The Last Child

“He’s never done anything like this before.”

“What?” Alex mouthed. 

Caroline held up one hand.

Principal, her husband heard her in his head.

“Thank you for telling us,” she continued,”we’ll take care of it.”

Take care of what? You’re not telling me everything, he thought at her. 

She pressed the red icon. She looked up as she put the phone down.

“It had to happen, I suppose,” she sighed,”I knew it would.”

“They’ve found out, haven’t they?”

“We need to talk to Tommy.”

“They can’t possibly know. How could they? Even if they did find out, what would they do? Exorcise him? Burn him at the stake. That went out with…”

Caroline interrupted, “The Middle Ages…Except for the Salem Witch trials.”

“I keep forgetting that you’re a historian. That is until you start bringing up the past.”

She scowled then frowned and held up both hands in supplication.

“If we don’t do something, he’ll be expelled.”Alex said.

“He was provoked,” he continued.

“I know. The other boy was in the wrong. They both were,” his wife answered his next thought.

“Tommy called them out.”

“He stopped a fight. Which was great but then he told both boys off. Told them what they they were thinking. They didn’t like that apparently. They both turned on him. The principal thinks Tommy’s made it all up. That he’s a troublemaker,” she concluded.

Alex shrugged and spread his hands. “First Josie, then Cynthia, and now Tommy. We’re raising a family of misfits.”

Caroline whirled on him, “After what you told me, not even being there, you know better than to say that, Alex.”

He nodded slowly, “Yes I’ve the gift but not in your strength. Nor in theirs.” He sighed. He knew what she would say.

“This Power we have…”

“It’s a beautiful and terrible thing, and should be therefore treated with great caution,” Alex replied. “I know. I remember being told when it was revealed to me.”

Caroline felt a hand tug at her skirt then her blouse.

“Not now…” she began. She looked down.

“Oh Tommy, it’s you. We were just talking about you.”

Two green eyes nodded. “I know,” the small voice said.

“Mummy?”

“Yes.”

“Why is it that I can hear people?”

Caroline squatted and took both of his hands in hers. 

“We all can hear people,” Alex interposed.

Not now, not now, let me sort this, she thought at him.

“I hear people…before they talk. Before they do things…I can hear them in my head,” Tommy continued in his choir boy voice.

She sighed.“We didn’t think that would happen until you grew up.”

His eyes nodded again. He squeezed her hands. 

“This Power…is a beautiful and terrible thing. We must be careful. We will help you use it wisely. We can use it for good things or to do bad things,” his mother finished.

“I know,” he whispered.

“So what’s it going to be, eh?” His father joked.

Tommy met his father’s look eye-to-eye. Alex broke his gaze.

“Good, Daddy” he said. “Cynthia and Josie told me.”

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