Once he is outside, Brayden runs toward Ryan Avenue. As he is crossing the street, he sees a truck coming towards him fast. The driver sees Brayden and honks the horn for him to move. In an instant Brayden leaps out of the way, only to land in front of an oncoming van. He quickly back flips out of its path landing back in the same lane where he dodged the truck. As he lands a car is quickly approaching him. The car rams into him. Brayden bowls up the windshield and is popped into the air. With amazing agility, Brayden twists his body while airborne and lands safely on his feet. Upon landing he takes a moment to try and make sense of what just happened. “Hey kid!” yells a voice. Brayden looks up to see that it was the driver of the car that just hit him. “Hey kid, you ok?” the driver calls to him. Unable to answer, let alone try to figure out what he did and how he did it, Brayden did the only thing he could think of, and that was to run.
Heading down the street next to his school toward a nearby park, he runs just as fast as he did when he chased the bus to get to school. He reaches the park in no time and quickly enters. Walking quickly through the brush and bushes he makes his way toward a clearing where he and his friends hang out. Once he has reached the clearing, Brayden sits down on a fallen tree to gather his thoughts and try to figure out what has happened. While he is sitting there, questions began filling his mind. He asked them to himself in his mind, “How did I avoid those cars? A normal person wouldn’t have been able to dodge those cars like that. But for some reason I was able to do it. And Derrick? I don’t know what the hell I just did or what’s going on. But it’s almost as if I am somehow able to move and react faster than before. It’s almost as if I can move like…lightning?!?” A shocking revelation just entered Brayden’s mind; one that could explain he actions today. He slowly thinks back to yesterday afternoon when he was struck twice by lightning. The event kept repeating itself in his mind as he started to remember how he felt when the incredible surge of electricity entered his body. Where he felt pain, he felt pleasure; where he felt discomfort, he felt the opposite. But it wasn’t until he was knocked unconscious the he felt something that no one else should feel. As he was lying in the grass, he felt a certain calmness and relaxation flow through him.
‘Could that be it?’ Brayden thought, ‘Could I have some sort of power?’ He thought about it a little more and decided to test his theory. He held out his hands with his palms turned upward. Then, he started to concentrate. He continued to focus his thoughts on his possible new ability, and then it happened.
ZAP! A small charge of electricity emitted from his hands. Fascinated by what he just did, Brayden wondered what would happen if he concentrated harder. He began concentrating again, a little harder this time, to see if he can increase the charge of electricity. A few seconds passed and once again electrical power flowed through his hands. He watched in amazement as his hand glowed with lightning power. Then he turned his palms so that they were facing each other and created a steady stream of lightning between his hands. Brayden looked at his hands for a moment and wondered if he is able to discharge the lightning from his hands. He looks around for a bit and selects his target. He chooses a large rock some distance from where he stood. He extended one arm out in front of him with his palm facing forward.
Just then a streak of lightning shot from his hand and struck the rock sending pieces of it flying off. “Whoa,” Brayden said. A smile came across his face as he looked up at the trees. A thought came into Brayden’s mind as he looks around the leafy canopy. Acting on his thought, he knelt down and jumped high into the trees and landed on a branch of the tree closest to him. While standing on the branch he looks down to see that he is at least fifty feet from the ground. He looks back up at the trees in front of him. “All right, let’s see what I can do,” Brayden said. He leaps off of one foot and glides over to the branch of another tree that is more than thirty feet from where he was. Upon landing Brayden quickly prepares to jump to the next tree.
Tree after tree Brayden continues to jump and leap through the green canopy. He even does a couple flips as he is airborne. When he lands on the highest branch of the next tree, he spots a rather large tree that is a good hundred feet or so from where he is. He takes only a moment to think about this next jump and decides to go for it. With one strong push off of the branch, Brayden makes a mighty leap for the tall tree in his sights. As he is gliding over, Brayden begins losing altitude. “Uh oh,” he says before suddenly dropping from the sky. With the ground fast approaching, he closes his eyes and braces from impact.
However, nothing came.
