This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
This story is copyrighted by Parker Sheaffer, all rights reserved. Distribution, including but not limited to: posting on internet sites, newsgroups, or message boards, or in book form (either as a whole or part of a compilation), or on CD, DVD or any other electronic media, is expressly prohibited without the author's written consent.
When Simon turned twelve he was allowed to go downtown with some of his friends on the weekends. It was only a couple of miles and they took the bus, a trip they had all made many times with their parents. At twelve they found everything interesting and exciting. It was fun just being out on their own, to walk around and see stuff and watch people. None of his friends were into anything bad; they were good, normal kids and their parents trusted them and knew they would be safe as long as they were all together.
Simon liked going because it gave him opportunities to help people that he ordinarily wouldn't get to see, like homeless kids. He was saddened one day when he saw a woman and two small children sitting in the doorway of an old building. As the woman asked passers-by for money the children looked scared and lost, the little girl kept her face pressed against the woman's side. The people passing by stared straight ahead as if they didn't see the woman and kids, as if they were invisible. They were probably used to that sort of thing.
For once Simon was at a loss. This wasn't the sort of problem that could be solved with a few magic words. It was much bigger and he had to think about it.
As they approached her the woman turned her sad face toward them and quietly asked if they could spare a bit of change so she could feed her children. Simon immediately gave the woman all of the money he had, ten dollars. When his friends saw what he was doing they did the same because that's the sort of boys they were. Now their pockets were empty except that they still had their bus passes to get back home. They did a little window shopping and sat on a bench in the park for a while longer before they decided to head back. On the way they passed the woman and her kids again. The children were eating burgers from the fast food restaurant down the street.
This time a man was approaching the building with a key in his hand. Like the other people he pretended not to see the woman and her little ones sitting right in front of him as he stepped past them to unlock the door. Simon looked up at the second story and saw curtains in the window and realized that the man probably lived up there.
Then it came to him and he knew what to do. "Coignischente," he whispered.
"What did you say, Si?" one of his friends, Alex, asked.
"Oh, nothing. Hey, wait a minute, okay? My shoelace is loose." he replied.
Across the street the man's whole demeanor had changed and he had stopped and was talking to the woman. While Simon pretended to tie his shoelace he watched as the man helped the woman to her feet and picked up one of the children. They all went inside and Simon knew they would be alright. All the man had needed was to be reminded how to be kind.
Most of their trips into town were uneventful. They wouldn't have known that wherever they wandered through the town the people they passed became nicer, quieter and more kind to the others around them. As Simon's powers grew so did his aura and like a jet plane leaves a contrail, so Simon left a trail of love behind him that affected most of the people who encountered it. Of course, the boys had gone on and were unaware of the consequence of their passing.
Then something rather big happened. On another trip downtown Simon felt that familiar urge to go in a certain direction. He was with Alex and Bill, his two best friends, so he said, "Hey guys. Let's go this way for bit. There's something I want to see."
Simon was a natural leader so they let him lead. Alex and Bill were both just happy to be hanging out with Simon, who was one of the most popular boys at school. They had hit it off right away when they met years earlier and had been fast friends ever since. There was something about Simon that made them want to please him, to make him proud of them.
Three blocks away a bank was being robbed. As a loud alarm sounded a frightened looking man came running out of the doors clutching a bag in one hand and a gun in the other. A woman screamed and everyone stopped to look at what was happening. A policeman across the street saw the robber and immediately drew his gun and shouted for the robber to stop. When he didn't stop the officer started to chase him.
There were children on the street and Simon saw the danger as the bandit raised his gun and was going to shoot at the cop. Without thinking, Simon shouted, "Fala pien omneopus vitt!"
With a shriek the man fell to the ground and his gun flew from his hand. The boys watched in amazement from down the street as the officer knelt on the guy's back and cuffed him. When he tried to get the weeping man to stand up he found that he couldn't do it. It looked as if he had somehow broken his leg. A crowd gathered and blocked their view so Simon turned away and said, "Okay. Let's go have some fun. What do you say?"
His friends, Alex and Bill were staring at him with wide eyes and open mouths. "Dude, you did that, didn't you? You knew he was going to rob the bank and you stopped him."
"Me? No way, dude. It was just a coincidence."
"What was that you said? I've seen you do it before, but I was never sure. This time I heard you. I saw you."
"You're crazy, Alex. I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't do anything. I just said, 'get off the street'. Come on, let's go." Simon knew he was going to have to be more careful around people. It wouldn't do to have them discover his secret.
"Funny, that's not what it sounded like," said Alex.
They walked on but Alex and Bill couldn't let go of the subject even though Simon continued to deny their accusations. Finally, feeling a bit of frustration at their unwillingness to drop the subject, he said, "Hey, so what if I did? What would you do, be scared of me?"
"Heck no, Si. I'd be impressed as hell, I mean heck. It would be super cool."
