The Superheroes

The Superheroes

They throw themselves across the bed and jump into the air, their limbs flying out around them with their capes. When the younger one trips, the older one hugs him and kisses the top of his head and whispers soothing words into his ears. He helps him up and they throw their bodies against the headboard, leaving fresh dents in the blue paint. They rip the sheet from the bed and toss it into the air. They watch as it billows out like a parachute and lands next to a pile of books and dinosaur figurines. The mattress springs creak and rumble beneath them as they bounce towards the edges of the bed. Light streams through the window and they soak it up and laugh.

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They hop off the bed and run to the linen closet, throwing all the blankets and towels and extra sheets out into the middle of the game room. They run in circles around it and jump on the top and twist their bodies until they are tangled in the massive pile. Their mother untwists them, separates their legs from quilts and swaddle blankets, and they run down the stairs. Their feet pound and the younger one grips the rail while the older one leaps to the floor from the third step. They head to the couch and fly across the cushions. They stand on the armrests and shout and the dog whines up at them. They tumble and roll across the rug, crushing stray graham crackers with their backs and knees. With their arms out, they sail across the tile, from one side of the house to the other, their capes stretched out wide behind them.

Their mother tells them that it is time for dinner and they yell and run into her bedroom to hide in the closet, running their hands across her dresses and shirts, pulling their father’s pants from the hangers and slipping them over their own legs. They put on his shoes and clomp into the kitchen, their capes tucked into the trailing waistbands of the khakis they are wearing. Their mother laughs, and they tell her they are going to work and that they love her. They head to the front door and stand there, whispering, before turning around and announcing that they are home again. They slip out of the shoes and the pants. Their mother kisses their noses and they sit down at the table to eat, their capes still trailing behind them.

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The Woman Who Couldn't Breathe

The Woman Who Couldn't Breathe