superpowers

The Tempest’s Tower 2: New Beginning

Need to catch up first? Click here to read The Tempest’s Tower 1: Vengeance.

“Cara?”

Mother. She was too distracted to hear Susan coming. Cara quickly wiped her eyes. She hoped her mother didn’t notice. The rain softened to a drizzle.

“So, it was you. “ Susan joined her daughter at the window. “Ah, and now I see why.”

“Go away.” Cara mumbled.

“I’m going to help you. Come with me,” her mother requested before she exited Cara’s room.

Cara rolled her eyes and shook her head. Right, SHE’S going to help ME. She returned to the window in time to see Allie wrap her arms around Ryan’s neck and glare directly into Cara’s window. As the skies suddenly darkened, Cara determined it might be in everyone’s best interest if she distracted herself with her mother’s drunken delusions.

Cara’s mother was at the dinner table, already drinking directly from a bottle of cheap vodka. Apparently using the empty glass next to her was too many stops on the way from tipsy to drunk. Cara sat down across from her mother. Susan poured some of the vodka into the empty glass.

“Don’t bother classing it up for me, Mom.” Cara jabbed.

“Brat. This one is for you,” Susan retorted as she handed the glass to Cara.

“You’re drunker than I thought,” Cara refused the glass.

“Take it. Trust me. You’re going to want it.”

“I’m 12.” Cara reasoned.

“So?”

Cara took the glass from her mother’s persistent hand but did not drink from it.

“You’re going to change your mind,” Susan insisted.

“You said you were going to help me.”

“Cara, I know I am a terrible parent. This probably seems like an all-time low, even for me, but I promise you, it WILL help.”

Cara looked into the glass before she placed it to her lips. The reflection that stared back at her seemed to transform from her own likeness to that of her mother’s. She set the cup down and shook her head.

“Suit yourself,” Susan continued, “I know more about what you’re going through than you think. You are not unique, Cara. I’m cursed too.”

“What?” Cara looked at her incredulously. “By alcoholism?!”

“You’re a funny girl tonight. Your powers, where do you think you got them?”

“I thought I was cursed.” Cara replied honestly.

“Well you are, but you are not alone.” Her mother confirmed as she took another swig from her bottle.

“No. No way, I would know. This is not something you can keep secret.”

“I know what keeps the curse at bay, baby girl,” Susan slurred, “a bottle of vodka a day.”

Cara picked up the glass and reconsidered. However, the aroma of its contents brought her back to reality. “You’re a drunk,” she told her mother, “and a liar.” With that, Cara stood up from the table and turned to leave.

“You don’t have to take my word for it. You’ll see. I’m dying, Cara. The cure to my curse is killing me slowly,” She stood and took her daughter by the shoulders, forcing Cara to look her in the eyes, “but it’s worth it. I poisoned myself to keep from killing someone else, and it was worth it.”

Cara was tired of listening to her mother’s booze-fueled meltdown. She shook free of her mother’s grasp and retreated to her bedroom.

“You’ll believe me soon enough,” Susan proclaimed just before she downed the contents of the glass she had previously offered to her daughter.

The rain fell steadily throughout the night as Cara quietly wept into her pillow.

***************

It was Halloween morning when Brandon arrived in Crystal Bay. He did not know why Father Aetas had beckoned him so urgently, but the priest never sent for him if it wasn’t something of vast importance. Brandon headed toward the temple. As he hurried by, he was surprised to barely recognize the place he used to call home. The quiet little village he saved from fire many years ago was now a thriving resort town, serving primarily the country’s elite.

Father Aetas greeted him inside the sanctuary. “I’m relieved you were able to get here so soon, Waterbender. This is a pivotal moment in Cara’s life.”

“Who is Cara?” Brandon inquired.

“Cara is the reason you are here,” the priest replied, “she is powerfully gifted, my boy, dangerously so.” Father Aetas poured them each a cup of tea and explained Cara’s situation to Brandon.

