When you play with fire...

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Chapter 2

Eventually the ferry landed somewhere on the mainland, to this day I don’t know where it was. I had nothing except a brown hooded cloak to conceal myself from strangers.

I made my way through the rustic country side to the bustling streets of London where it was easy for a small boy to disappear. I could keep warm on the streets through my naturally high body temperature but finding enough food was more difficult.

My unique appearance made begging hard, folks would walk past me huddled on a street corner and recoil from my red eyes and starving face. If I was lucky they’d throw money at me as they hurried past, but often I finished the day empty handed.

The only way I could survive was to steal from people and businesses. I didn’t enjoy it at first but I had to eat and if begging didn’t work I was forced to ‘borrow’ people’s wallets just to get by.

After a successful few months I began to look healthier though I was always pale for someone who lived outside. Unfortunately, I was caught red handed at the age of nine and my career as a thief was abruptly ended.

I was thrown in a drafty cell to await trial the next morning, at best I’d be handed to a foster family at worst I’d be hanged for my crimes. It depended on how the judge was feeling in the morning but I wasn’t sticking around to find out.

I glared the bars that encased my cell, I’d never tried to melt metal before but hopefully I would be able to. I wrapped my hands tightly around the bar and focused.

Slowly the metal heated under my grip and I almost smiled despite my situation. This would be a piece of cake and I could slip away before the guards even knew I was gone.

“Hey! What are you doing?” I stumbled back as one of the guards came towards my cell and let go of the bar. The guard put his hand on it and yelped, waving his hand in the air he cursed and swore like a sailor.

“I don’t know what you were doing you little street twat, but stay away from your cell bars!” he spat before stalking off presumably to get ice for his burnt hand.

I wrapped my hands back around the bar and concentrated, the temperature it takes to melt metal was very high, over 1000 Cs and it took a lot of power.

By the time the metal started to melt I was sweating and my legs were shaking. I’d never used so much of my power before and I was close to my limit.

Eventually as the shadows began to grow longer inside my cell the bar completely melted away. Leaving a gap big enough for an underfed nine-year-old to slip through.

I snuck through the building and exited through a security door. Free at last, I headed back to the streets but now I was much more careful about where I got my food and money from.

It was the first time I used my powers to get out of trouble and it wouldn’t be the last.

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