Smell of wet earth. Hot, humid air opens every pore of her naked body. Her copper skin glistens under the cover of pearls of sweat. The distant Sun is caught in each one. She breathes in the hot air, letting her bare feet sink into the moist dark wet earth, getting between her toes.
A lone bird sings a mournful song in the distance and a chorus of twenty of its kin reply. Great trees surround this land, each reaching for the sky. Their branches caress the rolling clouds.
Then she feels it, a burning sensation under the fingers of her left hand. She looks at it and watches in horror as her hand withers, then turns to bone, then dust. She holds her stump close to her bosom, gritting her teeth. That’s when she hears the roaring sound and looks up: the forest burns. Flames of red, orange and blue lick at the tree trunks, slowly devouring them, and she screams. A sea of flame is upon her and she is on fire. She burns, burns, burns.
Gailta lies on the carpeted floor of her room. How the Hell did she get there? She looks around the room. The room is still a mess from last night, mom is going to kill me. A stack of empty pizza boxes sits precariously at the edge of her desk, potato chips lie crushed on the carpet, crumpled clothes are scattered all over. Even her bed sheets were somehow all the way over to her old books’ chest that dad had gifted her on her fifteenth birthday.
Yesterday had been her seventeenth birthday; the mess was allowed up until noon, she was safe. Gailta climbs back to her bed and sits on top of it, as she tries to recall the dream she had. There was fire in it, that much she can remember. There always was. Gently, she rubs the stump where her left hand used to be and she smiles.
Lifting her right hand, she gives a flick of her wrist and the pizza boxes begin to float and spin over her head. She snaps her fingers several times, making a pizza box disappear vanish into nothing with each snap. Cleaning was always a breeze -or a snap- now, even fun.
A hand was a small price to pay; she had touched the stars. Gailta stretches and gets out of bed; the day was just starting, after all.