Barry knew his mumbling was going to get him killed someday. He was shocked that it hadn’t.
There was the time he’d given directions to Mary while she drove down the freeway. He mumbled so incoherently that she nearly drove into the guardrail trying to figure out how to get to the ice cream shop.
Then he’d mumbled when the doctor asked him where it hurt. He’d almost gotten open-heart surgery until at the last moment an x-ray showed appendicitis.
A particularly memorable occasion had been when he’d mumbled into the radio while trying to emergency-land an airplane full of passengers. The radio tower misheard him and directed him to circle. Instead of just having to worry about landing the plane, Barry had to dodge several planes taking off just then.
Barry shook his head, coming back into the present. Hanging by his chained wrists over a vat of noxious smelling chemicals, Barry sincerely wished he hadn’t mumbled an apology when he’d bumped into the man on the corner. If only he’d spoken clearly, the man would’ve heard the apology and not an unintended insult.
Although an apology might not have been enough. How was Barry to know that the man he’d accidentally run into was the city’s main crime boss? No, even an unmumbled apology might not have worked.
“I’d tell you to watch where you’re going next time, but it doesn’t look like you’ll get a next time,” said the crime boss, chuckling to his cronies.
“Yeah boss,” said one, while the other encouraged, “Do him in!”
With the flip of a switch, Barry felt himself lowering into the vat.
And that’s how the world came to know its greatest superhero, Fire Eyes.