My son entered this short story for the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Young Writer's Contest. I enjoyed it - but hey, I'm his mom. Tell me what you think. I didn't help him with this story at all.
SPECTRUM, by R. Preston
Hello. My name is Damon Fitzpatrick, and I’m a spectrum. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a super human given powers by sunlight - to sum it all up. See I wasn’t always like this. About year ago my life was perfectly normal. I had tons of friends, a sexy girlfriend and a great family. I guess maybe I should tell you what happened, brace yourself though, it ain’t pretty.
Well it all started my sophomore year in high school. I remember it was Wednesday. Toni, my brother, and I caught the bus to school. I was wearing my American eagle shirt and a pair of shorts. Although it was winter time, strangely for the past couple of months it had been extremely hot. Some days it was too hot for us to go to school.
Anyway, when we were getting on the bus riding to school, I noticed my brother wasn’t feeling too hot. So, when we got to the school, I took him to the nurse. While she was checking him I realized the bell had rung so the nurse told me to go to class.
“Good, you go on, I’ll take good care of him. Looks like he’ll have to be here until your parents can pick him up.” The chubby, smiling nurse said.
“I can hang out here with him.” Of course, I got a little protective because my little brother was sick, and after all he was only a freshman.
“That won’t be necessary. I'll call your parents. You better get to class.”
“I don’t know when they’ll be able to get him. It’s hard to reach them at their jobs.” She gave me a stern look, and I shrugged.
Nevertheless, I go to class. Sitting in Mrs. Livel’s math class, I got bored. Started talking to Nancy, this hot senior, and her face got blurry.
“Hey girl, what’s up?”
“Hi Damon,” she said with a wink.
“I, uh…” I braced myself on my desk to stop the room from spinning I figured I must’ve caught something my brother had.
“You okay,” she asked.
“I don’t know…” The bell rang, so I rushed out of class and headed to the nurses office when suddenly a giant flash blinded me, the entire school - the friggin whole world.
After about ten minutes of blinding light, and the burning – all I remember was the pain. Still remember it. The flashes began to fade and my eyes started to focus in the darkness. I wish it hadn’t, because at that moment I realized that everybody around me is dead.
At this point, I was in complete shock. Couldn’t believe what just happened. The smell of burning flesh was, man, it was sick. My stomach bubbled like I was going to throw up, when I realize that my brother may be dead as well.
So, stumbling, tears rolled down my eyes as I choked back vomit. “Ugh, Toni,” I called out.
For some reason, my eyes couldn’t adjust to the light. The colors had changed what used to be bright wonderful colors was now dark and vicious flashes. When I stumbled to the nurse’s office, hoping to find my brother, I got the sense something was off. Like someone was following me - hunting me.
Now, I was sure I must’ve been going crazy or in serious danger, so I started to run. Before I could get a single stride in, I was attacked by someone. More like something. The breathing, the harsh sound of something hungry and crazed burned in my mind. He looked human – well sorta, but didn’t act or even have the slight sense of being human.
This thing jumped on top of me, drool dripped on my cheek as it snarled. It looked at me like I was his morning snack. A weapon, where the heck is a weapon when you need one? I looked around frantically while I pushed it back by the neck. Nothing, not a friggin thing in sight that I could use to get him off of me.
The dead bodies all over dang floor didn’t help much either. struggled to get him off of me, but the thing took a huge chunk out of my arm.
“Ahhhh!” I screamed.
Man it hurt, but I got a surge of strength to kick the creature off of me and ran for my life. How the heck it ran so fast I don’t know. From nowhere, it jumped back on top of me from behind. Knocked me forward onto the floor, I bounced. But this time I got angry. Something happened then, something I can’t explain. A fiery anger exploded from me, and I used all my strength to throw him off of me. And trust me, I had a lot. My body was on fire, at least it felt like it.
Finally, I was able to get back up. At the time, I didn’t realize that I didn’t just push him off of me, I completely torched the thing. His body was on fire as he sat there rolling and screaming.
“Uhhhh, oooh. Grrrr,” it screamed as it tried to crawl toward me on the floor.
What was left of my clothing was burnt as well. What the hell just happened. Then the realization of what I was hit me. A slight grin ran across my face, I always did want superpowers now I have them.
The feeling of euphoria ended. My slight enjoyment went away as the fear that my brother and family may still be dead. I began to pick up speed, and ran to the nurse’s office, praying that my brother was like me, that he survived.
This time more open to my surroundings, I was relived I made it there without running into trouble. When I finally got there, I could already see that the door was locked. Which I hoped meant that nobody had attacked him. So, slowly I made my way to the door. As soon as I got my hand on the door. Smack! I saw light between my eyes, and shook my head to recover as I fell back on the floor.
Toni hit me straight in the face with the door. “Damon? Where you been? Thank God it’s you.”
I recovered, and stood up. “It’s me. You okay lil’ bro?” If it were any other day I probably would’ve punched him in the arm. But at that time, I was just happy to see him.
“Hurry, get in here. It’s safe.” Toni pulled me by the arm.
“I don’t know what’s happened but..”
“I do. The news said they were videotaping the sun and some weird rays were flickering off an on it. They said the sun was poisoned by a meteor that hit it. After that, everything went bright.”
