Starlight #6: Touch & Go

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.

We open on a rainy day, outside a shambling house by the marsh. Inside, a girl is sobbing, clutching herself.

Girl: I’m s-so sorry…

She glances at a picture of herself and a blonde-haired boy in a varsity jacket. Her face cracks.

Girl: I can’t, anymore.

She picks up a knife, quivering. We cut to outside, as thunder cracks. Briefly, we return to the interior, the picture stained with blood.

Cad: This isn’t what I wanted, not by a long shot.

We cut to the exterior of the high school, another day. School is letting out, and Cad is nervously heading towards the locker room.

Cad: After everything I’ve been through? Football sounds like the worst idea ever.

He glances behind him towards Parker, who is chatting while moving towards the same destination. He is beside a blonde haired boy- the same guy from the picure.

Cad: But I sort of owe Parker one.

Cad reaches the locker room, where a bunch of guys are changing. One of them pats Cad on the back as he passes, and the Captain, Andrew, grins at him.

Andrew: Cad, hey!

Cad gives Andrew a nervous thumbs up.

Cad: We’ll see how this pans out.

Cad nervously begins changing into the unfamiliar gear.

Cad: I can’t even remember how half this stuff works.

Unfamiliar Voice: Little lost, there?

Cad looks up to see two guys we don’t recognize- A freckled ginger dude with long, messy hair, and a hispanic dude with short, clipped hair.

Cad:…Is it that obvious?

Short Hair: Unfortunately, dude.

Ginger: Not a big deal. Just flip those around and put those on before you bother with the gloves.

Cad:…Thanks.

There’s a brief silence.

Ginger: …You don’t remember us, do you? Damn, sorry.

Short Hair: I’m Ernie. This is my brother Ewan.

Cad:…Brother?

Ewan: Er, I’m adopted.

Cad: …Cool.

Another awkward silence.

Cad: This is a strong start!

We cut to the school library, where Hunter is finishing up at a computer. As he rises, he is distracted by something nearby: Eliza is cleaning up her things, listening to ranting from the girl who accused Cad in issue… um… I want to say 2 or 3?

Girl: Come on, Eliza. I can’t believe you’re falling for this.

Eliza: He’s different now.

Girl: The Hell he is. He’s just trying to get back in your head because he knows people were starting to realize what he did.

Eliza: We don’t know he did anything.

Girl: He got Abby killed!

Eliza pauses. She takes a deep breathe and turns toward the girl.

Eliza: Meg. You know I miss Abby too. She was my best friend. But… God, this is such a weird world we live in these days. What’s crazier- my teacher getting murdered right in here, a star-powered vigilante literally descending from the sky to stop the murderer, or Cad getting a bad concussion?

Meg scoffs.

Meg: Whatever, Ellie. Don’t come running back to me when he screws you over.

A distraught Eliza watches Meg stalk away as Hunter watches, fascinated.

We return to the football field, where the team is running drills. Parker is sticking by Cad.

Parker: You okay?

Cad: I’m fine.

Cad: The superpowers are helping, at least. Is that cheating? Maybe. Whatever. I’m not doing this for me.

Parker: Nice. The team treating you alright?

Cad: Did you suddenly become my Mom?

Parker: Just concerned, dude. Andrew is chill, but some of these guys can be douchebags.

Voice, Off-Screen: You run like a girl, Ortega!

Parker: Ah, there’s Kenny, proving my point.

We glance over to see the blonde boy running past Ewan, slapping his butt.

Cad: What’s his deal?

Parker: He’s a good dude. Just a bit of a blowhard. You feel?

Cad: I mean, so was I, apparently, so I can’t judge.

The whistle blows. The team clusters around the coach.

Coach: Alright boys, today we’ll be running…

His dialogue devolves into meaningless formulas. Cad blinks.

Cad: I understand none of this.

Coach: …and then we’ll cool down. Everyone good? Good.

Everyone starts to drift apart, leaving a confused Cad standing there.

Kenny: Yo, sleeping beauty, come on! Offense is this way!

Cad: I should’ve stayed in that scary ass lab.

We take a momentary break to cut to FlyCo, where Dr. Evelyn Shropp is watching footage on some monitors of Starlight taking down the Stardust Killer.

Dr. Shropp: Unbelievable. He really thinks this will stop us.

Unknown Voice: Dr. Shropp?

Dr. Shropp turns, surprised, to see a suited man in shades.

Dr. Shropp: Can I help you?

Unknown Man: Yes, actually. I’ve been assigned to your current project.

Dr. Shropp: *frowns* This project is heavily classified.

Unknown Man: So am I.

He takes a seat on a stool, looking relaxed.

Unknown Man: Tell me, Dr. Shropp… what do you know about this Starlight kid?

Dr. Shropp: He’s not a kid.

Unknown Man: So nothing.

Doctor Shropp grimaces.

Unknown Man: Well, here’s what I know, Evelyn… All of this. It was predicted.

Dr. Shropp: By who?

Unknown Man: Have you ever heard of the organization “Twilight”?

Cad: I’m screwed.

We return to football practice, which let’s just say, is not going well. Cad fumbles balls, screws up drills, etc. in a series of awkward panels.

Player: No, Cad! That way!

Cad: Me, Way?

Player: No, you’re going the wrong–

That player is tackled, and Cad winces.

Cut to:

Other player: Wait, you don’t remember how to throw a football?

Cad: It’s not exactly intuitive.

Other player: It’s a ball! You throw it!

Cad: If it’s a ball, why isn’t it round!

Cad: They’re going to kill me.

The coach blows his whistle, and the kids reconvene.

Coach: Great practice, everyone. Now, as for the next few games, we need to talk about–

Kenny: Is nobody else going to say it?

Andrew: Ken–

Coach: Excuse me, Queens? Say what?

Kenny: Way is a joke. No way you’re leaving him on the roster. We’re playing Glendale this weekend. You need your best out there.

There’s a chorus of agreement.

Cad: I don’t know why this stings. He’s right. I don’t belong–

Andrew: Shut it, Queeny!

Andrew suddenly strides to the center of the group, shoving Kenny aggressively.

Andrew: I’m so sorry Way got a little concussed covering our asses during our last game! Is that inconvenient for you? Does that make you scared? Well, tough. Cad is one of us.

Ewan: Yeah, ***face. Why don’t you ever to help instead of whining like a baby?

Cad: Guys, I–?

Andrew: No, Cad. It’s okay.

Andrew places a hand on his shoulder.

Andrew: I don’t care if you need a few weeks, a few months, or a few lifetimes to get back on your feet. You’ll always have a home with the Hawkeyes. We’re brothers.

We cut to Cad getting out of the shower.

Cad:…I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect Andrew to rally for me, let alone Ewan and Ernie. Maybe this team won’t be so bad after all.

The doorbell rings.

Cad: Hm?

Still toweling off from his shower, Scout opens the door to reveal Nala.

Nala: Caddie. We need to talk.

Cadmus: Um, can it wait? I actually have a lot of homework.

Nala: I don’t really think so.

She steps closer.

Nala: See, sweetie, I’m curious… when did you plan to tell me about this?

She pulls out a newspaper clipping of Starlight.

We return to the house on the marsh, even worse off than the last time we saw it.

Unknown (Narration): I am

Unknown: worn weary broken

Unknown: I am

Unknown: dead

Unknown: I am

A cold, gray hand appears on a window.

Unknown: angry.

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