A Story by Kevin Doy Burton

What if you woke up one morning and found out that you had the power to do anything? That is the premise of this story. 


   Barry Conley is twenty nine years old. He had a day off from work and decided that since the weather was nice outside he could spend a little time with his six year old son.
   “ Francis, I’m going to get Junior dressed and take him out for a walk to the park. You want to come?” 
   “ No. You two go ahead. I’m going to get dinner started. Have fun
now. Oh,Barry? Here’s  Junior’s favorite cup with the built in straw on it. I put some juice in it for him.” 
   “ Thanks honey. We’ll be back in an hour.”  
   Barry and his son had left the house. The park was just a block away. As they were walking, a black car was cruising down the block. Suddenly there were gunshots.
    Six months later Barry was waking up from a deep sleep. The nurse heard the monitor beeping and called the doctor. On the monitor Barry was moving. Both the doctor and the nurse ran into Barry’s room. 
   “ Mr. Conley? Calm down,” said the doctor.
   “ Where am I ?” asked Barry. 
   “ You’re in a hospital,” said the doctor. 
   “ Why ?"
   “ You was shot in the head.”  
   “ Shot in the head? Where’s my son?” 
   “ I’m sorry Mr.Conley.Your son didn’t make it.” 
   “ What ? What do you mean he didn’t make  it ?”
   “ Mr. Conley, your son was shot in the stomach. There was nothing we could do.”
   “ Get me out of here.”
   Barry started to get out of the bed. The doctor tried to hold him back. 
   “ Nurse? Get some help.” 
   The nurse ran out of the room yelling for security. The security guards came running inside to give the doctor a hand. They held Barry down. 
   “ Let me go,” he yelled.
   The doctor gave Barry a shot to calm him down. Soon Barry was relaxed enough to stop fighting. 
   “ I want to see my son,” he said. 
   Those were his last words. He fell asleep.
   The next day Barry woke up to see that he was in restraints. 
   “ Nurse? Nurse? ” he yelled out loud. 
   The nurse came inside of his room. 
   “ Yes,Mr.Conley?” 
   “ Why am I strapped down to the bed ?” 
   “ So you won’t hurt yourself, or others.” 
   “ Where’s the doctor. I want to talk to the doctor.” 
   “ I’ll go get him.”
   The nurse went to get the doctor. Ten minutes later the doctor came into Barry’s room.
   “ Mr. Conley. How do you feel this morning?” 
   “ I felt fine until I saw that I was strapped down to this bed.” 
   “ Do you remember yesterday?” 
   “ I felt that I was dreaming.” 
   “ Mr. Conley. Before I can turn you loose, I have to be sure that you are not going to be a threat to yourself and others.” 
   “ Why would I be a threat ?” 
   “ Ok, Mr. Conley. I have to tell you everything and you have to listen closely and if I find that you are calm when I finish then I’ll let you loose from the straps.” 
   “ I’ll be calm.”
   “ Ok,Mr. Conley. Two months ago you and your son were shot by a drive by gang shooting. According to the police they were never apprehended. Your son did not survive the gunshot wound and you was in a coma all that time. You was shot in the head and your son was shot in the stomach.”  
   “ No,no,no! Ok. I’m calm.” 
   “ Good,Mr.Conley. You were brain dead and we were going to write you off until we found out about an experiment that was discovered.” 
   “ What kind of an experiment?”
   “ Well. A group of scientist had found a meteorite that had some amazing properties. They found out that it was able to heal dead tissues in the brain. They had experimented on mice with great  success.” 
   “ But did they ever experiment on humans ?” 
   “ They didn’t want to try it on any live human subjects. They had to wait until the perfect subject became available.” 
   “ And that subject was me, right?"
   “ Well,Mr. Conley. You was already brain dead. The only thing that was keeping you alive was the lung machine and your wife was running out of money.
   The insurance companies didn’t want to continue paying the bill. I told your wife about the experiment and her choices. She agreed and it was a success.” 
   “ Thank God for that. I want to see my wife.” 
   “ I’ll call her for you.” 
   “ Thanks Doc. Now was I calm enough for you?" 
   “ Yes,Mr. Conley. You was. Nurse ? Will you take the straps off of Mr. Conley for me?” 
   “ Yes Doctor,”
   The nurse took off the straps. Barry rubbed his wrist for comfort. 
   “ How do you feel Mr. Conley?” 
   “ I feel great.” 
