The following is an excerpt from my novel-in-progress, The Power Club™.
“Denton. Denton, where are you?”
His mother invaded his darkspace. She had never done that before.
“Denton. This isn’t like you.”
Maybe that’s because my name isn’t Denton. It’s Damon.
He knew perfectly well that his name was Denton, but he hated it. The kids at school teased him, saying he was going to grow up to be a dentist. “Damon” sounded cool.
“Denton, stop it this inst—” His mother’s voice was cut short when she bumped into the table by the bed. She instinctively reached out to grab the lamp before it fell. Damon could see her in a weird gray light, like watching a black and white cartoon. If he didn’t focus on his mother or an object such as the bed, he wouldn’t be able to see anything either, except for the light from the hallway, which stopped, unwelcome, at the door
Damon liked it in the darkness, even though it was colder than outside. He felt safe here. Kids couldn’t make fun of him, and his parents couldn’t make him move.
“You’ll like the new neighborhood,” his mother said as she felt her way around the bed. “It’s full of kids just like you. Some might be able to fly or be really strong or run really fast. You’ll make friends.”
Damon crouched in the corner beneath the window, his eyes stinging from tears. He pulled his knees tighter to his chest, making himself very small so his mother couldn’t find him. I already have friends. Jim doesn’t mind if I have a special power. Annie and Robbie like it.
He recalled how much fun they’d had last summer, running through Annie’s back yard. The darkness he’d created was so big that it covered half the size of the yard—about fifteen feet, Robbie said. All the kids were hiding inside and running around screaming, bumping into each other. Everyone thought it was fun until Ryan, who had just moved into the neighborhood, joined them. As soon as the darkspace surrounded him, Ryan became scared and ran toward the alley. Damon yelled for him to stop, but the smaller boy wouldn’t listen . As soon as Ryan disappeared from the darkness, Damon heard a terrible screech. Heart pounding, he closed his eyes and said the magic words, “Go away!” The darkspace vanished, and Damon opened his eyes to see Ryan, pale and wide-eyed, standing in front of a car that had stopped inches from him.
Ryan’s parents raised a stink with the city council, and, before long, the whole town knew that Denton Neumeyer was one of the “special” children who belonged in the district.
A man from the city council came by and talked to Damon’s parents. He was thin, bald, and wore a suit and tie, like a detective on TV.
“I don’t want to move,” Mom told the man. “My son is not a freak.”
Damon’s father looked down at his hands and shrugged. In his flannel shirt and blue jeans, he looked somehow smaller than the other man, even though he was much bigger. “Maybe we should move,” Dad said. “After all, we don’t know if Eldon—”
“My baby is perfectly normal,” Mom interrupted, caressing the four-year-old on her lap. Then she looked at Damon. “And so is Denton. Both of my boys are normal.”
The man glanced at Damon, and Damon felt like a criminal.
“It’s a very nice place,” the man said. “I’ve got pictures.” He reached into his briefcase, but Damon ran from the room and crawled under his parents’ bed. There he hid in a darkspace until he heard the man leave.
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