I’m standing at the peak of a tall building. It’s the iconic view you’d think of when you imagine a superhero surveying the city. I’m waiting. I’m watching. It’s everything you imagine when you think of a superhero ready to protect his city.
You, unfortunately, don’t know a fucking thing about life, my friend.
You can forget all that those wonderful tales you’ve been reading about. You can shitcan those movies. Those serialized shows on whatever networks are currently tossing out episodes like metaphorical dollar bills to the stripper that is your nerdy little DC vs Marvel heart.
I’m probably the most hated man in the city. Only reason I’m not the most hated man in the world is that the rest of the world doesn’t have to deal with me. That’s not an accident either. It’s not an oversight. It’s a choice on my part.
I wanted to be everything you’d think when you imagine a superhero.
I AM everything you’d think when you imagine a superhero.
The rest of the world, however, is nothing like you think when they have one.
So where do you want me to start? You want me to tell you about who I was before? Where I got my powers? What my costume looks like?
Later, sunshine…later. Right now, daddy’s got work to do.
I hear the sounds being carried on the wind. The world is a stranger place for me. I focus on the sound that’s currently catching my attention. It’s a blur under the waves of noise being produced by everyone and everything. The world is a loud machine, and none of it’s working in rhythm. But I hear it all the same…
I make my descent. I leap down and down again. I grab ledges single handed and slip toward the ground with more grace than should be possible. None of it feels difficult. There’s no strain. I’m not even breathing heavy.
I dash forward through the streets. I’m over cars and moving up the sides of other buildings like the most absurd Jackie Chan movie that he never got a chance to make. I see people stop to snap pictures. Some of them stop to give me the middle finger. Some spit. Some cheer. Children cry. People look away. People pray as they close their eyes and hold their crosses.
I don’t give a fuck what they do. I got a job to do, sunshine…
I round the corner and see the first man fly out of the doorway like Kramer in Seinfeld. Except this guy has a gun and less balance. He almost falls over in his egress. Another guy comes out shortly after. I hear the screaming from inside the building. I hear gunshots.
I walk forward calmly. The first guy finally sees me. Gasps. It’s the look of a man who’s spent his whole life sinning and now he’s standing before Saint Peter. My name isn’t Peter, sunshine…
Like a dog reflexively thinking it can go alpha on its owner for just long enough to regret it, the man raises the gun. I grab it and snatch it from his hand so fast that fingers come off with it. Blood sprays and spatters my outfit. The red does nothing for the aesthetics of the black and green. He drops to his knees and starts crying like a little bitch.
His friends see me and panic. I can smell one of them pissing themselves. I launch myself forward and drive my fist into the next man, I can hear the sound of his spine crumble even as my knuckles drive into his flabby stomach. His mind isn’t even registering what happened. He remains doubled over for a second before he drops to the ground like a puppet whose strings have been cut. The third man just lays down on the ground while his face leaks sweat, tears, and snot.
The shop owner comes out for a second, sees the scene and ducks back in. No hero’s handshake. Kiss that shit goodbye, sunshine…
I wait until the sirens come screeching in. Like all wild animals, they’re more afraid of me than I am of them. They have their guns out. You know the drill. Freeze. Step away. Blah, blah, blah.
I don’t do any of that shit.
One guy is either an idiot, new, or so shaky that he just fucked up. The gun goes off. It hits me right in my left cheek. It’s an explosion of bone and wet tissue. I watch their faces as they watch the escaping parts of my face stop mid-flight, and pull back…reconnect. It’ll never look the same again.
I walk over casually enough. I can smell one of them is pissing himself. Bunch of fucking Nancies…
I can smell the gun that fired. I stand in front of that squad car and punch the hood so hard that it bends in half like cheap cardboard. I keep on punching. The cops are cowering. One of the brighter ones goes forward and deals with the scumbags I just put on the ground. Let them get their hero’s handshake from the shop owner. Whatever…
I walk past the other cops who are still too scared to move. I jump out and up, grab the ledge of a building and dash like gravity is more of a suggestion. I hear the sound of people taking pictures or mentioning me in whatever conversation they’re having on their cell phones. I hear children crying and women praying under their breath.
I’m a god damn superhero, sunshine…
Buckle up…It’s gonna be a bumpy ride…
Next: Part 2