Thomas sat up with a gasp and gazed around and saw, he was in the cabin? He looked around and pinched his arm to check if he wasn’t dreaming. He shook off the dizziness, pulled out his bag and put on his cross of Saint Peter necklace that he forgot to wear yesterday and pulled off his covers, and walked his way to the bathroom to brush his teeth. On his way there he waved to a barely conscious John who was sitting in his bed drinking a cup of coffee and watching the news of the Japanese superhero known as Adonis fighting some sort of Asian gang that was smuggling something, probably guns or drugs, into Japan.
Curious he decided to peer in and watch the supe kick into action, as the aerial shot from the helicopter showed Adonis clad in some sort of magenta to azure gradient kimono that had rolling clouds displayed on it, combined with the similarly colored face scarf, traditionally pinned up hair and sandals he looked like a type of ronin from an anime, his similarly weebish maroon-bladed katana didn’t help.
He waved his hand with boredom as he skipped across the water landing on the bow of one of the speed boats stretching and exaggerating a yawn before a man yelled from a loudspeaker said something in rapid Japanese, presumably along the lines of ‘shoot the bastard’ as gunfire from the mounted guns, and pistols rained down at the hero as he seemingly wove between the bullets with inhuman ease and strutted toward the closest man with his after image creating a sunset blur as he maneuvered around the bullets and bodies of the men on the boats, and a sudden silence came as the guns on all three of the watercraft splintered and fly into the air like plastic and metal confetti as the men all dropped down unconscious as if they had been choked out by some mysterious force, then as if nothing happened Adonis resumed his position on the bow of the first boat posing with his sword and waving at the helicopter.
“What an asshole,” Tanya said, as seemingly materialized behind Thomas.
She moved around Thomas and sat on the bed beside John, “I worked alongside him for a bit when I was in the Department of Defense before I met your Aunt Tanya of course,” John said this with a bitter smile on his face as he looked at his nephew.
“I knew you worked in the Department of Defense, but I never knew you worked with supes!” Thomas exclaimed with glee.
“Yep, I got to work with them alright,”
An uncomfortable silence fell as John spaced out with a blank look and snapped back into a stressed smile after Tanya reassuringly placed her hand on his shoulder, “Hey buddy, why don’t you go get some breakfast,” Tanya said as she anxiously glanced at John.
Thomas nodded his head and proceeded to the bathroom remembering what he was going to do originally and headed off to the bathroom and wondered what was with his uncle’s reaction as he began to brush. Then he noticed a dark object creeping up from the corner of his eye and spun around to see… nothing.
He let out a visible sigh of relief and thought he must have not gotten enough sleep last night, the toothbrush quivered in his hand as he remembered the events that seemed so real, but he was perfectly fine and in bed when he woke up this morning so it couldn’t have happened, right?
The anxiety seemed to calm at that thought as a placid expression came to his face and he began to brush once more, ‘yeah there is nothing to worry about, Aunt Tanya’s gumbo must have been something to do with it, I remember reading about seafood affecting sleep patterns.
Things seemed to go well after that thought, and breakfast was amazing as per usual. Tanya made the best waffles and bacon, John left to drive to the nearest store, which was still pretty damn far, to grab some more snacks since he forgot to the day before. As for Tanya and Thomas, they sat in the living room and watched the old westerns on TV that Tanya always seemed to love she said that, “It reminded her of her childhood,” which he didn’t mind, in fact he really like the Westerns, but he was weirded out by how fast Tanya flipped away from a superhero documentary that was also about some gangster named Al Capone.
The movie they were currently watching was a classic. It was about three guys that were trying to get some money from a dead soldier that hid away a large stash during the Civil War. Thomas was a big fan of the man in the poncho that one of the other characters kept calling ‘blondie’.
Right at the climax of the movie where the three men were at a standoff there was a loud knock at the door and Tanya grumbled something to herself as she turned the movie down and shouted, “Just a minute!” As she got up the pounding got more intense, “Hold on one Goddamn minute! John, I swear if you forgot your key again I– Oh…”
The tall man that was behind the door was dressed in a midnight black two-piece suit, with shoes so shiny there was a visible glint off of them, the man personally looked around fifty with his graying hair, but he was in surprisingly good shape and was still quite handsome with his sharp face and hazel eyes that looked like he could cut stone with a glance.
“Ma’am I am going to need to know if you have been out on the water recently,” his voice was as cold and firm as his look, and sounded foreign too as if he was from New England.
