Feature of the Month
Fan Experience Challenge
"Friends in Low Places"
Indigo's Fan Experience Challenge:
Write a story about a fan in any comic setting. You can write from the viewpoint of a devoted fan, a psychotic fan, a fan-become-stalker, a hero who is amazed or disturbed to have fans...anything.
Well, I can't pass up a good challenge. However, this isn't the story I intended to write. Someday someone will have to make me write something cheerful and uplifting.
Disclaimer: The Universe, the X-Men, and Spider-Man belong to Marvel. Michael and family belong to Kevin Schmidt.
If you have feedback I'd like to hear it.
We had the second meeting of your fan club today. Ricky and Jessie got in a fight with me and Molly cause they wanted to change the club. They said that you were dumb and that you always got beat up. I told them how cool you were and about all those neat things you did. So we voted. Molly wanted to vote but she couldn't because she is only 5 and she's a girl. Maybe she can vote when she's as old as me. 7 is a good age for that. Anyway, Ricky and Jessie made it a Spider-Man fan club. Molly and I quit. They laughed at us. Mama says it is time to wash up and eat. I will write you later when we get more people for the fan club.
I saw you on TV today fighting those other guys. Why do they always pick on you? It reminds me of when the kids at school make fun of me for being a spic. They call me a wetback and make fun of Molly. Whenever I try to fight back they always beat me up. Mama and Papa say that I should not cause fights. But I don't. The other kids just don't like me. Please, Sir. Don't
let those guys get you upset. I have the same problem.
There are 3 members of your fan club counting Rocky. Rocky is my new dog. He is so cool. He can't do tricks yet, but he will someday, he's real smart. Did you ever have a dog? I bet if you did, he was even cooler than Rocky!! Molly is only in the club because sometimes I play tea with her when the meetings are over. Some of the kids laugh at us when they see us. Papa says you wouldn't. Papa and mama don't like you but sometimes they say you like stuff to make me do things. They say you couldn't get so big without eating your green beans. I guess that must be true. Still sometimes Rocky eats my green beans. You won't tell mama, would you? I need to go to bed I have school tomorrow. Be careful.
I know it's been a long time since I've written. I got hurt real bad. Pappa was taking me and Molly to Austin to see Uncle George when the car got wrecked. I don't remember much. I remember it hurt a lot and everything was upside down. I was really scared and papa wasn't saying anything or moving. Molly was crying lots but I told her you wouldn't be scared if you were here.
You never get scared do you? It didn't help her, but I thought about you and held on to Molly and Papa till the policemen came. They took me here to the hospital. My ribs got broken and my leg too. The said I had a concusshun but I don't know what that is. Molly is ok but. My dad got hurt real bad. Mama and the police came in and told me he was dead. I'm very sad but I'm trying to be a man like Mama says Papa would have wanted me to be. It is very hard. I still cry a lot. I try not to, I know you don't cry. I guess I'm not as strong as you though. I have to go.
I'm much better now then the last time I wrote. My leg is healed and I can help Mama do the chores. We need a lot of help since we moved. Without dad working we had to move to a trailer park. It isn't that bad though, there are lots of kids to play with. Most of the are also from Mexico too so I don't have to fight them. I still miss Ricky and Jessie though. Oh!! When I got
out of the hospital there was a brand new 10 speed bike at the house! Mama says the church got it for us even though they say they didn't. I think I know who really gave it to me. I didn't tell Mama because she says I shouldn't write to you no more. She says I have to be grown-up now that dad is gone. I guess she's right. I'll still try to write though. I just wanted to say thank you for being my best friend.
How are you? I hope you are ok. I heard your friend got hurt. I hope he's ok. I sometimes wonder why you do bad stuff. At least the TV says you do and papa said not to believe the TV. It doesn't matter to me though. I'm back in the hospital again. I'm really really sick this time. I've been hot and throwing up a lot. I cough a lot too. The doctors are doing lots of blood tests on me. It hurts a lot, I don't like needles. Sometimes the doctors are scary too. Mama says not to talk about you any more, but when I'm really scared I get the picture of you from the newspaper and the one of my Papa. They help me to not be scared anymore. Someday I'm going to grow up to be as strong and brave as you and my Papa.
Well, I know what is wrong with me now. The doctors and Mama told me a while ago. They said that when I gut hurt in the car wreck and I had to have new blood put in, a transfushun, that I got bad blood by accident. The blood had something in it called AIDS. Mama told me about AIDS. She was mad at the doctors at first. She yelled at them a lot. But they said because of something she signed when I got hurt it wasn't their fault. She comes to my room every day. She cries a lot and I try to tell her to be strong, that that's what Papa would have wanted. Molly visits too sometimes. She doesn't really understand. But that's ok. She's only 7. Mama and the doctors and nurses look at me sometimes, like they're sad for me or afraid of me or both. At night I lay here and wonder what I did wrong, why I got sick. I can't think of anything. I know it's wrong but sometimes I wish you were here too. I'm really lonely and I'd like to meet you in person. Are you really that big?
