Part Three (Previous parts below)

Dust forced its way into my mouth blotting out what sun had been above me. Luckily I had closed my eyes in time but the screams coming from across the street told me that someone else hadn’t been so quick. My temperature rose as I felt the the world around me change. My phone lay on the ground next to me, screen cracked and powerless. Everything was covered in a fine layer of dust, I left a trail as I rose to my feet and began back down the street.
My body began to simmer like red curry again, and it was growing ever hotter as I moved along the street. People were coming out of houses or peering out of windows all around me, a few even stared at me. I could really feel myself heating up now and when I looked down at my hand I found that my finger nails had begun to glow. They shown agains the brown dust covered land around me.
Panic filled me, I had to get home. I never liked the spotlight and now, quite literally, I was a spotlight. I ran, as fast as I could and found that it only added to my fear, I was moving faster than an olympic sprinter and my temperature only continued to rise. I found it to be a comfort. Something was happening to me, that was obvious now. It hadn’t been some sort of weird brain illusion from the day before but an actual physical, well, situation. Disease? Ailment? Cure?
I suppose once I stopped trying to explain it I embraced it. Racing down the street I decided to try another jump like the day before. Running at a parked car I leapt onto the hood and kicked off. I was practically flying.
Until the brick wall of the building on the other side thought better.
My hands went out in front me as if I was falling rather than moving through the air horizontally. The light in my finger nails grew until my whole hands were glowing. A faint luminescence bubbled out from them and the brick wall exploded in front me as I came crashing thought it.
I was standing in what looked like a young boy’s room. Airplanes hung from the wall and a small twin bed lay askew in the corner, I must have rearranged the room slightly during my entrance. I was starring at my hands when the door flew open knocking an airplane from the wall. A large man stood there, his face was as red as a beet. In his hands he held a golf club.
“Sir, I am truly sorry for this inconvenience…” I began, but if the earthquake and dust wave hand’t been enough to put him on edge a strange man bursting through his young son’s brick wall seemed to have done the trick. He swung the club like Tiger, I could see the vein pop on his forehead and watched the muscles in his arms spring to life in slow motion. It would have been terrifying expect the slow motion made him look like a cartoon character. I was tempted to try and catch the club in my hand but didn’t want to push things too far and decided to step to the side instead.
Things sped back up and the man gave a grunt as he followed through on his swing crashing the club into the floor, bending its shaft. Before he could swing again I turned and leaped out of the second story hole in the wall and landed nimbly on the ground. I could hear the man screaming, but I won’t repeat his words to you, suffice it to say that he was royally pissed.
In my brief absence from the street things had changed dramatically, people had moved from the windows and doorways out onto the street gaping and gawking at their brown world. I found myself again drawing unwanted attention, so deciding to use my new found talents I leaped up onto a car roof then to a building top. From there I continued on down the street, but this time moving from rooftop to roof top. And boy, let me tell you. I was feeling cooler than Batman, flyer than Superman, and just about as goofy as Spidey.
I was making good speed back home, the steep roofs of every third house or so didn’t slow me down a bit and they were all about the same height and close enough apart for me to keep jumping along. Three, maybe four blocks from my cozy little home a strange thing happened. All the street lamps flicked on simultaneously. I had been operating under the idea that all power had been knocked out. An EMP like blast from the giant red ball’s impact with earth. Seemed reasonable enough when you considered I was having these thoughts while making the normal walk home thirty feet higher than usual.
Anyways the lights turning on changed my mind about the EMP theory, but the weirdest part of it was how they all turned on at exactly the same time. Have you ever seen that before? I sure haven’t. One flickers it’s way to life while another jumps into action immediately the third doesn’t turn on at all most of the time. But here on this block they all jumped into life together. It caught me off guard and I half lost my footing as I landed on a rather steep roof. I debated going back for my phone which I had so casually left laying on the sidewalk. My life seemed to be moving rather fast, too fast, I wanted to get back to the safety of my humble little home.
I entered, from the second story window I always left open, grabbing onto the roof and swinging my feet through first. I had been a fairly athletic person my whole life but this was a whole new level. Again I thought of an olympian, not a sprinter this time but some kind of crazy flipping, stretchy gymnast. I couldn’t help smiling to myself. My heart was beating powerfully in my chest as I made my way downstairs, I was only remotely surprised to see that all the electronics had been switched on. The radio was blaring “Hot for Teacher” when I switched it off. The TV was still on the news channel but there was a new talking head on the screen, I switched it off without registering what they were saying. Later I would find out how big a mistake that was.
I was really beginning to miss my phone as I fixed myself a sandwich. Channeling athletes was tiring work. I had disabled my land line the year before but the phone still hung on the wall in the kitchen, taunting me as I spread mustard onto my bread.
I hardly tasted the pastrami as I wolfed down the meal. Was anyone else experiencing what I was? Probably, I hadn’t done anything special in my life and I had actively avoided toxic pools of nuclear waste and stayed out of gamma radiation chambers. There was nothing that I could think of that would have caused this change in me. So somebody else out there must be feeling it too. And what was up with that ball? Did it give me my powers? I had made up my mind to go investigate for myself when a knock came at my door.
“Clyde!” Yelled a voice in between pounding fists. “Open the damn door.” I knew the voice and was immediately filled with a mix of emotions. I was glad that he was ok, strange things were happening out there but his gruff voiced filled me with fear as well. It was Mary, my girlfriend’s father.
“Mark,” I said opening the door. “Its good to see you.” He barged into the small living room and shook his head as if irritated or disgusted. Probably both. He turned to face me.
“I know I haven’t been the most welcoming to you,” He began, “but its only going to get worse from here on out. I have some tough words for you and I doubt your manly enough to stomach them standing so sit down.” I did as I was told. His hard blue eyes had a way of piercing straight into my soul, all previous strength I had felt drained away. “Good, now I suppose your feeling a little different. Thats good and if you don’t feel any different stop me now because I have little time.” I nodded and opened my mouth to say yes but he talked right over me.
“Thats what I thought. First, you need to man up from here on out. No more whining about your lot in life. Now is the time to put some hair on your chest and get your hands dirty. Second, obviously my daughter loves you,” He shook his head again, grumbled under his breath, sighed and continued, “and so it is your job to protect her. She is more important than you can imagine and not just to me, or to you, but to the whole world.
Third, stay away from the egg. Keep Mary away from the egg. Understand?”
“I am not currently a man but need to quickly become one. Mary is extremely important. And finally there is a bad egg around.” I repeated. I could only assume that the big red oval shaped ball was, in fact, the egg he was talking about. “I do have a question, why me?”
“Because Mary loves you. Now I must go, I need to find the others.”
“Wait, wait, wait. If I get my powers from Mary’s love then how are there others?”
“Past loves.” He said as he walked out the door.
Great, I thought to myself, exes.


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