The Statement (OKAN)

Good evening my fellow country men and women. I am Okan, and I come to you today as a fellow country man, your son, brother, friend and a concerned citizen.

Recent events that have transpired have necessitated my appearing before you so. I promise I will not waste your time, but hopefully by the time I am done we can all move forward together.

A couple of years back, a sectarian group sprang up in the south, vowing to wreak havoc on those who accepted western beliefs. What started off as a rag tag group of radicals, would develop into the nation’s greatest threat with thousands of lives lost to their mad reign of carnage.

The Kalakurtan government on countless occasions have tried without success to stop this menace but failed to do so. A few months back, individuals like me started springing up around the country. Blessed with unbelievable power, we were nothing like anyone had seen. I felt that I had a responsibility to my country. This power had been given to me for a reason. I started to seek out others with similar abilities, and managed to convince them to sign up for a cause that would serve our country.

We decided we would take on the grip and stop them before they took more lives. We thought it’d be wise to consult with the political leaders of the country to let them know of our plans. I believe in democracy, and I thought by offering the Kalakurtan government a chance to work with us, we would all achieve a common goal.

Unfortunately, I was naive. I underestimated just how bad the rot is. Our political class has been feasting on the nation for centuries. Lining their wallets with our money, whilst the rest of us suffered.

They tried to silence us, by claiming they were attacking the grip. Foreign media, that covered our raid on Alobam where able to show that we had the grip and their leader subdued. We were going to turn them over to the government for interrogation so as to find out who is financially backing the group.

Their actions against us, show they had no intention of dealing with us in good faith. They thought they’d silence the truth by killing Ahmid Maharaji. They failed and now they will deal with the consequences.

There are members of our government collaborating with the grip to sow discord in our country. There are former presidents, rulers and dictators who have been supporting the group to invalidate our current president and also pave the way for their return. There are foreign governments who want to see Kalakurta in chaos. Scared of our potential, worried we can rise up to be a legitimate factor in this region.

They have ALL failed.

We know who you are, and we have extracted all the information we need from Maharaji.

Rest assured, we are coming for you. You will return what you have robbed us off.

People have died in the scores because of your greediness. Children are growing up without ever knowing what stable electricity looks like. Their schools are in shambles whilst you jet your kids abroad for the finest education. Our health care system is non existent whilst you go to the best in the world. Our economy is crippled because of the greed and corruption that chases foreign investors away.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

If you have stolen from this country, plotted against it or worked with those who have, your time is up.

If you are in government and think this is addresses towards you, then I’d suggest you start thinking of ways to remedy this. If you cannot do your job, step aside for those who may.

In conclusion, you will begin to see and hear a lot of things within the following months. Please don’t be scared. We will need to clean out the vermin before we start repairing what they’ve destroyed. Bear with us, I promise it will get better.

Thank you and good night.

Bird

The little bird feels constrained, it yearns to soar but its feet are tied down. No matter how hard it flutters said wings, its efforts are futile. It looks up and sees its mates flying gaily in the skies above and it can’t help but feel envy. Envy that they are free. Free to do as they please. To fly in any direction their heart wills them. To stop and go as they please.

But deep down inside, he believes. He believes he will join them soon. He has the glint in his eye. It never leaves. It sees beyond his temporary predicament. To a place where his wings will embrace the wind and lift him to heights previously undiscovered by his peers.

He turns around to look at his anchor. The object that has caused him so much misery. He pecks at it furiously but it does not give. He notices the rope is beginning to fray, yet still strong enough to bind him for now. He hears the songs of the birds above and it lifts his spirits, instantaneously he jumps to join them. But alas, he only levitates a few feet of the ground before the rope tugs him back to reality.

Wait he must, yearning and reaching for freedom. Eventually the rope will give, but for now, waiting is all he can do.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Tags: New Year 2014

Fart Man

I stumbled across my powers in the most uncomfortable of ways. Merely thinking of it makes me red with discomfort. It’s not something I am proud of, but considering the circumstances, I suppose it was the breakthrough I needed to discover my ability.

I wasn’t hit by lightning, there were no freak accidents and I most certainly didn’t land here from outer space in some pod. If I did, no one has told me yet and judging by my lack of abilities besides this one bodily function, I am wont to think that I am most definitely human. I wasn’t strapped up in some lab, product of some government weapons program … I most certainly am not the offspring of super powered individuals, my parents are the most normal people you’d ever meet. In fact I am not sure what’s more boring, watching paint dry or my folks going about their daily activities. In other words, I am the last person you’d expect to have any type of power(s).

But I digress, high school was tough I’ll be honest. I was slightly chubby and this posed its own set of problems. I also happened to be very clumsy, compounding on my problems and pretty much relegating me into the outer circles of the social hierarchy in my school. Yes, just like the movies, I rolled with the dweebs and the nerds. The ‘unacceptables’ we called ourselves. Not that we disliked it, those guys were pretty dependable for the most part. I don’t think I could have asked for better friends.

