The Venator Part 2 (WIP)

This doesn’t particularly flow well from the first part, while they are all still being written out but I hope you enjoy it all the same.

The Venator Part 2

Before I continue my story, it should be noted that most of this information did in fact originate from the Knifed Skull, so it is quite possible that some of the details have either been lost or embellished from the many drunkards within, I may have also embellished it a little for artistic reasons…anyway, I digress…

After a short hike trudging through the snow, Laurena had reached the outside of a now derelict mine the one the locals fearfully called Dreadstone; this was the very place the Circle of Shadows had instructed her to investigate. It’s infamy arose from the local lore of the resident miners and their descendants, of whom claimed the mine had a strange resonating ambiance and any simple touch of the abnormally dark purple metamorphic rock would instil a profound sense of horror. The unnatural colouration was also said to be certainly bizarre in contrast to the normal surrounding area, as if something evil was bleeding out from deep within the mine. Standing outside, while seeking shelter underneath an outcropping, she noticed the signs of it’s apparent use were present and sunken impressions were observable where they had eating into and around the rocky maw. The lack of any need for outside guards was obvious, to even an untrained professional, as the remote location in the craggy hillside was more than enough to keep it out of the view from prying eyes. The seclusion alone would have been enough to help conceal any wrongdoing on it’s own, even without the raging blizzard that was now bearing down and blanketing out the mine from a far distance; the ominously evil looking clouds had deeply overcast the area more than usual, as if they had a mind of their own. The additional thickness of the white obscure haze was obnoxiously glittering flakes of thick heavy snow, constantly clinging on Laurena’s ferapex leather hood and outfit; a speciality of this rare hide by the way, is that it’s reacts to the surroundings by changing its colour. Her stinging eyes, her bitter felt nose and bluing sanguineous lips were harshly numbing and painful, as the only parts exposed to the coldness in the ferociously biting winds. She edged closer to the rotten mossy timber framed doors and rested on the huge rusting handle of the now derelict mine. In doing so she could hear a faint echoing hum starting to creep into her ears, just barely noticeable through the howling gales and swaying barren trees.

Laurena shook off the build up on her boots before cautiously scanning the eerily ominous entrance, she pushed down hard on the stiff metal braced door and it screeched open as if in agonising pain. The outside light rapidly bled into into the pitch black tunnel, while Laurena’s naturally all-black Umbrian eyes required no effort to see further into the darkness inside; this was also a common trait of Umbrians, as many of whom would go their entire lives having never laid said eyes on Hexterra’s only star Sol. She forced her way inside, ready to confront any impediment within, knowing full well it was imperative that the truth be known; and she was certainly not one to disappoint the Circle of Shadows for that matter either. Besides which, at this point it was now the only option now beyond freezing to death from the elements outside, even as she walked a few feet inside the mine the difference in temperature was apparent and most welcoming to her core. The humming from within had grown louder and even more distinct, the rhythm was now clear and it was obvious there were people chanting what could only be assumed to be a sinister ritual of some kind; nothing good ever comes from rituals, let alone ones held in seclusion. Laurena knew about most known rituals most of which came from her spending many hours researching the various cults using the Venators Guild’s library, when she wasn’t otherwise hunting or training. She knew it was more than likely a soul-swapping ritual, one used to drain the soul of a person and transfer it into another person or vessel but couldn’t yet tell for certain the true purpose for the poor victim. The evidence gathered already would have certainly been enough to report back the Circle, to confirm their suspicions were more than just rumours. For her safety, as an novice in her rank, she was told to leave and report back upon any confirmation of wrongdoing. Yet, as she saw no reason to pass up the opportunity, she decided to explore a little further, especially with the storm raging outside preventing any safe return. Feeling no imminent threat, Laurena crept cautiously forward to find out more, running her fingertips along the rough and slimy wall in the darkest unlit passages, guiding herself precariously with each footing and cautiously poking her head around each corner before proceeding inwards further.

It wasn’t before too long that she happened upon a pair of cloaked individuals both standing together in a dimly lit cave. They were preoccupied with a minor conversation of no significance but in still anxiously governed secret as to look busy and to avoid not being caught doing nothing of import, both were completely oblivious to Laurena’s presence, so they made poor lookouts to be sure. She crept forward, step by step with one eye on the floor and another on her company, using the shadows for cover while inching up through the narrow passage upon the two cultists. When she was just a few feet away and still unnoticed, she watched them intensely for a brief moment. When she felt the time was right she unsheathed her sword, while picked up and throwing a loose stone behind and beyond the conversing pair. In their confusion of the startling sound they both turned around to check on the noise, as they done so Laurena got up and reached around the throat of the closest cultist and with her sword dragged it between both of his ears. Without hesitation she then pushed him aside and moved into position as she thrust her still warmly dripping sword clean through the second cultist’s neck. Both had slumped down as quietly as possible and without possibly alerting any distant ears with screams or shouting. Afterwards, she casually dragged the bodies into a dark corner out of sight and out of mind; this was Venators training at it’s finest and it was executed flawlessly.

Laurena continued to traverse through the narrow winding tunnels and sparse widening caves, edging herself through the dangling dead roots through the rocks and dirt or stepping over the occasional critter that scurried in a panic out of her way. After a few minutes of walking through now dimly lit tunnels, and almost getting lost in the maze of pathways before realising her curious mistake, Laurena happened upon an natural crack in the wall. Through this opening she could see into a colossal cavern, which was properly lit with magical sconces and perma-fire torches posted all around. One beam of streaming light could be seen permeating through the ceiling and at the base of it grew a single solitary dreadwood tree, it was covered with a strange assortment of ancient inlaid runes and markings; of an old dialect that was way too obscure to anyone currently alive to read. In the middle of the spacious cavity a single secretary stone cast altar lay proud, it was covered in cracks worn from age and overgrown with aged lichen and moss, additionally baring strange glowing symbols intrinsically carved, which were too far away to be analysed. Overshadowing the altar was a gigantic statue of what looks like the God Fabricus, it was protruding with it’s own apertures and thick wound wires feeding through it and with a strange turquoise coloured energy glow pulsing like blood in a person’s bulging veins. On top of the altar laid a single young man, bound firmly still, yet conscious and unable to escape untimely planned fate. To the side of him a large metallic sphere rested precariously and more of the same cloaked cultists were surrounding them both, while chanting the ritual that was now very noticeable for soul-swapping. The young man was undoubtedly to be sacrificed to fuel the contraption. One of the cultists had his cloak woven with metallic inlaying designs and stood directly underneath the statue clearly apart from the rest, he began to speak…
“Brothers and Sisters!” he pronounced loudly. “We are here to offer this sacrifice to one of our most beloved and cherished member of the Pantheon of Deusan; the Arbiter of gods!” The cultist leader’s voice echoed throughout the cavern, while Laurena wasted no time continuing through the tunnels further, still able to overhear what was said.

