Riptide

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Chapter 14

The next morning, I found every hoodie either my sister or I had ever owned and brought them to my room. I tried each of them on and put all of the ones in the correct size into a box under my bed. When the task was completed, I slipped one on and opened my laptop. I was absolutely shocked at what I saw. The entire internet was absolutely bursting with videos and pictures of a new flying superhero who had been spotted last night. I clicked on one of the videos and watched myself jump into the air and fly away. It was a strange feeling to watch myself dressed the way I was and act the way I did. I scrolled down and watched video after video on my bedroom floor before finally checking social media and watching a live streaming debate over the hero’s name. Votes were piling up in the comment section. “Tsunami,” “Watergirl,” “Hurricane,” “Whale Woman,” are just a few of the names people had come up with. I kept scrolling until I saw it, “Riptide,” I loved the name.

“Riptide,” I repeated to myself as I shut my laptop.

My phone made the noise it did when I received a message. I looked down and realized it was a text from Chloe, asking if I had seen the videos of the new superhero. Butterflies swarmed in my stomach as I responded. “Yes,” I typed. “I think she’s called Riptide.” I hit the “send” button and waited for her response.

“That’s kind’a dumb,” she told me almost immediately.

I rolled my eyes. “I don’t know, didn’t choose it,” I responded with a sigh. The conversation ended shortly after that when Chloe said she had arrived at school and I was left alone again. I looked down at Jagger, who waited impatiently for something to happen.

“What?” I asked. He wagged his tail and clawed at my leg. I followed him down the steps and into the backyard, where he stood at the edge of the pool and stared in. I looked down and saw his favorite toy at the bottom, ten feet under the surface. I gave him a quick smile before closing my eyes and bringing back the same feeling I had when I first controlled the movement of the water. I felt myself wrap some kind of life force around the body of water. I opened my eyes and watched myself lift twenty tons of water from its container and shape it into an organized circular mass. I lowered it slightly and forced the toy to the lower side, closest to me. I held the mass with one arm and reached for the toy with the other. I wrapped my fingers around the small yellow rubber ball just as I felt my arm begin to shake with exhaustion under the weight of the pool. I threw the toy down and transferred the weight from just one arm to both. I watched Jagger dive playfully for his favorite toy as slowly, I lowered the mass of water back into the pool, almost collapsing when the job was done. I looked down at Jagger. “Next time I’m just fishing it out with a net,” I panted.

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