Today's story takes us back to the Super's Universe an hour or two after "Broadening Horizons." Having read "Meeting Ms. Truseau" and "Broadening Horizons" can help fill in backstory, but it isn't necessary to understand todays flash fic.
You can also listen to the audio here.
“Well, aren’t you a wee horror?”
Panting, Layla looked up at the strange lady with the bright clothes and clanky bracelets. She stood right in the way, not leaving enough room for her to get around. Layla’s heart pounded in her ears, but she could still hear the stall runner yelling after her.
A boy was right behind the old lady, carrying a bunch of bags and looking at her with big, gray eyes. Information about him flooded her mind, and relief washed over her.
Layla dashed forward and grabbed the boy’s arm with her free hand and tried to force him to teleport. She hadn’t met a teleporter before, but she’d used supers’ powers a lot. People with powers were everywhere, and their powers were hers. But instead of the usual sliding sensation, it felt like her mind was packed in wool.
“Hey, let go of me!” the boy yelped, tugging his arm away from her.
Frowning, Layla realized it hadn’t worked. She was still in the farmer’s market!
The angry seller had caught up to her before she got her bearings, and he grabbed her by the arm, spinning her around. “What do you think you’re doing, you little brat?” the man growled at her.
“What has she done?” asked the old lady, stepping up to the man.
The seller turned his attention to the woman without letting go. Layla tried to take advantage of his distraction to wiggle free, but he just tightened his grip even more, making her yelp.
“She stole from me is what she did,” he said. “Grabbed a sack of produce I’d just packed for a paying customer and ran.”
The old woman frowned down at Layla, and she felt smaller than she ever remembered feeling in her five years. Layla couldn’t sense anything from the lady at all, and that scared her even more than being caught. The old woman held her hand out and raised an eyebrow.
Pouting, Layla handed over the bag. The woman wrapped her thin fingers around the bag and handed it back to the seller.
“There,” she said, giving the seller a wide smile. “No harm done.”
“Yeah, what about the eggs?”
The woman huffed and glared at the man, but she lifted her hand and wiggled her fingers toward the boy. He produced a pocketbook from somewhere inside his jacket and handed it to her. The woman pulled out a wad of bills and handed them to the seller.
“Surely this will cover it,” she said.
Grumbling, the seller jerked his head in what could be considered a nod, if you squinted and turned your head sideways. He finally let go of her arm, and Layla shook it in an attempt to get feeling back in her fingers.
“Just make sure I never set eyes on the sticky fingered brat again,” he said as he stomped back toward his booth.
The old woman’s mouth was pulled into a tight line as she watched the man tromp off. Closing the pocketbook, she handed it back to the boy and turned her attention back to Layla. The urge to run made the muscles in her legs twitch, but she couldn’t get them to move. Her heart hammered in her chest as she watched the old woman’s expression shift into something that’d almost be grandmotherly if it wasn’t so creepy.
“Now child,” she said. “Where are your parents?”
The woman frowned, and something in her eyes looked sad. She reached out a birdlike hand.
“Come, you must be hungry.”
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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