Flint the Firestarter - Chapter 1

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Flint the Firestarter

by Thousand1Volts

Libraries: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Humor, Original Fiction

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This is a story of mine about this wily 8th grader named Flint. Flint, as her clever name suggests, can start fires by the thought of it. However, being as feisty as she is, while showing off her powers at school, Flint gets kicked out of school and upgraded to the only school that would take her--a high school designed for super heroes! Now, Flint must not only find unconventional ways to fit in and be accepted by her peers, but she must also save the day when things go array!

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Okay everyone, this is a treat!  Normally I would NOT upload my stories onto deviantart, but for this one story, and one story only, I'm making an exception.  However, please humor me.  You know how protective artists can be about their work, and certainly I am no exception, so, should anyone try to plagiarize this work, I am giving fair warning that I DO have a legal way to prove this idea was mine before anyone else's, so don't try anything.  Plagiarism includes:

*copying exact words without citing credit

*using identical or parallel ideas in works of your own

*using information gained from an interview or conversation (in person, on phone, or in writing) with a person without giving proper credit to their statement

*when using information, always rephrase, every sentence must be at least 70% of your own words

*no stealing original characters or exact situations


and with that...................................................let the show begin!


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Flint the Firestarter

 

 

By:  Allison Schwein

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

Lost in an abandoned parking lot, a group of school kids huddled around a shady looking character with black hair.  This devilish person wore a slimming, black tank top with loose, camouflage pants flaring out at the ankles.  A black bandana wrapped around the head, holding down a long veil of hair.  Despite the questionable appearance, this figure was unmistakably female.  Though, perhaps the most bizarre quality yet, her eyes were a mischievous red.

 

A classmate held out a paper plate that was looted from the cafeteria that afternoon.  “How about this one?” 

The intriguing question coaxed a mischievous smile on the girl’s face.  Her confidence in the matter was either incredibly powerful or incredibly foolish.  The truth could only be found in the perspective of the individual taking witness.  “Do it!” she said.

 

The group chanted, “One, two, three!”

 

The person hurled the plate into the air like a frisbee.  Just as it reached its peak height as it twirled through the air, within seconds the plate disintegrated in a cloud of smoke and fire.  The group roared in appreciation of the impressive stunt.

 

The girl blew the smoke from her fingertips.  “Naturally.” she stated modestly.

 

“I told you she wasn’t bluffing!” her friend told another.

 

“Oh come off it!  Like anyone’s supposed to believe in superpowers.” he replied.

 

“Well you best believe!” the girl raved, “They don’t call me Flint the Firestarter for nothing!”

 

“Who calls you that?” he taunted.

 

Flint folded her arms stubbornly.  “I do.  And you just wait!  Sooner or later it’ll catch on!”

 

“It certainly took to that plate!” her friend laughed.  “Light another!”

 

“You got it!” Flint grinned.

 

The plate sped forth.  Just as Flint ignited her fingertips to shoot, a voice sounded just behind her that silenced her actions.  For the first time in ages, the plate sputtered to the ground unharmed.

 

“Hold it right there, miss!  I’ve seen all I need to.”

 

Flint slowly glanced over her shoulder.  With a shudder running down her back and into her stomach, her eyes saw the principal standing, hands on hips, directly behind her.  In that moment, her arm was seized and dragged into school.

 

“Busted.” one of the kids cried and the group dispersed.

 

 

“Ow, ow, ow!” Flint cried as she was dragged ruthlessly through the hallways.  “Take it easy, will ya?”

 

“I will not take it easy, Miss Flint.  Your actions just now were unforgivable.  I have written off such careless acts before, seeing as how you were a special case, but since then, we have long since designated the school as a place unfit for your type of gifts.  You are not to abuse my patience!”

 

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.  In other words, I goofed.  I mean, so what if I show off a little?  It’s not like an empty parking lot is flammable!”

 

“No, perhaps not, but those classmates of yours sure are!”

 

Flint mumbled under her breath.

 

“What was that?” the principal snapped.

