Chapter Five, Fear and Fighting

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Bennie paced her bedroom floor nervously as she sleeplessly passed the rest of the night. For once she wished sleep was necessary to the Guardians because she wanted to escape the uneasy feeling that was growing inside her.

Something about the way Perce had told her his enemy had never made it from the house alive disconcerted her. She understood there were dangers involved in this Guardian job, but she also understood a Guardian had to have been there that night, and had gotten there too late to save their friend, but in time to kill the killer.

Bennie knew Perce had done it. It was obvious. But the fact he had killed someone gave Bennie a view to the truth she had not totally comprehended. Perce was dangerous. The Guardians were dangerous. She was dangerous. She could kill, and as a Guardian she would, in all likelihood, be expected to.

Bennie didn't want to kill anyone. She looked down at her palms. They looked perfectly normal. But when she pictured what they could do to a living thing she was suddenly terrified of herself.

Could she, would she actually take a life if it came to it?

She did not want this. She did not need this.

Her arm grew hot.

"Oh my god," she said out loud trying to pull back the flames before they erupted and consumed the house. Her terror increased as she sped toward the window to eject the danger into the darkness.

Calm down, you need to breathe. Bennie inhaled deeply and felt a coolness rush through her.

Only a tiny flame—a candle flame—appeared in the palm of her hands. Bennie warily drew back her arm.

She looked at the small fire, and it comforted her. She was not always dangerous after all. She could be as gentle and calm as a small candle in a dark room.

The flame went out. Bennie wondered why as the power receded from her arm. She had not called it back.

Then she understood.

She had been frightened by what would happen if the flames were too big. That fear had controlled how much fire had appeared, and when she controlled the fear, she controlled the flame. When she calmed down, satisfied with what she had seen, no longer needing her power, the flames had ceased. Her power was triggered by emotion! That was the key.

She wondered if Perce was by any chance still at the school, so she could tell him. She had nothing else to do, after all. Besides, not only was this something to talk about, she wanted to know the truth about killing and fighting in this business. All of it.

She went back out quietly.

Bennie lived close to the school, but her mother still would have killed her for walking there alone in the dead of night, without the exception of practice, so she left a bundle of blankets in the bed to look like she was still there. Bennie really couldn't have cared less at the moment if her mom knew or not. She had other things on her mind, and failed to notice someone was following her.

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