I cried out, grasping for the cable. It slipped through my gloved hands and I plummeted toward the hard ground. My mind raced and I tried to reach for the wind, but I got no response. Of course, my cynical self said, you had to go and die by falling. I laughed. I couldn’t help it.
And then marveled at the weightless feeling I had. Like floating in water, but not being wet. Maybe more like that moment after plunging into water where you’re neither sinking or rising. Just weightless.
I seemed to have all of the time I needed to contemplate my messy end, for surely my innards would become my out-ards momentarily.
When they didn’t, I cautiously opened my eyes. I lay on my back, looking at the cables above me. I did not feel ground beneath me, so I turned my head and my whole body rotated with me. I seemed to be about a meter from the dusty ground. The Owl, Dreanan, and Uri seemed frozen in place. The Owl looked pleased with himself. Dreanan had a smirk on her face. Uri looked terrified.
I sat up, put my feet down, and stood firmly on the ground. The wind, which had been holding me so gently, started to swirl around in answer to my anger.
“You did this on purpose,” I said to The Owl, advancing on him through the growing dust storm. “You manipulated me into carrying for this boy and then purposefully caused him to fall. What if I hadn’t been able to save him?”
The Owl shrugged. “Then you would have failed your test.”
“And Uri would be dead or broken.”
The Owl shrugged again. Dreanan put a calming hand out, tugging at the wind in my control. I snatched it back and blew dust into her face.
“We wanted you to realize your potential, Angestirian,” she said. “You have so much power.”
“And you need to learn to use it. To control it,” The Owl added.
Uri looked between us and backed away slowly. I didn’t blame him. I suspected we were about to find out just how powerful I was and I didn’t want him in the way – for there was no doubt in my mind that they’d use him as a shield.
“And you thought scaring me was an appropriate training tool?”
Uri slipped away between the buildings and I breathed a little. How dare they?
The wind tore at the cables, snapping one. Released from its tension, it sliced down, cutting a furrow in the ground between us.
Dreanan tried to snatch my wind again. Another cable snapped and I pushed it toward them. They jumped out of the way.
“Stop, before you bring the buildings down,” Dreanan said.
Well…maybe? On her certainly, but not my uncle, and not before I learned more of my past. I used the wind to pick up a pile of bricks and toss them in their general direction. Dreanan yelped and jumped away. The Owl let them fall about him, without moving.
He held out his hand. “It may have seemed extreme but I found that you only respond with magic when you are threatened or upset.”
I yearned not to let that logic sway me. It did though.
Zat zoomed to me, snapping and hissing. I let the wind drop and he settled on my shoulder. I ran a comforting hand through his fiery tendrils.
The dust settled.
“You are an asshole, uncle.”
“That’s Ken-sa,” he responded, his smugness returning. Dreanan laughed.
I made a rude gesture and walked away.