An Alive Hero

Chapter 1

.....

I took off down the field. The soccer ball and I became one as I tactfully moved along the green. I faked a goal on the sweeper, turned to my left and kicked the ball into the net, all ready knowing my team won even though the goalie attempted to catch the pentagon-covered sphere.
"Yes!" I exclaimed as I punched the air and ran back to my scrimmage team's side of the field. Some of the guys clapped my back with a "good job" while responding to Coach Brown's whistle and hand gestures to retire playing for the evening. I loved soccer, it was the only sport that my alter-ego Mister Adrenaline Junkie could get his anger out and put some bruises on the enemy without getting called out.
"You boys are gettin' better every practice. The Trojans are gonna have a hard fight tomorrow night," Coach Brown said.
A couple guys next to me whooped and fist-pumped. I had a good feeling myself that we might be able to beat our rival school this year. "It's a good tihng you've got Kyle on your team." Coach Bown pointed at me.
I smiled and shrugged a little. "Thank you," I said.
"You all better get a good night's sleep tonight. And eat a good breakfast tomorrow. You're dismissed."
I stood quickly, almost leaping. Ozzy walked over to me as I picked up my Adidas gym bag.
"You think your mom would let me spend the night?" Ozzy asked.
I knew what that meant. Ozzy's parents had to be fighting again. "Yeah, man. Let's go."
~
I was happy to be home. "That was a good game, man. An awesome game," Ozzy said, as he reached out his fist.
I pounded it and nodded my head. "I gotta go take a shower," I said as I began my jog upstairs.
"Save some water for me," I heard Ozzy say through what I guessed was bites of food.
I eagerly turned the cold water on the faucet more than usual. I grabbed my "anti-bi-polar pills" and swallowed one, bitterly, now realizing I "forgot" to take one this morning. Even some of the greats of the world had mental disorders, Robert Downey Jr., Kurt Cobain, Edgar Allen Poe was believed to have some mental disorder. I know it's not a good idea, but I sometimes experiment and see how often I can go without taking pills before my insanity interrupts me. I stared in the mirror, seeing my harsh reflection in return. I usually liked my appearance, but there seemed to be something different about my rounded-rectangular, pale face and green eyes. Maybe it was just the bi-polar kicking in. That had to be it.
I stripped the rest of my clothing and stepped into the cool shower in an attempt to wash away the confusion.
~
I massaged my long, wet, blonde hair with the towel and tossed it in the hamper. "You were great tonight, sweetie," my mom said, giving me a peck on the cheek.
"Thanks, mom," I said. Even though I was fifteen, I never was embarrassed to receive a kiss from the woman who gave me birth.
"It's nice to see the Eagles conquer the Trojans for once," my grandpa Richard said, his prescence surprising me.
"I sense a story coming on," my mom said and set a plate of crackers and cheese on the counter beside us. "I'll leave you boys alone to talk."
My mom exited the kitchen and walked into her bedroom, carrying her new favorite romance novel. "You're showing that warrior spirit, my boy."
I smiled, sitting next to my grandpa at the breakfast bar. I always liked it when he compared me to soldiers.
"Did you ever learn about the story of the Greek war hero, Achilles?" my grandpa asked.
I nodded. "I don't know much," I admitted.
"Well, he was a young man much like yourself. A strong demigod, unafraid of any enemy, quick on his feet, and interestingly enough, believed to be bi-polar. You know that much?"
I nodded again. I was amazed at how much this war lord of Greece sounded like myself.
"Well you're not a demigod, but anyway... he had everything he could have ever wanted. Women falling at his feet, enemies cowering in fear, respected and favored by some of the greatest kings of Greece, including Odysseus and Agamemnon. Well, the only thing Achilles never gained was true immortality. Sure, his name will be carried out for ages to come, but I think that the only thing he ever wanted was to live forever; to his sons' sons' sons follow his footsteps into battle. But," my grandpa leaned in towards me, gesturing with his finger to lean in as well, "some believe that he still lives," he whispered.
"How is that possible?"
"He reincarnates himself into young men. Takes the souls of them and lives in them until they die and then moves on to the next."