  “A new age is dawning…and for too long our future has been held back by a repressive regime. No more shall the wickedness of the Venators or other heretics, continue to plague Umbrianox as they unjustly rule over everyone, clouding the population’s eyes with colourful propaganda. For too long has their greed and oppression has kept the Umbrian people from progressing to an age of peace and prosperity. Continuously have they ignored the pleas of innocent citizens plight, those who bear suffering wrongfully, meanwhile using their guise of their protection under a broken wing. All to ensure their twisted religion and it’s polluted ideas, corrupt everything they touch. They willfully impede the development of a stable government, one of full morality and decency. To this will say, NO MORE!” The leader continued unabashed.

Meanwhile, Laurena had worked her way into the cavern, hiding behind a large outcropping but keeping an eye on the spectacle.
  “Oh!, he of creativity and grand design; God of Invention. Fabricus. We offer you this soul to fuel our ambition and to imbue this tool of most magnificent destruction, so that we may finally rid the world of those soulless mercenaries the Venator!”

As the cultist finally finished, the statue of Fabricus lit up, brighter and radiant than before and with a soft turquoise glow surrounding the bound person on the altar. Just as the cultist almost built his strength, with the aim to plunge the dagger downward, Laurena had risen from her hidden cover and threw a knife, taken from her hip belt, towards the lead cultist. The knife cut deeply into his arm and he was forced to react, recoiling in pain and by dropping his dagger, simultaneously with both of her jagged swords now ready in each hand, Laurena ran forward and sprung off of a raised rock into the air. She landed harshly on top of two of the closest cultists with both swords squarely wedged through their chests. By now the rest had already stopped their chant and after having noticed her timely unsubtle intervention, all drew their own arms in reaction against her. The remaining cultists seized upon her and one by one they attempted to attack the young Venator. With their mindless ferocity they all one after another succeeded in failing, as she shredded through them as if they were like nothing but garden weeds. Before the last one fell, a series of loud bangs echoed through the cavern and Laurena without thinking reacted to seek cover behind the altar.
  “You wretched beast!” interrupted the lead cultist. Pointing a strange handheld device towards Laurena, who was now panicking, unsure as to the strange power the cultist held.
  “The Venator’s attempt once again to curb their own demise, ignorant to the thought to the continued suffering that would ensue.” His voiced echoed of genuine belief and that his actions were more than justified. “Have you any idea who you are working for you wicked little girl? One who would so readily cut down so many people who’s only goal it was, to bring peace to Umbran!”
“You’re the one attempting to kill a kid, to fuel that soul-bomb of yours!” Rebuked Laurena, who knew exactly what the metallic sphere was from her studies.
“This lost-soul forfeited his right to a life, when he took the life of another!” He countered. “Just as you have lost the right to yours, many times over, for which your suffering will be immense in this life and the next!” Upon finishing his sentence he took shots at Laurena, who was now pinned down as sparks and chips of stone flew off around her head and would feel her heart throbbing rapidly like it was trying to escape her chest. Using the opportunity the lead cultist had made his way around to expose Laurena’s vulnerable position, as she glanced up at the strange engrave device held in his hands, as she feared the end.
“You think you have won? Your order of sinners will pay the price regardless th…” As the cult spoke the young man on the altar had released himself from his bonds and had flung himself selflessly onto the cultist, both cascaded down, one on top of the other. A few more shots were heard, which pieced through the young man’s body. Before the cultist could shift him off, Laurena had seized the opportunity by running over and slicing cleanly through the cultists arm and finally head. Taking a moment Laurena turned over the draining body to check on the young man, his face was pale even for an Umbran. Horrified and sick with grief, Laurena instantly recognised who the young man as the one she had saved just two days prior.
“I’m so sorry!” She urged, examining the fatal wounds to the young man’s chest, furious with herself.
“Don’t…be” He strained, coughing up blood. “You saved my life…twice, it was…the least I could…” Before he could finish his sentence he passed away and slowly slumped back, finally being rendered motionless and cold. Laurena screamed in anger, punching the floor with her fist ignoring the physical pain. She laid the young man’s body in a more dignified position and walked over to the lead cultist, staring at him profusely with disgust, as if in attempt to curse his very soul before it finally departed. Having recognised the power she bore witness to moments earlier, she took possession of the dark metallic device scattered on the floor and a second which had been holstered and unused. Testing out the devices in anger, she shot repeatedly at the towering statue and after significant damage to its face and apertures, they stopped glowing rended the whole whole thing useless. Later, waiting by the exit for the blizzard to stop, Laurena stood restless and reflective; deeply saddened by the outcome of her actions and constantly trying to replay what went wrong and how it could have ended better. She started to ponder how Mathias and more importantly the Circle of the Hunt would evaluate her actions; their motives, as with everything else, were difficult to understand. After a few hours, she made her way back to Umbrianox, somewhat altered from her experience.

The Venator Part 1 (WIP)

Laura Steel © 2015

The Venator of Umbrianox Part 1 (WIP)

This is unfinished, written over the first 4 months of the year. When/if it is ever finished, I don’t know, but I felt that I might as well upload it now. Hopefully It will give me the chance to clear my head to finish it later.

The Venator of Umbrianox Part 1

One late night in dreaded lands of Mortister. Among the dark forgotten alleys that crookedly aligned from the main parenting streets, in the abyssal dark capital City of Umbran. A repetition of faint panicked screams and rapid klatter feet on cobble echoed throughout to the overclouded sky. Two very distinct sets reverberate between the houses and closed down market stalls, amidst the scuffling of drunkards, vagabonds and critters that plagued every day night-life. A fresh faced young man who was barely in his twenties was in the unfortunate dire process of running for his life. Where prevailing common sense would have prevented this, unknown events leading this poor soul to foolishly brave the streets will always be a mystery. This was nothing new in Umbran of course, many people died daily and for the most part it has merely became something to the liking of white noise, to it’s unrulier citizens or those too scared to act upon them. A figure of female form; much filthier and menacing, dark and wicked with her stride, who wore tattered clothes and boasting a stained grubby black hooded cloak, was in a relentless pursuit. She was enjoying the chase, cackling between breaths, ever slowly catching up and making ground on her young fair prey. Her whitened knuckles were clutching a twisted rust costed dagger with scratches and chips emphasising its age and use.

  The young man had inadvertently hasted too much in his tiring panic and he had found himself with his path impeded by nothing but horizontally stacked bricks and mortar. He frantically searched around desperately trying to locate any method over the ill-placed barrier; a foot hold, a railing or anything that could inch him over. In his vain attempt however, his foot slipped scaling the wall losing an already uneasily gained position. He fell back and landed on his foot awkwardly, painfully twisting his ankle, he was no longer able to stand much less run. He remained stuck on the wet grimy floor, helplessly heaped and in pure agony. He tried shuffling back into a corner, with a burning desire to prolong his life for as long as possible, his poor attempt would only deny the inevitable. Yet as he struggled, and his back pressed against the wall, his legs became paralysed stiff like dreadwood. Nothing he could do could stop the maliciously advancing woman looming towards him and the small amount of doubt he had; that he could escape, was gone.

