Friday, December 28, 2018

The Measure of a Man

The Measure of a Man
Bobby Derie

Overhead, the green sun burned. On the ground, two men fought. One was a little taller, a bit more broadly built; his long arms swung in a crushing blow, wincing as his knuckles cracked against bone. The second man fell to his knees, blood pouring from a broken nose. He glared upwards, the green light glancing off of his bald head, hatred and something like respect in his eyes. With a sigh, he sat back on his heels, looking up at his foe.

Scrapes and bruises marred the taller man's features. His face looked gaunt and draw, the blue eyes were bloodshot. All over his skin and body were tainted a sickly greenish pallor that was more than the light of the star overhead.

"How," the kneeling man said. "How do you do it?"

"There's an idea..." The standing man took a lungful of air as though it pained him. The breeze picked up, sending the tattered remnants of his cape fluttering. "That people build themselves up. They have a career, a life, a home,, reputation, ideals. And something can happen to tear all that down. An accident, a disaster. Or maybe someone does it on purpose, out of spite."

The tall man leaned over, staring into his opponent's eyes. "When that happens, you have the opportunity to rebuild. Because those things that are taken from you, are just things. They aren't what you are. Sometimes you have to decide for yourself if you're going to be the man of yesterday..." He stretched out a hand. "...or the man of tomorrow."

Lex Luthor looked away from those imploring eyes to stare at that hand.


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