Lab Rat Part 5

Posted: January 15, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

I watch the guy go back inside and I close the lid of the trunk. I’m hoping that people have the good sense to be asleep right now. Noble intentions or not, loading guys into a trunk looks a little sketchy. I use my shirt to wipe down the lid of the trunk and drop the keys down the storm drain. The last thing I need is for these guys to find me. Actually, even though I was helping out the guy who runs the convenience store, I’m pretty sure it’s still illegal to lock someone in the trunk of a car. I don’t want the police to find me either. They’d probably start asking questions I didn’t want to answer. I wipe the trunk down again for good measure, and beat feet.

I head away from my place. I’ve got six hours until sunup and Ally pays me well enough that I care to do a good job. Five chambers left in the injector. I walk a few blocks further and turn the corner. I’ve got to get clear of my own neighborhood before I start tearing things up again. One thing that having random supernatural powers has taught me is that there is a pretty hefty amount of collateral damage. The night air is cool and surprisingly clean. The city almost smells good. I can hear a far off police siren. Every fifty feet or so of the street I’m on is bathed in the yellow light of a streetlamp. Off in the distance, a stoplight blinks red on and off. I keep wandering, and my mind follows suit.

Man, I’ve done some shit tonight already. I killed one guy and wounded two others. The guy I torched was actively mugging me, but I don’t know that he deserved to be burned to death. I know I didn’t decide to kill him, but still. The suits at the corner store probably earned what they got, so I don’t feel too bad about that part. Did Ally know I was going to start using my position as a test subject to play super hero? If so, how? And what would she have done if I went the other way? I’ve seen people be complete assholes simply because there was no one to stop them.

Sometimes I miss delivering Chinese food. I didn’t have to worry about the morality of getting a bunch of white boxes of cat-meat and rice to some family. I didn’t have to sweat the consequences of giving that family the finger when they tipped me seventeen cents. Then again, I’ve already gotten to do more amazing things than most people will do in a lifetime. I’ve flown without an airplane. I’ve moved things with my mind. Tonight, I turned into fire and lived. I wonder if knowing that would make Dad proud. I sigh heavily and look up and down the street. No one around and plenty of testing to be done. I file my concerns away for later and hit the button on the injector.

The pain washes over me and fades away again. I don’t look or feel different. I jump, and land again. It’s not flight, and I’m not made of any unusual material. I stretch my arms as far as they’ll go. Nothing unusual there. I spot a pop can on the curb. I stare at it intently. It reminds me of the time I almost blew my own head off using my bathroom mirror and laser eyes. I look up. The pop can leaps off of the street and hangs in the air in my line of sight. I close my eyes and picture the pop can spinning in the air. I open my eyes and the can is hanging in mid-air. Spinning.

Yesterday was a rough day. We had inventory at work. I broke a tooth at lunch. My paycheck is still five kinds of fucked up. My sales lead quit. I keep going because I know that I’m getting out of here soon. I’m going to leave all this shit behind for just a little bit and I’ll get to be a complete person instead of an empty husk.


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