Spider-man: Greatest of them all.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
It was a sunny mid-may afternoon. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, perfect in the mind of the eight year-old who skipped merrily down the street, happy to be on his way home from school. He liked school, and excelled in it, and that probably had something to do with the fact that both his parents were geneticists. They were among the best in the world, as he was told by everyone they worked with. Even though he didn't know what exactly a geneticist was yet, he knew he wanted to be one, just like them. He grinned with delight as he passed a girl with dark hair who was going the opposite direction.
But today wasn't just any day for Peter Parker, it was his birthday. Every year, his parents made sure to do something extra special with him. Two years ago they had gone to the National Museum of Natural History. His father happened to know the head curator for the prehistoric fossils, and had been able to allow Peter a back-stage tour of their collection. He had even allowed Peter to clean a sixty-six million year-old tooth from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, every six year-old's dream. A smile crossed his face as he began to wonder what surprise his Parents had in store for him this year.
A trip to see one of NASA's launch pads? He had heard his mother whisper something that sounded like "going to see Sarah next month..." Who was that? Another famous scientist? Or maybe a vistit to the Smithsonian? He smiled giddily as he approached the steps and reached for the key his mother had given him, in order to unlock the door. Most of the kids in his class didn't have a key to their house yet, but Peter's parents trusted him a lot. That and they where sometimes busy with their work.
Only, he didn't need to unlock the door. The door was already open partially, and the handle was broken. Is dad fixing it? Peter thought as he pushed it open gingerly. Was he fixing it when he realized I was coming home, and wanted to prepare a surprise? He set his backpack down by the stairs before making his way down the hall. A cold breeze passed him as he looked at the walls. A set of two parallel lines ran across, almost at his shoulder's height. His eyes trailed down the wall's length, seeing numerous lines like the ones next to him. An awful smell filled his nose, like rotten eggs, but much, much worse.
"Mom?" he called out, towards the open kitchen door, "Dad?" Something rustled at the sound of his voice. All of Peter's fears where washed away in light of excitement, as he realized that his Parents were hiding in the kitchen, waiting to surprise him by jumping out at him when he least expected it. Well, I'll show them to try and scare me! He grinned as he snuck towards the door as quiet as possible, careful not to make a sound that would alert them to his presence. He neared the door and readied himself to push with one hand.
"BOO!" he shouted as he swung the door open, fully expecting to scare his parents. He ran inside blindly, waiting to run into his mother's soft embrace, only to slip on something wet. His head slammed into the tile floor and he let out a cry of pain as he looked at his foot. It was covered in thick, oozing, red, blood. He stood up with record speed, and looked around for one of his parents to help him like they always did. And he found them quicker than he expected.
They were both lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
Peter reached out a shaky hand to touch his father's shoulder, to wake him up. It didn't work, so he tried his mother. She didn't move either. He grabbed the telephone and pressed the number three, just like his father had always told him.
"If you come home and me and Mommy aren't here, call Uncle Ben by pressing number three, okay buddy? He'll take care of you when we're not here."
"Hey Richard, hello Mary! Did Peter like his bike May and I got him?" Uncle Ben answered in his usual merry tone of voice. "Can you put him on the phone so I can wish him a happy birthday?"
"Mom and Dad are sleeping in the kitchen, Uncle Ben," Peter replied with a sob, "they won't wake up." Five minutes after the phone had been clicked off from the other end of the line, Uncle Ben and Aunt May burst into the Kitchen. Aunt May took one look at the scene before quickly grabbing Peter and taking him outside while Uncle Ben phoned the police.
The next person to arrive was Constable Stacey, the dad of Gwen, a friend of Peter's from school. He took off his jacket and draped it around Peter comfortingly as another man arrived. This man had dark skin and wore a black coat. He took one solemn look at Peter before entering the house, and Uncle Ben followed him. Peter tried to do the same, but was stopped by his Aunt placing a hand on his shoulder.
"Why don't we go for a drive?" Aunt May asked, "we could stop for some ice-cream. How'd you like that, Peter?" He mumbled a response into his sweater. He felt sick to his stomach, and the awful smell wasn't helping any bit. He sank his head into his Aunt's chest as tears swelled in his eyes. He felt his Aunt pat him slowly on the back, in as supportive a way as possible.
They all tried to be as supportive as possible. Captain Stacey would come by and visit once or twice a week, usually bringing Gwen with him. Uncle Ben tried to take him to scientific events like space camps, but they did little to numb the pain. The man in the black coat stopped by the house once, with a package, and Uncle Ben shouted him out.
School took a downward turn for him. His grades plummeted and he stopped talking to people, even Gwen, who did her best to keep his spirits up. But it was Flash Thompson who surprised Peter the most. He'd always picked on Peter because he didn't do well in sports, but one day he stood up for him in front of some older bullies.
Years passed by and Peter began to recover slowly. His grades shot back up and he started talking to Gwen again, until her father died and she moved away with her mother to the other side of the country. On the outside, he told everyone he was fine. And he was, for the most part, except for that small part of his mind that hungered for revenge. He swore to himself that if he ever found his Parents killer, he would personally kill them with his bare hands.
And when he was bitten by that genetically-altered spider, he realized that his dream of revenge was was possible.