Friday, September 11, 2015

Microstory 145: Laurence Cardinal

Strange things began to happen around Laurence Cardinal when he was only a toddler. He was far too young to have any chance of understanding what was happening to him, or that these things had anything to do with him at all. Metallic objects, specifically those with enough magnetism, would either be drawn to him or thrown from him. His parents were frightened and confused, but they had faith in their son, and predicted that he would one day learn to control his clearly amazing gift. Unfortunately, they were wrong. Despite being a seemingly regular anomaly, and despite having been activated by the Keystone, Laurence’s abilities were somehow unfinished. He exercised little to no control over the magnetism, no matter how hard he tried, or how much he practiced. Life in the city got so bad when he was a teenager that he was forced to move to a part of the Seychelles jungle that was completely uninhabited by humans, and more importantly, free from their metal. He continued on as a hermit, like Jayson Casy. He ate out of plastic, and remained removed from society in his little wood shelter. His family visited him as they could, but his parents had six other children to take care of, and there was only so much that they could do. He had to live too far away for frequent visits to be logistically reasonable. One of his little sisters wasn’t even old enough to remember him by the time she needed braces on her teeth. Until she was allowed to have them removed, it was too risky to have her anywhere near Laurence. And so he kept to himself, hunting with rocks and spears when game was near, but surviving mostly on roots and berries. Sometime after being discovered, Bellevue reluctantly agreed to force him into a type of coma, for his ability only ever went fully dormant when he was asleep. The alternative treatment was even more dangerous. With no other choice, and no way to protect him from danger, or from hurting others, they found a way to remove his abilities. Upon success, he was able to start a real life, and ended up in the education department, teaching others useful survival skills.

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