Starlight #1: Nebula

Starlight is a series I started writing for fun in 2016, written in the “style” of a comic book.  As such, this is not my best writing, but it’s something I had fun doing.

“Stars in His Eyes, Pt I: Nebula”

Cadmus (Narration): I’ve been told I was born, December 7, 1999 in a hospital in the nearest city.

A hospital is shown, from the hallway. There are sounds of a woman crying out, and then somebody says “Its a boy!”

Cadmus: They tell me my name is Cadmus Oliver Way, and that I’ve been raised in this small, small town for my whole life.

A small, midwestern town is shown, filled with farms.

Cadmus: This is the only birth I remember.

The panel is dark. Voices say “Cadmus?” and “Dude, you okay?” A circle of light appears, and a group of concerned boys looking down at the camera in football uniforms becomes visible.

Boy: Coach, he’s up.

The kids part as an older man kneels down and extends a hand to the camera.

Coach: Way, are you okay? Can you hear me?

Full page shot of Cadmus for the first time, a kid with messy black hair and confused brown eyes, being offered a hand by the coach with the group of kids behind him. On this page, Cadmus says:

Cadmus: Who are you?

Boy: Hey you serious–

Other Boy: Nah, he just joking–

Coach: Quiet, both of you!

The coach kneels down and stares into Cadmus’ eyes.

Coach: Son, do you remember me?

Cadmus: No.

Cadmus: No.

Cadmus: I couldn’t remember anything.

Cadmus: They took me to the doctor’s office, telling me I had a concussion. The coach seemed upset- he talked about needing me for a game against the Iron Men. I wasn’t sure what that meant. I would later find out they were a football team, as were we- the South Ridge Hill Hawkeyes.

The doctor finishes inspecting Cadmus, and turns to his concerned parents. His father is a rough looking man, and his mother is a quieter looking woman.

Doctor: It is strange, I’ll tell you that. Besides his loss of memory, it seems to me like he’s in peak condition for a boy his age.

Cadmus: How old am I?

His father shares a look with the doctor.

Cadmus: It was a simple question.

Father: How long will it last, Doctor?

Cadmus: Great, ignore me. That’s cool.

Doctor: We have no way of knowing. *she places a hand on his father’s shoulder* I’m sorry. It could be forever.

Cadmus: …

A tear slips down the father’s cheek. His mother reaches out and places a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

Mother: It will be okay, Michael. He’s still our son.

Cadmus watches, looking detached.

Cadmus: Am I, though?

Cut to a farmhouse.

Cadmus: We returned to what was apparently my home after a few days at the hospital. As far as they could tell, my concussion was gone, but my memory-loss remained.

Cadmus stands in his bedroom, looking around.

Cadmus: Okay…

Cadmus picks up a framed picture of himself and some friends he doesn’t recognize.

Cadmus: These pictures, this room…

Cadmus: *whispers* They’re not mine.

  • Off-panel voice*: Hey, Cad!

Cadmus turns, looking shocked.

Cadmus: Who–?

The newcomer is revealed as a teenage boy with a very short haircut.

Boy: I saw your folks pull up! The Cadster is back!

Cadmus: Who is the Cads-

Cadmus: Oh, I’m the Cadster

There is a panel of an awkward silence.

Boy: You still don’t remember me?

Cadmus: Should I?

Boy: Bro.

Cadmus: *incredulous* Bro?

Boy: Seriously, you don’t remember anything about me?

Cadmus: He looks like a Josh.

Cadmus: Josh?

Boy: *shakes head* I’m your neighbor! Park? Parker?

Cadmus: So not Josh.

Cadmus: Not ringing any bells.

Parker: So you can’t remember the time we snuck into that club?

Cadmus: No.

Parker: Or the time we both asked out the same–

Cadmus: No.

Parker: Or–

Cadmus: I feel like you’re not really getting this.

Parker: …

Parker: I know just what will help jog your memory.

Cadmus: Please don’t be another baby picture, please don’t be another baby picture…

Parker: Booze!

Cadmus: Beg pardon?

Parker: There’s a party at my place tonight. You’ll feel better once you’re reeeeal drunk.

Cadmus: I don’t think that’s how that works.

Parker: My boy Cadmus never turns down a beer–

Cadmus: *upset* Well, I’m not your boy.

Parker: Hey, I get it, you’re heads a little funky from that awesome play from the other day. I mean, it was sweet. That quarterback was so dumb, man. I–

Cadmus: He went on like this for a bit.

