The man with glasses held up a card.
Lacey shook her head, her face red, almost on the verge of tears. "I don't know!" she answered. "I don't know if it's a triangle or a squiggly! Triangles and squigglies aren't foods.
"Well," said the man with the glasses, "I think we're done here."
Lacey looked glumly at the card. She had tried so hard to see what was on the other side. She had even tried pretending they were nachos and cheese puffs instead of triangles and squigglies, but it hadn't worked.
The man with the glasses called her mother in and told her to sit down.
"Well, Mrs. Kim," said the man with the glasses. "I'm afraid there isn't very much we can do to help your daughter. We've run our standard tests and she displays no psychic ability."
"But--" said Lacey's mother. "Lacey can predict our next meal with one-hundred-percent accuracy."
Lacey wrinkled her nose as mushy green things appeared in her head. "Lima beans," she informed them. "Ew." At least she was prepared.
"I'm afraid that doesn't EXACTLY qualify as a psychic ability," said the man with the glasses. He sounded like he thought it was funny.
"Well, it's more useful than dots and squiggles!" said Lacey. She shifted in her seat, her face growing hot.
Her mother sighed. "Dr. Dell'Antonio," she said politely, clutching at her purse. "Lacey doesn't belong in a regular school. The other children don't understand her. I don't think being able to predict anything with that rate of accuracy normal."
"Are you sure she's not peeking in the refrigerator?" asked the man with the glasses.
Lacey decided to take things into her own hands. She wanted to take a nap. "I don't like you," she told the man, angrily. "You're having egg salad for lunch."
The man with the glasses raised an eyebrow. "Really?" he asked. "We'll see about that."
He took out a paper lunch sack and opened it. "Ah! So it is! Marvelous." He removed a very large and delicious-looking egg salad sandwich, which just made Lacey's tummy rumble. And then, to add insult to injury, he started munching away on it. "I hope you don't mind if I--"
Lacey cut him off. "Do I get to come to your school now?"
But she didn't get her answer, because the phone rang.
"Just a minute," said the man with the glasses. He picked it up, and his even demeanor suddenly went out the window. "Look here, Charlene!" he shouted into the phone, his face growing very red. "How many times-- Yes, it can wait! I'm busy being important! No! Goodbye!"
That isn't precisely what he said, because he used some big words that Lacey didn't know, but that was the general gist of it.
Then he slammed the phone down so loudly that it rang again.
"Sorry about that," he said. "Now, what am I having for supper?"
Lacey took a deep breath and shut her eyes. It helped her see better. The picture slowly came into focus. "A half-gallon of cherry vanilla ice cream out of the container. With a spoon."
"What?" asked the man with the glasses. "But that's not possible. My wife, Charlene, always cooks supper."
Charlene! The lady he had been shouting at on the phone!
Lacey shut her eyes again, concentrating hard to get more of the picture. "I think your wife, Charlene, just left you," she answered, after a moment.
Lacey wasn't exactly sure what happened next but there was more shouting, and the man with glasses punched some numbers into his phone but got no answer. And then there was more shouting, and then she and her mother were out on the sidewalk outside The Institute for Psychic Research.
"I'm not going to that school, am I?" asked Lacey, holding on tight to her mother's hand.
"No, Honey," answered Lacey's mother.
In some ways, Lacey was relieved. The man's superior attitude and all the shouting were worse than being teased by the children in her kindergarten.
"Why did he get so MAD about ice cream?" she asked. "It's not like when Tommy Jensen was going to eat poo."
Her mother stopped and gave her a rather horrified look. "Is that why Tommy Jensen stabbed you with a pencil?"
Lacey nodded. "Uh-huh," she answered.
"Oh, Lay-Lay," said Lacey's mother. "Let's just agree not to tell people when they're going to eat things that come out of people?"
"It didn't come out of a person," said Lacey. "It came out of a dog." But she understood that this should probably apply to animals, too. "But okay."
"How about WE get some ice cream, then?" asked Lacey's mother.
"But Mommy," said Lacey. "I don't see any ice cream for us."
Lacey's mother gave her a rather patient sigh. "Well, Honey-bun," she started, but at about that moment, someone cleared her throat behind them.
"Excuse me, ma'am?" asked a girl who was a lot bigger than Lacey. Probably ten or eleven. She was wearing a Superman tee shirt and had skinned elbows.
Lacey's mother turned around. "Yes?" she asked. "Can I help you?"
"I'm Alexis," said the girl. "Alexis Morgan. I saw you coming out of the Institute? And I'm...um."
She looked at Lacey.
"I'm sort of starting a superhero team. But for kids. We meet on Thursdays at my mom's house."
Alexis held out a piece of construction paper that had been folded into thirds and covered with hearts and little gold starts and smiley faces and glitter. It had a big letter "A" in the middle and then said T-E-A-M and a big word Lacey didn't know.
"I made a brochure," said Alexis.
This entry was written for therealljidol Week 31, Part 2: Precognition.