“This could have dire consequences, son. That is why her mother came to me,” The priest concluded.

Brandon understood the importance of the father’s request. “I will not let you down,” he assured his old friend.

***************

Cara checked and double-checked her hat and wig in the mirror. She had to ensure that not a single strand of her hair was exposed. Glaring reminders of the night her father died haunted her still. The lightning bolt she absorbed transformed her hair from golden blond to stark white. Her once cobalt eyes were now icy violet-blue. Spidery scars sprang out from the electrical burns on her palms, all the way around the sides of both hands. Halloween provided the perfect cover to allow Cara to escape the confines of her house.

With her hair concealed, Cara donned her go-go boots, gloves, and 60s sunglasses. Satisfied that she was unrecognizable, she grabbed her bag and hurried out the door. It had been 3 weeks since the night her supposedly terminal mother tried to promote her from daughter to drinking buddy. For the first time in 2 years, Cara actually wanted to get out of the house.

It was an unseasonably pleasant night for mid-autumn.  She was more interested in people-watching than candy. Everyone was smiling and laughing, enjoying their warm Halloween. None of them realized that it was Cara’s exuberant mood that provided them all with such a perfect backdrop for a night of epic trick-or-treating. She was basking in the sights of new faces, the sounds of unfamiliar voices when she was unexpectedly jolted back to reality. She stood for a moment, stunned, after a baseball struck the side of her head and knocked her sunglasses to the ground.

“Robby, you brute!” Lissa shouted. “Hey, are you OK?” She called to Cara.

Cara panicked. A sudden gust of wind caught her wig. She quickly bent to the ground and fetched her glasses. She managed to cover her eyes before Robby came running up. Unfortunately, several pieces of snow-white hair peeked out from beneath her windblown disguise.

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to… whoa, Cara?” He backpedaled slowly.

Seeing their friend’s reaction, Lissa, Allie, and Ryan quickly rushed to Robby’s side. When they realized who he was talking to, they collectively gasped.

“P-pl-please don’t hurt me. It was an accident, I swear. I didn’t know it was you.” Robby sniveled.

“Oh my God! Get out of here, psycho!” Allie hissed.

“Yeah, get out of here! Leave us alone!” Lissa echoed.

Cara’s heart was pounding. The wind began to whip. “I’m not going to hurt anyone,” she choked. Even as she said the words, the skies began to darken.

“OK, everybody just needs to relax.” Ryan interjected, “Cara, is your head OK?”

Cara did not expect a gesture of concern. She loved him more than ever in that moment. She didn’t even know that was possible. She smiled meekly. “My head is fine, my glasses took most of the impact. Thank you for asking.”

“I can walk you home, make sure you get there ok,” Ryan suggested. Allie shot him a look of disgust.

Cara nodded in elated agreement. “I’d like that,” she replied.

“OK. Guys, I’ll be right back.” he assured the group.

Despite his promise to return, Allie promptly proceeded to follow the twosome down the street, flanked by Robby and Lissa. Cara and Ryan walked in silence, except for the sounds of the girls jeering behind them.

“What is she supposed to be, an alien?”

“I don’t know. She should have been a witch, an ugly wicked witch.”

“Or a serial killer.”

When it began to sprinkle, Ryan finally broke the quiet that hung between them. “Don’t listen to them. They’re just scared.”

“I don’t blame them.” Cara said as she wiped the tear from her cheek.

“Take care.” Ryan told her when they reached Cara’s front walk.

“Thank you for walking me home.” She replied genuinely.

Cara hustled into the house and watched through an open window as Ryan returned to the group. She could still make out their voices as they talked.

“What, so now you love The Tempest?” Robby teased.

“No, he does not love The Tempest, do you, Ryan?” Allie demanded.

