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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Microstory 1088: Harriet

I was one of Viola’s best friends, and I knew everything about her. I was her confidante in a way that no one else in the world could be. Yes, she could tell her parents anything about what happened to her, but she could never reveal how she felt about it. She could sense in me my innate talent to listen to others, and help them through difficult times. I didn’t need her to tell me this—I would have figured it out on my own—but it was useful to get a bit of a headstart on my therapy skills. She’s seen as this rock, who always knew what was going to happen, and how to handle it, but her job required a lot more thought and guesswork than you would think. First of all, bad things are happening all over the world, all at the same time. She had to consider a number of extremely complex factors, including who needed her help the most, who was most likely to accept it, who would not waste it, and most importantly, who would be missing out on her services because she was somewhere else. Once she settled on any given mission, she had to figure out how best to solve the problem. She didn’t want it getting out that there was this superhero jumping around the planet, so subtly and brevity were key. All this put a lot of pressure on her decisions, in a way that no one her age could have understood, or anyone, really. It’s easy to forget, since she died as an adult, that she’s been doing this nearly all her life. There’s evidence to support the idea that she influenced people’s lives in her special way from birth, but we know she started actively doing fieldwork from the age of five. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for a five-year-old to get people to take her seriously. Believe it or not, she made mistakes. She didn’t have anyone to train her, or explain how her gifts worked. She had no direct examples to emulate, or books to consult.

Viola wasn’t a normal human being, but she still felt the depth of human emotion. She still knew what it’s like to lose someone important; perhaps more than any of us. I was there for her, to talk her through it. She suffered from anxiety, and had her fair share of panic attacks, which I helped alleviate. In one instance, she was single-handedly holding up a boulder on a mountain that was threatening to fall on a hiker who was taking  a nap down below. Meanwhile, the other hand was holding onto the nest for three babies of a rare bird species. She used all of her remaining energy to summon me to her, so I could take the babies, so she could destroy the boulder without alerting the hiker. He was a vlogger, and an influencer. She would have been exposed via his live feed if she had tried to sweep him out of harm’s way. She was an amazing person, but she wasn’t God, and she couldn’t do absolutely anything and everything. And she craved human connection on a personal level, just like anyone else. And there were those she didn’t like. Take, for example, these so-called friends I hear you have yet to interview. The people who were at the river when she died were anything but, no matter what they tell the authorities, or how they manipulate reality. She despised them, because they had access to similar gifts that she had, but used them for terrible ends. Whatever they’ve said about how we lost her, they are all equally responsible. In fact, out of everyone in the Blast City Senior High graduating class of 2019, Maud is probably the most innocent. She was framed, in the worst way. I hope you’re careful when you talk to them, because they are going to do everything they can to protect their secrets.

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