Born In Fire

Calida is a fire child. Rare, but existent. Born in the flames of Mt. Pondii Peré, Venezuela's deadliest volcano. She has powers, extreme senses. She can think faster, see things that others don't. Her brain is much more than the average human's, a super-brain. Calida can run faster, jump higher, and figure out a person's life in a minute, she is deadly, like fire. But what happens when the Programme, the Government's top secret unit, finds out about what Calida can do? Will they understand her, or use her as a nameless weapon? After all, even fire can be extinguished.

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3. Fanning The Flame

"No Karen, don't! Stay away from the suspiciously neighborly man next door!"
But Karen ignored my warning and went into the tool shed anyway, and subsequently took a shovel to the head.
"Who the hell goes into some randomer's tool shed at twelve o' clock at night?"
I took another swig of my Club Lemon, contemplating how I would get myself out of Karen's unfortunate situation. Well firstly, I would never be as stupid to enter a dark, enclosed area and turn my back on the entrance. When I sensed the person behind me, I could do a 180 turn and grab the shovel, making impact before the attacker knew I had got it. Or deflect the hit, bring up my knee to his sensitive area and swing my leg under his. I could think of a million possible ways to avoid the tragic death poor Karen Bruchwell suffered, and would have thought of in that situation. But then again, Karen didn't exactly have the weird, stuffed up mind I had.

After letting myself into the apartment, I did what I always did when waiting for Nano to come home. Sky Living's Criminal Minds and a packet of Malteasers. I dug my hand into the Malteasers and placed one up to my mouth. I bit off the chocolate covering with my teeth all around the little ball, then popped the biscuit part into my mouth to let it melt. In my opinion, it was the only way to eat Malteasers.
"The lemons" I mused, figuring out the plot line as I went along. "The lemons were a symbol of his undying love for his childhood sweetheart, the Lemonade Stand Girl. Karen's daughter reminded him of her, that's why he killed Karen. That's why he gave her the bracelet with the lemon charm on it"
I waited another ten minutes until the cute detective with the wavy hair realized my first prediction. He looked very pleased with himself, poor fellow. Another swig of club lemon, three Malteasers.
Then the team headed to the 'Neighborly Man Next Door''s house, broke down his door and yelled the little girl's name.
"The basement!" I yelled at the TV. "It's always the basement!"
"Check the basement" Way-too-pretty-to-be-a-real-detective girl said, raising her gun in front of her.
"Well done, you should get your own show!" I said sarcastically. Then again I couldn't judge, I was the nutcase giving advice to a bunch of made-up characters on TV.
Basically the little girl was in the basement, making the creepy man lemonade and making conversation about kite flying.
"F.B.I, put your hands in the air!"

