Sunday, March 26, 2017

Catman #2

Catman and Jack put on boxing gloves. “I’ve been a member of the Order since I was 18. My old man was also a member. I was never big on groups like that,” Jack said. “A lot of the members are weirdoes. Yeah, some of them use the Order to further themselves or their beliefs but most of them just use the Order to get their jollies. It’s like a present-day Sodom and Gomorrah.”

“It sounds like even if I get Priest Andreij, the Order will just find a new leader,” Catman said.

The two of them stepped into the ring, Jack holding the ropes open for Catman. “It will continue in some form or another,” he sighed. “I don’t know much about it but I would assume it started with noble intentions. Know anything about boxing?”

“A little,” Catman said. “I’ve been to a few gyms and my Dad was a boxing fan.”

A fist landed on Catman’s cheek close to the nose. “Five minutes or until knockout,” Jack said as they began circling each other in the ring. “The clock is on the east wall. Fight,” Jack shouted and the match began.

The two men’s feet scuffled across the canvas of the ring. The gloves occassionally hit each other but mostly they hit body. Despite Catman’s stamina and abilities, Jack was a much better boxer and within a couple of minutes, Catman’s lip had a small split in it. After just over four minutes, a downward jab sent Catman to the mat.

“Knockout,” Catman said with a laugh in his throat.

“Really? You barely went down,” Jack said.

“I know when I’m beat,” Catman stood up and took the gloves off. “Besides, the remaining twenty seconds won’t change the fact that you’re going to beat me.”

“Look, about the Order,” Jack began “I wish I could be more help but I never really got into them. I can point you in the direction of a really bad member. They call him the Toy-Man because he uses toys to gain the trust of little kids.”

Catman shuddered. “Where can I find him?”

“The old Embassy tenement on MacVicar. His apartment has a giant stuffed bear in the window.”

Catman stood on a building across the street from the Embassy Building. He stared directly at the teddy bear in the window. The bear was slightly faded from being in the window for God knows how long.

According to Jack, the Toy-Man was sheltered from the law by the Order. He had molested nearly a hundred young kids, both male and female. He had even killed a couple and had gotten away with all of it. It was time to end this man’s streak of good luck.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Incredible Comics #15

The experimental airplane was to make its journey from Golden City, where the prototype was built, to Chicago and then Kansas City, Denver, Las Vegas, and, finally, Los Angeles. Aboard the plane were about two dozen people including Senators from Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nevada, and California, reporters from Golden City, Chicago, and Los Angeles and the people that made the plane possible. From the Golden City Herald, reporter Ronald Kent and photographer Gail Porter sat in the fifth row of seats. Gail had taken pictures of just about everything imaginable despite only one or two pictures actually going to be used.

The flight from Golden City to Chicago had gone well and, so far, Chicago to Kansas City had gone just as smooth. Until it didn’t. Over the town of Duquesne, Iowa, one of the props had gone out and the plane began losing altitude. Working in the fields, Harold Banner saw what was happening. He only had seconds to act. Harold ran into the house and to an upstairs bedroom. Inside a desk drawer, Harold took out a small sundial and slipped it on his wrist. His regular clothes were replaced with a bright blue and gold uniform with a gold cowl and cape. He then set the sundial and everything stopped, except for him.

As Time Man, he flew out of the house and toward the failing plane. He positioned himself under the plane, ready to catch it and glide it down for a safe landing. He unfroze time and took hold of the plane. He gently floated the plane down into a field and everyone on board began exiting. Gail began taking picture after picture of their savior.

Overwhelmed by the people from the plane and a gathering crowd from town, Time Man flew away. “We need to get this news and pictures back to the Herald as soon as possible,” Ronald said to Gail. “After more than a year, Time Man is back.”

“I don’t see what the problem is,” Ellie said to Harold at dinner. “Do you want to become Time Man again?”

“Yes and no. I loved being Time Man but I love the life that we have here.”

“You can’t be Time Man in Duquesne?”