I don't have to stay at the hospital all the time anymore. And I'm feeling better too, I have to take lots of drugs all the time. Sometimes the drugs make me really sick. But I don't get that many shots anymore. Mama says I have to be really careful of getting sick. She doesn't say why, but I know it's because that if I get sick I could die. I don't want to die even though being sick like this sucks. I can't ride my bike anymore because I might get hurt. My friends won't play with me any more. They are afraid I'll give them AIDS too. I know that's stupid. The doctors told me you can only get it from my blood. The worst part is, I can't even go to school anymore. The teachers decided that I would disrupt the classes too much. So I stay home a lot. I don't mind playing with Molly and her dolls. Last week someone threw a rock through the window. We were really scared and Mama wants to move, but we can't afford it. My doctor bills are bad enough. Sometimes Mama looks at me that way that she did in the hospital when she doesn't think I'm looking. I can hear her cry after she I go to bed. I wish she could be happy. I have to go, I've
I've been in and out of the hospital since I last wrote you. I had pneumonia. I was in for a long time and Mama was afraid she couldn't pay for it. The head of the hospital said that it was ok because our insurance covered it. She said that we didn't have insurance, but the doctor said it was still ok. I hated being in the hospital but one of the nurses snuck me comic books. I also had a Nintendo to play with a bunch of cool games. My nurse said someone donated it but she didn't know who. I think I know but I still don't tell Mama. I think I know who our insurance is too. I'm glad I have a friend like you.
I can't write a long letter this time. I got hurt when some older kids decided to scare me and Mama out of town. The beat me up pretty bad. They hurt Molly too, but not too bad. They hurt Rocky bad though. Mama had to have him put to sleep. I miss him a lot. Sometimes when I was sick, he was the only friend I had. Except you of course. It's hard to breathe and they keep me in an oxygen tent so I can breathe better. It's really scary and I don't feel good enough to be strong anymore. Mama cries all the time now. I've overheard some of the doctors talking about the drugs not working. I don't want you to be upset, but I don't think I'm going home this time.
Four Teens Brutally Assaulted!
Late last night four teens, identified as James Staple, Mike Hicks, Roger Lopez and William Smith, were all brutally attacked near Indian Lake.
The teens received massive amounts of damage and their pickup truck was ripped in half, possibly, say authorities, by an explosion or a bear.
The teens themselves suffered multiple broken bones, bruises and contusions.It is doubtful if several of them will ever walk again, say doctors.
The teens had been questioned weeks earlier in the beating of an AIDS victim.
He pushed his way through the halls towards the AIDS care center of Austin's Christ Hospital. He spotted the Hispanic woman sitting in the hall with a young girl, no more than eight. A short spectacled doctor was speaking to the two of them, with every few words the woman's cries and sobs increased. He moved closer, his bulk getting the doctor's notice instantly. The doctor looked up at the massive man standing before him. The red-headed behemoth removed his sunglasses.
"Excuse me, Doc, Ms. Sanchez. Can I see Mike?"
Michael's mother looked up, her eyes growing wide at the site of the huge man. Dr. Phillips stammered out a reply before she could. "He can only be seen by family right now, Mr..."
The giant looked down, "Mr. Marko, Cain Marko, I'm a friend of Mike's."
The Juggernaut stayed with Mike all through the afternoon and the evening.
He told stores about the times he'd been beaten by the X-Men and he told slightly off-color jokes about Spider-Man. Every time he got to the punch lines he'd apologetically look to Ms. Sanchez for permission.
He told Mike about how he got his powers, from a rock in a cave in Asia. The Juggernaut bent bars of steel and lifted cars out in the parking lot with an amazed Mike watching out the window in delight.
As evening came and dinner was served Cain told Mike the he couldn't stand green beans himself. He then informed the hospital staff that if Mike didn't want green beans, he didn't have to eat green beans. The two of them had chocolate pudding and Pepsi for dinner instead. Mike read Cain a Fantastic Four comic that Marko complained was blatantly unrealistic.
Night came and visiting hours were graciously extended for the visitor who talked to Mike as he grew sleepy.
When the coughs hit, Mike was held by hands that could crush mountains.
As the doctors rushed in and inserted tubes down Mike's throat and filled his arms with needles, his hand was firmly held by Cain.
Cain kept made Mike feel safe as the vigil went on through the night.
Everyone in Lafayette attended the funeral. It was only proper considering everything the poor boy had been through.
The children who shunned him, the Teachers and Parent Teacher Organization members who had decided he was too much of a risk. Everyone was filled with pity and for the poor family Michael Sanchez had left behind.
No one had any harsh words to say, not today.
The pallbearer cradled the coffin in his massive arms, carrying it to the grave himself. He held Molly in his arms and supported Ms. Sanchez through the services.
When the funeral was over and night fell across the East Texas
land, Cain Marko stood there beside Michael Thomas Sanchez's grave with his head bowed.
All alone, the Juggernaut cried for the loss of his friend.
"Friends in Low Places"
©David D. Amaya
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