“Can you see?”
“Enough.” Keleon moved his hand down her arm to grab her hand. “”Stay close.” His raspy voice carried the calm of reassurance.
Colli wasn’t sure how they made it out.
The pop and crackle of the fire, consuming what little was left, added to the heat that grew in this forsaken dungeon. Not until they got to the car, did Keleon release her. The pressure he exerted indented the ring into her flesh.
How it got on her finger, or why Sung had chosen her to give it to, were questions she had no one to ask. Somehow she knew it was the right choice.
Keleon tried to open the car door for her. “We need to get out of here. The fire’s spreading.”
His words hit, bringing an awareness of her surroundings. The fire moved up into the branches of the trees. A breeze she’d enjoyed many times only served to help it spread. Sparks floated down from overhead. This time of year underbrush was dry. It burned easily. A small mouse ran from under a bush at the far side of the flat paved area. It tried to climb up her leg, but fell back. It tried again.
Colli bent down to pick it up. Without the power to understand its words, she somehow realized it had something to tell her. A black and white rabbit hopped up to join the mouse in its endeavors to communicate.
When Keleon saw what was going on, he tried to assist Colli with the creatures.
“I’ve got to stop this.” Her throat hurt from the smoke she breathed in. Tears of frustration mixed with the grime on her face.
“How?” Keleon pushed her down on the ground close to the car. “Look.” The wonder in his voice made Colli look up. His finger pointed to her hand.
When she followed it, the light was too bright to stare into. Even when she closed her eyes, sparks of forceful blue and intense white, cascaded behind her eyelids. Power surged through her.
“I know what to do.” She stood and pushed away from the car. All around embers fell, lighting anything burnable on fire. Overhead, branches turned into flaming projectiles. Colli turned in a circle, and held the ring laden finger over her head. Stretching as tall as she could, she turned as fast as her legs and equilibrium would allow.
In the distance, a rumble grew. Overhead the sky darkened. Clouds billowed. She concentrated harder. At the very moment she thought she could no longer continue, a bright flash of lightning stretched from overhead to join with her hand. There was no pain, only a massive surge of energy entering her body. Colli raised her other hand. Slowly she stopped turning. When she came to a complete standstill she looked back on the empty space that had been the command station, and before that a convenience store that supplied food and drink to residents and travelers alike.
“What’s going on?” Keleon stood to her right, a look of awe on his face.
She smiled. “I’m not sure. I only know we need to put this fire out. Will you help me?” She lowered her right hand to him.
Keleon took it in both of his. “What do you want me to do?” he asked. The tone of his voice assured her he would do whatever she requested.
With both their efforts combined, they brought sudden and heavy rain that poured from thick clouds that had formed overhead. Water gathered in rivulets to race by and collected in puddles that soon turned into ponds, eating away at the ground around them. The fire that had spread so easily through the underbrush sizzled and died. The storm eased. The rain weakened, and stopped all together.