Ethans powers go off in church in a small backwoods town.
It's was Sunday, and people filled the pews in the modest church. It looked like every other temple dedicated to the divine. The captive audience watched the pastor say something about witches. A closer look at the semi pious and downright bored faces of the assemble will show a young man squirming uncomfortably in his seat.
His name is Ethan Argent, a typical teen with the usual problems. That was before he was forever changed. His entire body felt like someone was holding a candle inches away from his skin, and then an intense tingling sensation. Mr. and Mrs. Argent turned to admonish their son. Mr. Argent poked him with a single finger, only to have his face locked in a tight grimace of pain. The grey eyes of Mr. Argent glazed over, and he shook like a fish out of water.
Ethan pulled back only to see his father slump over, and his mother did her rendition of The Scream, by Edvard Munch, sans scream. The pain intensified, lightning began to dance all over his body. Ethans mud-brown eyes burned, making it hard to see anything. His entire scalp felt like it was boiling off his skull. Ethan could feel the soft carpet beneath him as he tumbled to the ground in near paralysis.
People in the room were now falling to their knees, praising god. A few others acted like exorcists, waving their hands trying to cast the demon out of Ethan. The pastor was trying to get a grip on the crowd. All the proselytizing in the world wasn't going to reign the large group in. The last thing Ethan saw was ten sets of eyes watching him.
Ethan awoke an indeterminate amount of time later. It felt like he hadn't eaten in days, every inch of him throbbed. "Mom? Dad? Pastor Williams?" no answer. Everyone had left, including his parents. He tried calling them, nobody answered.
"Thirty-minute walk home it is," he said to himself. His throat felt scorched and burned. Water, he needed water. The bathroom lights were off but illuminated the moment he entered the room. He stopped dead in his tracks and walked backward. The lights went out. He did this two more times to make sure it wasn't some crossed wire.
"What the hell is going...My hair." His hair had turned silver and stood up like a multitude of lightning bolts. Not a blemish marked Ethan's face. "At least it doesn't look bad." He turned the tap on, drinking rapidly. Each sip was like dropping water on a wildfire. His body stopped throbbing, much to Ethan's relief.
He shoved a stall door open, it crumpled in half and fell at his feet, "That's not right..." Something was wrong. He struggled to lift fifty pounds the other day. It didn't matter, nobody saw it, and he would get answers once he reached home.
The streets of Whitford were teeming with the hustle and bustle of small-town life. Fresh air, sunny weather, promised the trip home would at least be somewhat pleasant. Ethan could feel his luck turning around.
His luck turned from bad to downright weird. The trip home did not go well. People were anxious to get out of his way. A man was so desperate to put space between them, he walked right into traffic. A mack truck took his life.
"Did you see that? He pushed him into traffic using his mind." A middle-aged woman shouted. An entire street stopped to stare at the distressed teen.
"I didn't touch him," Ethan said. His stomach churned like an Amish person making butter. Why would anyone think he was capable of hurting someone like that? A newspaper sitting on a bench explained it all.
"Alien Attacks Man In Church," was the headline. Below the headline was an IP address, "Exclusive footage only at www.whitfordherald.ca."
"Are you kidding me?" Ethan read the article out of morbid curiosity. "James Argent, age 36, was brutally attacked by a Nephilim. Witnesses say the Alien was none other than his son, Ethan Argent, age 16. This proves they live among us. Catherine Argent refused to comment on the tragedy that has torn her family apart..."
Ethan tore up the paper in frustration, "I didn't ask for any of this. Yet I am some holy smiter here to punish the wicked?" The trip home was going to more horrible than being stuck in detention with all his enemies from school. Weren't aliens small, grey, with black eyes?
As predicted, the walk home was less than stellar. His eyes rolled at every person treating him like the outbreak monkey. Explaining was pointless. People either ran or asked him to take them up in his starship. At this point, he wished he was an alien. It would save time and headaches, flying above the stupidity of it all.
The gauntlet of weird encounters didn't end on Mainstreet. He ran into Ms. Brindamour. Ms. Brindamour saw him and ran up to him, "Please, don't kill me. James and I ended the affair two months ago." She pleaded.
At one time, Ethan had respect for the woman. Her beauty wasn't her only asset. She genuinely cared about her students and tried to be fair. Knowing the truth about the rumor, lowered his opinion of her.
"Your affair is of no consequence to me. You already know how stupid it was. People thought better of you, your students most of all. I hope the rumor follows you for the rest of your life."
