Danny jumped from the roof this time, hitting the ground with a short thump and glancing down at his legs with pure awe in his pale blue eyes. It took him a moment to jump for joy, feeling his weight on those strong, solid legs. It was the best gift a ten year old could ever ask for.
His parents kept pictures of him before the accident and hid them away after he had recovered. They preferred the new Danny, who loved to run and play sports, to the one that read books in his wheelchair. They watched through the window, smiling at their investment towards a better future for their son.
The boy never knew it, but he was better now. Yes, his legs were whole again, but they were better than before. Jumping off rooftops gave pause to some of the kids walking by. Danny loved it, though. He kept running around the yard, looking over every detail his young eyes could capture.
A phone rang somewhere inside while he played, and Danny’s mother walked over to pick it up. “Gene residence, Carolyn speaking.”
“Mrs. Gene, this is Dr. Bast at the National Medical Lab for Gengineering and Human Development. We, uh, need you to bring Daniel back into the East Hampton lab within the next few hours.”
A worried look brought over the father who mouthed concerns at his wife before she shooed him away. “Is there something wrong?”
She stood there listening to the jargon, holding the phone out so her husband could hear and the only words that seemed to make sense came clear in the end, “In some patients, the splicing has been having some unanticipated side effects. Everything is fine but we need to get Daniel back in to make sure he’s clear of any anomalies.”
Both stood staring at each other as a silent wave of worry just washed over them both. Mr. Gene looked out the window for Danny and saw him crouched behind the tree out front. “He looks fine to me,” he said
Carolyn spoke softly into the phone. “Dr. Bast, you told us they used the DNA of several cats to accelerate the mending. What harm could a few cats do?”
Danny’s father smiled at the thought before turning back around. Danny wasn’t behind the tree anymore. He was perched on the fence, glaring at Mrs. Collins from next door with an unfamiliar intensity. Mr. Gene wasn’t really sure what was going on till he saw Mrs. Collins step closer to the boy, and, faster than any human, Danny struck her with his palm. “Carolynâ€¦” Mr. Gene said, “get the car.”