 

“I said, so what?  Now, because I’m the one in trouble, they’re my classmates?  They’re your students!” Flint defended.

 

“You just don’t seem to understand that there are laws against these types of acts on school grounds, powers or no powers!  No, Flint, this act will be your last at this school.  I will personally see to it that your parents are notified, and there will be severe consequences.”

 

Flint rolled her eyes.  Here we go again! she thought.

 

That next moment, Flint was pushed into a thickly cushioned chair while she was forced to overhear a strict phone conversation with her parents.  From what she could hear, they weren’t too thrilled about the occasion that was about to unite them that afternoon.  Flint nervously picked at a torn spot on the chair that exposed the inner lining.  She shifted in her seat.

 

Inside herself, Flint knew she goofed, and goofed big.  She was not a rock, but being so different from everyone was difficult burden to bare.  It seemed like everyone, parents included, kept pressuring her to hide it as if it were a curse or another skeleton hiding in the closet.  In personality and power alike, Flint happened to be a wildfire.  If they knew anything about their daughter, her parents would know that Flint would assert herself and her independence in any situation.  Asking her to repress her powers only further fueled her determination to rebel against them and do as she pleased.

 

Minute by agonizing minute droned on at school while Flint waited for punishment to be implemented.  Slowly, Flint counted down to the time when her parents were expected to arrive.  An hour passed.  From here, it could easily be another miserable hour’s wait.  Flint’s parents were quite a drive away, and as it so happened, also worked for a living.  To arrive “as quickly as they could”, as they so often put it, could easily be a two to three hour wait.

 

In her mind, Flint refused to see fault in her actions, though she knew deep down that there was some.  She swallowed hard, repressing her fear about the situation.  Around school, she was known as somewhat of a rebel.  She always dressed severely, often sassed the teachers, and occasionally bragged about her powers.  In addition, she had a difficult time completing her homework, which made her a perfect target for her teachers’ ridicule.  Truth be told, Flint was no mere troublemaker, at best she was terribly misunderstood, but in most cases the voice of reason dies in the hands of fear and superstition.  There was no doubt to Flint that her principal feared her for her powers as much as her parents did.

 

No one sees the real me.  Flint pouted.  She puffed out her cheeks and blew a strand of hair off her face.  And it’s not my fault if I don’t trust anyone to show them.

 

A second later the door clicked open.  Flint could hear two, angry voices were locked in an argument.  No one came through the door.  It appeared that the discussion stalled their actions.  Even before their identities were revealed, Flint knew the moment of reckoning was upon them.  Flint sluggishly dragged herself from the safety of the cushy chair.  Her stomach turned as her parents stammered into the room.  

 

The three adults shook hands and exchanged insincere greetings.  As everyone sat down for the meeting, in her head, Flint sang a rendition of “I Fought the Law and the Law Won”.

 

“Well, I expect you know what brings us here today.” the principal said, “Why don’t we just dive in?  I saw young Flint here starting fires in the parking lot.”

 

“I wasn’t starting fires.” Flint jumped in.  “I was just showing off.  I lit a few paper plates.”

 

“After hurling them into the air!”

 

“That was the others’ idea!”

 

“At any rate,” the principal said again, “I know we’ve had our meetings before.  In them, we the school board have clearly stated that this type of gift should not interfere with schoolwork or safety.  Flint, might I add, is slipping in both areas.”

 

“Hey!  I’ll have you know my grades were slipping before I had superpowers!” Flint cried.

 

“That’s enough!” her mother snapped.  Flint crossed her arms.

 

“Flint is in clear violation of this agreement.  It is not only against our law as a school, but also the state’s law to light fires on school grounds, even if done so by powers.  I’m afraid young Flint will just have to find another school.”

 

“But it’s midyear!” her mother cried.

 

“That’s far too expensive for our budget now.” her father added.

 

“Flint, why don’t you step out and let us discuss this?” the principal said.

 

Flint stumbled out the door clumsily.  Her brow was tense and she knew nothing good awaited her.  When adults wanted to talk alone in situations like these it only meant they wanted to know what to do with that person.  This principal must have prepared some sort of plan for her.  Flint grew quickly suspicious.