“Settle down guys. No, I do not love The Tempest. I just wanted to get rid of her before any of you got hurt.” Ryan laughed as he hugged Allie from behind. “I was protecting you from the go-go demon,” he joked.

A wave of dejection washed over Cara. As the rain returned, the foursome bolted out of sight of The Tempest’s Tower. The winds gusted and swirled. Cara’s sorrow deepened and fear grew as she watched the trees bend and sway. She needed to calm down. Maybe booze isn’t the worst idea, she decided.

Cara dug a small bottle out of her mother’s nightstand. She held her breath, put it to her lips, tossed her head back and drank it in a single gulp. She retreated to her tower and waited for the elixir to take effect.

Soon a warm sensation filled her from the inside out. The winds began to ease. The rain became a mist.

“I’m tired of the rain.” Cara stated aloud. Another drink was in order. It actually seemed to be working. She tiptoed down the stairs to where her mother was sleeping on the couch. Cara couldn’t believe her luck. The bottle in Susan’s hand was nearly full. Cara gently attempted to pry it from her mother’s grip. While doing so, a sliver of light from a passing car crossed her mother’s face. Susan’s eyes were wide open. Cara retreated in shock. When her mother did not blink, Cara reached out hesitantly and touched Susan’s hand. It was ice cold.

Cara fell to her knees and knelt before her mother. Her blood curdling wails filled the air and rattled the windows. The heavens turned a familiar apocalyptic shade as lightning erupted in webs across the sky. Cara stroked her mother’s cheek, then brushed her hair away from her face. She lowered a hand to Susan’s eyes and closed them for the final time.

When she returned to her feet, her eyes glistened with electricity. She cried static tears. The strands of her hair thrashed like angry snakes as they crackled and popped with voltage. She shrieked again and unleashed a torrent of lightning through the palms of her hands. She turned and walked out the front door, leaving the house to burn in her wake.

***************

Brandon did not need to know the one they called “The Tempest” to know that their current weather conditions were likely her doing. He feared that death had come for Cara’s mother just as the doctors predicted it would. He hastened his pace.

Cara rounded the corner a block ahead of him and stormed down the sidewalk. He did not need to be able to see well through the torrential rains to know it was her. Electricity illuminated even her veins. He noticed almost simultaneously that flames from her house flickered over the tops of the trees. He rushed to the scene before the inferno could spread to any other homes.

The Waterbender cupped his hand and twisted his wrist subtly. It took centuries of training and practice to perfect the ability to summon powerful forces without drawing unwanted attention to oneself. His slight gesture collected the pouring rain into a cyclone in the sky. When the cyclone grew large enough to douse blaze, Brandon opened his hand. The contents of his water tornado poured down upon what was left of Cara’s home and snuffed out the flames. He quickly fled in search of Cara, before she could do any more damage.

***************

Cara zapped Ryan’s front gate off its hinges. She walked half way up the walk and stopped. She could see Ryan peeking through a curtain, watching her.

“Mom! Come quick!” She heard him call. His voice dripped with terror.

The front door opened. Ryan’s mother emerged. “Cara, honey, what is happening to you? Are you alright?” Her voice trembled as she spoke.

“No.” Cara stated simply as she raised a hand and snapped at Ryan’s mother with a rope of electricity.

The horrified woman screamed, “Call 9-1-1!”, as she quickly slammed the door shut and locked it.

The bolt whipped wildly and struck the porch swing, causing splinters of wreckage to blast through the nearby windows of the house. Cara summoned another charged whip with her other hand.

“Cara! Stop!”

Cara spun around to see who dared disturb her blaze of glory. “Who are you?” She demanded. Her voice echoed fiercely, no longer sounding human at all. “What do you want?” She bellowed.

“I want to help you.” Brandon assured as he cautiously approached her.

She laughed wickedly, “The last person to tell me that is lying dead in the burning hell that used to be my home.”

“Your mother did the best she could. Her death was not your fault, Cara.” He yelled over the din of the whipping winds.

