A Short Tale of A Failed Superhero

By Kristofer Mc Cormack

It was just you regular night at the Merlin when Casey Jones walked in to wash away his pity. A bulky colored man with green eyes he approached the bar like many late night customers, dejected and looking for answers in the wrong place. The bar tender walked up to him, she was a tall, young, pretty blonde girl.

“What can I get you sir?” she asked, her voice was soft which was strange considering what a tough neighborhood she was working in.

“Whiskey sour,” Jones replied in his deep, brash voice as he stared into the counter, his voice was more suited to this side of town.

The bar tender studied his face as she prepared his drink, she recognized him but couldn’t remember where. She placed the whiskey sour on counter and he raised his head for the first time to greet her puzzled blue eyes.

“Your trying to place me aren’t you,” Casey said, his face forcing a pitiful smile, “don’t worry if you can’t remember, you’re not the first and I doubt you’ll be the last,” he said as he pulled a cigarette box from his black jacket pocket.

He took out a cigarette and clicked his fingers summoning a flame between his thumb and fingertip.

The bartender gasped as she finally remembered who he was. “It’s you! the guy from that fire,” the bartender said as she clicked her fingers trying to remember her childhood hero’s name.

“GI Justice,” Casey said as he took a sip from his whiskey sour.

“Yeah that was it. I used to watch you on the news when I was a kid,” she said excitedly. “Where did you go? The world thinks you’re dead,” she asked, her mind buzzing with questions to ask him.

“I quit,” Casey answered bluntly. He looked up to see her face, full of shock and confusion.

“Why?” she asked.

Jones looked around the empty bar, placing his glass on the counter, he looked her in the eyes “what’s your name?” he asked.

“Evelyn” she replied.

“You ever wondered what it’s like to be a hero Evelyn?” she shook her head in reply.

“It’s fucking hard” Casey answered sternly “when I was a kid, all I wanted to be was a hero, I used to sit watching all those kids shows” Casey said.

His gaze had drifted from Evelyn’s face and was now looking at the wall behind her like his childhood was being projected on it “when I discovered my abilities, I thought that God had given me a sign, a way for me to fulfill my ambition, but I never realized what being a hero really entails and no amount of superpowers could ready me for what a hero is expected to do, I was a failure and now I am here.”

Casey bowed his head and returned to staring at the counter. Evelyn pitied him, “you weren’t a failure, you saved hundreds of lives, people idolized you, the world was a better place with you in it” Evelyn leaned down to his level

“You remembered me because of the fire, why?” Jones asked, his gaze remaining focused on the counter.

“Because you saved so many lives, if it wasn’t for you hundreds might of died” Evelyn said, unsure of where he was going with the question.

“People seen that as my finest moment, but they don’t the real truth” Casey said bitterly, his eyes had filled with tears.

“Tell me Evelyn what type of a hero leaves a child behind to save the rest of her family” he asked her.

Evelyn didn’t answer, she didn’t know the answer.

“Shame, I have been searching for that answer too, trying to justify my actions, but I can’t” Jones said his voice breaking “I have to live with the fact that I decided that her life wasn’t worth saving and I don’t think I can keep making those decisions.”

Jones said, he rose from his chair and as he prepared to leave he left one parting statement “honestly, what would you have done differently?” Evelyn watched her former idol walk out the door, pondering his final question and finding no reply.

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