something to tell you. We’ve shielded you from
about ourselves. It’s
for your own safety, but you’re sixteennow. We think you’re mature enough.”
“Cut to the chase, Helen,”
his father cut in.
No needdelaying this. Look, Herbert
, we’re superheroes.
and I. That’s what we’ve done our whole lives. So … there it
is parents’ faces went from
sternseriousfurrowedbrowfaces to happyhopefulhalfsmiles back to serious again in the mystery of his silence.
are you serious?”
Herbert finally said.
“Yes. It’s a family business,” his mother said.
“Family legacy really,” his father
“We wantyou to … to be part of that legacy.”
Herbert said, laughing a little.
superheroes, like, did you have radioactive accidents or
he laughed again
. It wasn’t very funny.
His mother breathed in deep to prepare for thenext bit:
“We are bonded to creatures
called Orchestrals, across between an orca and a kestrel. Invisible to all but our family,
they must bond themselves to humans or they’ll float
up into the sky and die in outer space, drowning really. The physics are hard to explain.
“Are they aliens?”
, just a species
,” his mother said, smiling.
special species of … of creatures.
A cross between an orca anda kestrel, as I said.
ve never heard of anything like that. This isridiculous.
Herbert was still laughing. None of this laughingor smiling had much happiness behind it.
“Like I sa
id, only our family can see them, so really noone else in the world knows about them.