The Letter

11 oktober 2007

17/7 2009 Baxter Building
New York

Dear father,
I know that you haven’t herd from me for ages now, and I’m sorry for that. But to my defence, it must be said that I didn’t have any address to send the letters to. I suppose I could’ve asked Sue, but to be honest, I don’t think she would’ve answered me. At least not with the truth.
That’s somethin’ that worries me, actually. Not somethin’ with Sue specifically, or well, it’s about Sue, but not that she’s sick or anythin’. Sue is fine.
But the thing is that I think we kind of slip apart. As you can see, I live in the Baxter Building now, along with the rest of our team (I’ll tell you about that in some moments) but my point is that since I don’t live with Sue anymore, we don’t have the same contact as before.
I mean, not that we were super close before, but we were still siblings. There was always some kind of special contact. And now that I live in Baxter Building with Reed, July, Cassy and Ben, I don’t see her as often as I’m used to. We still call each other ev’ry second week, but still…
Well, I suppose I’m a little scared, really. Sue’s always been there, protectin’ me. Not that I needed protection, and I still don’t, but it’s a nice feeling to know that big sister will always be there, lookin’ after you.
But, of course, I have my new team lookin’ after me now. Or, well, sorry. “Team” is the wrong word. They’re my family, just as much as Sue is.
I don’t think I’ve told you about them, right?
It all started with this project that Reed had thought up. We were goin’ out in space to supervise a sun storm. (Reed thought that it could’ve been a sun storm that brought life to Earth.) We were goin’ to make measurements and check the effect the storm had on some plants and stuff like that. I’m not very into it, ‘cause I were just pilotin’ the spaceship and fixed all this stuff with space suits and electronics. It were mostly Reed and July and Cassy that knew a lot about the storm and what it should do.
Anyway, somethin’ went wrong with Reed’s calculations, and the storm swept over us several hours earlier than expected. Ben was takin’ a walk just about then, and we didn’t have time to reel him in. And since I was responsible for all the technology and stuff like that, I had to stay till he was in safety. Reed and July came to warn us, and they stayed too. (There wouldn’t have been time for them to get behind the shields anyway.) At least I hoped that Cassy (who’d warned Mr von Doom – also known as Reeds concurrent and the scientific madman Dr Doom) was behind the shields. But noo… By some strange reason that no one can understand, she came to help us, and was hit as well on the way there.
The point is that Reed, Cassy, July, Ben and I were hit by the sun storm, and it kinda super powered us. (Reed says it fundamentally altered our DNA, but “super powered” sounds better).
After we came back to Earth, a lot of things happened, most of which were trivialities which we don’t have to linger by. To sum it all up, now we are a team of super heroes that is called the Fantastic Five.
Since you haven’t got a news update for quite a long time, I figured that I’d tell you a little about us.

There is me, Johnny – or as people often call me now – the Human Torch. Yeah, that’s right; I can actually burn, without gettin’ hurt. Reed said that it’s some kind of alternated-genetic-structure-thing, but I didn’t really listen when he explained it all. The point is that I can burn, without getting’ hurt AND I can control fire. At least to a certain degree. And hot things don’t hurt me. Cassy freaks out ev’ry time I take somethin’ out of the oven without usin’ pot-holders. It’s kinda fun.
And the best of all: I can fly! I don’t know what happens (at the point that Reed explained THAT, I’d fallen asleep) but I get really, really hot, and I just take off. It’s REALLY cool.
As I told you, I live in the Baxter Building now, at the top floors, and my new family is really great. Not that Sue was bad in any kind – or well, we had out fights – but that’s not the point.
If I should start in some specific order, I suppose I should tell you about Reed first.
They call him the leader of our group, but I don’t really know. Cassy pretty much orders people around at home, telling us to fix things or to clean up the mess we caused. But we don’t mind. And July charmed Reed the moment the two of them met.
You know, he can REALLY get into something with his work, and then he forget that time goes on. Anyone else could nag for hours for him to go to bed or join us at dinner, but if July asks him, he’ll be there within a minute.
So the leader of our group? I don’t know.
But of course, Reed’s a genius. Even though his power is to stretch, he got us out of more trouble using his brain. Yeah, Reed stretches. It’s like his body is made out of rubber, and I’ve seen him get things on HUGE distances. Looks kinda freaky, actually, but no one tells him that. Except July, but that, he doesn’t mind. Actually, I think he fancies her, but he never talks about it. Not that we talk a lot, Reed and I, but on the rare occasions, he gives some lame excuse and then changes subject.
But about Reed’s power, it’s handy. You can’t shoot him, bullets just bounce off. Of course, if he’s not ready for the blow, you can hurt him with hits and guns, but mostly, it just leaves a bruise. The bad thing is that he can’t stand electricity. Not even in small doses. He accidentally touched both ends of a battery once, and his fingertips were actually burned. But, of course, we have others that can take bullets and most stuff, including electricity.
There is Ben. He’s kinda grumpy, and his face looks like a pile of bricks, but I like him. Not that I would ever admit it. Ben’s power is super strength – and of course that he’s ugly – but he can easily lift and throw a car. I’ve seen him do that. Nothin’ seems to hurt Ben. He fell from a window once, through several floors in a building, into a pool, through the pools floor, through ANOTHER window and into a truck. And the guy just walked away! That’s freaky, I tell you!
No, if you should knock Ben out, you need acid.
I also have to tell you, more to embarrass Ben than that it’s of much importance, he’s a REAL softie. Even though he, as I’ve told you, looks like a pile of bricks, he’s probably the softest among us. Well, except July.
He spends most of his time sitting in the sofa, watching TV – and sometimes he’s at Alicia’s – but the cool-hiphop-kinda-attitude he’s trying to show is SO wrong. He went ballistic once, on a carnival when he was told that some guys had tried to rape July. Or at least assault her. I don’t know, I was second last to the place. Reed was there first. Of course.
Well, anyway, Ben’s a softie. He and Alicia is probably the cutest couple one can think of. Even though Alicia stands for all the cuteness.
And, since we’re talkin’ about cute people, I’ll tell you about July. I don’t think that there is ANY person who can really hate her. Even tough Doom made a good attempt. No, you have to love July. She’s this small, green haired girl who loves everythin’ (except Cassys gorgonzola gingerbread biscuits). She giggles a lot and is considerate in a sweet way. You know, this kind of “Live and let live”-person. Now, don’t get the idea that July doesn’t take anythin’ seriously or is stupid or somethin’. She really understands people, and is great to talk to when you need to open your heart for someone. She’s also good at pep talk.
Well, July’s power is that she controls nature, or the powers of nature or something like it. I don’t think we’ve ever looked for her limits. She’s best at plants and weather, and I think she’s used earthquakes too. She can also throw thorns, create poison and turn herself into a tree. It’s quite handy as well. Imagine that you’re fightin’ someone, and suddenly the entire nature turns against you. I guess it’s a freaky feeling, and that makes me kinda happy that she’s on my side.
Someone else who is happy that July is on our side is Reed. I’ve said that quite a number of times now, haven’t I? But the thing is, I really think he’s in love with her, and she’s very fond of him. I’ll write you again and tell you if their relation became something.