"Look, I'm not admitting anything, okay, but don't talk about it with anybody else. I mean, people already think I'm weird so I don't need you making me sound even weirder. Okay, promise?"
"Sure dude. It's just between us. But sometime you have to show us how to do it."
Simon laughed and said, "I'm telling you, you just imagined it."
For the next few days at school he kept catching Alex and Bill staring at him, but eventually they seemed to forget about it. The next weekend Alex came over to hang and to play a video game or two. They were in Simon's bedroom and after they finished playing they turned on his television. There was a silence that ended when Alex said, "Do something."
"Do something. You know. Some magic."
"Alex, I keep telling you I don't know any magic."
"Yeah? I saw you drop that robber with a couple of words. I saw you whisper something at school that made Josh Bryson stop hitting that little kid and start crying like he was scared of something. I watched you when Mr. Stevens was accusing Jenny of stealing some money from his desk. You whispered something and suddenly Johnny Watson stood up and admitted to it. He even threw the money down and sat there shaking until they took him away. I've seen other stuff too. What are you Simon, some kind of wizard, like Harry Potter?"
Simon looked at his friend as if he was trying to decide something.
"I have to go to the bathroom. I'll be back in a minute." Simon closed the bathroom door, his heart racing. He had been careless and now someone knew about him. He closed his eyes and clutched his amulet and said, "Green Man. Green Man. Is it okay if one person knows. Can I tell just one friend? Sometimes I really need someone to talk to." He felt a sense of comfort and amusement from his inner guide and he knew it was time to let someone else get close and that it would not harm anything if he shared his secret with Alex.
Back in the bedroom he looked at Alex who was sitting up, expectantly waiting for him. "Look, dude," he began. "How do I know you won't freak out if I did have some... power? If I could do some things special would you get scared? Would you stop being my friend? Think about it carefully because I have to know. Can you be cool about it?"
"You can, can't you? It's true. Of course I can be cool. Heck, it's me, Alex. I've been your best friend since second grade and I'll always be your best friend, no matter what. You won't scare me, Simon. I think it would be pretty amazing and wicked cool."
"Okay then. Now you're the only person in the world who knows about this stuff. I don't want anybody else to know. It's important. Yeah, I can do some stuff. I can make things happen. I don't know how I do it, it just comes to me when I need it. There's like this voice inside my head, but it's not a voice. It's just a feeling, a thought. I can't explain it, but it tells me what to do. No, actually it's more like it does it through me."
"What can you do?"
"Lots of things. You were right, I couldn't let him shoot anybody so I broke that robber's leg. I heard a sick man trying to rape his nephew and I made his balls swell up until they had to operate and cut them off. I made a man go blind. I can make people think they see demons and it drives them crazy. But, mostly I just remind people to be good to their kids and to each other."
"OMG Simon, you are like Harry Potter. Remind me not to make you mad."
"No, that's the thing, see? I don't get mad. I don't think you've ever seen me get mad at anybody. I don't do these things out of anger. It's not about revenge, see? It's just about justice... and my justice happens right away. There's no judge except for my guide. I know when people are bad and I can stop them from hurting others, especially kids."
"Wow. That's so amazing. Are you some kind of angel?"
Simon laughed, "No. I'm just a kid. I'll tell you how it all happened, but you'll think I'm crazy. You won't believe me."
"I will. I swear I will."
"Well, okay. See my dad was an archeologist in England..."
Simon related the story to his friend and Alex listened in wonder. When he stopped Alex said, "You were wrong. I so believe you. I believe it all and it's so cool. I wish I could do it. Come on, show me some stuff."
Simon was relieved that Alex didn't think he was insane. He laughed and said, "Okay, you're going to freak out when I do this but here goes. Nostilisium." With that one word he disappeared.
Alex jumped up from the bed and said, "Holy shit. Simon. What did you do? Where are you?"
Simon reappeared sitting in the same spot and calmly said, "Told you you would freak."
"My heart is beating really fast. That was the most freaking amazing thing I have ever seen. I was expecting something but... wow. Do it again."
Simon did it a couple more times and said, "That's about it. I can't do the other stuff until I need to."
"What language is that?"
"I don't know. It's weird, the words just come to me and I say them with a certain intention. I don't know how it works, it just does."
"Teach me the word. I want to see if I can do it."
"Nostilisium," Alex repeated but nothing happened. "Rats. I'm still here."
Simon laughed and then Alex laughed too.
"Hey, Si, do you need a sidekick? I could be like Robin to your Batman. Maybe I could help you do stuff."
"Hey, you are like a superhero. Do you have a name? You know, like Amazingman or Wonderboy?"
"Funny one, Alex. Actually I started thinking of myself as Captain Justice but then it sounded silly so I stopped."
"No. That's a good one. Captain Justice; I like it. And I can be... Laser. Yeah, laser, your faithful sidekick."
"Well, because... I can stay focused on the job? I don't know, it just sounds good."
Simon laughed and said, "Whatever. Thanks for being my friend."