“You seem to know a lot about me…”

“Brandon,” he finished.

“Brandon. So you should know, I have nothing left, nothing to lose.” With that she directed a gust in his direction, knocking him off his feet. “Don’t get in my way,” she warned.

Cara returned her attention to Ryan’s family home. She again started to raise a lethal hand when an irresistible force caused her to stop.

“I can’t let you do this!” Brandon persisted.

Cara was defiant. She fought against the unseen force holding down her arm. The Waterbender stood unmoved, holding his hand close to his body, palm facing the Cara. The harder she resisted, the more the paralysis consumed her. It felt like she was suffocating. “What are you doing to me?” she besought.

“I’m sorry,” he replied, “so, so sorry. It’s called blood-bending. It is a matter of last resort. You cannot resist. Please, just relax, Cara. You will be more comfortable, I promise. I suspect the police will arrive soon. We must go, now.”

The girl whimpered in agony as she continued to oppose her captor. She learned one thing was true; she could not resist. Against her will, Brandon proceeded to move one of her feet after the other. He controlled her like a puppeteer. Cara couldn’t imagine a greater sense of violation. She wished he would just kill her and end this once and for all. She could hear him behind her, uttering “I’m sorry” over and over. She would not accept his hollow apologies. She couldn’t even turn her head to look at him when she declared her undying hatred for him.

Brandon walked her directly through the doors of the church and released her before Father Aetas. Weakened from the toll the Waterbender’s invasion had taken on her, she fainted into the priest’s arms.

“Good work, Waterbender, thank you.” the priest exalted.

“Don’t thank me just yet, Father. I fear I may never gain her trust now.” Brandon responded honestly.

***************

She woke the next day to find Brandon sitting at her bedside, his hand cupped over hers.

“Cara? I wanted to be here when you woke up. Please you must understand why I did what I did. I am so deeply sorry. I wish I had handled it differently.” He admitted remorsefully.

Cara trembled as she withdrew her hand. She looked Brandon directly in the eyes. “You’re a monster,” she whispered…

***************

Want to read what else is happening in the Mayhem Universe?

The Waterbender, part 1
The Waterbender, part 2
Baan the Deathlord
The Tempest’s Tower 1: Vengeance

Keep up with all of the superhero action by using the “Category” menu on my blog’s main page to select the Mayhem Universe option.

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Waterbender, part 2

This epic begins with Waterbender, part 1. I encourage you to read that first if you have not already.

His progress was slow but
He was not crestfallen.
He labored, persevered,
Hard work did not stall him.
He would never have dreamt
To ask more of the moon,
Had it not been for
A destructive typhoon.
The cyclone struck
With all of its might,
Leaving carnage and fires
That lit up the night.
His village in flames,
He escaped to the bay,
But he was not strong enough
To keep the inferno away.
He watched helpless,
The forest was consumed.
He had to do something or
They were all doomed.
His voice pierced the darkness,
His tone do-or-die,
“Great Mentor please help,
You are stronger than I!”
The moon responded
To his desperate plea,
“The time has come,
Listen closely to me.
You are the hero
That your people need.
You have shown great honor,
Shunned excess and greed.
The incantation I utter
That shall now be cast,
Charges you with alone
With responsibility so vast…
I, Moon, agent of Mother Nature,
Powerful orb of the night,
Celestial body and
Earth’s sole satellite,
Recognize you, Brandon,
To be the Cosmos’ son.
You’re a bender of fluids,
Your planet’s Chosen One.
I bestow upon you
Capacity without limit
To protect your world,
And all that live in it.
For let it be known,
I bequeath upon thee,
The gift of the righteous
And control of the sea.
He felt it immediately,
Vim coursed through his veins.
Finally his powers
Had broken their chains.
He lifted his hands
A mammoth wall gave rise,
This one so tall
Water stretched to the skies.
So diligently he had
Perfected his technique,
He feared not this potency,
He need not be meek.
With immense confidence
He doused the great blaze,
Reducing an inferno
To a mere smoky haze.
The villagers rejoiced.
A champion was born.
His gallant tale was spread
Before darkness became morn.

