I laughed. I had been led around to the back of the theater to a large paved and grassy area, and Tomas had just finished telling me about the Flectors. The Flectors were a subspecies surviving alongside humans in everyday life. They were exactly like humans, except they could control the elements. And the gang was claiming that we – me included – were a part of them. The thought was hilarious, and I doubled over as another round of laughter rippled through me.
“Wait, wait,” I cried as I stood up straight and wiped the tears away, “So you’re saying that I can control the elements? Like earth and water and all that?”
Elliot looked me in the eye, “Yes. Fire, to be specific.”
Spittle went flying as I tried to repress a snicker. That was when something cold hit me in the face. Stunned, I tentatively reached up to touch my cheek. It was wet. Looking down, I could see snow melting and pooling around my feet. I looked up in shock.
They were all standing there. Luke, with a floating sphere of water in his hand. Tomas, with air swirling around him. Elliot, with rocks at his fingertips. Alice, with electricity buzzing from her palms. And then there was me, with my feet hitting the pavement.
I bounded up the steps to my house, yanked open the door and slammed it shut after me.
“Hi sweetie, how was the-” I was already up the stairs and behind my bedroom door before Mom could even finish the question.
I couldn’t stop shaking. All I could see was the electricity bursting from Alice’s hands. I needed normality. I fired up my laptop and opened the video chat. My cursor navigated to the address book. What? Mel and Jane weren’t on the list! Why weren’t they on the list? Curse them for not having cell phones, I thought as I paced my room erratically.
As the adrenaline wore off I lowered myself onto the edge of my bed and ordered myself to take deep breaths. Placing my head between my knees, I closed my eyes and tried to calm down. It was just a dream, it was just a dream, it was just a dream…
The mantra slowed my heartbeat and my pulse returned to normal, but that didn’t stop me from jumping when I heard a knock at my door. My heart rate went up again.
“Maggie?” Mom peered around the door, “Oh Maggie, you look so pale!”
I started shaking again as she came and sat on the bed beside me. She wrapped her arms around me and stroked my forehead, trying to get me to relax.
“Sweetie, what happened?”
I knew that if I shared with her what I had seen, she wouldn’t have believed it. I still didn’t believe it myself, and I wanted to get my facts straight before I brought anyone else into this.
Despite my shakiness, I managed to form a coherent sentence, “I j-just don’t fit in with that group.”
“Honey, these things take time,” Mom said as she continued to stroke my forehead, “Don’t give up on them or yourself just yet. Just be yourself, and the rest will fall into place.”
I don’t know how long we stayed like that, but the next thing I remember was waking up with the sun glaring in my eyes. Squinting, I sat up to find that I had been tucked in bed, with the covers pulled up. The events of last night came back to me in flashes. The water, the air, the rocks, the electricity. But the memories felt so far away that I had difficulty distinguishing them as either dreams or reality. They must have been dreams. No way could someone control an element like that.
Yes. Fire, to be specific.
I shook the voice from my head and hopped out of bed. After having eaten breakfast I resolved to do some homework. I pulled out my phone and decided to edit the footage for my media project. I uploaded the content onto my laptop, and started skimming through it to see what I had to work with. That’s when I spotted Alice staring out the window. I paused the video. She looked so serene. She looked peaceful for once. I had a sudden urge to sketch the frame.
Pulling out my sketchbook, I tried my best to bring her look to justice. I focused on the way the light bounced off her black hair and the way her eyes looked so distant, like she was reminiscing about a better time. I thought back to last night when she was yelling at me. This drawing needed to be perfect.
I had always been told that I was pretty good at art, although I never believed it. It was just something that I loved doing when the subject had a strong enough case. And Alice definitely had a strong enough case.
I completely forgot about my media project as my pencil flew across the page. I drew and drew and drew, and I only stopped to get lunch. By two o’clock I deemed myself finished and compared my artwork to the frame on my laptop’s screen. I hated to brag, but I thought it was pretty well done.
There was a knock on the door downstairs. I heard Mom answer it, and there was a muffled mumbling coming from below me. Before I knew it, a mass of feet padded their way upstairs. My door was tentatively pushed open.
