Short Stories

Tele-Pathetic

You know…I had…no idea that September was so close. But time waits for no one, I suppose, and that means it’s time to introduce From the Records of L.A.P.H (Introduction Arc). Basically a way for me to put little effort into posts while still posting (so these italics would be the introduction, and my end note would be the author bio…unless I have something I want to say and have the energy to say it.) All right, then…here we go

April 22, 444 EoP. Monday 13:00

The cafeteria buzzed with noise as Robert studied the atmosphere from his vantage point near the lunch line.

For a school of superheroes, this was…pretty normal.

If you took away a couple of floating kids and perhaps some students with strange appendages or coloring, Mt. Laconic’s Academy for Powered Heroes was…underwhelming.

Well, if I’m going to go to school here while my brother is off doing his things for this school—I hate Jovan. So much…Robert broke off the insincere thought about fitting in to curse his big brother, who happened to also be his legal guardian and greatest pain. Manipulating him (how did an almost twenty-three-year-old barely seven years older than himself do that?) to go to this school was pretty painful, for starters.

It wouldn’t be so bad, though, Robert thought as he exhaled at the inviting plate of sausages and potatoes set upon his tray, if he had superpowers.

But he didn’t. Nor did he want them.

Yet somehow, he’d been accepted into this school, and he didn’t trust that at all.

As he made sure to follow the routine he’d adopted that morning, to stay away from most of the kids, Robert maneuvered his way to a corner next to some trash cans (the table was still clean, weirdly enough, and didn’t smell like bleach or wet rag) and sat to slowly eat the admittedly delicious lunch.

Hmm…I know I’m not super. I mean, literally. I was tested…by both Mom and Dad. Wait. Why am I thinking about Mom and Dad?

Robert sighed and poked his potatoes, wishing his parents were still alive to see the ridiculous situation he was in. He crushed a potato.

Again, it was all Jovan’s fault.

Who would DO this to their innocent little brother? Sure, so I’m not innocent, but what happened that made Jovan take a teaching job and force me to accept the scholarship or something to attend? He thought for a moment, contemplating the best ways to take revenge on his brother. Superheroes are such self-righteous, overly pretty, arrogant jerks…probably.

Was this an uncharitable thought?

Of course. I’ll use discrimination so that Jovan will feel bad that the other kids need to deal with a prejudiced unpowered person and get myself out of here, Robert answered himself. Keeping his face neutral, he sipped the suspicious berry juice the lunch lady said would “boost his energy,” something he sorely needed.

One sip, however, brought a lethal inhalation of chemicals and fruit.

He choked and couldn’t help a minute gag, feeling some students stare but ignoring them. What in the world is this thing?!?! Robert wheezed, spluttering it out. His mind briefly flashed back to the lunch lady’s evil face. Ah…now that makes sense. But is the sheer shock of a disgusting taste supposed to boost energy?

With mild irritation, Robert reached out to toss the juice bottle into the trash can nearest to him. It was fine, he could just go thirsty.

Yep. I really hate Jovan now. He owes me a lot for this. And a bottle of water. Or soda…with peppermint and lemon. His eyes suspiciously narrowed at the meat, potatoes, and apple he had grabbed. You three aren’t poison, right?

“Hi!”

Choking back a yelp, Robert started at the perky, girly voice that greeted him. He swiveled full circle before turning to the right, just to see a tall—definitely taller than he was—brown-haired girl with pink highlights holding a tray grinning at him.

Behind her, a taller man, maybe the same age as Jovan, with gray-blue eyes and the same shade of soft brown hair trailed her, also holding a tray of food.

Blinking, Robert lifted a fork. “Hey,” he greeted, his voice casual. No…don’t come near me, he thought, I’m trying to instill a prejudice in me against superheroes and…well, they don’t look like arrogant prats!

But sit down, they did, with the man glowering at him as the girl sat next to Robert and grinned…even wider. Never mind. The boy looks crabby. I can do crabby. I’m crabby, if Jovan’s words are anything to go by, and people hate crabs, right? I can hate the nice-looking girl by association, or something.