   “ Good, Mr Conley. I’ll go call your wife.” 
   “ Thanks Doc.”
   Barry laid back down on the bed. He thought about what the doctor had said, about his son. He was getting angry. There was a pitcher of water beside him. It started to boil. Then the pitcher exploded. The water had splashed all on top of him. 
   “ What the….,”
   He didn’t finish his sentence. He felt the water and it was hot but he didn’t feel the heat, and the water was smoking. 
   “ How did that happen ?” he asked himself.
   Barry ranged for the nurse. The nurse entered. 
   “ Can I help you with anything,Mr. Conley?” she asked. 
   “ Yes. It seems as if my pitcher of water has exploded.” 
   “ Oh, Mr. Conley. I’m so sorry. I’ll get housekeeping to come and clean that up for you. Let me get you some dry things to wear.” 
   “ Thank you, nurse.”
    Just then Barry’s wife had entered. 
   “ Barry?”  
   “ Francis?” 
   Francis ran over to hug her husband. 
   “ When the doctor called me to tell me that you had came out of the coma, I dropped everything I was doing to come over here. I’m so glad to hear that you are alright.” 
   “ Me too, babe. It seemed as if  I’ve missed out on a lot. Sit here and tell me everything.” 
   “ Barry? When I heard that you and our son had been shot, I had a nervous breakdown. I was in the hospital for a few days. I had to get out to arrange a funeral for our son. Both our families were there. Junior looked so peaceful in the coffin. We buried him right next to my father.”    “ Did the police ever catch the gang that did it?” 
   “ I believe they gave up on the case, because every time I call them up, they give me the run around.”
   Barry started to get angry and the room started getting hotter. 
   “ It’s getting so hot in here, Barry. I can’t take it.”  
   Barry stepped out of the bed to go out into the hall. 
   “ Barry where are you going?” 
   “ I’ll be back.” 
   Barry walked down the hallway and the papers on the nurses station started to catch on fire. 
   “ What the…. Am I causing all of this?” he asked himself.
   He calmed down. The staff was trying to put out the fire. They stopped to look at him with curious looks on their faces. 
   “ I got to try something,” he said to himself. 
   Barry focused on an IV bag filled with fluid. The fluid started bubbling. Then suddenly it exploded. The staff started to back away from him. The security guards came on the scene. 
   “ Look buddy. I’m going to have to take you back to your room,” said the guard.
   They started towards Barry. Then they started holding their heads screaming. 
   “ It hurts.Oh my God, my head,” they were both saying together. 
   “ Now I know what I can do,” said Barry. 
   He went back to his room to get his wife. 
   “ Francis, we’re leaving.”
   “ But Barry. You don’t have any clothes.” 
   “ You do have a car ,right?” 
   “ Yes, Barry. Our same car. It’s in the parking garage.” 
   “ Good, Francis. We’ll get in the car and go home. I’ll get some clothes then.”
   They both left the hospital and walked to their car inside of the parking garage. Then they left for home. When they had arrived at their house, Barry noticed that there was some gang writing on their wall. 
   “ How long has this been here, Francis ?” 
   “ Ever since you and our son were shot. I was afraid to do anything about it.”
   There were gang members hanging out across the street staring at them.    “ Who are they, Francis?" 
   “They came around a week after you were taken to the hospital. Please Barry. Lets get inside the house.” 
   “ Why are you so afraid?”  
   “ It’s those guys,Barry.Please!"
   “ Hey over there? You’re going to like her ass. I sure did,” he said. 
   “ Francis, what did he mean by that?” 
   “ He raped me, Barry. He told me if I tell the police he was going to kill me.” 
   “ Francis,there’s something I have to do. You stay here. You’ll be safe from now on.”
   Barry got ready to leave the house. 
   “ Barry, where are you going? “ 
   “ There’s going to be some changes from now on.” 
   Barry left the house. Across the street were ten guys sitting on the front porch. They all stood up as Barry crossed the street. 
   “ You’ve got some nerve coming over here,” said one of the guys. 
   “ You are all going to pay for what you did to my wife.”
   One of the guys had pulled out a gun. Barry focused on it. The gun turned red hot and exploded in the guys hands. The bullets exploded also and some of the bullets had shot off into the faces of the other guys.    “ God damn it. What just happened?” asked the leader. 
   “ Now it’s your turn,” said Barry. 
   “ You mean you did that?” asked the leader.
