Thanks to that we've-got-a-secret smile from Angela, I decided I needed to practice my kinda-sorta flying, to show her what I could do next time we met up. I found a sheltered spot at the far end of the field where the older kids played baseball and soccer, in the thick clump of trees enclosed by the fence encircling the orphanage grounds. My practicing consisted of rising up as high as I could get before I got scared and then hanging there until the ground started to look a little fuzzy before I came back down. At five years old, twenty feet off the ground was the equivalent of Mount Everest. I had just worked up the nerve to try some sideways shifting when Kurt walked into the little clearing where I was practicing, and looked up at me. Fortunately, I was wearing shorts, rather than a skirt. Skirts were for church and school.
"You hum really loud." He was grinning at me.
"No I'm not." I was rather indignant, because I knew enough to keep quiet while I was practicing, so the bullies and bigger kids who might make fun of me wouldn't see me.
"Yeah, you do, but it's not the kind of humming that people can hear."
"That's stupid. How can you hear it if people can't hear it?" I came down a little faster than I intended and my knees wobbled when I hit. Kurt caught hold of me, and a funny buzzing sensation kind of shocked me where his hand touched my bare arm.
"Like that." He grinned wider, gray eyes sparkling, and rubbed the hand that had touched me on the front of his t-shirt. "It's okay, I hum too."
"Are you laughing at me?" I had already run into the two chief bullies who reigned during my time at NCH. They had overheard Miss Abby talking with another houseparent, so delighted with my reading ability, and came running to inflict their new nickname on me: Lanie Brainy.
"Nope. We're superheroes."
That was my introduction to the amazing world of comic books and superheroes and mutants and super powers and saving the world.