He'd rocked a twenty ton train car and put a massive dent in the side.
He turned his attention back to his hand. Puffy and red, his knuckles looked mangled, but as he watched, the redness subsided, as did the pain. Soon he could flex it without wincing. Feeling his bones stitch themselves back together was not something he'd get used to any time soon, but, damn, that could come in handy.
Looking back at the train car, Hugh pressed his hand into the giant dent his fist had made in the metal. He hopped inside the dusty car and touched the fist-shaped mound bowed in on one wall. “Wow,” he mouthed.
Hugh jumped out of the car, the dust puffing up around his ankles. He scanned the yard, looking for something heavy to pick up, but the only thing for miles were rusty train cars. Those were too heavy. Weren’t they?
He smiled, feeling just crazy enough to try anything at this point. He squared up to the rectangular metal box about forty feet long, fifteen feet high and twelve feet across. It had to weigh at least twenty tons. He slipped his hands under the metal lip at the bottom. He looked down at the massive wheels that rested on the track in front of him. The sheer size of the object he was trying to move made him chuckle. This was never going to happen.
Hugh took a deep breath and pulled.
His arms tensed and legs flexed. The veins on his neck pulsed with the strain. For a split second he thought, See, I knew it’d never work . Then the metal he was gripping lifted up ever so slightly. Loud groaning filled the air. The car creaked and shifted. He was doing it! He grunted and pulled harder.
Slowly, sweat breaking out across his forehead, he straightened his legs. He looked down and saw the back wheels on his side hovering two feet off the ground. Suddenly the weight was lifted from his hands as the train car toppled and fell. Hugh threw his arms up over his eyes, jumping back into the dirt.
BOOM! The train car smashed into the earth, shaking the ground. Birds sprung up from the trees, cawing. Dust spewed out from both sides, coating the air. Hugh coughed and batted at the clouds.
When the dust cleared, Hugh dropped his jaw. On its side, the train car, rusty wheels and gears facing him, looked like a slaughtered animal. He looked down at his rust-coated hands. Then he stared at the toppled train car in wonder. It didn't seem real. Yet, he'd seen it with his own eyes.
Hugh took off, sprinting through the forest. He’d made one hell of a racket and needed to put some distance between himself and the train yard if anyone came investigating. While he was running, he couldn’t help but smile.
Super powers. The thought both amazed and frightened him. Now if only he could find that silo and figure out why he was here.
CHAPTER SEVEN TEEN — HARSON
Wednesday 7:32 p.m.
When the microwave dinged, Harson shot a glance at it from across the room. With his recliner thrown back to full tilt, even the thought of a warm microwave dinner didn't stir him from his chair. The dinner needed to cool for a few minutes anyway. He laid his head against cushion and closed his eyes.
It had been the right decision, swapping his sixty inch LCD TV for the recliner in the divorce. Susan had wanted both. He pictured her down-turned mouth and the ugly green sweater she'd worn the last time he'd seen her at the lawyer's office. Just thinking about Susan raised his blood pressure, something the doctor told him to avoid. Well, how could he keep his blood pressure down when his wife left him and took their dog? He shook his head, his thinning hair brushing against back of the recliner. He missed that damn dog.
The microwave beeped again, reminding him his Hungry Man dinner was ready. He pushed down the recliner's lever and the footrest dropped with a metal groan. His hips ached as he stood. His doctor had told him to get more exercise since his job was so sedentary, but who had the