   “ Yes.” 
   “ Wait a minute,Man. I didn’t know that was your wife,” he said. 
   “ I know. Your head is going to get hotter,” said Barry. 
   “ No, Man. Don’t do this. The leader took out his gun and fired at Barry. To Barry’s surprise, the bullets didn’t hurt him. He felt around his chest and there were no bullet wounds. The leader started screaming. 
   “ My head. My head.” 
   Then the pain subsided. 
   “ I can get some use out of you. The rest of you I don’t need.” 
   Barry focused on the rest of the gang members and they all burst into flames from inside out. The leader had screamed. 
   “ So what’s your name?” asked Barry. 
   “ Tony, Mister.” 
   “ Look Tony. You know where there are more gangs around here, right?” 
   “ Man, I don’t know anything.”
   “ Then you are no used to me after all. You can join your friends,” 
   “ Wait,Man. I know where they are located.” 
   “ Good. We’ll take my car, and you’ll drive.”  
   “ Ok,man. Just don’t hurt me.”
   They got inside of Barry’s car and drove away. As soon as they had left the fire trucks had arrived. Then the police. The neighbors came running outside to tell what they had seen and they had described the car that Barry was in. The police had put out an All Points Bulletin on Barry.
    Barry had arrived on the block where the other gangs were holding up. They were all inside of a pool house. 
   “ Get out,” said Barry. 
   “ What are you going to do, Man?” asked Tony. 
   “ You better start running.” 
   “ Don’t do this, Man." 
   Tony ran down the street. Then he burst into flames and fell to the ground. Barry got out of the car and walked inside of the pool house. There were at least fifty gang members inside. There were also girls inside.
   The music was playing loud and they all were drinking beer. The songs on the music machine started to slow down and the gang members started to complain. 
   “ Hey what happen?” asked one of the guys. 
   “ Listen up. My name’s Barry and the party stops now.”
   Barry melted the music machine. He also exploded all of the beer. 
   “ I don’t like gangs. You girls can leave.” 
   The girls ran out of the pool house. Barry had burnt every one of the gang members. They all ran out of the pool house on fire. Then they all fell to the ground in flames.
   The police had arrived on the scene when they had spotted Barry’s car. They all got out of their cars and hid behind them with their guns pointing at the pool house.They saw a burning body on the street and some girls screaming while running out of the poolhouse. The poolhouse was smoking. Then suddenly there were gang members running out while on fire. They all fell to the ground. Flames all over them. Then the pool house burst into flames. Fire was coming out of the windows. 
   “ No one can survive that,” said  the police captain.
   The roof had caved in. The fire trucks came onto the scene and started to put out the fire. It was dark and the fire had lit up the block. Soon, the whole pool house was a pile of smoking ashes. Barry was assumed dead, but actually Barry had escaped and was walking nude in and out of people’s back yards. His clothes had burnt off of his body. He needed to find more clothes. He saw a store across the street that advertised clothing in it’s front window. Barry had melted the window and grabbed the clothes.
   After he dressed himself he left for home. Francis was nervous, because the news had reported the fiery death of gang members and the owner of the car was assumed dead inside of the pool house. Just then the door had opened. 
   “ Barry! You’re ok?” 
   “ Yes Baby. I’m fine.” 
   “ They said that you were killed in the flames.” 
   “ Let them think that, Babe. Our son was killed, because of the gang violence and I plan on doing away with all gangs,period,and since the cops don’t want to handle it, they better get out of my way.” 
   “ Barry? What happened to you. How did you become like this?” 
   “ Some experiment that was done on me. It changed me. I have an opportunity to change things now. You have to trust me on this, Honey.”    “ I do, Barry. I’m just worried.”
   “ Look Honey. You was raped. No telling how many women are being raped by gang members out there. Now its their turn to feel the fear from me. I’m going to change clothes now and leave. You have some money on you?” 
   “ Yes, I do.” 
   “ Let me have it. I’ll be right back.”
   Barry went upstairs to put on a suit and then he left his house to go out into the night. He stood on the bus stop waiting for the bus to arrive. There were a couple of guys watching him. He took out his money and started counting it in front of them. They saw it and started walking over to where he was standing. The bus had arrived and Barry had stepped inside of it. He was followed by the guys who didn’t pay their fare. 
   The bus driver didn’t challenge the guys. There were no one else on the bus except Barry and the two guys who were staring at him. The bus driver knew that there was going to be some trouble. 
