Nothing. It had all been for nothing.
Adam sat moodily with his back to the wall. He stared at the plain flat where he had scramble Joe’s mind. Adam pictured once again Joe’s face, twisted in agony, but even that didn’t cheer him up.
He had to face facts. Holding Valorie hostage hadn’t made a blind bit of difference. It hadn’t affected O’Hanlon in the slightest. It hadn’t affected Charley in the slightest. And, despite his best efforts, Valorie still regarded him as something lower than a slug. Sophie had been the same, he thought bitterly. Rejecting and cold. She had never really loved him at all. Nobody loved him. He was nobody, no matter how much power he had; he was nobody.
Adam was ready to bet his parent’s house that Valorie and Charley and the rest of them were already heading off into the sunset, laughing at him behind his back.
How easily he had been defeated.
Why did Valorie have to be so like Sophie? Sophie was beautiful, and clever, and yet she had rejected him. They were the same. No, they were different. He didn’t even know anymore. This was so confusing.
He began to stand up. There was some brandy in the cupboard. He walked over, pulled the bottle out, took a swig. Took another swig.
Everybody hated him. He was pathetic. He couldn’t be anyone’s friend, but he couldn’t be a villain either. What was the most evil thing he’d done? Made an old friend climb into a rubbish truck. Oh, and kidnap a defenceless little girl. Big deal.
The most powerful Wizard in the world, and he had no friends, he had no parents, he had no life. He wasn’t even scary. He couldn’t be anything; he was nobody.
Adam took another swig.
Adam wanted power. He also wanted respect. He wanted Sophie back. But he couldn’t even have that. She was dead, and even he couldn’t bring her back. She was part of that stupid plant now.
Adam kicked out at nothing, and stumbled. He clung onto the sideboard, managing to steady himself.
He took the black rod out of his coat pocket. How charming. A pathetic little stick. What a big, scary sorcerer he was.
‘Look out for Adam!’ he yelled, swiping out. ‘Watch out or he’ll poke you really hard or something… DAMMIT!’
He swiped again, and one wall of the flat turned into fire, bursting out from the fireplace. He watched it burn and blaze, the flames engulfing the wall, eating up the painting above the mantelpiece.
Adam grinned. He waved the rod, bringing the fire further across the room, enjoying the feeling of being able to wield so much power.
The fire swept over the room. He laughed aloud, his laughter becoming a high-pitched cackle that he had never made before.
And then the building was brought down. Adam brought the rod sharply downwards, and the building sunk down into the dirt. He heard people screaming beneath him, and then the entire flat crashed down. Calmly, he left, passing completely through the door, gazing out at the terrified crowd that was gathering.
‘Where did the building go?’
Adam stepped towards them. Using the rod, he brought the fire out, brushing a circle of flame around himself. They stared, and this made Adam shiver with delight. This was real power.
‘I shall create a new world,’ he called to the petrified bystanders. ‘I shall craft before your eyes a world where I have the respect and authority I deserve. I shall distort the entire planet.’
He shot fire at them. More screaming.
Adam cackled again.