Soft gusts of cold wind carried the snow high into the air, hanging until it smoothly fell onto the ground. The streetlights were covered with frost, dimly illuminating the dark streets. The untouched snow covered the ground as the towering shadows of buildings gave the white fluff a darker tone.
Crunch! The sound of a footstep marked the perfect blanket of snow. A young man walked through the small height of snow with his hands in his pockets and his hood covering his head. He slowly walked toward what seemed to be a bright light down the road near an alley. The young man's lips shivered and his shoulders pressed tightly to his body in an effort to maintain any type of body heat. Throughout his time being in the cold winter in the United States, Gabriel couldn't help but loathe the irony presented.
He arrived at the alley and gazed upon the small fire a homeless man created within a trash can. Gabriel walked toward the source of heat and took out his hands; swallowing a pill before placing his cold fingers upon the warm flames. The young man looked at the homeless guy sitting by the wall with a bottle of whiskey at hand, obviously a bit dazed. Gabriel squinted at the bottle as he made out the familiar brand "Zhumir" from the faded letters that appeared through the gloved fingers of the man.
"¿Hablas Español? (Do you speak Spanish?)" Gabriel asked the man as he looked into the flame.
The homeless guy looked at him, just realizing his presence."Si… Oy joven… ¿por que estás aquí? ¿Qué? ¿No tienes casa? (Yes… hey kid. Why are you here? What? You don't have a home?)"
"Necesito ayuda… (I need help)." Gabriel began to swallow another pill.
"¿Drogadicto? (Drug addict?)"
"No… algo más serio.(No… something much more serious)."
"Digame. (Tell me)."
Gabriel looked at the homeless man once more, his smell of the whiskey was heavy upon his nostrils.
"Bueno… no recuerdo mucho, pero… (Alright… I don't remember much, but….)"
Few Months Ago
A concerned expression spread across her face, the news woman fiddled with her pen as the crew was powdering her face. "Ready in 5!" She looked at the teleprompter in front of her, mentally reciting her words in an attempt to not jumble her words. "Alright! 5…4…3…2…" The cameraman signaled her.
"A catastrophic event took place today within Ecuador. People were in flames as the city of Cuenca had suffered from what witnesses say to be a big explosion. The police and firemen within the city were immediately called to action as they evacuated surrounding civilians to try and detain the devastation…No one within the vicinity of the flames have survived... Reports-" Her eyes shift to the crew member who hands her a piece of paper. She reads it with shock "… wait… I'm sorry this just came in. Eyewitnesses have just claimed that the police and the firemen have just found a survivor within the flames." The news woman smiles as she gazed into the camera away from the teleprompter. "This is certainly a miracle."
His pupils dilated, adjusting to the bright light beaming upon him. Gabriel blinked various times, trying to gain a sense as to where he was only to close his eyes once more. The sound of the machine measuring his heart rate was the only sound to echo his mind.
"¡Que bueno, has despertado! (Great, you woke up!)"
The young man slowly moved his aching head towards the sweet sound of a woman's voice. Gabriel squinted, allowing the small line of blurred vision to view the nurse bringing in a tray of what seemed to be medication.
The young Hispanic attempted to shake off his confusion, "Ughhh… ¿Adonde estoy? (Where am I?)"
She smiled sweetly as she tied her dark hair into a bun. "Estás en el hospital. No te preocupes. (You're at the hospital. Don't worry.)"
Gabriel felt the sting of the needle through his vein, his right arm had been punctured. "¿Por qué estás sacando mi sangre? (Why are you taking out my blood?)"
"No mas para asegurar que estás bien. Es un milagro que estás viviendo… ya está todo. (Just to make sure you're fine. It's a miracle that you're alive… It's done)."
Gabriel remained dazed as he saw her blurry image exit the door with the tray at hand. He tried to remember what happened in Cuenca. He remembered the dirt streets and the tight sidewalks. The stores that lacked doors with hanging products across the frame of the entrance. The number of signs advertising "Pingüiino" Ice Cream, Zhumir, and Coca-Cola.The poverty stricken families begging for money and the farm owning families selling their produce from a wheelbarrow. "Aaaghh!" Gabriel clutched his chest as he shot up from his position. His heart felt as if fire had been set upon it. He began to breathe heavily as sweat began to pour down his dark toned face.
"Today, another tragedy occurred in Ecuador. A local hospital in Cuenca burst into flames. The cause of the fire is yet to be known but the hospital is no more…" A tear began to stream down her face as she looked down from the teleprompter, "there are no survivors..."
Gabriel looked deeply into the fire within the trash can. Envious of its ability to contain such a curse. "Y eso es lo que recuerdo… Cuando ese ardor viene en mi corazon, tengo miedo. Y ahora estoy aquí para ver si alguien me puede ayudar. Estos pastillas me ayuda contener ese ardor. (And that's what I remember… when that burning sensation in my heart comes, I get scared. I'm here to see if someone can help me. These pills help me contain that burning.)"
The young man closed his eyes as a tear rolled down his face. "Maté tanta gente… y era un accidente. (I killed so many people… and it was an accident.)"
Gabriel turned to the man with his eyes locked onto the snowy grounds, "Y lo peor de todo es que no sé cómo obtuve estos poderes… Mi vida se convirtió en cenizas (And worst of all I don't even know how I got these powers... My life turned to ashes)"
There was no response from the man, only the sound of the soft wind and the flickering of the flame. Gabriel looked up the man. He remained at the same position he was at the start of the conversation; clutching his bottle of whiskey. The homeless man's eyes were closed as his mouth slowly opened. He began to snore.
Gabriel gave a slight smile at his fellow Ecuadorian as he headed out to the streets once more in search of a proper shelter. Listening to the soft blows of wind and the sound of snoring echoing the once silent winter night.
Somewhere in Ecuador…
"¿Pues está en los Estados Unidos? (So he is in the United States?)" The aged military official asked the scientist as a small monitor showed a red dot blink at a slow constant rate.
"Si, General." The scientist replied as she tied her dark hair into a bun, "Increíble. ¿Quien puede creer ese fluido de seguimento trabaja despues de tanto tiempo? (Incredible. Who would have thought that the tracking fluid would have worked after all this time?)"
"Eso no importa. (That doesn't matter)," the General spoke with a firm tongue, "Ese joven es un mutante, el primero que Ecuador lo ha visto. Podemos hacer maravillas con ese chico. (That young man is a mutant, the first Ecuador has seen. We can do wonders with that boy.) "
"¿Pues que hacemos? (So what do we do?)"
The General walked away from the monitor as he made his way to the door only to suddenly stop at the entrance. "Esperemos… esperemos hasta cuando llegue el momento. (We wait… we wait until the moment arrives.)"