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Heat Wave part VII

Keziah unleashes her full potential

By Matthew Draughter
On March 20, 2014

When the house fell silent, Keziah waited by the window as she draped the wind-chime outside. The beads and stones dangled and gleamed in the moonlight and the night was calm with a dry heat she hadn't experienced for quite some time.
She sat by the window, waiting for the man, waiting to see those big, bright eyes that stuck in her mind from the night before. But the wind just wasn't blowing. She could feel herself drifting off into a deep sleep as she leaned against the window.
A brief moment passed. Her head began to bob up and down like a ball dipping in and out of a pond; her eyes opened and closed.
Suddenly, she thought she saw something flash in the corner of the room. Something blocking her out of the moon's light. When she opened her eyes, there was a man perched on her window - a man with eyes that gleamed, shifting from green to yellow as he blinked slowly.
It was him.
Keziah didn't have a moment to say anything. When she tried to get up, he grabbed her hand as a sudden wave of warmth surrounded both of them. In seconds they were back at the lake.
"Come on," he said. "We're late."
She looked at him, unsure of what to say. She tried to think of a question to ask him, but when her mouth opened nothing came out. Keziah could feel her throat closing; she could feel the nerves within her working up a force of heat, heat she hadn't felt within her in so long. Her hands began to clench, forming small fists, and her arms began to sweat.
The man began to grin. He could feel the heat from within her. Keziah felt a sudden wave come over her, unlike any other sensation she had felt previously. It wasn't like moving the car or the boy - it felt nothing like moving the bowl of gumbo either.
She started to shake. The man lost his grin.
Slowly, she began to lift off of the ground, the man's eyes widened as she got higher and higher off the ground. A funnel of reeds and water and mud began to twist up from under Keziah's feet. A surge of heat began to flow through her body and the light brown skin of her hands grew into a light pink, then red.
The man had never seen anything like this in so many years. He could feel the heat rising within her; she wasn't going to be able to harness it. He rushed toward her, trying to get in contact with her, but it was too late.
Keziah released a surge of heat, blasting out in waves as if from a tsunami. The surge of heat singed all of the reeds and trees around her. It was as if she'd charred every root within a mile radius of where she'd been standing. The wave pushed everything from her, flooding everything around her with a draining heat.
The man was pushed back from the blast and as he floated back to her, he found her lying in a patch of dried land that she had created in just a matter of seconds.
He scooped her up and carried her to a puddle of the lake that hadn't been dried out from her surge. As he held her in the water, dipping her hands in, he could hear them fizz as if he were dipping a hot skillet in a pool of water. He shook his head, knowing there was so much work to be done.
As he looked back over his shoulder at what was once swamp and now a desert. He continued to hold her, looking over her face, remembering that he had only seen so much force, so much power, come from one other person: her grandmother.
Matthew Draughter can be reached at 

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