Gods and Men, Ch. 5

March 31, 2008
By J.D. Cook

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5.   The Lightning Kid

This seemed like something out of a comic book to him and he was enjoying every minute with his new powers. For Jeremiah, however, the moment he had his fate thrust upon his knees was on an outing trip to his friend’s house. Some would say that it was a bit late to be walking down Alter Street, but Jeremiah never really bought into the mentality that Hazleton was so far gone that you couldn’t travel a street at night. As he passed an alley way he heard a shout come from down it. In the shadows Dylan could just barely make out two figures. A large man was holding something Dylan couldn’t make out to the back of a much smaller person. He had trained his power for this,and would not hesitate in the face of danger. In a second a ball of electricity flew out of his hands towards the large figure, but in the light of the electricity, Jeremiah realized the large man just had his hand on the hip of a woman. It was too late, however, as the lightning struck the man in the chest. Luckily it was a small blast and only knocked the man over. Jeremiah high-tailed it out of there after the woman ran over to help the fallen man, confirming his mistake.

Luckily, nothing resulted from the accidental attack and life went on. Although in the paper the next morning there was a report of local UFO sighting near Alter Street. Jeremiah’s next big moment didn’t come until he was switching classes one day in school. He was attempting to open his locker when he sent off a small accidental burst of electricity. Suddenly everyone at their lockers jumped back at the shock. Jeremiah couldn’t help but laugh to himself.

On his walk home he stopped at the Dollar Store to get a drink. As he was about to leave, a man in a ski mask walked in with a knife.
“Give me the money in the register now!” was all he shouted as he pointed the knife at the cashier.
“Finally!” Jeremiah thought to himself as he put down his drink and walked towards the armed robber.
“I don’t think you want to do this, sir. I am sure you could get money some other way.” Jeremiah felt that he needed to give the man a chance before he sent him flying across the store.
“Shut up, kid!” the robber said as he took his bag of loot from the cashier.
That was the wrong thing to say. Jeremiah sent a blast of lightning into the robber’s knife causing it to electrocute him. He dropped the knife and fell to his knees.
“I think someone needs to call the Police.” Jeremiah said as he left the store proud of himself.

On the evening news, the story of the “Lightning Kid” was the main topic. They interviewed the cashier, who horribly described him resulting in a terrible picture. Jeremiah realized he could easily become famous off his new found power, but wasn’t sure how the mass media would react to someone with as much power as his. Would they villainize him or hail him as a hero. However, his biggest thought was how to use this gift to impress girls.

Soon Jeremiah started going out at night and prowling the streets for about an hour everyday, but hardly anything very exciting ever happened. He returned a lost dog and rescued a cat from a tree but, other than that, he was rather bored as a quote-unquote “superhero”. So he decided to reveal himself.

First, he told his mother who was at once shocked and still mad about the electric bill. Soon his entire family knew, and then his close friends. One day between classes in the high school, he was asked to entertain people with his “light shows”. Unfortunately, his reputation with the ladies did not improve much, as they now saw him more as a “freak” than a “catch”. One girl, who was particularly sweet on, started dating another guy, to Jeremiah’s dismay. It wasn’t long before the whole school new about his ability. Some people began to stay away from him, while others flocked to him.

Local news channels began interviewing him and he quickly became a celebrity in the small town. Everyone wanted to say they knew him personally because, love him or hate him, he was the most interesting subject in Hazleton. Now he exacted some revenge on the people that acted too “cool” to talk to him before he received this power. This was a lot of fun, as he shunned the most popular kids and elevated the friends who stood by him when he was an average nobody. Another perk was, due to the fact that he might accidentally electrocute everyone in the pool, he didn’t have to take swimming class anymore.

Soon national news channels came to interview him, and before long he had done a segment on everything from Fox News to CNN. Shortly after that he was invited to do Total Request Live on MTV. Although he didn’t care about MTV, he knew a ton of people, including the girl he liked watched this show, so he decided to do it.

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