Lina’s Strange New Flashlight

I went to Lina first because I knew she would be handle to handle the news better. Mayhew, on the other hand, will be crying all night when he finds out his father wants to send him away. “Lina, I have some bad news…”

“Oh, hello, Mother,” she replied cheerfully, quickly closing the door behind me. “It’s nice to see you.”

I stared at her. She was taking being shot at really well. Too well. Last night she was all anger and indignation. Today, after almost being killed, she’s all smiles. I couldn’t help but be concerned about her state of mind. I was her mother after all. “Are you all right, Lina?”

“Of course.” Lina ran her hand over mine. I was startled by the gentleness of her touch, but I was even more startled at how suddenly she turned away. I did not know what to make of all of this. It looked as if she were reading something on her wrist. “You’re acting kind of strangely, Lina. I’m concerned.”

She smiled innocently at me. “No need to be concerned, Mother. Everything’s fine. Speaking of, I created something, Mother. I’d like to show it to you.”

“Created?” Her behavior was very peculiar. And what was this now? ‘Created something’? “Lina, since when do you ‘create’ anything?”

But as always the girl ignored my questions. At least, that was still normal. “Just look, Mother.” Lina pulled something from beneath her pillow and held it up for me to see. It looked like some king of modified flashlight.

“What is that?” I asked, trying to get a better look at it. What had she made and, more importantly, how had she made it? Had she been fooling around with electricity? She could have gotten herself hurt!

“Let me show you.” Lina quickly closed the gap between us and grabbed me. I was frightened of my own daughter. What was she doing? But before I could tell her to stop she had pressed her strange device against my arm. I felt a great pain like my entire body was vibrating, every inch of me, my skin itched incredibly, and all I could see was a blinding light. I felt like I was going to explode!

When I stopped screaming, Hera was standing over me with our personal doctors. “Fran, can you hear me? Are you all right?”

“Yes,” I said, trying to catch my breath. I felt confused and disoriented. How had I wound up on the floor?

“What happened?”

But before I could answer, Lina appeared, “She fainted! I was showing my mother my new flashlight and then she just fell to the ground screaming. I was so frightened! Do you think it had something to do with the assassination attempt.”

“I’m sure it’s all right,” the doctor said.

‘Showing me her flashlight’? That was not what happened. That girl did something to me! That device she made, it had done something and it had been painful. But I didn’t want to raise suspicions on her. She was my daughter and the last thing I wanted was Hera to be watching her even more closely then she already was. I was fairly certain whatever she had done and had been an accident. She would never have meant to hurt me. No matter how strange she was acting, she was still my daughter.

I also didn’t want to raise a fuss and give Zlodey something else to worry about. His list of worries was already much too long. Not that he had come to the room to check on me, I noticed. But I was sure his absence was not because of a lack of concern, but because he already knew that I was going to be all right. If something was actually wrong with me, I’m sure there would have been nothing that could have kept him away. “Yes, I’m sure I’m all right,” I assured them.

“Come on, ma’am,” Hera said, helping me to my feet. “Let me take you to your bed. I’m sure some rest will do you some good.”

“Wait a second,” I said, “I need to tell my daughter something. That’s why I was here in the first place. Lina, I’m sorry to tell you this, especially after my little spell, but your father wants to send you away. He’s worried about your safety. He’s going to send you and Mayhew somewhere you’ll be safe.”

“No, Mother, I don’t think that would be a good idea. I think it would be best for all of us I stayed with you.”

It warmed my hear to hear her want to stay with me. Sadly, neither of us really had much say in the matter. “I’m sorry, Lina, but there’s no discussion. When your father puts his foot down, that’s it. Now, I have to go tell Mayhew. We all know that that will not be easy for him.”

to be continued…

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