His thoughts turned to the man and the girl in general. I’m also not wrong in assuming all powered people are overly pretty. But wow…that girl’s grin looks like it’s going to break her face. I mean, it’s fine to smile but doesn’t it hurt?

“I’m Denise Eridos,” the grinning girl smiled at him—the man continued glowering at Robert—cutting her apples into neat slices. She didn’t have anything but potatoes and apples on her tray. “And that there’s my brother, Finn, a teacher here! You’re new here, right? I saw you in the morning classes together but didn’t get a chance to talk to you! What’s your name?”

Robert lifted his eyebrows at the barrage of questions and studied the two. They’re Southern, I think, maybe from central Southern Republic maybe? Soft hair looks pretty mid-Southern. And their skin was dark but light enough for the area.

Having guessed the origin of ethnicity, Robert tilted his head and replied, “I’m Robert Ashanra.” Noting that Finn was studying him with flat eyebrows, he added, “Nice to meet the two of you.”

I mean, it’s not as if either of them are unpleasant as of yet, and I knew this would happen if I talked to people. I’ll have to avoid doing more of that. Robert internally snorted to himself as Denise nodded.

Strangely, Finn’s expression cleared. Ah, Robert realized without thinking as he bit on a sausage, the teacher Finn was a telepath…reading his mind without permission. Well, then…he continued to scheme without letting the thoughts climb to the top of his mind, he was going to have some FUN. His parents hadn’t taught him and Jovan caution for nothing!

“What’s your superpower?” Denise asked, unaware of Robert’s not-thought-of realizations.

Turning to smile pleasantly at her, he peeled his apple and replied. “I don’t have one. My…brother”—he had almost added idiotic—“accepted some position having to do with teaching superhero kids the customs of unpowered people or something like that, and I was told I could attend this school.” I was glorified baggage, basically, he realized wryly.

Ohhh!! You’re Mr. Ashanra’s brother!! I knew that last name sounded familiar!” Denise exclaimed, her ear-splitting smile breaking. Her luminescent pink eyes brightened as her gaze pierced her brother’s. “Finn!! You’re not the only professor with a student sibling anymore!”

Yeah, it’s GREAT having to attend a superpower school without superpowers, pretty girl, Robert thought, purposefully adding the moniker and studying Finn’s slightly stormy expression.

“Great,” Finn said without any enthusiasm, chewing on his meat and giving Robert a cold stare. Yup. Definitely telepath.

Robert covered a smirk with the question and another bite of his meal, “How’s my brother? I hope not too annoying?”

“No, he’s all right,” Finn monotoned guardedly as Denise attacked her apple.

Aww, maybe he doesn’t like me interacting with his sister, Robert mused, cringing slightly at his terrible thoughts but mildly glad his doctor mom had taught him the art of deceiving telepaths—if they weren’t delving deep into his mind, that is. Finn’s glowers were also rather entertaining.

“He’s your brother, so you would probably say that he’s annoying,” Denise smiled at Robert. “But I’m sure he’s utterly charming.”

Wow, she’s very attractive, Robert thought as he chewed the last piece of meat and stopped himself from laughing at Finn’s icy stare turned murderous. Out loud, Robert shook his head. “He really isn’t.” He’s manipulative and guilted me into coming here, curse him. “But he’s my brother, so you’re probably right about me finding him annoying.”

Denise brushed her hair aside, which gave Robert the ample opportunity to think, Nice hair…I wonder if she dyes it that pink color. Or does she dye it brown? Hmm…I wonder if she has a boyfriend.

Having foreseen a violent reaction, Robert easily dodged the apple Finn tossed at him.

Unfortunately, Denise hadn’t and jumped in surprise on her seat. “FINN!” she gasped, and jerked her head sideways to frown at her brother. “Finn, that was uncalled for!”

Not really but that’s kind of you, Denise. Robert directed a pointed smile at Finn. Did you have fun reading my thoughts?

The expression of incredulity Finn gave Robert definitely made up for a tiny fraction of being put in this school.

