Bern yelled and swung his skateboard at the empty air for a few more moments before collapsing, exhausted. Mia also sank to her knees. She stared at her hands, silent, mouth agape.

Bern shouted, grabbing his wrist. The pain hit him now that the adrenaline was ebbing.

Rianne rushed over and helped her brother up. Her hands glowed as she did so. She asked the group, “Is everyone alright? I can heal you.”

“You’re not looking too good yourself, sis,” Bern observed.

Quickly surveying the area, David told her, “Get Sakari and Shavonne on their feet. The rest of us are fine.”

Rianne hesitated, but Bern said, “This time, I agree with him.”

Rianne nodded and went to help Shavonne.

Nico slipped on his headphones, pressing them against his ears to concentrate.

Sakari slowly stood, gripping his bloody arm. “What were those things?” he asked.

“We call them Gibberish,” David answered.

“What are they?”

Rianne gingerly took Sakari’s arm in her hands, wrapping it in green light.

Cara answered Sakari, “I’m pretty sure but I…” She noticed her frozen sister. “Mia? Hey Mia,” Cara called to her.

Mia finally found her voice. She said slowly, “I just shot lightning. From my fingers. This shouldn’t be happening. This can’t be real.”

David approached her. “Mia…” He suspected that she might be a borderline case, and this reaction confirmed it. He didn’t want to see what would happen if she lost herself completely.

“Am I becoming Elyse now? Some kind of sorceress?”

“No. That’s just the magic you’ve been…”

“People can’t do magic! This is insane! This is all insane!”

David grabbed Mia’s shoulders. “What’s more insane? Doing something you thought was impossible or denying that you did it at all?”

Mia was silent, staring at David with wide eyes.

David relaxed his grip. Scaring her wouldn’t help either. He told Mia, “It’s a lot to swallow at once. I get it. But we need you. Stay with us. That’s all we ask.”

Another memory from twelve years ago surfaced in Cara’s mind. She had blacked out in an alley. But David found her, shook her awake, and reassured her that she’d be alright. It was the same kind of thing he was doing for Mia right now.

“You alright?” Sakari asked Cara.

She shook her head, returning to the present. “Sorry. Brain fart.”

A roar grabbed everyone’s attention. It was way too close for comfort.

Nico slid his headphones off. “Several signals. 2 o’ clock. Coming in fast. We gotta move now,” he said quickly, fear creeping into his voice.

“Is that bad?” Sakari asked.

“My gut says yes,” Cara answered.

Bern stepped onto his skateboard and shouted, “This way!” He sped off around the power plant and down a dark back route. The others ran after him.

©2021 Joyce Lewis. All rights reserved.