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Breed: One


  10:48:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 1179 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: One

Normally it would have been a point of pride that Mikaela packed up everything she had in a day and moved it up the West Coast alone. But she know it wasn't pride motivating her, it was shame. Her father grew up black when that was reason enough for the world to isolate him, attack him, do everything it could to grind him down. So when he worried that she was 'different,' she knew he wanted to protect her, that when he told her that the tallest grass got cut the worst, he just wanted the best for her.
Her bones ached. Her muscles throbbed. She'd been awake for nearly forty hours, now. She knew she should sleep, at least a nap, but all she could do was hold her knees to her chest and try not to cry as her father's last words before she left echoed in her head: ?You're a freak.?
It was an accusation, more than a statement. They were fighting, because it was already late at night, and they both knew that even with him helping, it was going to take well into the morning to finish. Unless she used her powers.
He hated them. And she usually deferred to him, tried not to use them at home, or in front of people. And he was pissed off, because he thought she had planned this whole thing, so that the time crunch would necessitate she use them. Of course, if he hadn't spent the last several hours lecturing her over that fact, it was possible they would have finished earlier. Mentioning that only escalated the fight to the point where she was finished packing alone, so late she didn't get a chance to even nap before she had to drive north with her packed moving truck.
?You're a freak.? The words cut her again, and she glanced at the mirror in the corner of her room, still not attached to her dresser, whose drawers were spread across the shared front room. When she was a kid, she would have pulled a double through the mirror, and comforted herself. But she knew that wasn't normal, that it would have been proof that her father was right.
She kicked off her bed. It was snowing outside. It was going to take some getting used to that.
Everything was coated in a thin layer of the stuff, making the world a blank canvas. It should have made her feel like she was off to a new start, at her new school, but she was preoccupied with her old life in Portland.
She glanced at her car, an Accord nearly as old as she was. It was the only thing of any real value she had in the world, and only then because she was going to need it to drive to work. She hadn't finished unpacking it. It was all she could do to get home after dropping off the moving truck. She practically crawled back inside, and flopped onto her mattress laying inside of her still disassembled bed.
She could see her door was ajar, and she rolled her eyes. It was going to be an inauspicious start if she had to beg her new neighbors for a jump on her second day in town. Then she saw movement inside her car, and tensed. On her first day- in her first few hours in town.
She went out onto the balcony overlooking the parking lot. She was maybe ten feet above her car, and thought about dropping on the thief. ?Stop!? she yelled, and his head shot up like a prairie dog's. He fixed her with a glare from underneath a gray hooded sweatshirt, then bolted. She recognized her laptop bag hanging off his shoulder.
She knew she couldn't let him get away with it. She jumped over the railing, and landed painfully. But she was angry, and that anger gave her more fuel than she'd had in over twenty-four hours.
At least for a block. But he had a head start, and she could feel the cold air biting into her lungs, and all of the other aches creeping back into her body.
The only way she was catching him was her ability, and she cringed when she heard her father's voice. But she couldn't imagine it going better when she tried to explain to him why she needed a new laptop- not that it was likely either of them could afford to buy one. As he passed a parked car, her double leapt out of the driver's side mirror, tackling him to the ground. ?The fu-? he started to say, but was cut off when another double pinned his face to the street with her knee. There were four doubles, total, one securing each limb as she approached him.
?Let me go!? he yelped like a wounded animal. She took her bag from him. It was two-thirds full of other crap stolen out of the car, mostly bric-a-brac, things that hadn't quite fit in boxes and wouldn't stack well in the truck. She patted his pockets, but it seemed everything he'd taken was in the laptop bag.
She patted her own pockets, trying to figure out if she had her phone with her. He stared at her from the corner of his eye. She couldn't be sure, but she felt her father's voice in her head again. He knew she was a freak, and if she ratted him out to the cops, he was going to tell them about her. She balled her fist, but knew she couldn't hit him for her insecurities. So she shoved him to the ground, and reached into his pocket. He tried to sit up, and fight, but one of her doubles put her heel against his shoulder to hold him in place.
She removed his ID. The address was in Anacortes, and something told her that he wasn't doing an hour commute for petty larceny. ?I take it this isn't your current address.?
He swears quietly to himself. ?Are you a cop??
?Shut up. It doesn't matter if it's current. As you can, see,? she made a sweeping gesture towards her doubles, ?I've got the resources to track you down, if I need to. Don't make me need to. Stop preying on people. Or I will find you again, and it will be the last time I do it.? She dropped his wallet on his chest, then pocketed the ID.
The double let him up, and he ran awkwardly through the snow.
Mikaela turned on her heels, back towards the apartment. She heard footsteps behind her, and realized the doubles were following. Before she could turn to question them, one put her hand on Mikaela's shoulder. ?We'll help unpack the car,? she said. ?You can get yourself some cocoa.?
Mikaela let out a heavy sigh, halfway to a sob. ?It'll be okay,? the double told her, and guided her head onto her own shoulder. For the first time in the better part of a day she felt warm.

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