“Escaping Through Lightning Alley”
by Rebecca Jane
"Is he unconscious, or…?" Marcus had worked hard to give his stutter the boot, but the dreadful words still got the best of him, "duh du.. d… dead?" Abe didn't answer; he set his jaw to keep from howling. Much harder to suppress was Abe's urge to strangle his schizophrenic brother. "Dad?" Abe inched closer and Marcus clung to Abe's shirt; they whimpered and called again to the fallen man. Was it safe to touch him? Moments ago he'd been running ahead of them, shouting: "They're coming!"
Though they knew the risks, Abe and his father had freed Marcus from the Florida institution, freed him from doctors who insisted on misdiagnosis and experimental shock treatments. His father told Abe, if they played their cards right, they could use Marcus's awful gifts to get them out of The Projects. But while they ran from the clinic with its gruesome walls, the sky had turned suddenly more gruesome. A bolt of lightning struck the nearby pole and a high voltage splash zapped the boys' father.
When the clouds cleared, the man came to. Two strange children knelt trembling beside him and his entire body was covered in burns that doctors call "lightning flowers." There was only one thing to do. He walked for hours to the place where the boys' mother lived, though they hadn't seen her in over nine years. He knocked on her door with the two astonished boys in tow and said, "Hi hon! Brought you some flowers!"