She paced around the hallway for several minutes.  The ticking of the clock far above her head taunted her.  Inwardly, she timed them.  Two minutes went by, then five, soon ten.  It was an unbearable torture to make poor Flint wait so long.  She mumbled under her breath.

 

“Some dumb woman!  She just likes to taunt me!  Flinging those fancy words all over the place, acting like so has so much power!  Acting so superior, and she punishes me for practicing a power of my own?  Professional jealousy....ha!  I should give her a taste of my power!”

 

Flint stopped.  The door clicked open.  The three adults shook hands again, but this time, her parents had a slip of paper in their hands.  Closing their meeting, the group exchanged words of thanks for the meeting and regret for the situation.  As her parents blurted layer upon layer of apology on Flint’s behalf, her mother took hold of her arm and dragged her painfully out the door.

 

The hours following were a massive blur of yelling, lectures, repetitive lessons, and no supper.  By the end of it, Flint lied crashed on her bed in a steaming temper.  She was so exhausted from the day’s events that she hadn’t even bothered to change into proper pajamas, and still sported her boyish attire.

 

All her mind could think of was how unfair it all was.  Having powers that she wanted attention for wasn’t such a drastic thing.  After all, her parents offered her no support in the matter.  These powers were part of herself that she needed to let out; asking her to repress it was dangerous.

 

Flint mumbled within herself, cursing them out.  It was totally predictable that all her parents would see in the situation was her getting in trouble.  Really, all in all, her crime wasn’t all that severe, but her sheep for parents opted to take her principal’s side rather than defending their daughter, or even hearing her out.

 

Flint flipped on her side.  Her eyes were squinting so hard from all her stored anger that she could hardly see straight, but there it was, that same brochure lying on her dresser.  Apparently her principal had recommended a new school for her, one that would “manage” her powers.  The fee was nonexistent, which her parents admired.  Flint, though, only saw this school as a punishment.

 

Some school....  Flint thought irritably, It doesn’t even have much to say about it.  Vaguely mentions classes, extracirricular, even location!  I guess mom and dad kept all the good information.

 

Filnt rolled over onto her stomach and groaned.  As her body relaxed, she could feel thick saliva drooling its way into her pillow, but Flint didn’t care.  With heavy thoughts still weighing down her thoughts, Flint drifted off into a stressful, dreamless sleep.

 

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Chapter Two

 

 

Flint woke the next day to see her parents still sitting at the breakfast table.  On any regular day they would have already left for work, but Flint suspected peril awaiting  as she remembered just how deeply of a rut she had dug herself into the day before.  She swallowed hard, and entered the room.

 

“Hello dear.  Sit down.”  Her mother said.

 

Flint sat down.  Her sight was still foggy with exhaustion.  She braced herself for yet another dose of heavy lectures.  She spun the chair around and sat on it backwards.  She tilted forward in the seat and tapped her foot, rocking her weight gently forward and back.  She sighed.

 

“What is it ma?” she asked.

 

“Well, I wanted to talk to you about this new school the principal suggested to us yesterday.”  

 

Her father pushed a stack of papers her way.  Flint looked at it with a stern expression .  She wasn’t about to admit her wrong doings even now.  She puffed out a deep breath of air.

 

This place.... Her eyes glazed over as she flipped through the booklet.

 

“There’s no pictures in here!” Flint cried.

 

“Flint please!” her mother exclaimed, “This is no time for games!  Now then, this school, as I understand it, lies out in the middle of the country and is quite secluded.  It’s a new boarding school, so you’d be moving in....”

 

“Why do I have to go?” Flint snapped.

 

“Because our budget’s completely busted and you’ve obviously proven to us and your school that you cannot behave properly.  No child in their entire school career should have to be expelled, Flint.”

 

“But I didn’t mean it!” Flint reminded them.

 

“That’s what makes it so sad!” her mother cried, “You were doing well, but you just couldn’t repress that ego of yours, could you?”

 

Flint recoiled.  Repress! her thoughts exclaimed, That was their intent of me!

