When you play with fire...

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Chapter 6

By the time we were Seventeen I was beginning to grow restless. I was no longer content with being king of the streets. I started to fill my time with other things.

I trained in the park with Daniel most afternoons, it was soothing handling my fire and discovering new and interesting ways to use it. I also liked having some competition, a reason to do better.

It was almost completely by accident that I stumbled upon others like us. I was in a new area of town. It had only just been built and I knew there would be lots of rich people looking at houses.

Rich people are terribly naive, sometimes they even left their cars unlocked with their wallets inside. They weren’t like me; they didn’t worry about things disappearing.

Anyway, I was silently taking advantage of their bad decisions when something happened that I wasn’t expecting.

There was a faint sizzle from under my feet, and a puddle of water attacked me. It tried to wrap itself around my face, suffocating me. Except I blasted it with so much heat that it evaporated.

Someone like me did not appreciate me trying to steal from them. Strong arms pulled me to my feet and I yanked out of their grip. It was a man of maybe Twenty. He was in a suit and I would have mistaken him for a rich snob except for one thing.

Those eyes, they were a deep-sea blue that I knew wasn’t human. Another like Daniel and I. He wasn’t happy at all to see me. I was sure of it.

“Bloody kids, I think you and I need to have a talk” He was intimidating to me, not because I hadn’t faced men his size on the streets before. It was more to do with water being the one thing I couldn’t fight against.

The one thing. Oh, Daniel would give me the hugest lecture about getting myself in stupid situations. He knew if there was trouble, I would find it. He’d always told me that one day I’d find trouble that I couldn’t burn out of.

I suppose that this was that. Trouble my fire wouldn’t get me out of.

Ice wrapped around my feet and immobilised me and the man pulled me into an alley between the houses. I was familiar with alleys but I didn’t like not being able to move my feet.

The ice should have been melting thanks to my overly high body heat but it remained frozen. This guy wasn’t just going to let me go because of one mistake.

“you need to learn to watch yourself kid! Obviously, no one’s ever taught you a lesson before!” that wasn’t true, I’d had my butt kicked many times by larger and stronger humans. I didn’t always want to use my fire; it didn’t make for a fair fight.

The murky and sticky puddle water rose again and wrapped itself around my face. This time, I wasn’t fast enough to blast it away. If it tried it now I would burn myself.

It was like drowning out of water, I couldn’t breathe and my legs would have buckled if they weren’t frozen to the floor.

I couldn’t defend myself against his fists while I was focusing on the simple act of drawing in air. He beat me in that alley, the only reason I survived was because he couldn’t maintain the water while his focus was elsewhere.

“I hope you’ve learned your lesson you little brat!” he left me lying there, bruised and bloody. He’d obviously never trained before or he would have killed me. My heart thumped in my ears as I lay on that alley floor.

Of course, I’d always known that Daniel and I were dangerous but the untrained were liable to hurting people without even trying. They might not even mean to do it, but how many people would die because of them?

I had two broken fingers, a black eye, bruised ribs. I limped back through the city towards Daniel’s house. I was not risking sleeping on the streets tonight. Lest some power-hungry lurker take advantage of my injuries to dethrone me.

This is when I learned one of the most important lessons of my life, Elementals are dangerous. Untrained ones especially. The whole way back to Daniel’s I thought about how easy Elementals like him. Who had never practised discipline, would be to kill.

“Eric, what happened? Eric talk to me!” I ended up lying face down in Daniel’s backyard. All my strength spent simply trying to get there.

My body wouldn’t cooperate with me, so Daniel had to carry me inside, again. While he tended to my injuries he lectured me about being careful as I knew he would.

My thoughts were turning in my mind, Daniel and I together would be a formidable force. We could easily take down those weaker than us. All I had to do was ask him.

If he agreed, we would fight back together. I would teach the Elementals a lesson and save humanity from their wild powers. I knew that it was the purpose I had been searching for.

I finally knew what I needed to do with my life. So now you understand, it wasn’t and isn’t malicious. It’s just for our own good. We aren’t safe, we shouldn’t be here and if I have my way. We will soon be extinct.

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