Taming the Fire

(entry for '24 hours in the City Of Bones' competition)
Best friends Jack and Alex struggle to help an elemental control her new power, a bond growing between the three of them to rival any other.


2. Teaching Fire

“Come on Hannah, focus! You did really well last time now come on. Think about the shape you want the flame to make. Focus on it. Hold it in your mind.”

Jack frowned slightly from where he was sat over the top of the bench, switching his gaze from Hannah and Alex to the end of Brighton Pier. Admittedly he had started the whole thing, but he thought Alex was pushing the young teen a bit too much. “Give the girl a break Al. She’s only known her power for four days and we don’t want her collapsing again.” Jack turned to face the two again, Alex having not said anything. “Alex? Would you listen to me for on-“ He cut himself off with a small gasp, the view that greeted him being stunning. Hanna had stood from the bench opposite him, her hands raised at eye level and fingers moving slightly. Between her hands was a perfect sphere of fire, about the size of a tennis ball. Biting her lip in concentration, Hannah made the sphere turn around as though it were a planet, revolving around its axis. Grinning, Alex stood with his arms crossed in front of him before crouching slightly so he was level with the flame. “Okay, that’s great Han. Now try and change the shape. Try something similar first, a cube or pyramid.”

Jack watched in awe as she nodded, her high bunches waving about slightly, and her frown deepened. Slowly, very slowly, the ball of fire started evening out and corners appeared. The surface was still rounded in places but in one swift movement the sphere transformed to a perfect cube. Hannah grinned, letting out a small laugh, and turned the cube over between her hands.

Frowning slightly, Jack moved to stand next to Alex as he murmured, “She’s really talented. I mean, her power must be really strong for her to be able to do this so quickly. D’you think she could do the colours?” Alex hummed softly in thought. “Maybe. I’m pretty sure she’d like to try.” They looked back to Hannah currently changing her cube to a pyramid and back before moving her hands swiftly and turning the flame back into a sphere, holding it above her left hand and prodding at it experimentally with her right.

An hour later the three were walking back down the pier after having a celebratory go on the rides at the end. Normally Alex wouldn't bother with them but he knew Jack liked them and Hannah had never been on one, despite living close to the pier for fifteen years. “So what do you guys do? I mean, you have to be doing something other than working on your powers.” Smiling at her, the two shook their heads. “At the moment, that’s all we’re doing actually.” Jack smiled at Alex as he  explained. “We finished college about a month ago but wanted to wait before going to university or work. It’s nice to just relax, learn more about elementals, and help others like you.” Hannah frowned at them then, but still had a smile. “You've done this before?” The young girl couldn't help but wonder how many had been before her and how many would be after. Alex jumped in then, quickly clarifying for her. “Not really, I helped my cousin get to grips with her affinity for air, Jack helped a little because he can tap into air as well, like I can with earth and water. Earth is trickier for me, water I can get to fairly easily, where it’s similar to air.” Nodding, Jack grinned. “It’s not uncommon to be able to use more than your own element. I've been working with Al to strengthen his connection to earth and he’s been doing the same with me for air.” Hannah skipped along slightly with a wide grin. “That’s so cool! Do you think I could have an affinity for another?” Alex nodded, “I think you could be able to use air easily enough, it does help fire after all and your flame was in the air the whole time, but first we’ll have to keep working on controlling fire, maybe work on colours.”

Grinning up at them, Hannah’s head tilted slightly. “You mean, I could create purple fire? Or pink?!” Alex nodded as Jack voiced, “Yep, any colour really.”
“I can’t wait!” Hannah exclaimed, grabbing both the boy’s hands and skipping along the rest of the pier, dragging them after her. Alex rolled his eyes at Jack as they stumbled slightly and tried to keep in time with Hannah’s wonky skipping leading them back to the flat.

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