Newspaper Articles

“Where’s Dad?” Clark asked.

“He had to go into town and run a few errands,” his mother answered.

“When’ll he be back?”

“Before lunch,” was the reply.

“What’s for breakfast?”

Martha Kent finally looked up from her newspaper and looked at her son.  “What ever you make,” she told him. 

Clark grinned guiltily and opened the fridge. 

His mom took a sip of her coffee and went back to reading the paper.  When Clark pulled the milk out, she added, “Not from the bottle, Clark.  Get a cup.” 

Pulling the milk away from his mouth, Clark followed her instructions and got himself a cup.  “How do you do that?” he grumbled. 

“X-ray vision,” his mom deadpanned.  “Honestly, between you and your father . . . ” 

“Well, we keep life interesting.” 

“I wouldn’t mind being bored if it meant not having to clean up after the two of you,” she retorted. 

Clark sat down with a bowl of cereal and his mother went back to the paper.  

“So did you go to the Homecoming Dance last night after all?” she asked, turning the page. 

It took Clark a second to answer.  He put his spoon down and stared at his bowl.  “No,” he mumbled. 

“Lana Lang was crowned Homecoming Queen,” his mom continued, not stopping to ask Clark what the matter was. 

“I know,” Clark said. 

“I’m not surprised.  She’s growing up to be a really pretty girl.” 

“Yeah,” Clark agreed noncommittally, although his cheeks were heating up.  Luckily, his mother didn’t seem to notice. 

“Her date had a nasty shock, though,” his mom said. 

“Hmm.”  Clark was doing his best not to think about Whitney Fordman and the fact that he was dating Lana. 

“After the dance his and two of the other football player’s trucks were piled up in the parking lot.” 

“What?”  That pronouncement was enough to shake Clark of his reverie.  He looked up to see his mother watching him expectantly. 

“The strangest part was,” she said, still looking at Clark instead of the article she was referring to, “no one has any idea how it could have happened.” 

“Maybe it was a twister, or something,” Clark suggested, avoiding her gaze. 

His mom shot down that theory.  “They checked.  Kansas Weather Service reported no strange weather patterns or anything of the kind.” 

“I wonder how it happened, then.”  He wished she would stop looking at him like that. 

“No ideas?” 

“Are you trying to accuse me, Mom?” Clark demanded. 

His mom remained calm.  “I’m just wondering if you had any idea how something like that might have happened.” 

“He deserved it!” he burst out. 

“Did he?”  It was infuriating, how she could just sit there, calmer than the eye of a storm, while Clark raged on. 

“He did,” Clark said emphatically. 

“This is exactly why your father and I didn’t want you trying out for the football team.” 

“What?  This has nothing to do with that.” 

“Doesn’t it?”  At last the anger broke through Martha Kent’s voice.  “You lost your temper, Clark.” 

“And no one got hurt.” 

“This time.  What about next time?  A couple of piled-up trucks, maybe a broken locker next time, then what?  Violence is not the answer.  You know better than that.” 

“No one got hurt!” Clark repeated. 

“This time,” his mom reminded him.  “But Clark, you’re a lot stronger than everyone else.  You have to remember that.  I know you would never hurt someone on purpose, but what happens if you lose your temper again?” 

“I’m careful, Mom.  I know not to go too far.”

"You’re growing so fast.  How can you even be sure of your own strength anymore?” she asked, shaking her head. 

“I’m careful,” Clark said again.  What made him the angriest was that he could see the truth in her words, even if he would rather die than admit it.

“But – ”  She stopped when Clark very deliberately turned back to his cereal, signalling the end of the argument, and she sighed.  Clark sat in stony silence for a few minutes before his mom made another attempt. 

“You also made the front page,” she said, this time in a much gentler voice.

He didn’t answer, but he did look up.

Holding up the paper, she showed him the headline.  It read: “MOGUL’S SON MIRACULOUSLY SURVIVES CRASH”.  She handed it to him and sure enough, after looking quickly through the article, Clark found that Lex had cited him as the reason he was still alive.

“If I’m going to read about you in the paper, Clark, I’d much rather it be about you saving someone’s life, not taking petty revenge against someone from school,” his mom said.  “We raised you better than that.”

She got up and kissed the top of his head on the way out, leaving Clark alone with his thoughts.

The End
Friday, October 19, 2001