Mimeo

Disclaimer- If I owned X-Men, I would not be wasting my time writing fanfic, I'd be working the real deal! ;)

Chapter 1: Mommy Dearest

"You need to eat, Karen Meisenheimer!" Mom said to me firmly.

"I don't want to," I said. I ignored my stomach rumbling and continued to stare out the window.

Mom fidgeted nervously. Finally, she burst out, "Dear, please stay away from the windows. I'm just so afraid one of the neighbors will see you!"

I scowl angrily, but I honestly can't blame her for her worry. I happen to be a very . . . obvious mutant. My skin is a dark gray, with veins of lighter gray running through my entire body. My hair is that reddish black that Native Americans have. And my eyes? Almost the worst part. They have no irises, just small pupils, leaving a vast blank whiteness in my eyes that makes me look insane, as if the wonky skin wasn't enough. Even that isn't the worst, my eyes, not having the iris, which is the muscle that affects the size of the pupils, are much slower to adjust to light than normal, making bright light painful to me. I can't even watch TV without wearing sunglasses. Isn't that lame?

All the time, you hear on the news, these wacko mutants with uber-cool powers. What can I do? I . . . run. From bright light. Yeah, that's it! I can definitely see me conquering the world with that one!

Not that I want to. You know, conquer the world. In all honesty, what would I do with it? Probably ruin it.

But yeah, Mom's still here, and she's still poking at me, trying to pull me away from the window. I give up and let her draw down the curtains. Why do I care? Oh yeah, because I'm dying for a breath of fresh air. I haven't left my house for three years. Not since the mob.

Obviously, I am now home-schooled. Which stinks, because, sorry Mom, but you just can't teach.

I used to be allowed to go with Mom to the store and such (school was never an option for me) as long as I kept my hoodie on and looked as unsuspicious as possible. Now that I think about it, that was dumb. From what I've seen on the news, as long as you're strutting around openly, acting like you belong wherever you are, then people are more likely to believe that you do belong, and leave you alone. If you're skulking around acting like you're afraid to get jumped, then you will probably get jumped.

But hey, what do I know? I'm the one who hasn't left her house in three years.

"Karen . . . Wake up Karen . . . Earth to Karen!" I heard a singsongy voice interrupt my musings.

"Eh . . . What?" I ask irritated. Mom smiles at me brightly. Too brightly. I've always hated her smiles, they're just a way to hide her feelings. Nothing real in them.

I follow Mom back into the kitchen and munch a sandwich contemplatively, thinking about my relationship with my mother. I knew my mother loved me, and would even die for me, but I knew that every day she was thinking, "Maybe I'll have to. Maybe today's the day that the neighbors will find out and storm our house with torches and pitchforks."

That's why she keeps me away from the window!

It makes my life safer, but it also makes it immensely boring. All I can do all day is study (blech!) eat (candy!) sleep, and watch TV (soap operas of course!) I wish my life wasn't so . . . uneventful, and have even said so! However, all I got in reply was, "Better bored than dead,"

Seriously, what can you say to that?! Ah, no, sorry Mom. I'd much rather an adventurous, if short, life! Ah, no. Living is good. So naturally, I shut up, and get back to watching TV. It's a good thing that there are stairs in this house, otherwise I'd be at least 500 pounds.

"Honeybun, I'm going to go to work now. Are you positive that you're going to be all right?" Mom quizzed.

I rolled my eyes. We went through this every night. "Yes Mom. I memorized the escape route when I was four, I know where to go, and I'm sure that tonight is not the night when the villagers will come bearing pitchforks." I stated.

Mom just looked at me sadly, and said softly, "You know I worry about you. I don't want anything to hurt you,"

"I know Mom," I said, relenting and giving her a hug. She wouldn't be back until after midnight, and the house was mine!

She slowly backed out of the house, pausing every two seconds to cry out, "I love you!" and, "Be careful! I left something for you in the fridge! Don't touch the stove!"

Yeesh!

I plopped down on the couch and proceeded to do what I did almost all the time, whether Mom was present or not. Watch TV. Watching TV till my brain melted and I became a zombie.

Speaking of which, Dawn of the Dead was on.

I watched it until I thought my eyes would melt right out of my head, and then got up and did a lap around the house.

When I got upstairs, I looked out of the forbidden window, just because I could.

"Huh. One of the neighbors is having a party," I muttered. With the sheer number of cars sitting on their lawn and ours, it couldn't have been anything else. Their house was brightly lit, stabbing into my sensitive eyes. I was about to turn away, scrubbing my eyes frantically, when some voices drifted up from below.

"Isn't she at work?"

"Yeah . . ."

"Why the hell is her TV on?"

"She must've forgotten to turn it off when she left."

"Yeah right. I bet there's somebody in there stealing shit."

"Oh, yeah, and they just took a moment to settle in and watch TV while they were at it!"

"You know, if someone's there, we should probably invite them to the party."

