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Mind of an Outcast

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The Mind of an Outcast
By Christopher Morgan [Midnighters]
Marshall Colborn was always looked over as a child, and now, as a teenager, he is not nearly as looked over, because he is the target of many bullies. They think he is an easy target because he is shy, dresses weird, and is a very smart student. They think just for these reasons, it gives them the right to verbally, and physically attack him. He is about fed up with it.
Marshall fits the description of an average American school boy, except for one thing, the way he dresses. He dresses, most of the time, in completely black clothing, and has his hood up, hiding his face. Behind the covering of his hood, he hides the face of an abused and beaten child. He is always listening to music, to drown out the voices of “stupid people”, which he sees making fools of themselves every day.

Marshall is a very well mannered student, but seldom does he speak, unless spoken to by a teacher or school official. He feels that no one has any right to know how he feels, or the way he is. It’s not that he doesn’t want people to know he is smart, or notice that he is a very nice, kind, and civil human being, but it’s the fact that he knows people like to take advantage of that. So he distances himself from groups or gangs in his school, and if someone contacts him, he ignores them, which usually makes them mad, but they look over it, and keep recruiting.
Marshall has been known to, in the past, lose his temper every once in a while, but no one actually knows how bad it has become, not even Marshal. He doesn’t know that soon, someone will break loose the bond inside his heart that will release the anger which he has been holding back all these years. He doesn’t know that, when this happens, he will gain powers which he has never had, nor has anyone he knows had.

On March 20th, the starting day of Spring Break, Marshall was on his way home. He took his normal route, with his headphones in, hood up, and music blaring. Then, suddenly, a group of students from school, who bully him, stepped out of an alley, and pushed him into it. Once they had him in, without the possibility of escape, they began hitting and kicking him. Marshall, naturally, threw up his arms to protect himself. While standing there and taking the beating, he thought of how his father used to do this to him, and this angered him. Moments later, he lashed out his rage at one of the boys, missing only by inches. The boy backed up, as two more boys grabbed ahold of Marshall, which angered him even more. Then, Marshall felt something loosen, he didn’t know what it was. He looked at the boy who he had swung at, and thought of him flying into the wall, and it happened.

Marshall didn’t know what to think, he looked at the other two boys holding onto him, and they were staring in shock. Finally, as they noticed Marshall staring at them, they ran off. Marshall just stood there, staring at the boy. He was wondering what had just happened. He was confused, he had just watched this boy fly through the air into the wall, right after he thought about it. He couldn’t even fathom the idea that, what had just happened, was caused by him. It was impossible.

He decided to just walk home, and leave the boy laying, because if he was seen near the boy, he would be in deep trouble with authorities, and that is something he wants to avoid. When he had made it home, and into his room, he looked at a vase on his shelf, and envisioned it floating across the room, and landing on the desk, very softly. As he thought about this, it happened. He then knew what had happened, he has the ability to move things with his mind, he had never heard of anyone around his town having this.

As Marshall sat there moving things around without touching them, he began to wonder what else may have happened to him. He started trying things to test thoughts he had, such as stabbing himself in the legs to see if he was immortal, and felt no pain, which was not the case. The pain just kept coming, but he used his new found power to close the wound with pressure, and it stopped bleeding. He found this ability remarkably useful in many every day tasks. Such as doing his chores, and playing with the animals.

The next day, when he returned to school, he had a vision of the kid who he telepathically threw against the wall in that alley, puling a gun on him and firing. He saw the location of where it would happen, and the reactions of bystanders, everything was so vivid. When his class period was over, he walked into the hallway, and saw the boy, walking with a limp, and having his hand inside his jacket. Marshall smoothly turned and walked the other way, out into the courtyard. Naturally, the boy followed him, and when the courtyard was empty, pulled the gun out.

The boy took aim at Marshall, and pulled the trigger, three times. Marshall in shock that the boy actually did this, was quickly trying to think of a way to not get hurt. He then thought of the bullets, inches from his face, stopping in mid-air and falling to the ground, and it happened. Then he thought of the gun in the boys hand, flying across the courtyard, into a place which was unseen by the boy. When this happened, all the boys stared at Marshall.

Marshall slowely walked towards the boy who had pulled the gun out, as he approached, he pulled down his hood, and said to the boy, “You best not do something like that again, or I will hurt you, worse than I did yesterday. Believe me, I am not one you want to anger, because you will end up in the hospital or dead.”

When the boy noticed that Marshall was serious, he simply responded, with a shaky voice, “Okay…. I will not bother you anymore,” and ran off.

Note that I am writing this for a school paper.
 
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At the beginning, your story seems to follow the standard "teen superhero" model: Outcast experiences injustice. Outcast gets mysterious powers. Outcast tries to correct injustice. Outcast is still "different" and meets resistance. Outcast eventually gains acceptance through heroic actions despite being "different".

It's all a metaphor for puberty, empowerment, and coming of age (Spiderman wakes up and there's sticky web goo all over his sheets - I wonder what that's referring to). There are a lot of good stories that follow this model. That said, those stories are generally filled with a whitewashed, optimistic view of human behavior that doesn't jive with a school shooting. Are you writing a coming-of-age story or a story about the mindfuck of developing superpowers?

Your protagonist just realized that something is completely abnormal about his biology. He was willing to stab himself to see if he really had "superpowers". He's scared shitless and on the verge of losing it. On top of that, he can suddenly read minds and see into the future. The first few times that happens, you wouldn't know what was going on (other than the fact that you're hallucinating). Any sane person would think he was losing his mind. Only once the antagonist pulls a gun on him does he actually know he's seeing into the future.

That opens up the door for a rather interesting point - your hero has suddenly found powers he doesn't understand and can hardly control, but he also has the ability to foresee the consequences of using them. Your hero's violence in the first part of the story got him out of a tough spot, but it caused the antagonist to snap and want to start shooting people. Do you think that your hero would have retaliated against his assailants in the beginning of the story if he knew that doing so would put his classmates in danger toward the end?

Also a word of warning - school shootings are an incredibly sensitive topic that could get you into trouble depending on what kind of teacher you have and what kind of school you're at. It may be the sort of fucked up material that makes for provocative fiction, but even handled in a mature manner it could get school administrators to overreact.
 
Level 5
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I just went through a shooting last week.

Martinsville? You list Indiana on your profile, and I'm a Hoosier, too. I hope you're doing okay. The students and your entire community have been in my thoughts.

I was glad to hear that nobody lost their life, but it's hard to believe the utter despair that would bring a person to do that sort of thing.
 
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