“And why is that?” Tanya said, placing a hand on one hip, the other twitching as if she wanted to wring his neck.
He held up a badge that showed he was from the Chemical Safety Board, that contained his name, Robert King, saying, “Because ma’am there has been an illegal disposal of chemicals into the bayou, we wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to you residents after all,” He said with the same tone, not showing any irritation at Tanya’s sass.
His head snapped to Thomas who was coming out of the den to check on what was going on, “Have you been out on the water boy?”
“Nope, not at all.” He said, seeing the slight twitch from Tanya’s head.
“You wouldn’t be lying would you young man? Lying to a government official can be punished with imprisonment, and we haven’t caught the perpetrators yet. Are you sure you aren’t lying?” he said, stepping past Tanya ignoring her death glare, and locking eyes with Thomas.
“No sir, I have not been out on the water. I got here at dusk last night, ate dinner, and went to bed, my Aunt and Uncle --who is not currently here-- can vouch for me.” Thomas said, trying not to break from the man’s piercing stare that he felt was trying to claw its way into his brain.
The man let out a sigh and looked away from Thomas, “I apologize for inconveniencing the both of you.” He passed by Tanya handing her a bone-white card with a single phone number.
“If either one of you finds out the cause of this spill, or see someone out on the water please contact me.”
He swiftly made his way to a large black van parked in the drive and took off as soon as the panel door shut behind him; Tanya sighed and grabbed the house phone from the kitchen, “Sugar, I am going to call John alright? Would you mind taking out the trash for me?”
“Alright Aunt Tanya, you mind if I go for a walk?”
“Go right ahead,” she said with a smirk.
The dial tone finally picked up and she walked out into the den, and Thomas lugged the bag of garbage out. The small dumpster was nearly full as he sat the trash in, and then out of the corner of his eye, he saw the thing again from this morning a black thing that seemed to sit in the corner of his vision.
“Fuck!” He spun around raising his arms to defend himself, only to see a raccoon scampering away from the dumpster. “Oh thank the Lord!” he shakily chuckled clutching his cross.
He decided to head down one trail he and his uncle made a few years ago. He walked for about fourty minutes in silence listening as the wind whistled as it traveled through the Cyprus trees and the serene beauty of the nature around him as he seemingly got lost in his own head filled with the wonderful nostalgia of seeing all of this again. The sound of warbling birds and croaking frogs soothed his ears as he came across the thing that stopped him and his Uncle from continuing this trail.
A large tree had fallen over and that was the only way of continuing to the other side, without having to walk through who-knows-how deep swamp water that was probably filled with alligators. The drop below the tree had to at least be fifty feet and from what he could tell there was no water.
He let out a sigh of disappointment that he had to turn around here, or he would if there wasn’t a cottonmouth now resting on his foot. His heart practically stopped at that moment the snake looked up at him realizing what it was on, and his body couldn’t help but do the single dumbest thing.
Whether it be fate or dumb luck his body reacted and his foot jerked away from the venomous reptile and the snake struck. Thomas’s body blurred backward and everything seemed to slow down, he could see the muscles in the snake’s mouth open and fangs being shown, he could see the sweat drops leaving his face as he pushed himself backward and he could see the fading sunlight a he feel into the mouth of the ravine.
He was going to die, he was certain of it, the snake missed him, sure, but he was probably going to break his back. He closed his eyes and waited for the upcoming crunch, but it never came. He opened his eyes and saw that he was flying?! He was hovering a few inches off the ground, his head nearly touching the rocks below. His mind felt blank as he glanced down at his hands, which were covered in some black, rubbery substance. He slowly touched his hands to one another feeling the warm, smooth texture that was indescribable. It felt good, he slowly caressed his fingers entranced with the warm feeling it gave, ignoring that he almost fell to his death. Until the substance started creeping up his arms.
He panicked and threw his hands into the ground hoping he might be able to rub off this substance, on to realize once he shoved his hands down he was suddenly propelled up, above the ridge, and the trees below.
Thomas didn’t really remember what happened after he blacked out as he saw the ground racing to his sight once more. Until he hit the water with a thunderous splash. He flailed about in the water paddling towards the nearest body of land, and once he pulled himself onshore, and vomited up what felt like half the swamp. He turned around and laid on the soil, in his soaking clothes.
Then a thought came to him as he looked at his hands with the black substance seemingly gone now, and he started to laugh hysterically at the thought as he wondered how he was going to explain this to his Aunt and Uncle, and if this was involved ‘the talk’ his Dad was always avoiding.