SMFTM Singles-Stormy Weather

wpid-2014-01-01-23.56.39.jpgI found myself back in New York. I had never been to this particular apartment, but the pictures of Lee and Erica on the wall filled in the blanks. I had gone to the past. Going to the past was always odd for me. Well, it was odd any time I ventured any where near Lee, Erica or Steve; not always Steve, but definitely always Lee and Erica. I haven’t been keeping track of what bodies I Soul Jump to, but I have noticed that I can’t Jump into either of them. No matter how hard I try, I always end up as the ghost of Christmas Future, hovering in the background waiting for something interesting to happen so that I can feel vindicated for traveling back here. I say vindicated, but that implies that I am the master of my destiny. Hearing some tidbit of their life allows me to feel justified, in the fact that I have gotten mere inches closer to understanding how this ability works and how I can become the Jumper, not merely a ricochet puddle.

I surveyed the room; it was straight and narrow, obviously some type of hallway or closet or some hidden escape hatch. I had found enough of those on my ‘Jumps’ through time that I didn’t rule them out any more. This one though, looked like a simple hallway. It was a different color than the hallway in the apartment when Lee Jumped with me. I think it was the same hallway, but Erica moved around enough in the early years that it could have been an entirely different part of New York or even a different city. I still haven’t figured out how she erased that from his memory. Knowing him, he erased it himself. I need to remember to ask him about that, it could get very dangerous in the future.

I heard a massive thunder clap, followed by a pain-filled groan from Lee. A few minutes later, Erica walked out of her bedroom at the end of the hall and walked to the room a few feet from where I was standing. She went inside and found Lee sitting up in his bed with his knees to his chest, staring out at the moon.

“Bad dream baby?” she said as she sat on the bed with him, stroking his neck.

“Yeah, I just… they were… I couldn’t reach him. I tried and tried but I couldn’t reach him,” he said, a tear streaming down his cheek. She simply pulled him in for a hug, and started to softly sing ‘Stormy Weather’ into his ear. She held him as the tears fell from his eyes, the full moon the only light source in the room.

“I don’t like it here, Mom. There is something bad here.”

“Bad now or always bad?” she responded, pulling back so she could look into his eyes. Until this point, I had never thought that Lee inherited his off beat way of thinking from both parents. I would have either ignored the comment all together as part of a kid having a bad dream, or at least found out what felt odd to him first. She skipped right over the why to the when. I guess after being on the run from some unknown entity for so long, the when was all that really mattered. She stared at him, waiting for an answer that never came. She began to sing again, before kissing him on the forehead and heading for the door.

“Mom, can we stay at Steve’s tomorrow?”

“Baby, I don’t know. I have to ask and I don’t know if he will want us just showing up on his door every time we get a bad feeling.”

“That’s his job.”

“What do you mean that’s his job?”

“On TV, whenever the kid has a bad dream he goes and crawls into bed between his parents. You don’t share a room here. You do there. I want to go there.”

Erica clutched her hand to her chest, and stifled a sob.

“I’ll call him baby. First thing in the morning.” She began to finish the song again as she closed his door and walked down the hall back toward her room when she saw a flash of movement from the kitchen. She crept down the hall, continuing to sing hoping to lull the intruder into believing she was unaware of his existence. I started to ‘float’ down the hall to follow her, but Lee started to sing. It was so haunting to hear this high soprano little boy voice, coming from the pitch-black room. It took me a second to place the medley but I guess I was seeing the creation of one of his melodic mix ups. ‘Zip-a-dee-do-dah’; I thought it was a fitting song at first, until the slow speed of the song finally sunk in. He sniffled through a particularly long, drawn out run.

I left the doorway at that point; I had heard enough of his full moon sad songs to know I would like this one even less than I liked those. I had almost forgotten about the intruder in the kitchen when I heard Erica talking to Jay. I rounded the corner thinking I might have been wrong but, I knew my brother’s voice and he was most definitely here arguing in the kitchen.