 

“Anyhow, our minds are made up.  This is the only option.”

 

“What if I don’t like it?” Flint pouted, crossing her arms.

 

“You’d have to stay until we can somehow strum up some money and come across another school.  Go pack your bags.  We can’t waste time.  You have to be in school and your father and I have to go to work.”

 

Her father grabbed his coat.  “I’m heading off, then.”

 

“I’ll take it from here.” her mother replied.  She took another, long sip of coffee and caught her daughter’s vacant stare from the corner of her eye.  She set the cup down.  “What are you doing waiting around here for?  Get going!  We have to get it all set up tonight!”

 

“Sheesh, what’s the rush?” Flint snapped.

 

“Weren’t you listening?  The school’s way out in the countryside!  It’ll take three or four hours just getting there!  Hurry!  Hop to it!”

 

Flint stomped off, mumbling under her breath.  “Great, more time to spend with my darling mother!”

 

That next hour for Flint was like a movie scene shot live from a prison cell.  Her empty suitcases slowly filled with various possessions while Flint envisioned herself heading straight for the firing squad.  Outside of these disturbing mental images, nothing of the sort was taking place, but, what was the use in facing reality?  Being forced out of the only home she knew to enter a world completely unknown, her freewill was most likely seeing the last of its days.

 

To make matters worse, after the first suitcase was stuffed with clothing and other basic essentials, the attention turned to the packing of her most sentimental items.  A lump formed in Flint’s throat.  She knew packing these would be an emotionally demanding task.  For some reason, ever since she was little, she felt as if she were required to be the rough, tomboy type just to get people’s respect.  To be this, however, her emotions became something to hide.

 

Therefore, it was no wonder why Flint was required to pull that dull, cardboard box from beneath her bed.  This broken chest was filled with her most treasured of items.  With no one in sight to witness her, she gently removed the lid.  It was so worn out that the cardboard felt more to her like thick velcro.  As she looked inside and counted to see if all was present, the items inside stirred a gentle, childlike feeling that she would otherwise not allow.  Included in the collection was a handful of childhood toys, a musical birthday card, and a random picture book filled with short stories, but perhaps the most beloved of all was her oldest stuffed animal.  She was like the guru amongst all box-dwellers, and was Flint’s favorite.  Flint hugged the stuffed fox under her chin.  After a long minute passed, she carefully set it aside, tapping its fuzzy head.

 

As she poked through her oldest possessions in the bottom of the box, Flint’s mind stressful reviewed the recent events again and again.  Her heart couldn’t help but feel betrayed by all who held power in her life.  Her parents refused to represent her, her principal refused to assist her, and everyone in school saw her as but a fire-throwing freak.  It was only by a slim chance that she was able to turn that perspective around by her stunt in the parking lot.  That is, until it all went wrong.

 

Recalling her mind back to the present, Flint placed the stuffed animal back in the box and placed the entire thing into the suitcase as it was.  Flint went across her room and rummaged through her other secret items.  These consisted of merely some special accessories and trinkets that her parents expressed concern about.  Though her taste in jewelry was somewhat gothic and eccentric, like that of spiked dog collars and thick, gold chains, it never altered her personality from what it had been all along.  Flint kept them hidden because she always feared that her parents would steal them away in the night.  Flint chose a few special  pieces and put them on.

 

Next into the suitcase, Flint piled various volumes from the bookshelf and her old school notes.  Flint stared into deep space.  In her imagination, Flint saw herself lost in the midst of her new school represented by a thick forest crawling with predators.  Armed only a pencil and pen, Flint was hardly worth a fight against all that crept about.  Just as the first beast sprang from the underbrush to attack, Flint thought, If I’m going up against all that, I’m gonna need a good survival kit!  

 

So, lastly, directly into her bookbag, Flint stuffed the survival kit stored in her closet.  There she was.  All ready for the best and the worst this new school had to offer.