Brayden opens one eye, looks around a bit before opening the other. Looking down, he sees the ground just a few inches ahead of him. The ant trotting by seemingly looks up at him briefly before continuing on its way. Brayden moves his arms away from his face. Rather than being buried into the ground, he finds himself hovering above it. He flips his head down towards his feet which are now above his head. “Okay, uh, I can hover. Okay,” he says. Brayden somehow uses his muscles and certain body movements to right himself. He gently floats down to the ground. The initial shock of nearly falling to his death soon passes, replaced with curiosity. He begins to wonder about something. Brayden drops low, bunches the muscles in his legs and, with a hard shove, shoots into the sky, yelling excitedly as he continues his ascent. Brayden soon stops and looks down. “Man, I’m really high up.” He takes a couple of minutes to view the park and surrounding areas below him. Being this high in the air Brayden is able to see all the places he knows around his school. He can see his school and the middle school next to it. The mall where he and his friends hang out is at his back. He can also see a couple streets that were near his school. He also has a good view of Sherman Park.
After enjoying the beautiful sight of the park from a bird’s point of view, Brayden flies off in a westerly direction. “Before I head home, I want see exactly what I’m capable of,” he says as he continues to fly in this direction to a place where he can train himself to use his new capabilities.
He arrives at a section of James Creek Park where hardly anyone goes to, so he is sure no one will see him. The area was very spacious. There was a small river that flowed through the area outlined by two large riverbanks. The left riverbank was bare and very large, compared to the right riverbank which was slightly smaller and composed of a lot of trees. He lands on the ground and is ready to begin training himself to use his new speed with some Tae-Kwan-Do that he learned from when he was young until just last year as well as some Judo techniques that his father showed him. He started the drill punching at steady pace, then as few seconds went by his punches were becoming faster and faster until his hands were merely a blur. He continued this for a few minutes and then switched to the kicking drill. Just like his fists, his legs were moving so fast that they could hardly be seen. Brayden spent the rest of the day incorporating his lightning powers into his two martial art techniques through a series of more punching and kicking drills as well as flips and katas. He also included his flying and lightning attacks in his training. He uses the terrain to target and fire his lightning attack powers and the trees became an obstacle course for his flying ability. It was almost dark when Brayden decided to end his training and head home, by air of course.
As he was flying home Brayden starts looking for a place to land so no one would see him. He soon finds a dark area that’s about two blocks from his house. After landing he continues his way home on foot. As he approaches his house, he notices the lights are on, telling him that his mother is home. He opens the door. “Hey mom,” Brayden said as he entered, shutting the door behind him.
“You’re home late,” Brayden’s mother says, walking from the kitchen to the dining room.
“Sorry, I was at the library doing some research,” Brayden told his mom.
“Oh ok, well dinner’s ready. Can you set the table?” Brayden’s mother asked.
“Sure,” replies Brayden. He takes a couple plates and silverware from the China cabinet while his mother returned to the kitchen to get the food. Brayden didn’t like lying to his mother, but what else can he tell her. Clearly, he can’t tell her the truth. Just telling his mother that he was struck twice by lightning would be too much for her to handle, let alone that he now has some kind of special power. Keeping it a secret is Brayden’s only, and best, option. Brayden finishes setting the table just as his mother brings their dinner to the table—meat loaf with potatoes and carrots. The mother and son sit down to eat.
“So, how was school today?” Brayden’s mother asked, breaking the silence.
“It was alright. Had a little run in with Derrick again,” Brayden answered casually.
“That Derrick Johnson still giving you trouble?”
“A little. Nothing to really worry about,” Brayden replies before taking in another mouthful of food.
“Still, he has no business harassing you the way he does,” Brayden’s mother said with concern.
“Don’t worry about it. I just handled it like I always do. He keeps talking and I keep pretending I give a flying rat’s butt,” Brayden says nonchalantly, “Besides, if he studied just as much as he works out, he might actually be dangerous.”
Brayden’s mother laughs at her son’s comment. “Brayden,” she said chuckling.
Soon they finish dinner. Brayden put what remained of the meatloaf in a container and placed it in the fridge. His mother washed the plates and pan that the meatloaf was in. Once the kitchen was cleaned, the mother and son turned in for the night.
At an abandoned warehouse somewhere in Philadelphia, a cloaked figure stands in the middle of the large work area. The building is nearly completely dark save for the beams of moonlight shining through the dingy windows. Across from the cloaked person sat another person who is keeping to the shadows. The moonlight partially illuminates the other person. Rippling muscles and a broad chin suggests that the person is a man.
“So, you say he survived two lightning strikes and chased down a bus going forty miles an hour. And he’s also learning to use his abilities as well, hmm?” the man spoke with a deep voice. A sinister grin slides across his face. “Let’s wait a couple days and then you can pay our little friend a visit and take him for a test drive.” The cloaked figure gives the man a silent response.
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