Lonely Hero

Lonely Hero

A Story by Day

Backstory of my future WebToon about a teen hero. Story told from the POV of the MC's mentor.


Patrolling was so boring during the day. There’s barely any crime so most of my time was spent giving directions or just taking selfies with admirers. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad that the crime rate wasn't high during the day. Less people in danger. But I really had nothing to do until the sun set. And by now, the people of the city had gotten used to me walking around town, waiting for the night crime to start. Lately, I have just been getting a couple friendly nods or hellos instead of mobs of people asking for my autograph. While that was kinda nice, I realized that I had no one to talk to, no one to spend time with. People loved me, but because of my work no one wanted to get too close.

I sighed, putting my hands up behind my head as I walked down the sidewalk. “I really need to find a partner,” I muttered to myself.


I dropped my arms immediately and turned my head around in the direction of the voice. It sounded young and soft with a slight rasp to it. There was also an edge to it. I didn’t know exactly what kind of edge, but it sounded like a mix of annoyance and fear. I scanned the area in the direction the sound came from, trying to locate the source. I spotted an alley at the end of the plaza I was walking by and decided that was the most likely candidate.

I quickly envisioned a map of the block I was on so I could plan a route to get to the alleyway without being seen, just in case something was going down. Looking up at the building I was closest to, a small store with an awning, an easy path came to mind. I stepped out from under the overhang and jumped up, using the awning as a trampoline and launched myself onto the roof of the building. I landed in a roll, jumping to my feet immediately and started to run towards the alley. While the cry really didn’t sound too urgent, it sounded like it could get there, fast. My gut was telling me that it was probably just some kids screwing around.

Maybe I’ll drop down and drop some heroic wisdom on them.

I snickered at the thought. Me giving any kind of advice was hard to believe.

And that’s coming from a superhero with pyrokinesis who fights a mutated monster every other week.

I jogged across the roof, clearing it quickly and effortlessly. I slid to a stop at the edge of the roof and looked down, smiling as I was expecting to see a couple of kids messing around. But my smile faded immediately when I saw what was actually down there.

Down in the alley, there was a man with a gun who had pinned a kid to the wall. The kid looked to be about 10 or 11 and the kid’s backpack was on the ground with the zipper snapped. For a second I couldn’t tell if that was a result of the man or if the broken zipper was always there. It didn’t look like a very good backpack. Truth be told, the kid didn’t look like she was in very good shape either. She looked skinnier than she should be. She had messy and unkempt hair, and her clothes looked like they were hand me downs from her grandparents by the state of them. Dirty and ripped, honestly they looked more like rags than actual clothes. The only normal thing about the kid’s appearance was her hoodie, which looked pretty new. But it was now ruined because alleyways are dirty havens.

The mugger shoved the kid harder against the wall and growled, “You better pray that kid doesn’t go to the cops!”

“I can’t control what she does!” The kid yelled back. I was impressed with the amount of composure she was keeping. Other kids her age would probably be bawling their eyes out if they were being harassed by a grown man with a gun. But this kid looked more annoyed than anything. She was trying to look as tough, but I could see that she was shaking ever so slightly. She was trying to hide her fear and was doing a pretty good job at it. But I’ve seen things like this too many times to miss it.

I wanted to jump down there as soon as I could. Every fiber of my physical and mental being was telling me to. But I’ve been in this hero business long enough to know how to time attacks and defenses. If I jumped down now, the guy could very well shoot the kid before I could stop him. I wasn’t really on board with risking that.

“Just give me your damn wallet!” The mugger grumbled, glancing around. Each word he said sounded like a knife stabbing into a sack of sand. Very intimidating. But the kid didn’t bat an eye.

“I’ve told you already, it’s in my bag!” She responded through gritted teeth. Her voice sounded even, but a type of even that proved that she was hiding the shakiness that was attempting to break through.

The mugger, keeping his gun close to the kid’s face, reached for her backpack on the ground. The kid watched the man as he reached for her bag; she made it look casual like she wasn’t scared of a weapon, but I could tell that she was watching the gun out of the corner of her eye. She was being careful. The mugger grabbed the bag and looked inside, rummaging with one hand for a second before taking out a chunk of leather. It took me a few glances to see that it was a wallet. A very… loved… wallet.

The mugger growled in disapproval and threw the wallet on the ground, going back to the kid and pushing her further against the wall. “Is that seriously it?”

“My family doesn’t have a lot of money…” The kid muttered, looking down at her feet. The mugger sighed in annoyance and loaded his gun. “Then you’re getting a bullet in the leg kid.”