   “ Hey Mac? You got a light?” asked one of the guys. 
   “ No.” 
   “ Look  Mac. You was counting your money out there. It’s dangerous out here at night. You could get robbed. Let me protect it for you and we won’t charge you either.“
   The other guy laughed. 
   “ If you don’t leave and go back home to your momma, this bus ride is going to be your last,” said Barry.
   The two guys pulled out their knives. 
   “ Ok punks. You asked for this,” said Barry.
   The knives that the guys were carrying were getting hot. 
   “ Damn,” one of the guys had said. 
   They both dropped their knives. The knives started glowing red hot. The guys ran off of  the bus but they didn’t get far because they had burst into flames. They fell to the ground dead. The bus driver saw what had happened.
   "Shit,man. Did you see that?” 
   “ I saw the whole thing. They must’ve been carrying gasoline on them,” said Barry.
   “ I hope they weren’t smoking a cigarette. You can’t smoke and carry gasoline too,” said the bus driver. 
   “ Well. They learned their lesson the hard way. You can let me out here.” 
   “ Are you sure, Mister. This is the rough side of town and the way you are dressed, you’ll be easy pickens for all types of gangs.” 
   “ Let me worry about that.”
   The bus stopped and Barry got off. There were project buildings all around. Barry started walking towards them. Dope dealers were on every corner. There was a lot of activity going on. There were even cops sitting in their cars watching everything, but wasn’t doing anything about it. There was a girl that got inside of a cops car and her head went down in the cop’s lap. The cop’s eyes rolled in his head from ecstasy.
   Barry walked passed the cop’s car. He took out his money and started counting it. There were people looking at him. Barry walked between some buildings while counting his money. He was being followed by a group of thugs. Once he was between the building he noticed in front of him were more thugs blocking the pathway. He turned around and saw that behind him was blocked also. 
   “ Hey dude. Hand over the cash,” said one of the thugs. 
   “ Come and take it,” said Barry.
   The thug took out a machete and the rest of the thugs took out their guns and knives. Barry focused on them all and one by one they had exploded into flames. They all ran out from between the buildings on fire. Then they fell to the ground.Dead. The cops had jumped out of their cars to see the strange scene. Barry had walked away from the
scene himself. 
   The people from the projects had all gathered around the burnt bodies. Fire trucks came onto the scene. Barry kept on walking through the projects,counting his money. There were witnesses who saw the thugs going after a stranger and they came running out on fire. At least, that’s how they had described it to the police.
   Barry kept on counting his money and he was followed again by more thugs. Witnesses saw Barry counting his money. They also saw that he was about to be robbed. When the thugs had approached him, they had burst into flames and Barry had walked away. The people were looking out of their windows, watching the whole thing take place. They’ve never seen anything like it before. There were crack heads and thugs burning up all over the projects.
   The news media were there. A reporter had asked a witness a question.    “ Excuse me miss. Can you describe what just happened here?” 
   “ I sure can. Some thugs were about to rob a man dressed up in a suit, counting his money and then they burst into flames. The man in the suit just walked away like it was nothing new to him.” 
   “ Did the man in the suit have a torch?” 
   “ No. All he had was his money in his hands and he continued walking away, still counting his money. If you ask me. Those thugs got what they deserved and that man is a hero in my book.” 
   “ Why’s that, Miss?” 
   “ Because, we have been robbed every day we go out and the police don’t do anything about it. We see policemen picking up hookers from our windows and we also know that they are on the take.” 
   “ On the take, Miss?” 
   “ Yes. On the take. Drug dealers can sale drugs right in front of the police and they will not get arrested. So there. It’s about time someone have a little guts to stand up and fight."
   The reporter turned to the camera. 
   "There you have it. A citizen’s take on this whole matter. Is there a vigilante around? What weapon is he using? This is Mike Lanser of NYSC News.
   Francis heard it all on TV. A knock was heard at the door. She looked through the peephole. There were two detectives outside. 
   “ Can I help you?” 
   “ It’s the police, Miss. We would like to ask you some questions, please.”  
   Francis opened the door. 
   “ Come in officers.” 
   “ Mrs. Conley. We told you that your husband was dead but we never did find his body.”  
   “ You said that he was burnt up in the ashes,” said Francis. 
   “ I know that but the same incidents are occurring in different parts of town. We could have a copycat killer out there. I just wanted to let you know that if your husband is alive then he should turn himself in.” 
