While growing up, comic books were my life. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, they were the best. I always wanted a power so I could be a crime fighter like them. Every kid had that dream. Mine carried on until I started college. Taking an art class, I made a bird from clay, and before I could fire it, a wing fell off. Seems the clay got much stronger after being fired. I wondered if I built up my tolerance to heat; I’d be able to bake for a while to get toughened up like the clay did. I started by holding the fired sculptures while hot. Then I put my arms in the hot oven. I got blisters at first, but if I left them in long enough for my blood to boil, my arms became much stronger. The first time I stepped completely into the kiln, all my clothes burned away.
I spent two weeks in the hospital, but as soon as I got out, I went and tried it again. This time the heat caused my blood’s chemicals to react, and I became as hard as a ceramic piece. I stepped into a tub of Tomato Red glazing liquid and then stayed in the oven for three hours. When I stepped out, my skin had a great red sheen to it. My muscles all showed, and I could pose as a statue because of my color and sheen.
Becoming a superhero had always been my dream, and now I was on my way. I spent weeks going in and out of ceramic kilns to build up my endurance. Once I did, I’d follow any fire truck that roared by to the blaze and rush into a burning building to save any occupants. After a while I became known as, “Red, The Glassman.” I could endure almost any heat. The mayor, fire chief and city council all honored me for my heroic deeds. Saving people from burning buildings was all right, but I wanted to fight crime too. I patrolled the city during the early morning hours looking for miscreants. I didn’t find any for a week, but one night I came across two burglars breaking into a Denny’s Restaurant. They couldn’t have been very smart because Denny’s is open 24 hours a day.
My hard as glass hand practically gripped them, but they spotted me and ran. Being solid as I was, I could hardly run. Next time I’d be more careful. Three days later a robber had an older gentleman in an alley with a gun pointed at him. I threw a rock, knocked the gun from his hand and took him to jail. After that, I practiced throwing rocks and became a marksman with them. I always carried a pocketful of rocks when I went crime fighting after that. Anyone who tried to flee from me would get a rock to the back of the head. Never failed to stop them in their tracks.
Fan mail came in all the time and some from people who wanted to become like me. I began a training program for those who could take the heat. I foresaw me leading an army of Glass-men on crime fighting sprees. One night I came upon the burglars who were trying to break into Denny’s. I threw a rock, hit one and knocked him down. While fishing for another rock to throw, the other burglar picked up the rock that had hit his partner and threw it with such force that when it hit me, my chest shattered into bits of glass.
I fell to the ground, and both burglars stood over me laughing. “Let’s find a boulder to drop on Glassman,” one of them said.
My arms continued to function, so I threw glass shards that came from my shattered chest at them. Cut up and bleeding, the police took them away. One cop gave me a tube of superglue. “Get yourself together,” he said before driving his prisoners to jail. It took most of the day, but I managed the repair, returned to the glass house where I gave classes. Twenty students waited for me. I emptied all rocks from my pocket.
“Why are you doing that?” one student asked.
“I found out last night that men made of glass shouldn’t throw rocks.”
I picked up a rock I had emptied from my pocket, threw it at him, and he shattered into a thousand pieces. “That’s why.”
“Is he dead?” another asked.
“Here,” I handed him the tube of superglue I used to rebuild my chest. “He’ll be good as new once you put him together again.” I walked upstairs to go to the lounge and relax, but when I reached the top stair, a girl waited for me.
“That was my boyfriend you just shattered.” She pushed me, and I fell backward down the steep flight of stairs and shattered more than her boyfriend had. “When you finish with the superglue, give it to me,” I told the student I had hit with the rock.”Your girlfriend’s a real glass breaker.”