“How is that fair? I literally don’t have anything else!” The girl protested, sneakily shifting her leg into a different position as the mugger lowered his gun from her head. That was when I really saw what she was doing. The position she started in gave the mugger all the power. She had no exits, she had no way to distract the man, she was stuck. But now she was in a position to defend. She had been carefully shifting her body this whole time so she could get into a position to disarm the mugger and duck away.

That is, she could if she wasn’t a child. I forget that not everyone knows how to fight. Which is probably something I shouldn’t forget. Regardless, I was impressed with the kid.

“You made me lose that other kid by "rescuing" them,” the mugger shouted in anger, “This is payback!”

It was time to move. I braced myself to jump down but hesitated as something caught my eye. The girls’ eyes were glowing. Very lightly. So lightly in fact that even if the mugger had the capability to see it, he wouldn’t have. Noticing the glow made me hesitate. I wasn’t expecting it, so naturally it made me pause. But I know part of me was wanting to see if this kid was who I thought she was.

The mugger shifted his hand once and the kid immediately threw her arm up. Her wrist collided with the mugger, and she used her other free arm to knock the gun out of his hand. The mugger looked as surprised as I was. He pulled his hand away and tried to grab the kid’s jacket but she ducked under his hand and kicked him away.

I was in a slight state of shock. This child who looked younger than 10 just disarmed a man three times her size. She also managed to make space between the two, enough for her to run if she wanted to. I say if, because the look in this kid’s eyes proved that she wasn’t running just yet. 

The mugger cursed to himself as he recovered from the kid’s defenses. Once he did, he looked up at her with fiery hatred in his eyes. He raised his arms and started toward her hissing, “You little-!”

Okay, now it was time to act. I took one step back to distribute my weight before running forwards, jumping over the edge of the roof. I cleared most of the gap between the buildings but left enough space for me to kick off of the wall of the next building. I did just that, throwing my leg out after ricocheting off the wall. I tipped my foot to an angle so I wouldn’t break more than a jaw as my boot crashed into the side of the mugger’s face. He stumbled back, holding the side of his face as he attempted to stay on his feet. 

I landed with ease between the kid and the mugger.  As he recovered from my hit, he looked over at me with wide eyes. “T-Tails?” He stammered. Guess I didn’t end up breaking his jaw after all.

“Yup. That’s my name, don’t wear it out,” I grinned. “Normally I would ask for yours, politeness and all. But frankly, I’m a little more interested as to why you decided to spend your day threatening a kid. Mind telling me about that life choice?”

The mugger didn’t answer. He just stared at me in shock. I assumed that he didn’t expect to run into me; low-class criminals like him never did. So whenever I do show up it’s usually a bit of a shock.

The mugger took a step back and I saw him tense up to start running. I didn’t really want to spend time chasing this guy, so I raised my hand and pointed at him. A small stream of fire shot from my finger and hit the ground right behind his foot. The mugger jumped away from the fire, frantically looking from the fire to me.

“I wouldn’t suggest doing what you’re thinking of doing, man,” I warned, kinda bored. I really didn’t like threatening people. Unfortunately that was something that I had to do from time to time. I started walking towards the mugger slowly, trying to get close enough to grab him without giving him a chance to run. “I don’t usually need to use my powers on people like you, I save the fire for people like Cascayde and Talon.” 

Now I was close enough. I raced forward and grabbed the front of the mugger's jacket before he had time to process what I had said. He struggled for a second, then looked up at me with fear all across his face. I gripped his jacket a little harder and said as threateningly as I could, “I will make exceptions depending on the situation. Don’t make this one of those situations.”

The mugger still didn’t say anything. He looked too freaked out to answer me. I rolled my eyes and shifted my feet so I could see the kid while still keeping my eyes on the mugger.

“How old are you, kid?” I asked, keeping a tight hold on the mugger’s shirt so he wouldn’t run. The kid looked up at me, a little taken aback and answered slowly, “Nine…”

I whipped my head back around to the mugger, giving him a look of utter disbelief. “You were seriously going to shoot a nine-year-old, man? A nine-year-old?”

I was a little miffed now. I threw the mugger back against the wall and he grunted as his back collided with it. He rubbed the back of his head and looked up in panic as I stalked towards him, a small trail of fire following me. That tended to happen when I was mad.

“She's just a kid! Now thanks to you, that childhood innocence could be gone forever. I hope you’re happy with yourself!” I was too annoyed to have this guy be conscious while I took him downtown to the station. A swift kick to the head and the mugger was out like a light. I set my foot back down on the cement and shook my head as I looked down at his unconscious body. “Dang adults these days,” I muttered. “NO respect for childhood experiences.”

