Written in response to the Inktober prompt #11: Sour.
Fights among siblings are normal. Just not in their household. Her older son is a saint among mankind who does everything he can to make his brother happy. That love, in turn, inspires absolute trust and obedience in her younger son.
So it is a rare sight indeed to see her younger son storm out of the birthday party in the living room, back turned from his most favourite person in the world with his lips puckered like he just ate a lemon. The furniture shudder as his power lashes out at everything around him, but it’s a testament to his growth that nothing is actually damaged.
“What happened?” she asks her eldest son and his friends.
With everyone’s help, they piece together the events leading up to her younger son’s tantrum. Armed with that knowledge, she heads off to find the young boy.
He’s curled up in the corner of their backyard, where a little shed has been specially reinforced to withstand his power. She sits on a tree stump outside, close enough to be heard but far enough to escape if she needs to.
“I heard about what happened. How do you feel?” she asks carefully.
“Brother gave away my present,” he grumbles, referring to the navy blue poncho blanket her eldest had lent to his friend.
“Only temporarily. She was feeling cold,” she says.
A clump of weeds growing out the side of the shed is ferociously torn into pieces. “Only Brother can use it.”
“He knows that now. We gave his friend something else and he’s wearing your present now. Do you want to see it?”
Her younger son is silent. She waits patiently, keeping her body carefully relaxed. Finally, she is rewarded with a tentative nod, followed by hesitant fingers wrapping around her own. Her face wants to break into a wide grin at the rare gesture, but she tempers it to a gentle smile so that she doesn’t scare him off.
Together, they head back into the house.
Genre: family, superpower, speculative fiction