So, this went a little off book. I went with the inspiration option, as opposed to the direct action.
‘How did the mother find her invisible toddler?’ Karen said to herself, gingerly picking her way through the debris of playtime. ‘She waits for him to get hungry.’ As if on cue, James started to bawl and appeared, as if by magic, in the kitchen. ‘Honestly, I take my eyes off you for thirty seconds. Thirty seconds!’ She crossed her arms and looked down at her son, seeing him sob as he held onto his stuffed rabbit for dear life.
She crouched down and looked him straight in the eyes. ‘Do you want a biscuit?’ She asked, watching his bright blue eyes glisten under the kitchen lights. He nodded, quickly, then began floating towards the television. ‘No flying in the house!’ She snapped, watching to make sure he walked to the sofa. She sighed, a sharp exhalation that pushed the microwave across the counter by a foot.
‘Power!’ James shouted happily, those bright blue eyes glued to the television. Karen rubbed her temples with her manicured fingers, slow circles to try and clear the headache that was forming. Personally, she hoped that James would settle into something calm and friendly, like Charlotte down the road. Lovely girl, just turned twenty two and she would walk down the street making the privet hedge produce apples for all the children.
Not like James’ sister, Maggie. Maggie had been a troublesome teen, all rage against the man and down with the system. Much like Karen in her youth, but she’d never tell Maggie that. No, when Maggie had settled, much earlier than usual at 17, she’d settled in to be, as Karen’s mum would have put it, ‘One of those young flaming tyrants!’ It had caused a lot of trouble during the later teens, when Maggie had met some interesting people, to say the least.
‘Darling, I’m home!’ Jonathan said as he walked through the wall. ‘I’m fairly sure that the microwave used to be next to the fridge though.’ He smiled, a proper playboy’s shit eating grin.
‘What did I tell you about using the door? You’re setting a bad example for…’ She never finished the sentence, because James flew between them, crashing into his father’s arms.
‘Daddy!’ James squealed, his blonde curls bouncing as he squirmed in his father’s arms. A fledgling grin of his own was plastered onto his face, an imperfect copy of his father’s that was still learning to stand.
‘God! Can you all just keep it down? I’m trying to work.’ Maggie stomped into the room. ‘ Did you know that the American government is trying to categorise the gifted based on our abilities? They’re talking about segregating us until we’ve settled, then farming us out to live in carefully controlled communities to look at the diversity of Gift.’ She made the classic inverse comma marks with her fingers as she said these last three words. ‘It’s all bull…’ And flames sprouted into being from the palms of her hands.
‘LANGUAGE.’ Karen said, carefully containing her voice so as not to send her daughter flying across the room, but giving it enough oomph to make her rock back on her heels. She saw the red in her daughter’s eyes and took a deep breath.
‘Enough now.’ Jonathan told them, pulling them both in tight. ‘Mags, I don’t think we need to worry about the American Government. We live in Worcester. In England, in case that part had escaped your notice. Also, everyone has the Gift. How can they segregate us if there’s nobody to segregate us from?’
‘Well, I heard that there was a secret underground movement of people without powers.’ Mags retorted, but the fire had gone from her. The words were less angry and more lighthearted. Karen had often wondered if that was Jonathan’s true power, to defuse any argument he was near. She looked around at her family and smiled.
‘Come on you lot. Time to eat. Meatballs!’
The radio was playing a news bulletin as they sat down, ignored by the Schwartz family as they focused on eating. ‘-is now confirmed at seven people. Seven people have now disappeared in the Coventry area. Is this related to the recent spate of disappearances across the country? A panel of experts will be examining this on our eight o’clock show. Stay tuned to find out more…’
The Idiot In Tin Foil