One theory was that the child had come from squatters who had moved on and forgot the child. Another theory was that the child was so annoying that the family had simply tossed her out of the Ford Fairlane’s window as they were driving down the road. There were of course theories about kidnappings and circus people. The one the child clung to most often was a story similar to Superman.
The story went something along the lines of an errant meteor was hurtling through the universe on a trajectory path straight to earth. It sped ever faster towards the Southwestern desert plains. Then in a rolling ball of molten meteoric mush it crashed on the side of the highway. The interplanetary rock sat there and cooled around the alien baby. Then one day a young father stopped the family wagon on the side of the road and found the child and took it home to be raised with a loving brother and sister. I believed it right up to the loving brother and sister.
This of course would give the alien child super powers. She didn’t know for sure what her power was but knew there had to be one in her. Buck had spent hours upon hours reading Superman comic books to her. He even had a Superman costume complete with a cape. He told her of how the Kent family took the meteor baby in as their own gave him their name and raised him. She listened as Buck read about the Superbaby growing into Superboy and then of course Superman. She followed as Buck spun the tail of the mild mannered Clark Kent and his alter ego Superman fighting the evil Lex Luther.
Matilda of course thought that this was all a bunch of crap and said so. She held out to the fact that the circus wagon had broken down and that one of the freak shows had accidently left their spawn by the rock.
Then one summer afternoon all the kids in the cul-de-sac began playing Super Heroes in the empty field and each one had been assigned a ‘super’ moniker. Buck of course was Superman; after all he had the cape and the outfit with the big red S on his chest. The pretty little red headed girl from across the street was Supergirl. Joey the boy from down the street was Spiderman and then there were an assortment of Super heroes, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Elasticman and of course there was the Green Hornet. Matilda even wanted in on the Super Hero game and ran home to get some type of costume.
She ran in the house and begged her mother to make her a Super Costume. Meme looked around the house and then was struck with an inspiration. She grabbed an old pillow case out of the linen closet and then rummaged in the sewing basket and found some hemming tape. She fired up the iron and cut strips of the bright yellow hemming tape. She then placed the tape on the pillow case and Bam Pow Zap Matilda was turned into “Lightening Girl”. Proud of her new persona she fled the kitchen and ran down the block to save the planet. This left the meteor baby who was now about 4 years old still without any super powers. She was just Big Ear girl or perhaps Frizzy Head, who could save the planet by poofing out her hair and blinding the bad guys. Or perhaps with those really enormous ears she had super hearing. She tried, she willed, she strained but alas no such super hearing or super hair was present.
Dejected and wanting to join in the Super fun she begged for a Super costume too. To which the ever amazing imagination of Meme was taxed again and she again whipped out a pillow case and some grey hemming tape and WHAM BANG POP ZING she had created Thunder Girl. She took a diaper pin and wrapped the pillow case cape around the meteor child’s shoulders and pinned it and sent the child on her way.
Thunder Girl was empowered, official and finally had an identity. She ran at super speed down the street. She super leapt over small rocks. She just knew she could fly. She was Super now she could do anything. So she climbed upon a small stone fence that separated two yards and yelled to the other Super Heroes. “LOOK AT ME! I CAN FLY!” and then she leapt off the small one foot high fence. Only she didn’t fly. She didn’t even get air born. Instead she fell. She fell hard and on her face and as she fell her ankle twisted underneath her. She let out a scream of pain and defeat.
Matilda and Buck came running. They hovered over her and wiped the snot and the tears from her un-Super face. Matilda ran into the house to get Meme. Meme would fix it. Buck gently and carefully cradled the meteor child in his arms and carried her to the house. Meme had him lay the meteor child on the couch and immediately began her magic healing practices. There were ace bandages and ice administered as well as tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Matilda brought the meteor child a pillow and some candy she had stashed away. Buck broke out the Superman comics and began reading. They were concerned and protective. They said it was because the meteor child was their baby sister and they loved her.
The meteor child knew differently though. She knew that they actually drew their super powers from her. That her super power was really empowering others. Renewed and recharged she lived to grant Super powers another day.