 

Out in the middle of the highway was the longest stream of silence Flint could remember between her and her mother.  Not a word was spoken by either one, leaving Flint with a rather unsettling distrust about the situation.  It was as if they were driving into a vacuumed abyss that swallowed up all light and sound within the car.  Whatever the case was, she dared not move too freely in fear of setting off her mother’s sharp tempter, so, roughly another hour into the eerie abyss was when Flint piled on the headset and turned it to blasting.  The defiant heavy metal rhythms built upon her emotional walls, protecting her.  Flint was thankful for the music’s support.

 

Flint looked out the window.  The trees whooshed past on the far side of the parallel lanes beside them.  The sky was sunny and clear, a most unnatural shade for what awaited her at their destination.  Normally, she could naturally tune out anything and everything around her in these painful situations, but now she knew that the moment her mind drifted off, her mother would demand her attention with some sort of biased conversation of her wrong doing and punishment.  Flint couldn’t risk that.  Those conversations were more painful to her than even her own powers gone haywire.

 

Flint knew herself and her tendencies at length.  She knew how her reputation was merely a manifestation of insecurity.  She knew how deep down she felt afraid and insecure about how others would behave and act around her should they ever find out she was different.  She even knew how her stubbornness flared every time somebody tried to prove her wrong.  She knew all of this, even though she spent no more than a glimpse here and a glance there to acknowledge it.  Any more than that and her whole system would collapse, but what her mother didn’t know was that this system came with a clever plan.  It was because of her insecurity that she decided to show off her power that day in the parking lot.  As if dangling a colorful lure in front of a school of fish, Flint thought that if she could brag about it enough, she could not only convince others that this was a talent and not a curse, but herself, too.  Unfortunately, no one bit.

 

Flint sighed heavily, but quietly.  Her actions still carefully tiptoed around her mother.  Her cd player stuttered and skipped, slowly dying down.  Flint knew how her player was terribly outdated, and yet, it was filled with years of experience.  All the music it played just when she really needed it, it all meant something to her.

To pass the time, Flint played a game in her head of how many forest creatures she could spot in the trees on the side of the road.  Many birds flew about, but anything more interesting must have been well hidden.  No deer, no coyotes, not even a single squirrel.  Some game!  Minutes upon minutes passed.  Though she dared not glance at the clock next to her mother, Flint could only conclude the ride to have already taken three hours! 

Upon realizing this, Flint folded her arms on the car window and collapsed into them.  Perhaps a good nap would ease her troubled mind....

 

 

 she could spot in the trees on the side of the road.  Many birds flew about, but anything more interesting must have been well hidden.  No deer, no coyotes, not even a single squirrel.  Some game!  Minutes upon minutes passed.  Though she dared not glance at the clock next to her mother, Flint could only conclude the ride to have already taken three hours! 

Upon realizing this, Flint folded her arms on the car window and collapsed into them.  Perhaps a good nap would ease her troubled mind....

 

 

 

Chapter Three

 

In her dreams, Flint was already at school.  The energy of the dream mimicked the combined visions of all the horror movies she had ever seen.  Before her stood a deadly, haunted mansion, and all around her, tall iron gates sealed her inside their forces without escape.  As Flint approached the massive, brick palace crowned with cement gargoils, ax murders, who had been lurking in the outer bushes, sprang into the open and chased her inside.

 

Within the crooked building was a maze of corridors.  Flint zigzagged through them to throw her pursuers.  Sadly, it seemed as if Flint were easy prey.  To her it felt as if they either knew the place far better than she, or else, were magic and could easily appear wherever they wished.  Flint knew better than to stop when she was tired, though.  Thankfully, her body could assume impectable endurance in situations like these.

 

At the end of the hallway Flint met with a dead end.  Mirrors, both great and small, some plain, some bordered with fancy, spiral, metal frames overcame the wall.  Dust thickly covered the glass.  They had been victims of time and age.  Flint gazed solumnly into the antiques for what could only be described as but a single second before a large crack split the glass apart.  Flint’s arms flew up over her head just as it shattered all over her skin and clothes.  The cracked pieces now lied skattered across the floor.  Looking into them, it was emotionally obvious how the shattered remnants dully reflected her broken spirit.  