“Jayson had a nightmare. Half the floor flooded. I came here to see if Jonathan was alright. Did he have a nightmare too?”

“Kids have bad dreams Jay, it’s not what you think.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Because, I know what I am talking about Jay. Wishing for things to change won’t do me any good.”

The phone rang, briefly interrupting their conversation; the caller ID showing ‘Stefan Belamo’. She looked from the phone back to Jay, who stared at her waiting for a response. They let the phone ring until the machine picked it up, and silence reclaimed the room.

“So, at least tell me what the dream was about. Jayson woke up screaming about how someone was trapped somewhere far away and he couldn’t get there. Was Jonathan’s anything like that?”

“His name is Lee. And seriously Jay, this has got to stop. He can feel you when you teleport in like this.”

“I used my key. Or did you think it was Steve you had given that, too?” Jay responded, venom finally touching his words. “Did the boy flair any Elemental abilities?”

“Nothing Jay. I heard him scream and then I went and checked on him. That was, maybe, five minutes ago. But even if this… You are not… What is bothering him … I can’t keep doing this. I followed this plan of your father’s because my sister, who was supposed to be dead, showed up the day my water broke with Brian. But I have had to give up my whole life, everything; I can’t even call my mother or see my boys. I gave up everything and the best I can hope for is that he looks at me with disgust when he gets to be my age. You showing up like this, Jay… I’m an Empath. I can’t deal with all these emotions and stay focused. I can’t be with you and protect my kids.”

“But you can be with him?”

“He helps me filter. But, Jay… we’ve been through this before. We can’t continue to happen. We can’t even be friends. I don’t know if I truly love Steve, but I know I can’t love you and my children and keep everyone safe.”

“But, why don’t I get to love my children and my wife? Have you seen this year’s rankings? Or last year or the year before? There is no one on the planet who can protect you better than me.”

“That’s only true until Eli-, until she shows up again.”

“You won’t even say her name anymore. I hear the kids are reading a book with a character like that.”

“Yeah, Lee has it on his list now. But Jay, you have to leave. Before you do, if you truly want to keep us safe, will you check for someone lurking? Lee says he feels something bad here. I don’t know what that boy is sensing but his judgment has been right enough that I trust it when he says he feels bad juju.”

“I’ll check. But I didn’t see anyone when I arrived. Is that him singing? Can I see him?”

“Yes that’s him. He sings to ‘let out the bad vibes’. Hopefully, he is almost done, but no, you can’t see him. I really would rather not have to have this conversation with him just yet. Especially considering how complicated everything is between me, you, Steve, him and Jayson. Oh, and Jay,” she walked over to the fridge and snatched down Lee’s latest school photo. “Can you give this to my mother?”

“Do you have a copy for me?”

“No, Steve took the duplicates to his family.”

“How wonderful for him. His family gets to watch my son grow up.”


“Erica, go tend to the boy, this song is starting to grate on my nerves.”

“Well, be glad you don’t have to live with him then,” she said, arms folded across her chest and glaring at Jay.

“I wasn’t talking about his song,” he said pocketing the picture and walking to the door. “This is ridiculous. Two more years and we tell them everything. I don’t care how you feel about it. I am done with this and watching you with him. Two years… Day one of high school.”

“….Maybe please someday, we’ll all be okay. Maybe please someday, I’ll be okay…” She looked up at Jay, tears streaming down her face. Jay stood staring at the door to Lee’s room, pain etched on his face. He turned and walked out the door.

“….Maybe please someday…” she repeated as the door closed and a clap of thunder sounded in the distance.


SMFTM Singles-Me Myself and I

          II. Me, Myself And I

“…I’m from that T dot, eff up yo spot.  Trick i’m hot hahahahot…” Apex sang as he did a little dance as he walked toward the oncoming soldiers and Jay.

