100 Words A Day by Hydrargentium

Well, at least 100 words — best served random….

Tag: The Under Man

Haze floated lower, curling up into a kneeling position, even though he was still intangible, not touching the ground. That put him level with the boy, face to face instead up above.

“The Under Man, huh?”

The boy nodded, but his eyes scanned left and right, looking down the tunnel in each direction.

“And what’s your name?”

“I’m Kyle.”

“Hi, Kyle. I’m Haze,” he said, smiling.

He was about to ask Kyle if he liked any sports, and then stopped himself. If this kid was as “underprivileged” as he looked, then maybe he never got to watch TV. Instead, he decided that maybe getting straight to the point would be best after all.

“What are you doing down here, Kyle? How did you get down here? Have you been here before?”

This time Kyle turned his head, taking a good look down the tunnel each way — not that he could’ve seen very much, with more than half the ancient yellow lights burnt out or barely flickering.

“I’m going to the store for Dad.”

“To the store?” Haze paused. Then something else struck him. “Your Dad sent you down here?”

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The little boy looked up at him. Though not exactly clean, he looked properly fed, and his hair was cut in the kind of style mothers tend to favour for four-year-old boys — certainly not shaggy and wild, more youthful and impish. Haze noticed that his clothes were definitely not new, but patches on both knees showed signs of regular upkeep.

“It’s okay, mister superhero. I almost fell in the water, but I’m okay now.”

Haze looked at the slowly flowing sludge. It might be raw sewage, or maybe just thick with dirt from the streets. He no idea, really. He’d never even considered what lay below the streets. It was just where the rainwater flowed beneath the curbside grates. He realized he was probably lucky he couldn’t smell anything.

He felt the boy pass a finger through his thigh.

“Cool. Are you really here? Are you a ghost?”

Haze smiled. “I’m really here. And I’m alive, too, just with super powers that make me look like a ghost.”

“And speaking of being alive, what happened? Did you save yourself?” He resisted the urge to get straight to the point, to ask why this child was even down here in the first place.

“Uh-uh.” The little boy shook his head. “The Under Man saved me.”