“I could but I’d be of better use in Golden City.”

“We could go back. You still have the Fix-It Shop. We could live upstairs until we found a place.”

“Do you want to go back?”

“I’m happy here,” Ellie said, and she took a bite of food. “But I was happy in Golden City, too.”

Resnicek’s Fix-It Shop looked just like Harold left it a year ago. He unlocked the front door and he and Ellie, who was carrying Maggie, went inside. Again, everything was exactly how Harold left it. “We can look for a bed later and redo the upstairs to make it more homey. We’ll need to because there’s nothing like a kitchen up there or a bathroom or anything like that.”

“We’ll figure it out. We always do,” she gave Harold’s cheek a peck. “But first, you should let Golden City that you’re back.”

“Are you sure? I mean, we just got here. We have work to do around here,” Harold said.

“Just go,” Ellie smiled.

Harold took the wrist sundial out of his pocket and slipped it on his wrist. He turned into Time Man and then went upstairs, through the roof access and out over the city. “Hello, Golden City,” he said. “I’m back.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tauy Creek Digest #34: Rubble

"What's the deal with that church?" Jodie asked Wyatt as they put their clothes back on.

"You don't know?" It had been awhile since he had met someone who hadn't heard of the legends of this church, especially from someone who lives in the area.

Jodie shook her head.

"It's the old Lutheran church. It was abandoned about 80 years ago. People say that it's haunted or that the Devil lives there. I've lived across the street from it for 18 years and I haven't seen anything odd over there. Do you want to go check it out?"

"Sure," Jodie agreed.

They walked hand-in-hand across the road and into the churchyard. The church was much more imposing than it was when seen at Wyatt's house. They slowly walked around the church, she gently touched the almost-smooth limestone. She looked through the gaping holes where the windows used to be and saw piles of fallen stone, wood beams, and other debris filling the interior of the church. Jodie imagined what the interior looked like--the pews, the pulpit--she also wondered what the windows looked like before their disappearance. Were they regular windows? Stain glass? Were they broken out or carefully removed?

"Isn't your family pretty religious?" Wyatt asked.

"We are," she hesitated slightly. "We were."

"What happened?"

"Just disagreement and personal stuff between my family and the church. We decided to take a break. My parents still occasionally go but to the Methodist church in town. They take my sister but I don't go."

"Aren't you some sort of weird religion?"

Jodie chuckled. "We're German Baptist."

"Isn't that, like, one step up from Amish?"

"You could say that. My family doesn't follow all of the Brethren practices. We have television, for example. We used to be devout when I was really young but when we moved from the country into town, we kind of had to adapt."

"Is that why you sometimes wear those denim dresses?"

"Yes, usually when I don't have pants to wear."

"Well, it's a huge turn on so keep wearing them," Wyatt smiled.

Jodie laughed out loud. "I will. Don't worry."

They stopped walking and Wyatt turned to look at Jodie. He looked at her and smiled big at her. They had been going to school together since the third grade and had been friends since middle school. Wyatt gently touched Jodie's cheek and she leaned her head to meet it. "I love you," he said. The words just came out. He had just lost his virginity to her and he was already professing his love. He immediately began worrying about what Jodie's response would be and how to deflect what he had said.

"I love you, too," she replied. Wyatt was the nicest guy she knew and had ever dated. She was happy that she had been the one he lost his virginity to, something he would think fondly about in the future. Jodie had lost her virginity in the abandoned boy's locker room of the middle school late in her eighth grade year. She didn't want to do it but was talked into it. She stared up at the ceiling while her boyfriend pounded into her for a few minutes until he released himself into the condom that they practically had to fight over to get him to wear. He also attended the Old German Baptist Church and during a week-long retreat that following summer, after rejecting his advances on the second day, he raped her on the third. That was the main reason her family separated themselves from the church. The church wanted to cover it up, she wanted him gone. She then had to see him at church and at school until his mom pulled him from public school because the stress of being accused of rape was too much for him. She still saw him at church, at least until she finally quit. The day she said she was going to stop attending was the day she started to move on.

