How To Write Small Scale Sci-fi (& Fantasy)
Scuttle Media

here is a short story I wrote a while ago along the principles you describe here. I would love any feedback!

The bright sun in the clear sky blazed down on the milling crowd. Smoked wafted around the house and grill. Groups of people holding paper plates over laden with grilled hamburgers and potatoe salad spoke about work and family.

“Uh oh, Jerry, looks like Frank maybe making a move on your daughter.” the man said with a sidelong smile to Jerry who was manning the grill.

Jerry looked up from the partially blackened hot dogs. “Looks like a football player, Too bad.” Jerry turned his attention back to the grill.

“Whadda mean?” the first man replied, “Your daughter would be lucky to hang out with the the ‘high school’s quarterback’” he finished with deep laugh.

Jerry looked over at him and smiled - knowing it was all in good humor, then replied, “You misunderstood me. I feel bad for him.”

“What kinda name is Detroit?” Frank said.
Not looking up from the game being played on her phone she shot back, “What kinda name is Frank? Sounds like a fucking hot dog.” Detroit could smell the beer on him.
“Jesus, I’m trying to be nice. We have some beers over in the woods. Thought maybe you like to come over and hang out for a while.”
“Did you know that franks are made from lips and assholes?” she jabbed him without looking up and twisting her phone to complete some maneuver in the game.
“Your a bitch.” He said and began to walk away.
“Uhhh, dammit,” Detroit moaned. Frank paused and turned around. “You made me miss my high score.” She finished walking away from him. Frank shot back a disgusted smile and cut a path through the yard towards the woods.

“Detroit!” and high tinny voice called out. Detroit looked up and scanned the large crowd in the backyard looking for the source of the familiar cry. It came again, “Detroit!”. Detroit straightened up and put her hand over her eyes. Finally a little 5 year-old girl popped out the crowd and rushed over to her. She was wearing a little red and white dress and sunglasses that matched. “Roma! Don’t you look cute!” Detroit leaned over and picked her up into a hug. “Did Mom just drop you off?” 
“Yep!” She said with a giant nod.
“She isn’t coming in though?”
“Nope!” She nodded her head from side to side with great swoops. “Called daddy ‘that son-of-a-bitch.’”
“Shhh!” Detroit smiled and put her back down.
Detroit was hot. She as wearing a t-shirt and some jeans. The sunshine beating down on her was making the sweat pour down her back and legs.
“Roma, Let’s go inside for a minute and cool off.”

As they stepped into the house of their neighbor the coolness tickled their cheeks and foreheads as it escaped outside until Detroit closed the door behind her.

“Oh!” Roma exclaimed, “Since we are inside I can show you my new trick.”
Detroit forced a smile on her face. Roma’s tricks had begun to scare her.

“Ok.” Detroit looked around the house searching for a bedroom. “Over here.” Detroit Led her to the small room. It was a girl’s room by the look of it. Stuffed animals and posters lined the walls. Nothing like her own room growing up. Sparse and functional. They stood by a small closet across the room from the bed and dresser.

Detroit locked the door behind them. Her breathing was quickening. This was were she always got nervous.

Roma was obviously pleased and excited. Detroit was the only other person she would perform the tricks for so Roma saved them up to reveal to her.

“Close your eyes.” Roma said playfully said the familiar warning.They both knew the rules. Detroit couldn’t keep her eyes open and even when Detroit tried to trick her Roma always knew and would stop.

Detroit straightened up and closed her eyes. Roma held Detroit’s hands lightly in her own. Detroit could feel the warmth and lightness of her touch. Roma let her hands fall away and Detroit felt warmth wash across her face. The strange humming she had heard every time they did this filled the room. No one outside the room ever claimed to hear it.

Gently, small hands laid atop Detroit’s short, blonde hair and carefully stroked it. Detroit opened her mouth to gasp but caught herself. After just a few moments Roma’s hands stopped and slowly the warmth faded. Detroit felt oddly empty and cold. She kept her eyes closed - part of the rules.

“Pretty cool, huh?” Roma said finally giving the all clear for Detroit to open her eyes. Roma stood on the ground before Detroit all smiles and eyes shining.

Detroit pulled her over to the bed and sat down with her, “Roma. How are you doing this stuff?” for several months Roma had been performing these ‘tricks’ on Detroit. At first they were small, a bit of breeze, cold or heat but now... these were things that Detroit couldn't explain.

Roma smiled and spread out her fingers on both hand “It’s magic!” she said.

“Detroit!” the voice boomed in the hall. It was Frank. Back to redeem his pride. Detroit looked at Roma and put a finger to her mouth with “shhh” on her lips. Roma had wide eyes.

The door handle slowly twisted. Detroit had a sudden thought - had she really locked it?
“Detroit?” The voice boomed again. Too loud for the quiet of the house. Maybe a little more drunk than even ten minutes ago. Detroit pulled her sister closer on the bed. She looked down, Roma was crying into her forearm quietly. The door handle caught and twisted back and forth. Then the two could hear Frank move off down the hall looking for another way to feel better about himself.

“Why are you crying, button?” Detroit asked.

“What if one day I can’t stop? What if I just fly away? Huh?” Roma never looked at her.
Detroit was afraid. Afraid of what her sister could do now and what what she may be able to do in the future.

“Thats why we have the rules, Roma. Always inside, just you and me. Doors are locked. They keep us safe.”

Roma suddenly wrapped her arms tightly around Detroit’s waist. “You have to hold me here. You have to make sure I stay.”

Detroit gently rubbed Roma’s back and stared outside the window watching the adults talk about their work and family while holding paper plates laden with food they really didn’t want. After a moment, she quietly said “I will Roma. I will.”