“Hide and Seek”
(Clara age 7)
Clara Kent sat on the top rail of the fence bordering the west side of the Kent farm. She looked out across River Road towards a small wooded area. She was trying to see as many animals as she could see. Clara always felt a little scared seeing an animal that she hadn’t seen before. The momentary scare would send a tingle down her legs and into her toes. She would go from being startled and afraid to delighted and amused in a heartbeat. Then she would try to memorize ever detail of how the animal looked and moved. She’d let out an occasional, shrill scream if an unfamiliar creature like a chipmunk ran in her direction … only to have that sound replaced with a ripple of giggles as the animal veered off onto another course.
Clara had almost seen her fill of rabbits and squirrels for the day and was thinking about the cookies Martha was cooking in the kitchen of the farmhouse … when she saw her first doe. Clara’s eyes widened as it leaped into view and then cautiously grazed in the field just across the road from her. Soon a couple more deer came out of the woods to join the first. Clara sat transfixed. One of them ventured across the road without taking notice of the girl on the fence. Clara decided that she wanted to touch the doe’s fur to see if it was soft. She hopped off the fence. The doe noticed and reversed its course at lightning speed. It crossed the road totally disregarding the small station wagon speeding toward it.
Clara heard the car’s tires squeal against the pavement. She watched it narrowly miss the doe before spinning out of control. Clara wondered if the woman in the car was driving like that on purpose. In another moment, the car flipped over, bounced off a large tree and landed on its top at the side of the road.
Clara went to the door of the car and looked through the windowless door. The woman was wedged in and unconscious. Clara thought she looked uncomfortable so she gently rolled the car back onto its wheels. She walked back around to the driver’s side of the car, looked inside again and said, “Hello. My name is Clara Josephine Kent. What is yours?” The woman was still unconscious. Clara waited a few moments then, doing her best to remember the polite thing to say, said, “I am fine, thank you. Do you want to come out and play for a while or is it nap time?” The woman still didn’t answer. Clara tried working the door latch but the entire door was mangled. She grabbed the door, ripped it off and flung it aside. Clara leaned in and looked a little closer. She wondered how a woman with such a big stomach had wedged herself in such a small space. The idea of being inside something that small made Clara a little ill. She noticed that the seat track and steering column were bent and realized that the car wasn’t supposed to be that small inside. She reached inside and yanked the steering column out. The woman took in a deep gasp of air but still didn’t wake up.
Clara turned as she smelled the strong odor of gasoline approaching her. A small stream of gasoline flowed up to her bare feet and beyond. She wiggled her toes in the liquid and said, “Smells pretty!” The gasoline suddenly ignited in a fireball. Clara said, “Oh!” She steeped into the flames and drew the energy into herself. She said, “Ahhh! That’s good!”
Behind Clara, the woman’s eyes snapped open and she began to
shriek. Clara clamped her hands over her ears, turned and said, “Stop. Please
stop!” The shrieking continued. Clara said, “Please quiet! I can’t hear
myself think!” The woman didn’t notice Clara or anything except the pain she
was feeling. Clara reached into the car and put her hands on each side of the
woman’s head and said, “Be … quiet!” Energy flowed from Clara’s hands and the
woman went silent and limp. Clara said, “Thank you” despite the feeling of the woman's pain flowing into her.
Clara began looking the woman over. She touched her wherever she was scraped or bleeding and the injuries healed. She said, “You better learn to drive! Daddy would say to slow down … there’s a speed limit you know! You have a lot of boo-boos. I’m glad I ate that fire.” The woman’s body continued to lay still and limp. Clara casually continued examining the woman. When she finished working on the woman’s arms, chest and legs, she looked at the woman’s abdomen. Her eyes nearly bugged out of her head with surprise. She said, “What?!!! What are you doing there? Peek a boo. I see you! My name is Clara Josephine Kent. What is yours?”
Martha and Jonathan sat reading in the living room. They heard Clara call from outside, “MOMMY, DADDY! Come see what I GOT!”
Martha called back, “Is it big?”
Clara yelled, “Nooooo! It’s like a doll!”
Martha said, “Then come on inside, Honey. Show Mommy what you found.”
Clara came in the front door. Martha noticed that Clara was holding up her long skirt in front of her. She thought it was strange that Clara was wearing a red dress instead of the white one that she was wearing during lunch. It wasn’t a moment before Martha realized that it was a white dress but that the front of it was soaked with something red. Clara was carrying something wrapped in the front of her skirt. Martha jumped up and choked back a scream. She went to Clara and knelt in front of her. Jon dropped the magazine he had been holding and sat motionless as he tried to deal with what he was seeing. Clara excitedly said, “Look what I have! I think he needs a bath! Will you help me?”