Wyatt slid his hand around to the back of Jodie's head. They leaned against the back church wall and began kissing. They kissed for almost a solid minute when they parted and began walking again. They walked hand-in-hand through the cemetery, looking at the dozen or so graves.

Several Schones--Albert, Frederick, Myrtle, Henry. Two stones with no name, just INFANT--Kneisel and Thomen. Two other Kneisels were nearby but no other Thomens. A husband and wife--Adam and Martha Willich--had the largest stone. Another husband and wife--Alexander and Sophia Schmidt--had the second largest stone. None of the stones predated 1901 or went past 1911.

None of the stones had flowers or anything nearby and Jodie wondered if anyone remembered these people. One hundred years from now, would anyone remember her?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Treehouse of Horror

Episode Number 7F04 (#216)
Created by Matt Groening; Developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Executive Producers James L. Brook, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Starring Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Harry Shearer
Special Guest Voice James Earl Jones

Bart, Lisa and Maggie are up in the treehouse telling each other scary stories for Halloween. Unimpressed with Lisa's tale, Bart tells two of his own--a story where the Simpsons buy a cursed house and a story where the Simpsons are abducted by aliens who might be trying to eat them. Lisa follows up Bart's stories with a reading of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" which Bart doesn't find scary at all. The kids go to bed sure they will have no trouble getting to sleep. Meanwhile, Homer had been eavesdropping on them the whole time and is now too scared to go sleep. As Marge turns off the light, Homer laments to himself that he "hates Halloween" as a wolf howls in the background.

written by John Swartzwelder; directed by Wes Archer

The Simpsons have just bought a beautiful older home for pennies on the dollar. Unfortunately, the walls bleed, there's a vortex in the kitchen, and there's a disembodied voice telling Bart, Lisa, Maggie, and Homer to kill each other. Marge just wants to leave but Homer convinces them to sleep on it and see how they feel about their cursed house in the morning. Marge gets fed up after finding her family circling each other with knives in their hands in the middle of the night. They then discover the ancient Indian burial ground in the basement and Marge tells the house that they live there now so it'll just have to get used to it.

The house ponders this for a bit but opts to destroy itself rather than live with the Simpsons. "You can't help but feel a little rejected," Lisa says as they walk away.

written by Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky; directed by Rich Moore

The Simpsons are outside, barbecuing, with Homer putting way too much lighter fluid into the grill. After an amazing fireball, an alien spaceship appears and beams each of the Simpsons up. They soon meet their tentacled abductors, Kang and Kodos, and all they want to do is please the Simpsons and they do that by stuffing their faces full of the finest cuisine.

Lisa begins feeling suspicious about the Rigilians and she should because they are acting rather suspicious. After finding a book titled "How To Cook Humans", it's soon discovered that it's a book called "How To Cook for Forty Humans" and the Simpsons are returned to Earth for distrusting the aliens.

written by Edgar Allan Poe and Sam Simon; directed by David Silverman

In a direct adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's classic poem, Bart is portrayed as the raven while Homer is the lead character. James Earl Jones narrates. The story follows a raven harassing a man who is lamenting the loss of his beloved Lenore. Demanding to know what the raven is doing and why it is there, the raven only replies "Nevermore!", driving the man insane.

