Chapter 1 The Dancing Traffic Cop
John Sellar lived a fairly ordinary life; he was married to the love of his life Emily, and had a four year old son Austin. They all lived together in a cozy little house in Nantucket, Rhode Island. John was a little eccentric, but otherwise just your average dancing traffic cop trying to provide for his wife and son while entertainingly protecting downtown Nantucket from head-on collisions. John was probably the happiest guy you’d ever meet, and he loved his job. People would come from all over the eastern sea board just to watch John do his, “act.” If you would ask him though, he would say he is, “protecting and serving in style.” One of his signature moves was the Crazy Leg, where he would wave on traffic while flailing his leg in the air. The Travolta was another move where John would drop down on both knees, blow his whistle, wave traffic on, and spring back onto his feet using nothing but sheer leg strength and sunny disposition. John Sellar was a hometown hero. His wife loved and respected him, his son wanted to be the next dancing traffic cop, and the Nantucket Police Department was proud of their low crime-rate. There was one person; however, that didn’t think John was the coolest dancing traffic cop the world had ever seen.
Billy Bird hated John Sellar, and his stupid dance routine. Billy could tell what time of day it was by what move John was busting out. If John was doing the Travolta it was 4:00pm. If Billy drove by and saw John motioning a motorist on with the double wave, knew it was close to 5:00pm. Billy could never drive through the intersection of Main and Maple because the temptation to run John over was too great. Instead, Billy would drive two blocks out of his way every day just to get home from work without having to get too close to that dancing idiot’s ridiculous grin!
One day Billy was driving home from work, taking his usual detour around Main and Maple, when he noticed something strange. John Sellar was signing autographs, and not just one or two; they were lining up just waiting to get his signature. That was it, the last straw. Billy Bird had enough. He got home from work and plotted to kill John and his family.
Chapter 2 Billy Bird’s Meltdown
Billy didn’t waste any time. He set out at once to buy his supplies: five gallons of gasoline, two bottles of liquor, and a super-soaker 1000. Billy waited for nightfall to do the deed, but not before polishing off two fifths of vodka first. Twelve O’clock midnight…Perfect!
The night was muggy from the downpour of rain that hit earlier that evening. It was late July and temperatures were not forgiving that summer. As Billy Bird stealthily approached the Sellar house he could see that there were two windows open. That was like a sign that all systems were go! Billy filled up the super-soaker with gasoline first. He then filled the empty vodka bottles with gas and topped them off with old cloths to make two Molotov cocktails. Billy pumped his super-soaker and unloaded it into the house through the open windows. He had to act fast so no one would smell the distinct aroma of gasoline. Billy laughed while he lit one bottle, and then the next. “So long, dancing traffic cop,” Billy muttered quietly. Billy threw the first cocktail through the downstairs window and his eyes light up, not from the glare of the flames, but from the excitement he felt as the glass smashed against the drywall and the first floor set ablaze. Quickly, he threw the second cocktail through the open, upstairs window of the house, and immediately the Sellar home was engulfed in flames. “I wish I would’ve thought to bring some marshmallows,” Billy thought to himself.
Billy was too excited to sleep. Instead he went to Seven-Eleven and bought an extra tall coffee with a double shot of espresso in order to pass the time until the morning news. He could not wait to see what the Sellar’s house looked like from the aftermath of his brilliantly concocted plan. Two cups and five hours later, Billy turned the local news on with such a pleasing look on his face. His grin was almost as big and ridiculous as John Sellars’ was…Almost! “Breaking News from Nantucket this morning,” the local newscaster announced. “Arson was the cause of this blaze which claimed the life of Nantucket’s famed dancing traffic cop John Sellar’s wife and four year old son,” the newscaster stated. The cameraman panned over to a manic Sellars who was in tears as he watched fireman sort through the debris that was his quiet little home. “How could this be!” Billy Bird thought. “Why wasn’t he home?” Billy shouted.
Chapter 3 NightFire
Unbeknownst to Billy Bird, John forgot his whistle at the police station when he clocked out. John woke up around 12:00 am and realized he had left his whistle at work. Realizing it was the most useful tool he had, next to his dancing, he went back to the station to grab it. John returned to his home to find it up in flames. There was not even a chance of rescuing Emily and Austin. Instantly, John dropped to his knees and sobbed as his world came crashing down. John knew the blaze was arson even before fire fighters arrived. There was some type of accelerant used, he was sure of it. “There’s no way the whole house would be engulfed if it was an electrical fire.” John decided. “I was only gone thirty minutes.” John Thought.
The newscaster went on to announce how John Sellar returned to work shortly after midnight to get his trusty whistle. Billy Bird was enraged, even more so than before the fire. Billy vowed from that moment on he would stop at nothing to kill John Sellar. Billy Bird decided to take on an alter ego. Henceforth he would be known as NightFire.
