Posted in Creative Writing

Running Blind

Yohie was getting dirt all over her pants as she lay on the ground. The sky was black, painted with white specs all over. They were too close to the city to see any kind of fantastic sky, but for the twins, Yohie and Isaiah, it was good enough.

“You always do this. You always do this! I work all day, all day, and you come back late, and whining-“


“I’ve got work too, Leah!”


“Yeah, sitting on your sorry rear all day.”


The window to the kitchen was open, with the screen shaking in its frame. The twins could hear everything from the property line where they lay. Yohie turned onto her side, wiping brown curls out of her face. From the house, inside the kitchen, mother screamed.


Yohie pursed her lips, curling an arm under her head. Isaiah looked tired, staring dead-eyed at the infinity of black sky hanging over them.


“Hey.” She started. “If you could have any super power, what would it be?”


From inside the kitchen, a crash wrangled through the screen of the window. Pots, most likely, from the deep intonation, the water sloshing inside.


“What?” Isaiah scrunched up his face.


“What superpower would you want, if you could only have one?” Yohie repeated.


Isaiah shrugged. “I guess flying.”


Yohie rolled onto her back again, snorting. “That’s stupid.”


Isaiah snapped up, glaring at his sister. “What the hell, Superman can fly.”


“Superman is an alien, who has super strength and agility, and everything else. You’re human, you’re shit. Most likely, you could only fly as high as you can leap,  as fast as you can run.”


“Oh, come on,” Isaiah narrowed his eyes. “Flying would be so cool.”


“Yeah, cause the temperature is colder that high.” Yohie grinned. Isaiah snorted, similar to laughing but with so little to laugh at.


“I swear you say one more word-”


“I’m terrified.” Mother snapped, loud and shrill. “I’ll hit you right back, you sorry idiot.”


The glass shattered in the kitchen. By now, the twins knew the difference between the sound of a barren beer bottle hitting the wall and a full bottle of wine crashing on the floor. Dad had long since reached his breaking point.


“If you had magic.” Yohie started. She spoke too loud; Isaiah wasn’t a foot away. But the noise from the kitchen, though muffled and far off, was deafening.


“Harry Potter magic or like, fairy magic.”


“Harry Potter.”


“Nope,” Isaiah said, cutting her question off. “Nope, nope, nope.”


“Oh, come on.”


“Hogwarts is a terrible school, you come on. None of them learn history, or science, or math. They don’t learn to think.”


“But we’d live in a castle.” Yohie smiled.


“But we’d have no wifi.”


Her face fell, and she lay back down on the ground. Isaiah stayed next to her, staring at the infinite universe over them, hovering, mocking, as they lay on their property line.


“Walk out that door, and I’ll throw you into tomorrow-!”


Their mother was crying.


“Where would you go if you could drive anywhere?”


“We can’t get our permits forever,” Yohie whined. It grated on her, being so close to gone. There was a truck parked in their driveway, they could just go. But first, they had to be able to move it.


“I mean if we could.”


“I don’t know, New York City.”


“Crazy, that’s too cliché.” Isaiah mocked. Yohie yanked a handful of grass and threw it at his face. He gagged.


“The Grand Canyon.”

“See a sight, then do what?”


“I don’t know, okay?” Yohie stood to her feet. Isaiah followed, slower to escalate, awful apologies whispered. “I don’t know. I don’t know.”


“You wouldn’t.”


“Just watch me.”


“Do you believe in Aliens?” Yohie pointed up, hand hovering between them.


“With how many planets there are, you know? It’s kind of impossible not to.”


“That’s not what I meant.”


“What, they’re probably not visiting us. The closest aliens are probably someone cell organism type stuff.”


“Do you think we’ll ever know?”


“No.” Isaiah shook his head, brown curls falling over his forehead. “We’re stuck here for a long while.”


The front door ripped open, screaming on its hinges. The twins turned, silent. Mom still yelled, but her voice was less angry. Now she just sounded pained, choked off and ruined. The twins didn’t make a sound.


For just a moment, their father stared at them. For just a moment, Yohie imagined that he was crying, he would turn back, maybe. Instead, their father only shook his head and walked off to his car.


Isaiah hung his head at his shoulders. He thought he was too old to cry. Yohie did her best not to rub it in and start crying herself.


“You know the Flash?” She murmured. The kitchen window shut, closing their access to their mother. The truck’s engine started to rumble, and it took just seconds for their father to speed away, much faster than the speed limit. He was running; to the Grand Canyon, to New York City.


“Everyone knows the Flash,” Isaiah said. They were much quieter now. They didn’t need to yell to cover up their parents’ voices. They didn’t need to imagine.


“Shut up. The Flash can run really fast. Right? He can go faster than the speed of light.”


“Yeah, and?”


“But, like, he got it from lightning, so he moves fast. He moves faster than the speed of light.” She tried explaining her query. “Can he… see faster than the speed of light?”


Isaiah took a step back to think. He glared at her for just a moment, confusion, abrupt and interruptive, filled him. “What?”


“He’s running faster than light. He is moving, that’s how it works. Do you think he’s just running blind? Do you think that he, and Superman, and every other hero that can run like that, do you think they’re all just running blind?”


Isaiah hugged Yohie then, gripping tight. The twins rested their chins on each other’s shoulders, listening to the wind whip through the screen door, rustling leaves and leaving the home empty.


“I don’t know,” Isaiah said. And he didn’t. They stood out in the yard, one less car in the driveway as they waited for it to be okay to cry.

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