Leo's Escape
Sonia, Age 10, Calgary, AB

I KNEW YOU WOULDNíT BELIEVE ME!

Leo stormed up the stairs, smoking with fury. Literally. When he got to his room, he slammed the door behind him and flopped down on his bed to think. How was he going to prove this?

***

Let's start from the beginning. Leo is one of the few metahumans in the world, and that means that he can shoot fire out of his fingers. Every metahuman has a different power. Thatís probably why there are so few these days. Natureís running out of powers. But Leo doesnít love his powers. No way. In fact, he hates them. Why? Because they make him a freak. [Or so he thought.] And when he tried to tell people about it, they gave him a four-hour pass to the guidance counselor. No, really. Thatís what happened when he tried to tell his teacher. Suddenly, without warning, his fingers started burning. Leo knew what this meant. By now, he was even used to it. He rushed to the sink and ran cold water over his hands. They cooled down immediately.

Whenever his hands started burning, he had to get cool water on them A.S.A.P, or else they would burst into flame. This only happened when he was really mad. [He found this out the hard way.] He started to go back to his room, but was stopped by a sharp pain in his shoulder. He turned around just in time to see a tall, thin figure staring at him before he blacked out.

***

Where am I? Leo opened his eyes to see white walls, a stainless steel table, which he was strapped to, and cold-looking stainless steel floors. We see you have awoken, said a cold voice fromÖfrom everywhere. Now Leo was fully awake, and he decided that he needed to get out of here, and fast. He tried pulling out of the restraints that held him to the table, but they only gave him blisters. Suddenly, he had an idea. He thought of everybody who didnít believe him, and thought of how they must think that he was a freak. SSSSSSSS. Ugghh! SNAP! Leo was free! He looked around for a door, and found one right behind him. Unfortunately, as soon as he stepped out, he was surrounded by a tall, masked figured dressed all in black, similar to the one who had tranquilized him the night he got here. His first thought was, Whoa, ninjas! But they were much more dangerous than regular ninjas. They were N.I.N.J.A.S. [Short for nitroglycerin-constructed, impossible-to-escape, no mercy, abnormal, secret agents.] Leo had just enough time to remember what they were and bolt into the next room before they started exploding.

***

Leo rolled onto his back with an OOF! He quickly scrambled up and looked around. Nowhere. To hide, that is. The only things in the room were a smoke alarm, a roll of toilet paper, a toilet, a sink, and a trash can. Oh, itís a bathroom. Thatís when he got an idea. He ran back and locked the door, deciding he had about five minutes before more ninjas busted through the door. Then, he dragged the trashcan over to the smoke alarm, setting it right below. He then filled it with toilet paper and set it on fire. While waiting for the smoke alarm to go off, he set his hand on the doorknob, using a flame to heat it up. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! The alarm went off, alerting a ninja standing in the hall. He set his hand on the doorknob, only to cry out in pain. Leo kicked through the door, and set off running, with absolutely NO idea where he was going. The ninja just stared, clutching his burnt hand. Leo kept running, shooting blasts of fire at several ninjas along the way. He finally found a door that said FIRE ESCAPE EXIT-USE IN EMERGENCY ONLY. Well this is an emergency, thought Leo. He dashed through the door to find a set of metal stairs leading to the ground. He turned around to make sure no ninjas were behind him. But today, his luck wasnít exactly present. It was non-existent, actually. The ninja pushed him over the edge. The last thing he remembered before blacking out was the sound of his head colliding with the hard pavement below.

***

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. Leo awoke to the sound of a hospital monitor beeping to the tempo of his breathing and a throbbing pain in the side of his head. Oh good, youíre awake, said Leoís mother. I was afraid you would have to sleep for another day. WhatÖ? Where am I? said Leo. You are in a hospital in Vancouver, answered his mother, and you have been in a coma for eight days. Oh, and you have about eleven stitches in the side of your head, and a broken wrist.

O.K, but how did I get here? asked Leo.

Well, began his mother, apparently two pilots training for the military went flying over the Rockies, and found a plume of smoke leading down to a burning building no one even knew was there. They went down to investigate, and found you lying under a fire escape. They loaded you on the plane, and then took you here. What have you been hiding, Leo?

Well, said Leo, itís a long story, so Iíd better start from the beginning.

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