Random Observations

  • This was the first episode that showed me what you could do with animation. "The Raven" segment really impressed and got me interested in Poe, eventually buying his complete works and reading every single word of it. Great inspiration in those pages. I highly suggest picking up a copy.
  • This is also the very first Treehouse of Horror which would become an ongoing Halloween event every year. The episode gives the writers, directors and producers freedom to do stories they can't normally do in an average episode.
  • When the movers are done moving the Simpsons into their bad dream house, Homer tips them a dollar. "A buck," the mover says. "Glad there's a curse on this place."
  • Marge goes into the kitchen and notices a swirling thing in the wall. "Homer? What's this thing in the wall?" The casual delivery is great. There are some amazing line reads in this episode that shows that a lot of what made The Simpsons one of the greatest shows on television is the voice acting. It's very rare to have a voice cast this amazing and it's one of the few voice casts where everything is perfect--you can't change the actor and still have the same effect.
  • The family is about to leave the house and Homer is trying to convince them to stay: "It's a fixer-upper. What's the problem? We get a bunch of priests in here..."
  • The house is telling the family to grab a weapon and kill each other. Lisa is told to grab a butcher knife which is in her bedside table.
  • Sure, the house may be built on an ancient Indian burial ground, but the graves all look untouched.

  • Lisa, after the house destroyed itself: "It chose to destroy itself rather than live with us."
  • I've always loved how much lighter fluid Homer sprays into the grill. I love the callback to this scene years later in "Lisa the Vegetarian."
  • Kang: "Grow large with food." Another great line and great read.
  • Kang and Kodos get over a million channels on their spaceship but HBO still costs extra.
  • Homer opens his chamber door to reveal "...Darkness there, and nothing more." Bart: "You know what would've been scarier than nothing?"
    Lisa: "What?"
    Bart: "Anything!"
  • Lisa, after Bart is unaffected by Edgar Allan Poe: "It was written in 1845. Maybe people were easier to scare back then."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Supercomics #2

Alix Kincaid staggered into her apartment on Essex Street in New York City. As she walked down the hall, she removed her shoes, pants, and belly shirt, leaving them in a trail down the hall. She grabbed an oversized t-shirt in her room and put it on then collapsed on her bed. She had just fallen asleep when the alarm went off. She ignored it and let it beep.

“Alix! Can’t you hear that?” her mom shouted from the doorway. “You need to get up. You’re not missing school again.”

Alix slowly rose from the bed and stood up. She turned her back to her mother and removed her shirt, grabbing another one from the floor.

“You should really wear a bra,” her mother said.

“My boobs, my rules,” Alix said.

“What time did you get home?”

“I don’t know. Late.”

“What were you doing out so late?”

“Mom,” Alix looked straight at her mother’s eyes. “I’m not gonna lie to you. What’s for breakfast?” Alix walked past her mom and back down the hall where her clothes were still laying.

“Don’t avoid the question, Alix!” her mom shouted.

“Why does it matter where I was? Nothing bad happened and I came home.”

“It matters because no matter what you think I care about you and love you. I am your mother!”

“I know. You keep reminding me,” Alix rolled her eyes. “There’s nothing to eat here. Can I have a couple bucks to buy breakfast?” she asked, eyeing her mom’s purse.

“I guess. But just take the five. I want you to come right home after school, okay? I’ll make a good dinner and we can talk.”

“Talk? About what?”

“Just talk. We never talk anymore…” she brushed Alix’s short black hair from her eyes.

“We never talked before,” Alix interrupted.

“Regardless. Right after school.”

“So I’m beginning to think those pills Paolo gave us last night were fake,” Traci said, standing outside the stall in the girl’s bathroom at school. “I mean, I started coming down pretty quickly after I took them and normally I get a pretty good buzz going that lasts. Last night I just didn’t feel it as much as I usually do. Jesus, what are you doing in there?”

“They were real Traci, I can vouch for Paolo. Also,” she opened the door to the stall, “what the hell would I be doing in here?”

“I dunno. I’ve seen a lot of things happening in a bathroom,” Traci shrugged.

“Come on. Let’s go outside. I need a smoke.”

Outside, Alix and Traci sat on the basketball court watching some boys play basketball. Alix was slowly smoking her cigarette. “My mom wants to ‘talk’ when I get home. She wants to make a nice dinner and have a mother-daughter conversation,” Alix said.

“How dare she,” Traci said.

“It could be worse,” Alix said, exhaling smoke. “She could want to take me to the mall.”