“You know he is Beyonce in this and not you right.” Gianni said appearing in a tree above where Apex was.  “And here I thought you were so scary but you’re a hack.  This kid kicked your ass all over this damn park and you got a lucky shot in.”

“Well come fight me yourself Lust.” Apex said focusing his power on the tree Gianni was sitting in.  Gianni laughed.

“Well, you are a hack with a couple powers that I don’t have and I am smarter than your average bear and twink for that matter. So I will continue to train the kid so he can do us all a favor in a few years.  I think I will also start playing shadow for him…”  Just then the tree exploded sending shrapnel flying towards Apex.  He shielded himself from most of it and the rest flew past and landed on the ground behind him.  Jay stood behind the tree power oozing from his fingertips.  Gianni was nowhere to be seen.  Apex went back to bouncing and singing his song.

“…hahahahot. This mine out here claiming this rock… Little fag.  Who gets to break the news to his husband? Oooh pick me, pick me” He laughed to himself as he started walking away.  Jay turned a 360 survey the land and then caught up with Apex who had started singing again.

“…don’t forget it little misses, this his shit fall back Apex… I thought I would switch it up a little bit for you.  You really thought you were going to get rid of me that easy.   You forgot already …I’m from the t-dot, eff up yo spot… oh and Apex, I just might have to whoop your ass myself to show you what happens when you cross this fag.  But don’t worry it’s not today.  I have to go take care of our boy.  We will meet again Apex and next time I won’t be so friendly.”

“Find him now!” Apex roared as the soldiers began to scurry around the park.

-Me, Myself and I- Beyonce

-Manny L. Birch(author)

SMFTM Singles- Cosmic Love

Cosmic Love

Forty ran from the window looking as the beam of light that the lead guy shot out of his hands arched toward the house.

“Dad they’re here. “  He barely had time to dive to the floor as the blast knocked out the wall he was just standing near sending debris raining down on him.  Nails and glass shards cut his arms and face as he attempted to shield himself from the worst of it.  His blonde hair quickly staining red and brown as the dust began to settle.  When he was sure there was nothing left to fall. He got up and slowly continued his journey down the hall.  He stopped briefly to examine the body of one of the housekeepers, Connie or Carolina he could never tell them apart neither spoke very good English or spoke to him much at all. But he was sad to see her lying there a wood beam acting as a broken dam for the red river currently escaping her head.  She wasn’t breathing, he was glad, he had heard they sometimes made the help suffer worse for choosing to stay.  Seeing her lying there he realized that he might have fared better if he had shared her fate in that initial blast.  But he kept going. ‘Only pussies wish for death to ease the pain. You’re a fighter so fight.  Get to dad.  Plan.  Call for help. Go.  She’s gone, staring at her isn’t going to bring her back. Go. Fight’ he took another couple seconds to mentally psych himself back up, then started running again.

Everyone always said this house was bigger than it had any right to be.  Nearly 8 of his 19 years had been spent calling this place home.  Learning all the stories these halls whispered at night.  But try as he might, he couldn’t recall a single thing about the house from before he had returned from school a week ago.  None of the doctors or the medics could understand what was wrong with him.  They poked and prodded and questioned and prodded some more.  Still no answers as to what was wrong with his memory or why it was selective as to what he could and could not remember. Sometimes a single moment in an otherwise whole conversation or an entire person would just be missing from his memory.  There was something else nagging at him, some secret about himself that he should know.  He thought for the first couple of days that maybe he was gay but he couldn’t bring himself to think that way about any guys and even when he convinced himself that he was gay he still felt that nagging sensation that he was missing some vital piece of himself.   He suspected his dad actually did know what happened to his memories but was either too ashamed or too scared to tell him the truth.

“…A falling star, fell from your heart…”  The lead guy sang as he stepped through the now gaping wall.  He smiled at the sound of glass crunching under his feet.  Armed men in suits rushed past Forty as he ran toward what he thought was safety.  The men rushed guns drawn to the trio of young men that now calmly advanced in the direction of Forty.