Martha said, “Where did you get him? Where?”
Clara said, “You’ll NEVER guess. He was hiding good!”
Martha said, “Please, Honey. Just tell me where you found him.”
Clara said, “He was playing hide and seek inside the lady in the car. But I found him and got him out so he could play. He wanted to come out. Can he have a cookie?”
Martha said slowly and distinctly, “Where … is … the … lady?”
Clara said, “She is taking a nap now. She was making bad noises so I made her stop. Want me to go get her? She needs a bath too!”
Jon finally got to his feet and said, “Where is she? Point!”
Clara pointed out the door. Jonathan ran out the door in the direction Clara had pointed. Martha said, “Honey, gently hand me the baby. I’ll take care of him while you take Daddy to the lady. Okay?”
Clara smiled and nodded rapidly. She handed the baby to Martha, turned and yelled as she ran out the door, “Daddy, I’m coming too!” She streaked ahead of Jon and stood by the door of the car looking inside. Jon caught up and braced himself for whatever horror he might find. He took a deep breath and looked inside the car. The driver’s seat was laying back and the woman was sleeping with a blanket tucked around her. Clara said, “I pushed the car seat back and it broke. I found her blankie and put it over her like Mommy does for me.” Jonathan peaked under the blanket and didn’t see any obvious cuts or bruising -- no injuries from the accident and none that might have been inflicted afterwards. Jon tucked the blanket back under her and gently lifted her out of the car. Clara said, “Want me to Daddy?”
Jon said, “No thank you Clara. I’ll carry her. Go home and tell Mommy to put a blanket on the couch and get some towels and wet wash cloths.” Clara smiled and disappeared.
Martha met Jon on the porch and whispered, “Oh Jon! Is she dead? Did Clara … did Clara …?”
Jon said, “I’m no doctor, but she looked okay to me …. I may be the one … needing a doctor … I should have let … Clara carry her. Get the door … please.”
Martha held the door and Jonathan put the woman on the couch before he collapsed into an armchair. Martha surveyed the mess then braced herself for the worst. She gave the woman a quick examination and clean up. She said, “Jon, she certainly doesn’t look like she just had a baby!”
Jon said, “It doesn’t look like she was in a car wreck either, but the car she was in was mangled. She is a very lucky woman.”
The woman moaned softly and then her eyes opened. She stared at Martha like a frightened animal and said in an agitated voice, “Oh, please, PLEASE help ME! I need to get to a hospital right away to make sure my baby is all right!”
Martha said, “Don’t worry about the baby. How are you feeling?”
The woman said, “I feel … okay … but that doesn’t matter! My baby is due in two weeks. I have to get to a hospital! He just has to be all right … he just HAS to be!”
Martha said, “He’s just fine.”
In a sharp voice the woman said, “How could you know that?!”
Martha said, “I gave him a quick wash up and he’s all wrapped up and taking a little nap in an easy chair.”
The woman said, “NO! What are you TALKING ABOUT!!! MY BABY! He hasn’t been born yet!”
Martha said, “Just stay calm. I’ll get him for you.”
The woman reached under the blanket and touched her stomach. Martha had walked only a couple steps away and was back with the baby. Martha said, “I counted for you – ten little fingers … ten little toes.” Martha handed the woman the baby. She looked at him for a moment in disbelief and burst out crying.
Martha walked over to Clara. Clara had been holding a cookie in each hand and eating as she watched everything Martha was doing. Martha asked in a whisper, “How did you get the baby out?”
Clara said, “That was easy. I relaxed the lady and he came out on a rope.”
Martha asked, “How did you cut the … rope?”
Clara pointed at her eyes and they glowed red. Martha grimaced a bit. Clara asked, “Mommy, How did the baby get inside?”
Martha said, “That’s how babies are made.”
Clara said, “NO! Babies are made in big jars!”
Martha shook her head and wondered what other things Kryptonian parents told their kids. She said, “You are as much of a mess as they were. The show is over. It’s time for you to get a bath now. Go on up. We’ll give you your privacy.”
Clara ran upstairs, then ran back to the kitchen for two more cookies, then ran back upstairs. Jon walked over to Martha and hugged her from behind. He whispered into her ear, “Do you know what this means? Clara delivered that baby!” Martha nodded. Jon continued, “That means that when Clara grows up, she can be a ….” Martha nodded again. Jon continued, “… a taxi cab driver!” Martha delivered a swift but relatively gentle elbow to Jon’s gut.