"Wow," I said. Seconds later I snapped back at myself. "Nice story, grandpa. I better go to bed. Good night."
As I was leaving the room, I could swear that I heard him say, "You'll find out that it's not just a story soon."
~
"I can't believe we do this unit," I told Ozzy as we grabbed plastic swords.
Apparently, our school had ran out of ideas for sports to play in gym, so someone decided on a sword-fighting unit.
"Dude, you're awesome at this. You look like Leonidas when you compete," Ozzy said.
Yeah, we had competitions at the end of the unit. You have to win at least two matches out of five two get a one hundred test grade. I always get the one hundred by the end of my second match.
"Kyle, would you mind working with Osmund for a match or two?" our gym teacher Mr. Vines asked me.
"Yeah, no problem," I said.
"Go easy on him," he joked.
We laughed a little. "I heard that," Ozzy said as Mr. Vines walked away.
"All right. I'll count us off," I said, posing in my usual starting stance, right arm held above my head, my elbow protecting my heart. "Three, two, one, en gaurd."
I swung down at Ozzy, my sword landing on top of his. It was a good thing that they wre sturdy, otherwise every one I used would break. I twisted my arm back and turned in an attempt to confuse my opponent. I attempted to strike again, our swords clashing once more. Ozzy aimed for my legs, in an attempt to trip me. I jumped and hit his left shoulder-blade, behind his heart. Ozzy knew that this would have meant death for him, and fell on one knee, admitting defeat. I sighed and withdrew my sword. I believed that the story of Achilles's reincarnation was possible, and I was starting to believe my grandpa's hint that he lived in me.
"You've gotta let me win, at least one time," Ozzy complained.
Mr. Vines patted me on the back, beaming. "You get better at this unit every year, you know that?" he said.
I smiled. "Thank you," I said.
Mr. Vines held my shoulder and led me away from the other students, to the doorway. "There's a team at Trojan Academy that I think you should try out for. They have their own sword-fighting team. Rarely do students from NY Central show an interest, but I think that you should consider it. Some of the students that participate end up being spotted by talent scouts who are looking for stunt doubles for movies. It could be a good opportunity for you and a perfect fit for your skills. Put some of that adrenaline to good use."
The thought of joining a TA team made me cringe, but Mr. vines had a point about me getting some of the adrenaline that Mister AJ had out of me and getting noticed and possibly becoming famous for doing dangerous stunts all day could be pretty fun. I began to like my talent of sword-fighting.
~
I feasted on my mom's baked chicken and mashed potatoes, hoping that Ozzy was getting a dencent meal at his parents' house. "Mom," I started while wiping my mouth clean of any crumbs, "I've been thinking about joining a sword-fighting team at TA."
My mom stopped chewing on her biscuit and looked at me with surprise. "A Trojan team? I thought you hated those rich, snobby kids. And why would you want to join a sword-fighting team? The only thing that could come out of it is violence," she said.
"That's the only place where they offer it. I really want to try out. If I don't get in, then I've got nothing to lose."
"Kyle-"
"Let the boy try out, Olivia," my grandpa cut off my mom, reaching across the table and holding her hand.
My mom's green eyes slowly looked up into Grandpa's, unsurely. After a long, intense shared stare she sighed. "OK," she said. She drew back her hand. "OK," she whispered.
I looked at Grandpa, giving him a thanks-look, and even though his mouth didn't move, my ears somehow picked up his voice saying, "You're welcome, my boy."
~
Four months later:
I stretched my arms proudly as I heard the announcer say, "Kyle Benny from Trojan Academy is the winner of the Regional Sword-Fighting Tournament, ladies and gentlemen!"
The crowd stood to its feet as they cheered and applauded wildly. I couldn't help but widen my smile. "Achilles! Achilles!" a few of my teammates chanted.
A few teammates grew to the team, then to a fourth of the crowd, then half, then nearly the whole stadium joined in.
I looked at my grandpa who nodded with approval. A voice inside me said, "You now know who you truly are."
I did know who I was. My grandfather was right. I was Achilles.
~

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