Kryptonian Quarantine”
Kayla Jor-El on Earth, Year One
Rated G (PG if you are an animal lover)

Martha said, “Stop Jon! Before I discuss this, where is Clara? I don’t want her hearing any of this!”

Jon said, “I think she is out lassoing some fence posts. She’s good! I think it took her two minutes to learn how to throw a lasso.”

Martha said, “I wish you hadn’t taken her to that rodeo. Now she wants to be a cowboy.”

Jon said, “She loved it. And it helped her to get over her fear of clowns. It took everything I had to keep her from running into the arena to rescue the rodeo clowns from the bulls.”

Martha said, “Make sure that she’s far away from the house and focused on something else … and let’s call her … “Bob” when we talk about her. She might tune in on us if we use her name.”

Jon said, “This is silly … but I’ll do it.” Jon went out on the porch for a few seconds. He came back in and said, “It’s just like I thought, she’s roping fence posts. She’s got her cowboy hat on too. Let’s get this over so I can get some photos before she decides to be a fireman.”

Martha said, “Jon, as much as I would love keeping Clar … BOB … all to ourselves, I think that she needs to be around other children. She’s a little introverted in social situations now, and if she doesn’t go to school, that will only get worse.”

Jon said, “She’s not that introverted, she runs anytime someone ….”

Martha interrupted, “Anytime someone needs help. Otherwise, someone has to be very persistent or charming or both she relaxes and interacts with them.”

Jon said, “I’d rather that she be shy than to interact with people if interacting with them means that she’ll hurt someone.”

Martha said, “I can’t get Bob to talk about that day with her friends, but there’s just got to be a lot more to the story. Mrs. Lang didn’t see what happened and Lana and Emily aren’t telling everything. Jon, I just KNOW that Bob wouldn’t have hurt Lana or Emily on purpose.”

Jon said, “On purpose or not, they got hurt. And she went swimming in a river with a strong current when she was playing with them. Let’s say those little girls had tried to imitate her. They would have drowned. Could you have lived with that? I don’t think I could. You have your teaching certificate. You are probably more qualified than anyone in the Smallville school system to give Clara ….”

Martha said, “BOB!”

Jon said, “… to give Bob what she needs right now. Even without considering your credentials, you care about her and know her heart. You will focus more attention on her than any teacher would. AND you know her secret – something no one else can know. That makes you more sensitive to issues that are bound to come up. We have her claustrophobia to try to deal with yet and we can work on that at home better than anyone will at school. Plus you know some of her language now, so you can understand a little when she gets excited and slips back into speaking her native tongue.”

Martha said, “I’d do it in a heartbeat, but she needs to be part of the community. There is so much we can’t teach her. Our impulses will be to protect her … and protecting her too much will keep her from learning to cope with the real world. She isn’t allowed to play with Lana or Emily anymore. She needs more than a stuffed animal to talk to – she needs real friends. And she is looking forward to school SO much. She picked out an Alice in Wonderland lunch box last week. I don’t know how she is going to feel about being kept home. She’s already enrolled … and you paid your pound of flesh to Lionel Luthor for those fake inoculation papers. I think we should put some faith in our daughter and give her a chance.”

Jon said, “Martha … one slip up … just one little slip up … and the military trucks will roll in and we’ll never see our little girl again. We haven’t had her that long, but I know that if she was gone tomorrow, it would destroy me. I can’t imagine how you would feel.”

Martha said, “Jon. Oh, Jon, I wish you hadn’t even said that.”

Jon replied, “It needed to be said.”

Martha said, “I’ll work with her. We still have a couple months before we have to ….”

There was a terrible scream outside. Both Martha and Jon stood straight up and felt an icy chill run up their spine. Then they heard something they had never heard before – Clara crying. She had screamed from bad dreams, but she had always stopped short of tears. Both of them headed for the door, but before they got there, Clara opened the door and stepped in. Her lower lip was quivering, her cheeks were wet and the tears kept flowing. She looked up at Jon then held up an arm to show a bull’s horn in her hand. She screamed, “DADDY! FIX IT!”

Jon couldn’t help himself. He was crying too. He managed to choke out the words, “I’m sorry, Honey, I can’t. I would if I could ... but I can’t.”

Clara wailed and staggered over to Jon. He snatched her up, sat down on the couch with her, stroked her back and rocked her in his arms. Both of them continued to cry.

Martha walked over to them and stroked Clara’s hair with one hand and ran her other hand through Jon’s golden locks of hair. She said, “It looks like Bob is going to be home schooled.”

The End