 

This poem & its character have spawned a new hero universe. New paladins are in the works, plus stories begin to intertwine as the waterbender meets the weather controller soon. Please check back as the saga continues and let me know what you think!

Image courtesy of documentingreality.com

 

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The Tempest’s Tower 1: Vengeance

Cara learned to keep the light off in the tower. She preferred the anonymity that only the shadows could provide. She enjoyed watching them play, imagining that she was part of it. However, when they saw her watching them, the other kids would run out of sight, usually screaming. They were right to be afraid of her. She WAS a monster. Still, she treasured the memory of her day with Ryan and the others. For a few short hours, before everything went straight to hell, she was just like everybody else. It was both the best and the worst day of her life.

***************

The dank stench of the leaky, mold filled house was stifling. In the ten short years of her life, she had never smelled anything quite like it. They had lived in heaps suffering a greater degree of decay, but none of them reeked like this one did. While her parents fought loudly over which box belonged in which room, Cara slipped out in search of fresh air. She wandered down the sidewalk to explore her new surroundings.

She could just see over the top of the brick fence that encased her new neighbor’s home. The house on the other side was just as old as hers, but it had been well maintained through the years. Crumbling slabs in the barricade had been meticulously patched. The grass on the other side of the wrought iron gate was plush like blades of deep green pillows. Her fingers traced the mortared crevice between layers of brick as she turned the corner. That’s where she saw him playing on the swing set behind his immaculate home.

He must be around my age,” she thought. She smiled unconsciously as she watched him frolic about his expansive yard.

“Hey, who are you?” the boy asked when he noticed her lingering outside his fence. “Are you moving next door?”

She nodded as she replied, “I’m Cara.”

He smiled broadly in response. “I’m Ryan. You can play too if you want. Go around, come through the gate.”

She did not hesitate to join the boy. She removed her shoes to feel the tickle of the soft lawn beneath her feet. Ryan quickly removed his shoes as well. As they ran barefoot through the yard occasionally succumbing to raucous fits of laughter, Cara felt normal for the first time in her life. Throughout the day other children joined them as well, all choosing to liberate themselves of their shoes as they played. Cara was impressed by how far Robby could kick a ball shoeless. She watched in awe as Lissa twirled like a ballerina on the tips of her bare toes. She envied Allie’s perfectly manicured nails. Above all else, she cherished the moment when Ryan took her hand during a game of hide and seek and whispered, “Follow me.” He hid them both so well that Allie gave up and threatened to go home if they didn’t come out.

Time seemed to pass in a flash and Cara panicked when she noticed how far the sun had traveled across the sky. She bolted to the location where she left her shoes earlier, but they were missing. “Oh no,” she thought, “I can’t go home without my shoes! Dad will kill me!

The trees began to rustle as the wind gusted suddenly. “No, please don’t let this happen now. I don’t want them to find out,” she mumbled to herself as she nervously watched branches bend and sway.

Fighting back tears, Cara turned to the others and begged, “Have you seen my shoes? Please, I’m late. I need to find my shoes.”

The increasingly violent winds prompted Robby’s mother to beckon him inside. “Sorry, Cara!” he yelled over his shoulder. “I’d help you look but I have to go.” He ran down the adjacent alley and disappeared into a yard on the opposite side of the block.

Seeing the desperation in her eyes, Ryan immediately offered to help. The duo scoured the yard but to no avail. As Cara’s despair grew, the skies grew more ominous. While they searched, Lissa & Allie sat on the porch, whispering and giggling. Noticing their antics, Ryan questioned them, “Do you know where Cara’s shoes are?”

