(Once again I get to play in the awesome writers playground that is the shared story, “Suzi’s Saga” or “A symphony in Blue”. ;p Hopefully you’ve read some of the other chapters, but if not and you want to catch up, follow this link to find links to the other 37 chapters, and even the names of the perpetrators of this deed. Here’s to my fellow FR’ers…hope you like it!)
With a squeal born of pure rage and hysteria, Melissa stared wide-eyed at the apparition, the sudden appearance of the hated one temporarily destroying her fragile hold on sanity. Fingers like claws, she grabbed for Blue, trying to grab her collar, eyes still locked on Suzi’s. As Suzi’s mocking grin grew wider, Melissa’s fingers groped impotently, and she turned her head…and saw an empty seat.
“Wha…what??” She scrambled across to the door, tried the latch, and shook her head again, confused. “It’s still…still locked? But…” With a snarl, she turned on Suzi, eyes glowing as she gathered her power to her…only to find the window closed as well. Scrabbling at the latch, desperate for some explanation, some…sense, she heard the sound of car horns fade in, outside, and the rush of traffic.
The window slid open, and the voice of the driver drifted back, sounding bored and impatient. “You ok, lady? Need some help getting out? We’re here…” Baffled, she looked to the car windows, and saw the street in front of her hotel, as noisy and real as if it’d never gone away. “I…”
~Come on, Mel…pull yourself together, girl. Something freaky is happening…what’s new about that? But above all we can’t let anyone know we’re upset…or inconvenienced…in any way. Just breathe…~
With a deep breath and a brush at her ruffled hair, she spoke, pitching her voice low to sound in control. “No, this’ll be fine…thank you for making such good time. How much do I owe you?” The man shrugged. “Well, with the extra stop to pick up your friend, I guess…$40?” Bemused, she pulled the money out of her bag and paid, stepping carefully and slowly out onto the well lit pavement of the hotel entrance.
As she turned to go, the man called out. “Hey! Don’t forget your “luggage”!” and she heard the trunk latch click. Moving slowly still, she moved to the open trunk, and blinked at the blanked-wrapped bundle inside. For some reason she felt as if she should recognize it…didn’t it belong to her? But the memory fell from her confused mind like water, evaporating as it went.
Blinking again, she motioned to a bellman, and asked for help carrying the bundle to her room. Following the cart, locked in her own head, she made her way to the room. Placing the bundle on the floor at the foot of the bed, she slumped down beside it, one hand resting on it…and fell asleep.
As Blue opened her eyes, the familiar walls of Spence’s room at the compound fading into view, she burst into delighted laughter, picturing the look on Melissa’s face. “Oh, lord. I wish I was there to see it. Wonder how soon it faded? Hope she made it “home”…we still need her. Need all of them, unfortunately. For now. Until mom and I are together again…”
She sobered for a moment, turning the image she’d plucked from Melissa’s mind over and over in her mind.
~Hmm…I do kinda look like her. Good. More her than him, thank god. That’ll help her recognize me, I hope…if she can’t just feel me, like I feel her.~
Still a bit dizzy from the effects of the unexpected alcohol, and the brand new feeling of “Jumping”, she sat down on Spence’s bed, briefly considering how nice a quick nap would feel. Sighing, she shook her head, and stood. “Time to go get my baby back…and show that guy what happens when he drugs the wrong person.” Grinning happily, she strode out of the room, her steps confident and sure.
In the Clubs private dining room, its panoramic glass windows looking out over the beautiful view, dominated by the sacred mountain that loomed in the distance, three pairs of eyes stared at the man calling himself Sanderson. Jose, a confused look on his face, looked at them. “You did not know this? You did not know that this…this witch, this destroyer-of-beauty, was their leader? And yet you came seeking him…” His eyes thoughtful, he settled back in his chair, watching them all now, warily.
“Sanderson” laughed, the hearty laugh of a strong man, and nodded his head to one of the brick walls. “Bring me Spencer…I need to have a word with him, and I want these folks to hear.” With a nod, the man left. He moved surprisingly lightly and silently, although he had to turn sideways to fit through the door.
“So…” “Sanderson” turned back to face the others, winking at Ephraim as he did. “You must be “Ephraim”. The Seer. It is a pleasure to meet you again. I am pleased to see that you have learned discipline and discretion as you matured.”