  The alley’s entrance had now all too eagerly been seized by the hooded female pursuer. She was creeping forward, inch by inch, slowly closing the gap between the two of them, savouring each and every foot step. His fear intensified as the disguised shadowed face grew larger and darker, masked by wrapped black cloth around her nose and mouth. She pulled back her cowl and yanked down her mask with her free hand to reveal a widening dark smile expressing her malicious intent proudly. Her grubby half-shaven head with slicked back hair fell into a twisted greasy pony tail. Her face was scarred multiple times; with clean cuts of a clearly ritualistic and symmetrical style and others which were random, bumpy and red; which could have only been from altercations. Her sunken dark eyes seemingly scanned to locate the best place to pierce the clutched crooked dagger into the man’s most vulnerable of the fleshiest part first.

  “Now…your…mine!” Her sickly sweet voice teased through her grinning cracked lips.
“Wh…what do you wa..want!? I’ll give money!” he pleaded desperately.
“Oh I what I want from you…is his hidden under that juice flesh of yours!” her vague psychotic response only added to the young man’s terror, who was struck silent, realising no bargaining could be brought or pleas to be made.

  Just as she rose her hand above her head, his in pathetic defense, gathering the force necessary to strike a fatal blow, her face instantly and inexplicably dropped. Only a pained grunt emanated from her throat, like a table had been scratched across polished flooring. Her mouth had lost it’s wicked twisted smile and her eyes darkened further still yet rolled backwards and seized into nothing but bloodied dull-white orbs. Thick crimson fluid had ejected all over the young man, staring up confused, as he wiped it from his face. It profusely pour out of every orifice from the villain’s now twitching head and body. Seconds later, the twitching stopped and a bright red line had magically been drawn diagonally across her head. Soon signs of this enigmatic prevention had been made clear, as both halves of the woman’s head had slid away from one another and fell distant. The now eviscerated corpse slumped away into a bloodied pile, to reveal to the young man and initial yet unplaced fear, yet another dark hooded figure.

  To his amazement and relief, gazing at what stood before him, his anxiety dissipated slowly. Nothing gave off the impression that one malicious force had simply been replaced by another and this was certainly an alternative replacement. This one was much slender than the last, curvier and smaller, who was certainly more subtle in her poise. She was well armed and bound in skin-tight leather with her hood covering over much of her face. Pure white satin hair fell down the sides, leaving barely any facial features visible apart from her blackened wine-red lips and the tip of her slender pointy nose. She was someone who had previously heard the cries of the frightened defenceless creature, still languishing on the floor, seeking to assist their desperate pleas for help.

The hooded heroine pulled away her curvy jagged sword from the now decapitated mess on the floor and flourished it magnificently into her back holster, before kneeling halfway down to extend out her hand in aid.
  “Are you alright?” asked the hooded woman, spoken in her soft yet husky voice.
  “Y…yes…” the young men trembled, while slowly calming down.
  “Good. Do you live far?” She asked concerned.
  “N…no, ju…just a few mi…minutes away…”
  “Com’on, I’ll see you home.” The woman’s words placated the man’s fear enough that he willfully grasped his saviour’s hand and found himself gracefully aided to his feet.

  The time both spent walking and limping the distance to the young man’s home was met both conversing with silence. He was still quiet uneasy while she was calm and composed. As the young man finally stood at the entrance to his home he begin an attempt convey his gratitude, however as he turned around, all he found was an empty moon night lit street. His eyes scanned around and between the darkness of shadows yet met with no result. There was no evidence to even suggest that the hooded women who had saved him earlier was ever there in the first place. Yet still he yelled a most sincere “Thank you!” out to his rescuer, completely apathetic to the ears of his neighbours and the creatures that lurk unseen. Hoping that his gratitude would echo beyond the darkness and fall upon his saviour’s ears. Now safely home, he knew full well that night; could have been his last.

Later that evening, the young hooded woman had preceded onwards towards the large guild hall in the centre of Umbran. It was the headquarters of the most famous Venators. The sacred home to the agents of Umbria the Goddesses of Death (after which the city was named) and her unseen twin Noxia the Goddess of Darkness. It stood majestically towering over the surrounding houses and markets stalls to anyway, that stretched out for miles around. It had always existed as something of a symbol for for the downtrodden citizens. The iconic structure meant more than just its cathedral-like Gothic structure. One of justice, honour and more all-importantly vengeance. Where values of strong moral judgement were prized, higher than any amount of gold or shiniest jewel, in what was a rather an unruly nation and more so because there no real official “government” that proceeded over any of the entire Darklands.

Opening the great double wooden doors into the Venators Guild, the young women was greeted by apathy from everyone. The great halls were flooded by fellow hunters, mentors and their apprentices either chanting silent rituals. The almost inaudible hum rang out through the halls of hunters chanting and praying, while others were training in the various forms of combat which permitted hunters to operate to an almost silent level of noise. This was the usual level of activity that was typical from an evening’s business. While the young woman was no longer considered an apprentice she was always greeted with much contempt, even though her parents were rather famous hunters; when they were still alive that is. She would never benefit from their celebrity-like status. Not longer after arriving she was greeted warmly by a familiar face, much more than the others would ever have graced her with. It was by her former master and her adoptive father Methias, who was something of a living legend in his own right.
  “Ah Laurena, just in time.” spoke the greyed bearded old man with enthusiastically open arms.
  “Methias?” Laurena confused by his unusual cheeriness.
  “The Circle have finally made a request that you grant them an audience. How bout that eh? I can’t believe how far you’ve come, many never get to see them. Although saying that, I did train you so it’s no surprise.” He was always the boastful type but everyone knew him as the only man to have ever killed a Ferapex with his own hands, so to them it was justly so.
  “Oh…” replied Laurena reluctantly.
  “OH?” Methias astonished at the young woman’s apathy. “The Circle of all places wished to see you and all you can say is Oh?…Bloody hell girl you really need to lighten up. This is a tremendous honour you should be proud!” Methias rapped his arms around his daughter’s shoulders, hugging her as only a father would, while urging her forward towards the Circle’s chambers.
  “…Fine, lets go.” Laurena reluctantly followed her father down the great hall, which lead to many of the anti-chambers to the guild.

