There was a picnic at the beach. The triplets were building small sand castles and then would body slam each other into them. The professor and her husband were sitting besides her, eating and scolding their children, who weren’t listening. Tony was, well, being Tony; talking about random things, pausing ever so often to ogle at a bikini-clad woman. She ate a sandwich, and debated on taking a quick dip in the ocean. The water was crystal clear, actually tempting her to get a little relief from the sun.
Then she remembered that she couldn’t swim. The cloudless sky immediately turned blood red with black clouds. The calm waves were now as violent as if a hurricane was making its presence known. Everyone else on the beach had run for shelter, leaving Tabitha there alone. She tried to run after them but saw that she couldn’t move, stuck in some sort of quicksand. She looked towards the water and could only watch as the waves started to come closer and closer, almost promising that they would take her life. She fought to move but with no luck; she even tried to dig herself out. She turned to call for help but there was no one in sight. Lightning flashed across the red sky every time she tried to make another move.
Before Tabitha knew it, the waves had engulfed her, turning into ten feet swells. They hit her as hard as fists and she found herself bracing for the next hit, unable to even defend herself against them. She opened her mouth to scream but was immediately silenced as water engulfed her lungs. She coughed until they were clear and screamed. She tried to free herself with more urgency and was finally able to move. It didn’t matter; as soon as she freed herself, she looked back at the waves: there was no escaping them. She was going to drown.
Her eyes popped open and she was in the dark. She blinked a few times and saw the shadows in the room. She tried to catch her breath, to steady her heart and realized that she had been dreaming. Tabitha shut her eyes tightly and took a deep breath; it smelt as if something had been burnt. Her hands were close to burning, that pins and needles feeling ran rampart through her veins. She jumped out of bed and even in the dark, could see the faint currents that traveled throughout her hands and body. Still shaking, she turned the light on and looked in terror at the bed; where she had laid was outlined in semi-seared sheets.
Tabitha dropped to her knees and tried desperately to calm down. Once she did, her next mission was to hunt down the linen closet and replace the ruined sheets. She immediately worried about what the doctor would say about them and she felt the start of that electric feeling edging out. Calm down; just calm down, she told herself repeatedly. She needed to splash some cold water on herself, to shake the bad thoughts out of her head.
She slowly walked out of the room and listened for anyone stirring. When she heard nothing, she made her way to the bathroom. With it being right next to the master bedroom, she heard the two parents talking as she silently closed the door.
“So, we can talk now? Who is that? And why is she staying with us?”
“I… okay; I really don’t know, exactly.”
“I… found her in an alley…….. don’t give me that look; let me expla…”
“You brought a bum here?! You let our kids be exposed to her like that?!”
“Just let me explain! We were in the lounge the other day and Wyatt started yakking at the mouth about how these bums were being electrocuted in the alley. I tried to get him to come with me but you know how chicken shit he really is!”
“So, what; you went to check it out. By yourself. Without calling me.”
“You would’ve stopped me…”
“Damn right, I would’ve!” Albert slightly raised his voice. Tabitha heard a sigh and continued to listen, “So, now you’re a hero to the bums. You saved her from the sicko who’s been torturing them?”
“… Not exactly. See… she’s the one who’s been killing them folks…” Jamila explained carefully. Tabitha heard the shifting of sheets.
“She’s… WHAT?!?! You brought that muthafucker into our own home; around our kids?!?!”
“Shush!! Don’t wake up the whole damn neighborhood! Would you just try to listen to me?”
“There’s no excuse for it!!”
“They were all accidents!”
“Yeah, sure. ‘Oh, I apologize for shocking you; it was a mistake’!”
“She has powers!” the professor finally raised her voice. Tabitha could only imagine the look that the man was giving his wife at the moment. Had she not seen it with her own eyes, had not felt the surge as it escaped her fingers, she wouldn’t had believed it herself!
“… Powers? Wait… she’s a mutant?”
“I know what I saw, before you say that I’ve lost it. The first time I tried to touch her, the shit shot out of her hand! If I hadn’t ducked, I would’ve been fried!”
“What happened to her…?” his voice was calmer.
“I don’t know. She doesn’t even know, I don’t think. She can’t control it as much. I’m thinking that whatever made her that way just happened, you know? She’s in shock, still.”
“Why do you think you can help her?”
“Baby… she shot out lightning. I know I can help her… and I promised that I would…”
“Lightning, huh? That’s your expertise. I don’t know. I truly won’t believe it until I see it.”
“Well… we’ll drop the kids over to daddy’s tomorrow, then.”