   “ If my husband is alive and is doing all of this then I’m glad, because I was raped and our son was killed by those gangs out there and you won’t do anything about it. I hope he kills them all and fuck you too. Now get out of my house,” yelled Francis.
   The detectives left. They looked at each other. 
   “ I think he’s alive and she knows it but we won’t get any help from her. Why don’t we stake out this house for a while. I have a gut feeling that he’ll turn up,” said the detective.  
   “ I have that same feeling,” said the other detective.
   Barry walked over to the bus stop to wait on another bus to come. He took out his money to count it. More thugs were attracted to it. When they tried to rob him, they were set on fire and took off running down the street. More people saw the scene. 
   The bus had arrived and Barry got on it. The police had shown up. Burnt bodies were on the ground smoking. 
   “ Did anyone see what had happened?”  
   “ Yea,I saw the whole thing,” said a lady. 
   “ Ok Lady. What did you see?” 
   “ They were all smoking cigarettes and when they lit their matches, they burnt up.” 
   “ That’s what happened officer?” said another man.
   “ The problem with that is they didn’t have any cigarettes on them,” said the officer.
   “ Then we don’t know what else to tell you,” they all said.
   The cops looked at each other.   
   "I do believe that they are protecting him,”  said the cop to his partner.    “ I believe that you're right. 
   They both got back into their squad cars and left the scene.
   Barry was telling the bus driver to let him off. 
   “ Mister? Are you sure you want to get off here?"  
   “ Yes. I’m sure.” 
   “ Hey.You’re that guy everyone is talking about. Aren’t you?”
   “ Yes. I am.” 
   “ You’re my hero, Man. Your identity is safe with me. Kick their asses for me ?” 
   “ I’ll do my best.”
   Barry got off of the bus and walked down towards the subway. There were men laying on benches. There were also men standing around near the tracks. Barry took out his cash and started counting it. Soon he was approached by three guys. 
   “ Your money, or your life.” 
   “ I’ll choose your life,” said Barry. 
   The three strangers were then burnt to a crisp.                               
   The train had arrived and Barry got on. Soon the train had taken Barry close to his house. He got off of the train and started walking. When he had reached his block he saw his house. Barry decided to go around the back. He entered. 
   “ Francis? It’s me.”  
   “ Barry? I was so worried about you. You’re all on the news. The cops know that you are alive. The news media is saying that you are a hero.” 
   “ Barry Conley. The house is surrounded. I want you to come out with your hands up,” said a voice from outside. 
   “ Oh Barry. Barry,” said Francis while crying. 
   “ Don’t cry honey. I knew that it would come to this. Look. I have a plan.” 
   “ You’re not going to run, are you?” 
   “ No Babe. Relax.“
   Barry shouted through an opened window. 
   “ I’m coming out.” 
   He opened the front door and walked outside. He saw all of the guns pointing at him and he focused on all of them. The guns started heating up and the cops had to drop them. The police cars blew up, also. 
   “ Are you doing this, Barry?” asked the cop. 
   “ Yes. I am and I can do more.”
   “ Barry? What do you want?” asked the cop. 
   “ To eliminate all gangs and gang activities.”
   “ That is a big job for just one man.” 
   “ There were many men but you all failed so I have to do this my way.”    “ That’s taking the law into your own hands.” 
   “ The law didn’t do nothing when it was in your hands. When my son was killed, and I was in a coma for two months. Where was the law then?” 
   “ The law is not perfect, Barry.” 
   “ That part I know. That’s why my son is dead at six years old.”
   Francis came running out of the house to stand next to her husband. She held him in her arms. He looked at her. 
   “ Honey. I can’t go on without my son. Nothing I do will ever take away the hurt and pain that I feel.” 
   “ I feel the same way, Barry. Where ever you go, I will go.” 
   “ I’m glad to hear that Sweetheart.”
   Barry looked up at the sky. 
   “ Oh God. Take us away from all of this pain.”  
   Smoke started coming from the top of Barry and his wife’s head. 
   “ Oh Barry.” 
   “ Don’t worry Honey. It’s better this way.” 
   “ I’m not worried, Barry.”
   A few seconds later they exploded together in a ball of flame. There was nothing left of them. The people that had witnessed the scene were all crying and then they left for home.  The detective turned around towards his partner.
   “ I guess this case is closed.”

                                                                                                                                                                           The End