The letter T has come to the A to Z Challenge. This is a very important letter. Of course, teachers are important, but this part of the story is also very important. I won’t say anything more. Just read and discover what exactly is going to happen on the world of Ariadne. I just had to post this one a few hours earlier than usual. You’ll notice we’ve jumped ahead in time with this part. I look forward to your comments.
Second day, seventh month, seventh year after colonisation, Ariadne Era (7/02/07 AE)
The giggles, the chatter, the shouts of joy. Margaret Sanderson loved the sounds of young children playing. She watched the seventeen kindergarten children running around and playing. These were the oldest of the children born on Ariadne, all four and five years old. But not every child was playing with others.
She saw the girl crouched down near the edge of the school grounds. Solona Knight. Bright, enthusiastic, and popular, she was her star pupil. But what was she doing?
Margaret approached Solona from behind. “Solona, is everything okay?” she asked.
Solona’s back straightened and she gasped, “Miss Sanderson.” She glanced at her sideways. “I’m okay. I think so. Really, I am.”
Margaret recognised the guilty behaviour of a child who’s been doing something she shouldn’t. She decided to let Solona lead the way. “What are you doing?” she said.
“Oh, nothing,” she answered. She hesitated. “No, not nothing. Can I show you something?”
“Of course. You can show me anything.”
“Promise not to get angry?”
“I promise, Solona,” said Margaret, smiling. She wasn’t sure if it was anything bad, or if it was an innocent mind thinking something normal was bad.
“Okay. Come over here.”
Margaret bent down to see what Solona was looking at. She was holding out her hand, palm face up. “What do you want to show me?”
“Watch,” she said.
Margaret looked around, but didn’t see anything. At first, she thought it was a small animal in the feathergrass, but there was nothing. Then she saw the glow. A flame. Her jaw slackened and her eyes widened. An orange flame flickered above Solona’s open palm. That shouldn’t happen. That can’t happen. “How?” she said, but no other words came to her mind.
“I don’t know,” said Solona, almost whispering. “I just think about something hot and look at the place I want to be hot. The fire starts like that.” The flame disappeared. “I can do more things.”
“What?” said Margaret.
“Look at the grass.” Solona extended her index finger and touched a frond of feathergrass. Frost appeared on the plant around her finger and spread out. Ice crystals formed.
“How?” Margaret didn’t hear anything. She stared at the frozen grass. She realised Solona was looking at her and saying something. Ten seconds, thirty seconds, a minute, she didn’t know how long she was transfixed on the grass. “What? What happened?”
“Did I do something bad, Miss Sanderson?” asked Solona. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I don’t want to scare anyone. I don’t know why I can do this. Please don’t get angry at me.” Tears rolled down Solona’s face.
Margaret realised Solona was frightened. “No, no. I’m not angry, Solona. You’re not in trouble. I’m just surprised.” She forced a smile. She wasn’t sure what to think or feel. Was it even real?
“Are you going to tell my mom?”
“Did you see that?” said a boy to her left.
Yes, she was.