While walking through the great hall, Laurena noticed a rather tall, medium built muscular man, his skin was so pale, even for an Umbran, as it was almost translucent. He was scarred much in rather the same ritualistic way as the other woman Laurena had dispatched earlier. He was armed with more than he fair share of weaponry; much more than was needed for any Venator. As the two crossed paths they looked at each other, his eyes narrowed as did hers in reaction, Laurena felt as if he wanted to curse her strongly, yet was not permitted to do so loudly. Laurena stood there watching him walk off towards to exit…
  “Laurena!” shouted Methias. “Lets not keep the Circle waiting!”
She finally caught back up to her former master, following his shadow towards the Chamber of the Circle.

The Venator Part 2 (WIP) 


Laura Steel © 2015

A “novel” attempt

Here is my first attempt at writing that has taken me a few months of on and off writing. I largely wrote it while free writing, and had no idea of what the outcome for even the basic plot as I was typing. This has clearly not worked out for me as I can’t get my head back into it at the moment. I effectively dove into the deep end and drowned. That said, bare in mind the spelling and grammatical errors, although that should be a given.

I am posting it because quite frankly I’ve burnt out with it’s progression and finding it hard to continue with it. Starting fresh with another more planned out story that will hopefully have a beginning – middle – end. Taking my time to plan out the characters, setting and story next time around.


It’s a first person narrative of a woman who is rather apathetic and drivenless in a world filled with super heroes, villains and everything in between. She is aware of her super human nature but doesn’t actively use them for good or evil and has merely become a tool of convenience for her as well as a burden. Forced to cope with the events around her, not wanting to use her powers for a high purpose but finds out that that can’t last forever.

Word Counts

Chapter – 1 – 2,852, Chapter – 2 – 2,732, Chapter – 3 – 1,192, Chapter – X – 940

Current Total – 7,750

Chapter 1

It was hard keeping up this deception, learning to live two lives was a burden that I was never hoping to bare, but I had no choice. Apathy, while a curse to many, was a blessing in disguise for me. It allowed me to live relatively stress free, in a status qou of a lifestyle that all too many have become accustomed too. I was one of them, consigning myself to a bored life with no real reason to live.

That all changed the moment I became a part time villain, it has perks of course; the freedom of thought, the freedom of action, freedom very few have the privilege of experiencing. I knew one day it would all catch up with me however it was only a matter of time. Nothing lasts forever, at least not for me. Negativity always triumphs if it wasn’t for the small things that help prop up your spirit from time to time, the crutches everyone uses to get them through the day, I had yet to find mine. I was just getting out of bed when that god awful Inspector showed up at my flat…

“Miss Arkins…Miss Rachael Arkins! Inspector Chase. Open up!” That bellowing fool knocking on my door with his gorilla sized fist.

Inspector Gregory Chase, this was a stupidly apt name for someone who couldn’t run a tenth of a mile with out coughing up the contents of his lungs. His belt almost buckling under his second stomach. That upper lip shelved a course brush of a greying moustache, under nether his bulbous nose, his eye’s had darkened and sunken with age, peaked above his sagging porous red cheeks.

“Open up Miss Arkins, we have a warrant!” The door continued to rattle under his heavily fisted politeness, any harder and more frequent and the door would undo itself from it’s hinges and fall flat on the hallway floor.

I knew the warrant wasn’t justified, you can’t just barge into someone’s home without a good enough reason, they wouldn’t be able to look through my possessions otherwise, I never complained or fought back, I don’t won’t to give them any more ammunition than they already had. It’s foolish to hand your enemies the nails they need to seal your coffin, making them was just idiotic. They think they have something on me but without anything concrete they believe the random spot checks on my home may turn up a clue, or anything that would prove some wrong doing. This was the forth time he has come to my home, it was like an episode of a law drama on TV, the detectives would crawl back to the suspects home when ever they think they have found a minute piece of evidence, looking for that eureka moment that would seemingly solve the whole case, only to be rapped up in the last 10 minutes of the show.

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” I shouted towards my front door, in my early morning voice that sounded as if somehow a frog had crawled into my mouth as I slept. Scrambling to cover myself with the clothes I managed to lay my hands on; t-shirt, knickers, bra, all checked off. Along with my half clean dressing gown, the one my mother brought me as a teenager, it still fit and was a little warn, but it always comforting to wear. I never used to sleep naked, but when you run a high temperature due to being active most of the night it helps, burning over thirty degrees in the middle of the night mid July when the country was facing yet another heatwave.

The fan used to be one saving feature from the heat but after being over charged so many times it’s motor had burnt out and with me being my lazy ill-motivated self couldn’t be bothered to replace it. Fans don’t last long when overcharged, specially when they aren’t meant to work without first being plugged into the mains. Sleeping naked was the next best thing and was free. So being able to store and channel several thousand volts through your body has it’s perks, but very rarely doesn’t anything electrical last long enough to see the end of it’s manufacturer’s service life. I slumped to the door and unlocked it, opening it to the maximum the chain lock would allow, I could immediately see Chase and his three goons in uniform leering behind him.

“Open up!” As he lifted the warrant to my face. Unhooking the door chain I took a step back, not saying any thing while pressing my back against the wall allowing them to walk past, one remaining officer stood outside making me a prisoner in my own home.

I know he won’t find anything my flat was completely clean of any and all wrong doings, making sure of that any time I go out for a midnight stroll I’m not as stupid as other ‘criminals’. Keeping no trophies or tools of the trade. I don’t even have a costume, not that I’m opposed to wearing a skin tight latex suit. My prowling nightwear was just hoodie, jeans and trainers most nights, not very fashionable but it didn’t catch any ones eye. I wasn’t a hero however, and this wasn’t a comic book, one where heroes and villains alike seemingly all get their second skins from Spandex-R-Us. I wouldn’t no the first place to even find a latex suit, let alone afford one.

It was just my boring flat located on the edge of Hammersmith, overlooking the end of the M4 flyover. This is where nothing special happened or so the police would claim, the constant crime wave caused by the recent boom in super villains over the past decade. Sure it was good for public moral to feel that they could walk the streets alone at night, enjoy the odd night out of the town or that romantic trek with a loved one during the twilight hours. But the truth was obvious, crime was at an all time high. Despite the good nature of self styled heroes; the disinfectant of your typical villain, it wouldn’t make the slightest difference in cleaning the infected streets of criminals. Since the ‘****’, crime sky rocketed leading to a world wide panic, the heroes of the planet that selflessly took to using their powers for good, caused an uneasy stalemate at best.

Along with the new hero-villain combination of society, the creation of the world’s first “anti-villain” task force; U.N.I.O.N – The United Nations Information of Organized Non-humans. It was created to deal with anyone not remotely human, even extraterrestrials ‘Although non had yet been found’. The organization was nothing more than a two sided global racist group. The organization, while set up from several of the worlds more powerful nations was headed by a select council of electorates from each member state. What ever their agenda, I couldn’t help but feel extremely uneasy whenever they are mentioned in the news, which given today’s standards of media was almost weekly.