 

Flint picked the biggest piece up and stared into it.  Now, she had forgotten all about the dangers that lurked around her and they her.  Looking back at herself, Flint was almost tempted to drop the mirror in pain and panic.  When she gazed at her reflection, the color was nonexistant.  She dull, black and white.  Her deep, dark hair vividly contrasted the paleness in her skin.  Her usually fiery eyes were now  a powerless gray.

 

Lifting her eyes from the reflective glass, Flint shifted uncomfortably, leveling herself in the center of her dream.  Darkness lurked all around, and through the palace.  No light could penatrate its forces.  Unlike herself, Flint could feel a deep worry in that darkness all around her.  Flint thought about this.

 

Outside of myself, on a much different level.  No.  Not outside of myself at all.  Inside of myself!!

 

It was clear to Flint that she was truly inside her own mind.  Though her dreams showed her a mansion, it really felt as if she were at the bottom of a deep ocean, an ocean created solely of emotional stress.  The dream transformed into just that.  The darkness hadn’t changed, but this time, waves coasted all around Flint who stood at the very bottom.  Like real waters, these emotions almost felt as if they restricted Flint’s very breathing.  The pressure found at the bottom only told Flint just how much emotions she had repressed over time.

 

So thick....

 

Flint couldn’t hide in here.  Truth outlawed it.  Her emotions, even weaknesses were evident.  There was no use in establishing illusions.  Usually, for protection, Flint could fool anyone into believing how she was strong merely by acting that way.  Only, this was more made to fool herself.

 

Though, Flint didn’t mind being here.  Her stress was like a pair of shoes that had grown quite comfortable the more she lugged it around.  At least there was no rush to change.  The darkness, too, didn’t threaten her.  It adapted to the true form underneath her surfaced identity.  If it was no threat to her vulnerability, she felt fine.  In this place, though, there was only one problem that Flint could see:  she didn’t want to be seen as her weaknesses.  Therefore, what other path could she choose than to resume her old methods?  Though, secretly, Flint knew she would be loyal to this place, too.

 

Suddenly, little by little, Flint began to rise through the waters toward the surface.  The depths of her subconscious remained below her as her mind slowly traveled the length to consciousness.  The darkness faded and the space around her began to grow lighter and lighter.  Just as she was about to reach the top....

 

THUD!  Flint felt her head throb painfully and a surge of blood raced to the spot to heal it.  “Ahhhhhh!” she cried.  “What the fuck??”

 

Flint tried to study her surroundings, but colors blurred her sight in a dizzying head rush.  It felt as if her head knocked against a concrete block.  Flint blinked again and again, trying to clear her sight.  Above her, two blotches were arguing.

 

“I told you not to open the door!” one of them said.

 

“I didn’t know she wasn’t wearing a seat belt.” the other argued.

 

“Oh well!” the first person exclaimed irritably.

 

“Do you think he’s okay?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“Hey kid, you al’ight?”

 

Flint squirmed and sat up and scowled at them.  Past the masculine clothing the two clearly saw her long, braided hair and realized their mistake.

 

“Oh, heh, pardon me.  It’s a girl.”

 

“Of course I’m a girl!” Flint shouted.  She rubbed the sore spot on her head.  “What’s the big idea, huh?” 

 

Flint looked up at the two, mysterious strangers.  One of them was a true being of blue, wearing nothing but the color.  Her curves were unmistakably feminine and her hair was teased up in a fancy manner.  As if to complement her style further, even her eyes were blue.

 

The other person was male with sleek, orange hair and light eyes.  Nothing particular stood out about this character other than his voice having been the one to confess to opening the door, sending Flint tumbling to the ground, and also, accusing her of being a dude.  Mistake or not, for this, already she resented him.

 

The girl helped Flint to her feet.  She giggled.

 

“What now?” Flint asked grumpily.

 

“You’re so little!  How old are you?”

 

“Fourteen.” Flint retorted.

 

“You don’t mean in the eighth grade?” the guy asked.

 

“Yeah.  Why?  Who wants to know?”

