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Chapter 17: Crumbling

Daniel Stone sat with his back on the wall and his head in his hands. He’d brought Sebastian home, and now he had to go back to work. But he didn’t want to, his thoughts kept going back to his Sister.

Today was a hard day for both him and Sebastian. Sebastian, the elements knew this day was so hard for him. It was no wonder he’d lost control earlier.

It was hard for Daniel to though, Loretta was his sister, she could get her big brother to do anything for her and she never cared when the neighbourhood kids laughed and called him “Freak”, “Monster”, and who knew what else.

He should have taken Sebastian away from her the moment he opened those damned blue eyes but Loretta loved being a mother and she loved Sebastian with all her heart. So he let him stay until the day came when it was too late to save her.

He remembered when he had arrived at his sister’s house that day for what would be his final visit.

He was going to surprise Loretta with a present for Sebastian, all Nine-year old’s liked football cards didn’t they? As he walked down the street he caught a whiff of smoke in the air but dismissed it. Loretta and Daniel had worked hard to throw The Peacemakers off track and so far, it was working.

When he turned the corner of the street and he saw that Loretta’s house was on fire he thought he was going to cause an Earthquake of immeasurable proportions. The power had swelled under his skin as the realization that Loretta was probably in the house swept over him.

The only thing that had stopped him from releasing his pain on the city was the fact that Sebastian might still be alive in there and somehow Daniel had to get him out.

He had gritted his teeth and clenched his fists forbidding his power to seep out into the ground. The green light of his earth power rebelled against his command.

It was thirsty for disaster and the human lives they would end if they got into the ground. Daniel had held on though and refused to let even a single drop out. No, I’ve hurt enough people, I will not hurt the people who live in this city. I will not hurt Sebastian.

When he felt like he had at least some control back he began to make his way closer to the house. Past the human firefighters and up to the gate trying to determine if there was any chance Sebastian might still be alive.

He was the only one who noticed the young boy standing in the smoke near the front door. Sebastian had grown since his uncle had last laid eyes on him but that shock of black hair could only belong to one person.

The boy’s fists were pounding on the front door and he was shouting, his blue and white school uniform was streaked with soot so he must have arrived home just before Daniel showed up.

“Sebastian!” Daniel shouted over the fence but the boy didn’t seem to hear him he just kept hitting the door and yelling for his Mum and Dad. Daniel knew who had most likely set this fire and that he needed to get Sebastian away from here but he could do nothing but watch the boy weep.

There was a groan from within the house and Daniel realized it was on the verge on collapsing. Sebastian was unaware of the danger and he was still at the front door but Daniel would be damned if he would lose his nephew to the Peacemakers now.

With strength he didn’t know he still possessed Daniel jumped over the fence. As his feet touched the ground he saw beams under the house beginning to break. He ran forward and grabbed young Sebastian around the waist, hauling him away from the house as he continued to scream.

“Mummy!” the boy wailed as with a shudder the house fell in on itself and was devoured by the flames. The force of it knocked Daniel to his knees and he let go of Sebastian trying to keep his balance.

The boy kneeled in front of his burning house and sobbed his little heart out as the sky around him began to darken. Daniel felt his arm hairs lift as with a crash it began to rain so hard that Daniel could barely see.

The boy’s grief and pain was triggering this storm and as the firefighters ran for the cover of their trucks Daniel knew the only way to stop Sebastian from drowning them all was to reassure him and calm him down.

Groping blindly Daniel managed to locate Sebastian, who was still crying and pull him to his chest. He hugged him even though he wasn’t really someone who gave many hugs because in that moment both Daniel and the boy needed comforting.

“It will be ok Sebastian, it will, it will” he whispered to his nephew as tears blurred what little he could see through the rain. Sebastian was all that Daniel had left in the world, the Peacemakers had destroyed what was left of both their families but at least they had each other.

Sebastian slowly calmed and the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started. When Daniel looked down he had a sleeping nine-year-old in his arms and a chest heavy with pain. It was for both their sakes that they left the city and never looked back. It reminded them both of things they would rather forget.

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