Afflictions: Part Thirty Nine

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Jude sat at the desk in the room that John had shown him to. It was nicely decorated even if it wasn’t exactly his style. All of the furniture was very rustic, made of finished wood. It was proper wood too, not particleboard like most things these days. The walls were all decorated with old tools and things. Jude’s immediate thought while he was being shown the place was that he would be spending the next week or so sleeping in a Cracker Barrel, but he supposed that wasn’t so bad really.

He looked out the window and sighed. A beautiful bird of some kind landed on his windowsill, and sat still for a moment. It felt briefly like it was looking into his eyes right before it took off. He almost wanted to stay in his room and lay around all day, but he didn’t drive all the way to Wyoming just to sit in a different house, so he decided to go outside. It was a beautiful day after all. He might go for a run, or see what Zoey and Guillermo were up to.

He passed by both Zoey’s room and Guillermo’s room, but neither of them were there. Figuring they must be doing something outside if they weren’t inside, Jude made his way to join them.

He stepped out of the front door, and smelled the fresh air. It really was a sensation. The sun beamed down on him, with a gentle breeze cooling him to the perfect temperature. It was completely peaceful.

He heard something coming from around the corner of the house that sounded like an animal running. Moments later a cute little white baby goat came running around the corner. The goat ran past Jude, and gave him a wide berth. Jude then heard something else coming from around the corner of the house, that sounded a decent bit louder. From around the corner came John, closely followed by Zoey.

“Catch that goat!” John shouted, now looking at Jude.

He turned back to the goat and saw it was some hundred feet away, and about to reach the other corner of the house. He kicked off from the ground, and flew low. Within seconds, the goat was in Jude’s arms, desperately attempting to get away.

John and Zoey ran the rest of the way over, and John relieved Jude of the goat, slipping a lead around its neck.

“Well, I’ll be!” John said. “You’re pretty darn fast, huh Jude?”

Jude smiled awkwardly, not really sure what to say in response to that. He hadn’t really worked for this ability or anything, he just happened to have it.

“I’ll tell ya what, why don’t we do something interesting?” He said with a smile. “I wanna race you.”

Jude didn’t have the best feeling about this, and within moments, he found himself standing in a field next to John, who was on a reddish brown horse, with Zoey and Guillermo standing off to the side. The field was relatively clear, and about the size of a football field, but more square. A worn wooden fence surrounded the entire thing.

“Alright, here’s the rules.” John began. “It’s a simple race, first to make it around the field, hugging the fence, wins. I’m on a horse, and you’re on foot.”

“On foot?” Jude’s jaw dropped. “You’re on a horse.”

“And you have superpowers, so I’d call it fair.” John shrugged.

“So on foot means I can fly then, right?”

“No, it means on foot, like running. Your other powers aren’t off limits though, as long as you’re running. Except for blasting, don’t blast anyone.” John seemed to sense Jude’s disbelief. “Just humor me, will you? I think you’ll find this to be a valuable learning experience if you give it your all.”

Jude sighed and shrugged. “If you insist, I’ll give it a try.”

They both took their stances as Zoey counted them down. John shot off ahead immediately, with Jude trailing at an increasing distance.

Jude felt terribly unsurprised by this development, as his opponent was mounted, but something about John’s words to him struck him as significant. He did say he’d give it his all, so he figured he may as well try to use his powers somehow. Blasting and flight were his two main powers, and they were right out, unless he could somehow propel himself with blasting while still running. He considered it for a moment, then decided against it, as he didn’t like his odds of not accidentally incinerating anything. He had dealt with Deven enough to know that he had some kind of supernatural strength, so he wondered if perhaps he could concentrate that in his legs to go faster.

Jude concentrated, and tried to push into the ground as hard as he could, focusing the direction on forwards rather than up. He locked his eyes on the horse that was now over halfway around the field, and gave it all he had.

The motions felt unnatural, but powerful. The distance began to close between them, as Jude found himself going increasingly fast, taking massive strides at once. To a viewer it might’ve looked like flying close to the ground while moving his legs, but Jude could definitely feel the difference. This motion was all in his legs.

John was nearing the finish line, when Jude caught up to him and blitzed past him. He crossed the finish line, and braced himself on his knees as he tried to catch his breath.

“Wow, Jude!” Zoey ran up to him. “That was so cool, you outran a horse!”

Jude nodded. “I did it…”

“I told you it would be worthwhile.” John sauntered up behind them, and dismounted. “I think that power of yours has got a whole lot of aspects that you ain’t quite explored yet.” He patted him on the back, then turned to Zoey and Guillermo. “Now, how do y’all feel about some lunch? I’ve worked up an appetite myself.”

Zoey and Guillermo fell in behind him, saying something, but Jude just stared at John as he walked off. That was strange how much he seemed to know about Jude’s power. He himself wouldn’t have thought of doing that, so what kind of intel did this guy have?

“You coming?” John faced Jude, now a distance away.

“Yeah…” Jude called, before following.

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Hello traveler! You’ve happened upon my serial, or maybe found it intentionally. If you like what you see, be sure to check out the reading guide and read the rest of the series! This may be season 3, but there’s pretty comprehensive recaps, so it’s not as if there’s an enormous backlog.

I really need to start doing these monday night again. Anyways, I’ve got a twitch now, and I’ll be streaming some time around 6 or 7 EST this Sunday at

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