"Thank you for your mercy. I will never make that mistake again," The buxom educator said in a grateful voice.
"Enjoy the rest of your stupid day," Ethan said, while he speed-walked away.
Once he got into his neighborhood, not a person was to be seen on his street. For the first time since he woke up, Ethan relaxed a little. His muscles ached, and he still had a headache, but would soon be in his messy room, trying to understand what happened in the church.
After a shower and some fresh clothes, he felt the foam mattress hug his body. He looked over at the Captain Canuck statue and placed it on his stomach. "You know Captain, now that I have powers, it sucks. People think I am here to conquer in the name of Mars. A man was so afraid he threw himself into a truck to avoid me. I don't even know if I want to see mom or dad. What happened was an accident."
He stared at the Statue, trying to figure out his next move. He had to face certain realities now. First, staying in Whitford was not an option. It was bad enough people said dad was sleeping with Mrs. Brindamour, his science teacher. The incident in the church would never blow over, and he would become an urban legend.
"Leaving is my only option. Nobody in town is going to take me in. Thankfully his parents did not trust banks. He ransacked the house looking for money. He came up with a tidy sum enough to get him by until he could figure out his next move.
He packed modestly, but not foolishly. Springtime in Northern Alberta could still freeze a careless person. He stopped by the Hospital, on the way out of town. It was Mainstreet all over again. People fell over one another to get out of his way.
He strode up to the reception desk, "I want to know where James Argent is."
The woman behind the counter looked at him pleadingly, "You aren't going to attack me? I won't end up like James?"
"James Argent is my dad. What happened in the church was an accident. I had..."
"Room 304, and thank you for your mercy."
Ethan gave up on explaining the situation, "Thank you, Earthling."
Some of the church congregation was waiting with his mother. The husbands were keeping watch, and it wasn't for the doctor either. Ethan knew they expected him to show up. The only way he was going to learn anything is by playing the part.
He walked into the waiting room with as much confidence as he could muster. He tried to look as menacing as a rail-thin thirteen-year-old with no real skills could. Men three times his size and weight nervously shuffled out of his way. His mother squeaked and got down on her hands and knees, blubbering.
"Oh God the alien has returned to finish the job. I just hope he kills that Brindamour bitch too...," She said between sobs. She looked pathetic eyes puffier than a bag of marshmallow, cheeks redder than strawberries, and her hair looking like a hurricane attacked it.
Ethan fought the urge to bawl the grown woman out. "I was not aware he had transgressed. In any event, I am leaving. You will never see me again. Your son forgives you, by the way."
"My son forgives me? I don't forgive him for what happened to James. I hope he never gets found. He was a drain in on resources. I had him to keep James happy." The venom dripped from her words with toxic intention.
A tingling sensation crept along Ethan's arm, little bolts of electricity followed it. His face narrowed, as he raised his fist energy crackling and dancing over his knuckles. "Perhaps I should punish you. Why have a child if you didn't love it?"
Cathrine started blubbering and crying again. She fell to her knees, "I'm sorry, so sorry..."
Ethan just walked away, knowing he had made the right decision. He chose Edmonton as his next destination. He could find a way to survive there.
Ethan had plenty of time to think because nobody wanted to pick him up. He reviewed all his memories with his parents. His dad did care about him more than his mom, but not by much. "They should have got a dog."
The night began to fall, and the wind picked up. Ethan was unfortunate enough to be caught in between two open fields. The wind was voracious, biting through his coat and gloves. There would be no point in going on if he froze to death. It was time to make camp.
Bright lights shone from behind him. He eagerly stood on the side of the highway thumb extended. "Come on, stop."
The White SUV pulled onto the shoulder, and the tinted window whirred down. A man with thick glasses, and an eye trying to escape his left socket, it wandered so much. He was listening to some old western music. "Good heavens young man, what are you doing out here in this weather?"
"Its a long story," Ethan said. He wasn't worried about being a victim. He could get the upper hand on this stranger. "Ethan Silver."
"Cornelius Nottle. Where are you headed?"
"I'm going that way, hop in a warm-up a spell."
There was something uneasy about Mr. Nottle. He looked normal on the surface, but his eyes told another story. Mr. Nottle was someone haunted by something. Ethan decided to be friendly but cautious. He was about to speak when he saw the cellphone in Mr. Nottle's hand.
"Yeah, I found something you might be interested in...Just picked it up not two minutes ago...the usual price will do." he hung up the phone. "Looks like you have a new home..."