The real issue was when my hormones just like any other kid at that stage in life, started to kick in, and suddenly the female species looked a whole lot more appealing. Just like every kid my age, we spent a lot of time thinking about them, talking about them and coming up with plans on how to woo them. There was this one particular girl in class that every boy fantasized about or at least I thought they did. Angela Atkins was her name though I have tried unsuccessfully to forget about her.

She had the sweetest dimples I have ever seen on anyone. She wore her hair in a ponytail and always had a bevy of people surrounding her outside of class. She was the belle of what I considered my social sphere back then. Everyone knew of her, and I am guessing most of the guys in my class fantasized about her like I did.

She was that mountain I had no idea how to scale. She was the object of my desire, as radiant as the sun yet just as far. If she would just acknowledge me, my life would be okay or so I thought.

You would think when given the chance to talk to her, that I’d make the best of it and to some extent I did, this act of mine would finally lead to the discovery of what would grow into my super powers. Sadly, what lead to this would scar me mentally for the rest of my life. It would be the single most embarrassing moment of my existence, and whilst I have had so many of those, this one though, definitely takes the cake.

We were out on the playground that fateful day. My crew and I as usual were in our section of the yard. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much we sucked back then. We were the wimps. The outcasts. The kids who gathered around and compared dungeons and dragons cards, who argued about who was the better game character, Sonic or Mario? To us, we found nothing wrong with it, and to my fellow nerds out there, I feel your pain. But let me be the first to admit, that path we took back then, was one full of marginalization. We were ostracized for our interests, bandied into a box that till now I am still struggling to break out from. But I digress, back to me and my fellow nerds chilling by the bushes, watching all the pretty girls in class talk to themselves, wondering why they paid us no mind.

I don’t know who came up with the idea first, I won’t take credit for such foolishness, but I suppose you should know when a bunch of 10 year boys get together, and girls are in the vicinity, particularly those of the same age, chances are the topic of conversation will eventually stray to members of the fairer sex.

I know we had to be talking about who was the hottest girl in class. A few names must have been tossed out but the consensus would have to be Angela. One thing led to another and I am guessing we started preening and prawning about who was best suited for her.

It really doesn’t take much to get guys to take up a bet. There’s a reason why casinos are such money traps. Something about the human psyche and gambling seems to go hand in hand.

I was dared because I happened to be the de-facto leader of the group. Something along the lines of not having the guts to go talk to Angela, a bet which would garner me a month long supply of the Spiderman comics. Ask yourself this, would you pass on such an opportunity?

In my young mind, it was a simple task. Approach the girl of my dreams, mutter a few words and high tail it out of there. What could go wrong?

Unfortunately for me, I underestimated how much my nerves would play a part in this and was about to get introduced to a very odd ability that would define my life in later years. But I digress, back to the topic at hand.

There she was, chatting with her friends, looking as radiant as can be. An image of such beauty and grace. I on the other hand was all nerves. Sure I had agreed to take up the bet but it didn’t mean I wasn’t worried about the action. I was walking into enemy territory, to talk to the queen in the midst of her minions. By no means would they be happy that I broke up their conversation. I had no clue what I was going to say but fortunately for me, fortune was about to direct her smile my way, though when I think about what followed afterwards it was more like a malicious grin.

Her friends must have been distracted by something, because all of a sudden they all flocked to the other side of the playground, chattering excitedly, leaving Angela behind. Here was the opening I needed. She was all alone, all I had to do was approach her. I tried moving forward but my feet were frozen to the spot. My brain had gone blank, I couldn’t think of what to say. I could hear my friends ribbing mercilessly, but it just came off as incoherent sounds as I tried to make sense of what was at hand. Finally someone grabbed my arm, shaking me a few times. That seemed to have done it, as my senses came alive and I could suddenly comprehend what was going on around me.

"I’ll do it" I said bravely. Followed of course by cheers from my crew.

I don’t know what had gotten into me, but before I knew it, I had planted one foot forward, followed by another. All of a sudden I knew what it felt like to scale the rugged terrain of Everest. To see the peak above you, and despite all the odds of making it, you reach into your inner reserves for strength you never thought you had, and will yourself to the finish line.

That was pretty much how I got to stand in front of Angela. She was actually looking down at something in the sand. I suppose my shadow falling across her line of sight alerted her to my presence. I waffled for a few moments, trying to pick the right phrase to get things going…everything that came to mind would have earned me a slap on the spot. I was already way too far into enemy lines to retreat. This was turning out to be a disaster.

And then she looked up ….