“Freeze or we’ll-“

“…you left me in the dark!..” The leader belted out.  Some of the armed men immediately grabbed their faces, hands covering eyes, or fingers splayed in front of them trying to hold onto what vision remained.  Others maintained their vision long enough to see their comrades reactions to the boys words and his smile as the trio began to march through the armed men.

“Johnson, Oh My God. You’re eyes are bleeding.”  One of the armed man said to his partner.

“I can’t see.  Everything is just black.”

“Don’t worry Johnson, you are one of the lucky ones.  It will wear off in a few hours and you will just be night blind.  It’s the guys who can still see who should worry.  My brother saw my eyes bleed.  We thought it was because he was stronger than I was.  Until he started screaming.  I thank God every day I never saw what actually happened.  I hadn’t fought off the poison they pumped into my system, when my powers flared like they will for you in a while, it made me pass out.  You won’t be so lucky.  Whatever happens to this guy is going to be the first thing you see.” The leader said resuming his progress down the hall.

“Here Potus, Potus, Potus.  Here boy.”  The lead boy taunted as he walked down the hall.

Forty reached his father’s office rushing past the guards that were blocking the entry.  He shut the door behind him as he entered.

“Dad they’re here!”

“Yeah I know.  I have an evacuation team coming for us now.  They should be here any second.”

“Why are they coming for us dad?”

“I don’t know son.”

“You shouldn’t lie dad!”  Forty said his voice draining of emotion.

“Carey?”  The President said questioning his son.   Gun fire erupted outside the door causing the President to flinch.   Forty remained immobile staring at him.   “Carey what is wrong with you?”

The sound of singing started to leak through as the clatter of bullets died down.

“…Thousand armies couldn’t keep me out.  I don’t want your money.  I don’t want your Crown.  See I’ve come to burn your Kingdom down…”

The extraction team showed up in the office with the First lady and three suitcases and immediately made preparations for the First family to be removed from the premises.

“… and no rivers and no lakes can put my fire out.  You raised the stakes so, I’m going to smoke you out…” The body of a guard was thrown the door creating a hole that the lead boy looked through at the President.

“Here’s Johnny!” The lead boy yelled.

The extraction team immediately grabbed the First Family and teleported out of the room but not before the lead boy could grab a hold of one of the extractions team members’ powers.

“Catch you later Forty, you two Mr. Forty-five.”  He smiled at them as they disappeared.

To Be Continued

Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine

-Manny L Birch

SMFTM Singles Run The World

Run The World

“…We run this mother…” Jade sang as she stretched in the training room.

“…lies…” Lee interjected. “PS what did my buddy get you for main chick day?”

“What is main chick day?”

“Johnny!” Ford scolded.

“What you wouldn’t tell me. What type of shenanigans is that?”

“That’s not what I’m talking about and you know it.”

“Dude, you know and I know and she knows that the rest of this statement doesn’t apply to you, so relax.”

“If this…”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

“Alright now that you two have worked that out. What is main chick day?”

“It is the sacred Cupid holiday that proves that that song is a lie”

“Are you talking about Valentine’s day?”

“Yup yuppers.  In Cupid circles it’s known as main chick day. Also in parts of the hood or so I’m told.”

“You have never even been near the hood.”

“Lies.  My mom was a cop in New York City” Lee said with a fake Southern accent while clutching a pair of imaginary pearls.  “And my daddy loves a brown woman.  You can only NYU girls for so long before you decide to see what is happening up at Colombia.  And Colombia my friends is firmly in Harlem despite what the admissions advisors will tell you.”

“Whatever how does that holiday prove the song is a lie?” Jade responded.

