A few months after her initial shocking surprise, Jenna had adapted quite a bit. Big rubber boots, big rubber gloves, and ample warnings to the people around her, and she was able to get by most of the time. She told people around her that she had a ‘bioelectrical disorder’ that made it unwise to touch her, and that mostly worked. At home, she wore her grounding wire (since moved from neck to ankle to prevent her husband Florence from getting too pervy with it) and was able to hug and kiss her son Ian and cuddle with her husband safely.
Furthermore, with her husband’s basic electrical understanding, they were able to work up a simple wire that connected Jenna to an electrical outlet, with two benefits. First, she was able to use her iPod and her TV remote again. Second, she was able to — and admittedly, she didn’t understand this, but they had already gotten the bill back and it totally worked — feed electricity back into the grid, and thus the DeLuce family got paid every month by the electric company instead of paying an electric bill.
The odd thing about the whole mess was that her involuntary electricity seemed to be increasing in power. When the National Enquirer had come to do a bit about her (which she had taken as a total joke), she could light a bulb with her hands if she ‘pushed’. Today, a month later, she could burn out that same bulb without any effort whatsoever. Fortunately, thus far, the wires Florence had mocked up had held up without any problems.
On this particular morning, Jenna was working with Ian on an 8o-piece puzzle of the United States, helping him read. “Del-a-ware,” she said gently.
“Del-a-war,” Ian insisted. He was quite stubborn, and refused the existence of the final silent E altogether.
Before the two of them could come to an agreement, there as a firm knock on the door.
“Mrs. DeLuce?” came a strident voice. “Mrs. Deluce, are you home?”
Jenna stood, carefully picking up her wire and lifting it over Ian on her way to the door. When she opened it, a pair of individuals that looked like they were straight out of Burn Notice (or maybe even Miami Vice) were on the other side. “Can I help you?” she asked.
One of the men held out identification. “Jenna DeLuce? I’m Brian Draws from the United States Secret Service. Can we talk?”
Jenna blinked in surprise. “Um…sure?” She gestured the men inside. “Ian, can you please go play on the computer with your headphones on?”
Ian loved that idea. Within seconds, he had fired up YouTube and was watching the Phineas and Ferb remix of Gangnam Style. As he got distracted, Jenna turned to look at the two men. Both were tall, looked fairly athletic, were dressed in $800+ suits, and both had expressions on their faces that crossed seriousness with nervousness. “What can I do for the Secret Service?” she asked.
Without preamble, Brian Draws of the US Secret Service looked her in the eye and said, “Was the National Enquirer report about you correct, Mrs. DeLuce?”
“Call me Jenna,” Jenna said, “And of course it wasn’t. I’m a magician, not a freak of nature.” she smiled coldly. She had been warned by the people at the Enquirer that this might happen — that the government might Come For Her — and while she hadn’t believed them at the time, she sure did now.
Brian looked confused. “And they fell for your trick?”
Jenna smiled. “It’s a very good trick. Would you like to see?” She could still manage to barely light a bulb even with her wire on, she was certain. But they weren’t interested.
“No, actually, that’s OK,” Brian said. “What we would like is for you to come with us.”
“Well, I have a four year old,” Jenna began.
“–and we have already asked his uncle Harry if he can watch your son for the afternoon. He agreed,” said Brian.
Jenna couldn’t help but have her lip curl in a flicker of contempt. “Harry? He’s a drug dealer!”
Brian blinked. “We have fairly firm evidence to the contrary, actually. Either way, he’s been deemed a safe place for Ian to go while we…take you for a short ride.”
Jenna shook her head. “That’s not going to happen.”
Brian closed his eyes and sucked in a huge breath. He hated this part. “Well, ma’am, you see, we have a direct order from the Executive Branch to have a specific conversation with you that can’t take place here.”
Jenna shook her head. “I’m not leaving. You can try to drag me out of here, but those shoes look leather to me,” she smirked, “and you won’t like what that means when you put your hands on me.”
The Secret Service guys glanced at one another. Neither one seemed willing to make a move, but finally, the other one — James Tanfeld, if it mattered — stood up and grasped Jenna firmly by the arm. Nothing happened.
Jenna looked surprised. “How are you doing that?”
James smiled. “Did you think we wouldn’t come prepared? You may be ‘just’ a stage magician, but we’re the Secret Service. We get paid to be paranoid.” James yanked hard on Jenna’s arm…and she didn’t budge.
Jenna stared in disbelief as, over the next several minutes, she sat perfectly still and two very clearly strong and able young men did their absolute best to move her, failing utterly at every attempt. Finally, Brian turned to James and said “We don’t have clearance here, do we?”
He was referring to the level of clearance necessary to draw a weapon on a civilian without direct threat. James shook his head. “Nope.”
Brian turned back to Jenna, who just looked stunned and said, “I’ll be very honest, guys…I have no idea what’s going on here, either.” As she said it, she stood up — and Brian immediately tackled her.
Or rather, tried to. He bounced off of her like he had just tackled a statue, and commenced rolling around on the floor, clutching his shoulder. “OW SHhhh…” he trailed off, seeing Ian turn to stare at him. He looked up at James, who shook his head in powerless disbelief.
“All right,” Brian said. “I guess…we’re done here.” He slowly and painfully got to his feet. “I don’t know what’s protecting you, lady, but it can’t keep it up forever.”
Jenna calmly picked up her phone and pressed a couple of buttons. “Mister Secret Service man, I’ve got really bad news for you.”
Brian blinked. “Huh?”
Jenna smiled and held up her phone. “I started this thing recording everything you’ve said here today the moment you came in, and I just sent the whole file to my lawyer, my husband, my mother, a reporter I knew from high school, and the White House email address. You get your mirrorshades and your attitudes the hell off of my property right <i>now</i>, or I’m going to turn your car into the world’s heaviest paperweight and there isn’t a court on the planet that would believe how I did it.”
They were gone less than a minute later. Once they were alone, Ian turned to his mom and said “They weren’t worthy.”
Jenna just nodded. “I know honey. I know.”