His parents were close when he was growing up, a seemingly normal family living on a plantation in the south. Living day to day, each day pushing him closer to developing his powers, and learning how to use them. Responsibility like that was something that had hit him upside the head and sent him teetering in either direction simultaneously. He didn’t know which way was up when he first developed the pyrokinesis, and the telekinesis? Forget it. It was a wonder he hadn’t killed more people than he had. More people should have gotten hurt because he didn’t know how to control such a power… tangent, but it was the reason he was here in San Francisco in a coven that could help him. Well, so far they were helping him. He didn’t know what things would be like down the road in the long term. Hell, he didn’t even know if he was going to live here forever. He supposed as long as the meds kept working, and the attacks were infrequent, then he could live a relatively normal existence and remain here. But he didn’t know what life had in store for him. No one did, really. Even fortune tellers who were legit didn’t know the whole of the future. The future was always changing, always shifting either in favor of someone… or against them.
The woods provided a solace he never knew in a city like New Orleans. There was a peace out here, away from the crowds and hustle and bustle of the city. He’d known the backlash of the incident that had happened, knew the rumors flying around about him at work, but out here, that all seemed to vanish. So much about the wilderness was overlooked, underappreciated and almost all together ignored by those that dwelled in the city. He could see it over the trees, for they were on a little hill in the middle of a valley. Peace in such a large city was hard to come by, he knew, because he lived in a tiny apartment in the downtown area. So many people crammed together in such a tight space, he wondered why his sanity hadn’t abandoned him completely by now. Living the way he did made it important to get out, be among people, in spite of the desire to stay indoors and bury himself under a heap of blankets. A lot of that came from living in the close quarters of prison, and even in the mental ward.
Trying to live in the present grew harder as time went on. The events were so fresh in his memory, even at eight years or so old. Replayed on a little VCR in his head, flashing images making him wonder if they would ever just go away. And then there were days where he didn’t want them to that he wanted to remember so he wouldn’t forget. Felt it was an insult to her memory to forget. Talking about her made things more bearable, but it also made things more real, fear rising up in his mind that something like that could happen again. To one of his coven mates? To a co-worker? A close friend? Didn’t want to think about it, yet there were nights when that was all he could think about.
“You don’t really think about it when you first learn how to control them,” he said thoughtfully, “But it does happen occasionally. It’s nearly all subconscious, though, and I don’t ever act on those thoughts or feelings. At least, not anymore.” There had been a time when he had, and others had paid for it dearly. Not since prison, but he felt she needed to know that it had happened. As if the telling of it would warn her somehow, as if it would help prevent future occurrences. “One would think so, wouldn’t they? I suppose they fear it. They certainly fear me because they know I wield fire.” Chuckled lightly at that. At least – those that were back in Louisiana. None of his coven mates feared him that he knew of – but there was a first time for everything, and that fact was never more clearer in his mind than right now, sitting near Sloan.
He went quiet for a long moment, digging the stick into the ground as he teased the fire a little to continue burning at the logs in the pit. This sort of encouragement would engulf them quicker, make them burn hotter. It was a symbolic representation of his torrential emotions running through him. Sloan would say yes, that she wanted to hear the story, and he let a small smile come across his lips, although it wasn’t something that reached his eyes. Staring into the flames, he didn’t look at her as he began to tell the story. “When I was a freshman in high school, I met a girl that was a year ahead of me. Like most kids at that age, I fell in love with her, and we started dating. Things were fine for a while, she learned about the fire I controlled and accepted it. Used to put on shows for her out behind the school, little displays like hearts in the fire and other symbols…” his eyes seemed distant as he spoke, as if playing the scene through his mind. “Then, the summer before my Junior year, she came up to me under the bridge just outside of town when the water was to our ankles. She told me she was pregnant, and the baby wasn’t mine,” he seemed saddened by that remark, not angry as he had been at the time, “And I felt myself losing myself as I stood there, my hand raising up involuntary. I remember nearly feeling her neck in my grasp as I squeezed. I threw her against the bridge, several feet above the ground. I heard the bones crack, and I released her, and she fell to the ground…” he took a breath, silent for a couple heart beats, “She didn’t move.”
“Someone nearby heard her hit the water, and they called 911. I was shoved into a police car, taken from my family to stand trial for what I had done. I spent the next four years in prison, and then, when I was deemed unfit to remain there, they sent me to a mental ward for the next three years.” He took another breath, deep and long, remorse in his eyes as well as the remnants of tears clinging there. Now he looked at her, saying, “So that is why I left my hometown. Because I couldn’t stand having friends that I’d known for years look at me like I am a monster.”