Action figure smashing time.
|Families have secrets. Many involve some long lost siblings or hide the years of abuse. Helen of Troy held a secret, one she revealed to the ancient world, in the battle for Troy. A secret about to change the life of a young man.
Among the average boys and girls, a foster child named Lance Sterling took home the gold for averageness. Homely looks promised a long and lonely life. His grades promised him a job in construction, or maybe the drive-thru. Bullies sow misery into Lance's day to day life, causing him no end of stress.
The middle school library became a sanctuary for the unfortunate child, but not today. A sign on the door said, "Closed for repairs." Lances bowels turned to water and urged him to find a bathroom. He raced down the hall to the first bathroom. "Closed for repairs."
"I'll never make it." He said in a panicked voice. Lance kept a slow and steady pace to prevent leakage. Lunch hour brought out all the predators who stalked the halls for easy prey. Lance made it to the bathroom without incident.
"Twenty minutes left, you can make it." He told the homely reflection in the mirror. His hopes for survival vanished with a bang of the door. Chuckles of wicked glee reverberated off the tiled walls and caused Lance to bang his head against the sink. The voices belonged to the Letchford triplets.
The trio towered a foot above the students, Lance included. The terror-inducing triplets never let anyone forget it. Each handsome face hid the evil behind it.
"Hey, its Lance Girling. Did you grow boobies yet?" Lucas Letchford asked. His hand touched Lance on the shoulder and held him.
"You ducked us all lunch hour. We need to punish, you Girling. What do you think, Eli?" Patrick asked.
Eli rolled up his sleeves, smiled, and slammed Lance's head against the sink. He knelt next to Lance. "How does the sink taste? What's that? You want to taste again?" He turned to his brothers. "Bring him to his feet...what's that."
The fluorescent lights flickered and flashed in the presence of a glowing ball of pulsating light. A warm glow forced the trio of mischief-makers to shield their eyes. Lance fought to see past the stars and bodies in his field of vision. The ball of light hovered in front of Lance. Something about it felt familiar.
"Ha, ha, even the weird light doesn't like the wimp," Eli said while he laughed and pointed. "Lets pound him and get to class."
The ball of light dropped straight down into Lance's chest, as the three boys helped him to his feet. Lances' head pounded like a hammer on steel. Something waited for release on the edges of his thoughts. An invisible voice touched his mind.
"Brace yourself for the pain."
"What?" Lance said.
The triplets laughed. "Who are you talking to, Girling."
A glow emitted from Lance's body, followed by a slight ache in his limbs. The pain spiraled outward and clung to his inner body. The triplets froze in place as the glow turned into a radiant light pouring off Lance.
An inhuman screech shattered the mirrors. Shards clinked against the tile and spread over the floor like a sharpened blanket. The light expanded outward and thrummed.
"You have to leave. I don't want to hurt you," Lance said. The new occupant of his body battered at the edge of his mind. It demanded justice for the wrongs done to him.
The triplets unfroze to laugh. "What are you going to do, Girling, make us feel bad you have no parents or because no one wants to be your friend. I know, we'll tell everyone you offered sexual favors in exchange for your worthless life." Patrick said.
"Of all the punching bags we hit, you're our favorite, Girling," Eli said. The sound of the fist on palm echoed. "Hold still. It will be over before you know it."
Lance surrendered what little control he possessed and said, "Release."
The eerie aura around Lance started to shift form. His arms became engulfed by claws made of electric blue energy. Lance howled and thrashed in pain. Wings of pure energy burst out his back, attached to a feline body. A long-tail twitched behind him.
"Last chance. Walk away, or you may never walk again." Lances voice squawked. He knew the triplets valued their invincible reputation. All of their power stemmed from it. "Screw it," Lance shouted and charged Eli.
The pair crashed through the bathroom door and out into a crowded foyer. Lanced raise Eli by his expensive shirt and punched him in the head. The bully flew ten feet and slid for another five after he crashed to the floor.
Shocked expressions, wide eyes, and screams came in the wake of Lance's violent act. Patrick and Lucas attacked in unison from both sides. Lances hand shot up and caught both of their fists in the claws of light. He squeezed, and his opponent's faces twisted in identical pain.
"Please, we'll leave you alone, man." Lucas pleaded.
"Lies," the voice said.
"I don't believe you," Lance said. He applied pressure to the closed fists. Bones cracked, joints popped, and the Letchford boys cried for mercy. Lance laughed, "Do you know what the word means?" He squeezed harder, and his captors squealed like pigs. Cracks and pops from the bones caused students to retch and covered their mouths.
Patrick passed out from the pain and left Lucas to deal with a supercharged Lance. "You'll live. Yield, and I'll spare your hand."
"My brothers will pick on me for weeks," Lucas complained.
Clinks of cuffs and heavy boots came from down the hall and parted the crowd like Moses. "Send back up now." A stunned guard said into his radio. "Let him go. We can work it out like adults."
The presence refused to relinquish control to the security guard. Lance agreed. "Come and take him if you can." Nothing mattered but the thrill of the fight.
The younger guard drew his taser and aimed, his mouth and jaw clenched with resolve. The older of the two pushed his hands down. "Let's try talking first. I've seen this kid get roughed up a lot."
One act of kindness jerked Lance out of his combative state and put up his hands. "If you keep this up, we'll end up in a detention center, instead of detention." He whispered under his breath. The presence allowed him to release Lucas.
Lucas Clutched his hand, rivets of tears fell from his eyes. "You'll be hearing from our lawyer," he said sobbing.
The younger guard motioned for Lucas to come forward while Lance wrestled with the unknown presence. The bully took a swipe at Lance and paid for it in spades.
Lance felt the anger well up and explode like a geyser of magma. The energy claws grappled Lucas's uninjured arm and twisted it into a painful armbar. He stood behind the terrified tormentor, elbow raised above the shoulder.
The older guard swore and kept his hands up, "You don't have to do this kid