It was almost as if the world stopped spinning for that moment or two. Neurons stopped firing and my thoughts went haywire. Alert! Alert! Alert! This wasn’t in the plan. I hadn’t taken into account just how gorgeous she was up close. If my heart beat any faster it probably would form the rhythm for a dance track.

All the carefully crafted words I had rehearsed in my mind had evaporated into nothingness, stranding me on an island with the prettiest girl in our grade with no resources whatsoever to help me out of my current conundrum.

"Hi Derek" she said. But she might as well have been speaking in a foreign language. I mean yes she was looking at me, smiling without a care in the world completely oblivious to the fact that the doofus in front of her hadn’t expected such a warm response, totally catching me off guard.

I stood there staring at her unsure of what to say, whilst she looked up at me, still smiling. After a few moments, I mumbled something about the nice weather we had that day. Of which she remarked casually that the weather man had said it would be pleasant all week.

Weather man…did she just tell me that? She watched the weather man. Who was this girl and what planet was she from? Suddenly my interest was piqued, which in retrospect was a terrible thing to happen. It meant I was about to pursue an endeavor I should have wisely backed away from. Unfortunately with Angela showing some sort of interest in knowledge gathering, I was bound to pry further.

"They say it’s been the hottest year on record in the last ten years", I sputtered.

Judging by her reaction, I could tell I had veered too quickly into nerd territory. I must have misjudged how much she cared about weather news, she had probably only heard the week’s forecast in passing, not an active follower of the broadcast like I had thought.

I had to quickly follow up with something ‘cool’ before losing her interest. I could feel my compadres’ gaze from all the way across the playground, I dare not mess this up now.

"Have…have you seen the new power rangers?"

Yes, you are probably rolling your eyes thinking to yourself, what a clown this guy is. Of all things he could come up with at the moment, it had to be a cheesy martial arts show. To my surprise though, Angela chuckled and nodded.

"Yes, I love it, how did you know I like stuff like that?"

I blinked, words failing to come to me. Did she just say she liked stuff like that? Was I in some alternate reality where gorgeous girls like Angela were actually cool and into nerdy stuff like I was? This was truly incomprehensible. I had these notions of the type of stuff Angela would like, and none of it seemed to fall in line with the stuff that interested in me. If I weren’t so nervous I probably would never have asked about the Power rangers to begin with. But in my error, I had found an opening. This girl was way cooler than I had thought. I had to know more.

"I…I didn’t know actually. I just took a guess. Who’s your favorite ranger?"

"Blue" she chimed. "Billy is so cool, though everyone thinks he is a wimp."

WHOA! It would seem I had found the ideal woman. Future mother of my kids and eventual partner or so I thought. My immature self couldn’t believe that this girl I had admired from afar, not only liked my type of shows, but she also liked my favorite ranger. We were destined to be I thought.

Maybe if I had slowed down a bit, I probably would have avoided the catastrophe about to happen. But alas, my mind was moving so fast, caution had been overtaken a long time ago.

"That’s so cool…Billy is my favorite too. He’s so not a wimp, remember when he helped the rangers infiltrate Rita’s dark dimension? I mean the guy is so smart, he doesn’t need to be tough all the time. Then there was that time he created the Radburg, and all those other inventions he keeps making. He is just too awesome. Sometimes I wish I were just like him"

Angela smiled at me patiently as I prattled on. She had that look one would give to an over excited toddler, waiting on them to calm down. It was only after realizing that I had said too much, that things really got dicey.

To a lot of people, what I am about to describe is downright disgusting if not disturbing. I apologize ahead of time, it wasn’t like I have control over such. Whilst this action till date is a source of embarrassment, you must also know, its helped me become my alter ego and has saved quite a few lives. It is not the coolest power in the world, but its mine and I have no regrets about it.

What power would that be, you might be wondering? Well…to cut it short, its GAS. Yes gas! You know, flatulence, flatus, breaking wind, farting and the myriad of names it has in popular culture. Mine just happens to be quite pungent, and by pungent I mean knock you out of your shoes type strong. Poor Angela and I were about to discover that.

Like I said, I had spoke too much about the power rangers and was feeling sorry for myself when I noticed something was stirring in my bowels. We’ve all had it. That feeling you are about to rip a nasty one but you desperately try to quell it so as not to make a scene. To complicate matters, I was about to do this nasty deed in front of the one girl I liked a whole lot. What a horrible feeling it was indeed.

I began to think of a way to save myself from this mess, hoping I could hightail it out of there before I let go of my ‘gas’.

"Well it was nice chatting with you Angela, I think I will go back to talk to my friends now…Enjoy your day."

I turned around to briskly walk back to where the other guys were, when Angela called out to me.

"Wait!"

I froze on the spot. Desperately trying to push back the pressure building down below. I was losing the fight and I knew in any second now, it’d be coming out. From the way it felt, this was going to be a whopper. Why oh why did Angela stop me?

