by Bob'n Around
A crazy kid does crazy things.
|"Psychological Story Contest" August contest. Word count 1023
“Daydreamer.” Roy accused his brother. They both lay on summer warmed grass in their backyard, looking at clouds.
“Not.” Elvis chewed on a blade, spit it out and pointed. “I want to ride that one. It looks like a feather.”
“You live in your head too much, dude.” Roy reached over, knuckles tapping on Elvis’ noggin. “Anybody in there?”
“You don’t? Where do you live?”
Roy pointed at their house. “In there, you idiot. Where normal people live.”
They both laughed as their mom, Gail Simone, famed horror comic book creator, poked her head out her home office window. “Normally, I’d be working on my latest project but you kids have wasted enough time. Get in here and clean your rooms.” Her parental duties done, she poked her head back in like a turtle into its shell and began silently communing with her muse.
Roy got ‘that look’ on his face. “Let’s help mom out by cleaning her bedroom first.”
“You think it’s unlocked?” Elvis wondered aloud. The two were only let in when she was present and ready to defend her belongings. Strange nicknacks related to the horror industry adorned very nook and cranny, obvious attractions to pre-teen allure.
“I saw her leave her window open. We can unlock her door and she won’t remember. You know how she gets thinking up her next monster.” Roy brushed ants off his jeans as he rose. Not waiting for his brother, he broke into a jog.
“Cool.” Elvis’ eyes remained on the darkening cloud lowering from the sky. Flashes of lightning created feelers licking the earth amid a swirl of suddenly rising dust devils.
“I’m ready.” His hair whipping in the wind, pants tugging at becoming runaway flags, Elvis stood with outstretched hands. The microburst withered into a sigh and was gone. “Darn. Have to work on my concentration.”
“Hey. You coming? Look what I found.” Roy beckoned from their mom’s room, holding a magic sceptre in his hand.
Nicky Plate was more con than artist but he could still pull a fast one over on a kid when he wanted. “Wow. I’ve never seen anything like that. You control the weather.”
He was a dapper little man, trimmed mustache acting like a second black smile quivering above his upper lip. If the rub let you keep on talking once you got started, half the battle was won.
He saw the expression of wonder turn to doubt on Elvis. “Just kidding, kid. But you came damn close. Takes more than concentration. Takes imagination, focus, and a little craziness in your DNA.”
Elvis knew better than to answer. Don’t talk to strangers was drilled into his head. It was safe enough to listen. He was in his own backyard behind the family fence. And there was big brother Roy close as a shout.
Nicky Plate looked both ways, making sure the secret his mouth was going to share wouldn’t be heard by others. “I can do it, kid. Don’t believe me, do you? Watch.”
There was a craziness in his eyes much like he’d seen reflected in those of the kid. Nicky Plate was at his best when he ‘was’ the loser being worked on. The connection never failed to lure them in. Elvis came closer, staring, jaw dropping at what he saw.
“Clouds. There’s a storm in your eyes. I see lightning flashes, too. Are you going to let them out, mister?” Elvis found himself transfixed, a statue leaning hard against the fence gate.
“Hurry up, dude. Who, you talking to?” Roy’s shout flung into the wet summer air saved Elvis from himself. “Are you crazy? I’m telling mom.” The sound of Roy clambering back out of the bedroom window jerked Elvis around. He shook his head, clearing it. Some kind of switch inside had turned on.
“Sorry to rain on your parade, kid,” laughed Nicky Plate. It had been close. “Practice makes perfect.” He was into the game for the rush, the power, the control. Making people jerk like puppets as he strung them along was the biggest rush there ever was.
He shouldn’t have done what he did next. Nicky looked into the kid’s eyes, just for the second before the twerp moved away. A gray fog, ghost like, empty of form swirled there. “No.”
Nicky Plate stumbled, almost fell. The spikes on the fence caught him, held him up where they speared into his dapper, now torn clothes. His mouth hung open, started drooling, unable to close. Nicky felt every thought, every feeling wash out of him, leaving him empty except for the billowing fog.
“You’d better leave, mister, before my mom gets here. She gets mean when she doesn’t like what she sees.” Elvis shot the words out behind him, feeling a strange shiver of cold gray wet tendrils slide, caress, then leave his shoulders and back.
Roy bounced up, tennis shoes squeaking to a stop. “What did he say? You look weird. He bother you?”
“Not much. Wanted to show me something, not icky, not dirty, just his eyes.” Elvis blinked, swallowed the taste of lingering mist. “Said I was almost there. He watched me playing with that cloud.”
They heard but didn’t see the peel of rubber, the last connection on earth Nicky Plate ever had. His numb body didn’t feel a thing as it tried learning how to fly. Broken bones and gore painted the picture on the windshield. Nicky Plate, con man had finally become a bleeding heart.
Things went on as usual at the Simone's. Roy made allowances for his little brother being weird. He liked playing along, sometimes, with that weirdness and the fantasies they produced in Elvis's head.
“Geez. You live in wonderland. I wonder how you ever get back from that cloud castle you go to.” Roy stabbed Elvis with the jeweled end of their mom’s latest horror trophy. The boys became instantly enthralled, busy playing with the sceptre, pushing magic buttons that lit up and revealed secret drawers.
“Psychic, I guess,” Elvis murmured to himself. He had to shake himself to get rid of the fog in his eyes.