So the first rule of pretending to be normal was “pretend you’re grateful for being saved” instead of being annoyed that some overly powerful idiot just blew up a machine you were hoping to reverse engineer.
The second rule probably went something like, “Don’t stuff your pockets full of burning debris.”
I narrowly managed to do the first and avoid the second.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 4
I couldn’t argue with her. Every injury that sent me to the emergency room before the age of ten happened while playing with Cassie — the broken arm, more than forty stitches worth of cuts, and the time she stapled my foot.
When push came to shove, I probably came out with less damage when we fought the Grey Giant than I did most times when we played together as kids.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 3
Haley’s family’s cottage turned out to be half again the size of my parents’ house. Two stories tall, it extended down the Lake Michigan side of the dune.
Cassie and I waited on the wide wooden porch.
Marcus opened the door and let us in. “Come on in. So did you find him?”
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 2
“So let’s get on with it,” Cassie said.
We sat in her mom’s car on Herrick Street on the north side of Grand Lake. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t in Grand Lake itself. The road ran north/south parallel to the shore. Homes lay on either side of it, some of them “cottages” in name, but larger than my parents’ house.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 1
“That would be bad,” Daniel said, straightening as much as he could in the cramped back seat. “But,” he continued, “you’d probably know if it were someone in your family were doing that kind of thing.”
Off to my right, Haley said, “I might not. You don’t really think he’d be there, do you?”
“I don’t know.” Daniel sounded thoughtful. “There’s got to be some reason he’s coming back every year and that’s as good a reason as any. What I think we ought to do is get together some night and I could try to find him.”
Continue reading The New Heroes League: Part 5
He really could have been here to go after us, but I hadn’t seen any hint of it. Of course, if he were good at his job, I wouldn’t.
“Then we have to get him,” Cassie said.
She tapped away at the keyboard. “The sightings all seem to be ten, twenty miles north of Grand Lake. I wonder if he’s staying at a cottage?”
“In December?” I said. “Can people use them in the winter? I always thought they were summer only.”
Continue reading The New Heroes League: Part 4
We drove home from Lansing on Saturday afternoon. “We” in this case turned out to be Daniel, Cassie, Haley and I. Night Wolf’s car could barely hold four people, much less nine. Even though it only looked like a corvette at this point, it still didn’t have much of a back seat. We swapped seats and drivers at the halfway mark of the two hour drive.
Touring the offices of the Michigan Heroes Alliance had turned out to be every bit as interesting as touring the offices of your average lobbying firm, chamber of commerce, or business.
I was bored out of my mind.
Continue reading The New Heroes League: Part 3
I also didn’t feel quite comfortable with the idea. Taking advantage of the fact that my parents had the block was one thing. Installing it on Kayla (assuming that Daniel would) felt like it would cross some kind of ethical boundary.
I just wasn’t sure which one.
It seemed like there had to be something wrong with modifying a friend’s perception of reality for your personal convenience. On the other hand, one could argue that it would be for everyone’s protection — including hers.
Continue reading The New Heroes League: Part 2
You know what’s weird? Weird is when something you were connected with gets its own graphics and theme music on most major news channels.
I sat in League HQ surfing the web with one of the consoles at the table while I had MSNBC playing on the big screen on the wall. I had turned off the big screen’s sound, but I occasionally looked up to check the news crawl or if the main story seemed interesting.
Continue reading The New Heroes League: Part 1
The police came twenty minutes later. Haley had to knock the guy out three more times while we were waiting for them. We’d moved him back into his room to keep him warm while we waited — not that it made the room much warmer. I’d broken his window when he jumped me.
We had to deal with predictable issues in the meantime. The man with the camera wouldn’t leave us alone. He hung around and asked questions until the police arrived.
Continue reading Aftermath: Part 5