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Heat Wave part VIII

Keziah gains further control of her power

By Matthew Draughter
On March 27, 2014

The man sat in the reeds with Keziah in his arms, her body still pulsating with heat. She'd single-handedly wiped out a section of the bayou, and replaced it with dry, patched dirt. It had been over 20 years since he'd witnessed that much power in one person.
Carlos splashed small scoops of water on Keziah's forehead as he thought back to the last time he'd been in this now partially barren area - when he'd trained with Keziah's grandmother. A short breeze passed through, and he continued to hold Keziah, splashing her.

When Carlos was a child, he would sit by the lake at night, watching the ripples in the water as the moon grew brighter and brighter, feeling warm sensations run through his hands as he splashed through the lake. Never had he felt something like it.
One time in particular, he felt all of the reeds pull closer to him, and the warm feeling shot through his entire body. He could feel himself lifting off the ground, getting hotter and hotter. He started to spin faster and faster, and as he spun, an old woman with long, white locks emerged from the shadows of the bayou.
"Carlos," she yelled to him. "You need to control it!"
He didn't know what she was talking about; he panicked. He spun around faster in the air, floating higher than he was originally. The old woman moved closer to him. Still spinning, he yelled for help. The woman outstretched her hand, and as she clenched her fingers, he stopped, hanging motionlessly in mid-air.

When Keziah woke up, it was as if she was a baby just learning how to walk. She looked around, observing the damage she had done, and started to cry. Carlos stopped her.
"You have a gift, Keziah. You just need to learn how to control it. The car, the boy, the gumbo... all of those times, you were the one controlling the things around you. But there are times when your powers can surprise you. Those are the times you need to have the most control."
Carlos pulled a reed out of the water, throwing it onto the lake.
"I need you to move this," he said.
Keziah outstretched her tiny arm. She could still feel the heat from her previous actions; she could see the water around the reed starting to shake. The ripples started to break up, and particles of water started to float. She focused on the reed. Her hand grew even tighter, warmer.
She felt the power she once felt, warming her arms, but then her mind was flooded with thoughts of her grandmother, and the reed and the ripples stopped trembling. Everything subsided once more.
"You need to let go of everything," Carlos told her. "You need to focus. It's the only way you'll be able to really use your powers."
She tried once more, focusing on the reed itself. As Keziah's hand clenched, she could feel the heat run through her fingers. She breathed slowly, in and out, thinking about nothing else but the reed in the water. The reed in the water.
She closed her eyes; Carlos smiled, his eyes flashing from green to yellow. The reed slowly began to sway and rise in the air. Keziah opened her eyes, her hand tight, her breathing slow, her attention on the long piece of grass that swayed back and forth in front of her.
Matthew Draughter can be reached at 

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