By Shayne Terry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: November 2005
Summary: An orphan learns of a connection with the Man of Steel.
There's a dream that comes to me night after night. I'm standing alone in a cornfield, when this man rides up on a beautiful white horse. He jumps down and he hugs me tight, and he tells me that he's my father and that he'll never ever let me go.
When I was able to understand just what not having a father or mother meant, my foster mother explained it to me. My mother had died when I was born, and she didn't tell anybody who my daddy was.
It wasn't until Mr. Kent came that I understood that I was different.
"Is Kara here?" he'd asked, and I'd felt my heart leap into my throat. He was exactly what I'd always dreamed a daddy would look like, and for a moment I'd hoped that he'd come to take me away from it all.
Not that this place is terrible. Orphanages aren't what they used to be. I've read Oliver Twist, and Mrs. Crabtree isn't a bit like the people in the story. This place is bright and airy, with yellow walls and flowers and they work very hard to make it cheery and fun.
The house parents are nice. Until Mr. Kent came, I'd had this dream that one of them might take me home, but that all changed in an instant.
He's here now.
"Kara. What's this Mrs. Crabtree tells me about you starting fires?"
I can't look at him. He didn't have to come back after the first time, and if he knew what was happening to me, he'd never come back. I'm a freak. The things that are happening to me aren't natural. I'm getting hairy, and I'm having feelings that nobody else has ever had.
I've even had feelings around him that I can't talk about.
"It was an accident." My voice is sullen, in spite of myself. Nobody likes a whiner, but it's all I seem to want to do these days.
"She says you're tearing things up too. Is there something wrong?" The look in his eyes is gentle and kind, and it makes me feel even more sick. Thinking about what I'm becoming…I just want to hide.
"I'm fine!" I snap. "Why do you keep coming around here? It's not like you're my father."
The silence is deafening, and I'm horrorstruck. I've never said anything like this before, and in the space of an instant I've shattered the dream that's kept me going for years.
"No, I'm not," he says. "But I do care about what happens to you."
It's almost more than I can bear. It's ruined. Everything is gone, all hope, all change. The dream is dead.
I feel it happening again, and I gasp, tears rising to my eyes.
I rise to my feet, and I try to turn, but he grabs my arm gently.
With my strength, I should be able to pull away easily. That's what I expect, but that's not what happens. He's strong, stronger than he has any right to be, and I gape for a moment, before I feel it rising.
I try to close my eyes, but it isn't fast enough. A line of smoke begins to rise from the floor.
I hear an intake of breath from him, and suddenly it's gone.
I sit down heavily as it occurs to me that I'm not the only one who's different.
"Kara," he says quietly. "How much have you heard about a man named Lord Nor?"
I shrug, and he puts his arm around my shoulders. "You're going through some changes, right now, changes that aren't happening to everyone else."
Slowly, I nod. I've got an idea that he's going to have some of the answers that I've been looking for.
"In a way, I think that you and I ARE related," he says. "And you aren't the only one. I've been watching all of you, waiting."
"Waiting for what?" I ask warily.
"For today," he says and tightens his grip into a hug. "After today, I'm not the only one."
Dreams don't always come true in the way that you expect. But I'll take what I can get.