Trail-Man origins

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

When do you become a hero? Is it by watching your parents and following their example? Is it by getting inspired by movies, tv shows or comics? Is it by being at the right moment in the right time?

Who knows? No matter who you ask their defining moment of becoming a ‘hero’ is different. Some become a hero when they put on their costume. Some when they do the right thing.

Personally for me…well I don’t even know. What even is a hero? I’m pretty sure to some people I was their worst nightmare, and to others.. yes, a hero.

If you asked me, which no one did, I don’t think I ever truly became a hero. I just did what I thought was right and ignored the labels. Some things I imagine were heroic, but some others would be villainous, I don’t think that’s for me to judge.

Well ever since my fight with Captain Interference, I won’t be doing anything else in my costume. And with the government cracking down on vigilantism, I thought it’d be a good idea to write down the beginning of my story, up till I put on my mask and became Trail-Man.

Honestly my childhood was very boring, I was born to a middle-class family. My mum was an accountant and my dad owned a garage. Both of them are dead now, a botched attack by a villain who found out my identity, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen it in the news: ‘Trail-man vs Smoking Gun. 10 dead” Those 10 included: my parents, a 5 year old child and her grandparents, A group of teenagers enjoying a sunny day and Smoking Gun himself.

Anyway this is not a story about that incident, there has been enough coverage of that already.

My upbringing was pretty middle of the road aswell. I got pampered, I got punished, I was happy. I was sad. All that good family stuff you see on shows.

Atleast it was average until I was twelve, that’s when I first manifested my powers. It was at my cousins birthday. We were at his parents, my uncles, it was a nice place. Not a big mansion or anything but a cozy lake house. Me and a few of my cousins: Josh, Isabella and Karla, were at the pier looking at all the fish, a contest to see who could spot the bigger one. Kinda pointless since we didn’t catch any fish so had no proof. Our parents were at the back of the house having a barbeque, I can still remember the smoke rising from the fire pit and the smell of fresh meat being cooked.

I’m still not sure if it was by accident or if it was on purpose but Josh pushed my into the lake, while my back was to him. I don’t remember much from that incident, just that I had trouble breathing and that water was going into my every hole. I think I still have a fear of water because of that. I thought I was dead, sometimes I still think I died and what happened after that is just my heaven or hell.

I mean the thing I saw while I was drowning, it’s…still hard to explain. It was a trail of light, multiple trail of lights pointing at different directions. I grabbed one of them and my whole world shifted. The water disappeared and I could see my uncles lakehouse disappear from view. Panicking I let go of the trail and ended up in a forest, about 10-15 minutes from the house. I was wet and scared and crying. I don’t remember if I walked back home or if my family found me. My parents hugged and kissed me from relieve and then they grounded me for scaring them like that. I didn’t even bother telling them about the lights or anything, who would believe that especially coming from a 12 year old, so they just assumed I swam to the forest to scare everyone.

That’s where the name comes from by the way, everyone always asked me why I chose Trail-Man. Well first Batman, Spiderman and Superman were the heroes I looked up to most. Second I teleport using trails of light that only I can see, so seemed only right that I’d go with that.

After that, my powers didn’t show for a while. One or two years, atleast, passed, before I seen the trails again. Next time it happened was in school.

I think I was 15…no 14 probably. Doesn’t really matter I guess, it’s just one year. Then again a lot of simple things matter when you’re young. Like how other people see you or if you’re going to get bullied. Or how this time you’re gonna get with the girl of your dreams.

On that day I was about to confess to Jenny Krunsh, the most popular girl in my school. Nice, pretty, smart, popular. Then there was me: average looking, not all that smart and an outcast. I’m being a tad overdramatic. I’ve had friends and I wasn’t bullied and I’m pretty sure Jenny wasn’t all that amazing either. But to a 14 year old boy, getting with the girl that everyone wanted to get with was the fulfilment of school life.

Anyway, there I was after chemistry class about to confess. Jenny was standing with her friend, her friend if you’re reading this then I’m sorry, I forgot your name. Both of them were standing right outside Mr. Jenkins’s class, our chemistry teachers, and talking about..something. Boys or make up, that’s what teenage girls usually talk about right? My editor said it’s not but… what’d he know, right?

I came up from behind, they didn’t even notice me. I remember saying Jennys name a few times, I’m not sure if she ignored me or just didn’t notice me but, either way that didn’t stop me. I confessed and asked her out. I think time slowed down, maybe it’s one of my undiscovered powers? As she turned around and, get this, her response was: ‘Sorry, what?’ At that moment I died, I think I mumbled an apology or said that it was nothing, but I just wanted to disappear.

