The original, 2-page short story version of


(It's not about running shoes!!)

Copyright © 1980 by Roger M. Wilcox. All rights reserved.
(writing on this story began 8-May-1980)

The original draft was written on a mechanical typewriter, single-spaced, with no right margin. All spellings, punctuation, capitalizations, strings of exclamation points, made-up words, etc. are as in the original.

You have been warned.

I have known Brooks for a long time, probably much longer than he has ever known me. And this is, I suppose, the reason for my enwonderment about him. He seemed just like an average, everyday person at first, but as he progressed, I knew that he was something well beyond this. No, I never disliked him, but I felt strange; powerless in his presence. This can only come from one like me — a servant of the Smith powers — the powers of "good".

No, I am not a smith lord — nor even a smith accomplice. I like the smith powers, and I feel that if I work long enough for them, they just might make me a Smith accomplice. And Brooks Pickering, as I did not know it then, was my primary objective.

As time built up, I had acquired full knowledge of my new weapon, called a "yellow blazer" — it fires yellow beams, with blazing heat. It also has a blast setting of various power levels. As more time built up, I began to wonder about the humanness of Brooks. There was a time in late April, continuing on into may, where I really wondered wheather or not he was really phisically ill in some way. Brooks was perfect — nothing could possibly go wrong with him.

One day, I finally asked him the deciding question — "Are you human?". With this, the world around me grew dark and still, and I knew that time and space had stopped. "NO!", he insisted, pointing a threatening vulcan symbol at me. "I am from a race from another planet — a planet where everyone is a member of the dark. I, of course, am a dark lord — a spy from your world to ours. Our race is much more advanced than yours, for we are not in one and only one form. Our home form is that of quicksilver..." Brooks immediately changed form, and a pool of thick liquid, dark and dismal, lay at my feet. Within a few seconds, he expanded his form again, to that of an obviously advanced race of alien (green, a typical form), and said, "And this is our second home form — the form we are born in."

With these words, the world around me suddenly lit up again, and I was outside. "Now", said Brooks, with an evil accent, "Prepare to die!!!" He immediately presented a vulcan-shaped hand, and fired a bright green bolt. Thank god I was always good at battleball, for I swirved my body, and the energy bolt missed me completely. As it bounced harmlessly onto the ground, several heads turned to see what was going on. The center of Lincoln is a busy place, too busy for a powerfight, as I soon found out. I knew I heard one of them say, "A fight!!", but I wasn't sure which one.

Now, it was my turn. I whipped out my hand gun, which, by the way, was already on "full 'blast'", and fired a shot aimlessly at Brooks. I had not taken any time to aim, so the shot would either be a glancing blow, or no hit at all. The odds changed, however, when Brooks set up a "tower of iron will" around his body. Naturally, the shot had no effect, as it harmlessly hit the "tower", and was fully absorbed. At this point I realized that the BLAST setting was useless against him. The only thing I could possibly use agaist such a Superdark was "full blaze".

Before I could make my next move, however, he had made his, and had polymorphed himself into a giant ape (king-kong sized), and said, "This is my favorite form!". Without wasting any undue time, I ran — it's kind of hard to fight someone who summons lightning bolts out of his right forefinger, of which I was almost caught. With this, a large crowd developed, one of whose female members even screamed slightly. I took careful aim this time, and blazed right at his center area. The blaze had practically no effect. "Ha, ha, ha!", Brooks shouted. "Fool! Nothing that weak can possibly harm me!!!". With that, he aimed his right forefinger directly at me, and fired into nothingness.

Which was exactly where I was — nothing close to Brooks. I needed something more — more powerful than the weak weapon I possesed in my hands then. I felt around on my left side, knowing there couldn't possibly be anything there of any use. Or could there? As I felt around my left front side, I felt something very large. I turned my head to look at it. It was a great big staple-shaped object — about 8" tall, and 5" long, on the side of which was written, "Form Return". I knew what it must be, and where it must have come from. I raced to where Brooks was. He had recently polymorphed himself into a long, thin strip of something, ladened with eyes. He must have seen me, for he began to re-polymorph himself. Before he could, however, I aimed my blazer at him, and let him have a full charge.

That did some damage to him, for I heard him scream. But that wasn't enough, for he had again become king kong. He aimed a threatening finger at me, but before he could fire, I whipped out my new weapon, and squeezed the handle. Brooks let out a bloodcurdling cry, and began to shrink down. When he was done, he had shrunken back to his home form of quicksilver! With that, I took careful aim, and blazed it to death. I couldn't believe my eyes when I realized that that crisped heap of quicksilver before me was my deadly enemy, Brooks! And he wouldn't have had to die like that, if I had just kept my mouth shut about his being human!!!

 TTTTT  H   H  EEEEE    EEEEE  N   N  DDD    ???
   T    H   H  E        E      NN  N  D  D  ?   ?
   T    HHHHH  EEE      EEE    N N N  D   D    ?
   T    H   H  E        E      N  NN  D  D    ?
   T    H   H  EEEEE    EEEEE  N   N  DDD     O

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