Mom’s always in trouble so I like to keep an eye on her. She tries to keep things from me. She thinks she’s protecting me, but I need to know what’s going on or I can’t help her. I used to listen at doors, but I kept getting caught. Now that I’m older I’m more creative. I use my powers. With the background level of magic in the house from the house shields Mom just tunes out familiar magic. Though I’m not sure she doesn’t know what I’m doing. She may have decided that if I’m that determined I may as well know. Mom’s pretty smart about these things. I am too. I don’t like to brag, but I’m probably the smartest six year old you’ll ever meet. I’m home schooled because the kids at the gifted school couldn’t keep up with me. Probably because they were only human and I’m Anarian. We only have birthdays when we want to and I’m in no rush to grow up. I think in human years I’m around fifty since I was born in the 1960s and it’s now 2014. But I’ve only had six birthdays so I’m six, which Mom says is still a child no matter what the IQ tests say.

Mom is awesome, she just doesn’t get my need to help her. She brings in a bunch of tutors just so I don’t get bored. It’s a lot of fun. Life would be perfect if Mom would just learn to say no. She says it’s not that simple and that I’ll understand when I’m older. I understand just fine right now.  Those losers run into any kind of trouble and they come running to her instead of trying to fix it themselves, all because she won’t say no. Take this guy she’s talking to right now.

“I’m not really sure what you want me to do. This seems like a matter for the police,” Mom says.

“No, I’m sure there’s a supernatural explanation. Whole villages worth of my people are disappearing,” the guy says.

“But you have no idea why,” Mom says.

“That’s why I was sent to you. Our local bruha tried everything, then the chapter house looked into it and then a specialist team was sent out. They all came up empty,” the guy says.

“That could mean there is nothing to find,” Mom says.

You tell him, Mom. Sadly this feels more like something dangerous than some human wackjobs to me. Come on Mom, get rid of him.

“Well, not empty exactly,” the guy backtracks. “They found out that something took the people into the jungle and that same it killed them and then left no trace. Please, you’re our last hope, you have to help us.”

Damn, the guy said the magic words. Mom has zero resistance to the Princess Leia routine.

“I’ll take a look, but I can’t promise anything,” Mom says.

“Great. Let’s go right now,” the guy says.

Time for an intervention. No way is Mom going off alone with some stranger. Normally she’d have to stop to call a babysitter, but Uncle H is downstairs fixing the computer. I run down the stairs and into the kitchen.

“Hey mom, are you going somewhere?” I ask.

“Hey, Carrie, kitten, this gentleman and I were just going to check out a few things. I shouldn’t be long. Uncle H can look after you. Okay?” Mom says.

“Okay Mom, but aren’t you always telling me that you should never go anywhere by yourself?” I ask.

“Kitten, I’m not going anywhere alone, Mephisto here will be with me,” mom says.

The guy bends down to look me in the eye; “that’s right little lady, and I’ll be sure to take real good care of your mom for you.”

I turn away from him and look pleadingly up at Mom. “Can’t you take Uncle ‘Pollo with you, just for me?”

“Alright, Kitten,” she reaches down and ruffles my hair, then she turns to the guy. “It’s not personal. Carrie just has a hard time trusting people. Knowing her, if I don’t take ‘Pollo she’ll just follow us.”

She’s right: I would follow them. My mom’s safety is important and I’m not letting her go off with a perfect stranger. She’s too trusting. I watch as she calls ‘Pollo and the three of them leave. Imagine her thinking I’d trust her safety to some idiot who can’t even protect his own people.


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