It’s easy to get lost when you don’t pay attention
The earliest time I can remember using my power, I must have been about 4. I was stuck inside on a sunny day in the camp, watching through the window all the other kids playing. Most of them were older then me, and wouldn’t really play with me anyway, but I wanted desperately to be running around with them. Sudden;y I was. To my young brain, I didn’t really understand what had happened, but it didn’t really matter. The stunned faces of the kids didn’t even make me think about what happened. I was outside playing.
My Mom used to say that I teleported much earlier then that. But never very far. I guess my world was smaller back then. The neighbors caravan where she kept the neat things in the cabinet and had the jar of fresh cookies. The balloon animal man, Mr. Finnick. They would all patiently bring me back home. I guess it’s hard to keep track of a kid that can shift away while you blink.
My Dad was pretty fast, maybe the fastest. He was the one everyone would go to for help, and he would always help. Things took no time for him. I was always jealous that he could do all his chores in a few seconds. I couldn’t even shift out to the dumpster with the garbage without a lot of practice. which meant a lot of mess and yelling from mom. I thing Dad always secretly liked that tried to push myself to be better, even if it meant making a huge mess when I shifted with half of the garbage bag.
Dad wasn’t as sneaky as he thought he was. Or I was more clever then he thought I was. I had known for a while that he snuck out of the house at night. Even followed him a few times when my Shift got better. He was a real hero. Not just the way they tell you a teacher or a astronaut is a hero. He was an honest to goodness real life Super Hero. He stopped muggers and killers and rapists. He would snatch them up and drop them at the police station before they knew what the hell was happening. He was making a difference and he wouldn’t even stick around long enough to be thanked. He was that kind of hero.
That was the kind of hero I wanted to be. When my dad got me a fancy suit of Eufiber for my 16th birthday, i couldn’t wait to try to mold it into my hero suit. After they thought I was asleep, i would sneak out and patrol like my dad would. It made me feel closer to him, though I know he would have blown a gasket if he caught me. I can her him telling me, ’It’s too dangerous. You could get hurt.’ But I couldn’t just sit there, knowing I could make a difference too.
The third night I was out, I saw my first mugging. My heart was beating a million miles a minute. I forced myself to calm down for a second before i Shifted right behind him, pulling him away from that woman. He flew. Hard into the wall on the other side of the alley. I didn’t mean to hurt him that bad, but when I saw the blood on that ladies neck from his knife, I stopped feeling bad. He didn’t deserve leniency. I Shifted over to the station with him and left him, broken and unconscious on the doorstep with a note.
When I came back home, I laid awake for a long time thinking about what I did. I didn’t restrain myself at all. Dad wouldn’t have hurt him on purpose. I meant to knock him out. I couldn’t tell Dad. He would be so mad. But the mad I could take. It’s the disappointed, hurt look he got when I did something really stupid. Something he knew was beneath me. He’s given me the speech a thousand times. Drilled it into me. I have to be careful. My abilities can be dangerous. Especially dangerous for someone who isn’t like me. Even if that guy did deserve it, it wasn’t my place to give it to him. I’m supposed to be a hero.
But that didn’t stop me from patrolling the towns and cities that we went to. I practiced sneaking and Shifting. Testing myself. My nerve got stronger, able to remain calm even when every impulse is screaming to act. One night I came upon a convenience store owner getting robbed. I watched, deciding what the best tactic was. I had to act, the mugger was getting jumpy. I shifted in behind him, grabbed him and tried to shift out. I must have fritzed a little, because i found myself outside the store with the mugger free, aiming his shotgun at me now. Then there was a blur where the guy was. The blur became my dad, looking down at me disapproving look on his face.
It didn’t take us long to get home, dreading the lecture I was about to get. He began telling me how dangerous it was for me to be out on the streets using my powers. People could see. He told me about how he and mom had been doing everything to hide me. I know I wasn’t really supposed to exist, but I had never really been in any danger before. It was about then that the side of our caravan got hit with what felt like a bus. Knocked over and slid into our neighbor, the roof of the caravan was ripped off and there was a huge Metal Man and some woman that looked a little like a snake.
She turned her attention on me and suddenly I was covered in snakes. I wasn’t really afraid of them, but it was hard to move, and they even stayed on when i Shifted away. Mom and dad were trying to fight off the Metal Man, but he had them pinned. I Shifted over, trying to hit him, and got batted away like a fly. I couldn’t stop. I had to try to save them. Thats when a guy showed up behind me telling me that we had to go. I looked at him, then looked at my parents who were hopelessly loosing the fight. I started to walk back to them, but he grabbed my arm. ‘You can’t take another hit, don’t die while they’re trying to save you. You have to come with me’ I had no real choice. we ran around the corner to an oddly placed door. He opened it and we rushed through, closing it after us. Stepping through, we were in a dimly lit hall. Dank, almost a cave. ‘You have to go back for my parents’ though he just led me dow the hall, to a door marked ‘Principal’