Chuckling at Ephraims baffled expression, he turned to Sam. “And you would be “Sam”…the See-er.” He laughed at his own joke, even though the rest just looked puzzled. “Be careful how deeply you See…some things do not -wish- to be seen, and have the power to make you regret crossing them. On the other hand, you are the father of my favorite pupil, so I can forgive you much.”
“And last, but most important…my little Suzi. I’m glad you managed to find us again, despite your sisters efforts to the contrary. She never quite trusted me for some reason..”
Startled, Suzi opened her mouth…but shut it again as the brick wall returned, ushering in a young man of about 18. As he approached the table, she gasped, fingers tightening on the table, and glanced at Sam to see if he felt it as well. Finding him looking down the table at her, she mouthed “He feels like Sammy!” and watched him nod, once, before turning to watch as “Sanderson” began to speak.
The young man stood impassively in front of the big man, almost seeming to stand at attention, military style. “You asked to see me, sir?”
When “Sanderson” spoke, they all stifled a gasp…his voice had completely changed! This voice was that of a much younger man, although still older by far than the young man…a peevish and fretful voice, used to being in control but holding on to that control with both grasping hands.
Stealthily and warily, Ephraim risked a peek at him, controlling his reaction at what he saw. A man sat in the chair, balding and middle-aged, in an approximation of a military uniform. From the markings and the younger mans attitude, Ephraim deduced that he was of a high “rank” in whatever organization he belonged to.
“Yes, soldier, I “asked to see you”. I shouldn’t have had to! What were you thinking?” The young man, presumably “Spencer”, stared resolutely at a point just over “Sandersons” shoulder as he spoke, his voice crisp. “Sir…I was tending to an asset, sir. Per your previous instructions, sir.”
Ephraim watched as the shadow-man pinched the bridge of his nose, obviously a habitual gesture, and shook his head. “Spencer…son…she’s dangerous, you know that. I don’t want you risking yourself in case…no, -when-…she goes rogue.”
The young man seemed to pull himself even straighter. “Sir…understood, sir. With all due respect, I believe I can handle her, sir. She listens to me. And, sir…grandfather believes I can handle her. That is enough for me. Sir.”
The man bristled, fists clenched in his lap under the table. “Your grandfather is no longer in charge of this organization, soldier. He is unwell, and has turned all policy making and organizational matters over to me. And I -order- you to stand down re Private Blue. Just this once…do as I say?”
Startled, Meagan clapped her hands over her mouth, senses reaching out almost automatically to “read” the boy who stood before her. Recoiling as she felt the strength of his connection to…Blue…to Sammy…she glared at him behind her hands. Sammy is 14, for gods sake!
With a crisp salute, the boy half-turned to the door. “Sir, yes sir! Understood sir!” He turned and headed out the door, still speaking, but softly now, his voice fading as he stalked down the hall. “…comprehende…gotcha…dohn…comprendre…”
Shaking his head, “Sanderson” settled back, looking back to Meagan. (Ephraim watched the shadow-man fade, and the coyote-man come to the fore once again) “I apologize for that. The boy has his own brand of courage, true…but much like your Sammy, not an ounce of discipline.”
Meagan frowned at him. “I don’t understand…how can he be your son? I mean…I know you’re not…well, not human?”
He chuckled. “Ahh, but he is -not- my son. He is “Sandersons” son. And Sanderson is -my- son…at least as far as the Club is concerned. You understand that I am handing you some of the deepest secrets of the Club? And I know you’re all smart enough to wonder…what does he want, in exchange for these secrets? Well, I will tell you…”
(*giggles* On to you, Dawn! Have fun! *hugs*)
This is part 35 of the Fiction Relay serial story, following the adventures and misadventures of Suzi and those she impacts. To read the rest of the story, or just see a summary so far, go here. To see who is crazy enough to play this game, and see how you might join the insanity, go here.
One quick look back…and then to the road once more. Somewhere behind her, red and blue lights painted their rude graffiti onto the red rock walls of the canyon, but all she saw was a pair of haunting (and a bit haunted) blue eyes. Eyes that could tease and taunt, freeze and burn…eyes that had seared themselves into her almost as long as she could remember.
