The final bell rang and all of Mr. Green's sixth period history class was full. Of course by now all the students could think about was, "One more class left, and it's home free." But Mr. Green was a special teacher who could hold the student’s attention even in a mundane course like history.
After typing some more things onto his computer, Mr. Green got up and began taking roll call. After half a dozen names were out he got to Thomas, who was there but not answering, the young man was too invested into the final pages of his fantasy comic. After calling his name a couple times and then staring right at him, Mr. Green began to chant, in as meek a voice he could muster, "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?" The class laughed.
Thomas felt a strong blow on his left shoulder and let out a low yelp. He dropped his comic and looked up saying, "Uh yes right here Mr. Green."
Mr. Green folded his arms and turned to the boy who hit Thomas and said, "Thank you Jeff, but next time a light pat would suffice, that’s a warning, though, got it?"
"Yea, yea I was just roughhousing a bit, us boys will be boys will right Mr. Green?" Jeff asked as if he did nothing wrong and didn't deserve any trouble.
"Indeed," Mr. Green replied. "But you're in high school now, and you can't be a boy forever, especially as a Sophomore. You rough house like that again in my class it's detention." As Mr. Green finished taking roll call, Jeff put a firm hand on Thomas' shoulder, it was already bruised, so this made it hurt much worse when he squeezed. He leaned close to Thomas and said, "You get me in trouble like that again, and you're fish bait."
After class, when the bell rang, the students began to pack their bags and rush out the door to meet their friends before the buses took off. "Alright everyone you're homework is due by tomorrow so don't neglect it." Mr. Green called out as everyone shuffled out the door.
Thomas rushed out the door but didn't get too far down the hall when a foot tripped him, and he fell flat on his face. It was, of course, his three favorite Sophomore bullies, Jeff, and the brothers Caleb and Liam. They had always picked on him since middle school: he was an easy target. A smaller boy with no friends, no wealth, and slightly below average looks; Thomas made a great target for the three stooges. Thankfully he was not their only target but he was the easiest, so they never grew tired of harassing him.
His average looks consisted of a slender body, with no muscles, and short brown wavy hair typically in a mess. His hazel eyes had dark bags under them all year as if he didn't get much sleep ever, in the summer it was better, and his toned fair skin usually got a little tan. He was never a very shy or outgoing boy but seemed always to have trouble connecting with anyone his age around the city.
High school was supposed to be different, he thought bitterly. A new chance to make my life better and start finding out who I am. So far it's been the same crap as before, but with more work.
He made it to the bus with time to spare as always but was forced to sit in the back with all the super noisy kids where reading would be harder than ever. His comic was almost done anyway, he would read the last few pages on the way home from the bus stop it was a long walk. 9th street plaza was the closest even the public school busses would get to South Edge District.
For the city of Astermont, the South Edge District was what some in other parts of the world would call the "ghetto." The only good part of the district was its three bridges connecting to the rest of the city; of course they had to be sturdy for people to drive their cars over the river.
The 9th street plaza dropped the last few on the bus, Thomas included, closest to the middle bridge, or "Daniel Bridge" as it was named. Thomas lived all the way on the east end of the south edge district, in the last house down the gravel road. It was a good few miles from his bus stop but he enjoyed the free time of the walk, no bullies from school to harass him and no abusive father to yell at him.
That walk was all his own, and sometimes he would just take off his shoes and rest his feet in the cool river waters down on the bank; during summer time of course. He always walked that bank and avoided crossing the Daniel bridge over into the Southside district until he made it to the third and final bridge, the Lannis Bridge. He enjoyed that side of the city though the south edge district was not as bad as some people liked to make it out to be.
And as always after stepping off the bus he walked down to the river bank and walked alongside the rushing waters. He stopped to pull out his comic, "The Red Cape" a story about a maroon cape that grants its wearers super abilities but brings their darker natures forth while wearing it.
Thomas was never huge on comics to begin with, but he got this series at a bargain garage sale. Ten dollars for all 82 issues of the series, he figured he needed something to read and had the money; for one of the few times in his life. The story got him hooked right away as it followed everyday people and how their lives would change for better or worse since that mysterious cape came into their hands.
He always wondered what would happen if he had gotten the cape and become superhuman. Would he be a hero or a villain?
With the comic finished, Thomas was pumped, excited and full of energy he couldn't help but pick up his pacing. He might actually make it home early today, but that was fine with him. For the long and slightly chilling walk, it seemed to him nothing could break his spirits: except for the loud Bang that exploded from the Lannis Bridge, followed shortly by a girl tumbling over the safety rail and falling head first into the river below.
Thomas watched eager for her to surface but when she didn't, not for several seconds, he hastily threw his backpack and jacket off, and dived in after her. He forgot how strong the current was at this bridge, (it was weakest further down, near the first bridge) and struggled not to get swept up in it as he searched for the girl under the water.
