They brought Miguel to the Home because sometimes, when he's not paying attention, his mouth fills with lightning.

It comes up his throat like mucus and fizzes like carbonated soda. When it's on his tongue, it has the texture of dish soap and tastes like metal. The lightning gathers like saliva and makes his teeth ache, so he's constantly swallowing it back down. The lighting doesn't like that, and burns his throat when he does.

He never talks these days; he's too afraid the lightning will shoot out and hurt someone, too afraid that others will see him and his awful mouth. He knows it doesn't make much sense-- other kids here all have weird things, too. But his is different, he tells himself, and he remembers.

He remembers before the Home, when he got sick at school. He remembers running to the bathroom to throw up, and how globs of electric light that tasted fuzzy and slick all at once poured out of his throat and blew up the toilet. He remembers how he covered his mouth and ran away, and when he tried to ask for help, his lightning had blasted the yard duty teacher into a tree. He remembers how he ran and ran and ran, crying with his jaw clamped shut, until the woman from the Home found him and asked if he wanted to go with her.

Things are a little better here, but still, he keeps his mouth closed. They say they can help him when he's ready to be helped, but for now he's too afraid. So he takes his meals in his room and tries his best to swallow the fizzing globs of light that try to break out through his teeth.