Gold Star

Gold Star

Some diabetics feel on top of the world when their blood sugar is perfect. They feel they are super-powered, or they feel like they could accomplish twice as much. That wasn’t literally true for Eb0, but it certainly was for his son Jack. His son Jack always seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted, regardless of how likely it was actually to happen. Eb0 envied his son’s ambition and sense of adventure, but then again his son’s body wasn’t literally attacking itself. Eb0 had done what he could to protect his family and keep them oblivious to the city around them; despite Eb0’s best efforts, though, he couldn’t ignore the fact that crime, and “villains,” had sharply risen since the arrival of those three who made a scene at the car fire a few months ago. He wanted a simple life after all he had done with Ash, but his son seemed to be some karmic way for him to repay the wrong he did in his younger years with Kaelam. Jack didn’t know what Eb0 had done, however, and Eb0 had no intentions of telling him. Everyone has a past, he figured. Some people just have more reasons to hide theirs. Unfortunately for him, though, he was about to enter the world of “heroes and villains” regardless of how hard he had worked to keep himself and his son out of the spotlight.

The trouble started after a day at work for Eb0, after he had brought his son home. They had both had a good day at work and kindergarten, so Zach (Eb0’s real name) decided to get some soda for the two of them on the way home. Jack’s mom would probably disagree with that plan, but they both had been good so they deserved it. When they arrived at home, though, they found a home security salesman already at the house, speaking with mom at the door.

“Ah, the father of the house. I was just speaking with your wife about how important it is to protect the things we care about most in life with some peace of mind, assisted by today’s best security and surveillance technology. Have you seen a recent map of your neighborhood’s crime rate?”

Zach already disliked the fellow because of his interruption to Zach’s otherwise relaxing evening of reading with his son, cleaning, and writing his next training lesson for work. His delight in the busy and efficient schedule was ruined, though, by having to express his disinterest politely to this salesman.

“I didn’t know home security sales people were still around, you know? I thought it all went digital,” Zach said as he approached the porch and nodded for Jack to go on ahead of him into the house. Just because his plans were paused didn’t mean his son’s had to be as well.

“Not at all, sir. There have been less of us these days because most people think they can determine for themselves if they need a security system,” he got a reassuring smile on his face, looking Zach in the eyes. “However, those of us that are left are the best at our jobs. We sell security to people who need it, and I can tell by the neighborhood that I’ll be making a lot of stops today.”

“I’m not interested, though. Just trust me when I say that my family and I are safe,” Zach had slowly been sidestepping on his porch toward his front door, and then stepped inside his door and reached for the inner handle. “I’m sorry to waste your time, but we really don’t need it.”

“But what about the sudden bee population increase?” The salesman had almost turned around when he said that, but he knew that would get Zach’s attention. Zach almost immediately turned around in the doorway and looked at him.

“The what?”

“The spike in bee population. It has no explanation according to biologists, and it’s still being researched in this area.”

“What does that have to do with security, though?”

“Well, if there can be that sort of strange event even in something as simple as the bee population in a neighborhood, don’t you think that crime is even less predictable than that?”

Zach stood in his doorway, staring at the salesman quietly for a few seconds before murmuring a dismissive “have a good day.”

The rest of their evening was much less eventful than the strange welcome home, which was perfectly fine in Zach’s mind. He thought of himself sort of like a hillfolk person. He liked his home cozy, his cheese good, and his life simple without excitement. Unexpected visitors mentioning threats were too similar to his old life, and he didn’t want that for his family.

“Dad, what did he mean about crime rate,” his son asked as he got tucked into bed.

“He meant that he’s making it all up, and there’s nothing for us to be afraid of. Trust me,” Zach said and handed Jack’s favorite dinosaur toy to him.

“Oh. Do you ever worry about crime, dad?”

“I used to, yeah. But Trust me, we’re safe from that now. We’re in a good neighborhood, and he was just trying to scare us,” Zach stood to leave the room. As he patted Jack’s head gently, he heard glass shatter in the living room. He walked to the living room hesitantly, grabbing the first thing he could in the dark in his son’s room. A big giraffe stuffed animal. This really would intimidate any intruders in his house. He held it as best he could like a mace, swiftly turning on the hallway light. The late evening darkness spilled over onto the hallway from the living room and taunted Zach with its proximity, and what he feared was beyond it.

Inching forward with his giraffe, Zach knew that he would need to protect his wife and son. He’d never fought anyone seriously, other than in a fighting organization with swords, and this giraffe was far from the balanced metal blade he’d grown accustomed to in his younger days. He reached for the living room light to turn it on, but there was another hand over the light switch.

Eb0 immediately tossed the giraffe in the man’s face, preparing himself for a fight. He hadn’t used his power for a year or two, and he wasn’t sure if he even remembered the finesse required, but as soon as he extended his hand in his signature pose (straight arm, index finger pointing directly at the man’s stomach) he remembered exactly how to do it. He figured the man was just a common burglar, so there was no need to cause any harm more than a temporary disabling. He started trying to drain the man’s blood sugar, as was his customary defense, but for some reason he was unable to drain the man’s blood sugar. As he walked backwards slowly, his mind filling with fear and wonder why he couldn’t drain the man’s blood sugar, he heard Jack wake up and step out of bed. The intruder continued forward menacingly with a grin on his face and a knife in his hands. Eb0 feared that Jack’s last view of his dad would be his dad laying lifeless on the floor, but all of a sudden Jack stepped in front of him.

“Dad, why are you afraid of my giraffe?” Jack rubbed his sleepy eyes, looking up to his daddy.

Eb0 started explaining to Jack that he was actually afraid of the man walking down the hall, but then he looked down the hall and saw what he could only explain as a sudden, powerful discovery of one’s powers. Where once stood a man in a black sweater and ominous darkness, now stood his son’s giraffe. The giraffe had left his hands, and he lowered his index finger now pointing at the giraffe. He hastily walked around the living room, turning on all lights and searching thoroughly to see if the man had hidden or slipped into a closet. After a good twenty-minute searching of his whole house, though, he safely determined that the man was gone. His son had somehow swapped the position of the man and the giraffe, but sent the man somewhere he couldn’t yet determine.
<<not final draft, just the current progress on it>>

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