The girls stood up and began walking back to the school. A basketball flew through the air and hit Alix on the side of the head.”

“Ow!” she screamed.

“Nice catch,” said one of the boys.

“That hurt, Diego!” Alix yelled angrily.

“Not like there’s anything up there to hurt,” Diego scoffed. A couple of his friends chuckled.

“Look Traci,” Alix held up the basketball, “we now have proof that Diego has at least one ball.”

Diego got in Alix’s face and smirked. “I didn’t hear you complaining a couple weeks ago.”

Alix took one last drag on her cigarette and threw it down. “I didn’t have to complain. The bored look on my face said it all.” And she exhaled the smoke in Diego’s face.

Diego stared at Alix as she smiled at him. “Bitch!” he said as he slapped her across the face. Diego turned around. “Come on, guys. Let’s go in.”

Alix felt the warm area where Diego slapped her and got angrier with every passing second. Traci walked over to her and held her. Alix began screaming and running toward Diego. She then punched Diego square in the back. Traci shuddered at the sound of the crack. Diego fell to the ground. Traci saw what had happened and began screaming.

Alix noticed what she did and began crying. She saw a couple of teachers and security officers running toward her. Alix began panicking and ran away in the other direction.

“If Alix comes home, please give us a call,” the police officer said, handing Alix’s mom a business card. “We need to get a statement from her. We’re not sure if the boy will ever walk again or if his parents are going to press charges.”

“Thank you, officer. I wish I knew where she ran off to,” Alix’s mom glanced at the card and sighed. The officer tipped his hat and she shut the door. She went into the kitchen where the table was set and dinner hot and ready. She sat down to prepare to eat. “Damn it, Alix.”

There was a knock at the door. Alix’s mom got back up and opened the door. There was a young boy standing in the hallway.

“Yes? Is this about Alix?”

The kid pulled a gun from his jacket and began shooting at her. Three shots were fired. One went into her leg, the other into her shoulder, and the third into her stomach. She fell to the floor and the kid ran away. Blood poured out of her wounds and pooled beneath her.

Alix ran into the hospital and into her mom’s room in the intensive care unit. She was sobbing and having a hard time catching her breath. “Oh, Mom! I’m so sorry. That should’ve been me. I should’ve came right home. I am so, so sorry. You’ll never forgive me for this and you shouldn’t have to. I am so sorry. Mom, I love you…” she cried on her Mom for several minutes until a nurse escorted her out of the room.

Half an hour later, Alix stood on the edge of a tall tenement, still crying and looking out over the city. Alix braced herself, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. “I’ll see you soon, Daddy,” she whispered.

“It’s not that bad,” someone said behind her, a hand on her shoulder. “Your mother will be all right. You are much stronger than you think. In more ways than one.”

“What are you talking about?” Alix asked.

“Come down off the ledge and I’ll tell you,” Dmitri helped Alix off the ledge and put a coat around her. “We’ve been watching you, Alix. You have a special gift which you demonstrated on that poor boy earlier today.”

“Please don’t remind me,” Alix said.

“I would like to enlist you into an elite team of superheroes. We need your powers to find and stop someone,” Dmitri said.

“What about my Mom? What about Diego?”

“The government will gladly take care your mom both in the hospital and out. She will recover fully. As for Diego, we will pay his medical expenses but we have convinced his parents that they shouldn’t pursue anything legal and we are currently infiltrating and disbanding the street gang that he was a part of. They are no longer a threat to your mom or the neighborhood in general.”

“Who are you?” Alix asked suspiciously.

“I am Dmitri Sylvester. Let’s find someplace warmer and talk.”

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ipomoea #4

"We’re going to die,” Rizzo groaned.

“We’re all going to die,” Sabrina replied.

“No, I meant soon.”

“We will be fine. Cardy and Robot will realize something is wrong and come look for us.”

“In an hour, those terraforming charges go off. The atmosphere gets warmer, the ice melts, and we plunge into a newly created ocean.”

