here it is: Mirage.  the beautiful temptress, the mysterious super... the severly underappreciated character.  I mean, Jeeze!  she deosn't even have an action figure! Edna has an action figure!  And she doesn't have a page on the twelve month calander! ::hangs head:: it is sad indeed.


   

 "Please! There are children aboard!"

    I looked up with a start. Everything froze. The crackling of the intercom, my mind, even Mr. Incredible was silent with shock for a millisecond.

    'Children' I thought. 'No. No! This isn't what I wanted. How did I get in this deep?' I glanced back at Mr. Incredible just in time to see him let out a piteous roar of pain, and struggle all the more violently against his bonds. It was clear then; those children were his own flesh and blood, and that woman was his wife. I hadn't realized what he had been so unthinkingly uprooted from; a family, someone that loved him enough to travel halfway across the world to save him. In short, everything I had ever wanted. And what did I have? A twenty-six year old child "Syndrome." Good lord.

    I had never quite figured out how he had discovered my existence. Most likely the same way the government did, whose methods were just as obscure.

X

    When the government decided it no longer wanted super heroes saving the day it didn't mean that super powers simply stopped manifesting themselves. When mine appeared, I was eight years old. Supers were still saving lives, and I had a good many mentors to look up to. I wished so much to be like them, and my wishes were granted: I discovered that I had the ability to create illusions.

    I could convince anyone that what I made them think they were seeing, smelling, or feeling, was real. I could convince machines that my illusions were real as well. The vacuum cleaner for example, the cheap one that my mother bought second hand at the salvation army, the only on we could afford; I could make it think it was sucking up an array of thumbtacks spread on the floor. I was thrilled, my mother was not. But there was a catch; I could not convince myself of my own illusions. I could see, hear, feel my own illusions, but I could never convince myself that they were real; I knew that in a pinch, my own illusions couldn't possibly save my life, and I knew this could be a problem.

    Very soon after I discovered the existence of my powers, my mother sat me down and we had a serious discussion.

    "Anzhelika," I looked at my hands, childishly certain that I was in trouble, though for what reason I did not know. I just knew that she never used my full name unless I was in trouble. She continued speaking in Russian, "my little Lika," she said finally using my nickname "you are everything I have, all our family is back home, and your father is somewhere... better." There was a moment's silence in which my beloved mother regained her composure. "That is why I must ask you not to use your powers in the presence of others," I looked up sharply.

    "How do you know...?" I asked in Russian. My mother smiled warmly at me and tucked a silvery lock of my hair behind my ear.

    "I always knew, Lika. From the moment you were born, I knew you were special, and that isn't just my motherly pride speaking. I knew because your grandmother told me the child I carried in my womb was going to have powers unlike anything. She told me that in this family, every third woman born is not just special, but extraordinary, that you would be that girl. But most importantly, I knew because just minutes into your life, you looked at me and smiled."

    I gazed wonderingly at this woman and smiled.  This woman who had bravely smuggled me from a war-torn country into the US, losing her husband in the process, and leaving her health on the first train.

    Upon arriving at our long-awaited destination, she struggled against her constant ailments, and difficulty finding work. The money she had sewn into the seams of our clothing was enough to hold us over for a while, but she needed work to support me, and her English was so poor, and thickly accented, that it was more difficult than it ought to have been. I admired her strength in that she held her head up high even in a society that looked down their noses at single mothers. I gazed at her, and I knew I loved her more than anything in the world.

    I promised to never use my powers in public, and gave her a kiss on the forehead before scurrying into the one bed we shared.

    The reason for my mother's concern became obvious to me over the next few months. One couldn't walk thirty paces without hearing whispers about "those damn supers." These cruel remarks did not go over my head, though I was a mere child and I began to fear for myself, willing the powers I had so desperately longed for, to go away. My mother continued to convince me that my powers were special, and that I would be perfectly safe; and that as long as no one suspected anything, I need not be afraid for my safety. I trusted her words, and believed her comfort was sincere, and ceased my fear.

