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Friday, August 27, 2021

F³ Reilly Tingle

             Riding in a harness behind Nat as she rode lightning hurt worse than the first time I rode a harness with Jack Dailey. That time I was just terrified. This time I was pissed because I couldn’t ride it myself.

            Like losing part of myself.

            We landed on top of the anvil of the largest thunderstorm we could find, currently making its way over Chicago. The storm was kicking out inter- and intra-cloud lightning every couple of seconds. This was a nasty storm. It might even be strong enough to warrant breaking it up before it ripped the barrier between planes of existence. That was our primary job, after all. Don’t allow the nasty bugaboos bearing tentacles for lips or eyeballs for teeth into our reality. Turned out that the power of mother nature was more than reality could actually handle, so we had to kind of moderate it.

            “Well, this is weird,” I said.

            “What?” Nat said.

            “I’m feeling something.”

            “What?”

            “I don’t know.”

            “Does it hurt?” Kate asked.

            “No. It just feels weird. Like . . . like when you try and two push magnets of the same pole together. A push against me.”

            “Weird,” the women said, together.

            “Also, there’s a random tingle.”

            “Like a spider-sense?” Kate asked.

            “Nerd,” Nat said.”

            “You know it, bitch,” Kate fired back.

            “No, not like a spider-sense.”

            “You have a Reilly tingle. It better not be where I think it is.”

            Nat laughed at that.

            “No,” I said.

            “You’re sure?” Nat said suggestively.

            “I will if you keep up like that!”

Friday, August 20, 2021

F³ Stop The Negativity

             Nat and I slumped on the park bench, staring cirrostratus clouds high in the sky. Kate late on her stomach on the grass.

            “I hate Iowa grass,” she said. It’s not green enough. Vancouver. Vancouver has awesome grass.”

            “I hate grass,” I said.

            “Well, yeah, cuz you’re from this area.”

            “No, I’m from Colorado.”

            “I’ve been in eastern Colorado, it’s the same as here.”

            “Well, I’m from the mountains.”

            “And the grass there?”

            “It sucks, too.” Nat said.

            “Hey,” I said, but didn’t put any emotion in it. “Whatever. Don’t fucking care about grass.”

            “Hey, stop being so negative,” Nat said. “Cynical, I get, but I won’t let you be one of these depressing bastards.”

            “Wait!” Kate sat up. “That might be it!”

            “Reilly’s negativity affected his lightning?” Nat was skeptical.

            “No, but his lightning’s negativity might have something to do with it. We almost always fire off negative lightning. It’s our default. But what about positive lightning?”

            Nat and I exchanged looks.

            Would that work?

            “We need to get you back up to the clouds, on top of an anvil would make it easiest,” Kate said.

            “That’s going to be a long cloud surf,” I said.

            “Screw that,” Nat said. “You’re riding bitch.”

Friday, August 13, 2021

F³ Lousy Peanuts

             Nat paced in front of the park bench, tapping her chin with a forefinger as she made her loop back and forth. Kate sat on the back of the bench, leaning forward, staring, but not actually seeing Nat. Her look was far off and pensive. I sat and openly sulked while eating my cobbler.

            Stupid cold cobbler. Stupid whatever this is preventing me from using lightning. I like using lightning. I’m pretty good at it, too. Chain lightning, riding lightning, ball lightning, I got those down. Sure, I can’t do the lightning sword that Jack showed me. . . .

            I got more depressed and shoved a double spoonful of cobbler in my mouth. Peach magma burned my tongue and I had to suck down some water to stop myself from spitting it out, but it launched a short coughing fit.

            The women looked at me, Kate rolling her eyes, Nat shushing me.

            Stupid women treating me like I’m four. I’ll show them. I’ll take this next bite without a drink!

            I did, and they didn’t notice even as I opened my mouth and fanned a hand to dissipate the heat.

            I finished my cobbler and sat, staring at the grass between my feet.

            This sucks. What if it’s permanent? What if this is a side effect of the Jack Frost powers? Always thought it was strange that the Frost lightning was greenish. Never took the time to study that. Maybe I should go see Maddy and see what happens when we use those powers again. Maybe it’ll reboot me? But how would I even get there? It’ll take forever cloud surfing. Might even be faster to fly commercially. God, that would suck.

            “I hate flying commercial; their peanuts suck.” I muttered.

            “Shh,” Nat said automatically.

Friday, August 6, 2021

F³ Nobody Likes It Cold

             “Wait,” Nat said. “Why did you both say ‘ow’?”

            I rubbed the back of my head where Kate had hit me, feeling as if I had been zapped with static.

            “He zapped me. Or maybe I zapped him.”

            “And you felt it?” Nat asked.

            We both nodded.

            “We’re storm riders, we hold onto lightning bolts for a ride. A zap of static shouldn’t do dick to us.”

            “Yeah, well, tell that to my noggin,” I said. The zap had felt weird besides feeling it at all, though.

            “And my hand,” Kate said.

            “Kate, were you holding a charge? Were you trying to zap him?”

            She shook her head. She was shaking her hand, too.

            “Reilly?”

            “I just popped, so didn’t have anything left.” I said, scratching the spot she hit.

            “So it might have just been the static created by her hand in your hair?”

            I shrugged. “I guess.”

            “It didn’t feel right, though.” Kate said. “My fingers kind of went numb for a second. Now it’s pins and needles.”

            “What about you, Reilly?”

            “My head itches, but that’s it.”

            “You all should probably take your cobbler and go,” our server said, suddenly, the Iowa twang, plain.

            “Why?” Nat asked.

            “You’re acting weird, and people are staring.”

            We looked around and did see that people were staring at us. They didn’t flinch as we eyed them, either.

            “Okay,” Nat said.

            “Aw, man, I don’t want to eat cold cobbler,” I said.

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