It is said that absolute power corrupts absolutely and so it was that Stella’s increasing control over her sibling corrupted what had been a sunny and outgoing attitude.
Knowing what he was going to do before he did it meant that she could hold him to ransom over and over.
‘Cars, play cars’ he would think in his innocent way and he would jump down from his sister’s lap.
She would collect and secrete the box of little vehicles and once she judged that his desperation searching for them had reached just the right level then she would produce the carton and offer it to him in return for – well really whatever she thought he could do or give to her. While he was very tiny these were perforce tiny victories. His chocolate bar which he had saved for after dinner would become hers or maybe a change of channel on the television from his favourite to something she preferred. As he grew though so did the possibilities.
That she had never used these powers on her friends or indeed any of her relatives spoke a great deal for her previous kindness but when one finds that one is no longer the premier personality then there are consequences. Of course once the rot had set in it was only a question of time before the corruption spread.
Whereas previously Stella had self policed her ability, feeling that it was a thing to be slightly ashamed of – remember the very first time when Mummy had been so upset – well now she felt that maybe she should make more use of her gifts.
Her appearance hadn’t improved much as the years had passed and she knew that she was often the butt of jokes and the object of ridicule both overt and covert. However, once she learned how to handle it she found that knowing in advance what someone was really hoping for, planning for or working towards, well it was quite often easier than it would seem to dash the hopes, scupper the plans and ambush the ambitions. She was still such a very tactile and cuddlesome person and at times people found her invasion of their personal space really quite difficult but that was just Stella she loved a cuddle and she was such an unfortunate child after all.
If Stella was the victim of your sneaky meanness one day then it was really strange how often things would go badly wrong for you the day after. A sort of folklore grew up around her and her fellow pupils would somewhat shamefacedly avoid upsetting her because it really always seemed to end badly for the miscreant with Stella untouched and becoming more and more untouchable.
Now and again teachers and relatives would wonder how come Stella was so very astute, almost as if she had inside information or the ability to mind read – well as if! She was clever though and many years of hiding her talents and keeping her own council stood her in good stead now that her character had taken this unfortunate and really rather sinister turn.