    However while my fear of normal humans dwindled, my fear of starving to death grew. My mother and I were frail creatures by curse of genetics, but starvation only made our natural thinness disgusting and skeletal. I hated going to school, because the girls would taunt me shamelessly about my fragile appearance. I would sometimes make large illusion spiders crawl up and down some of the meaner girls' arms. I didn't do this often, but when I did, it was always the same. I would smile as they screamed, and the teacher would check their temperatures, and send them to the health office, and no one was the wiser. I of course felt guilty afterwards, but never enough to apologize, or even regret my actions.

    My life continued in this manner for a few years. I continued to develop my powers on my own, and my mother continued to scrounge from job to job, barely making enough for us to eat. One day though, our lives changed. I was ten years old, in fifth grade and my mother had just lost her most recent job. She was in a barely concealed state of panic, wondering where on earth she would find work, and where we would go if we were evicted, as the landlords had been recently threatening to do.

    We were having a rare moment of peace in between interviews and were quietly sitting on a park bench, eating bologna. My feet were tucked up under me and I was leaning on my mother's shoulder, munching slowly on the rare and divine food on my palate. The wind was rustling the leaves of the trees, and a strange, beautiful music seemed to waft through the silence to my waiting ears. I was completely at peace with the world, and glad to be alive. A loud nasally voice interrupted my serenity.

    "My my..." it said loudly, my mother and I both looked at the source of the voice. He was a fat balding man with a bad comb over, and a greasy suit. "Look what we have here," he said, still looking at us, "an angel, and a cherub. Are you mother and daughter?" We didn't respond, not that he left any time for us to speak. "This is surely one of my best finds... mumble mumble...gain a little weight of course mumble... but your both absolutely gorgeous!  Just ravishing!  I've never seen such a lovely little girl... and your hair." I didn't like him. The way he looked at my mother and smiled his weaselly little grin at me... but he still wasn't finished speaking, "oh! Silly me!" he said, "I haven't introduced myself! My name is Richard Lewd. I'm a talent scout for Celestial Starz agency" My mother finally got over the shock of the man, and stood to greet him like a civil person.

    "My name is Tatiyana Verunya, and this is my daughter, Anzhelika." I muttered my hello incoherently.

    "Gods!" he said, at hearing my mother's accent "and you're foreign! I like that, it adds certain exotic edge... have you ever considered modeling?"

    "M- modeling?" My mother asked uncertainly.

    "Yes!" He said enthusiastically "Modeling! You two would make a perfect team, such innocence, such... naivety." My mother looked at her feet uncertainly. My mother was beautiful. Even though she appeared to have aged many years since arriving on this shore, she had retained almost all of her youthful beauty. She knew all this, and she knew what modeling was, but didn't think it was right for her, or me.

    Richard Lewd saw the uncertainty on her face and, determined to have his prize, finally spoke. "Of course," he said, "you could easily make a career out of it...earn a modest amount of money." He mumbled the words almost to himself, but it was obvious to me that he wanted us to hear. My mother looked up quickly, eyes wide and Richard knew he had won: Money was something she couldn't turn dow, not with the life of her child at stake.

    He smiled widely showing all of his platinum and gold teeth. "Here," he said, extending his hand to my mother, "come with me" I saw my mother gaze at his palm uncertainly, her strong pride bending as she lifted her hand towards his outstretched one. I wanted to scream at her not to do it, that he was bad, I could feel it! But I didn't, and she took his hand proudly and without fear.

It was thus that little red riding hood was led astray by the wolf.


so... what do you think?  If you think I should continue it, I will.  even if you don't think I should... I will.  oh, I decided that she was Russian.  I couldn't put my finger on what her accent was, but then I realized it was a little similar to my Oma's, so... yeah.  oh, and pronunciation of those names: 

Anzhelika, is pronounced: ahn-zheh-LEE-kah (the emphasis is on the "lee")  and Tatiyana, I think you can figure out.

(doesn't Mirage just seem like an Anzhelika?) (and Verunya means something like hope,or  faith,or  trust...)