Heat Wave part I
A heat wave decends as Keziah discovers her peculiar gift
Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 15:02
Keziah concluded that the raindrops would be her lullaby as they dripped down the windows. The ceiling fan turned slowly, each blade trailing behind the other in a circle.
She shifted one leg out of the covers, then the other; she flipped over her pillow to find a cold spot and shut her eyes tight.
She’d rustled out of the covers completely by now, her legs dangled to the side as the bright green comforter wrinkled and slid off the mattress. The moonlight traced the sweat dotting, glistening along her legs. The heat nestled in every crevice of the room, engulfing all of the air. Keziah could feel it, wrapping around her toes, crawling up her legs and into her chest.
Her eyes locked onto the clock on her nightstand, the irises gleaming in the face of the clock like those of a cat being illuminated by an oncoming vehicle. She felt an urge, the heat was calling her, pulling her out of bed. The humidity caused her feet to stick to the wooden floor as she tiptoed to her window. From her windowsill, she could just make out a street slick with rain, buzzing with the headlights of passing cars.
Cicadas swarmed, chirping in the trees to the dripping of raindrops. Placing her forehead against the window, she hoped it’d be cooler than the room. She pulled the window up, a gust of heat and rain washed up against her face as the rain beaded into her tassels of wavy hair.
There was a time when the rain would not just dampen, but cool the world. A time when the rain was good and served a purpose. A time when it made the heat disperse. Keziah looked beyond the sky. The rain made it hard to see the stars, and the hues of darkness in the sky were continuously illuminated in the lightning. She could feel the lightning in the heat of the night, dancing between the thin, sleek bullets of rain; dancing in the distance, dancing between clouds... forever dancing.
She leaned out over her windowsill, but there was no differentiation between the heat in her room, and the heat in the world around her. The time on the dial hit 11:30 p.m. A tingling shot up her hand at the thought of what her mother would do if she caught her up at this time of the night.
The rain slowed, the heat began to feed off the dampness in the air, and a surge of warm wind ran into Keziah’s face — frizzing up her hair a bit more than usual. She felt empowered from the warmth. That’s when she decided that the heat gave her power. She took her index finger and traced the movements of the cars, their tires slicking down the wet road.
“I can move these,” she said softly to herself. Humming, she used her fingers to guide the way of the vehicles. After the third car, she felt as if she had it. She guided them through the heat, and it told her how to force them up the street.
The fourth car, a tiny, white coupe, appeared. Keziah locked her finger onto the car as she moved it down the road — the speed was constant. Then, her hand began to tremble. She heard the car skidding in the distance, she couldn’t stop the trembling, the skidding.
Lightning danced over the trees in the distance, her irises — a compilation of green and hazel — captured the lightning, the car. The tires began to skid along the street, her fingers quivering in the moonlight. Keziah felt the heat on her neck, in her hair, locking her body in place as she stood next to the window, immovable. She heard the tires swivel, skid, screech before the crash. She rested her hand on the windowsill, watching over the street, immersed in the patter of the rain.
Matthew Draughter can be contacted at email@example.com