“Oh, are Cara’s shoes missing? Why didn’t you say something?” Allie asked deviously, choking back a chuckle. “Lissa, do you know where Cara’s shoes are?” she asked sarcastically.

Lissa looked at Cara and simply shrugged, reducing the two girls to laughter.

“It’s not funny,” Cara protested. “I could get in big trouble. Give me my shoes back!” Sizeable raindrops joined the whipping winds as tears slipped past the rims of Cara’s eyes and streamed down her cheeks.

“Don’t cry little baby,” Allie teased. “Your shoes are just hiding from you.”

Cara did not understand the clue, but Ryan did. He immediately retreated to their earlier hiding spot while Cara confronted the girls.

“Why are you being so mean?” she demanded. She had completely lost control of the tears which now flowed freely down her face. Simultaneously the sky released its bounty upon them.

Allie and Lissa ignored her question. They were scrambling to collect their things so they could seek shelter from the rain. As they started their sprint across Ryan’s yard, Cara stomped her foot, threw her fists toward the ground, and bellowed at them, “You come back here!”

Her bark was accompanied by a brilliant flash, immediately followed by a deafening blast of thunder. The lightning that lit up the sky struck the thick arm of a nearby white oak tree. The girls stood frozen, wailing in terror. Ryan reemerged to push them clear of the massive branch before it came crashing directly upon them. A limb clipped Ryan from behind, and knocked him forcibly to the ground where he lay motionless.

“Ryan!” Lissa cried.

“You freak! You did this!” Allie accused, pointing directly at Cara.

“Oh God, what have I done?” Cara asked herself quietly. As her anger turned to dismay, the rain responded in kind, becoming less powerful. She stood perfectly still whispering “I’m so sorry” until she heard her father shouting her name.

Ryan was moaning and beginning to cry by the time Cara’s father made his way into the yard. Ryan’s mother had already called 9-1-1 and was gently tending to her wounded son.

Chris, Cara’s father, grabbed her arm fiercely. “Did you do this?” He demanded sharply.

Ryan’s mother gave Chris a confused look. “It was an accident. Lightning struck that tree.” She gestured toward the still smoldering old oak.

“Cara MADE it happen!” Allie insisted. “She tried to kill us!”

“Don’t be silly,” Ryan’s mother responded. “Nobody controls the weather.”

“She does!” Lissa argued.

“Let’s get out of here,” Allie said to Lissa. “You’re a monster!” She spat back at Cara as they climbed over the wall, “You can’t play with us anymore. Stay away!”

With Ryan now clinging to her, his mother looked at Cara, “Kids will be kids, dear. Accidents happen. It wasn’t your fault. We will get Ryan looked at. He will be fine.” She then handed Cara her shoes.

“Yeah, accidents happen,” Chris scoffed. “Unfortunately they seem to follow my kid wherever she goes. I’m very sorry for what happened today. She shouldn’t have been here.”

Before Ryan or his mother could respond, Chris dragged Cara savagely by the arm down the sidewalk and out of sight.

“Daddy, you’re hurting me!” Cara fought against his grasp. She knew by this point in the day he had been drinking for hours. She was angry at herself for losing track of the time. She should have been in her room, quietly staying out of sight, before he was drunk. She was afraid of the punishment inevitably forthcoming. As she struggled, the winds once again began to swirl around them.

When they arrived at their wretched new home, Chris shoved Cara toward the cement stairs leading to the back door. She stumbled and landed hard on the cracked and jagged edges of the concrete. She began to sob and begged her father, “I am so sorry about what I did. Please don’t hurt me. I like Ryan. I didn’t mean to do it!” The light rain transitioned back to a torrential downpour suddenly.

“Stop it!” Chris demanded. “No more of this. Stop this rain right now or I will beat the evil out of you if I have to kill you to do it. I have had enough!”

