He hated holidays. As soon as the school year was over the parties would start, and the dances, and the concerts, and everything else. All of them were just excuses for the young people of the town to get out of their houses and into the streets. The narrow country roads swelled like rivers, overflowing with bulletproof kids piled into their parents cars. At least, they thought they were bulletproof. Edgar, being the lowest ranking police officer in town, had worked enough nights on traffic duty to see the kinds of accidents that kept mothers awake at night, waiting for the sound of a familiar engine in the driveway. Accidents that claimed more lives than the mind could easily grasp. Accidents that made you want to give up driving altogether. Terrible things, he'd seen. Cars and their drivers wrapped around trees like bloody tinsel. Merry Christmas.
On December 23rd, 1978, Edgar parked at the top of Blue-gum Ridge to watch for speeding cars. It was quiet, and the hours passed slowly. By one in the morning, he had been passed by two cars, both driving well within the limits, and decided it wasn't worth waiting around any longer.
He began the slow descent. As he rounded the final bend, his tires slid on the icy road. The car kicked out to one side, then toppled over the edge of the hill. Headlights pointed up into the sky, a bat signal that sliced through the fog, and then spun down as the car flipped backwards. It rolled over, once, twice, then slammed to a stop against a boulder. Edgar lay pinned to his seat, breathing in short bursts as he felt hot blood pump out of a gash in his arm. He kept as still as he could, pressing down on the cut to stop the bleeding. He lay there for hours. It wasn't until nearly four o'clock that he heard footsteps crunching towards him over frosty fallen leaves.
A face appeared through the broken window. Bright eyes and a wide jaw. A shark, Edgar thought.
'What have we got here!'
He grinned down at Edgar through the shattered glass. Edgar stared up at him, lost.
'Please. I'm stuck. I'm bleeding.'
The man let out a short burst of laughter and moved away from the window. Edgar craned his neck.
'No, no please, come back!' he stretched out to see and his neck cracked loudly. The man reappeared, now with the glowing tip of a cigarette floating in front of his face. Embers floated down and landed in Edgar's eyes. He twitched and blinked the hot, stinging specks away.
The man took a long drag of his cigarette and reached down into the car, pressing a rough hand onto Edgar's forehead. It felt as though someone was drilling through his skull. The pressure grew on his brain and he felt himself slipping away. The man pressed harder while Edgar screamed.
'I asked you a question.'
He pressed harder still. The pressure was too much. Every ounce of energy, every part of him felt as though it was building up in his head. After a moment, the man seemed to disappear, out of sight, though Edgar could still feel him there, a dark fire burning in the edges of his mind. Suddenly Edgar's breath came short and fast, then stopped. But all the energy in his skull remained. He felt alive, electric. He felt a new part of his mind opening up, a whole new person emerging. When he climbed out of the wreck he looked in the fractured side mirror and saw himself.
It wasn't him any more. The body was Edgar, but he was nothing. He was everything. He had no name. He was electric. He had power.
He wanted more.