Her body was rapidly being swept along down the river, and he had to put forth all his effort to swim out and grab onto her before she got away. He managed to grab her arm and pull her close to him and put his other arm around her chest to keep hold of her. He raced up to the surface of the water with her and coughed out his small breath left desperately gasping for more air.
When his lungs were filled enough again, he struggled even harder to pull the girl and himself to the bank of land. It was times like this he truly regretted not taking the weight training class in gym. By some miracle of luck, he and scientists like to call an adrenaline rush, managed to get back to the river bank and pull himself and the girl up onto it. He then put his hands on her chest and began chest compressions.
After about a full minute, the girl coughed out water and Thomas backed off to give her room to breathe. She was very pretty with peach blonde hair and fair Caucasian skin. Her emerald eyes were waterlogged but seemed to glimmer in the sunlight.
"Are you alright?" Thomas asked concerned.
Miranda looked around her, dazed for a moment, and slowly sat up. She spoke something incoherent then passed back out.
Thomas tried to wake her, but she was out cold. He went to his bag and grabbed his Tracphone his dad bought him for emergencies. He never had to use it before, thankfully, but the thing had the worst keypad lock on it, hold pound for like three years then you can call for help.
Really though it was just a few seconds and he called for an ambulance that showed up several minutes later and carried Miranda off, sirens blaring. He hoped she would be alright but couldn't ride in the back, so it was time he went home. He put his jacket back on, still shivering from the cold. Up on the bridge he saw scorch marks on the road, as if from a bomb of some sorts; not knowing what to make of it he quickly moved on.
Thomas arrived home smelling the strong pungent scent of alcohol in the air; his father was drinking heavily again. He tried sneaking around the living room, to his bedroom, until the floorboard creaked. He stopped in his tracks as the squeak of the recliner cried out from his father getting out of the chair.
Thomas turned around to see him staring at the wet floor trail all over the carpet, and Thomas the one who caused it. He was mad, and so without warning he swung the back of his hand right across Thomas's face, knocking him to the floor. Thomas looked up at his father, mixed with anger and fear in his eyes. "Why are you coming into my house dripping water all over my carpets?" his father demanded to know.
"There was a girl from school she fell into the river, I-I d-d-dived in after her and pulled her out," Thomas said with a bit of a stutter. He was colder than he realized or was that all the excitement and fear?
His father pulled his belt out and started smacking him at random, "That's some shit story you brat." When he was finished hitting Thomas, he said, "I'm going to take a nap, I got to work tonight so clean this mess up and don't wake me up for anything." He then retired to his room, and Thomas went to the bathroom to shed his wet clothes.
He wiped some of the blood off his lip after seeing his reflection in the mirror; it was a small cut nothing serious. He tossed his jacket and shirt off first and began clearing out his pockets so he could throw his wet clothes into the dryer. When he finished, he used a towel to dry himself then changed into fresh clothes and ate what little food there was left in the house.
After that, he retired to his room to find massive cobalt colored book on his bed, radiating a dim blue light. On the cover was a grey bald man standing, or floating, with a silver ring around him. Thomas grabbed the book and opened it up; inside the writing was something elves might write from a high fantasy novel. Even stranger Thomas could somehow read this weird language. He flipped through the book, but the writing covered two full pages, the rest was blank.
He sat back in his bed and read the writing out loud, half expecting something might happen, "Tora, Perago, Dein." He spoke slowly and carefully. But nothing happened, so he said it again in one fluid pattern, again though nothing happened that he could tell.
"Great some glowing book that does nothing." He tossed it on the floor and went to sleep.
Thomas woke up rather groggy that morning, he shuffled out of bed going about his morning routine when he realized it was five a.m. by the time he was ready for school. He had a good hour before he needed to leave to catch the school bus, so that meant it was homework time.
He finished his homework in little over thirty minutes and started packing the books back in his bag when he accidently bumped his glass off the table. He reached out to catch it, but it fell too fast and eluded him, he knew his dad would hit him if he broke one of the few glasses left in the house. However, the glass suddenly stopped before shattering on the floor, it now levitated in the air, as if held by his will.
The glass continued to hover above the ground as he held his hand out for it. It dropped when he lost his concentration when the oven clock beeped, signaling that it was now 6 a.m. It was out the door and off to school. For most the day, he was too caught up with class or his bullies to hardly remember the weird anomaly that happened with the glass.
When he got home though he decided he would try the same thing that happened in the morning, but with a baseball. Inside his room, with the door shut, he dropped a baseball on the floor, focusing on stopping it, but it kept hitting the floor with nothing to stop it.
He sighed and let the ball stay on the floor this time and hopped in his bed. He stared at the ball for a minute, one last try, he thought to himself. Holding his hand out towards the ball, he concentrated on it coming to him, almost like his hand was magnetized. Very slowly the ball tilted towards him, and then it lifted off the ground and gradually moved to his hand until he could wrap his fingers around it.