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Friday, December 21, 2007

Fiction Fridays: Red Boy (part 1)

It's Friday, so here's some fiction. Also, I'll be taking holidays from now until the New Year, so there'll be no updates until January 7th, 2008.

Happy Holidays, one and all!

Red Boy

part 1

Five days. Five days was how long he'd waited, and practiced. Five days was how long ago he'd been in the accident at his uncle's factory. Five days was how long it took him to decided on his name, and put together his costume.

Dawson's mother thought he was going blind in his room, staying in there with the door closed every night, glued to his PlayStation, with his TV at the foot of his bed -- far less than the fifteen feet her old-fashioned sensibilities told her was the closest you should be. She also thought he was going deaf, with his stereo turned up loud to the latest Nickleback CD.

"Dawson! Dawson!" His mother poked her head through the half-open doorway. "Could you turn that down so I can talk to you?!"

Dutifully obeying with the remote in his left hand, Dawson dropped the volume by half, never taking his eyes from the ongoing game in front of him, or his right hand from the game controller. "Is that better, Mom?"

"Yes! Thank you! I don't know how you can think with all that racket. You know, if you keep listening to it like that, you're-"

"Going to go deaf? I know, Mom. I'm not deaf. I heard you yesterday."

His mother shook her head. "All right, but don't say I didn't warn you."

She favoured her son with a warm smile, half love, half bemusement, and turned to go. Then she turned back, readjusting the laundry basket on her hip.

"Is all your homework done?"

Dawson rolled his eyes. "Yes, Mom."


"Yes, Mom, just like yesterday. I'll show you later, after I'm done playing." As if to demonstrate his involvement, he winced and sucked air through clenched teeth, leaning to one side with the controller held up near his shoulders.

"Is that everything? You're gonna get me killed."

His mother sighed. "Yes, I suppose it is." She paused, then pushed ahead. "You're going to go-"

"Blind?" Dawson's eyes flickered into a distracted roll at his mother, sparing only a moment of his concentration on the game to register his annoyance.

"You told me that yesterday, remember?" He added a bit of extra "go-away-please" to his voice. "That's so not true. No one goes blind watching TV six feet from the screen. You don't need to be fifty feet-"

"I said fifteen."

"-whatever, fifteen feet away. That whole thing's just a product of your generation's adjustment to the rapid encroachment of technology into every aspect of your lives. It's knee-jerk, Mom. An urban myth."

Dawson's mother shook her head, feigning annoyance. Inside, she was pleased, and proud, of her son's intelligent discourse, but she was still a Mom, and knew she had to play her role.

"Well, just make sure you show me your homework tonight."

"Or you'll take the the video games away for a week. I know, Mom. Don't worry."

Once she was gone, down the hall and down the stairs, he closed his door, hard enough to be heard, and then turned up the stereo again. The game forgotten, and his mother handled for another evening, Dawson turned his attention back to the things he really wanted to spend time on. His name, his costume, and his powers.

After five days of this, a Monday to a Friday, he was sure he was ready.

As with all of my posts, but especially with the fiction, comments will be most appreciated.




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