In my closet there's an old shoe box with a beautiful red cape.
Ma made it for me a long time ago. She used to make a lot of pretty things.
She told me I can be anything I wanted.
Told me fantastic tales of places that couldn't be found on maps.
Told me of magical creatures and wonderful things.
Told me that monsters were real but not to be afraid.
She spoke of tentacled children and invisible giants,
That there existed entire civilizations in the trunks of trees.
That nature has a way of telling you things.
And I believed her.
She made the cape and gave it to me for my birthday.
"All heroes should wear capes," she said as she secured it to my collar.
"Now you'll be able to fly when you need to."
"Can I try it now, ma?"
"Not yet son. Only use it for when it's needed."
She told me to keep it in a safe place.
So I kept it in the closet, inside the shoe box.
The same day I saw her crying after talking to my dad on the phone.
Dad traveled a lot for his job. When he was home the house would always be filled with screaming and broken things.
I spent a lot of time in the safe place, holding the box with the cape in it.
Mom was taken away shortly after my baby brother Leroy was born.
Dad said she's in the hospital.
The hospital had bars on the windows to keep the patients in. I thought that was kinda funny.
I wrote letters to Ma everyday and drew pictures so she can read it like a story book.
I wrote her letters even after I saw Dad throwing them away.
There's still a lot of screaming and broken things.
Thank goodness I have superpowers, I don't even feel the pain anymore.
The marks are there but I feel nothing.
Baby brother Leroy had marks just like mine but he was always in pain.
Last night I opened the window and listened to nature.
My beautiful red cape fluttered in the wind. It was cold and windy and dark.
I can see all the other tall buildings around.
I held baby brother Leroy's hand and told him that monsters are real but not to be afraid.
Then I told him my secret.
I can fly.
Then we jumped into the open evening space as the invisible giants watched.
Note: I've had this in my head since I woke up this morning, just finally sat down and wrote it in about 20 minutes.
Copyright 2010 R. Van Saint
(Steal it and I will send my nightmares to your house)