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Friday, September 24, 2021

F³ Making Things Worse

             We all recovered fairly quickly. I had a cloudboard under me before I had reached the apex of where the explosion threw me. Nat and Kat had done the same. Jack didn’t recover so much as bounce off the cloud about fifty feet away. Where he had exploded was now a spherical divot in the cloud, like someone had taken an ice cream scoop to it.

            “What the fuck was that?” Jack asked as soon as he righted himself. “Why do I sound funny?”

            “You sound fine to us,” Nat said.

            “Why are you talking like that? How are you talking like that? Step off the reverb switch.”

            “Fucking Christ!” Kate swore. “He’s hearing double, just like Reilly did.”

            Nat and Kate turned their attention to me, and by attention, it was twin gazes of contempt and hatred.

            “I have no idea what I did,” I said in defense.

            An explosion sounded as Jack tried to fire off lightning in my direction.

            “Two of them, now.” Nat sighed.

            “I say we leave their asses and get hammered,” Kate said.

            “Really tempting, right now, but they’ll probably kill each other.”

            “Having trouble figuring out why that’s bad. Not like they’re any good to us like this.”

            Another, albeit lesser, explosion sounded.

            “Oops,” I said.

Friday, September 17, 2021

F³ When in Doubt

             I jerked into full consciousness, which freaked me the hell out as before it was always one of those gradual-waking things. But my eyes snapped open, I gasped, and scrambled to my feet, assuming a martial arts pose from my Kung Fu movie binge with Nat.

            “You look fucking ridiculous.” Jack said, sitting on a cloud chair.

            “Fuck you.”

            “I wouldn’t enjoy that.”

            “I’d enjoy watching that,” Kate said. “You seriously need to get fucked over, Jack.”

            “Harsh!” Jack said, but no one was taking his side in this.

            “So, what now?” I asked.

            “We’re kind of running out of ideas to try,” Nat said.

            “Which is why I zapped him,” Jack smirked.

            “Which didn’t help at all,” Nat continued.

            Jack shrugged. “Hey, when in doubt, throw lightning at the problem.”

            The words pissed me off, and stirred something. It felt like a latent charge in me. The tingling on my skin increased. I’d say I was absorbing an ambient charge, but my skin never tingled while doing that, before.

            Whatever, just go with it.

            As usual, I ionized a channel and let loose. A pencil-thin . . . something shot out of my hand, sending out pops of white light as it flew, to collide with Jack. As soon as it hit him, he exploded, sending us flying.

Friday, September 10, 2021

F³ A Few Words

             I was already swearing. I couldn’t hear it, but my throat felt the strain of me yelling “God-fucking-dammit you fucking moron Jack! You son of a bitch, don’t you ever think of not leading with your dick all the fucking time! You have any fucking clue how much that fucking hurts? You’ve always been a dickhead, but now you’ve graduated to full-on anal-douche-nozzle! Fuck!”

            I would’ve continued, but the pain caught up to my anger. I crumpled in a ball of conflicting pain sensations. Nerve endings were on fire, like a supersized version of that tingle from before, and my eyes hurt, too, leftover from the explosion’s flash, which seemed brighter than it should have.

            My ears were still useless, just that weird doubled cacophony and the ringing, but my eyes cleared enough to see Nat and Kate were chewing Jack out. He was unfazed with his twisted grin, and he stretched out a finger towards me, probably to fire another bolt but Nat deflected his hand while Kate smacked him upside the head.

            “Fucking stop, you frog-toed-taint-pustule!” I shouted, then passed out.

Friday, September 3, 2021

F³ Almost Like . . . Jack

             “You’re going to have to do better than a tingle,” Kate said.

            “Well excuse me if I don’t have the vocabulary to properly describe something I’ve never felt before.” I didn’t try to keep the acid out of my voice. I was frustrated. “It doesn’t feel electric, not really. No shock or anything. It’s not hot, it’s not cold, not really.”

            “Not really?” Nat asked. “Come on, Reilly, give us something to work with.”

            “It feels like. . . .” I stretched storm rider senses into the feeling. There was something there, something almost familiar. “it feels like. . . .” Nothing. Absence of something. How can that be when I feel it? “It feels like. . . .” Almost like. . . .

            “Here I come to save the day!” The unmistakable voice of Jack Dailey announced as he landed on the cloud “Iron-Man-Style.”

            “Jack,” I said.

            With his sideways grin he said, “I hear you’ve got a problem keeping it up.”

            “I—”

            Before I or the girls could say anything more, Jack shot me with a lightning bolt. As soon as it touched my skin, I felt the explosion.

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