Chapter 4 A Dark Time
A month had gone by, and even after the $250,000 was deposited into John’s savings account from the fire insurance, he had no reason to live. John didn’t even have a place to live. It’s been a week since he received the insurance money and hasn’t even started looking for a new house. John didn’t want a new home; he had a nice home, one he shared with Emily and Austin. The only comfort John now saw was the bottom of a whiskey bottle once he had polished it off. In fact, the only time John ever left his motel room was to stumble across the street to buy another bottle from the liquor store. He couldn’t bounce back, he had no will to live. One evening after finishing two bottles of Kentucky bourbon, John grabbed his revolver and headed toward the woods behind the motel where he decided he would take his own life to end his suffering. He kept walking through the woods and found a field where he looked up to the starry sky to say goodbye to his wife and boy. John pulled the gun up to his head and pushed the cold steel into his temple and pulled back the hammer. Click, click. John wrapped his finger around the trigger, took one last breath and…Suddenly, a bright flash of light caught John’s eye. There was a small fiery blur screaming toward him. The object was moving so fast that John didn’t even have time to react.
Chapter 5 An Unlikely Hero is Born
The Meteorite hit John square in the forehead and pushed him to the ground. He was knocked clean out. This chunk of rock from an alien planet hit John with enough force that it should have killed him; however, that was not the case. John Sellar awoke, after several hours of being unconscious, with a pounding headache and a dull ringing in his ears. John reached his hand to his head to feel a smooth, almost glass-like, diamond-shaped rock logded in the middle of his forehead. Little did he know the ringing in his ears was power emanating from the shiny, red meteorite stuck in his brow.
John’s fingers started to tingle. At first, he thought he was on the brink of slipping unconscious again, but then realized that something even more strange was happening. Instinct told John to rear his hand back and thrust his fingers forward; much like a snake would strike. To his amazement, small spikes protruded from under John’s fingernails and darted toward a nearby tree. When he went to inspect the tree, he saw four 2-inch-long metallic spikes piercing the bark.
John Sellar suddenly had an epiphany: he has super powers! From this moment on John would be known as Eleazar. He would no longer be John Sellar. That life was over. Eleazar vowed to do everything in his power to find his wife and boy’s killer, and avenge their death.
He swore to put an end to all crime so that no one will ever again have to suffer as he did. This is the dawn of a new era. The dark time is over, and an unlikely hero is born.
Chapter 6 Mercury Rising
Billy Bird knew he needed some help. He needed someone to help NightFire find, torture, and kill John Sellar. At the very least, he needed someone to take the fall for him. Billy Bird waited for nightfall, put on his NightFire gear, and set out for Rolling Acres Mental Institution. The idea is to break in and steal patients’ psych evaluations in order the find the craziest, meanest, most reckless, potential villain the world has ever known.
Breaking in wasn’t the hard part. Billy Bird has been a computer whiz since graduating from M.I.T. with a degree in computer sciences. NightFire uploaded a virus to the institution’s mainframe that temporarily shut down the alarms and unlocked the rear access door. Guards weren’t even aware there was a problem. From the forward control station, everything was cool as a sea cucumber. Nightfire then used his ipod to loop an image of an empty corridor to the security camera. He smirked as he just strolled into the medical records room. NightFire quickly found a filing cabinet marked, “Psychological Evaluations.” He rifled through the first few files he came across. “Ron Hornick, patient suffers from rage and bi-polar disorder. William Keller, paranoid schizophrenic. Garrett Readerston, sexually violent predator/rapist. Aha, here it is. Justice Beasly, pyromaniac, narcicist, psychosis, multiple personality disorder.” “Here’s my guy.” NightFire proclaimed as he headed straight for room 216 to free his new partner in crime.
NightFire walked down a long, empty corridor and found room 216.
As he peered through the small, square, bullet-proof window of 216’s door, NightFire saw a shell of a man who boasted near lifeless eyes. Justice Beasly sat indian-style on his bed staring blankly at the wall opposite his bed. Both of his wrists were bound to the bed with thick, leather straps. They were the kind that were lined with lamb wool, only stained with blood; most likely from trying relentlessly to free himself from these bonds. There were urine stains, both fresh and old, on the bed sheets. Justice Beasly looked as if he had a two week beard, another sign of this institution mistreating its patients. NightFire picked the lock and entered the cold, dark room. Justice didn’t move a muscle as NightFire approached the foot of his bed. NightFire got down to eye level with Justice and stared him directly in the eyes. NightFire couldn’t believe the vacant expression in Beasly’s eyes. “How would you like to play with fire again?” NightFire proposed. “Come with me and we’ll set fire to the night.” NightFire stated. Still there was no expression, no movement, not even a hint of Beasly even acknowledging NightFire was in the room. NightFire slowly removed the restraints on Beasly’s wrists. As he did so, he noticed the skin was so badly chaffed on Beasly’s wrists that it looked like he had road rash. Justice Beasly stood up slowly, but fluently, out of bed, reached up under his hospital gown and pulled out a lighter from God knows where. He turned around and gave NightFire a maniacal grin before setting the bed sheets and curtains ablaze. “I’ll take that as a yes.” NightFire exclaimed. “This kid is my kind of crazy.” NightFire thought to himself. NightFire looked back at Beasly as they walked out of the room and asked, “You ready to have some fun Crazy Horse?” Beasly nodded, as in approval of his new villain name.
© Copyright 2016 Matthew Zabala. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Fantasy
Poem / Religion and Spirituality
Essay / Travel
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