After discovery of her ability to command the weather, Seraphina West realizes that her talent is too great to control and begins to seek help at the Safe House, a place for people with gifts such as hers. Others are seeking to take advantage of Seraphina’s impressive talent, leading to the disappearance of her close friend Lizabeth as well as the mention of Seraphina’s lineage linked to the first West Wind decedent. As Seraphina’s powers grow increasingly unstable, and not willing to risk the new friendships forged in the Safe House, she turns to the aid of Elderidge, a knowledgeable man who is willing to help her overcome her talent’s control, but soon Seraphina wonders if she will be able to pay the price…
*On hold for editing*


10. Chapter Ten

                Just as quickly as Elderidge had appeared, he seemed to fly away in the breeze, leaving no trace of his presence but of that in her mind. Seraphina knew he was only trying to pollute her thoughts and aid in straying from her path, but his words were corrosive. Though they may have been covered in acidic fluff, there was no shortage in truth to what he said.


                Perhaps she was responsible for the deadly events. Maybe she was lying to turn her blame to her power, when in reality, the culpability was forced on Seraphina. The uncertainty of herself was jolting to life once again, taken away for a few brief seconds by the new people she had begun to slowly trust. 


                Her palms pressed together, the small indentations along her fingers lined up with the other hand. Her uneven skin tone was human, but there was something in her blood that wasn’t. Whenever danger threatened, her hand became ghostlike, a fog trapped to maintain her figure. That was the greatest mystery, and she felt Elderidge knew more than he was letting on.


                A streamline of thin wind flew by her ear, its wispy sound forming into words as Seraphina suddenly picked up at the unknown language. “Freedom,” it whispered, ticking her skin, “Set us free.”


                The weather wanted to have no master, but as it was forced into slavery to Seraphina- who did not like it any more than the wind did- it still remained a rebellious servant. At every moment possible, it tried to rip itself from her grasp, running away to its own desires before being brought back to control under a tighter leash. Slowly, Seraphina was learning, understanding the complexities of the masterful art of climate, though she begged to absorb faster. The moments she wasted with an unbound talent, the greater the damage it would cause.


                “I am sorry,” Seraphina mumbled back to the wind. “But that will not happen to either of us.”


                “What won’t happen?” Kempton’s voice interrupted, pulling Seraphina out of her mind and into reality. The wind’s whisper did not respond, seeming to shy away from the stranger. She didn’t jump at his sudden voice- it seemed impossible. He spoke with a sound that calmed her nerves and soothed her soul back to the naïve girl that had started the adventure to come to this place. It was surrounded by comfortable warmth, with a thoughtfulness in the depth of his mind.


                “Nothing,” Seraphina slowly replied, her mind drifting between the reality and her thoughts. “Just thinking aloud; it helps me organize myself better.” Kempton nodded, but she saw his eyes were left with confusion he was content with. At least his confusion was blissful, she thought, instead of the consuming chaos that seems to follow me.


                “What are you?” He quickly asked, his eyes drifting up and down her face as if to see into her soul.


                “Human?” Seraphina guessed, not understanding what he meant. A smirk grew on his face, his eyes sparkling with a unspoken laughter. Suddenly, she felt idiotic as if this were the simplest conversation starter.  


                “No, I mean, what are you?” Kempton asked again, his eyes suddenly landing on hers with intense focus. “I am a mind reader,” he added, his brown orbs unmoving. “But I can’t get a read on what you’re thinking- either you block mental powers, or you are just one of the lucky few.” Seraphina paused, unsure of how to respond his statements. At least now she knew that the Safe House was not a place where secrets were kept… at least not with Kempton around.


                “I can manipulate the weather,” Seraphina stammered, diverting her violet eyes away from Kempton’s unyielding gaze, a red hue painting her cheeks.  The temperature in the room suddenly skyrocketed, a humid air lowering into the room and sticky breeze blew across her skin. He smiled, taking notice in the change of climate as his eyes looked to the small, gray cloud forming along the ceiling.


                “Very nice,” he applauded, abruptly taking Seraphina’s hand and pulling her to her feet. “What else can you do?”

                “I do not know if it would be best to practice,” Seraphina quickly replied, pulling out of Kempton’s strong grasp. She looked up to the storm cloud forming, silently pleading for it to disappear and the topic to changed. “If anybody got hurt… I would be beside myself.”


                “Come on,” Kempton pestered, stepping closer to her. “When does a little rain hurt anybody?”


                “It is not the rain you should be worried about,” Seraphina refuted, backing away from him. “Can we drop the subject?” Kempton seemed to ignore her, his thoughts solely concentrated on deciding what type of precipitation to see.


                “What about snow?” He thought aloud, “We have not seen it in years.” Seraphina paused, looking to his desperate eyes, as he waited for her to show off her talent with more wind or sleet. She opened her mouth to reply, trying to think of how to phrase her thoughts so she could move on.


                “I do not feel comfortable with this,” Seraphina said, trying to remain calm so not to have the weather express it for her. “Please, just drop it.”


                “Why? I don’t see how-“


                “No,” Seraphina interjected, her voice louder than before. “I don’t want anybody to get hurt!” Lightning flashed outside, a low thunder rumbling in the distance as she realized that she had given him the show he had asked for, even if it was more simplistic than the first. She closed her eyes for a moment, to find her composure, and then looked to Kempton. “You wanted to get me mad, didn’t you?”


                “When I want something,” Kempton said, walking towards the door, “I get it.” His hand gripped the doorknob, opening the entrance to the hallway quietly. Turning, he looked back at her,  a hinting smile crawling on his face. “And by the way, Annisa wants to see you,” he added, reading Annisa’s mind from four rooms away.

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