Liam: A Short Story This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 7, 2010
It’s 4:10 pm on a Sunday afternoon; the sky has become a depressing grey that fills the whole sky. The air is thick and chilly. I zip up my jacket more. Everyone is in their houses. Doors locked. Blinds Closed. It’s quiet. All I hear is the rustling of trash being blown around. I keep walking down the street. They are scared of me. None of them come out of their houses. To them I am fierce and dangerous, but to me I am lonely. I am a lonely creature that prowls these streets at night. Tonight is no different. I find a bench to sit on. I gaze up at the clouds and the dull sun setting in the distance. The signs on the lampposts dance in the wind. I raise my hood to cover my head. If they think I’m a devil, then I will look like a devil. I smile wickedly under my hood. I know they’re watching. They peek through slits in the blinds, through peepholes in their doors. Waiting, watching. I clasp my hands together. The air has become static as if something might and will indeed happen. That’s when I see him; the drunken man walking down the street. I shake my head. He has made a poor mistake of being out tonight. I can see the hidden townspeople. They’re looking at him, pleading with their eyes that he will just turn and go back to where he came from. But he keeps walking, and spots me. “Hey Pal!” He slurs, and starts walking toward me. I have a feeling this isn’t going to go well. “You think you’re so tough huh?! You think I’ll just cringe and be scared of you because you’re so damn powerful?” I sigh. He points his finger at me. “Well buddy! You have another thing comin’! Cause I’m not afraid of you!” He exclaims and burps. I lower my head some so he can see my bright orange and amber eyes glow beneath my hood. His face twists some; I can see fear in his eyes. “You are not afraid of me hm? Well ya should be.” I say letting my Irish accent flow. I stand up to face him. Up close I can see he hasn’t shaved in a while. His clothes smell like urine and whiskey and it seems like a film of dirt covers all of his skin. I cringe looking at the dirt. Absolutely disgusting. I vaguely remember his name being Walter, the town drunk. He takes a step back letting his fear show even more. I don’t intend to hurt Walter, no I just wish he’d go home and leave me be. “Listen Walter, I’ll make ya a deal eh?” He doesn’t speak, just stares at me with frightened eyes. “You go back to your home or wherever ya live and I promise I won’t lay a finger on your precious head.” Do it Walter, I think. Please just go back. But no, he’s here to prove himself. Walter used to be the Mayor of this once great town. Happy and prosperous, then he found the poison known as alcohol and oh did his kingdom come crashing down. Now he’s here to prove that he’s not a failure, that he can beat me. “No! I’m not afraid of you!” He throws a punch that I easily catch. My hood falls back making my eyes shine bright in the now dark town. “The offer is still good Walter, take it or leave it.” I say squeezing his arm. He tries to kick me. “Ah, no deal then?” I twist his arm around, breaking the bone. The sound echoes into the night. He screams in pain. I let go of his arm. He holds it and whimpers. “Let that be a lesson to ya.” I say and turn to walk away. But Walter has not given up this fight. He stands up and begins to run towards me. I swing around and hold up my hand. Walter freezes in mid air for a second then falls to the ground. I summon a fire ball in my hand. Walter stands up and stares at fire. It glows and lights up my face and his, heating the air around us. His face is full of fear. He tries to plead. “No, please! I don’t want to die this way!” But it’s not enough. I know Walter’s future and If I do this now, I know I’ll be doing him a favor. I throw the fire at his chest. His whole body combusts into a bright crackling fire. He screams as his body begins to turn to ash. I turn and walk back the way I came, no longer wanting to stay here. The town’s people are now fully exposed. They stand on the corners and their porches, mouths agape. They stare at me as I begin to walk down the street. Walter’s last screams fill my ears, growing more silent with each step. I lift my hood over my face once more becoming the devil they make me out to be.

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