Some hours later Rex made his way down the stairs, feeling reenergized and rejuvenated, better that he had felt in a long time. It was almost midday according to the clock in the living room, twenty minutes to in fact. Despite being well rested and pain free, much to his surprise, his stomach had another contention as evidenced by its growls. He diverted to the kitchen where he helped himself to a full meal of toast, eggs, sausage and orange juice. About an hour later after he’d had his fill he returned to the living room, and switched on the tv. He then plopped himself down on the couch and began to flip through the channels, not looking for anything in particular, just something interesting that would capture and hold his attention. A few minutes later he stopped on the Fox 5 channel, and much to his surprise,
“Breaking News: Nuclear explosion follows Comet’s Passage” ran across the screen in big red letters. Rex flipped the channels again to more news stations, first to CNN, then NBC and finally ABC. All three said the same thing. Rex set the remote down beside him and paid keen attention to the dark haired anchorwoman as she read out her report.
“in other news, millions across the country bore witness to the passage of a colossal comet. According to other sources this phenomenon was also seen all over the world. Also according to many eyewitness testimonies, no sooner after the comet’s initial advent into our atmosphere, a nuclear explosion erupted in the forested outskirts of Steelix City, California. Authorities rushed to the scene within a few hours to survey the area. Ricardo Carmine is live at the scene.” A short pale-complexioned, middle aged man appeared on the screen. His surroundings were all too familiar to Rex.
“Thanks alot Sabrina, ladies and gentlemen I am standing here on the outskirts of Steelix City in part of what used to be a densely forested zone which recently was also the site of a nuclear class explosion. Numerous eyewitness reported seeing a large mushroom cloud of smoke and fire ascend into the sky almost immediately upon the arrival of last night’s comet. Firefighters, police and even the military have been here since around 2AM trying to determine what caused the explosion. Many bizarre theories have been pitched around by eye witnesses including but not limited to Aliens and terrorists….” The camera then shifted and began to move around the site. All the aforementioned parties were present, some were just standing around jabbering away at each other while some were kneeling down running their hands all over the ashy ground and the others, well at this point Rex could care less. He switched off the TV and made his way out of the living room. He couldn’t help but feel some semblance of guilt, part of him felt that in some way, he was responsible for the explosion. After all he was the only one who survived, as far as he knew. Another part of him prayed it wasn’t true.
Fares hadn’t yet contacted him for the day as he normally did. He began to feel a tight knot in his stomach and began to make his way slowly back to the living room. Once there he retrieved the cordless phone from the centre table and began to dial Fares’ number. He then brought it up to his ear and listened earnestly as it rang incessantly. “We’re sorry, the number you have reached is not in service. This is a recording” came the operator’s automated voice in response. Rex retried about three times yet the result was the same. “Dammit, Fares where the hell are you?” Rex said exasperatedly under his breath as he hung up the phone. He reseated himself on the couch and hung his head in his hands. He stayed like that for some time pondering. Did he kill his best friend? And Esme? And everyone else? It couldn’t be true. If the news reports and to some extend his own sordid and jumbled memories were correct….
‘No’ he thought ‘if I survived, then maybe, just maybe everyone else may have also. Somehow…I hope’ The more he thought about it, the more it didn’t make sense to him. The comet, the explosion, him being the only one that survived the whole ordeal. At that point he decided that the best thing for him would be to go out for a walk and clear his head. He hoisted himself off the couch and went back upstairs. Some minutes later he returned dressed in dark blue jeans, a close fitting black hoodie sweater and his favourite pair of hush puppies. The living room clock read 3:22PM, by that he averaged that we would be gone about two hours the most. He didn’t want to be gone too long, after all he didn’t have his phone nor his keys. But then he remembered his grandma always kept a spare hidden at the base of the oak tree in the backyard. Feel confident enough he made his way out the door, locked it behind him and started off down the road..
Rex blew a long slow breath as he gazed at the lovely orange, late afternoon sky. His walk had taken him to a park bench somewhere in the west of Blue Moon Fall. The park was mostly deserted save for a few families frolicking together and about one or two couples enjoying intimate walks. Rex didn’t seen to mind them much. He had no clue how long he had been out there. Most likely alot longer than he had initially estimated he would be gone. The sun would soon sink below the horizon and the night would set in.
He glanced over at the pond which was some distance away, then to the rest of the park, from the seesaws, to the swings, the monkey bars, the slides and some of the surrounding trees. For some strange reason it all seems to remind him of the forest clearing, of course without all the intoxicated college bums and well, some of these recreational accoutrements. He soon found his mind wandering back to Fares and Esme. It was inevitable, despite the numerous distractions he propped up for himself. Rummaging around in his thoughts yet again yielded results that differed no greatly from last night or earlier. He supposed the best thing for him right now would be to suck it up and just move on. Accept that it was what it was and let it be. It seemed like such a cruel thing to do or even consider. Part of him held on to even the slightest sliver of hope that his friends were alive, somewhere and some how and even those college kids even though they were complicit in almost killing him. It just didn’t seem fair that he survived and they didn’t. He would have to come to a resolve eventually, however long it took, couple days, weeks, months or even years he wasn’t sure but one thing was certain I that he was in for some serious emotional turmoil, he just wondered if his adolescent mind could handle it. Before he knew it, night hovered over the park, and the only light that could be seen were the little stars that were gradually coming into view as well as the lanterns that were erected all over the park. On top of that it was practically empty. He decided then he would take a little stroll around before heading home, remembering he had school in the morning.
