Red, Black, White – part 8

Wally Allen, aka ‘Rapidfire’, streaked towards downtown Boston. His red suit with a white boxing glove on the front announced to the world who he was. It that didn’t, the red streak of his passing did. His mind wasn’t wholly on running at the moment. He’d gotten home from working as a security guard, and collapsed just after he made it inside his home. Wally fell, and threw up as his vision danced and swam so badly he didn’t know if he was on the floor.

The colors suddenly were glaring, painful to look at, closing his eyes did nothing as they simply grew brighter, spinning dizzily before him. His left arm cramped and ached, the pain radiating up and down the arm like a classic heart-attack sign. He lay gasping in pain for what seemed hours, then the sensations faded, like water soothing a sunburn. Five minutes later he was able to stand up. He checked his throat for anything irregular, but all he felt was a strong, steady beat.

The dizziness didn’t return while he started laundry, which had him believing it might be he’d pushed himself a little hard the last few days trying to patrol as Rapidfire in between semi-hourly sweeps of the facility he was assigned to guard. The division of actions had been tough to balance all week. Small things kept slowing him down. Mugging, attempted arson, drunks in traffic, drunks driving. It’s said the devil is in the details, and Wally was inclined to agree. He checked his watch as he moved the wet clothes to the coin-operated dryer. He put the dryer on medium, then fed in enough quarters to keep it cycling for two hours. That would give him time to make a quick trip downtown patrol and back.

It wasn’t that he saw responsibility, he did understand responsibility, he just saw the chance to be a hero like those on television irresistible. Wally always had a sense of recklessness, which got him into numerous scraps as a kid, but he never backed down, and he never let anyone bully another when he was in school. Looking like a nerd didn’t help, and begin as strong as a limp spaghetti helped even less, but Wally was always stepping in rather than watching. He didn’t know why, or really care. It was who he was.

Okay now where was that interview? Oh, yeah. He pulled a scrap of paper from his pocket, and read the address. North side, about four miles from here. I’ve got 10 minutes. No problem. Grinning at the chance to run, he bolted out the door, pausing just a moment to close it behind him, was gone in a flash.