The journey home was silent, but it wasn’t awkward. Being with Tomas and having talked about everything made the atmosphere comfortable. I was weary because of the toll the day had taken on me, and it was nice to be able to let my guard down knowing that Tomas wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.
If the road was clear it would’ve taken just a few minutes to drive home, but people were coming home from work so it was rush hour traffic. I swear we sat in the same spot for at least ten minutes, while traffic flowed freely on the other side. You would think that people would be smart enough to build more than one road into our town, but apparently not.
When Tomas eventually pulled into my driveway I gave him a big hug and thanked him for being such a great friend. Then I clambered out of the car and rushed inside to find Mom.
“Maggie! I’m so glad you’re okay!”
I ignored her and just hugged her. Although I didn’t understand why she kept Flectors from me, she was still my mom. That, and I was too worn out to argue.
The boys came out to see what was going on They commented on everything, why Mom had been upset, why I had disappeared, and even on what I was wearing. Mom gave them a threatening glare and twirled her finger as if to say “go back to your rooms.”
I looked down to see that I was still wearing the fire resistant clothes that Luke had given me. My face burned as I realized that I had spent almost the entire day dressed like this. Tomas had seen me like this.
Mom started rambling about how she was so worried and my attention was brought back to her. After calming her down, telling her that I’m fine and that I just needed some time to myself, I climbed the stairs to my room. I cautiously lowered myself onto my bed. I was both mentally and physically exhausted but after talking to Tomas, I felt somewhat at peace. It didn’t take much. I just had to acknowledge the obstacles and sort them out, and suddenly it didn’t feel like a huge weight anymore.
I rolled onto my side and drifted off to sleep.
I woke up to see the moon high in the sky. It shone through my bedroom window and its silvery light tickled my face, almost motioning for me to join it. Looking at my alarm clock, I saw that it was two in the morning. My stomach growled as I had skipped dinner earlier and hadn’t eaten for hours. I rolled out of bed and crept downstairs to eat.
Grabbing an apple from the fruit bowl, I made my way to the back porch. The gentle breeze chilled my skin and I realized that I had never gotten changed out of the clothes Luke gave me. Looking down at myself in the moonlight, I suddenly thought that I looked pretty good. My dark skin contrasted against the white of the fabric, and the silver moonlight seemed to make my whole body shimmer. Suddenly I was proud of how I looked.
Absentmindedly I stepped down to the cool grass and made my way round to the door. Clicking it open and shutting it behind me, I walked over to the hatch, lifted it and flicked on the light. The brightness was a stark contrast to the dark night and it stung my eyes. I fumbled around as I stumbled down the stairs. By the time I entered the cavern my eyes had adjusted.
I placed my apple core flat on my hand and set my hand on fire. The core shriveled and let off smoke, before turning into ashes. I threw it on the ground and stomped it in.
I lit the fire again. It felt so nice to finally have some time alone to try this. I thrust my palm through the air and a fireball shot from my hand. It didn’t go very far. In fact, it only made it a few meters before fizzling out, but that didn’t matter. I kicked the air and the same thing happened with my foot. The fire fizzled out but I jumped for joy because at least I was controlling my powers to some extent.
I kept pushing through the air, running around, finally feeling free. I started laughing because for the first time in a while I could relax. Spinning around, I made fire dance around me. I made pretty patterns and pushed the fire out. When I pulled the fire in it blazed brighter and my whole being grew warm with excitement.
Then I had an idea. Stepping back, I waited for the fire to disappear. Then, taking a deep breath, I lifted my foot and stamped the ground. Fire shot up in a circle around me and I watched in amazement.
Moving my hands, I tried to guide the fire higher and higher. Soon it was reaching above me, and it started to rage. My eyes widened as I tried to bring the fire back down. It just violently swayed. I tried to remain calm. My heart was beating a million times a second. I could hear the blood thrumming in my ears. I tripped over a rock and the fire rained down on top of me. Instinctively I shielded myself, but luckily for me my own fire can’t hurt me.
Shaken, I lifted myself off the ground and watched the fire turn to embers, then to smoke. I raced back up the stairs and flicked off the light. The darkness consumed me and I relied on memory to guide me back to the door. The full moon illuminated my way to the house and soon I was tucked up in bed, shaking from both the fright and excitement of it all.