Author: Courtney Rene
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Action and Adventure
Book Heat Level: 3
“Start at what your gift does,” Eve said. “Show us something wonderful. We could use wonderful.”
I looked from Eve over to the little pond. Something wonderful, that I could do.
I stepped over to the pond, in a small open space between all the cattails. I squatted down by the edge of the water and lightly touched the surface. At the same time, I both breathed in and pushed out through my fingers the ice from within my body. The water under my fingertips froze. Then the cold ice spread and circled around, forming the shape of a snowflake. I pushed a bit harder, then another formed, and another, all interlocking and creating a blanket of giant frost snowflakes along the surface of the pond until the entire pond was covered in them.
I smiled lightly, proud of my creation, as I stood and turned to face the others.
Eve had her hands clasped together in front of her mouth. Her eyes were wide as she stared at the pond.
Ash smiled, and Reed gave me a sort of half-nod then winked at me.
Eve finally couldn’t contain her excitement one second more and she gushed, “Oh, it’s beautiful. I can’t believe it.” She half-ran and half-skipped closer to the pond. “How long will it last?”
I shrugged. “The water is pretty warm. I doubt it will last very long at all.” Even as I said the words I could see the center of the snowflake blanket darkening as it melted.
Eve spun around and said, “What else can you do?”
“If it’s ice or cold I can do it,” I said a bit sheepishly. I wasn’t bragging, but it felt a bit like it. Too much attention was on me and I didn’t really like it.
I indicated Reed and said, “I made him an ice marble when we met.”
“That was pretty cool,” he said.
“Do one for me!” Eve demanded, but the demand was sweet as she was almost childlike in her eagerness.
I didn’t hesitate a moment. I closed my hand into a fist, pulled forward the ice into my palm, and, a moment later, handed Eve a one-inch in diameter perfectly smooth and round ball of ice.
She took it into her hand and inspected it like it was the finest gift she’d ever received.
“You have the coolest gift!” she said.
“I don’t know about that,” I replied. “It has its drawbacks, like all the rest.”
That got everyone’s attention.
“Like what?” Reed asked.
“I need to sit,” I said, and dropped to the ground right where I’d stood and sat tailor fashion.
The others joined me right away and sat back to listen to my story.
“That’s one of them. My gift seems to take a lot of energy away from me.”
“Why?” Eve asked.
“Actually, let’s start further back,” I said. “I’m getting a little ahead of myself.” I thought over my short life and where I should begin. “I guess the best place to start is my gift didn’t come all of a sudden. It was more of a slowly blossoming flower. I could make it snow early. My mom was always afraid of it. What would people think? That sort of thing. I scared her. My gift wasn’t harsh or scary, but I was different and that scared her. When the company came for me, it wasn’t an easy time. I closed in on myself and refused to cooperate. I refused to use my gift. They found ways to get it out of me all the same. All they had to do was get my emotions out of control and out it would come every time.”