“I can’t Daddy! I don’t know how to stop it!” Cara’s voice shook with fear. She knew he meant what he said. She knew that he secretly wanted to end her life the moment he realized that her emotions somehow had an impact on the weather. Even as an infant, when she would wail, it would rain. When she was not getting proper nutrition because her drunken parents forgot to tend to her needs, dangerous, dry heat would follow. When she became angry or fearful, all hell would break loose, just like it did today.

“I do,” he replied as he picked her scraped body up off the stairs and shoved her back down again, harder this time. Her head struck an edge, leaving her with a gash on the back of her skull. She reached back instinctively and could feel the warm, moist sensation of her own blood against her fingertips. Her eyes narrowed into slits as her fear turned burning hatred for her father. She was ready for him the next time he pounced. She rolled clear before he could seize her. Off balance, he himself landed against the rickety steps.

Cara clenched her fists, braced herself and waited for his next attack. However, his level of intoxication caused him to be slow to regain his footing. By now, the atmosphere was deep black and clouds raced across the sky. Rain pounded relentlessly upon them. The winds whipped and whirled from every direction. Lightning began to flash in the distance and rolls of thunder filled the air. Cara’s mother, Susan, opened the door. “Cara! Stop! Get in this house right now before you kill someone! Cara, please!” she begged.

Initially Cara complied and started toward the door. However, as she neared her father he lunged at her, trying to knock her off her feet. Cara dodged his offensive. She squared her shoulders, planted her feet, and readied herself for battle.

“Chris! No!” Susan tried to distract her husband from his objective. His level of intoxication, coupled with his rage, deafened him to her pleas.

The skies turned an apocalyptic shade. The ferocious wind picked small objects off the ground and tossed them into a cyclone. Lightning radiated across the sky. The constant roar of thunder filled the air. Cara stood unmoved. The gales passed right through her. Her father attempted to reach her, but the wall of swirling air rebuffed his advance.

“Don’t come any closer.” Cara warned her father. Never before had she felt in control of her curse, but today power surged through her. For a moment, she was unafraid of her own abilities. As a matter of fact, she finally understood them for what they were, an exceptional defense mechanism.

“You little brat! I’m going to snap your neck when I get my hands on you.” Chris threatened.

“Keep your hands off her!” Susan charged wildly toward her husband. “I’ll kill you before I let you touch her again!” she cautioned.

Chris laughed at his wife’s threat. He swung his fist mightily as she approached. He landed his punch directly beneath her jaw. Susan’s unconscious body jolted backward. She landed in a heap on the ground.

“Mommy!” Cara shrieked. Simultaneously, a brilliant bolt cast the light of day onto the night. Cara resembled a lightning rod as she drew power from the direct strike. An immediate clap of thunder rattled the windows of all nearby homes and started car alarms blaring.

Chris stood transfixed as he watched his daughter absorb every volt of electricity. Her veins were illuminated from within her body. They glowed through her flesh like the strings of a spider’s web. Her cobalt eyes were replaced with a radiant blue luminescence. Each strand of Cara’s hair crackled and thrashed like a downed power line.

Voltaic energy consumed the girl. She was no longer a scared child. The charge of the lightning strike temporarily sapped away her humanity. She glared at the man she called father. He cowered before her lustrous magnificence. She smiled wickedly as she contemplated her next move.

“Cara, little one, please. It’s Daddy. C’mon baby, please. I’ll never hurt you or your Mom again, I promise. Please don’t hurt me, doll” Chris pathetically begged.

Through her newfound power, she could feel no empathy for this cowardly villain. He needed to be destroyed. A glance at her mother’s still motionless body confirmed what she already knew. With him alive, they would never be safe.

“Goodbye, Daddy,” she muttered faintly before she focused the capacity of her energy on him. He didn’t even have the chance to beg her again for his life before she struck. She dialed up every volt from her tiny frame and forced it into a concentrated pool of snapping electricity in the palm of her hand. She raised her arm, aimed directly at her father’s heart, and fired a beam that hit its mark directly. Chris was dead before his corpse hit the dirt.

