Here is the link: Winner
Throwing the car into gear and putting her foot into the pedal, Sophia sailed out of the parking lot and launched the Shelby Mustang down the road.
“Whoo Hoo!” She shouted as she opened up the throttle, threw her head back and felt the air rush through her hair. Top down, blue with white racing stripes, she loved this car! She felt free and exhilarated! What could be better than this?
Flying up the road, the wheels came off the ground as she went up and over a hill. She flew through an intersection then slowed down to take a turn, but not quite enough, the car started to spin, she was able to regain control as it fishtailed around the corner.
She was sad when she reached her destination. She pulled back into the parking lot, gravel spraying from behind the wheels as she slid to stop in front of the building. Turing to her passenger, she asked, “So, do I get my license now?”
I had always known I was special. People always treated me differently, even my parents. I never knew why until one day when I was nine years old. I stood in the middle of my bedroom, facing the bank of windows that dominated the east wall of my upstairs bedroom. There, along the top of the row of windows hung dozens of stuffed animals, out of my reach.
Stretching my arms up and out, I focused on the one I wanted and out loud I said, “Come here!”
In amazement I watched as the stuffed bear detached itself from the wall and floated lazily down and into my waiting arms. I turned to find my mother watching from the doorway. She didn’t seem surprised.
Later that day, I overheard her on the phone telling someone that “The experiment is working.” I had no idea what she meant. It wasn’t until much later that I figured out she had been talking about me.
I began to move small objects first, retrieving a book or a pencil without getting up from where I was sitting. Eventually I moved onto larger objects, like moving the couch without touching it so my mom could vacuum under it. I kept my friends entertained for hours moving objects they requested.
Eventually we figured out that I could move my friends themselves. It was fun until I accidently dropped Jimmy Watkins into a pile of lumber and he broke his arm. It was an accident, but after that most of the kids weren’t allowed to play with me anymore.
Without my friends around, I practiced on myself and found that I could levitate! I went out in the front yard and practiced and practiced until I had it down so well it was indistinguishable from flying. I could fly! This was fabulous and I whiled away entire days flying around my neighborhood.
It was fun until one day I flew too high. I don’t know what happened but it was terrifying. At first, it was fun, I was soaring! Then, as I got really high, it was like I could feel the earth letting of me, gravity gradually subsiding. That wasn’t the scary part; the scary part was when I felt something very much like gravity pulling me the opposite direction, up! The higher I got, the stronger the pull and I felt myself zipping up, up, into space, the air was getting thinner and the earth was rushing away from me. I was in a state of pure panic, struggling to get back. I fought and thrashed my arms around like I was swimming, trying to thrust against the force pulling me upwards.
Finally, gradually, I was able to push myself down a little, then a little more. Eventually I passed some kind of threshold where the force of gravity pulling me toward earth became stronger than the force pulling me up. The problem with this that I began to fall, truly fall. I was plummeting toward the ground, heart pounding, sure I was about to be squashed. Again, I thrashed my arms around like I was swimming, this time pushing against the ground that was rushing up to meet me. I managed to slow myself enough that I didn’t splatter when I hit but it knocked the breath out me.
I lay on the ground unable to breathe or move or scream for what felt like an eternity. Petey Grayson from across the street rushed over and was staring down at me with wide eyes yelling my name. I couldn’t answer at first. Finally, the air rushed back into my lungs in a huge, gulping, gasping shudder. I sat up, panting and sucking in air. Something had tried to take me and I had no idea what it was or when it might strike again. This though kept me grounded for months but eventually the urge to soar through the air was too great to deny.
My mother was hysterical when she heard the story, I overheard her sobbing to my father that, “They are trying to take him from us!”
I didn’t know who she meant until one night about a year later when I woke up to a soft pulsating glow coming through my bedroom windows. I ran to the window that overlooked the front of the house and there right outside my window, hovering just over the roof of the front porch, was a small, silver vessel. It was humming softly and there was an alternating blue and green light bathing the roof of the porch just beneath the ship. I quickly slipped out of my room and ran downstairs to my parent’s room.
I expected my parents to deny the presence of the ship, as they had always denied the existence of the monsters that I clearly knew lived in my closet, but instead they went up the stairs and I heard all kinds of banging’s and angry voices.
The next day we packed up and moved several states away. I learned to hide my powers and I managed to fit into my new school, blend in as a normal sixth grader. Years went by with no one the wiser. I graduated from high school and went to college.
But I always knew they’d find me again someday. As I sit here typing this, I can hear their footsteps, see their ship hovering outside my window again. This time, I’m going with them. I have questions, I want answers. I hope they have good intentions and I can learn from them. But just in case, I have a backup plan. I have developed other powers over the years. I can create and hold onto then project balls of energy. I have been practicing, at first it was just a small amount of energy, but now I can hold quite a bit. I’m sure I could hold and expel enough energy, at this point, to approximate a small nuclear explosion if I need to.
I realize this will be the end of me as well, but I won’t be held prisoner, I won’t be experimented on and I won’t be used as weapon to hurt others. I have to know what was done to me and why and if there are others. I will get answers or I will get vengeance, but I will not stay hidden any longer.
