Britt yelped a high pitched scream and buried her head between her knees. She was seated directly in front of the screen when it exploded.
“Sparky?” Her father’s deep voice came closer, accompanied by hurried, heavy foot steps. “You okay?” Britt looked up at her father with tear stained cheeks; she pointed at the broken TV.
“Sorry, daddy,” her bottom lip quivered. Her father smiled and knelt down next to her.
“I asked if YOU are okay?” he said. The 8-year-old nodded with a chubby smile. “Good. How’d it happen?” her father asked as he moved to inspect the damage. Britt shrugged and gave her father a confused look that jutted her bottom lip out further.
“I was playing an’ I went like this,” Britt aimed an imaginary gun at the window and pulled the trigger. A tiny orange spark shot out of her finger toward the glass and shattered it. “WHOAAAA!” she half shouted and half giggled. Her father moved fast and grabbed her hand before she fired at something else. A wave of worry washed through the girl, but it dissolved when she saw her dad’s smile. He pulled her close and hugged her.
“You got your ability!” He patted her on the back. “Your mom’s going to be so proud!”
“Foley too!” Britt giggled. She looked forward to rubbing it in her brother’s face. He was older than her, but he did not have an ability yet. Her father stood up.
“C’mon!” he cocked his head toward the backyard. “Let’s go see what you can do.” They stepped out of the house and onto a custom deck.
“Stay there,” Britt’s father instructed. He pointed at an invisible spot just outside the house. He walked to the wooden railing and set a glass soda bottle on it. “Shoot it,” he said after stepping away. Britt aimed her imaginary gun and squeezed her index finger. An orange spark hit the bottle and made it explode.
“That’s good, but you have to control it,” the man said. He walked to the railing and set up another bottle. “Try and knock this one over without an explosion.” The girl nodded and stared at the glass bottle. The tip of her tongue peeked out of the corner of her mouth as she tried to squeeze the gun’s “trigger” gently. A slower, yellow spark hovered to the bottle. The moment it touched the bottle it violently exploded in a bowling ball sized fireball.
“Okay, I think that’s a good start for today,” Britt’s father chuckled. He placed a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll talk with your mom tonight, and we’ll find you a better spot to practice.” Britt’s eyes widened into a look her father saw every Christmas morning.
“The AlterNet?!!!!” She looked up at her father and clasped her hands in a begging gesture. “PLEEEEEASE!!” He smiled down at her and winked.
“It’s not a bad idea. We’ll see what your mom says,” he turned to go inside. Britt smiled to herself. Whenever her dad said that the decision was already made.