“Maggie?” Tomas poked his head round.
“Uh, hi. I wasn’t expecting you guys to turn up,” I answered as the gang piled into my room, “How did you know I lived here?”
“You’re forgetting about our tech wizard here,” Tomas clapped Elliot on the back.
“I hacked into the school server and accessed your portfolio,” Elliot explained, “We needed to come see how you were, you know, after last night and everything.”
Alice, with electricity buzzing from her palms.
“I thought that was a dream?”
They all shook their heads. I started shaking again and Luke grabbed me under the arm to steady me. He set me down on the bed so I didn’t collapse.
“We need to finish explaining everything,” Tomas said in a soft voice, “But we’ll go at your pace this time.”
“We thought we’d show you our powers one at a time. Alice?” Elliot turned expectantly towards her.
She sat down in front of me. I think it was so she appeared nonthreatening, but I was too shaken up to notice.
“I can control electricity. Each of us can produce a small amount of our element by ourselves, without outer sources,” She raised a hand and demonstrated by illuminating up to her elbows in white sparks.
I flinched and tried to lean back, but Luke held onto me. His blue eyes bore into me and it was strangely relaxing.
Then he spoke to me for the first time, “You need to know this.”
I nodded and turned my attention back to Alice. She looked uneasy, but with a nod from Luke she continued.
“My outer source is anything electrical. If it requires electricity to work, then I can take the energy and turn it into my powers.”
She jumped up and turned the light on. She lifted her hand towards the bulb and it was like she pulled the light from it. Her sparks became bigger and brighter.
“Elliot, would you like to explain now?” Alice said as she dimmed her powers.
Elliot launched into a fully detailed explanation of his element, earth. Without outer sources, he can create enough earth to cover his hands with rock.
“So I have super strong punching skills,” he joked.
He walked over to the window and pushed it open. His outer source was fairly obvious. If it was dirt, rock or plants, he could control it. He weaved a garden plant stalk through the window and moved it towards me. I had calmed down by now. It was scary and unnatural, but I’d seen enough to know it was real, and I knew by now that the gang wasn’t going to hurt me. The stalk grew until it was just inches from my face. Then with a flick of Elliot’s hand, a beautiful lily blossomed in front of me. Picking it, he handed it to me.
Suddenly there was a gust of air and Tomas announced that it was his turn. Apparently, since he can control air he doesn’t know how much of it he can produce by himself because it’s naturally all around him.
His power was rather easy to learn about. He controls air, and air alone, and that was pretty much it.
Luke twisted his hand and an orb of water appeared, “I can control water in all its forms. I can’t create a lot without an outer source.”
With a wave of his fingers the water turned into ice. When he clenched his fist the ice turned into snow. I reached out and touched it. It was cold and wet, but it still held its spherical shape.
“My outer source is anything water related. The sea, ice, snow, steam…sweat,” he laughed.
I sat there, stunned. I believed them because I could see it with my own eyes, but they said I was one of them. I don’t have any powers.
I watched Alice walk over to my desk and look at my sketchbook that was still open.
“Is this me?” she looked at me with a quizzically impressed expression.
The guys saw what Alice was looking at and I guess they could feel the awkward tension electrocuting the air because they decided to give us some space.
“We’ll meet you behind the movies,” Tomas said as they filed out of the room.
I stood up and walked over to Alice. She was still looking at the drawing I had done.
“Do you like it?”
“It’s amazing,” she breathed, “Why are you being so nice to me? I’ve been so horrible to you.”
“I just believe that no matter the circumstances, you should always treat people the way you want to be treated.”
“I’m really sorry, Maggie. I’m sorry for everything.”
“It’s okay. Friends?”
We hugged it out and she started to giggle.
“I just realized, we’re sisters,” she giggled again when she saw my incredulous expression, “We’re from the same line of Flectors – plasma – making us technically sisters.”
“Yeah, about that. If I’m a Flector then why don’t I have powers too?”
“Let’s go find the guys. I’ll explain what I can on the way.”