Metamorph Vignette

Episode #12: Rocket Man

Allen bent down to tie his shoelaces, making sure that his sneakers were locked in and secure upon his feet. He pulled the laces extra tight, remembering how quickly they had shot off of his feet the last time he had attempted this technique. His palms were sweaty, and he felt his heartbeat racing in anticipation. While this wasn’t the first time he had done this, he still got the same butterflies in his stomach with each attempt.

Finally satisfied with the compression around his ankles, Allen stood up to face his father and took a deep breath.

“You ready?” Oliver Davids asked his son, raising his eyebrows slightly.

Allen gave him one of his trademark grins and bounced around on his toes. “Always ready, dad. You know this. Just antsy to get back up there in the sky,” he replied with a tone that he hoped conveyed a sense of confidence he didn’t actually feel.

“Uh huh…,” Oliver said, clearly not buying it. “You know, we don’t have to do this. We could go back to the house and give it a try another day.”

“No way, dad! You promised,” Allen complained. “Besides, we didn’t drive all the way over to the family campgrounds just to turn back around the minute we got here!”

Tristan’s father gave his eldest son a quiet nod before stepping back several feet, preparing himself for what was to come.

“All right then. Whenever you’re ready.”

Allen closed his eyes and began to concentrate. Channeling his energy, Allen focused his mind on his palms and his feet, imagining the flames coming out from his extremities. He could feel his body start to slowly warm up, the air around him steadily increasing in temperature. He gritted his teeth willing his body to generate more power, keeping them restrained within those two areas.

His hands became hot like coals, his shoes starting to sizzle from the dramatic rise in heat. He could smell the smoke emanating from his pores, and his eyes burned from the pressure building up within. Allen could feel the energy rising inside of his body, every particle in his body feeling like a 2 liter bottle of soda that had been shaken to the extreme. He was a ball of frantic, unstable molecules ready to erupt at a moments notice. And that moment was now.

Allen rose onto the balls of his feet, pointing his toes while extending back his arms, palms facing downward. They ignited immediately, Allen channeling all of his pent-up energy through the tips of his toes and fingers. He rocketed straight up into the blue afternoon sky above, his ears ringing from the sound of the small explosion upon takeoff. His thick black hair and dark brown eyes were on fire, the whirling winds flickering the flames across his face, and the boy screamed out a cry for joy. He had never felt so alive!

Allen was moving at a breathtaking rate, far faster than any car he had ever stuck his head out of. This was like being strapped to a fighter jet, one in which there was little sense of direction, or safety for that matter. Yet, rather than being scared, his heart was pounding out of sheer joy and excitement. This was true freedom! This was true abandonment! This is what it felt like to be alive!

Allen let out a whoop before arching his trajectory toward the ground below. Now was the real fun part. Although he had done this several times, this was the part he still had a difficult time grasping. Facing the miniscule dot that was his father, Allen aimed himself prior to firing straight down into the earth. His entire body was ablaze now, a giant ball of burning, radiant light. As he quickly approached the ground, his body instinctively began to form a spherical barrier, the circular shield preparing to brace him from the impact.

The moment he struck the ground, Allen felt the earth explode from the velocity of the force. Rather than splatter his body across the dirt, the ground felt surprisingly soft, his landing cushioned impossibly by his energy force barrier. The pent-up energy and intense heat instantly left his body, and Allen felt a massive wave of exhaustion sweep over him. He lay within the crater of earth he had created, steam and smoke exiting the large hole while he regained his composure.

After a few seconds, Allen saw the shape of his father’s head poke up overhead.

“You still good down there, son?” Oliver asked worriedly.

Allen smiled again and let out a soft chuckle. “Oh yeah, dad. Never better…”

Lying there catching his breath, Allen knew one thing for certain: his powers were waaay better than his sister’s!      


Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

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