"And wave 'em like you just don't care" I said, switching off the TV with a frustrated huff. If I was on that team, Karen would be alive and back with her daughter, making lemonade and flying kites together. And that psychopath would be behind bars before you could say Bad Acting.
I went to the kitchen, my stomach suddenly not content with Malteasers. The light from the fridge glowed up the whole kitchen, taking away the complete darkness. As you might guess, I was never one of those kids afraid of the dark. I was more aware in it, my senses more alive. I owned it.
I grabbed some stir-fry egg noodles and threw them into a saucepan. I flexed my fingers towards it, and let the fire escape. My noodles turned to crisp.
"Damn it" I said aloud, studying my fingertips. Normally I was able to control the intensity of the fire.
Suddenly I heard a knock at the door. That was odd. Nano had her key.
My senses kicked into gear. Three sturdy bangs on the door, not enough to frighten but enough to depict a not of urgency. I could hear their breaths, short and quick, like a fit person after running a distance. The person was tall, built, size 11 in shoe... Then it stopped. I couldn't read on. I felt my heart pang in panic, my breath cut short. I couldn't read any of his thoughts, memories, any traits or qualities. Not anything past his actions and physical appearance. For someone like me, I felt blind. And there was only one other person who could make me feel like that.
"Who's there?" I said in a panic, cursing my stupidity. It wasn't likely a murderer was going to tell me who he was, was he? This was throwing all my senses off, making me reckless, careless. But who had the power to do that, beside him?
"Cal? It's me, Noah."
I nearly fell to the floor with relief. The fear of my senses cutting short impacted me with such intensity I felt like I would throw up. I calmed myself. There was no other, it was him. I collected myself and went to the door.
"Noah, what are you...?"
"It's Nano, Cal. You need to come with me"
I felt the blood drain from my face. Nano. Every thought of what had just happened escaped my mind immediately.
"She's in the hospital, Cal. Some thug mugged her in the streets on the way back from her class. She's pretty shook up"
I followed Noah wordlessly down the stairs and over to his car. It was all a daze. Nano, mugged? Nano was the most careful person I knew, we used to joke how she was almost more aware than I was. Nano.
"The hospital rang Johnny at Reception. He rang me, made sure to let you know about it. Nano's in bad shape, Cal"
My throat went dry, my hands numb. Bad shape? This was the boy who used to tell me that people died because they were crossing the bridge to the land of fairies, and all of us alive were just not allowed go there yet. I didn't want to think what 'bad shape' meant.
"Cal, look at me" Hand on the steering wheel and one on my arm. I looked up. "Nano's going to be fine, Cal. She's the toughest woman I know. She'll be fine"
I didn't believe him, even though I couldn't use anything but my human instinct to tell me so. We drove in silence, except for the hum of Ellie Goulding's 'You, My Everything' coming from Noah's banged up radio.
Nano was my everything.
"Noah, if she dies..." I shook my head, closing my eyes.
"Do you remember when you told me that we couldn't be friends anymore?"
I was taken aback by this sudden change of conversation.
"I didn't exactly say that..."
"You said enough like it for me to get the picture"
I looked at him, really looked at him. If only I could explain.
"You told me I wasn't good for you. I threw you off course. I thought you were talking about me being a bad influence on you"
I caught my breath. What was he getting at? But before we could further this we pulled into the hospital. I threw open the door and ran, leaving Noah to park.
"Lianna Dorota Peré" I said in one breath, panting when I got to the hospital desk.
"Family?" The secretary asked, not even looking up from her computer.
"Just give me the damn room number" I hissed, hating her for the fact her only trouble was what colour she painted her nails. She looked up with a shock, but upon seeing my face, gasped. Subtle, I thought.
"I...I need to know what your connection to Mrs. Peré is?"
"Granddaughter and grandson" Noah said, coming up behind me and laying a hand on my shoulder. I relaxed slightly at his touch.
"Room 204" She said with a flirtatious smile, obviously preferring Noah's company to mine.
We headed down the corridor, glancing every so often at the number on the door. 108, 146, 192...
"204"
I pushed open the door, suddenly desperate to see my Nano. And there she lay. The sight of her made my insides turn. Bruises of an unnaturally vibrant black and blue lined her arms. Her lips were red and bloody, her cheeks battered and swelled. She was unconscious, but breathing.
"Nano, Nano, Nano" I flew to her side, taking her hand in mine. It didn't have the usual warmth Nano possessed. It was cold to touch, like her expressionless face.
"Oh my god" Noah buried his face in his hands. The nurse came in, comforting Noah when she saw his distressed state. I just stared at the woman on the bed, questioning whether it really was my grandmother. The smile on her face, the warmth she carried, the ability to fill a room with happiness was gone. Taken from her in a millisecond. I couldn't think about the pain. I had to convert it to anger.
"Who did this?"
The nurse looked shocked, obviously not used to such forceful questions from those whose relations have just been attacked.
"I don't know those details, Miss. You should to speak to the police. But really, Miss, take this time with your..."
But I had already stopped listening. I sensed through the walls, the police were outside in the hall. They hadn't caught him. He got away too quickly, no one saw his face clearly enough. They needed fingerprints, tests, profiles.
There was no time for that.
I turned to Nano, clasped her hand. Come on Nano, let me in. I searched. She had just locked up the community hall, was heading down the alley when she was attacked. It wasn't random, it was planned. They knew a feeble, helpless old woman would be leaving at that time. He was strong, muscular, Nano was no match. He had precision, timing, clean and quick, hit and run. He was fast too, got away without being noticed by no more than two people. They stated it was a mugging, what else could it have been? Except, I read through the emotions Nano had before the attack. Shock, yes. Fright, understandable. But confusion...the man didn't steal anything. Why would someone target Nano like that? And then the word floated into my mind. Me...
 

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