Lumina 1

Chapter 1 - I want to be a hero

Andrew is an 11-year-old boy who is part of a superhero family. However, he is not allowed to join them when they save the world.

Hey there, I’m Andrew! Well, not the coolest kid in town, but definitely the one with the most unusual family. You see, my mom, my dad, and even my big sister Sarah are all superheroes! But don't go spreading that around; it's our little secret. And no, I'm not a superhero. Nope, not even close. I’m just a regular 11-year-old kid with a knack for getting into trouble and a serious aversion to anything sporty.

Let me paint you a picture of myself. I’m not your typical 11-year-old. Nope, not at all. I'm on the shorter side, with a slender frame that some might call ‘lanky.’ My hair? Oh, it’s longish, shoulder-length long. Some people mistake me for a girl from behind, but hey, I rock it. Now, when it comes to muscles, well, let’s just say I’m not exactly Captain America. In fact, I’m more like Captain Not-So-Strong. Sports? Yeah, not my thing. I'm more into books, video games, and avoiding any physical activity that involves running or sweating.

Now, let's talk about my family. First up, there's my mom. Superhero name: Starburst. She's got this cool ability to control light and energy. Basically, she's a walking disco ball with a mean right hook. Dad, on the other hand, goes by the name Thunderclap. And trust me, his superpower is as loud as his name suggests. He can create thunderous booms with a snap of his fingers. It’s like having your own personal fireworks show, minus the fireworks. Then there's my big sister, Sarah. Superhero alias: Shadowstrike. She’s all about stealth and agility, sneaking around in the shadows, and striking when you least expect it. Oh, and did I mention she can teleport? Yeah, she's basically a ninja with a teleportation device.

And finally, there’s me. Andrew. No fancy superhero name, no extraordinary powers. Just plain old me, with my love for cheeseburgers and my uncanny ability to trip over my own feet. Oh, and did I mention I’m terrified of spiders? Yeah, not exactly hero material.

Our arch-nemesis? Cameronite. He's like the Voldemort of our world, except with a serious fashion sense. Picture this: a dude in a sleek black suit, complete with a cape that billows dramatically in the wind. Oh, and his superpower? He can control metal. Yeah, not the most exciting power, but trust me, he makes it work. He also has more gadgets than James Bond.

So, there I was, sitting at the kitchen table, poking at my cold cereal with a spoon as I listened to Mom and Dad discuss their latest battle plan. They were gearing up to take down Cameronite once and for all, and as usual, they were leaving me behind.

“But why can’t I come with you guys?” I whined, pushing my bowl of soggy cereal away. “I could help! I mean, maybe not with the fighting part, but I could, like, cheer you on from the sidelines or something.”

Mom shot me a sympathetic smile, while Dad let out a booming laugh that rattled the windows. “Oh, Andrew,” Mom said, patting my shoulder gently. “You know we can’t risk your safety out there. Fighting supervillains is dangerous business.”

I slumped in my seat, crossing my arms with a pout. “But Sarah gets to go! Why does she get to have all the fun?”

Sarah, who had been lurking in the doorway, grinned and gave me a playful punch on the arm. “Because unlike you, little bro, I’ve got skills,” she teased, flashing me a wink before disappearing in a swirl of shadows.

I groaned, slumping further in my seat as Mom and Dad exchanged a knowing look. They understood how much I wanted to be a part of the action, but they also knew that I wasn’t exactly cut out for the superhero life.

“It’s not that we don’t trust you, Andrew,” Dad said, his voice softening. “It’s just...”

"You're not ready,” Mom finished for him, reaching across the table to squeeze my hand. “But one day, who knows? Maybe you’ll discover your own superpower.”

I sighed, casting a longing glance at the door where Sarah had disappeared. Maybe one day I'll join them in their epic battles against evil. But for now, I guess I’ll just have to settle for being the world’s most heroic cheerleader.

And so, as Mom and Dad prepared to face off against Cameronites once again, I waved them off from the safety of our kitchen window, my heart filled with a mixture of pride and envy.

You know, being a regular kid in a family of superheroes isn’t exactly a walk in the park. While Mom, Dad, and Sarah were out there, fighting the good fight and saving the world from evil, I was stuck at home, wondering when my own superpowers would kick in. I mean, come on! It’s not fair that everyone else in my family gets to have all the fun while I’m stuck here twiddling my thumbs.