 

He laughed.  “You’re at the wrong school!  This is a high school!”

 

A high school!? Flint’s thoughts exclaimed.  Oh mother, you would be so careless!  Flint looked around.  Speaking of which, I wonder where she went off to....

 

Flint took a deep breath and puffed out her chest proudly.  “I don’t care, I’m staying.”  She pushed her way past them and stomped off.

 

“I wonder if she knows where she’s going.” the girl laughed.

 

That comment caught Flint’s ear, and so she continued on, daring to call it’s bluff.  She kept walking straight ahead to what appeared to be the main building and stomped inside.  From there, she released her stored breath with a weak sigh.  Unfortunately for Flint and her desire to be seen as a strong, independent character without pain or weaknesses, ever since she had woken from her dream, a significant layer of her emotional insecurity woke with it.

 

“Well, here we are.” she whispered to herself.  Flint looked around her.  The first of her observations showed the counter’s receptionist being missing.  In her next breath, Flint was disgusted to find the air smelling strongly of a foul cleaning chemical trying to mimic an ocean mist.  Trying, and failing.  Flint fanned the air.  Beside the counter was a row of chairs, and beyond that, a large, rectangular window opposite where she stood.  Through the transparent glass an image flashed past her wandering eyes.  Flint stopped.  She focused her eyes far out the window and studied the landscape.  Far more intimidated than she was before, Flint was stunned to find that this “highschool” appeared to be more of a college in its size!  Approaching a window on the opposite side and peering out, this building seemed to be only the first of many.  

 

Flint pinned her hands and forehead against the glass, leaving behind steam from her breath.  “Wow.” she whispered.

 

“May I help you?” a woman’s voice asked.

 

Flint promptly removed her hands from the window, leaving behind oily streaks and smudges.  She bashfully shoved her hands in her pockets and slanted her posture.

 

“Just looking for my mom.” she replied.

 

“Your mother?  What’s her name?”

 

“Um, no, she doesn’t work here.  She’s visiting to enroll me.” Flint explained.

 

“I see.” the woman said sweetly.  “Well, she should pass by here soon.  Why don’t you sit down and wait for her?”

 

Flint nodded.  Carefully she inspected each chair, studying with much too much consideration for such a simple task assigned.  Finally she settled in a chair that seemed nice enough.  Only with a lot of squiggling was she able to get comfortable.  In her mind, Flint was taken off guard by all the positive attention that woman exhibited.  For this not only was Flint thankful, but in fact, she couldn’t help but think if only this nice, sweet lady was her mother instead that things would have indeed worked out much, much differently than they had.

 

As if school wasn’t already enough of a prison!  Flint thought bitterly, From this punishment, now it officially dawns the title!

 

Flint grunted and crossed her arms.  There was no point in reading the magazines lying about, they were only full of nosy paparazzi stories harassing the latest celebrity.  Flint had no interest in such things.  It was cruel.  Suddenly, beside Flint a tray of oreos appeared with a paper cup filled with water.  Flint looked up to see who was to thank for the gesture.  Coming to no surprise, the receptionist was already walking away toward her station at the front desk.  Shyly Flint picked at the cookies.  They were already crumbling away as if they had been lying under a giant dictionary in her desk drawer.  Flint picked at the cookies and sipped at the water in small intervals for the next hour until her mother appeared.

 

“Flint!  For heaven’s sake!  There you are!” she exclaimed.  Her mother’s voice was short and cruel rather than worried for her daughter’s sake.

 

“I’m here.” Flint explained as if it were obvious.

 

“I left you napping in the car and you weren’t there.  You should be more careful.”

 

Flint rolled her eyes at the lecture and shoved her hands into her deep, baggy pockets once more.

 

“Well, the papers are all taken care of.  Let’s get your bags and I’ll show you the room that’s chosen.”

 

“But mom!”

 

“But what?”

 

“This is a highschool.”

 

“So?”

 

“I’m in the eighth grade!” Flint reminded her bitterly.