Before Rex could even make a step, a strong wind began to pick up. It was cold, and he felt it in his bones, even under his hoodie. He cast wary looks around, something was very weird about this wind, it wasn’t natural. Pretty soon he felt an extremely dark and sinister presence looming all around. It was as if pure evil itself had blown into the park. He then rested his eyes over upon the lantern that stood close to the pond. Alot of wind felt like it was concentrated in that area and not long after, Rex began to witness what looked like a mass of black dust forming into a whirling funnel. ‘What the hell is that?’ He thought as his eyes widened upon the peculiar sight. Next moment, what Rex beheld sent shivers up his spine and throughout his whole body. A large, semi-humanoid creature in a crouched position bearing the most reviling appearance Rex thought was only possible in movies. Its skin was a gross looking algae coloured hide riddled with small horns protruding from certain places. Its countenance (to say it was ghastly would be an understatement), its eyes were a glowing yellow with black slits at the centre and its mouth was curled into the wickedest grin which revealed serrated fangs the colour of rusted iron.
The creature then opened its mouth and unleashed a blood curdling shriek with an eerie otherworldly echo behind it. Snapping himself out of his fear-induced paralysis, Rex turned on his heel and broke into a run, sprinting as fast as his legs would carry him. Seeing this, the creature sprung into action. It leaped through the air like a giant frog in pursuit of him. Rex could feel the monster gaining on him. He saw the exit, just a little ways off and pushed harder toward it. If only he could make I there, not that it would do him much good. The creature leaped over his head and landed right in front of him. Then in a swift move, it swung back, knocking him about ten feet back across the park. Rex skidded across the grass after a hard impact with the ground. The creature was airborne once again, lunging straight at him. Rex had recovered from the attack within a matter of seconds. Upon noticing the monster he staggered back, only to trip over and land flat on his back. As it inched closer toward him, he panicked, raising his arms in front of him in a defensive gesture. Suddenly, he felt a familiar burning sensation surge through him. His body began to glow as it rapidly became enveloped in a crimson, fiery energy. The monster soon closed in on him. Almost at the point of impact, the energy encasing him spurred violently, shooting a spiraling bolt of fire directly at the monster, sending it pitching through the air. Moments later, Rex clambered to his feet. He looked about himself with widened and bewildered eyes. He then turned, glancing worried looks around the park to see where the creature went. It was nowhere in sight.
It wasn’t dead, that much was certain as Rex could still feel its sharp, sinister presence as well as hear its high raspy hisses echoing all around. He kept his senses pealed, taking slow careful steps whilst trembling breaths escaped his lips. He then heard a rustling sound, at that moment his attention which had been trying to be everywhere at once was now concentrated upon a clump of trees in the eastern part of the park. Just then, a shadow leaped out from behind them. Rex’s eyes remained fixed on it as it ascended higher into the sky. Somehow he wasn’t surprised, the creature paused momentarily in mid air, its yellow eyes looked much fiercer and more murderous than when it first materialized. It propelled itself downwards, lunging straight at him. He stood his ground, waiting earnestly for it to get closer. Then as if by pure instinct, he drew back his right arm, clenching his hand into a fist. As the burning sensation burst to life within him, he was once again enveloped by the fire-like energy from earlier, only this time it took a very peculiar humanoid form. He felt a sudden rush of power, unlike anything he had ever felt before.
Once the creature was in range, he thrust his arm forward. His fist connected with the monster’s face, sending it pitching back across the park, where it crashed into the ground leaving a long deep depression as it skidded to a halt.
‘whoa, how did I’ he thought to himself as he stared with an awestruck expression on his face. The energy around him spurred yet again, this time changing its form and coiling around him like a python before receding back into him. He then exuded a brilliant yet blinding crimson and gold light. A few seconds afterward it dissipated and he found himself now clothed in an armoured, crimson and black superhero garb, accented by intricate golden Africanesque markings along with a leonine motif represented by a sturdy, gold heptagonal shield which girded his chest, displaying the embossed likeness of a lion’s face as well as a belt around his waist bearing a similar design. Lastly a golden circlet crown encrusted with a red gemstone was fitted snugly around his forehead. Rex’s brows furrowed with shock as he looked about himself.
“What n the world!?” He exclaimed aloud. However, his victory and self-admiration were soon cut short. The loud, blood curdling, otherworldly screech was filling the air once again. Rex glanced up immediately. The creature was back on its feet “Oh boy” he sighed. It was obvious from the ever intensifying venom in the monster’s eyes that this fight was far from over. In fact it was only just beginning.
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