“How did we survive – why did we?” I mumbled to myself.
“I don’t know.” He slumped down on the door.
I locked it, then took a chair to brace against it.
Things were starting to make a little more sense. But why the rays didn’t kill everyone, I guess I will never know. It was still unclear how my brother and I had survived the deadly attack, and why there were things, or people, trying to eat him.
“We gotta jack a car and check on mom and dad.”
Toni looks up at me. “You think they’re still alive?”
“If we are, there’s a good chance that they are too.”
“Um, you got blood on your arm.”
I looked down and realized that the bite mark had completely closed over. Blood remained. “Something bit me.”
Toni looked at me, concern and fear on his face. The look on his face rubbed in the fact that I didn’t really know what else to do.
One year later…..
“It is finally clear to me my roles in life, eat, sleep, and die, that’s all humans ever did but I’m different I have a true purpose my purpose is to extinguish the world of this evil and bring the balance back.” Toni said with conviction.
“Really? You don’t look much like an angel to me. At least not while we were running those things down to get home.”
I turned away from him, lost in my thoughts. Of course it didn’t really make much sense at the time, now though, I truly see what he was rambling about.
It’s been a whole year since the incident. I’ve found out a lot about what happened that day as well the extent of my powers. My brother’s powers complement mine, but there are those out here there that can out smart us if we’re not on top of our game. Yes, there are others like us too. A whole group of spectrums just like us but with different powers are roaming around, looking for others to join forces with.
Toni for instance can slow down time making all of his movements crisp and precise. Me on the other hand I have a diverse power from anybody in my group. I can change powers based on the colors I see. For example red is fire, blue is ice yellow is super speed, green is super strength and my last power is silver. I;m not quite sure what that one does – yet, but I hope to use it eventually.
“Hey, you wanna get some feeders tonight?” Toni asked.
I smiled, feeders are the ones who like to eat off living flesh. The flash caused them to go insane, twisted their brains somehow.
“Cool. I’ll call the others. You sure you ready for this. I could go in your place.”
“No, I’ve done this before. Besides, you are good backup. Just drop me off up ahead, and I’ll get us some supplies. The gang will be here soon to back us up.”
“I don’t know, got a bad feeling about this bro. But, I’ve got your back.”
I watched him sneak into the abandoned train station, dialed backup and sat. Too much time had passed since the other’s called me back. Then a call comes through from my best friend Enox.
“Damon, there was an ambush. We couldn’t save them all. Just two of us can make it to you. The others are going to save Mike and Stacey.”
Enox and Leann pulled up next to me. “What’s up?”
“He’s been in there too long. His telecom is off. He texted me about ten minutes ago and said he hit a hive, but was dealing with it.”
Although this is a dangerous mission I’m pretty sure Enox, Leann and I can handle it. Enox is made of pure energy and is as big as a truck. Leann shoots deadly crystals from her hands and can make some massive force fields.
“Lets go in.” I grabbed a mini- bomb from the back seat of my car and lead the others down into the deserted subway station.
We made it in without a hitch, and the moment we hit darkness the bastards came at us. They’d grown huge over the several months, the more they ate, the bigger they’d become. There were hundreds of them. Where the heck are you Toni!
“Kill them all!” I yelled.
“Ain’t nothing but a word.” Enox called out and started blowing the crazed feeders up like popcorn.
Yellow light formed in front of me as I headed down the path of dead feeders Enox made for me. When I saw yellow my super speed kicked in and I whizzed through the salvating drones to search out my brother. “Toni! Toni!”
He was trapped, surrounded by over fifty of them. He was fighting, but there was just to many of them for him to kill.
Enox came put behind me, while Leanne cleaned up the remaining feeders that blocked out exit.
“Enox, Make a hole threw them, and when you do, be prepared that all hell is going to break loose.”
“Got it, just say when,” he said.
“Leann I need you to make a barrier around me, so I can get to Toni”
“On it – but their coming fast. From friggin everywhere.”
“Now!” I called out.
Enox started firing them down, the smell of burning rotten flesh filled the room. Toni yelled out. “Ugh.”
He’d been bitten, I grabbed the neck of the feeder that took the chunk out of Toni’s arm, and saw red. Fire came out of me and burned the feeder to ashes.
“Crap! Where the hell are they coming from!” I yelled as more seemed to come at us. Leann’s force field was weakened.
“The hive..too big.” Toni forced out, weaken from the loss of blood.
“Full power everyone! Get to the sun, and don’t look back!”
Leanne made her way to us. “I’m giving it all I got!” She put her force field around us.
“Enox! Blow the joint! We’re safe!” I called out to him.
Enox smiled. “Dang I love my job! Brace yourselves – here I – go!”
I grabbed Leanne’s arm and threw Toni over my shoulder and willed yellow to show. Yes! Super speed was on and I ran us out of there, just as Enox incinerated the place.
We cleared the hive, and made it to the car. I kept it running as I watched for Enox to come out. The entire place collapsed.
“Oh God, he’s not gonna make it.” Leanne cried.
Toni rested his head on the window, and I held back a sob. We waited.
Hours passed as we sat there and waited for him. Grudgingly, I pulled off. In the end me Toni and Leann made it out safe. Although Enox didn’t, we had made our first step to turning the world back to its normal self.