Denise was still glaring at her brother, and seeing that Finn seemed properly put into place, Robert turned his wide smile at Denise. “Don’t worry about it, Denise. I think Finn saw something behind me, so it’s cool.” He gave Finn a slight nod of forgiveness. 

Denise only glanced between them in bewilderment. “Huh???” She blinked rapidly.

On the other end of the table, Finn raised his eyebrows. Then slowly nodded and gave Robert a tiny smile that showed more of his true person than his invasive use of powers had.

The matter settled, Robert forced his expression back to a neutral state and changed the subject. “So what are your superpowers?” he prompted Denise, taking the chance to swallow big chunks of sausages and potatoes and apples.

“Oh, huh?” Denise shook her head, her bright expression lighting on again as she scraped her plate. “Oh, I’m an alchemical with minor color changing abilities.” She grinned at Robert’s confused expression and explained hurriedly, “Alchemical is just a fancy word for things that don’t fit in the other categories. You know. How physical is all about things like enchanced strength or endurance. Or elemental is all about the natural world while mental powers are about the mind?”

He didn’t, actually, but Robert nodded anyway.

“My version of alchemy is just that I can change and rearrange the molecular structure of any non-living material,” she hurriedly explained, demonstrating by changing a paper fork to a noticeably smaller metal fork. “Basically, I can change straw into gold, depending on density.”

Confusion abated, Robert nodded and glanced at Finn subtly. Now that’s a cool ability…that’s horrifyingly awful? he thought, then satisfyingly decided Finn had dropped the mind-reading. “And you, uh, Mr. Eridos?” he added.

“Finn is fine, except in class,” Finn quietly returned, smiling as his sister waved at some girls walking by. He riveted his gaze at Robert and smiled, no hint of irony as he introduced himself as a telepath.

“He’s crazy good at it,” Denise interjected sunnily, grinning at her brother proudly. “But he doesn’t use it except in emergencies.”

Robert kept his expression benign as he thought, Like when his sister comes near boys? He nodded, spearing a stack of potatoes, apple, and sausage. “Cool. Nice to meet the two of you, then.”

“Nice to meet you too!”

I don’t think I conveyed all that well just how much Robert cringed at himself when he was pretending to think weird thoughts about Denise. But he truly does hate invasions of his privacy. Now isn’t he a little adorable brat?

Anyway, the reason I need an end note today that isn’t author bio is because I actually have an Author Note from the original doc. Summary version is that basically, in late 2019, I read a trilogy that was good but had a male MC I kind of…disliked cause he was stupid and was portrayed a little too much girl-obsessed (or maybe I just hated their romance). I just dislike male MCs thinking about girls in general, and I know that’s mostly normal (esp for teens) but I was like, yeah… I will now create a character who had literally never thought about romance or the opposite gender in That Way. Nor wants to. Like ever (except now he has, ha! Even if it was to manipulate). I think cool modern people call that aromantic and asexual but I was under the impression the latter was a reproductive system of microscopic organisms. The more you know, right?

So… yeah. Of course the first serial I post is born out of spite. It’s so me, isn’t it? :)))

Lemon Duck is a tired student of an unspecified race and age at an unspecified location whose Christian background (current ground?) prevents her from truly going full on criminal. Her species tends to shift depending on her mood, but she is usually somewhat human. She tries to write, draw, read, watch, and study in an attempts to complete her humanity but instead found that being chaos incarnate was a more fulfilling job.

Despite owning multiple blogs, most of them are dead and one is currently being overtaken by a weekly serial she definitely would like you to comment, criticize, like, and share; she is definitely not at all writing this biography to appear professional, forego her usual end comments, or profess her love of alphabetical orders. She also sends her love to her inducktrinated minions readers and hopes they’ve enjoyed this week’s story.

P.S. In case you missed it, 444 EoP is the same as 2019 A.D. For my sanity.

©Lemon Duck, 2021. All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “Tele-Pathetic

    1. Hehehehehe. To be fair, I “say” he’s aroace but I honestly Do Not know how to write a character like that (and I also tend to be wary of labels, but shhh, I’m being modern and cool), so don’t take that as canon canon. 😛 But ooh!! ARO OC *intrigued*

      Liked by 1 person

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