Since she “joined” the Club, at 8 yrs. old, there had been Spencer. Ten yrs. old, the directors son, and a boy…all things calculated to be sure that their paths never met, at pain of mortal embarrassment and peer humiliation. But like her, Spence had never been a rule follower. Unlike her, however, he didn’t necessarily -break- rules…he just made new ones, that only applied as he saw fit.
For instance, the rule was that Blue (or Sammy, at the time) belonged to him. Her cadet training, her fire-arms qualification, and eventually the discovery and training of her many talents (all that she admitted to, anyway) were all under close supervision and scrutiny, watched over by those eyes. And after-hours, as well. It was Spence who taught her how to drive, practicing with her side-by-side on the back lot from age 12 until she left on the search for her mother. It was Spence who teased her hidden talents from her, one by one, pulling them out and helping her practice those, as well. By that time, he was 16 to her 14, and discretion became the rule.
Especially once the friendship began to deepen. Especially once the Mentor/Student dynamic began to slip, in new and exciting ways. Discretion. Discretion among her peers, discretion among her trainers/teachers…and most of all, discretion among the higher-ups. The new rule was that Blue was Spence’s reluctant assistant, working hard to stretch her “leash” by volunteering for outside missions, and solo missions, almost exclusively. The truth…known solely to the two of them…was that their “connection” had strengthened, over the years. Whatever the…thing…they had between them, it was now so strong that it didn’t matter how far away she was from him, if he chose he could see through her eyes, feel with her hands…or her heart.
The fact that he knew how afraid she was of being “taken over”, of losing control, and chose to respect that, chose to give -her- the power of choice, of reaching out to him or not…for that, if for nothing else, she felt for him. This most recent meeting? It needed pondering. It needed thought, to reach past the emotion, past the pleasure/pain, past the mysterious words…thought that could best be done off the road, and perhaps over a drink.
Besides, the urgency of the chase had begun to calm a bit, the closer she got to “home”…to the Club. It was fairly obvious, now, where her mother would end up…which gave her a chance for a short break. Some breathing room, a chance to sort through this new thing. Spotting a familiar symbol on the next exit sign, she grinned, and slowed to make the turn.
The man known as Sanderson moved to sit at the long table, his stride strong and confident, and his smile quick and sure. As he approached, Sam tried to get a better look at him…for one moment, he thought he might have caught a glimpse…then in the next, he knew better. In that moment, with a sly wink, the “man” let himself be seen. The aura lifted, and Sam shuddered, almost falling to his knees from the force of the personality that stood in front of him. A child staring bare-eyed into the eclipse, he knew his mistake, knew his limits, and quickly slammed his eyes (both sets) closed. Cautiously opening his eyes as the confident steps moved away, toward Meagan and her new friend, Jose, he breathed in, seeing only the man once more, aura and all. A quick mischievous grin flashed where only he could see let him know that his relief had not gone unnoticed…and a quick glance to his friends showed that they were unaware of his distress, or of any pause in “Sanderson”‘s advance. Resolving to tighten his supervision, Sam mentally shook himself, and settled into guard mode.
Ephraims law-trained skills of observation coupled with the habits of a lifetime spent hiding the effects of his “talents” from others were all that kept the shock from his face as the creature calling itself “Sanderson” passed between Sam and the table. The visions were one thing. He’d had them all his life, and by now they were almost familiar. Annoying, sometimes painful, and escalating, recently, for some reason…but known. When he’d been in the orphanage, and realized that the pills were supposed to change him, give him what it gave the others…it had been a huge relief to just pretend that it had worked, that the visions were just starting, and oh-my-gosh what’s all this then?
But this…he took another long look as “Sanderson” moved to sit at the table. On the surface, he saw what everyone saw…an old man, still strong and confident, in charge, with a mysterious aura that seemed to cause different reactions in each of them. But underneath…literally… well, start with the face. The long grey-furred muzzle, shading into grizzled tan as it neared the mischievous grey-blue eyes, then back to grey to the tips of the tall pointed ears that stuck up through “Sandersons” mane of white hair like reeds from a pond. Add a long furry tail, shaded similarly, and what Ephraim could only term a “cowboy outfit”…faded blue workshirt, worn jeans, dusty and very well lived-in boots…and a gun in a holster that seemed almost to shimmer, as if it fit in both worlds. He mentally shook his head, but the view didn’t change…and the look on the humanoid coyotes face as it glanced at him…and winked…he took a deep breath, and tried to look alert as he and Sam were motioned to take a seat at the table as well.
