Project Hero - Briar Prescott

Prologue

Andy

I was sixteen years old when I realized something life changing about myself—I was the sidekick.

In hindsight, I’m forced to admit there were signs. I’m unremarkable in every aspect of my life. Okay, fine, I’m decent with numbers. Throw some physics at me, and I can chew my way through it. It’s the reason I routinely exchanged the illusion of friendship for help with homework while I was in high school.

Everything else, though? Mediocre city, population me. I’m not particularly tall, nor am I noticeably short. I’m not fit. No six packs or V-shapes have ever graced my body with their presence. My hair is a very average brown and my eyes are an equally ordinary gray. I don’t look repulsive, but there’s nothing about me that would catch anybody’s attention.

I’m the guy who looks like the boring neighbor that lives across the hall from you and later turns out to be a cannibal with a freezer full of body parts in his spare bedroom. All the neighbors would be completely surprised once the police came to arrest me, and they’d say things like, but he was so ordinary. The old lady from upstairs would wax poetic about how I helped her carry her grocery bags to her apartment every Sunday, and to that I say, “That’s how they get you, Mirna. That’s how they get you.”

So…

That’s me. Minus the people-eating part. I’m too average to be a psycho.

I have no talents. My singing sounds like somebody is trying to stuff a litter of angry cats into a wet bag. My drawings are at a preschool level at best.

I once drew a bunny for my niece. She started crying when she saw the result. My sister was pissed and refused to listen to my explanation that I was not trying to scar her kid for life with my rendition of mutant rabbits but rather, I was trying to educate Lily and show her which rabbits to avoid should there ever be a nuclear disaster. That’s what I get for trying to make the best of a bad situation and turn a disaster of a drawing into a teaching moment.

As for other talents, I can’t dance, and I’m very much opposed to public speaking, proven by the vomiting-onstage incident at the seventh-grade debate. The accompanying stage fright was so bad that I couldn’t even walk across the stage at my high school graduation. I had an honest-to-God panic attack five minutes before the principal called my name. My mom had to step in and claim my diploma for me. Needless to say, acting, politics, and even teaching are not viable career options for me.

I have glasses that are an absolute must, since otherwise, I’m blind as a bat and walk into a lot of walls. I’ve tried not wearing them in hopes of walking into a hot guy instead. Didn’t happen. I did stumble into an angry janitor once, who sprayed me with a bottle of Windex and yelled at me. It wasn’t a love match.

I wear sweats a lot. And I do mean a lot. I was actively campaigning for wearing sweats to my high school graduation because those suckers are just that comfortable and nobody would have even seen them under the robe. Unfortunately, I was downvoted by every single member of my extended family. Even my great-grandpa, the traitor. My closet holds a wide variety of physics-themed T-shirts, and I can proudly say that I wore socks with sandals before it was cool.

My hair is a curly mess, and when passing on genes, my dad bestowed upon me the