"Good afternoon. Today I come before you to discuss the realities of the newest threat faced by this country."
Philia looked up when her mother sucked in a terrified breath, clutching her hand. It bothered her, mommy took her happy medicine, but she was still sad. "Mommy, what's going on?" Philia asked, clutching at her coat. She was thirsty and bored and hungry, and she wanted to go home.
Her mother stared at her in a blind panic, almost seeming to forget who the eight-year-old before her was until her vision focused. "That man is the president, baby." Mommy lifted her up, holding her close, her face pale and sweaty. "He's making an important announcement, this is...a historical moment."
Philia didn't care, choosing to stare out into the crowd. She giggled when she saw that nobody was moving.
The man on the building was still talking, his voice really loud.
"We don't know where they come from or what they want. We face a threat from inside this nation: individuals with abilities unlike anything seen before. Some can set things on fire, move things with their minds, and all manner of other things." Mommy pressed a shaking hand to her mouth.
Philia had nuzzled her face into her mother's neck, but she perked up at that news. "Mommy, is that like me? Mommy, I can-" Philia squirmed in her mother's arms, curious and eager to show what she could do.
"Baby, don't do anything, okay. We need to play that game, you remember? Don't think about anything moving, okay? Philia do you promise? Do you promise me? Philia-" Her mother put her down, and seized her shoulders, shaking her. Philia became very quiet as she felt her mother's anger, she felt scared.
"Hey lady, back off, she's just a kid," Someone commented from behind them. Philia looked at the man, confused about everything. But her mother sharply turned her around. They watched the man again. He looked nice, and Philia knew she had seen him before somewhere. She couldn't remember what Mommy called him.
"Get those freaks!" Someone yelled somewhere, and Philia watched two women put their heads together to talk about something. Why was everyone so mad?
"Mommy, mommy, why is everyone so sad? Mommy? Mom-my?" Philia pulled at her mother's sleeve, she felt her feet hurting. She didn't want to be here anymore. She wanted to go home, it was so hot. Her mind was buzzing again, she could feel her brain connecting to everything, telling her where everything was. It started making those noises again, and she heard glass crack nearby.
Her mother's fingers dug into her arm, and Philia cried out. "Mommy let me go!"
"-unbelievable, there is more evidence each day of the existence of these people, possible biological weapons created by enemy states or rogue scientists. In any case, we have one of them in custody, and we shall have full answers soon." The man was still talking on the big building.
"Miss, I think your daughter's tryna tell you something." The man behind them said, touching her mother's shoulder. His voice sounded like Daddy's, grumpy.
"At present, we are taking action to safely and peacefully bring these individuals into custody. Those who have these abilities without choice, who are not enemies of this state need to surrender themselves immediately. Together we will move to keep this country safe! To keep our people safe!"
"Mommy, listen to me!" Philia pushed her, stomping her feet.
A woman turned in front of them, frowning concernedly. "Honey, is everything okay? I know it's bad news, but it's going to be fine." She stared at Philia's mom, taken aback.
Philia's mother had started mumbling, but it was all unintelligible. The people around them were getting noisier, chanting and yelling.
"Mommy!" Philia whined, and the nice man left them, gone away. Her heart was beating faster and faster, her brain getting louder.
Her mother finally looked at her again. "You're not safe anymore." She whispered, grey eyes wide and dulled. But she finally let go of Philia's arm. Then she looked up, Philia copied her and saw the nice man talking to a police officer. "What did you do?" She shook Philia roughly and Philia fell down, her hat sliding to the pavement.
"Now, that's no way to-" The lady who had turned around moved forward, one hand raised.
"Stay away from me!" Philia's mom shrieked and Philia jerked her head, wanting the lady to stay away from her mom. She protected her mom, just like she had protected her from Daddy.
The lady flew back, crashing into other people. Then she stopped moving when Philia glared at her, pushing down with everything she had.
"She's one of them!" Someone shouted, and everyone started screaming and shouting. People started running, and Philia shrieked, covering her face with her hands as people pushed their way around her. "Mommy! Help me! Mommy, don't leave me!" The lamposts around them started bending as the buzzing got louder, their light holders breaking. She couldn't stop it! Her mother was backing away from her, screaming incomprehensibly.
Philia pushed her way out of the crowd, getting hurt from their uncaring scrapes and pushes. Finally, she was freed from the crowd and she ran, seeing her mom surrounded by police.
"Ma'am please, put your hands up! We aren't trying to hurt you, but we need you to cooperate!" One cop was saying, his gun pointed at her.
Her mother turned in a dizzy circle, narrowing her eyes at her tiny daughter and pointing wildly. "Take her! Take her from me!"
The cops were shouting something, demanding that she stop.
Philia ran towards her, crying. The fire hydrants reacted to her, bursting open. The police cars begin to lift up with metallic groans.
Somebody seized her, and Philia kicked. "Mommy! Let me go, mommy, help me!" She raised her hand, and a powerful gust slammed the police cars into the building with the man on it.
"Open fire!" The police officers shot together, bullets piercing her mother.
Philia screamed, but she felt her powers die.
"Now, now, little one." A woman whispered quietly into her ear. "You have no idea how useful you're going to be,"
Philia sobbed, reaching out for her mother. "Mommy! Mommy, please-!" She kicked, but it did nothing, her mother was lying on the ground, her yellow dress tainted with red smears, her hands not moving. "Mommy!" She felt herself being moved, but didn't care, feeling tears stream down her face.
"It's okay, darling. I'll take care of you," The woman crooned, pulling her into a car. "You want some icecream?" She adjusted the pointy hat she had, her lips the reddest colour Philia had ever seen.
"NO, I want my mom!" Philia screamed, one of the windows of the car shattering outwards as she did.
The woman smiled, tightening a bracelet around her wrist. Immediately, the buzzing stopped and Philia sobbed, staring at her.
"Be nice, little one, you're about to meet the president. Isn't that cool?"
Philia clutched the window, pressing her tear-streaked face into it.
"You're gonna be famous," The woman sang softly, grinning. "And, don't worry, we're gonna make you one of the good ones, okay? You're not gonna hurt anyone again."
And the car moved, away from Philia's mom, the screaming crowds. Far, far away.
"You know what they'll say about today?" The woman asked, laughing. "Once upon a time, everything changed. And an evil little girl met a witch and became good." The woman giggled. "That's sweet, isn't it?"
Philia sniffed, turning towards her. "Am I bad?" Why was mommy scared of her?
"Not you, darling, people like you are bad. I'm gonna teach you how to be a princess!" The woman snapped her fingers and handed Philia a small crown. "Your name is gonna go down in history."
Philia didn't care, she just fell against the seat, her face hot, finally able to sleep without the buzzing.