That’s what I did. After that embarrassing exchange she returned to the conversation with her friend, ignoring me, which I think made it even worse for me. But then I saw the trails of light the same trails that saved me from drowning. At first I wanted to scream, instead I grabbed one of them and screamed as I was flown away from school. Unsure of my direction I quickly grabbed another trail and was thrown into a different direction.

That was when I came to head with the first weakness of this power, I can’t control where the lights will take me, even now after my years of training the only thing I managed to archieve is to get my eyes used to my blurry surroundings and let go of the trails at my approximate destination.

I think I jumped to four or five different trails and ended up on a roof of an apartment block. Neither near the school nor my house, I was panicked but I was also scared of calling my parents. I tried opening the door leading down, but it was closed and being a scrawny teenager I had no hope of breaking it open.

So I concentrated and willed the trails to appear again and they did. Suddenly my whole world was surrounded by the trails. I tried following them with my eyes but they seemed endless, they probably are I never truly followed one of them till the very end. Maybe I will as my last hurrah, fly to the great unknown and all that.

Unable to follow them with my eyes I grabbed the closest one and was flung again, by that point I was already getting used to the blurry landscape of the city and somehow I managed to navigate to Joshya street, which was about two streets away from my home.

My parents were both surprised and furious that I was home. Surprised because I was supposed to be at school, furious for the same reason. I made up an excuse and that I was sick, I don’t think my parents believed me, then again they weren’t too bad about it. Probably just worried for me since I never left in the middle of school.

After that I kept training. Jumping from one trail to another, I was hoping I would get better. Learn which trail would go where, but it doesn’t work that way. It was and still is guesswork, I’m just lucky no one can see me when I’m holding a trail.

Then a day came where I could use all my training. It was on my 18th birthday and I was opening a bank account at my local branch. It was a simple Wednesday morning in November, cold and sunny.. I was with my dad and we were planning to go to a restaurant he and my mom rented out to celebrate my birthday.

I remember there being a que, about 4 or 5 people infront of us. I think it happened when we were third in the que. About four armed men broke in with guns and demanded everyone to get down. After that it was chaos, everyone screamed and ran I got separated from my father. A few gunshots and silence followed. The masked men demanded money and said that no one would get hurt if they would just keep quiet.

At that point I was behind one of the pillars. Out of view from  the robbers. I was scared and honestly I would’ve stayed hidden during the hole thing. If not for an elderly lady, I never got her name. She began coughing and one of the armed men demanded she’d shut up when she didn’t he hit her with his gun. Her family members went to protect her from further harm which just made two of the other gunmen point their guns at them. Then I knew that something had to be done to avoid a blood bath.

I looked around for guards, for any would be heroes. I didn’t see anyone,. Deep down I knew it had to be me. Through my hear I put my scarf higher up to cover my mouth and put my hood up. I called on the trails and grabbed one.

I’d love to say that I grabbed the one that got me to the elderly lady, but it didn’t. It moved me in the opposite direction at first. Took me about two or three tries until I was going in the right direction.

After that, as they say, is history. I’m sure you might’ve seen a few videos online or even pictures of me stopping the bank robbery. I managed to let go of the path and appear right in the middle of the group startling everyone. Before they could shoot me I grabbed another path and managed to land infront of one of the gunmen. I don’t know if it was a lucky punch or if he was just scared to death, but I managed to knock him out in one punch.

The scary part began after that as they started firing their guns. Luckily I managed to grab one of the trails before any of the bullets hit me and manoeuvred my way through the bank. Something making them shoot eachother. Sometimes knocking them out from behind. I think I managed to get them all in five or so minutes. In total I think there were about 4 civilian casualties. The elderly lady and 3 other people who got shot by stray bullets.

Was I proud of that? Don’t think I felt pride, I mostly felt fear and regret over the people that died. I was scared that my dad would’ve noticed it was me jumping around but he never said anything. After 10 or so years I did end up confessing to both of my parents that I was trail man.

The news reports covered me as a dangerous vigilante, but most of the people were praising me. Hailing me as a hero who prevented the situation from escalating to worse. I think that praise is what motivated me to keep going at it. To create the Trail-man persona.

That is my origin. I was just some scared teenager pissing himself when I doned the Trail-man costume. And it wasn’t the same refined costume you’d see me in later on, it was definitely my origin.

Submitted: October 20, 2020

© Copyright 2020 EAleksandrovic. All rights reserved.

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