The public face of the group promoted peace with non-humans, this was to many, myself included, just the public relations section. Glossing over the more seeder side, one which was hell bent on arresting anyone who wasn’t remotely human, just to be rid of the public growing outcry of protesting groups. Wanting to rid the world of this new global menace, rumours spread of the group even killing people in the poorest countries who they believed to fit the criteria of a non-human. Images and accounts of these atrocities had found there way on to the numerous websites dedicated to putting the spot light on the illegality of U.N.I.O.N. Most didn’t last long enough as most of the websites would frequently disappear overnight, along with their creators.

I despised them greatly, it was bad enough that this moronic Inspector was breathing down my neck, but to have people hunt you down for simply being born different was just a horrific thought, and they call me a ‘villain’. They were no different, the Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, the apartheid in Africa and now U.N.I.O.N. All just a bunch of bigots trying to justify their actions under some false pretence, or just being flat out ignorant.

There was always going to be the igniting factor whenever two groups with polarized ideals fought it out for supremacy. Even when their followers seem to convey some hint of intellect, their belief in something they didn’t quite understand, would always fan the flames of the minority of persons who motives are only ever know by the themselves and the ‘gods’ they supposedly worshipped. At least you can try, if you wanted to, empathise with the corporate power hungry megalomaniacs. Greed is a common trait everyone is capable of. Being an apathetic and a lack of faith, allowed me some protection from their propaganda albeit is has made me rather cynical. Not knowing anything for certain doubt can play more of a bigger role that everyone wants to admit, even myself. This was depressingly and most probably why I don’t have a lot of friends, not knowing how other people think is .

Over the past decade various super hero groups formed, either for fame, fortune or a common goal aiming to eradicate all evil, super heroes became the new celebrity section of everyone’s admiration. Movie stars, artists and musicians were now second class, with the few exceptions where the few celebrities that also became ‘****s’, they saw the spot light shine brightest on them. This would act as an almost impenetrable barrier, these were these super celebrities were both truly untouchable and immortal. Most of the super hero groups found a uneasy truce with U.N.I.O.N, some sided with the organization, some actively protested at arms length. Regardless, nothing was going to change for the better unless something drastic was done.

“Are you looking for something in particular?” I smirked…pausing to read the warrant. Suspicion of possessing illegally obtained items, as I read the warrant and the Inspector’s chief reason for his ‘legal’ entry into my inner sanctum.

“You need to try harder Inspector, you really think I had a hand in robbing a bank?” He glared towards me as he barged into my home, “I know you had something to do with it…” He grunted, eye balling the confines of the flat “…and I WILL find it!”

This also wasn’t the first time he’s tried to find any incriminating evidence I my possession, I’m the ‘master villain’ and he’s the God-sent hero after all .

“Careful Inspector, this is starting to look suspiciously like harassment.” Continuing my streak of sarcasm from the side of my face.

“Shut it. Stand by the officer.” He scoffed back. “We have reason to believe you were involved with several robberies in the greater London area.” I was silently contemplating which one. There were many over the past few weeks.

“What robberies?” I tried the playing dumb routine, this was always the first line of defence with anyone suspected of a criminal act, it doesn’t work but then I had guests. A good host always ‘entertains’ their guests.

“You think I’m stupid Miss Arkins?” I knew the question was rhetorical, but I couldn’t help it.

“I’m sure your Mensa membership was just lost in the post.” Another notch on my sarcasm scoreboard.

“Don’t piss me off Miss…we have CCTV footage of you present at each bank on the days they were robbed…care to give your account of what happened? Or do I have to ask you the same question at the station?” Chase squared up to me, as if that would intimidate me.

My suspicion first arose when I was found to have been present at each of the banks on the days in which they were robbed. I didn’t do anything illegal but the coincidence of my presence was enough for my predicament, It almost makes me wish I had robbed the banks, at least it would justify Chase’s determination to keep up his crusade.

I couldn’t help but notice one of the officers heading towards my bedroom…

“Try not to grease up my underwear too much” An aside remark directed to the officer as he pushed through the door to my bedroom, giving me a frustrated and slightly embarrassed look. The second officer was charged with scouring the rest of my home, plucked the cable in my bath room as he stepped into the only room in the flat that was capable of becoming a pitch black abyss. An embarrassing wave of unease washed over me as I wasn’t one hundred percent that the toilet was flushed. The toothpaste was oozing out of the tube and the cap had fallen of and rolled underneath something never to see the light of day again. The shower curtain had started to collect mildew along the bottom half and the toilet bin had started to overflow with the cardboard cylinders of toilet rolls and tampon wrappers. I wasn’t a slob as such, but was a clear front runner for procrastinator of the year award.

“So am I under arrest or not?” Asking as I wasn’t too sure if he would try to drag me to the police station under some false pretence.

“That would depend Miss Arkins…” Inspector Chase spurned.

“On what?” I replied, half expecting an impending arrest attempt.

“Why were you at the banks at the same time they were robbed” Chase asked with clenched teeth, I’m sure if the other officers weren’t here he would use violence to get his answers.

“I was looking at transferring some money.” As I answered, in my normal indifferent tone. “Or trying too…” Which was true but I doubt he would believe me.

“…when someone blasted through the door and started demanding cash from one of the clerks, two guards tried to stop him, he somehow threw a fiery ball towards both of them and they both exploded into a bloody mess. After threatening everyone, he left with his rucksack full of money. I ran home after they had left” A vague but truthful account, I knew who it was, but I didn’t let on, that’s one hassle I didn’t need or want. The officer in my bed room left, closing the door behind him.

“I couldn’t find anything Inspector!” Claimed the officer, who’s no doubt got the smell of my underwear still firmly lodged in his nose.

I could just fry them all to a crisp like a over roasted chicken left too long in the oven, flooding the house with smoke constantly pouring from it’s soldering charred remains. That would only mean I’d have to disappear try and create a new identity, start a new life. I’ve never been a fan of hide and seek. Not when your a suspect in multiple robberies, and the United Kingdom’s police force undoubtedly know what you look like. I new staying put was the more sensible and safer option, so I continued this charade between the Inspector and myself.

“Already boys, I’ve had enough…and “thank you” for your co-operation Miss Arkins” Chase ‘s own brand of sarcasm, the officers and the Inspector walked towards front door, the officer stood behind me had to stop starring at my chest, I’m surprised he didn’t limp out.

“Will be back with more questions, Miss Arkins” Chase added, as he pulled my front door shut.

I thought I could spend the rest of the weekend off, but moments later the phone rang…it was looking to be one of the days.

“Hi honey, any chance of my daughter coming to visit?” My mother’s voice was a welcomed reprieve to the tension headache. Even if she was trying to guilt me into visiting her.

“Hi mum, I could do with a visit…it’s been one of those shitty mornings.” I didn’t want to tell her why, there was no need to panic her over nothing. “I can come over now if you would like?” I answered knowing full well my mum already knew the answer to her question.

