, but it was daytime. Did it work? Am I hallucinating? Questions I asked myself. I walked out of the alleyway into the sunlight. The streets were barren and the air was warm with a cool breeze. What do I do?

“Think.” I heard the airy word in my right ear and I turned to see the hooded figure, but he was not to be found.

“Think?” I said to myself. I thought about my signed watchmen comic and it appeared at me feet. It just popped into existence. I picked it up and flipped through it and landed on the picture with all the heroes in a photo. I thought of myself in a superhero costume I had drawn when I was a teen and it appeared on me. I pictured the city bustling and rain pouring down on a dark night. It appeared the same way. I pictured crime. I made it as vivid as possible. Just the word crime. It appeared. Two cop cars were chasing a vehicle whose passengers were firing guns at the policemen. I pictured the words “super powers.” I felt a change in my aura. Did it work? I tried flying, but that didn’t work. I tried shooting laser beams out of my eyes, but that didn’t work. I looked at my arms to see if I was invisible, but I wasn’t. I went over to a light post and punched it and it gave way to my punch. It bended at the exact point of contact.

“Super strength? Awesome!” I said to myself. I started running toward the sound of the sirens. With my strength, my speed also increased. My reflexes were heightened, allowing me to move past traffic without running into cars. I passed the cops and the car they were pursuing and I positioned myself a few yards in front of the chase. The car started speeding up and I saw the driver stare at me with vigor and tenacity. I’ll admit I winced as I placed my hands in front of me. I felt the impact and opened my eyes to the crumpled car folding around me, but I was unharmed. My own world. I’ll need to create and arch nemesis.

© Copyright 2019 Voskie. All rights reserved.

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