Sibling rivalry

It was a nice day so Jonathan and Martha decided to do a spot of gardening.

As they walked towards the lawn a roof tile fell between them, smashing to the ground. They both craned their neck to see their 17-year-old daughter walking tentatively on the top of their house.

“Jesus Christ, Clare!” Jonathan yelled. “What are you doing?!”

“Getting my frisbee, Pa.” Clare replied.

“Get down!” Martha yelled.

“Sorry, Ma, I’ve been looking for this for months. I just spotted it up here as I was trampolining.”

“Clare, honey.” Jonathan said, calmly. “Please get down here.”

“Bet my fucking stupid brother threw it up here,” Clare mumbled, picking up the frisbee. “What a douche. He’s never liked me.”

“Clare!” Martha yelped. “Watch your language!”

“Not now, Martha.” Jonathan tried.

“And play nicely, your brother will be here soon.” Martha said.

“He’ll be what?!” Clare yelled, losing her footing as she turned to her mother. The tiles she was on sprayed out from under her, sending her sliding down the roof. She tried to grab the guttering as she flew off the side, but missed. Clare screamed for help, but nothing came. Her ribs bounced off the corner of the conservatory before she landed face first into the patio. Clare’s knees clobbered the ground as two sharp tiles followed her and smashed into her spine.

Jonathan and Martha remained rooted to where they were standing. After a few seconds, Clare began to stir. She slowly sat herself up, leant against the conservatory and examined her body. Her frisbee was still in her hand. Her skin was spotless. No scratches. No bruises. No blood. Her face was in one piece. Her ribs, knees and spine were pain-free. She felt fine.

Clare looked up at her parents. She began to panic as neither of them showed much concern. Clare bounced to her feet. “Why am I OK?” she asked nervously.

“Clare, honey.” Jonathan said, walking towards his daughter.

“Don’t ‘Clare, honey’ me. What’s going in? Why don’t you care I just fell from the roof?” Clare stared at her father. “Answer me!” she screamed.

Jonathan placed his hand on his daughter’s shoulder.

“Don’t touch me,” Clare yelled. She shoved Jonathan’s chest, sending him crashing through the back wall of the house, through the kitchen work surface and into the fridge. Martha ran through the hole in the wall to find her husband, lying on the floor with his brain falling out of his head.

“You’ve killed him!” Martha cried.

Clare’s chest began to pound as tears filled her eyes. She walked towards her mother. “What’s going on, Ma?”

Martha cradled Jonathan’s corpse. “You’re like your brother,” she whimpered.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re like Clark!” Martha yelled, her voice breaking. “You have powers like Clark!”

Clare froze. “But, but I thought I was your biological child?”

“We found you in the same place we found Clark, years later, and adopted you. We didn’t want to tell you until you were mature enough to handle your powers.” Martha kissed Jonathan’s lips, her tears splashing his blood-soaked face. “Clare, we’re sorry.”

Clare crouched to her knees and looked deep into her mother’s eyes. She gently kissed Martha’s head and whispered: “You should’ve told me.”

Martha leant in to hug her daughter as Clare plunged her fingers deep inside her mother’s chest, bursting her heart. She lay Martha’s body on top of Jonathan’s, wiping an S on her chest with her blood-stained hand.

The front door creaked open. “Honey, I’m home!” Clark laughed.

Clare looked at the frisbee that was still in her hand and braced herself for the fight of her life.

© Carl Burkitt 2013

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