My name is Blake Hargreaves—known to the world as Dark Flame—a stupid name I absolutely hate. It’s so friggin’ pretentious. I loathe Hargreaves as well because my parents hate each other, and I’m stuck in the middle of their bullshit, forced to listen to them scream and yell at each other well into the night. Sometimes, I think they’re just waiting for me to graduate high school before breaking up and getting a divorce. I wish they’d get it over with because it’s not fun for me.
Money’s tight and though I work at one of the downtown coffee shops, I have to buy my own…everything. My parents rarely supply me with new clothes and in the last two years I grew a lot. I needed new shoes, underwear, pants, shirts…I had to pay for it all. Sometimes, Quinn McAlester, my best friend, chips in to help me or his dads buy me stuff when they think I need it, but I hate taking their charity and their pity. However, I do love his family. Their home is peaceful, serene, and his dads are awesome together, if not a little too in love, if you catch my drift.
Oh, it’s Quinn, by the way, who asked me to contribute to his little documentary project. So, I’m only doing this for him.
Quinn is really lucky and it’s hard not to be jealous of what he has. I just wish my mom and dad would…well, I already said it.
Quinn and I run track together at school and we’re gonna graduate from Portsmouth High in two years. We’ve talked about attending the same college, but we haven’t really started looking yet. I don’t know if we’re going to be roommates or not, but I think it would be fun.
At least I did, before everything changed.
A while back, while camping with Quinn, my life changed forever. Our lives, I should say, since the thing happened to both of us. Mr. St. Germain, our nerdy science teacher, helped us figure out what happened when we decided to tell someone about the weird stuff that was happening to us.
Quinn loved it.
He had…and has…all these crazy ideas about helping and saving people, like he’s going to become the next Superman or Invincible comic book hero. But in reality, people freak about this crap because they don’t get it. To quote Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins, “You always fear what you don’t understand.”
Of course, Quinn’s powers developed faster than mine, and they’re different. I can’t do all the things he can do yet, but some of the things I can do, I can do more powerfully than I let on. I don’t think Quinn trusts me fully with our powers, and I resent him for thinking I’m less than capable of dealing with this. I think that’s why he insists we do the superhero crap.
I don’t mind helping him, but…I have my limits. If we get caught, our lives will irrevocably (today’s vocabulary word challenge from English class) change forever. Our dreams—whatever they are—will be taken away from us by a bunch of pricks who will want to dissect us and figure out why we’re so…uniquely powerful. I try to bring reason to his optimism, but I’m not succeeding. I fear he’s gonna do more than just come out of the closet for being gay, he’s gonna come out to the world as a Marvel class-five super freak.
I need to stop that from happening—no matter the cost—even if it means hurting my best friend.
- Blake is an unpopular student with an impatient attitude and short-fused temper who resents anyone who seems to have it easy in life. He’s the youngest of two and his older sister abandoned the family several years ago—a betrayal he refuses to talk about with anyone, even his best friend, Quinn McAlester. Blake’s financial situation is dire. Since his parents don’t chip in to buy him anything, he must purchase everything he needs and wants with his earnings from Kaffee VonSolln, a coffee shop in Portsmouth. Whenever he can, Blake likes gets out of the house and spend most of his time with his best friend and a few select others from school, including Ravone Timber and Loren Davis.
- Physical Inspiration: Enzo Carini
- First Appearance: Book 1