“We don’t know that. The planet may be all land and all the water will pool into a basin or something.”

“I wish I could be that optimistic,” Rizzo said. “Where do you get that from? Neither Mom or Dad were like that.”

“Mom had her moments but I think I get it from Aunt Sonja. She was eternally optimistic. Even about the cancer that eventually killed her,” Sabrina said. “You should take the officer’s exam.”

“Me? Why?”

“Well, for one thing, you wouldn’t be trapped on this planet waiting to die.”

“No. But I would be dead.”

“Good point,” Sabrina nodded. “Still, you should take it. You’re smart and you actually know how stuff works.”

“A guy like me isn’t going to become an officer,” Rizzo scoffed. “I didn’t go to college.”

“But you know how these terraforming things work. I’m not saying you become a colonel or commander but officer, private, corporal at least.”

“Did you know that my career and life planning teacher called me a failure?”

“No,” Sabrina gasped slightly. “Ms. Segundis? Why?”

“I don’t know. What would cause any teacher to say that to one of their students?”

“I know that you had problems in school. I didn’t really know how bad it was,” Sabrina said.

“I nearly dropped out but my hatred of Assistant Principal Stokeler made me stay.”

“Stokeley was an ass. What’d he do to upset you?”

“I was doing bad in, like, all my classes. He called me in to talk to me about my grades and attendance and asked me what I wanted to do after graduation. I said ‘circus roustabout’ and instead of encouraging me to aim higher, he spoke down to me and encouraged me to get out of the way so the other kids could learn.”

“That seems harsh,” Sabrina said. “Wait, you said ‘circus roustabout’ despite being in high school after the Ferris Wheel Massacre and Great Clown Uprising destroyed the circus industry?”

“It was a joke.”

“What did you want to do?”

“I was 17. I didn’t really know. Maybe a musician,” he shrugged.

“You don’t know how to play an instrument,” Sabrina responded.

“Yes, I know that, Mr. Stokeley.”

“Just so you know, it wasn’t easy being your younger sister in high school. Teachers dreaded me being in their class and I had to constantly keep proving myself. Even when they knew that I was nothing like you, they still treated me like Lester.”

“I’m 27 now and if Mr. Stokeley asked me what I wanted to be now I still wouldn’t have any idea,” Rizzo said. “Then I’d punch him in the face.”

Sabrina let a loud laugh escape. “So how’d you end up here?” she asked. “It’s not because you wanted to look out for me and it’s not because of Lisa Yates.”

Rizzo sighed. “Remember when I was dating Nicole?”

“Yeah, you really loved each other. When you two broke up, it was really a surprise.”

“Not to me. She had this friend that she would constantly talk to and I always joked that they might as well date and Nicole always reassured me that they were just friends. Then one day, Nicole wrote me a letter that Ryan was shipping out and that she was going with him and they were getting married.”

“We all thought that you were going to marry her. We all really liked her.”

“I liked her, too. So I wandered around for a bit and when you were going to ship out, I decided to do the same thing that Nicole did. Ship out with you.”

“I’m not marrying you, Lester,” Sabrina rolled her eyes.

“You’ll cave someday,” Rizzo said. “By the way, guess who Ryan worked for?”

“Oh my God. Really? Did he work for us?”

“Different ship but yeah. He actually has your job.”

“So you became what you hate.”

“So much hate. I honestly hope that Nicole and Ryan’s ship goes through a wormhole and that they aren’t off-ship,” Rizzo said. “Was high school really that hard for you?”

“It wasn’t terrible. It got tiring constantly being compared to you. And I got compared to you on everything. Even hair.”

Rizzo thought for a second about his hair. His hair back in high school was long and stringy. Her hair was long but taken care of. “Is that why you shaved your head your junior year?”

“I didn’t shave my head. I cut off all of my hair. There’s a difference.”

Thoooom! What sounded like an explosion shook the Blue Dwarf.

“Well, we’re boned,” Rizzo exclaimed.

