New Beginnings, Episode 3, Part 3
People always talk about where they were when they first heard about The Correspondent. She came out of nowhere and tried to make a difference. Some saw her as a beacon of hope, others as a sign of how far down the slope we had come. I never paid attention to all of that. I was too busy. Too busy working to pay my bills, too busy trying to figure out life. I was seventeen when it started. I was The Correspondent. This is my story.
Midterms sucked. I got back to my dorm room after my last test and was completely drained and depressed. As I lay on my bed, listening to Kate packing her things, I assumed I had failed all of them. Even the art midterm sucked. It was a full critique with the class, which seemed like an excuse for everyone to rip on everyone else’s work.
Kate was getting ready to head home for Thanksgiving, she had a four hour drive, and would be leaving soon. I was sad that she was leaving but also glad because it would give me time to review my search on Acme Hero’s website. When she was done she gave me a hug and headed out the door. I forced myself to wait fifteen minutes before turning on my computer.
As I waited for it to load I found myself staring at the mystery box my mom had given me. I was feeling pretty down and out, which meant that it was time to open the box. My excitement for the search results forgotten I took the box down off the shelf. It was heavier than I remembered. Setting it on the bed I peeled back the wrapping paper to find a simple brown cardboard box. Taking a pair of scissors out of a drawer I cut the tape and lifted the flaps.
Inside was a steel box. Simple, dull steel. What had my mom done? It looked just like the box my cowl had come in. Was it the same box? I turned it around in my hands and looked for any scuff marks that might mark it as my original box. I didn’t see any. My palms were sweating as I found the latch and opened the box.
There was a hiss as the box opened and a light blue light shined out of the opening. A light blue cowl with white accents and a stylized ‘C’ was sitting in the box, looking up at me. I slammed the box closed and sat on Kate’s bed, terrified and excited.
Another twenty minutes passed as I sat, gobsmacked, staring at the box. Finally, more to put myself out of my misery, I opened the box again. Sitting, unnoticed until now, beside the cowl was an envelope. I pulled it out, my hands shaking. As I opened the envelope all I could think was ‘Do I really want to do this again?’
The note was simple and to the point:
Your mom sent us an email requesting a new suit to be made. We worked with our designers to make you a newer more striking suit. Once you activate this cowl the rest will be sent your way.
Best of luck,
Acme Hero, Inc.
Well my mom had some explaining to do, but I wasn’t going to let the cowl go to waste if I could figure out who had caused the explosion. I pulled the cowl out of the box and inspected the new look.
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Dylan Reed has always been interested in a good story. Raised without a TV he spent a lot of time with books and loves reading. Dylan has been a professional entertainer, studied commercial diving, and loves random trivia. He brings all of this and more together in his stories.