I could only do one trick at the time, so I kneeled and hid behind the parked car. He would be coming any moment now…
Yes, there he was! The fat, broad shouldered man rode on his bicycle down the road as usual at this time of the day.
Off the record: my terrible neighbors made a fuss yesterday evening and granny couldn’t sleep because of their screaming trough the thin walls. Revenge time…
My camera was filming and I was ready. The loud man drove by with his pack of cigarettes in his pocket and only one hand on the wheel when I set the chicken loose. It ran straight towards him, forcing him to turn the wheel to the left and almost losing balance. The chicken chattered in fright and fled to the other direction. Than it exploded and nothing was left of it except for some tiny white feathers.
My neighbor on the other hand crashed into the perfectly placed garbage bins… Oops. The dangling of metal and his curses were so loud the whole street came out to see what was happening. I came closer, aiming my camera on his twisted limps and filming all the details of his crash. He didn’t take care of his broken bicycle, no, he went looking for his cigarettes that fell out of his pocket. There was some leftover pizza in his hair and I stepped even closer to film that detail too.
I didn’t have to worry he would get mad at me. He couldn’t even see me. I was invisible, not even a chameleon could do better than me.
Granny and granddad were also on the porch and looked a bit shocked, but they were just acting. I knew somehow they knew I did it and they were proud.
Okay, this all seemed all a bit childish for an 18 year old, but this is what I did for a living. No, just kidding, I had a few more days of school to go. I hadn’t even graduated yet. I was just bored and frustrated with my neighbors and couldn’t help but ‘pranking’ them.
These kind of pranks I seldom did, because of potential body injuries. But when I wanted revenge, I wanted revenge and after a quarrel about their terrible sex lifes, I gave up and did this. It wasn’t the first time.
I stopped filming by the time he got up and snarled at his wife to put the bike in the corridor.
I walked towards my home and sneaked past my grandparents. Only then I turned myself back visible and stood behind them, saying: “Wow, what happened to our Mark? Did he fell of his bicycle?”
Both my grandparents turned around, first closing the door and only then starting to laugh.
“Dakota?! Why do you keep doing such things? You’re going to get yourself in trouble one day!”
My grandfather was laughing too much to make a comment like granny did. He just giggled and went back to the living room.
Granny caught her breath and put a hand on my shoulder.
“You better go upload that video on that site of yours… Dinner will be ready in a few minutes…”
The next day I had my last exam. It was an easy one and I had finished soon. I saluted my school and went home.
Three days later I graduated and saluted my school for the last time ever. I didn’t really care.
The holiday started exactly as planned. We packed up and took the car to my grandparent’s beloved apartment at the coast. The weather wasn’t great, but we were planning on having a relaxed two weeks. I packed a lot of books, my camera and laptop and of course a bikini. I had been doing workouts and I was going to wear that little bit of clothing.
We set out to the sea, but then granny had to pee. I stopped at a gas station to allow her to empty her bladder. I drove the car up the parking lot and turned off the engine.
“Do you want me to come with you, granny?”
“No, I’ll be fine on my own.”
She got out of the car and strolled to the toilets. Granddad and I waited in the car. He tried, not for the first time, to question me about my future choices, if I had already made up my mind? Nope.
I turned the radio volume up.
“I still don’t understand how you can listen to that crap…” granddad mumbled. He leaned forward and put the radio on Klara. I rolled my eyes and opened the door.
“Where are you going?”
“Checking on grandma. Everything is better than listening to your orchestral music.”
I was already walking away when he cried after me: “One day I’ll teach you to appreciate…”
“The tenderness and drama of classical music,” I completed his sentence.
It’s not that I didn’t like classical music, but I related it to studying. If there was something I didn’t want to think about now it would be studying.
I entered the toilets and cried out for granny, but she didn’t answer. When I yelled a second time: “Granny, did you drown in the pot?”
The moldy room stayed quiet. None of the doors were locked. My grandmother wasn’t here. I tried in the men’s toilet too, no answer either.
I stepped outside and looked for a sign of grandma. I couldn’t see her anywhere. I stood there for a moment wondering where she could have gone. I even felt a bit of panic. I made myself invisible.
There were only three cars on the parking lot. One of them was our ugly old-timer. The second one was a Corsa. The family was picnicking on the grass. The third one was a black SUV, parked on the complete other end of the lot. The windows were tinted pitch-black.
I started running towards the car, no need to be sneaky since I was invisbile. I was halfway the distance and I could feel grannies presence in the car. She was locked in the car. The emotions I felt were really strong.
Was this abduction? A robbery?
I reached the car and was about to break the lock and swing the door open when I stopped dead and realized she wasn’t in any danger. My grandmother wasn’t scared, she was angry and giving someone a lecture. I couldn’t see her, but the words sounded clear in my head.
“Gina was a stupid girl, yes. That’s why I allowed you to keep an eye on her…”
(She was talking about my mother.)
“You didn’t succeed in protecting her against this cursed god and now she’s gone!”
(Cursed god? What did he do to my mother?)
“Now you’ve been stalking our household for weeks to recruit Dakota? What was it you said? Oh yes: She’s very talented and growing stronger. We can use her for common good.”
(Stalking? They knew about my gifts?)
“I won’t allow this! Dakota has a whole future ahead and I’m not letting you take that from her.”
“Madam, we understand your frustrations,” a calm minded man said, “but we all knew this day would come. After all you should be glad we didn’t take her from you as a toddler, when her mother disappeared, because this girl is in custody. She is a kind of a state property…”
“Because of being Loki’s daughter?!” my grandmother shouted.
I took a step back. (Loki is my father? I’ve heard of him before. What was going on?)
“No!” she continued, “we’re not in the middle ages anymore! A child shouldn’t be punished for her parent’s mistakes! You can’t claim somebodies freedom and say it’s for the common good. Dakota is not a villain, neither a hero. These big-Avenger plans of you, sir, are a no go…”
Next she ordered the door to be opened immediately. She was furious when she got out of the car and was about to shut the door when I turned myself visible again.
“Grandma, who are these people?”
Everybody jumped. They stared at me as if I were a ghost. Nobody said a word.
“Well,” I continued, “It explains a lot that Loki’s my father. I have his tricks, but not his politics, so don’t worry…”
“Dakota…” my grandmother began, but the calm minded man interrupted her.
“Pleased to meet you, Dakota. It’s been a while. Last time I saw you, you were still a baby.”
“Well, introduce yourself,” I ordered.
“My name is Nick Costers …. I am a special agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I’m offering you a job, a future.”
Now I was interested.
“Why me? Except for being Loki’s daughter. There are far more mutants in this world worth recruiting for… the Avengers?”
“Because...” Damn she’s a clever one, he thought, “You have the possibility of feeling people’s emotions and giving visions, dreams and such. Also you practice magic, in which you’re keen of animals. You are, would be, a perfect element to assemble the new Avengers. You have fighting potential too and have a neutral, somewhat surprising personality. You bring people together somehow. We want you in the team: The Avengers.”
“Yeah, the old ones need fixing, don’t they?” (After Civil War)
“And admit it yourself, you’re pretty bored of this life now, aren’t you?”
I didn’t answer, but looked at my grandmother who had turned pale.
“We have to go now,” she said taking me by the arm.
“We’ll send an e-mail with the details, for if you changed your mind!” he quickly shouted. Then the door shut and they drove away.