Where to start? What had happened the day she had set the doll on fire? What triggered her special ability? How much heat could she actually handle? How much heat could she cause?
Hesitantly, she leaned forward, one hand stretched out toward the water, the other bracing her body on the rock. She thought of the heat traveling inside her body, and of how sometimes it would increase and radiate, making her skin glow or letting others think the room temperature had risen.
Taking a deep breath and exerting pressure, as though she wanted to push something from the inside out, she imagined her heat emanating from her body.
Did she trick her eyes or was a soft, golden-russet glow lighting up her skin, contrasting with the cool, silvery moonlight from above?
She bit her lip in concentration, leaned toward the river, and dipped her faintly glowing hand into the water.
First there was a shock of wet cold. It made her want to pull her hand out. She could feel the current and insistency of the night water against her fingers that had lost their heat. How to fight back? Where was the fire to draw on?
She remembered the moment when he had kissed her and she had shone as if with an inner light bulb. Holding on to the moment, longingly drawing it out, she closed her eyes and exerted pressure again.
And suddenly, the water didn’t feel cold to her anymore. When she opened her eyes, she could see her fingers glowing under water. With a soft whoop of delight, she pressed harder, her teeth buried so deep in her lower lip that she drew blood. The sharp prick of pain fueled her fire. In another moment, she had heated up much more. Wisps of steam coiled up from the place where her hand lay submerged in the water.
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