"Yes," I said. Turning around meekly. She walked towards me, smiling at me like I had something she wanted and was going to pry it out of me no matter what.

“Do you want to come and watch power rangers with me this weekend?”

ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!

I interrupt this recap of my life, to notify the reader of how epic that moment that just transpired was in real time. I cannot begin to explain to you, just how elated I got when she did that. At that age, it was probably similar to me winning the lottery. That’s how impactful her request was to me. Unfortunately, said moment was short lived, but hey I still can’t help but look back at it with some joy.

“I…I..would love to.” I stuttered, barely able to contain my excitement.

“Sweet! See you at ….”

She never got to give me a time, nor finish her sentence and I never got to go and watch Power rangers with her.

Why you may ask?

Well, at that very point in time, my bowels felt like they could not hold on to the flatulence anymore, releasing a devastating knockout punch that would not only daze me, but also Angela as well. I was told afterwards that both me and Angela fell to the ground and we were out for at least thirty minutes. The image I remember seeing of her before everything turned to black, was her scrunching up her nose, looking at me with such disgust and then crumpling to the ground. It was at that very moment that I discovered I was not normal, but it would take years for me to be able to control this ability and also prevent myself from passing out whenever I used it.

It is this same ability that would help me thwart several muggings, stabbings and all sorts of crime on the streets of Chicago. It was then I realized I had been blessed with the ability to knock people out simply by them taking a whiff of my fart.

Yes ladies and gentleman, on that particularly day in the playground, the hero that the world would come to know years later as fart man was created.

A Boy Named Max III

It was a moonless night. An ink black color enveloped the sky, perhaps a sign to aid us in the events that were about to unfurl.

Chico drove his old Eclipse, a car that had seen better days, yet responded to his touch like some old trusty companion. It was him, a friend of his and me in the car. We all wore dark clothes, doing our best not to draw any attention to ourselves. With how dark it was, that part of the plan was covered to perfection.

We parked some ways off from the shop but not too far off to make getting away tough. Chico’s friend apparently had enhanced vision surgery and zooming in on the shop would be no problem for him. If anyone showed up, he was to contact Chico immediately. We were to go in, grab as much as we could in a matter of minutes and get out. Simple enough I thought, we’d be long gone before anyone knew the place had been burgled.

I should have known it was a cursed night when the car sputtered up the hill that lead to the store. Cussing in a language I had never heard before, Chico was able to spur the car on, avoiding what could have been a very embarrassing moment. I do recall thinking to myself, what would happen if we were trying to get away and the car did the same. My nerves were probably on edge already that would definitely have tipped them over.

Needless to say, we maneuvered into a side street, where Chico’s friend immediately wrangled himself to the top of a nearby rooftop to act as lookout. Chico got out of his car and handed me a baseball bat. “Don’t hesitate to use it if things get hairy.”

I nodded, hoping that wouldn’t be the case.

It was a short walk to the store, sticking to the shadows to avoid being spotted. Wouldn’t have mattered though, the area was desolate, there was no sign of life around. There were tons of beat down cars, probably salvaged to create spare parts of some kind. It wouldn’t have surprised me if a lot of them were stolen, but since I had no way of confirming that, I can only speculate.

The entrance to the store was heavily fortified with some type of wrought iron gate. We’d need some type of specialized saw to cut through those. Either that or chuck a bomb at it and hope it did the job. There was a key code panel by the side but judging from the way Chico was surveying the building, it was clear he didn’t have the tools to break in.

He walked around the building, I followed. He kept ‘hmmming’ as he studied the schematics, and after going round the building once he stopped. 

“Chali,” he drawled in that thick accent of his, “it seems you will have to climb in the window and let me in from the inside.”

I didn’t think anything of his suggestion. I was probably more nimble than he was and would rather go through that hassle than calling attention by fiddling with the key code access at the front.

Carefully, I walked to the side where Chico pointed upwards. Indeed there was a window opened slightly, but I would need some help getting up there. He squatted and put his palms together. I stepped on them, instantly hearing a groan, but I was too focused on the task at hand to pay much attention. Chico hoisted me up, I latched onto the ledge immediately. I looked up and saw that with a slight push I could get the window to open upwards. It took some effort but I got it done. I lifted myself up and clambered onto the ledge. I didn’t know what was waiting for me below. It was too dark in the building. The last thing I wanted was a broken foot.

"Watchu waiting for?" I heard Chico say from below. I had no choice but to jump in, hoping I didn’t regret it.

I landed with a thud and looked around immediately. My eyes took a moment or two to adjust to the darkness. There had to be a light switch somewhere. I had only gone a few feet when I heard a menacing growl. I froze on the spot, hoping my mind was playing tricks on me.