Authors Notes: - I know I know. I shouldn't start something new until I've finished more of my older stuff. But I think I'm starting to get back into my Richard mood so I should jump back on Last Harvest soon and when I get over my funk I'll finished Cry Sanctuary and Want it All Back.

Anyway, about this story. I picture it in my head like a comic book. Its going to be a little different than my other stuff, in the sense that it will be in both first person and third, jumping between the two. Hope you like the main character, though you don't learn much about him in this first chapter. It's late, I'm going to bed…

The Gris-Gris Man

Not all heroes are born in the crucible of pain. Not all are bound by notions of honor and duty. Everyone, at one time or another, experiences the same urge that drives heroes to be heroic. They see someone in need and they have that initial gut reaction of wanting to help. But for various reasons, they're too busy or they rationalize that the person doesn't actually need help, and move on with their life. For whatever reason is their own, those that are called heroes act where others wont.

I have no name, not to say I never did. At one point I had to have been born to parents who probably loved me, or didn't. Irregardless I was given a name. Whatever it was I don't remember it. I don't remember anything, about myself that is. Looking back on what should be my life it's a blank slate. Its as if I'm standing on the edge of nothingness, looking desperately into the darkness in hopes of catching a glimpse of something. I could name off a good number of US presidents and list off most counties of the world and all those trivial little things that we learn over a lifetime. But I don't know if I've ever had a pet, or loved or anything else that makes a person who they are. Its our memories that define who we are and shape who we will become. Sometimes I wonder if that means I'm not even real.

Whatever my past, whether it exists or not or however it shaped me I know I'm different. Not just because of my seeming amnesia. I always feel cold, no matter where I am or what the temperature around me is. Emptiness plagues me and not just in my mind. If I sit still long enough I feel like I'm about to fade away, that if I'm not constantly moving I'll cease to exist. Given my lack of memories it seems perfectly possible. So I walk and I don't sleep. This doesn't bother me even though logically it should. For the two weeks that I remember I haven't rested a moment or eaten. Its as if all physical desires have abandoned me. Nothing excites my heart or pulls at my mind. The only urge that I feel is the one I can't control and don't want. It's the one that's branded me a hero. The first act I'm aware of doing was to save a man's life, at the cost of another's.

I was standing in the mouth of an alley; it was night and the air as cold. Not that I could feel it, but I could see it. His breath fogged in the air as he exhaled hungrily. Every downward stab he made was punctuated by a cloud of fog from his open mouth. I watched him for a few moments, unable to understand what he was doing right away. Then the entire scene was brought into crystalline focus.

Blood splattered across the wall and onto the side of the large dumpster that partially hid them from view. A blood of the red liquid was forming around the body of one of the men while the other continued to mercilessly beat him with a steal pipe. The one man was huddled into a fetal position, sobbing and crying out with every blow. He struggled to protect his head with his arms, though one of his arms was obviously painfully broken.

Before I could even decide to act I was already there. The steal pipe was in my hand I could feel the warmth of the man's blood flowing down the back of my hand, mixed oddly with the sensation of the ice cold pipe. The man's attacker was now across the ally, lying awkwardly where I had been standing. He rolled to his side, groaning weakly and started to rise. I found myself walking towards him, holding the pipe tightly in my hand.

As he turned to look at me I struck him across the side of his head. His skull cracked under the force of the blow. Blood exploded from his mouth and splattered across the pavement and his cheek was crushed and it looked as if half his face had caved in. Going completely limp he fell face first to the ground. I dropped the pipe and stepped away from him. It was as if I had just been released from a spell. I didn't want to hurt him; I hadn't even come to the decision to do anything. At the time I didn't realize that what had just happened would be a common event for me. I was too horrified by what I'd just done.

Not all heroes are very heroic. What defines a hero? What is it that they do that makes them worthy of such a title? Does the word have any meaning anymore? I don't know. I don't know a lot. The only thing I do know is: by a will not my own I'm forced to act to protect people. It's the only thing that drives me. But to what goal? What end? Am I simply chosen by fate to act as a hero in a time when heroes are dead? Is that my purpose?

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