The naughty little donkey that symbolized “Bad Ass Coffee” almost seemed to grin as Blue pulled into the lot, parking next to a long line of other bikes of all sizes and shapes. Sniffing appreciatively at the smell of good coffee, frying bread, and locally brewed…well, brew…she pushed her way through the doors. Not what the average person would picture as the typical biker bar, Bad Ass nonetheless endeared itself to the locals, wherever the franchise went. As far as she was concerned, the coffee and food were enough, but the safety and protection she felt in the company of other bikers was a pretty hefty chunk of frosting on that cake.
She grabbed a table, literally, scooping up one of the tiny two person tables and carrying it to a chosen spot, with a view out the window at the road, and her bike. Swinging a chair around to sit backward on it, arms leaning on the chair back, she grinned up at the waiter as he approached. “Hey! I didn’t know the coffee came with eye candy…” He winked at her, flipping his hair over his shoulder so that she could see the rainbow stud in his ear. “Look all you want…looking doesn’t hurt. So what can I get for you today?”
She grinned, and opened her mouth to speak…but all that came out was a whistling scream, as something hit her hard enough to knock the wind out of her lungs. Desperately trying to draw in a breath, eyes blurring, she looked to the waiter…and stumbled to her feet, kicking the chair in front of her, as he scrambled toward her. His face was set in a terrifying snarl, showcasing almost all of his sharp pointed fangs, and his eyes were pools of flame. Wheezing, she kept stumbling backward, kicking chairs and pulling tables over to slow him down. Snarling and snapping he climbed the obstacles, clearing the distance between them almost obscenely quickly. As her back hit the wall, he howled, triumphantly, and charged her, fangs and claws at the ready…but the moment they touched her skin, she blinked…and slumped, closing her mouth, finding herself still on her original seat, and the waiter and half the bar staring wide-eyed at her.
“Umm…are you ok, Miss? Is there anything I can do? Get you?” She just shook her head, mutely, a shiver starting in the small of her back. “I…I’m fine…just a…a thing. S-sorry..” The shiver grew into a full-body shudder, and her hands clenched on the back of the seat, white-knuckled. “Sorry, I…I have to…” Her teeth chattered with the force of the chills that shook her, and her head spun dizzily as she tried to stand.
The waiter moved to steady her, frowning as she jerked back from him, eyes wide with panic… “Hey, now…maybe you better sit back down, ok? Get you some water?” She shook her head, frantically, and took a step back from him…and crumpled to the floor of the bar, unconscious.
This is part 27 of the Fiction Relay serial story, following the adventures and misadventures of Suzi and those she impacts. To read the rest of the story, or just see a summary so far, go here. To see who is crazy enough to play this game, and see how you might join the insanity, go here.
Ok…keep in mind that I’m writing this late, and a bit…distracted, so be patient with it. There’s a -teeny- bit of backtracking, but not that much, promise. ;p
Melissa is strangely subdued as Sam and Ephraim wrestle her into Ephraims cuffs and drag her back up the hill to the lab to put her in one of the cells for safekeeping. Keeping herself contained, whats left of her sanity curled around the secret held deep inside…the treasure she stole from the bitch’s daughter. In her mind, deep inside, the voice whispers old commands, old orders, and she takes dark joy in squashing them, silencing the whispers with a slash of thought, a whip of power. Now she is the one in charge…the one with the power of life and death. Now they will all see. They’ll find out who the important one is. The one who should have been. As she hears the footsteps fade into the distance, crossing from the stone floor of the cavern to the soft earth outside, the impulse breaks free, and she begins to laugh…a mad, manic laugh, on the close side of hysteria, that rings in the stone-walled cell like a bell.
Ephraim shivers as they leave the lab, a flash of vision crossing his mind. Again, the triumphant gaze of a dead man leers at him before morphing into the figure of a desperately weeping Melissa…curled at the feet of a humongous statue of Suzi/Meghan. Shaking it off, he continues toward the house with Sam.
