(@EJpuddlejumper I had started typing and then I guess it didn’t show up for you because your icon showed up as replying so I put a placeholder )
I stand, eyes closed, face tilted to the sky as a roll of thunder shakes the earth. The downpour runs down my hair, soaks my clothing, turns breathing into a challenge. But that hardly matters when the air quivers with the possibility of a thousand storms more powerful than this, when the universe sings to me that I could twist and destroy and protect.
“Thea!” The storm muffles my sister’s voice as her hand claps down on my shoulder, startling me. “Thea, go inside before they realize you’re out here, you know the rules.” I sigh and ignore her, making the most of the beating power filling my surroundings. “Thea!” her voice is shrill. She doesn’t know, doesn’t know why I’m out here, doesn’t know what I can do. She’s only adhering to the rules set in place for the entire kingdom, that we can’t be outside for our own good during the storms that ravage us. If she knew… she’d be a lot more insistent. I hear her calling for Penny, one of the many maids in charge of us, and then Penny’s high pitched voice,
“Princess Thea, miss! You know we shall have to tell your parents…”
“Tattletale.” I brush past Meredith and into the open door of the stone castle. The halls are barely lit and I can hardly see where I’m going. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t need to see.
“Thea, I’m just following the rules!” My sister follows behind me, running at certain points to catch up with my brisk steps.
“That’s all you seem to do,” I say as I open the door to my bedroom. Thunder booms and shakes the castle. Meredith yelps, but I hardly notice. I walk into my chamber, leaving the door open. My sister stands in the doorway.
“Thea, I’m just trying to protect you. That’s my job.”
“I never asked you to,” I retort. I stand still, back turned to her, water dripping onto the floor.
Merry is so quiet for a moment I think she might have gone, until there comes a soft, “Why does it matter so much, when you know it puts you in so much danger, when you know how much trouble you’ll be in tomorrow? Don’t you realize how easily you might have died tonight?”
“Maybe I’m just a brat,” I mutter, and Merry sighs.
“Maybe you are, but I wish you would talk to me. Neither of us has many allies here.”
“What do you mean? It’s not like Chrysalia, people like how we rule.” Merry sighs.
“Honestly, don’t you pay attention to anything? There have been big… pushes.” I know what she’s talking about, but don’t want to hear any more.
“What do allies have to do with me being outside in a storm?!” I half-shout. Even inside, away from the storm, I can still feel its energy pulsing through me. My energy. For a moment, I get distracted, telling myself that I can fight with Merry any time but I need to take advantage of the storm. It’s harder, but I manage to direct an extra-loud boom of thunder. Okay, maybe I did it to annoy my sister, not just to experiment. Merry flinches, but the sound just exhilarates me.
She fidgets uncomfortably and glances warily around the room. ‘There have been… rumours.’ I wait impatiently for her to continue but her panicked sapphire eyes look anywhere but at my own burning cobalt and her trembling lips remain pressed resolutely together.
‘What rumours?’, I ask, the exasperation barely concealed. My mind doesn’t have the ability to relax and focus. The energy and forces surround me, encompass me, drawing me in, dragging me further into their realm of the unknown. The thought fills me with more frenetic energy and my brain barely registers her anticipated response.
“Please, stop this storm,” Meredith says. “The people realise all these recent disasters are unnatural. Why are you trying to destroy our country?”
I don’t have an answer for her. I don’t know why I’m doing this, do I? It’s just… it’s just who I am. What I am.
But Merry doesn’t have to know that.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say coolly. Perhaps I should have acted a bit more confused, but I can’t bring myself to.
“Thea, stop it. I know what you’re doing.”