“Well, for the same reason that my big buddy here was afraid of me explaining this to you.  Because the very nature of that name and the acceptance of it means you acknowledge the potential existence of other less important women.  Now you are a respectable girl so the big guy was home before I was but I’m one hundred and two percent sure he at least got to a respectable girl second base.  Possibly third, I didn’t ask.  And I think you are one of the few girls who uses the day as a chance to advance an already progressing relationship.  The two and a half dates I had that night weren’t nice respectable girls.  Nor were any of them my exclusive girlfriend who I had been dating for months.”

“What about Tibet? You saw her that night.  And who were the other two?” Jade interjected.

“A gentleman never kisses and tells but a friend does put you on game. Tibet was the half. I would have gone out with her but she told me she didn’t do Valentine’s day so what’s a guy to do right.  Find that chick from the pizza shop, I’m pretty sure I got us free slices for at least the next couple months.  And then get back to the building and get ambushed by a young lady who shall remain nameless. Best ambush ever ps.”

“If it was Ryan you and I are going to fight” Jade said moving to a different stretch.

“No not Ryan, I believe she was off explaining to my brother why you shouldn’t date me in girl form.”

“Right.  It’s so weird.”

“You guys are nothing alike.  She is awful and I genuinely like you.”

“That’s cus you are my friend.  You chose me over her.  Did you think she was awful prior to me and her breaking up?”

“I don’t know… I mean…”

“You didn’t, neither did I.  …Cus honestly she turned out to be the…” Jade looked up confused as he started singing

“…Best thing I never had…” Ford joined in harmonizing with him.  Jade laughed as they continued to sing the song.

“I tell you Karma is a comedian.  And I can feel a real funny ass joke coming her way.” Lee said as they settled down a bit.  “But both of my side chicks knew I was sort of kinda dating Tibet.  And they both literally verbatim said ‘then where is she?’ to which I replied fair point so let’s go find out what your lip gloss taste like.  The pizza shop chick actually started singing lip gloss by Lil mama.  I damn near fell in love.”

“Yeah that’s the some deep intense love there buddy.  You can’t even remember her name.”

“Sahara.  But the point is I don’t have to. She didn’t ask anything of me before she was willing to give me her.   She doesn’t know anything about me but what I look like and that I go to school up here.”

“Well maybe she is trying to get pregnant by a guy like you so she can change her station in life. Did you ever think of that?”

“Station in life?  Go outside and look around sweetheart.  There are no tracks that run through this town.”


“There is no bad side of it.  God forbid a lower middle class couple moves in to the neighborhood.  The town pushes the lynch mob button. But she is a smart girl who works to save for college I doubt she would want to railroad those plans with a potential pregnancy to a kid who may not want kids and could freak and drag her to a clinic or hell push her down the steps.  Plus this is not the town for stupid pregnancies.  There are too many men who are too powerful to have babies by accident.   Like I’m not sure everything that goes into it but there aren’t that many women in this town who could carry a baby of mine or his to term.  You happen to be one of them.  But never fear my dear, he would literally kill me if you turned up with a brown little boy with gray eyes.”

“While that is good to know, none of that explains why the song is a lie?”

“Because real g’s move in silence like lasagna.”

“Really little Wayne?” Ford asked.

“Shut up you know the quote. But what I am saying, when you all actually ran the world Madams controlled the underworld and wives controlled the White House. Tell me two things you know that either Mrs. Bush did. Don’t worry I’ll wait.  Mrs. Obama has a nice side project but if she had the kind of power that women used to have her husband would be skating by on some we aren’t really racist cover up.  Oprah has you all fooled.  Yeah, she says jump and half the audience lands in a new car, but she is the exception not the rule.  There are more female valedictorians every year in this country than males but you won’t see me shaking my ass in a Walmart.  You guys gave up your power a long time ago, when you forgot coy kept him on the hook and quick moves him on to the next.  So that is why that song is a lie.  Cus you all forgot that playing dumb was just that play.  So who run the world?  I will” Jade sat down flat looking dumbfounded as Lee and Ford started doing laps.

