Chapter Two: Hello World

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The street is eerily quiet as I walk towards my favourite coffee shop in downtown Nightshade. No cars crowd the street and very few pedestrians can be seen venturing into this part of town, mainly because it is just around the corner from where everything went down last night.

This fact doesn't deter me from enjoying my breakfast, though, since this place is one of the few places I feel peaceful and relaxed. With the wood paneling to accent against the industrial looking city just a few feet away, it makes me feel like I'm in a cottage on a lake somewhere, away from the stress of the world being weighed on my shoulders.

The coffee shop owner greets me with a smile and slides me my usual that I always order when I come here for breakfast across the countertop.

"Thanks Martha," I say as I hand her a five dollar bill and grab my black coffee and strawberry cream cheese slathered bagel from the counter.

"No problem sweetie," she replies as she comes around the counter to sit with me at a table, leaving her son in charge at the cash register.

I place my food on the table and slide the wooden chair back so I can sit down. The television behind where Martha is now seated across from me shows the footage from last night, again.

I always find it weird when I see myself on the news as Scarlett—I fly through downtown, dodging red hot eye lasers and shooting fire from my hands.

Martha turns to look at the screen behind her and then back to me. "That was crazy last night," she remarks, grabbing my attention. I look at her slightly wrinkled face and nod my head, agreeing with her.

"Yeah, Rancor is getting more and more dangerous," I mumble, taking a sip of my coffee.

She watches me and examines my expression. "There were people running into the shop to take cover from what was happening. It was hectic."

She looks around at the almost empty shop as if making sure no one will hear her.

The only people in the shop are not even nearby, and consist of an elderly man sitting at a table in the corner, reading a newspaper, and a college student on the other side of the shop working on a computer with music playing through their headphones.

She abruptly turns to look at me, a glimmer of fear in her eyes. "Do you think the heroes will catch him soon?" she asks suddenly.

I look back up at the screen and take another sip of my coffee, watching as Rancor flies through the streets like a rocket, with the three heroes trailing behind him.

Scarlett shoots fire from her fingertips in his direction and it just barely reaches him, catching the bottom of his black spandex suit.

"I hope so," I tell her sincerely, "or else I think Nightshade will be in trouble." I take my bagel out of the paper wrapping it was in. Martha stands up from her spot and pats me on the back before returning to her register and tending to a customer who just entered.

As Scarlett, I am supposed to be positive all the time. So saying that we will catch Rancor is what I have to say in order to maintain the shiny hero reputation.

But as Charlotte, all the doubts I have in my mind can actually show through since nobody expects me to be positive and hopeful all the time. As Charlotte I can be honest with myself and express how I really feel, and I don't know if we will be able to catch this guy.

I leave the shop, saying goodbye to Martha and her son, walking back into the streets of Nightshade.

In a split second decision, I decide that I want to go check out what the intersection looks like after the fight last night.

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