I looked up from the mugger on the ground and turned my gaze to the kid. She was looking up at me in slight confusion, I could tell she didn’t know whether to say something or stay quiet. I smiled slightly and asked, “You alright kid?”

The kid nodded. “Yes… thanks ma’am.”

“ACK what is that?” I cried. “Don’t call me ma’am that’s… bleugh,” I shuddered at the thought. “Please, just call me Tails.”

“Alright…?” The kid said, bending over as she reached for her backpack. I looked down and spotted the kid’s wallet face down and open on the ground. I bent over to pick it up and as I stood up, the wallet split in half. Guilt set in immediately and I started to freak out. I just broke this kid’s wallet. “Ah shi- kid I am so sorry,” I started, preparing a bigger apology.

“It’s fine,” she responded flatly, holding her hand out. I slowly picked up the other half of the wallet and placed both halves in her hand. She took the halves and sighed as she put them in her backpack pocket. “It happens a lot, I need to get better at sewing.”

“Why do you have a wallet anyway?” I asked. “You’re not even ten yet.”

“Mom doesn’t have time to get me things… I gotta do it so she can work.”

“She doesn’t seem like a great parent,” I said without thinking.

“No!” The kid barked fiercely. I was taken aback with how defensive she got in such a short amount of time. She realized what she had done and lowered her head a bit. “Sorry…” She mumbled. “My mom is great. She just… has to work a lot...”

“Alright, I’m sorry.” A little desperate to change the subject now that I had just insulted this minor’s mother, I motioned to the unconscious mugger on the ground. “That guy said something about you helping some other kid get away. Is that what happened?”

The kid nodded.

“Alright, can you tell me what happened?”

She nodded again. “We were walking from school… It was Marnie’s last day and she wanted to walk home with me. That guy,” the kid nodded to the man on the ground. “He grabbed Marnie and pulled her into the alley. He pointed the gun at me and told us not to scream or he’d shoot us.”

I pushed my anger down as I listened. It really ticked me off that a grown man threatened a couple of nine-year-olds.

“I kicked him in the shin so he would let go of Marnie,” The kid continued. “He did, I told Marnie to go and she ran.”

“Alright,” I said slowly, nodding my head. “Then what?”

The kid looked up at the roof, the exact spot I was watching from. “You were up there, weren’t you? You saw.”

“Ye-es…. But how’d you know that?” I knew for a fact the kid never looked up, and even if she did my position would’ve made it impossible for her to see me. The kid shrugged as she stood up. “I just… sensed you, I guess.”

That did it. I smiled slightly and asked. “What else can you do?”

The kid looked confused for a second. “What do you mean? Doesn’t everybody sense when people are near?”

“Not that accurately,” I grinned. “You can do other things though, can’t you?”

The kid shuffled her feet awkwardly. That made me think: On one hand, I don’t want to push this kid to say things she doesn’t want to tell. But on the other, I really wanted to know if I just found a protege of sorts. I could certainly use one nowadays...

“I can… feel people. I guess.” The kid mumbled finally. She looked a little unsettled, which I wouldn’t blame her for at this point. “Like, their heartbeats. The vibrations they make when they move. Sometimes if I concentrate I can see them in a negative space.”

I kept a friendly face as I screamed in my head, THAT’S SO COOL I WISH I COULD DO THAT!

“That all?” I asked.

“I think so,” the kid nodded.

“Right… you have noticed that you don’t make sound when you move, right?”

The kid looked down at her feet, confused. She stomped her foot on the ground and her eyes widened in surprise when no sound was emitted from her action. She shuffled away from the area and tried stomping the ground a few feet away from the spot she stomped earlier. I watched her do this a couple times before she finally accepted that I was right.

The kid lowered her foot for a last time and glanced up at me, eyes wide with concern. “Is that… bad?” She asked wearily.

“Not at all.” I replied.

Just means I totally won’t be alone anymore.

While I wasn’t planning to actually have a child fight crime with me, it didn’t mean I couldn’t help her figure herself out first. I walked over to the kid and got down on one knee so I could be at her level. “What’s your name, kid?”

“Levi,” She responded quietly, uncertain of why I had asked.

“Nice to meet you Levi,” I smiled, holding my hand out. “I’m Len.”

© 2021 Day

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Added on July 24, 2021
Last Updated on July 24, 2021
Tags: superhero, originstory, fiction, powers, superpowers, crime, comic, shortstory, city, hero, villain, supervillain



Hiya I'm a young writer who mostly dabbles in action/adventure types of stories! more..

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