“Great, I’ll see you soon.” She sounded excited,

“Ok mum I’ll see ya in a bit.” I always kept it short when using the phone, I didn’t want to have to buy a new one. I hang up and gazed into the mirror positioned over the phone stand, I didn’t look that much of a mess, but I tried to make an effort when seeing her. I finished getting dressed and tried to make myself presentable, leaving through the front door when I didn’t look as homeless.

Chapter 2

Stepping outside my flat and was immediately blinded by the afternoon sun, it almost prevented me from locking the front door, fumbling around I managed to lock my door and left through the rusting chipped black paint gate. The garden was clean and well kept but that wasn’t through any of my effort, the old woman that lives above me was the real culprit. She was a nice old woman, she wasn’t that active of a person but the gardening gave her something to do. Most of it was covered with a rainbow of varieties of different flowers and plants. I didn’t know much about her, but she would always exchange pleasantries if our paths met. She was rather plain for an old woman, but I couldn’t help but feel she had lived a life that was only conceivable in novels. She just had that aura of experience that I just couldn’t place, that or it might have been her lavender scented perfume. It was rather odd for her to not be outside at this time of day, given the weather, but I carried on to my mothers none the less.

Under the cover of night I could have simply ran and leapt across rooftops to my mother’s house. I never used to have an affinity for running fast or leaping large gaps without fear, but since my powers activated, fear wasn’t an emotion I felt often. The extent of my athleticism was playing tennis, excluding of course the school’s P.E lessons. I used to play with my best friend from school Georga Dawkins, she was the main reason why I played it. I never liked playing it in truth but it was one of those things you do for a best friend. I had to stop playing it though, it didn’t feel right to play it after she died. Killed, in a hit and run, while we were on our way home from a game at our local sport centre. It felt like I had cried for a week afterwards.

I couldn’t get what happened out of my mind, was there anything I could have done…something…anything just to stop it from happening. What if we played for a few minutes later, took a different route home, stopped of for a drink in the corner store we passed shortly before. Would she still be alive. I still think about her from time to time. I kept all the pictures I had of her, most were in a box in my closet, keeping my favourite ones on the side cupboard in the living room. We used to do everything together, go shopping, talk about our favourite pop and movie stars, braid each others hair. We were inseparable. I loved her and more than just as a friend. One regret I had was not telling her how I felt, and I will never know if she felt the same, although I suspect she didn’t, not knowing has always hurt whenever I’m reminded of her.

I was never the same again afterwards, I stopped going out with my other friends, lost interest in school, which reflected on my grades. I was practically forced by my family to see a councillor but that felt futile. I managed to get out after awhile, I was brought a bicycle for my seventeenth birthday, it was a purple twenty one speed mountain bike. My mum and dad brought me it as a way of getting me outside. Knowing full well I would ride it as to not feel guilty through not wasting their gift. It worked of course, thats what parents are for. Fixing problems. My dad Donald had a way of manipulating people. Not in a malevolent way, but in the way that he knew what was best for others. It was only natural for him, having worked as a contractor for an construction firm for nearly twenty years. If you can’t manipulate a bunch of men into hard manual labour how could you not learn how to influence you own daughter out of her depression. It was an annoying trait of his but one I have never resented, knowing it was out of love.

I would have used the bike, it was in the spare room, but it had a puncture that I had yet to fix. I still took care of it, even though the years had caused it to see many scratches and dings. Throwing it away was impossible, it was the last thing my dad brought me and parting with it felt like I would be throwing away apart of him, it hurt just thinking about doing so. I often joked to my mother that I was going to end up being buried with it, it always made her smile knowing that her husband’s influence wasn’t lost on me.

The next quickest mode of transport I had available was the bus, I waited at the closest stop to the fast. Another woman was already waiting, talking on her phone, she was all tarted up wearing a dark navy blue suit, cream silk blouse combo. She was clearly one of those overly pretentious business types, the kind of person who saw me as beneath them. That kind of person always made my skin crawl, not to mention I always used to feel uneasy around people I didn’t know but the knowledge that I could just sum up a bolt of electricity and fry them made me feel untouchable. She didn’t pay me any attention as the bus pulled up walking on the bus buying her ticket without so much of a smile, she was on a talking marathon with an unknown entity, only stopping to say her destination, it was done so effortlessly I was amazed how fluid the transaction was. I followed after her and brought my fare, the bus driver gave me a smile, but it’s only the involuntary version everyone receives whenever someone is insincerely trying to polite. I proceeded to sit down in the middle of the bus. The woman who got on before me was continuing her conversation as if she was already there. I couldn’t help but admire her enthusiasm towards what ever it is she does.

After the thirty minutes bus ride and a few minutes walk I was at my mother’s house. It was further out in Brentford, where I grew up. I walked up to the door and before I could knock, the door opened.

“Oh Hi honey, I was just putting the rubbish out, go in and make your self comfy.” She brushed past me in her summery floral print full length dress, gripping a black bin liner full of rubbish in each hand. She always put effort into her appearance, even when she wasn’t going out. Her hair was always cleaned, well cut and styled. Always applying fresh make up and wore a elegant perfume that cost a lot more than it should for it’s quantity. It was like looking at a cut out of a photographed celebrity in a fashion magazine. I could never work out how she found the energy to always look her best, but she did. Even the house was well kept, everything in it’s place, every little china ornament never moved. Not one speck of dust was on any of them, if she didn’t have superpowers I swear she had help from little dust eating pixies.

My mother Audrey was more alone now, ever since Dad died nine years ago from a heart attack He keeled over and died on the spot at the construction site he was contracted for. My sister Molly and myself were the only ones who really visited. Molly now lived in Everton with her husband Dennis, with their two children Alex and Emily. I didn’t see them much nearly as much as I wanted to, whenever they did visit they would run up to me screaming “Aunty Rachael”, while leaping at me for a hug. One of the few moments in my life I felt happy, if I wasn’t careful I would end up jealous, wanting my own. Who wants children from a sulky, soon to be spinster, like me. I should just start collecting cats. I would most likely opt for stuffed, I could just about afford to feed myself, plus I didn’t want the dear Inspector Chase ransacking my flat, light footing over piles of cat poo, like he could light foot anywhere with those trunk shaped hooves.

I collapsed into the sofa which was like most house holds parked squarely in front of the TV. I closed my eyes thinking I could just wish away all my stress, that’s what parents houses are for after all. Throwing your mind back to when your a child and your only real responsibilities are not getting hurt, trying not to have an accident in your underwear and making sure you eat your vegetables. My mother walked back in, holding her hands alof, trying not to get any remnants of the rubbish smell all over the door handles. She was so house proud like that.

“Turn the TV on if you want hun…. putting the kettle on, want the usual?” As she walked towards to kitchen, holding her hands high like they were radioactive.

