Letter of Testimony, Exhibit A: Your honor, this is my truthful account of what happened on the day in question. You may choose to believe the version of events being spread by gossip and rumor—that I was a battered wife … Continue reading
Once upon a time, there was a young prince who wanted to be a great and beloved king. He was dutiful in all of his studies. He was kind. And he gave generously. He sought the advice of his parents, … Continue reading
Once upon a time, there was a vain and greedy queen. Every day she would walk her estate to bask in the wealth of all she owned. She prided herself on having a luxurious castle and an impressive garden. She … Continue reading
At first glance, you might think my sister is cold. She isn’t. No one who has truly mastered fire is. Behind her compulsory composure is an immense capacity for love. It’s not the ebullient love of a puppy or doting … Continue reading
I wish I had my sister’s magic. She’s already wielding flames like an Alpha, and this is only her first semester at The University. As twins, we couldn’t be more different. Sometimes I imagine we’re really a whole that was cut into halves, because aside from body parts, everything she has I lack—and vice versa.
It’s her calm mind and temperate emotions that allow her to master fire so effortlessly. She is not easily distracted or provoked. She’s unreachable when she’s focused. I, on the other hand, I contain a tempest. The slighted thing spurs me on. My moods are a maelstrom, and they bring everyone and everything around them down—down to the depths of my turbulent conscious.
My sister once told me that she’s jealous of me. I didn’t believe her until I saw the fatigue behind the focus in her eyes. I had always wanted to be like her so that I could have fire. There is so much I want to burn down. I was surprised to discover that she wants to be like me. My powers are so rudimentary. Seeing the surprise and incredulity written all over my face, she pointed out that I have freedoms she can never enjoy. I can rage and cry and fight and laugh uncontrollably. Alpha Incendiaries can’t do any of that. They are never allowed to be weapons—only vehicles or vessels.
Just the other day we were walking towards campus when a racist, upon seeing us, hurled some explicit words as well as his coffee cup in our direction. Both the contents of his statements and his cup were hot—hot enough to burn. I felt my skin and then my temper boil.
My sister could have set him ablaze with no more than a glance. She could have manipulated his mind so that he would think himself on fire. That’s what I would have done with her power. I would have sentenced him to seeing consuming flames whenever he uttered words full of hate. But that’s not how my sister operates. She just took a slightly deeper breath in and kept the pace at which she was walking while we healed. That is the serenity of my sister. She lives like a lake that can only be mildly disturbed—no matter what you throw at her. I, however, wasn’t feeling so generous towards the bigot, so I made him mute for a month.
I find it quite satisfying using mortals’ maladies against them. Speak out of turn, whether it be a racist rant or sexually explicit language, and I can take your voice with chronic laryngitis. Touch me or someone I care about inappropriately, and I’ll give you the flu—preferably the day after you get the vaccine shot. If you’re unkind towards a child, you’ll get a dose of pink eye. Greed will get you allergies. Infidelity an STD. Ulcers and kidney stones go hand in hand with abuse of any variety. And I love using diarrhea for unchecked vanity.
I try to abstain from the degenerative and the deadly—but not because humans aren’t deserving; they are—and more. The world is full of people who are teeming with hate and unbridled cruelty. I could afflict them all. I don’t simply because such manipulations would lead to severe consequences with The Faculty. My sister doesn’t have to worry about such things. As someone on the Alpha track, she can quite literally do no wrong. And once she self-actualizes, she’ll be living above the law.
They will say that I was paralyzed by my fear. They will say that I found the situation so overwhelming that I couldn’t do anything—and that it could happen to anyone. That’s what they’ll say, but they’ll be thinking something … Continue reading
The professor held a candle before the class. With a sharp efficiency she lit it, and everyone watched the diminutive flame bend and flicker at the mercy of the room’s currents. Then the professor uttered a few words, lay the … Continue reading
She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She had told her daughter to only pack valuables and essentials—and just what she could carry for miles. In hindsight, she should have elaborated. After all, is a child of that age … Continue reading
Feeling the cool embrace of the night air around us, we took deliberate and cautious steps. The thigh-high weeds were making it difficult to navigate the path. In fact, calling it a path at this point was an act of … Continue reading
Once upon a time there was a tentative seed. She very much wanted to break though to the world above, but first she wanted some assurances that there would be enough water and sun. Every day she’d ask herself, “If … Continue reading