TITLE: Becoming Hero
GENRE: High-Concept YA
Comic-book Universe: Issue 339
Rain trickles across a fading green dumpster in a narrow alleyway. A dark shadow, a superhero gone bad, stalks the rooftops above, heaving a giant gun off his back as he readies it for his prey.
Skye ignored the stench of the banana peels and burger wrappers crushed against his face and forced himself to breathe steady. He clenched his fingers tighter around the bleeding wound in his shoulder, trying not to think about the infection he'd get from hiding in the dumpster. Just breathe. In, out. In, out. Any change in that pace, and his hunter might hear him. Hunter--that's how he had to think of his best friend now.
The thought crunched in Skye's chest like another punch. Dammit. He squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his teeth against the hot tears. How could he--
"I suppose you're wondering how I could do this to you," said a soft voice just above him. Skye heard light footsteps on the dumpster lid, but didn't reply. Mark had walked past his hiding places before.
"You can hear me, right? I know you're nearby. Please just show yourself. Just end this."
Skye heard Mark's feet crunch against the pavement. He heard the rustle of plastic bags being kicked; a nearby window smashed.
"None of this would have hurt if you'd just let me take you out the first time. I didn't want your parents to die. Come on, Skye, you think I wanted Jackie to die for you?"