Molly trudged into school Thursday morning, shoes soggy from yet another night’s rain, and sighed. It was still too early for class, and the courtyard was crowded with groups of kids, hanging out in the few spaces dry enough to sit. She glanced around, and headed toward a corner. No one was going to come relieve her from her isolation this time, not after being kicked out of two groups in as many weeks.
Oh, well, at least she had schoolwork to keep her busy. With a sigh, she settled onto an abandoned bench and dug out her lit book.
“Hey, watcha reading?”
Molly looked up to see Ivy Haley plop into the seat beside her. “It’s okay if I sit here, isn’t it?” she said, but didn’t wait for a response before swinging her ratty bookbag up beside her.
It rained for two solid weeks.
The haze over the lake was so thick, Molly could imagine it had swallowed everything else and left her adrift in some other world. The water was dead calm, too, like it had never been touched. She dipped her toes into it, watching ripples scatter the perfect image of trees over its surface. Even though it had passed into October, the water was still warm, although the weather had left a cool, humid blanket over the whole town. She’d trudged through it, feeling lost and kind of guilty, as if the rain and all its ensuing misery were somehow her fault. For all she knew, it was. Her power had become harder to control, spiking unexpectedly, and forcefully, and in new ways. She had to keep a check on it constantly, and it had deteriorated her already precarious focus in school. It was just as well she didn’t have any other distractions, like friends or hobbies.