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Rated: E · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2196651
Her mind conjurs up the power within the soul

Melanie felt her mood changing and she feared the shift. It was always like hanging in limbo with nothing to do but wait, and never knowing when the explosion would occur. There was no predicting the timing or the outcome. It just was what it was and she had no control.

The freckled face boy of six pranced with a mixture running and skipping on his way to the park. Ethan was eager to begin the first day of summer vacation. There was planned marble tournament for the neighborhood kids. In his shorts pocket, he carried his best shooters and a multitude of glass-eyed cats. He could feel them bobbling against his leg as he moved. His shirt pocket held his favorite three marbles, an orange tiger eye, a purple butterfly shooter, and a silver snake's tongue. He raised his hand to his chest often to assure himself that the treasures remained firmly planted in the pocket. The first day of tournament play seated your placement for the entire summer. The better scoring result ensured tougher opponents and challenges to be faced throughout the summer. Ethan hoped only to fit in with the older kids. Small framed, red-headed kids with freckles and glasses that stuttered when talking tended to be a bully's dream.

Melanie invited the kids participating in the tournament to take a seat around her as she explained the rules. She had spent her last two summers planning activities for the local kids. The kids were mostly well-behaved and likable. There were always a few that needed corralling, but for the most part they viewed Melanie as adult and heeded her requests. She welcomed them as each child sat down in the circle. Some of the faces she recognized from the previous years and others were new to her. She smiled as the red-headed boy warily sat down in the front. He eyed the outer circle of kids with envy for their stance appeared more confident. She could read the boy's longing to belong with the cool kids. Melanie remembered the same yearning from her childhood. For a moment he touched her heart, but she remembered that she was long past the terror of her youth.

"All you can think of...," she mumbled under her breath. "That is where the power comes from deep inside, little boy," she said hoping the words carried a telepathic message to the child.

Ethan smiled at the girl, but for unknown reasons.

The tournaments began with six children grouped around five chalked circles. Each child was given three chances to shoot with two wins moving you up to the next circle of competition. Ethan managed to move up quickly in the ranking. He believed that his silver snake eye was the magic propelling him forward. It had been a gift from his father and always the luckiest marble in his collection.

The older kids were not happy about being beaten by Ethan. Gavin began taunting the boy. Being nine, Gavin was twice the size of Ethan and dubbed Ethan as the four-eyed freckled geek. He took every opportunity to trip the boy with his foot. Gavin and his group of bullies laughed when they managed to make the boy fall down but Ethan picked himself up and ignored his tormentors.

The group of bullies began plotting methods to steal Ethan's marbles. The plan was to highjack the boy at the restroom during break.

Ethan had done so well in the morning run that he had moved up to the second highest circle. When the whistle blew for break he ran to the restroom to relief himself before anyone would notice him missing. As he exited the building he was greeted by a wall of boys led by Gavin.

"Let me see that shooter you're using, four-eyes. We don't think it's legal," Gavin said with a smirk.

"It is....I know... it ... is," Ethan stuttered.

"Nope, you're a cheater. And we need to confiscate the evidence, as they say," Gavin sputtered, standing tall and trying hard to look like the lawyers he had seen on television. The other boys formed a semi-circle around Ethan. Gavin moved forward grabbing the boy's arm and twisted it behind his back. Ethan winced in pain as another boy reached into his pocket to grab the marbles. The boy tried to squirm his way out of Gavin's hold but the pain was too great.

From a distance, Melanie could see the drama unfolding. Instantly, her mind shifted. The cogs slipped effortlessly through their processes, as Melanie succumbed to the power within. Her mantra,"Anything I can think of...," filtered aimlessly through her brain.

She watched helplessly as a large sling-shot hanging in mid-air took form behind the group of boys. With a gentle twist of her wrist, a shield rose up to surround Ethan. Melanie lightly flicked her finger at a nearby tree releasing her pent up power. A tree branch responded by catapulting the contents of the sling-shot at the boys.

Marbles pummeled the bullies. They all scattered away to avoid being hit further by the glass pellets. Hollow thuds could be heard as each marble struck their targets. Gavin's cries were the loudest of all the whimpering scoundrels.

Ethan could only stare in disbelief. He felt the odd sensation of his pockets refilling with his treasured marbles. He smiled at Melanie, again for unknown reasons. He could swear he heard the words float through the air on the branch of a tree,"Anything you can think of."

Melanie spent her afternoon patching up the boys with bruises and contusions. Their stories varied widely, but in the end a freak windstorm was blamed for the injuries.

On her way home from the park, Melanie stopped at a convenience market around the corner. It was her desire to have a relaxing evening at home with a big gulp, an oven baked pizza, and a Twinkie for dessert, but life never happens as we expect.