“At least we’re spending our last moments together as a family. Who else in our situation could say that?”

“Who else has ended up in our situation?”

Orion III?” Sabrina said.

Orion III,” Rizzo scoffed. “Duh, I want to send a bunch of people to die on a mission to Mars because it will prove how amazing of a president I am,” he mocked. “Idiot,” he scoffed again.

“Yeah, they’re in here,” Cardy said, coming into the hold. Robot followed behind.

“Cardy,” both Rizzo and Sabrina exclaimed. She ran up to hug him.

“No time for thanks, right now. Those charges are going off. We need to get back to the ship.”

The four of them loaded themselves into Blue Dwarf III and quickly pulled away from the ground and into the air. As Rizzo and Sabrina looked out to where the Blue Dwarf I was, the land underneath split open but the ship remained. Thunderstorms were starting to form and soon--maybe in a few thousand years--life would form.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Classic Magic #3

The control of fire by early humans was a turning point in the cultural aspect of human evolution. As early ancestors saw, from various lightning strikes, wildfires, and accidental inflammation, fire could provide warmth, protection, and light. Being able to control fire encouraged early humans to move beyond the familiar and proceed into the unknown.

Early humans gained control of fire roughly 400,000 years ago but some evidence indicates some may have controlled it 1 to 1.5 million years ago. But if we were to go further back, back about 2.5 million years ago, we'd find a small tribe of homo habilis living in an area of what would become Tanzania. In this tribe, there were about 60 habilii, the males and females almost even with each other. One the tribesmen, possibly the first of his kind, waved his hand over a pile of dried sticks and started a fire.

It was slightly cold and he had noticed his mate, pregnant with their child, shivering as she slept. He had discovered this ability by accident while hunting. It scared him but when it happened two more times, he thought that he had been given a great gift. Aside from the glowing warmth, he found that he could move things without touching or holding them. If he concentrated really hard, he could pick himself off of the ground. He didn't know how these abilities would help him or his mate or his tribe but he was sure they would appreciate what he could do.

His mate rolled over and saw the flames as she sleepily opened her eyes. She stood up quickly, still screaming, and began trying to stamp out the fire with her bare feet. He ran over to her, trying to explain what that was and what he could do. She stopped screaming when he hugged her and stroked her hair but she was still in a panic.

Their neighbors had rushed over fearing the worst but only saw the couple standing next to the smoldering sticks. They wanted to know what was happening. He knelt down and began explaining, as best he could, but it was still confusing. Finally, he demonstrated. He waved his hand over the sticks and a fire started. His mate jumped back, scared of what her lover had just done. The others jumped back as well and ran off in a panic.

He sighed dejectedly, putting out the fire by dousing it with sand and dirt. He walked over to his mate and touched her shoulder. He grunted an apology and left their dugout to go hunting.

That night, he and his mate slept. Their neighbors gathered in the communal circle and communicated distress to each other. They gathered at the opening to the couple's dugout with sticks and rocks. They quietly walked in. He was asleep, facing the doorway but didn't awake. A neighbor with a stick made the first strike. Another neighbor, with another stick, made a second blow. The man was awake trying to fend off the attack and explain himself through grunts. A third neighbor finally struck with a rock drawing blood.

The man yelled in pain and terror. His mate woke up and scooted away, scared for her life and of her baby's. She watched in fear as the neighbors bludgeoned the man that she lived with, cared for, and mated with. Within minutes, her mate was just a bloody carcass. One of the neighbors approached her cautiously and held out his hand. She took it and, through grunts, explained why they did what they did. She nodded sadly and went with the other man and left the dugout.

The abilities of this unfortunate homo habilis will live on through his mate and his child. She will give birth two months from now and that child will live to have their own children. Those children and their children would eventually evolve to become homo erectus and then homo sapiens, continuing the magical abilities started by this unknown homo habilis.

The magic would spread to other families and continue for centuries all because of this one man who would become unknown to his descendants and to history.