|Notes and such: Not really any warnings. Just sort of creepy. Set before, well, almost everything. For those who don't know, Heero was (at least at one point) Odin Lowe Jr. This is about that, and based on two events that happened to me as a kid and creeped me the heck out. It was incredibly frightening for me to write this because of that, and I hope some of the creepiness flowed back out so you all feel it, too.|
Odin Lowe was ready to go out for the evening. He'd go to a pub, have a beer or two -- maybe a martini -- maybe find a girl to bed for the night, and he'd worry later about eventually making it back home. His boy, Odin Lowe Jr. (he'd named him that so he wouldn't forget the boy's name, even when he was drunk) would stay at home. Odin made sure to give the boy the usual ground rules before he left. "Don't answer the telephone unless it's the specific pattern we use. Don't use the stove. Don't touch my liquor. Go to bed soon. You've got target practice in the morning if I don't have too bad a hangover."
Odin Lowe Jr. nodded and Odin was on his way. Jr. waited a few minutes before sneaking into the TV room. He didn't get to watch much TV, but when he could, he loved to watch the Kitty Kat Play Hour. And tonight he could watch it! He turned on the TV and began to laugh as the sparkly pink cat began to somersault down a set of stairs. He didn't even hear the storm outside that had just begun to roil and churn.
Just as the Kitty Kat Play Hour was over, the phone rang three times and stopped. Then, it rang again. Jr. smiled. It was Odin calling to check on him! So he answered the phone. "Hello?"
"Is Odin Lowe there?"
They said his first name, so it must not be a telemarketer. "He's at the bar. May I take a message?"
"Oh, no. This is his friend John. Say, are you his son?"
"I don't know. I live with him, though."
"What are you wearing?"
Jr. thought this was a weird thing to ask, but it wouldn't be nice not to answer. They said that on the Kitty Kat Play Hour. "I'm wearing shorts and a button-up t-shirt. I buttoned them all by myself!"
"How short are your shorts?" John asked, his breathing getting a bit deeper.
Jr. again thought that this was a strange question, but he still answered it. "If I put my arms down, they almost come down to my wrists." Jr. could now here a strange noise on the line and couldn't be sure what it was. It sounded wet, though. Was the man walking through the rain? Jr. couldn't be sure.
"How about I come over? Where do you live, little boy?"
Suddenly, Jr. was nervous. "If you really knew Odin, you'd know where he lived. Goodbye, John!" And he hung up. As he did, the lights flickered and died and the phone went dead. Jr. was suddenly very afraid. What if the guy could check the phone records and find out his address from that? He could come after him in the darkness. So, Jr. did what he did best. He found a gun and got ready for target practice.
With the power off, it was hard to get around the house to lock all of the doors, but it had been so easy to find his gun and get it ready. Jr. didn't muse on the meaning of that for too long. He waited by the front door. Odin wouldn't be home for a little while, if even before dawn, so Jr. had to take care of himself.
It was exactly eight minutes after midnight that Jr. heard someone walk up (as seen by the red-numbered, battery-operated clock in the living room). He crept to the window and peered out into the unwavering downpour. There was an old man with a bag. It was a garbage bag, and it kept moving. Jr. was scared, especially when a bolt of lightning lit the sky and Hr. could see the hooked claw that the man had instead of a hand. The bag still moved.
Jr. unlocked the window and set his revolver on the sill. He'd put the silencer on it. He took aim at the man and fired as he turned. There was a shock of red that momentarily tainted the sky, and Jr. pulled himself inside and emptied the contents of his stomach into a potted plant. He'd just killed someone. Would Odin Lowe be proud?
That night, Jr. couldn't bring himself to sleep, but neither could he bring himself to look outside again. The power was still off, Odin was still gone, and the gun still felt warm to the touch. Jr. wanted to go to sleep, wanted Odin to get home, wanted the panicky feeling in the pit of his stomach to disperse, but none of that looked like it would happen that night.
Every time the thunder shook the house, Jr. tightened his grip on the gun. When the lightning struck, his eyes would shoot around wildly and he would aim at anything that looked like it moved. Then he heard it -- there was someone else in the house, and it didn't sound like Odin after a night at the bar. When the lightning struck again, Jr. raced for the door. He kept his eyes and gun moving -- slowly aiming it around at every noise he heard. He knew he had to look outside again. He had to make sure.
Jr. slipped his shoes on and snuck out the back door. There was a fair bit of rain coming down, but that would help cover him. The rain soaked through his shirt quickly and he shivered from the cold of it. He advanced around the house, his gun trained where it might do the most good -- right in front of him.
There was no dead man laying on the ground in front of the house. But there was a garbage bag that had been clawed open and a white piece of cloth soaking in the mud by the sidewalk. Jr. shivered and circled around, not quite sure where to focus anymore. "Odin?" He looked through the darkness for a glint of something... anything? He wanted to know where that man was. But he wasn't willing to try to find him. Some things were too foolish to even try attempting.
Jr. stayed outside for the rest of the night with his back practically glued to the house. It wasn't the safest place to be, but it was better than being inside if that man was there. The streetlights weren't on yet, so Jr. knew the power wasn't back on. If he couldn't see the man coming, what hope was there for him?
Suddenly, Jr. saw a man in the distance. Was it...? It was Odin! Jr. ran to him and threw his arms around the man. "Odin! There was -" but Odin cut him off.
"I sold you."
Jr.'s eyes went wide. "You did what?"
"I sold you, Jr. I needed the bucks. You're ready for what the guy's going to put you through. It's like what we do, only you're gonna save the world."
Jr. couldn't bring himself to cry or do anything. "When am I leaving?"
Odin looked at his watch. "He'll be here to get you in 20 minutes. Get your stuff. You're leaving."
Walking inside, his gun still in hand, Jr. didn't bother to think. Odin was sober. If he said things while sober, he meant them. Jr. packed up all of his stuff (the little bit it was) and hauled it outside. He kept his gun by his side, but offered it to Odin when he got outside. Odin was sitting on the sidewalk, smoking a cigarette. He didn't look at the gun, but said through a puff of smoke. "Keep it... to remember me by."
A black limo pulled up and the door opened. Jr. was about to step in when he saw a flash of silver -- a clawed hand beckoned him inside. "Odin?"
"Go, Jr. And don't ever look back." Odin pushed him and Jr. felt himself fall into the limo. The door closed behind him and they were off. Jr. sat in the limo and looked at the man. He bore no sign of having been shot. Jr. sighed internally in relief. Maybe it was a different man?
"Your name is Heero Yuy from now on. Remember that. You'll change the world."
And Odin Lowe Jr. repeated the name under his breath, followed by the phrase, "And I will change the world."