Alexander stretched his hands out toward the pile of sticks he had stacked together in his back yard. Extending them, palms facing out, he started at the little pile of wood intently and focused his power like a laser beam. The power he could feel surging through him, had felt for awhile now.
His brow furrowed as he concentrated, a sheen of sweat breaking out on his forehead. He barely blinked, he focused harder.
Slowly, finally, a small tendril of smoke rose up from the pile, there was a slight flicker, then another, a crackling noise as the fire caught hold. Alexander did not break his concentration, he directed the spark, move over here, over there, heat the wood, catch, burn. His gaze intent as he mentally manipulated it.
Finally the fire caught with vigor. It popped and crackled as it flared up, the entire stack of twigs now engulfed in flames that danced and licked at the sky. Alexander broke his concentration and sat back, with a smile, quite pleased with his nine year old self as he watched his creation dance.
This story is a bit of an origin story for the character from The Would Be Thief.
I have decided that have at least two books of poetry already written. I have been writing for over 30 years after all. I have so much poetry, it just needs to be edited, organized and published. But that means going through it all, and with it, the memories. Which led to the following poem as I basically picked at scabs and poked at scars. Here it is:
Going back to the past
The pains still there
Right where I left it
Gotta unpack it, examine it
Look at it square in the eye
Measure it, claim it
Dig it out, write about it,
Make it my bitch
Everything there’s still the same
That’s why I don’t live there anymore
I’ve moved on,
Healed from it, left it, learned from it
Moved on past it
But still it wants acknowledgement
Hey, it happened, time to own it
My pain helped make me
What I am today
So it’s time to stop hiding,
Pushing my pain into the dark,
Deep, secret places of my heart
Like a vampire, the light will kill it
Drag it out and let it burn
Show the world what I’ve survived
No more shame, no more pain
Make it work for me
The final step, the final piece
Taking back what it took from me
So it no longer has the power
to make me bleed
So this morning I woke up to my 12 year old telling me there was a copperhead in the duck barn and we were already down three ducklings! Ya’ll I’ve never killed a snake in my life! So here I go, it may be 100 degrees but I put on blue jeans and tall boots and I go out there with a long stick, an axe and a shovel. Now my son tried to tell me the way daddy does it, put the shovel behind it’s head and push down. But no, I think I’m a badass with the axe. I’m sure I can take it’s head off in one whack. So I pull the axe back and WHACK! I’m so freaking proud of myself but why is it moving like that? Oh, I took off it’s TAIL, so now it’s really fucking pissed off! Ok, Ok, hold on, I whack at it again and hit it in the middle, but not a clean hit, I’ve just wounded it again, now it’s trying to hide from me and the next two whacks took out the duck feeder. Well, ok, maybe I should use that damn shovel after all, before it bites me. It’s biting at the ducks, the shovel and itself. I actually feel bad at this point, I don’t want it to suffer, I just want it to die! I finally use the shovel exactly as my 12 year old told me and killed the damn thing. Now it’s in three pieces and the damn thing is still moving around and biting at everything. Jesus Christ, this is going to give me nightmares, no wonder people have snake phobias, this thing is like a freaking vampire and it WILL NOT DIE!! The dogs won’t even go near the body! So we bury the head and damned if the body isn’t STILL moving around! Hell no, ya’ll, hell no! Nobody prepared me for this shit. I am shaking from the adrenaline rush, and covered in sweat. I go inside, take a shower, watch some TV with the kids. Later, while I’m making dinner, guess what? There’s a grass snake in the duck barn. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? Well at least it’s not poisonous. But guess what? IT”S MUCH FASTER! I had this thing pinned down with the shovel and it just slithered right out from under the shovel! I had to really fight that thing, it was slippery and fast and BIG, and really, it was an epic battle, I could not get the shovel to separate it’s head from it’s body but I finally got it pinned down where it couldn’t move and Todd smashes it’s head with a brick. SHUDDER. I go back in, go back to cooking dinner. Ten minutes later he comes in to tell me he just killed ANOTHER grass snake in the duck barn!!!! (seriously, we’ve had snakes before, but three in one day seems excessive!) At that point, we just brought the remaining three ducklings inside, they are in the witness protection program now! I am TRAUMATIZED I tell you! I may have PTSD. Seriously, I’m a lover not a fighter. Why, God, why?????
There has been a lot of talk about what Kathy Griffin did. The criticism I’ve heard most is that this has somehow hurt Barron. Maybe. Barron Trump hasn’t been hurt any more, or any less, than Obama’s daughters were. But to say that Barron is the only victim of a Trump presidency turns a blind eye to a lot. Barron will be OK. He’ll grow up and attend the best schools, he’ll have doors opened for him just for being a Trump. His future is assured. My daughters is not. Trump has systematically destroyed protections put in place to keep schools and employers from discriminating against people like my daughter. The republican party in general has made it their mission to do everything in their power to make the lives of LGTB people as difficult as possible. The republicans obsession with pushing through a more expensive plan that will leave millions without insurance, hurts people. Removing protections from vulnerable groups hurts people, allowing bullying and discrimination hurts people. Barron Trump will always have the best healthcare money can buy, but Trump’s plan would leave my son without access to any at all. Barron Trump will have the best education money can buy while Betsy Devos guarantees that schools can refuse to educate my daughter. So no, Barron is not the only victim of this presidency. Not by a long shot.