"Don't be dumb."

Yes please! I thought frantically, Don't be dumb!!

"Aw, come on. It would be nice!"

"Suppose it's like some eighty year old man who drools, or something?"

"I don't think so. Come on, what are ya, chicken?"

Oh, god . . .

"All right, fine! If we get into trouble though, its your fault!"

They started banging on the door, laughing loudly. I was beginning to think they were a little drunk. I shrank back towards the wall, away from the window. Maybe they'd go away.

"Hey man, its unlocked. Lets just go in, 'kay?"

Oh GOD!

My mother ALWAYS locked it! What was happening here? The world was ending, at least for me. I could see it all. They'd find me, scream out, "Mutant!" and drag the whole neighborhood into this, and I would get beaten to death.

"Hey, there isn't anybody here!" someone called.

"Check upstairs, will ya?"

What do I do? I'm gonna die, gonna die, don't wanna die! I stumbled around, dangerously close to hysteria. No, scratch that. I must have been hysterical already. It's the only way I can explain what I did next.

I leaped out the window. It was one of those deals that swings out about three feet. I pumped the handle till it broke off, and then squirmed out feet first. You think that doesn't sound too silly? Remember, I was on the second floor.

I landed in my yard and did a face plant on a silver PT Cruiser, leaving a me-shaped dent in the hood. I ran out into the street, casting about wildly for some sort of escape route.

All of a sudden I was blinded by light of an intensity I didn't know existed. I was paralyzed, and I thought I might pass out from the excruciating pain in my eyes. I screamed aloud.

I heard the sound of brakes squealing, and someone roaring profanities, and then the wall of light faded, leaving me with a titanic headache.

I opened one eye, and then stumbled over to the other side of the road, where I dropped and curled up, making little wailing noises.

I was blind. I looked all around, and I could see nothing, not the bright house across the street, not the street lights, not my own hand inches from my face.

I got up and stumbled back across the street, trying to find my house.

I could find nothing. Not even the cars. I stretched out my arms desperately trying to find something, anything, to hold onto, to serve as guidance. I had never felt so helpless in my life.

I stumbled, catching my foot on a rock. I bent down to regain my balance, but I ended up flat on my butt. Sobbing, I started crawling on my hands and knees, because vertigo had caught up to me, and it suddenly felt like the world was bucking and spinning. It had started drizzling, too, and I was slowly getting soaked.

Finally I gave up and sat back, swaying back and forth trying to alleviate the nausea. I tipped my head back and screamed.

I heard the sound of another car coming towards me, and I groggily forced myself up, and tried to move off the road. However, just as I was gaining momentum, I lost my balance and pitched forward, my legs still pumping frantically. Expecting to meet hard asphalt, I instead fell through what seemed like empty space. After free falling for about two seconds that lasted forever, branches and twigs started slapping my face.

My head jerked back, straining my neck, as I finally reintroduced my face to the ground. My body didn't get the memo that gravity had won, however, and I felt myself flip over, as I started rolling down a sharp incline.

"God, it hurts," was my last thought before I passed out.

When I woke up again, it was accompanied by a musical shriek, which didn't seem to end. I was pretty sure my nose was smashed beyond all medical help. So I screamed, because dammit! It hurt!

So reduced to a puddle of whimpering pain, I failed to notice something very important. While I still could not see, instead of being endless darkness, it was like a light blur with the occasional dark smear.

Like an idiot, I attempted to get up and start walking around, and only managed to fall backwards and land on my butt. While I was down, I decided to take stock of my injuries, considering how painful my most recent landing had been.

My ankle was sore, but no swelling, it wasn't sprained, I probably just rolled it a little. My nose was broken and horrible, the less said the better. I was covered in shallow scrapes, and probably bruises, too, but they were harder to see. I could breathe normally, my ribs were fine.

On the whole, I had been frighteningly lucky. But, luck has to end somewhere, and I was sure mine had just run out.

How do I get home?

I couldn't just hang out here until my vision recovered, assuming it did. I couldn't just walk on out of here and ask someone for directions. Mom had told me that every crowd is a mob waiting to happen. What do I do? Try and find my own way back? Not likely! I couldn't see!

I sat down and cried, suddenly aware that my nose was even still bleeding. It felt like murder.

There was only one option that I would even dare try, and that was to find my way home myself. I stood up dizzily, and made my way determinedly to the top of this . . . ditch. I fell in a ditch. Doesn't that do wonders for the ego.

Holding my wrist to my nose, I determinedly hiked up the unforgiving slope, wincing at every step. Finally, I made my way to the top. There was no one there. Gleefully, I skipped forward, then crashed to my knee, as I remembered my injuries. I growled, and said some very bad words in dog language. Once again, I hefted myself up to my feet, and dragged myself forward.

Oh, god, people. They're staring at me. Cue the torches and hanging rope.

Travelling Army Brat

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