The assignment was to write from a photo that we take from the internet and use it to build a character and make a story using that character. This is the photo I chose:
…And this is my story:
My father, Alan Swink, wears a black hooded jacket zipped up to about half an inch below his ribcage with a plain monotone gray t-shirt underneath that. This is his trademark look. Below that, he has a pair of blue jeans that led to a soft pair of Nike sneakers. My outfit is similar to his but my hooded jacket is underneath a leather hoodless one. Both are unzipped to show just how loyal I am to the Aeropostle brand. We stand face-to-face with only tension between us atop Sears Tower in our home, Chicago. His beard is stained with white experience and wisdom. That wisdom had been bestowed upon me over the last 15 years. While he appears to be in his 60s, the man who stands before me is no older than 40. The magic is cruel that way. We obtain immortality via our birthright, but through prolonged use of our abilities, our skin will wear out and appear to leather at a faster pace than most of the “less than blessed”- as he referred to the mortals.
“We are the Almighty, Carson! It is our duty to protect those without our gifts and to ensure that we must never be seen.” He would always remind me before and after every lesson. I always thought I had to recite that more than the Pledge of Allegiance in grade school. I’ll never forget his words, but I guess that’s the whole point. He repeats that mantra even now.
“Yeah, Dad, I know.” I say. “Our lineage traces back to a time before time blah, blah, blah. I’ve been through the history time and time again. Can we please just get to the good part already?” It was tradition at least according to my father that each generation of “Heaven’s Blessed” must spar with his or her trainer as a final exam or performance review.
The Almighty are a race of humans that can be traced back into the prehistory of human civilization. As it is told, our gifts were given to us from above as part of a compact on a mountain which shadowed Mesopotamia. Our powers stem from the elements. We are not magicians or warlocks in the sense that we cast spells. We simply draw from the energy around us that is found in the air, in the earth, and in anything or anyone around us.
Suddenly, the wind picked up and my father began to rise. Gusts spiraled beneath him the higher he reached. A mini cyclone formed around his legs as he slowed to a hover. I only had enough time to make eye contact and slide a crooked smile from the right side of my mouth. My dad grinned back to me. The universal sign for “bring it on” had officially been sent and received. Before I had time to think of my first move, my father made his. With a flick of his left wrist to reveal his palm toward me, his clear cyclone platform sprouted an arm which tore across the landmark and ripped me right off my feet. I was lifted up and tilted on my side. My right shoulder scrapped the roof of the tower before I started rolling backward. I hit the edge of the building and laid flat against it. The Converse All-Star I wore on my left foot skimmed the top of the ledge. I pulled it back toward me and attempted to stand. Mid-rise, I make an offensive gesture toward my father, but he sends his right hand likewise in my direction. The force of his blast spins me on the tips of my toes. My knee smacks the ledge and I dip over the edge head first. I tuck my left hand under the sill and catch myself just as the rest flips toward the sidewalk 103 floors below my perch. I try pulling myself up using both hands. I lack the upper body strength to keep hold of the thick ledge while also trying to pull myself upward.
“Come on, son. You know what do. Trust your knowledge. Have a little faith.” I continue to struggle until his words process through my ears and into my brain. I close my eyes and slowly release my grip on the landmark. I begin to free fall. I can feel the rush of accelerated movement. I am falling faster. There’s a different kind of movement…almost molecular. My eyes burst open and I begin to rise. I can feel tiny pulls in my hands, arms and legs. Tiny sparks roll across the edges of my body. The smallest of electric sparks are floating through the air around me and I am using them to lift myself and levitate. I take a moment to take in the view and I see lights and televisions through windows in buildings all around me flickering.
“Woah, this is amazing!” I pull my arms in close as the tingles intensify. I thrust my arms to my side which causes a massive blackout across five blocks in every direction. My head goes down as I watch cars travel like ants below me.
“That’s my boy… Are you ready, my son?” He asked, preparing another heavy gust. I raise my head slowly. My classic smirk returns.
“I was born ready.” I charge up and surge toward my father as the most powerful game of chicken begins high above The Second City.