Run the World by Beyonce

Manny L. Birch (author)

SMFTM Single Two Man Twin or Number Four

Number Four

Sometimes I struggle to recap what happened in the past year but my nephew Lee never has such problems.  I heard him singing out of his window at my place while I was organizing some things in the garage.

I begged you to stay.  Everyday since I’ve cried. 

You told me it was only me.  But that was all a lie. 

You sent me off to a foreign place while you played with fire.

A castle who’s Prince wants me hung from his spire.

Please explain, why am I here?  Why tell me now ma?

But I’m stuck with these guys and you’re there with the worms

I can’t even say bye but these were your terms.   

So I kiss Lee goodbye, I’ll give Johnny a try.

Hopefully dad’s real this time But

I’m a Two Man Twin Now

My brother hates Me but It’s Alright

I will survive, how I don’t know. I’m done with tears I let it go

So from right here I declare I won’t be Number 4. 

A fake dad and two uncles. That’s what I call family now.

Two brothers who fight me for things I can’t change

Powers that are outta control when my eyes catch the flames

Almost got kidnapped, I killed him instead.

But this is what, what you chose.  Mommy this is my new home.

Cus I’m stuck with these guys and you’re there with the worms

I can’t even say bye but those were your terms.

So I kiss Lee goodbye and give Johnny a try

Hopefully dad’s real this time Cus

I’m a Two-Man Twin now

My brother hates me but it’s alright.

I will survive, how I don’t know.  I’m done with tears I let it go.

So from right here I declare I am not number 4.

I did find some friends who are down to ride with your youngest.

But the first set is gone I hope this time I’m not wrong.

I’m blocking out last summer. I don’t wanna see blood no more. 

Cus I’m a Two-Man Twin now

My brother hates me but it’s alright.

I will survive, how I don’t know. I’m done with tears I let it go.

So from right here I declare… 


Number Four 

There is a very definite song that this is set to but the words are all mine. I want to get a little feedback on whether it works as a prologue for book 2.  You can contact me to find out which song its set too.


-Manny L Birch Author 

SMFTM Singles 9th Inning

9th Inning

Lee crawled to the top of the mound of dead bodies and surveyed the scene.  Spent bullet shells littered the ground like tree pollen.  His left arm hung limply at his side blood oozing from his shoulder.  The remnants of his blue button down shirt was stained purple and brown with blood and thicker bits.

Ford leaned over Chris tending to a gunshot wound in his left leg.  Lee and Ford made eye contact over Chris’ body, Ford nodded at Lee; Chris would live.  Not everyone would be so lucky or unlucky depending on whom you asked.   A person moved in the pile of bodies to Lee’s left.  He snapped his head over to look and made the body rise as he did so. His hair whipped around his head as he turned sending bits of carnage flying and giving him a wild almost feral look.

“Johnny, it’s me.  Johnny, please.”  It took Lee a moment to recognize the voice calling out to him.  The shock of the battle made his brain slow to process what he was seeing.   He slowly lowered the body back to the ground, while he ran over to tend to the person.

“Are you ok? Oh my God, I thought you were dead,” Tears began to stream down Lee’s grime covered face.

“I don’t know J.  I’m hurt bad.  But J they took Tommy and Jayson.”

“What? When?”

“One of the guys shot them with a tranquilizer I guess, grabbed them both and teleported out.  I think they thought I was already dead.  You were-” he stopped to cough and some blood came up with it.

“Ford, I need help. “

“I saw the missile coming this way, how did you stop it?”

“It was Donnie.  He saved us all.”

“This isn’t finished Johnny.  It’s not over.”

“I know.  It will be soon though,” The flames crept back into Lee’s eyes. His left eye burned with gray fire showcasing the last stages in his maturation.

“Johnny, who was i…Oh god!” Ford dropped to his knees by the body.

“Hey buddy,” the man said staring into Ford’s emerald colored eyes.

“Johnny fix him.  Johnny fix him now.  Johnny.  I need you to fix him.  PLEASE!”  Ford pleaded as his powers leaked out of his control.  Bodies began to hover around them; seemingly recreating the moments before they died.