 

“That’s right!” she said, as if suddenly remembering.  “Well, they’ll just have to make arrangements.  I’ll phone it in later.”

 

Then Flint was thrust forward by her wrist alone, led to one room after another.  The tone of her mother’s actions was quite intimidating.  Her grip on Flint was powerful and commanding, and yet, her expression appeared to want to convince all around of her well being.  Flint could only wonder if during the time that she was asleep did she reflect on the situation without favor.

 

In their first stop, the endearing mother figure threw the few pieces of her daughter’s luggage, concealing her personal belongings, onto her bed, without so much as a care to the damage.  This caused Flint to cringe as she thought of her dear, fragile treasures inside.  This pained her.  In a way, her belongings were much more precious than her family.  Whenever she was upset, they were always accessable, and never, ever had to work.  They never said the wrong thing, either, they only listened and let Flint do the hugging.  Back in the room, Flint’s  fiery flared, as if ignited with anger.  She bit her lip, convincing herself not to speak out against her mother, even if she had done the unspeakable to her personal possessions, childhood toys, and icons of emotional comfort.  Any word of protest would mean a somehow worse sentence.

 

From that stressful stage Flint and her mother moved from classroom to classroom and building to building to meet professors, tutors, and peers.  For this Flint was less than enthusiastic, but fought to remain flexible, or at least, conceal her resentment stronger than ever before.  The dark shadow that was her mother loomed over her shoulder constantly, putting up false fronts of enthusiasm to all she spoke.  Flint knew her mother’s patterns better than that.  This peppy, cheery person that now gripped her shoulder painfully while she laughed and bonded with her future prison guards was as transparent as the natural born air that blew straight through her empty, cowardly mind.....Okay, perhaps that was a bit drastic, but there was nothing exaggerated about how Flint felt.  Truthfully, it were as if her mother constantly held above her head a rolled up newspaper, waiting to pounce when her daughter’s indifference sprouted.  Within herself, Flint further retreated into the dark, shadowy waters of her mind.

 

The rest of the day was a blur of unbelieveable words exchanged between her and her mother.  Nothing were genuine, at least, not from what Flint could believe.  By the time she was moved in and her mother left, and Flint lied her lonesome head on her pillow, her pride was dead.  Only her stubborness of strength sustained her old, emotional methods.

 

Flint closed her eyes wearily.  Her walls exhausted her.  In her mind, old memories flashed.  As a child, Flint was always getting into trouble without fear of consequence.  This was nothing more ordinary than the usual childhood hijinx, that is, until her powers became known to her.  From then on it was an emotional race for the entire family to keep up with her power’s growth.  At a young age, Flint saw fire as her friend and partner, a truely warming element that she could bond with, but her parents were much more paranoid for her safety.

 

From these good intentions on boths ends grew a few disasterous events.  At a young age, even as early as five, her parents would loom over Flint, causing her powers to fluctuate with her progressing nerves.  This was the inspiration for the first accident.  At Flint’s sixth birthday party while she lit her own candles, her parents suddenly stormed into the room, breaking her concentration, and caused Flint to cinge her hair.  The true cause of this, from Flint’s perspective, was her parent’s worry, not her own ignorance.  The cause as defined by the family, however, had become debatable.

 

From this and similar situations following, did her parents grow keen on Flint’s repression of it altogether.  No one but Flint herself seemed to understand that this fire was a part of her like any other would deem an arm or leg.  Deep down, deep, deep, down, this perspective was what she and her stubborness defended.

 

Flint blinked, now realizing she had tears in her eyes.  Deep down she also knew that part of her emotional distance was due to her parents’ inconsistency.  It left her hard and indifferent.  Their worry was so compelling, and Flint was so sensitive to it, it was no wonder she became so hard.  It was the best thing she knew that they hated.  To them and everyone else, it made her a monster.  Sometimes Flint even wondered if her powers made them afraid of her.....

 

With that last thought to comfort her, because at least she knew her actions were valid based on the situation, Flint allowed herself the courtesy of sadness as she lied in her prison cell counting down the hours until morning.

 

<STAY TUNED FOR MORE!!>

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