Monster in the Mirror

Chapter 12

For several minutes the only sound that could be heard was the howling wind as my words sunk in. I couldn't bear to look at Mysterion, for fear he would be looking at me the same way everyone else was, and for some reason that really bothered me. As I stared at the multicolored buildings of downtown, I flinched out of reflex as Mysterion's boots made contact with the roof after jumping from his perch.

"For a long time, I felt the same as you do." he muttered, almost making me jump out of my skin as he placed a gloved hand on my shoulder. Sensing that what he was trying to tell me was extremely important, I turned to look at him as he stared me in the eye. "Not long ago, I teamed up with a group of superheroes from my neighborhood in order to save The Gulf from a reign of demons and the dark god Cthulhu that had been released from their dimension. The other heroes were friends of mine with pretend powers unlike me: I had been hoping they would begin to grasp that fact that I had been different from them." he said with more emotion than usual as he stared at me.

"What is your power Mysterion?" I asked quietly, afraid that if I had spoken louder it would make him dart back into his shell. "I. Can't. Die." he said as his scowl turned into a snarl of anger. 'As cool as that sounds, it must really bother him to have to know that he will out-live everyone he loves, but then again he could just be lying.' I thought sadly as I stared at him as he looked out at the snow falling from the dark-grey sky.

"That's actually pretty cool." I said, humoring him as his hard blue eyes flicked over to me before literally freezing over in rage. "Pretty cool?! Do you have any idea what it feels like to be stabbed?! To be shot?! Decapitated?! Run over?! Burned?! Torn apart?! It's NOT 'Pretty Cool' girl: It. Fucking. Hurts. And it won't go away, and nobody will believe me!" he snarled as he stood rigid directly in my face as if he were about to hit me.

"Yes Mysterion: I do know what it feels like." I mumbled as I broke eye-contact with him and looked away, causing him to halt in his rage and stare at me in suspicion. "I very highly doubt that, regardless of what you endure: I ALWAYS come back to relive it again the next day." he spat, making me pull my lips back in a grimace as I glared at him. "That may be true, but I heal so fast that I don't have a chance to think about what death would feel like. The difference between you and me: I would gladly welcome death with open arms, if only to escape the pain and torture I'm forced to live through every single day. Don't take your power for granted, for there are some burdens that make even yours look like nothing." I stated seriously as his anger evaporated as he took in my expression and words with somber understanding before he backed off and stared out at the town again.

"The worst part? None of my friends ever remember when I die, when in fact I die all the time and wake up in my bed like nothing happened. I don't even know why I'm burdened with this curse, but I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy." he said as he clenched his fists, as if he were trying not to cry or scream in rage. "I already know that it's too late for me, but maybe there is a way to remove the curse from you." I said as his head whipped over to me in surprise.

"What?" he asked, as if he had imagined what I had said as I looked over at him with a smile. "I decided I will use this power for the good of others, so I'll try my hardest to find a way to remove that curse from you, Mysterion." I said as his eyes lit up for the first time before his scowl changed into a small grin of his own before becoming cautious again. "Why would you help me? What's in it for you?" he questioned as I shook my head at him.

"You remind me of my brother Alex, you two would be great friends, I can tell." I said as I turned from him and stood on the edge of Walgreens. "That kid you protected from Trent Boyett was your brother? It makes sense now: I had originally come to arrest you for assault and battery until I saw that look in your eyes. That look: it's the look of a burden, a burden that is greater than mine." he said as I nodded and looked him in the eye.

"Figured as much: none of the other kids would even come near me after that, especially the kids I could've called friends now that they saw me lose my control today. I guess wishing for a friend on that star WAS a stupid idea after all, but before you turn me in, let me ask you this Mysterion: how far are you willing to go, to protect those you love?" I questioned as his eyes widened the slightest bit as I backed away from him and straightened my spine, using my power to shift and morph my beanie, hoodie and pants into the black, red and grey leather body suit I wore underneath.

Flicking my burgundy hair out of my face, I glanced at Mysterion: whose face had turned a dark-cherry red from what I could see of his face and his wide blue eyes stayed frozen on my slightly-glowing gothic form as he took in my appearance. 'Probably shouldn't have made this suit skin-tight, especially when I'm nothing but streamlined muscle thanks to the virus. Poor kid looks like he's about to die of shock.' I thought with a giggle, bringing Mysterion out of his daze with a choking cough.

"Well its past my bedtime, pity I don't know who you are and I won't pressure you into telling me. Goodnight Mysterion, and…do be sure to treat that nosebleed of yours when you get home." I smirked as he lifted a glove to his nose to find it was indeed bleeding. Straightening my back, I winked at the vigilante before drawing my hood up to the point where only my mouth was visible in the deep shadows before jumping from the roof and used the virus's biomass to glide to the roof of Tom's Rhinoplasty across the street.

Turning around, I could just make out Mysterion's shocked expression as I sent him a wave goodbye before I took off in a silent ninja-like sprint across the rooftops towards home, hoping that things would be better tomorrow at school where hopefully, my friends will still be waiting. I had forgotten what being free felt like as I ran across roofs, ran vertically up walls, bounced off telephone poles and just enjoyed myself.

Pulling my arms behind me, I jumped from a streetlight and flew downward and around the corner of Butters' house, where a single light stayed lit in an upstairs bedroom. 'Maybe I should pay him a visit, he doesn't seem to have many friends and I really freaked him out today.' I thought, changing my appearance back to my trademark hoodie as I picked up a tiny pebble and carefully tossed it up at his window.

"Psst! Butters! You up there?" I called quietly, smiling as the timid boy appeared at the window a moment later. Sending him a wave as he spotted me, he fearfully looked around before opening his window. "Oh h-hey Saphira, w-what are you doing here?" he asked as he stared down at me. "Just checking to make sure you guys are all okay and to apologize. Can I come up?" I asked as Butters looked behind him with a nervous look before looking back down at me.

"W-Well my p-parents are asleep-" he started, making me smirk a bit at him. "That's okay, I can just do this." I said as I jumped and grabbed a branch of the tree that was growing next to his window. Once I had my grip, I swung and flipped through the branches until I was level with him. "Oh h-hamburgers!" he squeaked and tried to hide in the shirt of his PJs. "You don't have to be afraid of me Butters, I'm not going to hurt you: I just came to apologize for scaring all of you today: I didn't mean for you to see that." I said as he peeked out of his shirt and gave me a small grin at my sad expression.

"Aw that's alright Saphira, i-it was actually pretty cool to see your eyes glow orange like that." he said, making my eyes widen considerably when he said my eyes glowed. 'Shit.' I thought as I smiled at him before glancing over at my house. "Well, it's past my bedtime: see you tomorrow, Butters the Merciful." I said, teasing his 'title' as he blushed and played with his shirt before I jumped from the tree and landed in the slushy snow. "Bye Saphira, don't worry: n-none of the guys are afraid of ya." he called quietly as I waved at him before jumping through my window, beyond happy that I had finally made the friends I had always wanted.

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