Aaron Heart rose from the ground, nose bloodied and shirt tattered. The man above shoved him against the wall and began punching him time and time again. “Father stop!” Aaron cried. He heard the screams of his mother from the kitchen, pleading for his father to stop. Only this time she wasn’t there. The room was silent besides the rugged fist against his bloody face. His mother wasn’t there to protect him anymore. Just like he couldn’t protect her. Her own husband had killed her in his rage. And he was about to do the same to Aaron.
Broken nose, black eyes, blurry vision, cracked ribs, the taste of blood. His father dropped him once again. Aaron could barely move. He could barely see or even feel anything besides the pain. This is how his mother went out and this was how he would go too. He gave up. His limp body against the cold stone floor. Would this be how death felt? Cold. Painful. Empty. Whatever it felt like, it couldn’t be worse than this. “Just let me go,” he spoke softly. He wasn’t speaking to his father, but to whatever being held his string of life together. To the one who watched over the world, who gave life and took it whenever he pleased. How unfair it was for someone to hold that much power. He wished he had it. He wished he could take life, the life of his father and give life, his mother’s.
His father’s fist pulled back for a blow to the chest. Aaron didn’t flinch or close his eyes. He just laid there with eyes open as far as they could go, staring at the man who took everything from him. He didn’t care anymore. His father’s fist held there as he looked at his limp son, the one whom he’d broken. Neither moved. Aaron finally spoke through a raspy voice, “Just do it.” His father’s face hardened as he sent the final blow to his son’s bloodied face. Aaron felt the impact but no pain. I must be dying, he thought. This must be death. The feeling of collision with no consequence of pain. But he was still there. Not dead. But he didn’t feel anything. Then he felt everything.
His body began to glow with orange light. He rose from the floor against his own will. He hung in the air. His father stared in in shock. Heat. He was heating up. It was almost became to much too bear. Then it was. He exploded into a thousand pieces. It wasn’t painful, he felt free. Free from every burden he’d ever carried. Free of the torment and torture. Free from the grief. He felt amazing. Only a moment passed and then all the pieces fit back together. He became one again. A light voice rang in his ear, “You are reborn, Steelheart.” He felt powerful. Too powerful, like he could do anything. He looked at his shocked father, who seemed to be worth less than the dust now. His father trembled and screamed, “What are you?” Aaron stared at his hands, his strong hands. “I don’t know,” he replied. “But I know what you are.” The worthless man backed away, his eyes transfixed on the once broken boy who was all stitched together now. Aaron grabbed him and shoved him against the wall. He pleaded, “Please, please son.” Aaron spoke softly in his ear, “You are nothing.” Then he finished him the same way he had finished his mother.