“Yes please.” I replied as I hit the remote, trying to insulate my hand with the sleeve of my jacket. It sprung to life with the channel locked onto the news, it was showing yet another atrocity in one of the third world countries. Hundreds of people were being killed, dumped into mass graves and being set alight. Any signs where someone; man, woman or child, displayed signs of being a ‘****’. Even if there was only one person in the village, the rest of the populous were not spared.

I could feel my stomach churning over the thought that had I been unlucky enough to be born there I was most likely going to be in the same situation. My blood boiled over this kind of racist attitude, it made me want to go there just to enact revenge.

“Oh not again, those poor people.” My mother commented on as she walked into the sitting room, grasping two cups of boiling liquid. It was almost as if she wanted me to confess, like she knew I was a **** too. Could I risk it and tell her? I felt the words bubble up from my heart and into my throat, wanting to escape from my mouth. I was handed my beverage and managed to suppress the words.

“It makes me sick.” I replied, after swallowing my secret.

“I know, it’s terrible. I wish something was done…” She responded with a general look of sympathy, it was actually comforting to know there’s people like her in the world. It wasn’t enough to tip the balance between good and evil though, which was nothing less than shameful. One person can’t change the world.

“So hunny, any thing new with you…” She was always the one to start the conversations. “…or anyone new?” Fishing for anything, while baiting me with a plate of chocolate biscuits she had pre-planted on the coffee table in front of us.

“Not really, I’ve just been doing the same.” I tried to defuse the conversation.

“Liar…you look troubled hun, what’s the matter?” I guess I was wearing my depressed face again.

“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I might be in trouble.” I rubbed my eyelids, just thinking about it was making my headache worse.

“What kind of trouble…do you need more rent money?” She asked with only that level of concern a mother can have for a child. I had borrowed a few months worth of rent money the last time I was unemployed and was at risk of losing my home. I had yet to pay her back.

“The police seem to think I might be involved with robbing a few banks.” In any other instance parents would think their child was just joking. I of course wasn’t, and she knew.

“Robbing banks?…You mean those ones that have been on the news?” She was looking more concerned that I was hoping.

“Yes, and a particular Inspector seems to have it out for me.” Every sentence I revealed, I could feel the weight lifting of my shoulders.

“What do you mean?…and why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Showing just that hint of frustration a concerned parents has when they know their child is in trouble. Even if it isn’t their fault.

“I was at the banks on the days they were robbed but I didn’t do it. They seem to think otherwise and I’ve had the flat searched several times.”

“Oh hunny, I believe you… but you should have told me sooner.” Her hand rested on my knee, like she was trying to sap the stress away and absorb it.

“I don’t know what to do, my life seems to be spiraling downwards like someone has it out for me on a cosmic level.”

“If you didn’t do it then theirs not a lot they can do, you are just going to have to brave what ever they throw at you, and remember I’m always here, as well as your sister. Even though she doesn’t live close any more she will be there for you.” Spoken in her calming voice, I felt more of my stress melt away. It was also true about Molly, she was there when Georga died, and helped me get through it. She might not have superpowers but she’s a hero to me, I just wish she was around more often, I wish I was a better sister to her as well.

“I know.” I took another swig of my coffee.

“Come on let’s head down town, it’s been awhile since we spent some time outside this house together”

“Ok.” I agreed only because I could never say no to her.

“Great, I’ll just grab my coat” She sprung up from the chair like she was sat on hot coals and only just realized. I managed to pull myself from the sofa and downed the remnants of my coffee, and stood by the door to wait.

We talked and walked into the main shopping section of town, by-passing the blur of fast food and emptied stores, including a sweet shop me and my sister frequented whenever we were dragged into town. I knew were my mother wanted to go, there was always a Red Cross store that had clothes for sale. She always liked buying her clothes from here, knowing it was going towards a good cause. I could never buy a second hand piece of clothing, under the impression that they are only there because someone had died in them, I still humored her by pretending to look interested in something making sure as to not touch them.

“I must go and book another appointment with Sally.” She tugged my are towards her favorite hair dressers.

“Ok.” I agreed reluctantly. I almost felt six again, about to throw a tantrum because I didn’t want to be there. The store was flooded with the music of one of the recent pop idols who just barely had enough talent to work the auto-tune machine. I tried to focus on the hum of the hair dryers it was more soothing, mother spoke to the over groomed Barbie doll at the till, caked in more make-up than I have ever worn in my life time, continuing to natter away with Sally after making her appointment, who was sweeping away the remnants of her previous client. I stood by the door, trying to avert eye contact with the rest of the women at the various stages of metamorphosis. After ten minutes of uncomfortable boredom mother and I walked out of the shop. Had it been a minute later the life I had adjusted to would have remained the same. Seems that fate truly has it out for me.

Chapter 3

It all happened so fast it was like it wasn’t even me, it didn’t feel like me. It was like watching a movie in slow motion, a scene that was slowed to a crawl for added effect. A mother had screamed when her little girl had freed herself from her mothers watchful gaze, the girl had dropped her ball she was clasping which had inconveniently rolled into the middle of the road. The little girl ran after it unknowingly into on coming traffic.

I could see the car, it’s metallic body cruising towards the girl at enough speed that would have prevented him from stopping in time. The horror on his face was intense, the thoughts that must have raced through his head of sheer panic and regret of even leaving his house that morning. The sinking feeling he felt in his gut the second he saw the blonde curls through his windscreen.

Spared both of them a horrific fate that no two people of any variety should go through. launching myself from the opposite side of the road. The sparks of electricity had bolted through my legs and into the surrounding objects that were even remotely conductive. The street lights and the lights of the parked cars I ran between popped as they received too much power, mother along with a few others walking past us at the time all jumped back in surprise like someone had burst a balloon behind their heads unaware of the impending prank with the added effect of electrical arcs dancing around sporadically until this dissipated into nothing but static.

My hands clasp the young girl, clutching her frail young body while lifting her up mere seconds before impact. She was so light, it was like lifting up a piece of paper. I wasn’t as lucky as I felt the corner of the cars bonnet kiss my hip, shunting me forwards and onto the path, skidding to a complete stop. The adrenaline was so new to me that I felt sick to my stomach. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it would explode out of my chest like a mallet to a water melon. I didn’t even feel pain, at least not for the first minute.

Everyone who had witnessed what just happened was looking at me, their eyes piercing me as I lay on the floor still clutching the young girl around her head and torso. Jaws had dropped among everyone who was equally stunned and horrified. Her mother had run up shocked and distraught shoving her way passed several other people who were gravitating towards me. While still laying down I released the young girl, her soft golden hair filtering through my fingers almost getting tangled as she stood up and ran to hug her mother crying.

“Oh my god, thank you, thank you, thank you!” Tears wear rolling down the mother’s red puffy face, as this young woman’s worst fear had almost become real. She had knelt down to hug her most prized possession more so than I just had.

