A to Z 2016 : WATCHING

It was a hot one, he could tell just from the heat warming his face as he looked out the window. It was only temporary as he was simultaneously cooled by both an AC unit just below the window and a fan set on the highest speed, blowing his direction from the kitchen table, across the living room. Patrick had just finished his meager lunch of chicken strips and mashed potatoes. He didn't have much of an appetite, half of it going to waste. Unfortunately, his insulin pump did, so he had refilled the pump's reservoir with fresh insulin and had the unit attached snugly to his belt.

At least someone had gotten a good meal.

He had plans to meet up with his best friend that afternoon, but Patrick decided to cancel last minute. Nothing new, it was a fairly common occurrence for him. Especially as of late. He had recently shared some very sensitive information with Samson, and though he knew he could trust him, there was a strong resistance to spending too much time together. Samson had become a bit infatuated since then. Constantly asking questions, wanting explanations and every little detail he could muster out of him, not understanding that he himself knew very little. Maybe understanding, but not accepting.

Things were how they were. And how things were now, between the two of them, was exhausting. It was important to take some time to recharge every once in a while. He was positive Samson wasn't offended. He had a childlike innocence to him when it came to certain things, an inherent curiosity when it came to topics of great interest. Right now Patrick was one of them.

His phone rang, vibrating on the kitchen table, and Patrick guided his electric chair to it. Speak of the Devil.

"Hello?" He answered.

"Are you watching?!" The sheer excitement and wonderment was oozing through the cell phone. Samson went on. "Please, tell me you're watching!"

Patrick couldn't help but laugh. "Look, if this is some ploy to trick me into going out, I've already told..."

"Just turn on the TV, man, any channel," his friend interrupted.

He scoffed a little at the peculiar audacity, but he had to admit to being intrigued. He swiped the controller, which was also on the table, and spun around to face the TV. Patrick clicked it on and positioned himself for a closer look, in the hope Samson wasn't letting him down. Nothing seemed to be on his favorite cable station except music videos, so he begrudgingly scouted the standard options. Sure enough, multiple were broadcasting live a proclaimed major news event.

Patrick settled on one and asked Samson, "What's going on?" The news reporter was giving out very little information, just that there had been numerous casualties and at least a dozen more wounded, some in critical condition. They were standing outside some facility, being swarmed by squad cars, ambulances, and fire trucks, but no specific name given to the location. There also appeared to be S.W.A.T. units in the background.

"Some psycho supposedly went ape shit, going on a killing spree. Not many details are known, but they say there's a high body count and that the maniac is on the loose. Here, in our city, man." Samson's tone seemed almost suggestive.

"What's that compound?"

"Nothing official has been released yet, but almost right after the incident some conspiracy nutjobs were greasing up the internet with claims of illegal human experimentation. You know how much I love that shit! More blog fodder. I'm going to have a shit ton of material for multiple entries."

"Yeah, well, it's never quite that exciting in the real world, is it?"

This time Samson scoffed. "Are you kidding me? You should talk. Or rather, shouldn't, it's all bullshit anyhow." They both laughed.

The news report, which was interrupting regularly scheduled programs, suddenly shifted to a new location. Faraday Park, it seemed, with breaking news. A different journalist attempting to give further details about the event stated that he wasn't allowed to get closer, but that law enforcement was about to engage a violent altercation taking place at the South end of the park. It was believed one of whom may be the suspect wanted in connection with the recent homicides.

The camera zoomed in as police were spreading out and moving in on the scene. The scene being two individuals locked in what appeared to be hand-to-hand combat. As soon as one of the figures, a woman, noticed the police enclosing the area, she screamed something at them. The cameraman attempted to zoom in closer and just as he did, he caught the larger, male suspect who appeared to be half-naked and covered in blood, charging the officers.

It wasn't just charging, though. He was just a blur on the screen, before becoming fully visible again in front of a cop, whom he lifted with ease and threw at another advancing officer, the two of them tumbling to the ground. The news reporter was trying to describe what was transpiring, but he was at a loss for words. Undoubtedly having never seen anything like it in all his life. The woman attempted to engage, but the man was a blur again, this time when coming into focus, pummeling another cop.

The camera was shaking now, but its caretaker doing their job, offering another zoom-in. This one catching the female as she caught up to the killer, the two of them locking into combat again.

Patrick stared idly at the screen, feeling like he wasn't really awake. Samson commented on the other end of the line. "There are others."

"Not just others..."

"What do you mean, To..." Patrick stopped listening and let his hand drop, bringing the phone into his lap. A quick finger tap and the call was disconnected. He couldn't tell what was happening in the park anymore, the news crew being demanded to vacate the area. Something about their safety, he couldn't remember, he had stopped listening.

He couldn't get the image of the two people fighting out of his head. A murderer with superhuman strength and speed. And there she was risking her life to stop the maniac. She needed help. And he sat alone in his apartment, watching it all unfold on the news. Doing nothing.

A conflict of interests waged war in his mind. Samson's musing about having an obligation to help those in need, when having the power to potentially do so, and his mother's demands to never let the world know. No matter what. Do as she said, not as she did.

Before he became aware of what he was doing, he was already leaving the apartment complex, on autopilot to one specific destination. Destiny.

 

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