Heroes Wanted

Was it a wild animal that could have done such a thing? We gazed in amazement mixed with terror as we studied the mangled corpse. If we were lucky, F.B.I. would be able to identify the person through dental records. The moonlight made the blood to look like it was shimmering. Steve covered his mouth to gag and stop his lunch from making a comeback.

"That's disgusting-" he blurted out between his fingers.

"Disgusting is an understatement." I dropped my bag and made my way towards the body or what was left of it. In the eeriness of the night the body had a ghostly glow. This was way too crazy for city for like my brother and I, someone else would help them in the morning.

With one hand I pulled my bag up and threw it over my shoulder. With my other I grabbed Steve's hand and pulled him back through the way we came. We weren't heroes, we didn't have to be, we didn't know how to be heroes. The only people anywhere near heroism in our lives were Social Service. Jump out of your family to find yourself freefalling and Social Service becomes your only working parachute. You might as well drink Cyanide and die on the way down; I know I wish I did. Having parents like mine and being ripped away from them during my adolescent years, along with being dumped into Social Service is like a permanent tattoo on your forehead that no amount of acid could burn off.

Either way, I had to be a hero to Steve, something I had no clue how to do. The second we jumped the wall I morphed into an older sibling, some kind of hero, and a parent. I only knew how to do one of the three.

"Where to now?" Steve was only four years younger than me, but my role as the older sibling led to the olden ceremony of always having to have a plan. There was silence –I had no plan! We'd have to be delirious to go back to parents like ours. They probably got divorced and are dating other people by now anyway. We had no other family and Social Service was, to us, a sweet aroma, on you tend to tire of quickly, and begin to choke on.

"I don't know, but we can't stay and help whoever that person is, we have to find somewhere to sleep!" I shooed Steve forward, he didn't need this kind of trauma in his life. As I looked back on the body, I noticed how the pool of blood around him seemed gelatinous from a distance…we definitely needed to get out of these woods.

The electromagnetic field wrapped us in a blanket of humidity just as we cleared the woods. I knew what was coming next and I wished, by some magical intervention, that we were off somewhere, in a land where I could fly away on a unicorn and faeries would grant my every wish.

"Remember how Grandma used to give us those sweet mangoes from her tree?" Steve's voice pulled me out of my immature thinking. I agreed and there was a solemnity in my voice. Our grandmother was the only member of our family who loved us, and then death took her. The news had hit us like a bombshell. Suddenly we were left alone to fight the war that was our parents. I came back to present day when what seemed like a sheet of lighting unfolded from the sky. Instantly it gracefully touched the earth with a loud snap! I thought it best to move away from the woods and trees; natures best conductor. I made sure Steve was holding his things tightly, and then commanded him to run, the rain would start soon, and it didn't look like it was going to be easy.

A few trees behind up went up in flames as lightning struck them. Their once brown bark was now engulfed in a tawny coloured flame. We kept running –Steve had to fidget with his bulky glasses as he ran, so they wouldn't fall off his face. His glasses weren't modern and sleek with no frames and flexible arms. Steve had serious eye problems so the poor kid had to walk around with glasses the size of binoculars. It's not exactly easy to fix glasses like these with a simple paper clip and tape, so he's forced to take good care of them.

"Hurry up!" Steve yelled as he clutched his jacket closed, tucked his head in, and ran straight for the nearest building. Once again I was pulled out of my state of thought and ran with him. The building offered some mode of shelter and comfort for tonight so I made the quick decision of where we'd spend the night. Once we came near the road I looked back at the forest. Our only way back to the orphanage was now blocked with burning wood and there was a dead body trapped under there somewhere.

Steve opened the door of the building and disappeared into it. I took one last glance at the forest and slipped in through the door.

Julie Fernandes

o2.12.o4