Flash Friday 07/10/2016: The Powers That May Be
It was a cold night, so Natasha felt the need to cuddle up to the back of Ben in bed. “I want to try for a third one,” she whispered.
“You’ve already had two whiskies,” Ben said. “A third one and you’ll wake up in a random mall in the morning.”
A chuckle. “No, I mean…a third light in our life.”
Ben took a little time to work out what she meant by this. Then, he said, “what, right now?”
“No! Obviously not. Just…plan for one.”
“Why, what’s wrong with the two that we already have?”
“Nothing! Nothing’s wrong with them. I would…just like a third. That’s all.”
“The two children we have already came out with very good superpowers, you know. That in itself is a gamble.”
“Yes, we couldn’t be more blessed. Jake is doing fantastic with controlling his flying, and Alice has already used her mind reading to stop a bank robbery. They’ll both be fully-fledged heroes before we were in our prime.”
“Yes, but all it takes is for one of them to come out that…I don’t know, spits fire when they belch. Or cries really loudly. Mind control, energy beams from their hands, I don’t know! All I know is that it takes one to be a bad egg, and the whole house burns down overnight.”
“Yes, I know!”
“But you still want to pull the handle on the genetic fruits machine and see what pops out.”
Natasha cuddled into Ben’s back more. “Because I know whatever happens, we’ll take care of them. I know we can. We have a large enough place, we’re heroes, we have the money to expand if we need to. Just…think about it, okay?”
Ben rubbed the arm Natasha had wrapped around him. “When your blood isn’t 40% alcohol content, we’ll talk again. And if you’re serious about it…sure. We’ll see what we can do.”
Natasha smiled. “Thanks.”
It had been a rough few hours. However, it was one of those rough hours you were grateful you went through. All the hard work was done; all Natasha had to do was lie in bed and wait for the doctors to report the health of the new baby. Ben stood beside her, holding her hand, smiles on both faces.
A doctor came through the double doors on the other side of the wall, holding something curiously baby-sized bundled in cloth in his arms. Both of them perked up.
“Well then!” the doctor said, cheerfully. “You’ll be pleased to know that he’s not a teleporter. We had people ready to get him off of the roof, but you got lucky this time. He doesn’t seem to spew any element from any orifice, hasn’t emitted any psionic waves, and hasn’t, as of yet, turned his entire body into stone. Congratulations, you two; I think you got lucky with his superpower.”
Natasha wiped her brow. “And so the streak continues,” she told herself. “Three in a row.”
“Now that we’re all calm and relaxed,” the doctor said, placing the bundle in Natasha’s arms. “Say hello to little Charles.”
The doctor parted the cloth to reveal Charles’ face. Inside the bundle of cloth was a stapler.
“What–” the doctor began, his face turning pale. “Why is there–? How did he–? Help! Somebody help! There’s a child loose in the hospital!” he cried, running to the double doors and barreling through them so hard he almost fell over.
Natasha sat up in bed, horror across her face. “Where’s Charles? Where did he go? Why did they give me a stapler? Where is he?!”
“Stay calm,” Ben said, lightly pushing her back. “These people are professionals. They had a kid that shot laser beams from his eyes and still kept it together enough to put goggles on him. I’m sure they’ll find Charles.”
“But what if they don’t? Why on Earth did he come in and give me a bundle of cloth with a stapler in–“
Natasha gestured to the stapler in question. She was now holding a hand of bananas in the cloth bundle.
“Wait,” Ben said. “Why are you holding the bananas from the fruit bowl?”
“I’m not,” Natasha said, looking at the identical-looking fruit in the bowl beside her. “So why is it…?”
The pair looked in confusion and silence as the sound of shouts came from outside the ward. Then, Ben gave a laugh.
“Wait a minute,” he said. “I think I know what Charles is up to.”
With the tip of a finger, Ben gently tickled the body of one of the bananas. It gave a giggle like a baby, before its entire form morphed into the shape of a baby boy.
“Shapeshifter,” Ben said to himself. “And very good control over it at that age.”
“Oh god,” Natasha breathed. “He’s going to be a hellion growing up, isn’t he?”
“Growing up? Can you imagine what he’s going to be like as a teenager?“
The pair exchanged a terrified look.
“Well then,” Ben said. “I’ll go inform the doctors as to what happened. Good luck with him, alright? Let me know how he turns out. I’ll just be in our old home, enjoying myself, with the children who aren’t total nightmares.”
Even though Natasha knew Ben was joking, she still snapped with a “Oh no you’re not. You’re going to help, too.”
“You’re right,” Ben said. “I’ll do my part and research tracking devices and dog collars for when our child turns into a vase. Be right back!”
Ben left the ward.
Natasha looked down at her new bundle of joy. She wanted to kiss his forehead, but given that ‘he’ was currently taking the form of her bedside lamp, it could wait. All she knew were that the coming years were going to be interesting, especially after Charles would learn the value of deception.
Maybe a collar wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.