She stared down at the toddler in horror. She couldn't believe her eyes. It couldn't have been possible. He couldn't have... no... there was no way...
A tiny voice interrupted her thoughts and she turned to look at the other toddler. Toddler? What age did kids stop being toddlers? Phillip was four. They called him Lip but his real name was Phillip. She wasn't even sure why. Was he still a toddler? She wasn't sure. But said toddler/whatever picked up his juice box and threw it at her.
"Fifi! No apple!" He wailed as he did so.
Fiona sighed and bent down to pick up the juice box. "Lip, we only have apple. We don't have anything else." She set the juice box back down on the coffee table in front of the maybe-toddler. They had been having a snack after she had gotten back from school. She had just started the second grade the week before. She'd walked in the door to find mommy passed out in the bathtub and daddy gone. Again. Lip was trying to climb into the oven, looking for food. Ian, the three year old, was stuck in the playpen, his diaper reeking like he hadn't been changed since she'd done it before she left for school. He had the worst diaper rash Fiona had ever seen on a baby. She had to wash him in the bathroom sink. Mommy still hadn't woken up when Ian cried because the water was cold.
But Fiona was a good big sister. She cleaned up both her little brothers. Lip had managed to open up the fridge and pulled out a tub of butter. When questioned, the young kid said he liked cheese. Fiona had gotten them settled on the couch with cartoons. She found two juice boxes hidden in the back of the fridge and some stale crackers and peanut butter in the cabinet. She quickly washed a spoon and brought it back to the living room. She started dolloping the peanut butter on the crackers and handing them to her brothers.
Lip grabbed a cracker and preceded to smash it and licked the crumbs off the table. And Ian had giggled loudly and clapped his hands. That's when Fiona saw it. A tiny spark. It barely lasted a second. Then Lip threw his juice box.
Fiona turned back to Ian, her thoughts on the spark again. Because there was no way her youngest brother had the light. No possible way. Because that would be the worst thing. She lifted her hands and waved them at him. "Ian, did you make the light?" She cooed softly. "Can you show Fifi the light?"
Ian started at her. Then smiled and grabbed his juice box. He stuck the straw in his mouth.
"Light, Ian." Fiona insisted, louder this time. "Show me the light." It clearly wasn't working. He didn't understand what she meant. Maybe he couldn't control it. Maybe he didn't know how he did it. Or what it even was. She barely understood it herself. Fiona didn't know how it worked. She didn't have the light. Or she'd been seeing things. But there was another way to tell. "Ian, hey Ian." She grabbed his chubby hand with her left and touched her forehead with her right. "What's Fifi thinking of?" She cleared her mind and thought of the dog next door. The tiny, yappy one that sometimes kept her up all night.
Ian smiled and waved his arms. "Ruff ruff!" He barked, very much like the yappy little dog.
Fiona eyes widened. She let out a gasp and staggered back a bit, until her legs hit the corner of the table and she actually fell back on the floor. She sat there, gawking at her baby brother.
"Fifi okay?" Lip asked, stepping closer to bend down and peer at her.
"I'm okay, Lip." She pushed him away and sighed deeply again. "Ian..."
The front door burst open suddenly, the door slamming against the wall and bouncing off. "Fuck!" Was practically bellowed from the entry way. The man stumbled another step inside and fell down, half in the living room and half still hanging out the door and blocking it from closing.
"Daddy go boom." Lip said, pointing.
"Daddys sidden go oom..." The man slurred from the floor.
Ian giggled and lifted his hand in the air, waving his chubby fingers. The tiniest little spark flashed again, this time Fiona knew she saw it. Lip, too. The oldest brother's eyes widened and he pointed. "Light!"
Fiona put her hand over Lip's mouth and grabbed Ian's hand at the same time. "No!" She hissed, her voice barely a whisper. "No light!"
"Light?" Their dad, Frank, lifted his head from the floor. He rolled over on his back, letting out a grunt as he did so. He acted as if rolling over took a lot of effort. For him, it probably did. "Ya wanna see da light, Lippy, my boy? Come're."
Fiona looked at Lip, her eyes wide. She shook her head and mouthed the words, No. Don't say anything. She thought them just as hard, though she knew the youngest brother didn't understand. He was too young. They both were too young to understand. Then she stood up quickly, grabbing Ian and tugging Lip around the couch. Frank was still laying on the floor, his one foot dangling out of the open door. Fiona let go of Lip's hand and walked around their dad. She set Ian on the floor near the door and started pulling her daddy's leg inside so she could shut the door.
Frank was completely oblivious to her actions. He rolled slightly on his side towards Lip, smiling broadly. "Lip, you wanna see daddy's slight? Uh... slight... ssss liiiiight." He said slowly.
"Light?" Lip said, tilting his head a bit.
"Yes!" Frank said, still smiling. He lifted his hand and held up his index finger. His eyes shifted to the finger and he squinted, like he was having trouble focusing his eyes on the finger literally two inches from his eyes. It took nearly a whole minute, longer than last time. But finally, just as Fiona pulled Ian into her lap to watch with Lip, a tiny ball of light erupted and floating a couple inches upwards from his fingers. Then it exploded and the light dissipated just as quickly. Ian clapped and giggled and Fiona quickly grabbed his hands and Lip glanced at them. Frank sighed and rolled over at his back again. "I useta do that all the time. An's really big, too. An' I knew what's e'eryone was thinkin'. Nows sats alls I can do."
"Again! Again!" Ian said.
"No canndo son." Frank said, shaking his head a bit. "Takes me slong time ta recharge." He breathed out again and rolled over, this time getting his feet under him. It took several minutes and several tries for the man to actually get to his feet. And even then, Fiona had to steady him. "Why can't onna ya have gotten the fuckin' fairy gene?" He mumbled, pushing her away and stumbling towards the kitchen. "Goddamn fuckin' bloodsuckers. Gonna need more kids." He turned and looked at Fiona. "Ya got any money on ya?"
Whoever Brings the Night by Nighwish - This Little Light of Mine by Group VBS