It took a year for the day to come. A full year for all his parent’s efforts for him to keep control and not show anyone, to unravel.
They had been training him for years, the same way their parents had trained them. They believed that they had pulled it off and had assimilated into normal society and that no one would ever know what they could do. His size helped their disguise. He was so small that everyone in his class, even the girls, were bigger than him. His charisma helped even more. As much as a nine year old could ever be considered suave, that was Steve. His parent’s believed that all the training and love had resulted in the most socially well-adjusted nine year old on the planet. It just wasn’t enough to quell it. They had pushed him too long. He was like their own private science project. They salivated at the day he would finally crack. They expected tears, that he would try and fight them.
It had been escalating to new heights. On the day it ended, Martin, the ring leader had managed to rip out one of Steve’s fingernails. They all already knew he’d grow it back immediately, that he couldn’t even bruise.
Steve just stood there starring at Martin with a blank look on his face, while they all looked at the bloody fingernail. Steve said nothing and walked right up to him. Martin leaned in his face, just close enough for Steve to lightly brush his cheek. In a fraction of a second, from the moment Steve brushed his cheek, what used to be Martin, backpack and all, lay on the ground, a pile of ash that the wind started to blow away.