Ok, I saved Cassy to the last because I wanted to find all the words to use, but I don’t think that’ll ever happen. There is so much to tell about Cassy that I’ll write a novel, not a letter, if I get started.
But, if I’m gonna try to keep it short…
I don’t know if you know, but Cassy and I were in upper secondary school together. I had a real crush on her, but she didn’t know. She’s Italian and catholic, so she wasn’t very much into the thing with guys, and she thought I was a jerk, mostly because of my attitude.
In any case, there was a rumour started about me and her. It was this really stupid thing that I prefer not to think about, but she was angry with me for years. And now, after some talkin’ and such like, she got to know the truth, and she’s forgiven me.
Well, so far, so good. But now I have this problem, which I’ve only told July about this far. I think I’m fallin’ in love with her again. Oh, well, I AM in love with her again!
And she’s datin’ this Hank guy. I suppose he’s ok, but I can’t stand it. Ev’ry time I see him pickin’ her up for another date, it’s like I’ve got a lot of crushed glass inside my chest.
Cassy is like the mother of the family. You know, bakein’ and cookin’ and doin’ the laundry. July helps her, of course, but Cassy actually don’t want help all the time. I think she likes to be the mother of us all.
Cassys power is water. Water and cold. Reed almost freaked when he performed some tests on us, and Cassy almost reached the Absolute Zero. And that’s COLD. She can control water, produce water and freeze things. And herself. She can actually turn her entire body into water or ice OR steam. I freaked out the first time I saw that.

I should stop there if I shan’t get all wrapped up in feelings and stuff.
That’s my new family, dad. We’ve fought some bad guys and kicked their asses. Kinda scary when we’re actually doin’ it, but it’s fine when it’s all over.
There isn’t very much more to say, so I’ll just finish off here.

Hope you’re all right, wherever you are.

The papers were folded and put in a simple, white envelope. Instead of writing an address, there was just a name scribbled on its front. Franklin Storm.

Late at night, for those who looked carefully, there was a shadow sneaking into the elevator at the top floors of Baxter Building.
Some minutes after that, a car left the garage in slow speed to not make noise. It was a sports car, motive painted with flames on the sides. It took the fastest way out of town and drove for some minutes on a pretty empty road, then it took of towards an old church.

That night there was a visitor at the graveyard. Not many would have seen the silhouette of the young man and the tombstone, unless they were looking specifically for them. It was not like the silhouettes you read about, not on a hill or in front of the moon. Actually, they were so shaded that you would have needed very good night sight to be able to discern them.
But for the one looking carefully, there was to be seen that the young man kneeled in front of the tombstone. He was speaking, but with a voice so soft it was not to be herd.
He hesitated with something in his hand, as if he did not know whether to put it down or not.
Finally, he did, but as he was rising, he changed his mind and picked it up again.
The silhouette rose and spoke as he looked at the object in his hand. Fingers were put at the root of his nose, a thumb and an index finger, as if he were considering something carefully.
He did not reach for a lighter or matchsticks or anything. Just snapped his fingers and the object in his hand caught fire. In the flash of light, you could see that it was an envelope, but with nothing more than a name written on it.
And if you watched the young man’s face before the flame died, you would have seen a thin streak of sparkling tears on his cheek, before the fire were carefully put down and leaving the young man and the tombstone in shadows.


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