new character with the ability to absorb knowledge with a touch.
|Fiona Maken was raised in a family of secrets. The knowledge she was adopted was not one of them. Neither was the fact that she had been discovered, newborn, in a half-melted snowbank. What her family did not share was the fact that Fiona was not an average little girl. Fiona had an ability which her family kept a closely guarded family secret. She had a way of learning by touching people.
At what her parents assumed was three months old, Fiona shocked her father completely when she said, “Daddy, I am really sorry I pooped myself.” He had just finished changing her diaper, and he nearly fainted.
“Excuse me? Where is that voice coming from?” He searched the changing table for a speaker or other device.
Fiona giggled, “Daddy, it’s me! You’re silly.”
This time he had been looking at her mouth when she spoke. He froze. Fiona smiled at him unsure of what she had done to upset him. She could feel his anxiety verging on panic. He opened his mouth, “Fi? Are you really talking?”
Fiona giggled again, “Yes daddy, why? Everyone else does it.”
He dropped the dirty diaper on the floor, “Not at three months old…”
“Why not? It’s easy.”
Her father blinked and then noticed the diaper on the floor. He bent to pick it up and Fiona tried to push herself over to look off of the changing table at him. He dropped the diaper in the trash and stood up. “Oh my god! Fi! Stay where I put you! You could have fallen.”
“Sorry daddy,” Fiona decided not to surprise him anymore without warning. Like she wouldn’t tell him she felt every bit of his terror at her falling.
Within six months she wasn’t just walking, but running and dressing herself, sometimes it was more of a case of undressing herself. For two weeks at around seven months old she decided nudity was the most natural and correct state of being. Fiona had potty trained herself as soon as she could stand and walk, so she wouldn’t even wear a diaper. She wouldn’t be convinced nudity was inappropriate even under the pressure of her parents’ shame and embarrassment. Her parents finally let her have her way, taking her for a picnic in the park. It got cold and wet. Her parents explained that you never knew what the weather would do for sure and that being dressed was insurance against it. She went back to wearing clothing that afternoon.
The Makens were an upper-middle-class family, with five sons and one daughter. Fiona was the focus of all their world, and what she could say and do was a family secret they all kept. Stories of extraordinary people were rare, and they had all heard rumors of bad things happening to people who could do unusual things and their families. Disappearances had happened.
By kindergarten, Fiona was fully indoctrinated in the reality that she could not reveal how special she was. It took her full effort not to reveal she read at a college level when the teacher asked what sound a “G” made. She slipped up and revealed her ability to read shortly before Christmas break. The teacher had been amazed. Fiona faked a third-grade reading level when quizzed and regretted the mistake because she was moved into a school for gifted children on semester break. School got more difficult after that.