My Sister’s Magic

To Master Fire

Aabye-Gayle F.

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A woman in a red dress stands behind a fire in a field of red flowers.
Photo by Ali Karimi on Unsplash.

I wish I had my sister’s magic. She’s already wielding flames like an Alpha, and this is only her first semester at The University. As twins, we couldn’t be more different. Sometimes I imagine we’re really a whole that was cut into halves, because aside from body parts, everything she has I lack — and vice versa.

It’s her calm mind and temperate emotions that allow her to master fire so effortlessly. She is not easily distracted or provoked. She’s unreachable when she’s focused. I, on the other hand, I contain a tempest. The slighted thing spurs me on. My moods are a maelstrom, and they bring everyone and everything around them down — down to the depths of my turbulent conscious.

My sister once told me that she’s jealous of me. I didn’t believe her until I saw the fatigue behind the focus in her eyes. I had always wanted to be like her so that I could have fire. There is so much I want to burn down. I was surprised to discover that she wants to be like me. My powers are so rudimentary. Seeing the surprise and incredulity written all over my face, she pointed out that I have freedoms she can never enjoy. I can rage and cry and fight and laugh uncontrollably. Alpha Incendiaries can’t do any of that. They are never allowed to be weapons — only vehicles or vessels.

Just the other day we were walking towards campus when a racist, upon seeing us, hurled some explicit words as well as his coffee cup in our direction. Both the contents of his statements and his cup were hot — hot enough to burn. I felt my skin and then my temper boil.

My sister could have set him ablaze with no more than a glance. She could have manipulated his mind so that he would think himself on fire. That’s what I would have done with her power. I would have sentenced him to seeing consuming flames whenever he uttered words full of hate. But that’s not how my sister operates. She just took a slightly deeper breath in and kept the pace at which she was walking while we healed. That is the serenity of my sister. She lives like a lake that can only be mildly disturbed — no matter what you throw at her. I, however, wasn’t feeling so generous towards the bigot, so I made him mute for a month.

I find it quite satisfying using mortals’ maladies against them. Speak out of turn, whether…

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