I watch as Sammy inhales all the remaining milk and yellow Captain Crunch’s squares. Hearing her slurp the bowl empty, I push another bowl toward her, this one being cinnamon toast crunch since Sammy finishes off the last of the Captain Crunch cereal.
“Sorry about that,” she says, wiping a drop of milk from her cheek. Giggling as she tries to hide it behind her hand, I just smile and hand her a napkin.
“No problem,” I reply. “Though, if you’re really sorry, you know what you can do?”
“What’s that,” Sammy asks, already digging into the cinnamon toast.
“You can stay and help me wash all the empty bowls of cereal you ate.”
Sammy’s head tilting as she looks at me, I nudge my head over to the sink where, for the past 20 minutes, I’ve been putting the bowl.
“Wow,” she screams, jumping up when she sees the stacks of bowls. From small to big, plastic to glass, varying in all sorts of colors, the stack looks a lot like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, only with a little more dried milk trails.
“Wow,” Sammy says again, her eyes stuck on the stack. “I ate that much? That can’t be right. I don’t even feel full.”
While she starts to rub her belly, I grab the few empty bowls beside her and place them on the stack in the sink.
“Seriously,” I ask, struggling to keep the balance as the leaning stack of bowls starts to sway. “You’ve been eating non-stop for the last 20 minutes. You ate through three family-size boxes of Captain Crunch and you’re still not full?”
“What do you want me to say,” she replies, helping unstack the bowls.
“You can say,” I interrupt, trying my hardest to sound like Sammy. “Don’t worry Oliver. I’ll help by washing all of these empty bowls.”
“And I am,” Sammy yells, turning on the water. We watch as the water pours from the faucet into the first bowl. While Sammy washes, I grab the empty cereal boxes and walk them over to the recycle bin.
“So since you’re still hungry,” I say, walking back in. “And my parents are just now out of cereal, do you want to head over to Coco’s Mountain and have a few things there?”
“Sure,” Sammy answers, quickly washing the bowls and putting them away. Sparks of red can be seen as she is putting the bowls away.
“Please be careful,” I beg, running over to make sure the bowls aren’t damaged or cracked. Making sure there are no red sparks, I take the bowls from her to examine them.
“Hey,” she cries, stepping back as I push her away. “You know, just because I use a little ‘speed’ doesn’t mean I’m not careful.”
“Oh yeah. You’re really careful. You’re really careful alright. Especially when you used your ‘speed’.”
Feeling something in my throat, I cough into my fist.
“Car tires,” I cough before pounding my chest.
“That was an accident,” Sammy screams, pointing at me. “And you know it! Anyway, I apologized.”
“Yes. You apologized and I had to pay for four new tires because you washed my car so fast, you melted the first four.”
Sammy lowers and shakes her head.
“All I’m saying is don’t use your speed to do chores, please. Just use them how you’ve been using them for the last six months. To catch bad guys.”
Laughing as she keeps on washing bowls, she turns to look at me.
“Hard to believe it’d been six months since the whole thing,” Sammy chuckles. “Six months since the accident and the fight with the evil doctor.”
“You mean Noose,” I ask, the very name sending shivers down our spines. “Yeah, don’t say it. I regret it already.”
Despite my regret, Sammy still slaps me in the back of the head with a wet hand.
“Nevertheless, it had been a really eventful six months with you being--”
Taking a look around, making sure we are alone and that my parents or anyone else are not here, I go on.
“With you being Red Lighting. Catching all these bad guys, saving all these people, learning how to handle the lighting part of your powers.”
Sammy raises her hand and starts to shake it right and left. Within only a few seconds, her hand turns into a blur, and it begins to generate sparks of red electricity.
“Okay,” I scream, also shaking my hands left and right. “Okay. Okay. I see it. No need for any electricity right now.
Her hand slowing down, the electricity dying down, I can see her arm as clear as day now. Sammy’s arm falls to her side, I wipe some sweat from my forehead.
“Like I said. Six months in and we’re still learning how to handle the lighting part of your powers.”
“It’s not so bad,” Sammy adds. “Remember the time I was able to charge your phone simply by holding it. That was neat.”
“Yeah,” I chuckle. “That was neat, and surprisingly.”
The last of the bowls clean and being put away, Sammy and I head for my mustang. We are only about a block away from Coco's when, all of a sudden, I slam on the brakes.
Sammy and I jerk forward, our heads hitting the front window. She looks at me and I point to an oncoming car, one that is smoking and doesn’t seem to be stopping despite the light being red.
“Help,” the driver yells, his arm waving wildly outside his window. Driving right through the intersection, barely managing to miss a few cars, he is followed by a few police cars, their sirens flashing as they all zoom by.
I look back at Sammy and she nods her head.
“It’s in the trunk,” I say, finding a parking spot in an empty street. Opening it, we both run out and to my truck. I reach out and toss Sammy a large duffel bag. This time, within seconds, after running in small circles, Sammy transforms into Red Lighting, her new, slick, bright-red, friction suit and mask reflecting the sunlight as she tosses back at me the duffel bag.
“I see you later,” I say, Red Lighting shooting me a wave as she runs after the car.
Just as I planned, Red Lighting is running to save both the driver and the runaway car. Running right past the two police cars, she reaches the driver’s side in almost no time whatsoever.
As I watch, I reach into my pocket to pull out the earbuds so I can hear what it is they are saying.
“What’s wrong,” Red Lighting screams, trying to pull open the door.
“I don’t know,” the driver screams back, the sound of him stomping on the brakes almost louder than the wind. “One minute, I’m driving to work, everything is normal. The next minute, I’m going down a hill at 80 miles an hour, I can’t stop, and the door is stuck. Please help me.”
“Stand back,” she shouts, raising her arm and breaking the door right off. The police have to swerve out of the way of the broken door. Meanwhile, Red Lighting grabs the driver and pulls him out just as his car slams right into a brick wall, the whole thing squeezing into itself.
“Are you okay,” Red Lighting asks, kneeling beside the driver as he pulls himself up.
“Yes,” he replies. “I think so. My truck thought.”
“Uhh, it’s okay. It’s not totally crushed. Nothing a trip to a mechanic can’t fix.”
“I’ve seen enough,” I say, pulling out my earbuds and putting them back into my pockets. Turning away, I walk back into my car, where my partner is waiting for me.
“Did you see it,” he asks, starting the engine and driving off.
“Yeah,” I answer. “There’s potential there alright, but we’re going to need to collect some more data first, and quite frankly, I don’t think fixing cars and trucks so they're crash will get us everything we'll need.”
“Don’t worry. That was just one experiment. I have a few more planned but we just need some more people.”