Marcus glanced around the store as he entered. He counted two other patrons besides himself. The man placed his sunglasses over his eyes to hide the bloodshot and water oozing orbs that tended to make people wary of him. He took just a moment to smooth the waves of dirty blonde curls back into their natural resting place. By wiping the residue of powder from his lips and nostrils, he deemed himself presentable.

Marcus watched the clerk behind the desk make change for one of the other customers. It suited him that the clerk seemed to take no notice of him. He swung to the left of the counter and began filling his pockets with needed nourishment. He had hoped to avoid the aisle with the other customer, but the slender tank-topped girl was the only obstacle between him and the craved beef jerky. He couldn't help notice the girl's ample breasts and long black shiny hair as he pushed his way past her. He felt the familiar stirring in his trousers, but fought to focus on the task at hand, his coveted food item.

Marcus slammed his shoulder into the girl's back, pushing her aside. Melanie fell against the shelf holding candy and Hostess products. She knocked the entire top row to the floor. The crashing noise drew the attention of one other customer and the clerk. Melanie tried to catch the items as they toppled down in a domino-like sequence around her. Poised on edge of her lips, was an unladylike curse word, for the intruder of her peaceful shopping excursion.

"Sorry," he muttered with no actual sign of remorse shown as trouped to the next aisle. Melanie stared at the man's back, while she fought to keep her balance in the middle of piled grocery goods.

The clerk yelled from behind the counter, "What's going on over there?" While the now angry cashier circled out from behind the desk, the paying customer quickly made his way out of the store not wanting to be involved in the chaos.

Unsure of where to lay the blame, the clerk first approached Melanie.

"You okay?" he asked.

Melanie nodded her head silently. She couldn't help but notice the metal baseball bat that swayed side to side in the hands of the muscular clerk. He was a very large swarthy looking man in his mid-thirties whom at the moment sported flaring nostrils of fury on his face.

"Accident, I'll help clean it up," Melanie offered.

His face softened as he waved her off. Glancing at Marcus in the next aisle, the clerk instantly knew the source of the trouble when he witnessed him placing packs of cigarettes into his pocket.

"What the hell are you doing? No thieves allowed!" the clerk said as he rolled the bat in his hand for emphasis.

Pulling a silver revolver from his waist-band Marcus pointed it at the man. "Back off," he screamed.

The clerk inched back cautiously. Marcus screamed for Melanie to join the clerk in the next aisle.

"It's just us here and you're going to do what I say, Hurry up girl or this man will have a bloody third eye," Marcus warned.

Melanie crept up next to the man she had met only a moment ago. She was tearful as she greeted the clerk with her eyes.

"What are you going to do with us?" she whispered in a quiet shaking voice drenched in fear.

"With you, I'm planning on some fun, but our bat swinging friend might find himself quite dead if he doesn't behave," Marcus spewed with a drug induced drawl.

Melanie could feel the shift in her head like a room being cleared for an impending dance. She was helpless to alter the course. She took a protective stance in front of the clerk just as the ground beneath her started to shake.

Marcus could feel the low rumbling and gripped the gun firmly. "Don't you try anything," he said as the girl moved closer.

"Only anything I can think of," the girl echoed in a low growling voice, managing to send chills up the man's spine.

His hands trembled harder than the earth below his feet while he watched the girl's eyes transform into ebony glass beads with her pupils filling with rings of fire. He was so mesmerized by the change that he failed to notice the other things happening around him. On the top row, the toothpaste tubes had popped open, freeing a myriad of venomous snakes. Melted remnants of the many mouthwash bottles stood idly on the second row, where five black squawking ravens perched as fortunetellers of the ominous events about to occur. Tarantulas crept along the ground in merry search of prey Behind Marcus a worm hole opened from just a dust speck to a large quivering crater of black empty space that obscured the refrigerated section of the store.

Melanie flicked her forefinger at Marcus in a motion like a soft thump on the head. He fell backward into the hole with the creatures from the shelf consuming him during the downward spiral to his death. His screams, though short-lived, were deafening.

The clerk fell to his knees covering his ears to escape the dying man's agonized shrieks. His mouth stood agape in awe of the woman's power and instantly feared for of his own life. His horror from the situation caused him to soil his drawers emitting a foul stench to the air. Melanie was stirred from her trance and the hole in front of them closed as quickly as it had opened. She thumped her fingers yet again and everything in the store was righted. She stepped past the jittery and astounded clerk as she exited the store.

"Anything I can think of...' she whispered to no one but herself. Melanie finally understood the power she'd been given. She was just glad that her mind had chosen good over evil.

Word Count 1993

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