Meanwhile, miles down the road, Suzi…no, Meghan…leans her forehead against the cool glass of the rigs backseat window. The driver, having noticed the dark circles under her eyes and the slumped posture of exhaustion, suggested that she take a nap in the back, on the small bed/seating area. So far, however, sleep has eluded her…so she stares out the window into the distance, although the scenery does not impact her view. Her mind is full of memories…thoughts of her little girl…her little Samantha…Sammy. It’s been years since she thought of her, since the memory wipe she’d performed on herself to protect the child. Now she stares out the window, into the deepening dusk of the mountain road, and sees instead a pair of brilliant blue eyes in a pixie-like face…blond curls she inherited from her father, and tiny size from her mother. She wonders what happened, how she is doing…what she looks like…and whether she could ever forgive her for abandoning her, so long ago.
Further down the same road, a slim figure hunches over her motorcycle, to cut wind resistance, all senses alert for a taste of her mother. For that elusive feeling that is Meghan…the arrogance of the truly powerful, accompanied by sheer competence and grace. But as at the lab, she gets no trace. Only a fleeting glimpse, a whiff, of the mask willingly put on, the face she lives behind…Suzi. All sweetness and light, confused innocence…Blue shakes her head in disgust. Once she finds her, once they are together again, she will make sure that the Suzi personality is shattered, stripped away, leaving only Meghan…only the one person more powerful than herself. Once she rejoins her mother, and they are able to work together…she shakes her head. What can’t they do? Certainly not bow down to the Club any longer. Maybe they’ll just take it over…or destroy it entirely. And Ephraim…and Sam, her father? Well, they’d be useful, in a weak sort of way. Their powers are nothing, compared to Meghan at full capacity. Let alone Blue and Meghan working together…these thoughts comfort her, and accompany her down the winding road, as she moves unknowingly farther and farther away from from her goal.
Back in the lab, Melissa sits on the floor of the cell, making herself as comfortable as possible on the cold stone. What she is about to do will require her full concentration for success, so clearing away all distracting bodily messages is essential. Prepared, finally, she bows her head, reaching deep deep inside, reaching for the flickering spark that is her newly borrowed treasure. Carefully, she pictures herself holding the tiny spark, and mentally “blowing” on it until it blooms into full strength, a white-hot fireball in her mental “hands”. Gritting her teeth against the pain of the fire, feeling her mind scorched and battered by the strength of the power…but her desperate concentration holds, and she is able to shape the fire into what she needs. The tiny white phoenix sits in her “hands”, sparks flying off it in all directions, egg shell bits made of pure white stone all around. Grinning, she leans down and whispers to it, giving it concise directions…and as it glows a bit brighter, a bit hotter, burning sparks flying and alighting on her skin…it lifts off and flies away, through the door and down the hall, searching. Riding with it, mentally, Melissa directs the creature until it reaches its destination…the recently deceased body of Raj.
Melissa laughs in triumph…a strange sound that seems to come from two throats at once. Giving the little phoenix a mental push, she watches as it sinks into the dead mans chest…and gloats as it begins to rise and fall, despite the bubbling of the blood at his slit throat. After an endless period of waiting, she laughs again, a much more normal sound, as his eyes open, a look of confusion in them. Tugging an invisible cord, she watches as the corpse stands, and makes its slow shuffling way toward her cell.
And with that, it’s on to Dawn! Have fun! *insert evil laugh #34, the “Evil Dictator”*
Meanwhile, down on the winding road that leads to the cabin, a slim figure zips quietly on a sleek, dark motorcycle that seems to purr, rather than roar. Suddenly the rider begins to veer, dangerously, and quickly pulls to the side of the road. Thumbing a toggle switch in the helmet, she speaks urgently into the mouthpiece. “Get me Sanderson…one of Them is gone.”
Suzi’s relief was quickly squashed by the look in Melissa’s eyes, as she repeated herself in an almost bemused tone. “He always liked you best…” Still holding on to the sharp, shiny object with which she’d killed Raj, she stared at Suzi. Suzi was now shuddering in terror, still bound to the table, helpless, as she knew she couldn’t ‘port out of ties.
Moving closer, Melissa put one shaking hand onto Raj’s still cooling flank…and with a quick movement, shoved the lifeless body onto the floor on the far side of the table.
Hearing the soft wet thud sent Suzi over the edge, down and down until only Meagan was left. Her eyes blurred until she could barely see Melissa’s mad face above her… and her eyes…they weren’t really glowing, were they? Her body convulsed, the rope bonds tearing at her fragile skin, while the cooling blood that covered her added to the cold that seemed to be deep inside.
