Today's flash fiction takes us back to the Super's Universe right about a month after "A Protige' is Found." This time we're not with Stan West though, we're looking in on his cousin Laura at the start of a new school year.
The other stories in the series might fill you in on some background information, but having read them isn't necessary to understand or enjoy the story.
I've found myself lacking time of late, and unfortunately, audios and much of the other content once on Eng Family Vlogs is taking the hit. I'm not entirely sure if I will continue to make audio versions of these stories each week or not at the moment, but as it stands for now, this one doesn't have one.
“I’m not a therapist,” Laura snapped. “Solve your own problems.”
Amber frowned, and the hurt and disappointment she felt battered Laura’s shields. Grimacing, Laura tramped down the guilt welling up in response and closed her eyes, trying to shore up the wobbly mental walls she’d been learning to build.
“Well, I’m sorry I asked,” Amber said. Her voice cracked as hurt gave way to anger. “Stupid me thinking my best friend would care!”
A wave of embarrassed ire washed over Laura, shattering what was left of the shields she’d managed to hold throughout the week. They crumbled, and the noise buzzing in her head from the students and staff around her quadrupled. Laura’s already aching head throbbed, each pulse making her skull feel like it was bowing under the strain. Her vision blurred, and everything became too much as sensory information from the nearest few dozen people bombarded her at once.
Laura squeezed her eyes shut with a groan, and instinct had her clutching the sides of her head. Even as the pain and confusion of too much sensory input overwhelmed her, the thought Mom was right about changing schools being for the best tugged at the back of her mind. The end of last year hadn’t been so bad, but with the drama of a fresh new year, she wasn’t coping that well.
She became sure of it when she woke at home a couple hours later with no memory of how she’d moved from the table where she’d been eating lunch with Amber before their spat. Hearing her mom talk about how Am and Em more or less carried her to Nurse McGrady’s office when she started clutching her head like the lowest kind of scum around. She’d bitten Am’s head off for stressing over cheerleader tryouts, and Am took care of her like a good friend even when she was hurt and angry with her.
“Hey. Mind if I call?” Laura texted Am the moment her parents finished fussing over her.
Laura dialed her friend’s number, and it barely rang once before Am picked up.
“Laura! Are you okay? What happened?” Amber’s worried voice tumbled from the phone like it was running faster than she could keep up.
“Yeah, I’m fine, thanks to you and Em,” Laura said. “Thank you, and I’m sorry for being such a jerk.”
“It was another one of those migraines, wasn’t it?”
“I’m getting worried about you, Rara,” Amber said. “I thought those were getting better, but you haven’t felt good at all since school started, have you?”
“Not really, no,” Laura answered with a grimace she almost bet Amber could “hear” in her tone. “There’s too much going on at school, and it triggers them sometimes.”
“You’re folks are gonna make you go to Falkner, aren’t they?”
Amber’s tone was sad but there was something hopeful about it too. For the first time she could remember since her abilities began developing, Laura wished she could read someone over the phone.
“Yeah,” she said. “Today was the last straw. They’re getting me transferred first thing Monday.”
“Promise you won’t forget me and Em?”
“Not a chance,” Laura chuckled. “You two are family.”
The two girls fell quiet for a moment. Laura could hear some old episode of Amber’s favorite anime playing in the background.
“I really am sorry about snapping at you today,” she said. “I was getting overwhelmed, and I took it out on you.
“No need to apologize,” Amber said. She huffed, and Laura could almost see the other girl rolling her eyes. “If I’d have been feeling like you were, I would have snapped at my whiny butt too.”
“Well, I’m feeling better now, so tell me what’s going on again?”
Each story in this series is 700 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first prompt like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me" and "Culture Shock." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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