So, what’s a kid like me to do? Well, I figured if I wanted to join the ranks of the super-powered, I’d have to start by doing all the things superheroes do. And what do superheroes do? Well, according to Mom, Dad, and Sarah, they eat their vegetables, they do their homework, and they always, always listen to their parents. Ugh, that sounds boring, right? But hey, if it meant unlocking my inner superhero, then sign me up!

So, there I was, choking down broccoli and solving long-division problems like a young Sheldon, all in the hopes that one day I’d wake up with the ability to shoot lasers from my eyes or fly faster than a speeding bullet. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. But hey, a kid can dream, right?

While Mom and Dad were out there battling the forces of evil, I found solace in the world of superhero movies. I mean, sure, I couldn’t be out there fighting alongside Captain America and Iron Man, but at least I could live vicariously through their epic adventures on the big screen. Plus, it gave me some much-needed inspiration for when my own superpowers finally decided to make an appearance.

But then, just when I thought my life couldn’t get any weirder, along came Mr. Jenkins. Now, Mr Jenkins wasn’t your typical next-door neighbour. No, sir, he was like something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting – all-white picket fences and perfectly trimmed hedges. Oh, and did I mention he was also the nicest old man you’d ever meet? Yeah, he was practically a walking Hallmark card.

At first, I was a little wary of Mr. Jenkins. I mean, who wouldn’t be? After all, he was new in town, and everyone knows that new people are always a little...suspect. But as it turned out, Mr Jenkins was just lonely, looking for some company in his golden years. And who was I to turn down the opportunity to make a new friend?

So, I did what any polite 11-year-old would do: I found my mother's baked cookies where she hid and marched right over to his house to introduce myself. And wouldn’t you know it, we hit it off right away! Mr. Jenkins was like a grandpa I never knew I had, always ready with a listening ear and a warm smile. He even let me ramble on about my frustrations with school and girls and all the other stuff that seemed so important at the time.

Of course, I couldn’t exactly tell Mr. Jenkins the real reason behind my frustrations. I mean, how do you explain to someone that your family is secretly a bunch of superheroes? Yeah, not exactly dinner table conversation. So instead, I just told him that being 11 years old was tough, you know? Homework, bullies, girls with cooties – the usual stuff.

And wouldn’t you know it, Mr. Jenkins was totally supportive. He nodded along sympathetically, offering me words of encouragement and sage advice that made me feel like maybe, just maybe, being a regular kid wasn’t so bad after all. Little did I know, Mr. Jenkins had a secret of his own – one that would turn my world upside down in ways I never could have imagined.

But for now, I was content to bask in the glow of Mr. Jenkins’ grandfatherly wisdom, blissfully unaware of the danger lurking just beneath the surface. After all, ignorance is bliss, right? And for a kid like me, bliss was in short supply these days. But hey, at least I had cookies. And really, what more could a kid ask for?

So, there I was, sitting on the edge of my bed, staring at the mess that was my room. Clothes were strewn everywhere, toys scattered across the floor – it was like a tornado had swept through and left chaos in its wake. And me? Well, I was just an 11-year-old kid, feeling more frustrated than ever.

But then something strange happened. As I sat there, brooding over my messy room and wishing I could do something about it, I felt this strange tingling sensation in the back of my mind. It was like a light bulb had gone off, illuminating a path I never knew existed. And suddenly, it hit me – I had a superpower!

Okay, maybe not the kind of superpower that involved shooting lasers from my eyes or flying faster than a speeding bullet, but a superpower nonetheless. You see, I could move things with my mind. Yeah, you heard me right. I was like a mini-Magneto, except instead of controlling metal, I could control pretty much anything I wanted.

Excited and eager to test out my newfound abilities, I focused all my concentration on the mess in my room. And wouldn’t you know it? With a mere thought, I watched in amazement as clothes flew into the closet, toys leapt into their bins, and books stacked themselves neatly on the shelves. It was like magic, only better!

I waited for my family to get back.

Brimming with newfound confidence, I practically skipped downstairs to find Mom and Dad, eager to share my exciting discovery with them. I burst into the living room, a grin plastered on my face as I announced, “Guess what, guys? I have a superpower!”

Mom and Dad exchanged a surprised glance, while Sarah let out a snort of laughter from her spot on the couch. "Oh, really?” she teased, raising an eyebrow sceptically. “And what’s your superpower, little bro? The ability to clean your room?”

I rolled my eyes, ignoring her teasing as I demonstrated my newfound abilities. With a flick of my wrist and a focused thought, I levitated a remote control from the coffee table, causing Mom and Dad’s jaws to drop in amazement.