In a low, frighteningly cheerful voice, Melissa said “Now look what you made me do…” The bright shiny edge of the knife glinted even through the blur in Meagan’s eyes…and as it came slashing down, she shrieked in terror…and ported.
The only thought in her head was “somewhere safe…somewhere safe…someone…”
Out on the trail, moving as quickly as possible in the dark, Sam followed Ephraim toward the cave. All his attention on finding Suzi, hoping that she was safe, he almost fell as he ran straight into Ephraim, standing stock still in front of him. “What’s going on?” he whispered, but all he got in reply was Ephraim’s hand flashing up in the symbol for “Wait!”
Ephraim had been moving as quickly as possible ahead of Sam, when a stronger than usual strike of pain heralded a vision coming on. Images flashed through his mind…a pair of somehow familiar mad eyes, a gush of blood, Raj’s face staring into his, a look of triumph on it. Just as he was able to see the path again, and about to rush to the cave, he heard (and –heard–) a terrified shriek and stumbled, almost dropping the blood covered, naked form of Suzi who suddenly appeared in his arms.
She looked up at him through her blood matted hair, and immediately scrambled up him, climbing him like a child would until her arms locked around him and her face was buried in the crook of his neck. She moaned under her breath, clinging and fighting as he tried desperately to untangle her, to find out how badly she was hurt.
Sam leaned in, once, trying to help, but at his touch she shrieked in terror once more, fighting even harder to cling to Ephraim. Using all the discipline at his control, he stepped back, hands clenching into fists at his sides. Watching Ephraim fight to control the hysterical Meagan, nails grinding into his palm, he was startled to hear himself speak…quietly at first, then once he realized what he was saying, louder, so that Ephraim could hear. “It’s not hers…the blood, it’s not hers!”
Ephraim turned his head toward Sam, hearing the urgency in his voice if not the actual content. “What?”
Sam raised his voice, almost shouting. “She’s not hurt! Some rope burn, and whatever…happened to her…but no actual wounds!” At Ephraim’s skeptical glance, Sam moved his gaze to Meagan and began to list her wounds in an almost clinical tone of voice.
“…right wrist, severe rope burn, possible muscle damage. I can See it, Ephraim! I can See her…just like the boxes!”
Ephraim frowned, but allowed the still struggling Meagan to wrap herself around him again, trying his best to use his jacket to cover her. He accepted the coat Sam handed him with a nod of thanks, wrapping the shivering girl in it. “We still have to get her to the cabin, at least.”
Sam nodded. “You take her. I’ll just make things worse, and besides, I need to check out the cave.”
Ephraim frowned, staring down at the blood covered girl. “You know that who…or what…ever did all this bleeding…it’s more than possible they didn’t survive.”
Sam nodded, grimly. “I know…but we need to make sure…”
Meanwhile, down the road, the dark rider paced, restlessly. Frustrated, she muttered to herself. “…damn Sanderson. If the Big Man was still in full control…”
She cut off at a muffled squawk from the comm. Her voice became rigidly controlled, every word precise and knife-like.
“Blue here. Yes, sir. No, sir, not as far as I know, sir. No, I am not currently at the scene. I know…” Rolling her eyes, but keeping her voice level, she continued. “Sir. The Club sent me here due to my particular abilities, and I must respectfully request that you allow me to use them…”
Another slightly louder squeal from the comm unit caused another eye roll, and a head shake. “No, sir. It was one of the big ones, but I cannot determine which side without actual visual confirmation. No, sir, it was definitely not Her. I would know.”
Her voice finally showed a hint of aggravation and one hand came up to rub the back of her neck, under the helmet. “Sir! I refer you to my previous statement vis a vis my being chosen for this mission above any others, and again respectfully request that you do your job, and allow me to do mine!”
Stifling the outraged squawking with a flip of the toggle, she shrugged out of the helmet, tossing it onto the grass near the bike, and ran her fingers through the spiky dark blue hair that gave her her nickname. Pacing again, a cheetah on a leash, her eyes tossed a frustrated glance up the road, toward the cabin.
She muttered under her breath, a whining mockery of the voice from the comm. “How do you know? How can you tell?”
She huffed, exasperatedly, moving to lean on the bike, one booted foot kicking at the grass, petulantly. “Can’t tell him the burst of power almost knocked me off the bike. Can’t tell him how I know it’s not Her. Can’t let him find out …she’s my mom.”