The baby’s wings stretched out and fluttered a little, before folding back around his tiny form. Alice sobbed and held him close, muttering a name in his ear.
‘Tristan.’ She whispered the name to herself, wondering if what was left of Tyler could hear her.
‘Tristan!’ Alice snapped, six years later. Tristan twisted quickly, trying to hide the burning ant hill behind him. He looked up into his mother’s stern eyes and burst into fits of tears, running up to her, hugging her legs. She sighed wearily and picked him up with an ‘oof’, carrying him inside, setting him down on one of the kitchen chairs. Single parenthood was not as easy as it looked, she had decided. She leaned back on the counter behind her and looked at the small boy whimpering in the chair.
‘What did I tell you, honey? About using daddy’s powers?’ she asked, now crouching before him, gripping his hands so that he had to pay attention to her. He looked her in the eye as he spoke.
‘Don’t use daddy’s powers. Ever.’ He recited in a falsely innocent voice, as if he had never used them in the first place. ‘Because daddy’s powers are nasty.’ He added. Alice held his gaze a few seconds longer, before standing up, letting go of his small hands.
‘And do you ever listen?’ she asked.
‘Yes, mummy.’ He said grinning, showing off his sharp teeth. Alice shook her head.
‘No, no you don’t, you little horror,’ she said with a faint smile. Tristan looked down at the floor making a whining noise, threatening to cry again. ‘Why don’t you just stay indoors, Tristan? Read a picture book? Do a puzzle?’
‘Puzzles are easy, though,’ Tristan said, looking at the most recent one spread out on the table.
‘Because you cheat, Tristan.’ Alice gave the completed puzzle a pointed look. Tristan started to shake his head, but ended up shaking his whole body in protest.
‘No mummy! I don’t cheeeeeeaaat!’ he complained.
‘Of course not. I believe you, millions wouldn’t’ she said, the slight smile growing. Tristan flashed his toothy little grin again and slipped off the chair.
‘Wanna play, mummy.’ He said.
‘What do you want to play?’ Alice asked dubiously. Tristan’s games usually included practicing powers that his father had inadvertently bestowed in him. And this one was no different.
‘Wanna... wanna play animals, mummy!’ he bounced a little as he said it, scampering off across the tiled floor into the living room. Alice groaned and slapped a hand to her forehead, following her son.
‘Look! I can be a... a... what can I be, mummy?’ he bit gently on his lower lip, turning his glowing eyes up to his mother. She looked into the green orbs, lost in the golden flecks momentarily.
‘Nothing, Tristan, you should just be Tristan.’ She said kneeling beside him, pulling him into a hug, wishing with all her soul that Tyler could be there to see their son growing up.