“Wow, that’s incredible, Andrew!” Dad exclaimed, clapping me on the back proudly. "It looks like we’ve got ourselves a budding superhero in the family!”

I beamed with pride, revelling in the newfound admiration of my family. Finally, I felt like I was a part of something special like I was actually contributing to the greater good. Best of all, I could finally join Mom, Dad, and Sarah on their epic missions to save the world!

But alas, my excitement was short-lived. As Mom and Dad exchanged a solemn look, I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. “I’m sorry, Andrew,” Mom said, her voice gentle but firm. “But you’re still too young to join us on our missions. We can’t risk your safety out there.”

I deflated like a balloon, and the wind knocked out of my sails in an instant. “But I have a superpower now!” I protested, desperation creeping into my voice. “I can help you guys! Please, let me come with you!”

But Mom and Dad were adamant, insisting that I had to wait until I was older and more experienced. And so, once again, I was left behind while my family went off to save the world without me.

Frustrated and dejected, I retreated to my room, feeling more alone than ever. But just as I was wallowing in self-pity, there came a knock at the door. I opened it to find Mr. Jenkins standing on the other side, a concerned look on his wrinkled face.

“Hey there, champ,” he said, his voice soft and soothing. “I couldn’t help but notice you seemed a little down. Everything okay?”

I hesitated for a moment, unsure if I should confide in him. After all, he didn’t know the truth about my family’s secret identities, and I wasn’t about to spill the beans now. So instead, I just shrugged, mumbling something about being frustrated with school and stuff.

Mr. Jenkins nodded sympathetically, patting me on the shoulder in a gesture of comfort. “I know how you feel, kiddo,” he said, his eyes twinkling with understanding. “Being a child is tough sometimes. But hey, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. Who knows what the future holds?”

I forced a smile, grateful for Mr. Jenkins’ words of wisdom, even if they didn’t exactly make me feel better. But as I watched my family’s exploits on the evening news, frustration bubbling up inside me once again, I couldn’t help but wonder – when would it be my turn to save the world?

Let me tell you, being an 11-year-old with superpowers isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, you’d think it’d be all fun and games, flying around and saving the day like some kind of pint-sized Superman. But let me tell you, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Nope, not by a long shot.

Take yesterday, for example. Mom, Dad, and Sarah had just returned from another epic battle with Cameronite, and as usual, I was left behind to wait and worry. And let me tell you, I was not happy about it. Not one bit.

So, what did I do? Well, I’ll tell you what I did. I threw the mother of all temper tantrums; that’s what I did. I stomped around the house, yelling and screaming like a banshee, demanding to know why I wasn’t allowed to join my family on their missions. And when Mom and Dad tried to calm me down, I just pushed them away, furious that they wouldn’t let me be a part of the action.

After my little meltdown, things got even more complicated. As it turns out, I had developed new powers of my own. Yeah, you heard me right. Not only could I move things with my mind, but now I could move fast – like, really fast – and I could even fly!

I was ecstatic, of course. Finally, I thought I could join Mom, Dad, and Sarah on their epic missions and prove that I was just as capable as they were. But, of course, my parents had other ideas. They told me I needed to learn how to control my powers first, to practice and train until I was ready to join them in the field.

And you know what? I was mad. I was mad at my parents for holding me back and for treating me like some kind of helpless child. And most of all, I was mad at Sarah. Because she was older because she was allowed to help, and because she got to be the hero while I was stuck playing second fiddle.

So, what did I do? Well, I’ll tell you what I did. I stormed out of the house, my fists clenched in frustration, and I sulked in the front yard like a petulant child. And that’s when Mr. Jenkins showed up, a concerned look on his wrinkled face.

“Hey there, champ,” he said, his voice soft and soothing. “What’s got you all riled up?”

I did something stupid. Something reckless. Something that would change everything. I told Mr. Jenkins my secret.

Yep, you heard me right. I spilt the beans to the nice old man next door, blabbering on about how my family were actually superheroes and how I felt left out and useless because I didn’t have any powers of my own. He listened. He actually listened.

He said I could be my own hero. He said I didn’t need my family to validate me and that I had the power within myself to make a difference in the world. And for a moment, I believed him. I actually believed him.

But then, just as quickly as the moment had come, it passed. As I watched my family’s exploits on the evening news, frustration bubbling up inside me once again, I couldn’t help but wonder – could I really do this on my own? Could I be more famous than Spider-Man? And most importantly, could I prove to my family that I didn’t need them to be a hero?

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This story is 2912 words long.