Instantly the wind subsided, and torrential rain became soft drizzle. Lightning faded away, and thunder fell silent. Black clouds broke apart and fissures of light trickled through. The resulting rainbow seemed to start at Cara’s feet. Her mother sat up, still dazed. She looked up at her daughter, basking in the brilliant shades of the color spectrum. She glanced over to see her husband’s remains lying nearby. His shirt was burned. The skin beneath bloomed with lightning flowers.

“He was struck by lightning.” Cara declared before she retreated into the house.

From inside, Cara watched Susan make her way toward Chris’ body. She knelt over him, weeping, until police arrived and pulled her away. The official cause of his death was determined to be cardiac arrest. Though that exonerated her in the eyes of the law, Cara knew her mother didn’t need to witness the events of that day to know her daughter was a killer.

***************

Cara shook off the memories of that horrific night 2 years ago. She returned her attention to the kids outside. With her mind distracted, she had not noticed that Ryan now stood alongside them. He was getting tall. No longer did he have the plump cheeks of a little boy. His jaw was square and defined. His soft blond locks no longer flowed loosely. Instead his hair was cropped short and carefully styled. She couldn’t see his sparkling green eyes from where she sat, but she suspected that they may be the only feature on him that remained unchanged since that fateful night.

She was giddy to see him now. His family still lived in the same house next door, but like many others in the neighborhood, he typically chose a route that would not bring him past The Tempest’s tower. Cara had not left the house since Chris’ death. However, her mother overheard many whispers and rumors about the crazed little girl that killed her own father. She was so often spotted gazing out from behind the windows of her home’s turret room, the spot was dubbed “The Tempest’s Tower” by locals.

Ryan looked grown up now. He was becoming so handsome. Cara beamed as she watched him laugh with his friends. She gave up on wishing she could talk to him again long ago. It was enough now just to watch him, to know that he was well, to know that he was happy. She would never again risk his life by getting too close to him. The joy of seeing Ryan was immediately dampened when she saw Lissa and Allie approaching. She saw them often, too often. They frequently lingered on the sidewalk around her home, looking up toward the tower and taunting Cara.

Allie walked directly to Ryan. He looked at her and grinned. The air was knocked from Cara’s lungs when he reached down and took Allie’s hand in his. For the first time since the night she took her father’s life, she could feel herself spinning out of control.

The soft wisps of white clouds began to swirl and darken. As the wind churned, the sky became immediately overcast. The unease in Ryan’s face was apparent as he noticed the twirling sky. He glanced toward the tower and released Allie’s hand. Allie glared at Cara’s windows and hooked her arm in Ryan’s, leaning close as if she was asking him to protect her.

Cara struggled to reign in her emotions. As a defiant tear snuck past her defenses, the rain began to fall…

Wait! There’s more! Read The Tempest’s Tower 2: New Beginning

Photography: http://fav.me/d8wzol4

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Waterbender, part 1

Tucked away
In a distant place,
There lived a boy
With an angel’s face.
Early mornings
He would rise
To watch the sun
Light faraway skies.
He’d remain outside
Until end of day,
And watch the sun
Fade away.
As nightfall bolstered
The ascending moon,
He’d make his way
To the dark lagoon.
The waters there
Would ebb and flow,
Under the effect of
A celestial glow.
Bending Earth’s tears
Without a touch,
He wondered if he
Could do as much.
His waking hours
Were spent learning
How the tides
Kept on churning.
A full moon repaid
His fierce devotion
By granting the skill to
Put fluid in motion.
Days exhausted
Honing his gift,
Were rewarded when he
Spawned his first rift.
Soon he summoned
A squat water wall,
Vowing to practice
‘Til he beckoned one tall.
With a warrior’s soul
And purity of heart,
He was sure that this
Was only the start…

 

Wait! There’s more! Read Waterbender, part 2

 

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