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Author Topic: Starting Fires // Josie Superpowers AU  (Read 308 times)

Joseph McCormick

    (06/01/2020 at 01:28)
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A universe very different from this one
A summer in modern times
Redwood National Park, Northern California, U.S.A.

The first heat of June was just beginning to hit when the van set off from the South California coast for a few days of rest and relaxation in the very different scene of Redwood National Park. From the outside, it was simply another van filled with tourists en route to the popular attraction, though perhaps it was a bit larger than usual.

Inside, the McCormick family had undergone over twelve hours of travel, yet somehow managed to be just as loud and obnoxious as ever.

"Are we there yet?" Wyatt whined the classic question of kids on a road trip. Cherry complained that they ought to be there by now and Fin threw a goldfish cracker at her. Their parents sighed and told them to be patient, they would be there in around ten minutes, and they weren't going to act like this the whole time, were they?

If one were to ask Joseph McCormick, he would have said that they were. As it was, the fifteen-year-old was far too distracted to pay attention to the chaos. He gazed intently, locked in a staring contest with a rather unusual amount of intensity, given that it was with a water bottle.

Slowly, the water began to lift, hovering toward the top of the bottle instead of gravity pulling it to the bottom like it was meant to.

He glanced around, made sure no one was paying attention to him, and carefully drew a piece of coral out of his pocket. It glowed electric blue, somehow alive despite emerging from the ocean several days ago, and as he held it between fingers, he felt the sensation that had puzzled him since he acquired it flow through his veins. A few drops of water appeared on his hand. His expression gave away complete confusion as he squinted at it, then suddenly he let out a noise of surprise. Where the second before it had been mostly dry, his hand was suddenly drenched in water that actively dripped onto the van floor.

"Almost there, gang!" The kids let out a cheer, and Joey hurriedly shoved the coral back in his pocket, doing his best to dry off his hand while he was at it. Please be dry, please be dry, how is it even not, please be dry...

It was dry.

He stared, utterly stupefied, for a second too long and was nearly bowled over as his siblings tried to climb out of the vehicle as soon as it stopped. "Come oooon, slowpoke! Get up! We're here!"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm movin'." Trying to shake it off for the time being, he followed Parker out. Majestic redwoods rose around them, and Joey smiled at the magnificent site of a familiar vacation spot. He breathed in and enjoyed the comfortable earthy scent.
« Last Edit: 06/01/2020 at 20:16 by Joseph McCormick »
I want to feel chaotic!
but calm enough to hold you in the morning

Rosemary Wolffe

    (06/01/2020 at 20:14)
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Scouting the battlefield, Rosie's parents had called in when she'd stared at them in confusion. Observing and analysising so they could pick the position where flames would spread easiest and furthest from.

Honestly, Rosie could not help but feel as if they were wasting their time. She did not know much about the art of scheming and planning, she had not inherited any of her (quite possibly mad) parents' intelligence. All she knew was that wood burned nicely, and Redwood National Park was full of it. Wasn't that enough?

No, it was not, they had said. And so they'd sent her off, seeming to think that Rosie would return a couple hours later with something of use rather than a grin, a shrug, and a declaration of "yeah there's a whole lot of trees out there. What's for dinner?".

"C'mon Biscuit!"

Rosie had not inherited her parents' intelligence, and she had not inherited their subtle cunning either. It was obvious in the way her hair seemed to catch alight at the tips and flicker red and gold, in the golden retriever that crashed through the forest with her and in how the air around her rippled with scorching heat more suited for a desert than for a very flammable park.

(Though that was sort of the point.)

She hummed as she walked, half paying attention to her surroundings like her parents had told her and half just throwing sticks for Biscuit. As far as Rosie was aware, the park (at least, the part she walked) was empty and so what reason did she have to try and be subtle? It was often difficult, keeping herself from quite literally bursting into flames. She had to watch herself in a place like this (for now), but that did not mean she had to force the heat from her skin and the flames from her hair right that second. Not when there was no one around to see her.

"Come oooon, slowpoke! Get up! We're here!"

There were people around to see her.

Rosie stumbled over the raised root of a tree, grabbing a hold of the trunk to steady herself. When she dropped her arm back down to her side, it left a blackened handprint upon the bark. She bit back a cry of frustration, squeezing her eyes shut and her lips together until she had cooled from boiling to simply warm and the flames had died away to leave admittedly still fiery looking locks. She could hear voices, growing closer by the second, but she knew that if anyone saw her in such a manner then her parents would be livid.


Rosie cracked her eyes open just in time to see the disappearing tail of her dog. A string of muffled curses slipped from her tongue, and she took off in pursuit off it.


It came out as a whine. She chased the dog out onto the road, barely noticing the family that gathered there, into the woods again, and then back onto the road once more.

Euphoric (eu-pho-ric)
(adj)characterised by or feeling intense excitement and happiness.

Joseph McCormick

    (06/01/2020 at 21:27)
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Joey always felt small here; it was impossible not to with the forest of majestic trees towering hundreds of feet above him. Granted, he sometimes felt small surrounded by a family that radiated happy chaos and the confusion and unanswered questions that had plagued him since the incident he had already dubbed That Night dwarfed him...but this was a good sort of small feeling. The trees had seen and survived much more than he ever would. If any part of nature had some sort of ancient wisdom, it would be this place. It really was too bad he didn't feel a sudden kinship with the trees; he could have used some good old fashioned ancient wisdom.

Perplexed once again, the excited chatter of his family flowed in one ear and out the other. They were going on a hike to a cabin rented months ahead of time, someone didn't want to go on the hike, someone wanted to go in a hollow tree like they did last year, someone was hungry and someone else was thirsty...

Joey eyed the water in his bottle as if it was an unpredictable animal ready to jump out at him at any moment.

"Yeah, let's go to the hollow tree," he agreed, forcing himself to pay attention and start following his family into the park. He was far removed from the ocean; there wouldn't be any answers for him here. He'd have to make the best of it and enjoy the vacation, then return to their home on the southern coast and try to figure out what the hell happened to him. Fortunately, Joey had always been good at making the best of things.

And what better for the best of things to start with but a dog?

Just before he stepped into the woods, a golden blur flashed in the corner of his eye, and he turned around to behold a golden retriever fleeing from a teenage girl (he could have sworn neither of them had been there a second before) in abundant, gleeful glory. Instinct set his feet in motion, but there was no need to run; as soon as the dog realized the existence of another human being, it changed direction and shot directly toward him.

"Hey - oh wow, hi!"

The sheer power of a full-grown golden retriever nearly bowled him over, and dropping to his knees was the only way to avoid a nasty fall. Of course, this was taken as the perfect opportunity to relentlessly attack him in the brutal tongue-to-face method. "Okay, okay, hi to you too," he laughed, "But you're not supposed to be here, now, are you?" He felt through golden fur until his fingers gained hold of a collar, and, holding it tightly, he climbed to his feet and began gently tugging the dog by the collar toward where he had last seen its owner.

Unfortunately for him, the retriever decided it did not want to be tugged and instead sat down on the road and panted, its tongue lolling out. He could have sworn the dog was grinning at him. "Aw, come on, bud - hey, I'll give you a nice belly rub if you come along. Deal?"

There appeared to be no deal.
I want to feel chaotic!
but calm enough to hold you in the morning