“Is she ok?” I asked between my heavy breathing towards the mother. I tried to stand but my legs were not as willing, any energy they had exploded outwards from the opposite side of the road.

“YES I THINK SO!.” She glanced at her child with all the knowledge of a fully trained doctor. “I don’t know what to say.” Asking the relieved mother. Not say anything as I shook my head, “It’s ok” replying as I glanced across the road towards my mother who had front row to what had happened. She had made her way across the road as fast as she could, the traffic behind had all but come to a complete stop, a small gathering had built up around us, consisting of concerned citizens

“Oh my god, hunny are you hurt?” Despite what she just saw her concern was my well being, which was such a relief when I just revealed to the word I was a walking dynamo.

“My hip is a little sore, but I’m fine.” I lied, It was more than sore it was agonizing. I really didn’t want to try to stand the pain was all I could think about, I had fallen over and grazed my knee as a child before, burned my finger on a boiling saucepan as a teenager, that level of pain was wishful thinking on my part now.

“I’M SO SORRY!” The male driver of the ill fated car had vacated to express his regret at the situation after prying his white knuckled hands from the steering wheel. “SHE CAME OUT OF NO WHERE!” He was clearly hysterical and with good reason and skin so pale he looked like he was about to vomit his lunch. “Is she ok?, please tell me she’s ok!?”

“She seems fine.” I tried to calm him down, surprised by my level of self control most people in this instance would have more than likely bit his head off even though it wasn’t his fault.

Looking back at the car I could see the huge dent and the smashed head light, it seemed pointless to try and explained that away. It apologized to its driver who had now calmed down enough that he managed to face the hugging mother and daughter combo, he shocked state had subsided. I even managed to stand despite my mothers and a few other’s protest, the pain was still in the forefront of my mind but for some reason I didn’t care, it felt justified, like it was meant to happen.

All those years I felt guilt over Georga’s death had gone. The anger, the sadness, everything had been lifted from me that moment I realized what I had done it when I looked up at the young mother and her daughter. She was still hugging her while she looked into my eyes, her all red and puffy from the relief as she mouthed towards me the words “thank you”.

While under heavy protest from my mother and a few others I still managed to walk back to mother’s home, she insisted I sought out medical attention, being my stubborn self I kept refusing. She was clearly in need of answers, just as much as I was. It was a massive relief to see the the edge of her house, it was enough to keep me going, walking through the door I sought out the same seat I was sitting in less than an hour before. The ease in pain was spread out among the soft cushion, I forced my eyes closed hoping it wouldn’t return.

I could feel the breeze in the wake of mother wisping past me as she sat down gracefully in her chair. Anxiety was building up in me, all I was doing was anticipating her 20 questions worth of inquisition, but she said nothing.

Chapter X

I had so many questions racing through my head with no answers to rely on. Having to learn everything from scratch was a daunting experience, it’s not as if learning to control your powers is taught in the curriculum of any school. I’ve always felt isolated I just wish I could have found someone to talk to about it.

I just love the freedom. Knowing I could, if I really wanted to, just go completely nuts and live life by my own rules, become a villain the thing that keeps children up at night. Total disregard of the law and any moral standing that might be left of and do what the hell I want. Something I always envied about your typical sociopath.

The only real thing stopping me was the amount of effort it would take just to keep myself from being captured. Living the life of a minimum waged waitress was the closest I came to being free. No responsibilities beyond not dropping the food or drink on the floor, and giving it to the right customers. That was my level of stress, contentment in life.

Apathy was not a great human quality, more so when as an **** non-human I have the power to do great good ‘or evil’ in the world. This is what the process was called for the new non-humans; “****”. It sounds like something out of a comic book. The process in which some peoples abilities activated changing them into marvels or monstrosities. This all happened the night the world witnessed the first modern day meteor crash into the Pacific ocean.

Men, women and children all over the planet for the past ten years started to awaken with strange new powers, more often than not with disastrous results. Some with their appearance dramatically shifting with a variety of colours and shapes, it was almost as if some higher power got a play dough fun factory and started popping out human sized pieces, mashing them together in a twisted sense of fun. If there was a God he was clearly not firing all cylinders.

It’s hard to read the newspaper when most of the time it’s about some young boy or girl killing half their class room when they lose control of their powers or have no idea of what they are capable of. I’ve learnt to blank it all out mind you, I’m twenty seven, and I’ve become completely jaded to the idea of young children dying. It was distressing at first, like any normal person would experience, recoiling at the thought of children dying. Thankfully I was on my own when my powers first emerged for the first time.

My powers first appeared eight years ago while walking home from work. A crackling of the air around me built up, with a weird sizzling sound that was only thought to have existed in sci-fi movies deafened my ears. A sharp tingle ran from across my spine, down my arms, and the first arcs of lightning shot from my hands into any thing remotely metallic and conductive. Every time an arc shot out it was accompanied with a rush of excitement and adrenaline, like an intense static shock and the feeling of pins and needles when it’s at it’s most pleasant and not the agonizingly aching numbing kind.

That electrical burn smell that reaches the back most part of your nose, once was odious to breath in, was now at the forefront of my mind. This was now my cocaine, I loved this intoxication, the spectacle, the music I could generate. I would often sit in my flat sparking arcs between my fingers just to get my fix, hypnotized by the beautiful firework show I could muster with no notice what so ever. This is how flies must feel shortly before being fried to death in that blue neon haze, just in my case it wouldn’t lead to a premature death.

I remember when it first happened, I had panicked, and ran all the way back to my flat. I must have looked like a lunatic running all the way home, I had to take of my shoes just for the extra grip the soles of my feet could provide. No one saw thankfully, as I usually braved a particular alleyway on my way home from the restaurant. The only illumination was a few small external lights above the rear fire exits. This was the extent of my adventurous side, risking being mugged or worse. Just to save a few minutes for my return home rather than take the main street like any other normal person would, basking in the protection of the orange street lights would provide, this was before my life changed forever. I didn’t want to believe it at first, I tried everything to forget about it, but whenever I attempted to use anything electrical, arcs would pulse from my finger tips.

It was like the electricity coursing through my body was a king cobra, trying to find a rodent or lizard, striking to eat, like it could consume it in one mouthful with it’s terminally paralyzing after effect. Every time I resisted it would try leaping from me looking for it’s next meal. I felt almost sick at the thought that my once content-able life would be drastically changed forever, no going back, no retries. Would this have happened if I didn’t walk down that alley way, or lived where I lived, or was it just who I was, my genetics, could I blame my parents for setting me on this collision course headed for disaster…

This is where the story ends unfortunately, maybe one day I will pick it back up…but not today. The main character is not indicative of myself by the way…well perhaps a bit.

Thank you for reading,

Laura Steel.