Panels are shown of Parker talking to Cadmus, as Cadmus gets progressively less interested.

Cadmus: And by a lot I mean forever.

Cadmus: (Seriously, football is not that interesting).

Panel of Parker leaving as Cadmus waves goodbye.

Parker: Seriously dude, be there!

Cadmus: But finally he left, and it was just me and my thoughts.

Cadmus walks up the stairs back to his room.

Cadmus: My parents said they had work, but part of me suspected that they were just trying to get away from the fact that their son didn’t know who they were anymore.”

Cadmus enters his room and faces the mirror.

Cadmus: What a douche. Who forgets his own parents?

Cadmus squeezes his eyes shut, and a tear trickles out.

Cadmus: Who would do something like that?

Cadmus: I don’t know who I am.

Scene change- the starry void of space. Cadmus drifts, his eyes shut.

Cadmus: What–Where–

His eyes fly open.

Cadmus: What the–

Around him, light zips, forming strange geometric patterns. Cadmus watches, terrified as they form a sort of box around him. Tentatively, he reaches out and touches one of the lines of light. His hand glows a deep blue with stars inside.

Cadmus: Agh!

Cadmus withdraws his hand, and we briefly see the stars reflected in his eyes.

Cadmus: I don’t understand what’s happening.

A shape forms in front of Cadmus, humanoid, its skin the same as Cadmus’ hand had glowed.

Strange Being: You… will… pay…

Cadmus’ eyes fly open for real- it was a dream. He is sitting on his bed, still dressed.

Cadmus: Crap! I fell asleep.

He looks over at the time. It’s 9:00 PM.

Cadmus: This is around when Parker said the party would start.

Cadmus hesitates.

Cadmus: You wanted to connect with your real life, Cad. This is how you do that.

Cut to Cadmus locking up his home, looking nervous.

Cadmus: Here goes.

As Cadmus walks away, a weak voice comes from the cellar doors.

Voice: Help… me…

Cut to the party. Cadmus is standing there, awkwardly, as everyone parties around him.

Cadmus: This is crazy.

Camera cuts to Parker, who is downing a huge jug of liquor.

Crowd: Chug! Chug! Chug!

Cadmus: They’re destroying themselves and they don’t even see it.

Parker falls to the ground, and starts throwing up.

Cadmus: They’re burning out.

Close up on Parker.

Cadmus: Their stars are going out, but they don’t even care because the explosion was so breathtaking.

Cadmus looks horrified. A pretty girl approaches him.

Girl: Hey, Cad! Good to see you’re back!

Cadmus: Great, another one.

Cadmus: Uh, I’m sorry, I don’t know if you’ve heard–

Girl: You can’t remember me, right?

Cadmus: Nope. *rubs back of neck*

Girl: I’m Eliza. We… dated.

Cadmus: We did?

Cadmus: We did?

Eliza: Ha, yeah. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a big thing. You moved on to Nala pretty quickly.

Eliza motions to a girl, who is dancing provocatively and wearing an extremely fashionable yet skimpy outfit. She catches Cadmus’ eye, and blows him a kiss.

Cadmus: Please, no.

Cadmus:…okay.

Eliza: I know everyone’s all freaked out that you lost your memory but– I mean– that seems like its fixable, you know what I’m saying? Not like what happened to Abby.

Cadmus: Abby?

Eliza: Oh, uh… Abby was a girl in our grade until a few months ago. She was a friend of yours back in middle school.

Cadmus: What happened to her?

Eliza:…

Eliza: She committed suicide last year.

Cadmus:…oh.

Eliza:…yeah. It was something.

Cadmus:…

Cut to the exterior of Parker’s house, hours later.

Cadmus: They all burn out, like stars. Was I ever like them? Did it take the destruction of my mind for me to value it?

Cadmus is helping a drunk Parker down the stairs.

Parker: I gotta say bye… nice thing to do…

Cadmus: And then I think I figure it out. This is a gift. It has to be. A wake-up-call, to keep me from becoming like them.

Nala waves goodbye to Cadmus flirtily.

Nala: Bye Cadmus!

Cadmus: Bye…

Cadmus: I think it all makes sense.

There are a few scattered screams. Cadmus turns to see a car hurtling off the road, towards him. Cadmus reaches out unconsciously, and starlike material sprays from his hands.

Cadmus: That’s when I realize I know nothing at all.

NEXT: TAKE FLIGHT!

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