“Ford I don-“

“Johnny please fix it!” They were both crying in earnest now.

“I don’t know how.  If Janet were still alive and here maybe but I don’t have that power and Ford there is nothing alive but us for a quarter mile.”

“What do you mean, there is nothing alive?”

“They nuked us.  Donnie’s gone.  There is nothing left of him but memories. They took my brother and Tommy to do God knows what to them.  They still have Jade, Keira and my son.  I had to crawl over… There is no one left to help us.  We need to grab these two and find a hospital or a healer and see if they can help.  But we need to leave.  His residual power is keeping the fallout from here but we need to leave this place.  I can feel it coming for us.”

“Go, I’ll stay with him until it’s over.”

“Fuck you.  Get up, let’s go.”

“Fuck you. Get the fuck away from me or so help me…”

“Ford go please.  Save my nephews.  Get them away from those people.  Please! For me,” Ford shook his head sending sweat and tears flying from his face.  He slowly got up and walked back over to where he had left Chris.

“Johnny, you once told me if we were friends the world wouldn’t come to an end.”

“Don’t please”

“You were never my friend Johnny.  You were my other brother.  I used to be a little jealous of you two together, until I realized you helped my brother find his own way.  I can’t ask this of my twin because he isn’t like us, he feels too deep, but Johnny kill them all.  Kill all the bastards that did this to us, that ruined our families.  Save everyone you can but you promise me you will make them pay,” Lee smiled down at his friend.

“They will learn quickly to fear the eyes that burn.”

“Thanks brother.  Now go.  Teach them fear.”


-Manny L Birch ( Author)

SMFTM Singles This Boy

This Boy

            Lee walked back into his room at the end of the day.  The classes here had been more difficult than the ones he breezed through at Manhattan High.  He pulled the tie loose just enough to slip it over his head.  Steve had never had a reason to teach him to tie a tie and he hadn’t felt comfortable enough to ask anyone here to teach him.  He looked around at the barren walls that now marked his home and his prison.  He had yet to find a computer lab so he could contact Steve.  His cell phone according to Dr. B had been destroyed when he accidentally destroyed that hotel room. 

            Someone, probably Brian, had slipped a print out from the New York Times under his door.  The Headline read Midtown hotel destroyed during lightning storm.  The picture showed the corner of the hotel blown out toward the top of the building. Smoke billowed out the window.  The picture was a camera phone photo from a nearby building. It was grainy but it looked there was a figure standing in the hollowed out room holding something.  

            “He’s holding me ma.  I did that.”  The asshole author of the article decided he would sell more papers if he used the T word.  Despite the police and arson investigators insuring the public that it had been a freak accident and not an act of terrorism, this author thought that any high rise damage post 9/11 would make for sensational reporting.  Sadly he had been right. 

            Lee had no clue what Dr. B had done to convince the reporters to keep his name out of the paper.  They hadn’t even printed that the room had been occupied or booked. The police had come to question him yesterday.  So everyone knew he caused it.  Lee wasn’t sure but he felt like one of the officers was hinting that he should blame it on Dr. B, but he honestly didn’t remember enough about what happened to do that.  The FBI agent that had come with them seemed determined to provoke Lee into doing it again.   He got close before Dr. B put a stop to that line of questioning.  They left soon after, the FBI agent smiling at Lee. 

            Lee put the newspaper clipping on his desk and started to take off his uniform.  He was scheduled to meet J.E. and the others later and needed to try to get some of his homework done before then.  He wished he were back in his own room instead of this eggshell colored cell.  

            “I’m sure you had your reasons mom but I’m scared.  I don’t know these people; I don’t know what to do. I wish you were here. “Lee said to the air as he fought to rein in the tears.  He shook himself and pulled his homework out and got to work. 

This Boy by James Morrison

-Manny L Birch(aspiring author)