I awoke to the sound of something hitting the floor. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes I peered over to find the present Mom had given me sinking into the plush carpet. Leaning to reach it, I brought it up to unwrap. Inside was a locket. It was bronze and tarnished and had a fire emblem emblazoned on the front of it, and it was beautiful. I pried it open and saw a picture of a gorgeous young woman kissing the cheek of a young man. I recognized the couple as my grandmother and grandfather.
“I was trying to tell you yesterday,” Mom suddenly appeared behind me, “The locket was your grandmother’s. I inherited it when they died. I thought I’d pass it onto you.”
I sat in bed, motionless, staring at the locket.
“I was trying to tell you yesterday. I was going to. But you said you felt sick, but that you didn’t feel funny, so I thought you weren’t going to change,” Mom’s voice was apologetic, “I’m so sorry, Maggie. I never should have left you alone.”
I took a deep breath before saying, “It’s okay. It’s fine, really. I had Luke.”
“Luke, huh?” Mom’s voice lightened up as she teased me.
My face burned as I tried to nonchalantly ask, “What about him?”
“Did he take good care of you yesterday? Are you going to go out with him?” Wow, that escalated quickly.
“Mom, please,” I shut her up before saying, “It’s not like that.”
It was Friday but I had been granted the day off school. And thank God for that because I don’t think I would be able to handle such large crowds after the day I had yesterday.
However, to make up for me staying home, I made it my duty to clean the house for Mom. She had asked me if I’d be okay being home alone after yesterday, and I said I’d be fine. She couldn’t afford to miss another day of work, especially since she’s barely been there for two weeks.
The twins had no idea what was going on, and thanks to Mom’s capable abilities, they didn’t ask. They had tried to pry it out of us at the start, but Mom had told them to shut it, and that we’d tell them when they were ready. I loved my brothers but this sort of thing wouldn’t be safe with them just yet.
By ten o’clock I had the house spotless because I’d received a text from Alice saying that they were cutting school to see me. By ten thirty we were all lounging around in the cavern, which, thanks to Tomas, was now decked out with beanbags.
Tomas was lazily spinning tornados in the air when he asked, “So how was your first night as a Flector, Maggie?”
“It was alright, I guess. I managed to get some sleep at least, which was good.”
“So, training,” Elliot announced as he jumped up.
Everyone groaned and he pulled a face, “It needs to be done, guys. We’re on the edge now. We have a newborn Flector in our midst and that puts us out. Maggie needs our help and we can’t help her if we can’t help ourselves.”
Luke reluctantly stood up, “Elliot’s right. We need to work and learn to control ourselves. We have an advantage because we’ve had our powers for longer and can control them a bit better, but watch out for Maggie,” he looked right at me, “She can get a bit hot headed.”
I rolled my eyes and pushed myself up from the beanbag. He hadn’t spoken to me since my turning yesterday, and that’s the first thing he says to me? I thought he was supposed to like me.
I pushed the thought out of my mind as I tried to concentrate. Everyone else was already practicing with their powers. Alice was extracting the electricity from the bulbs in the rock. It was mesmerizing to watch because as soon as the energy from the bulb had been removed, the bulb glowed again as the current passed through it.
I stood there and focused on my palms. They illuminated with the orange I had come to know and I braced myself. Distancing me from the others and blocking them out, I focused on the fire. I pushed my palm forward and the fire burst forth. It vanished a few meters ahead of me.
I suddenly entered my own world. I figured out which moves produced fire and which didn’t. My palms were piercing the air with an urgency, creating fireballs of different sizes. They didn’t last long, but that didn’t matter to me because more fire was created just as the rest of it vanished. Spinning around I was able to kick fire out of the soles of my feet and I suddenly felt like I was a master of martial arts. From the outside I probably looked ridiculous, but I was too focused on controlling my powers to care.
I stamped my foot and fire shot up around me. By spinning my hands I managed to create patterns in the fire. It looked so graceful and it made me want more. My actions became greater and the flames rose higher, like a raging beauty in a hurricane. When the flames stood several feet taller than me I tried to bring them down. They swayed dangerously and images from last night flashed before me. I cried out as the flames collapsed on top of me and dispersed.
“Maggie!” Alice shouted as she rushed over to me, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” I replied as I stood up and brushed myself off.
“Take things slowly. Maybe don’t try and get too ahead of yourself,” Elliot advised me.
I nodded as I took my position again. Everyone gave me reassuring looks before going back what they were doing. Looking at my palms I decided to take a break for a while. I walked back to a beanbag and dropped myself into it and chose to study the others instead.
As I was watching them I realized that they each had different techniques. Luke’s moves were graceful as he guided the water around. Even when it was turned into lethal ice he still managed to nimbly send them flying into the wall across from him.
Elliot, on the other hand, seemed almost vicious. It was a stark contrast compared to his normally timid nature. He used fists to lift rock, and he punched the air to sent them crashing into each other. He pounded the ground with his foot to make the boulders go flying, and I noticed that his stance dictated the direction of the boulders.
Tomas spun his fingers in the air to create mini tornados. He would use his arms to create bigger, more powerful ones. If he just wanted a gust of air, he would use both arms and push through the air. Dust went flying and Elliot helped settle it.
Alice, like Luke, worked in solitude. Electricity jumped from her hands and reached towards the ground whenever she pushed them forward. I noticed her way of pushing was different compared to everyone else though. Her palms were faced down and her fingers were splayed. It almost created a tunnel to guide the electricity. Her abilities and stances seemed both rough and beautiful. Luke and Tomas were elegant with their movements, and Elliot and I were not. But Alice moved with a gentle violence that was mesmerizing.
I decided to give it a try again. Jumping up, I once again distanced myself from the others. I took a deep breath and lit my hand on fire.