Sweat trickled down Naluma's cheek as she squeezed her eyes together. One rock. Why can't I get the stupid rock to move. Arrgh!
She screamed at the beige stone and pounded the ground beside her folded legs. The two kilogram rock soared through the air.
Luke ducked his head at the last moment. The rock whizzed overhead and smacked into a tree behind him. The last of the warm fall leaves tumbled from its branches as if a speeder had crashed head-on.
"I'm never going to get this. We're wasting our time." She crossed her arms and slumped in her lotus position.
"No, you won't. Not when you're letting your anger rule you."
She tossed a few stones in her hand focusing on the rough feel on her alabaster skin.
Luke sighed. "Again."
Dropping the pebbles and closing her eyes, she lifted her hand toward another marbled river rock, this one slightly smaller. She could have hidden it in her hand if she wanted to.
She pressed her lips together. Wrinkles formed around her eyes and on her brow as dark hair escaped her flat bun, itching her cheek. As she resisted the urge to push the tendril of hair away and to remain focused on the rock, her breathing labored.
A slight smile crept across her lips. She felt the stone tilting.
With a lurch, it propelled out of control. Naluma groaned.
Luke's hand shot up and called it to his own hand. He set it in front of her once more.
When she closed her eyes, he snapped, "No."
She narrowed her eyes at him and steadied her face.
"Your fear is leaking, Naluma. Find your balance first, your center."
She bent forward and extended her arms in front of her, stretching her lower back muscles and sucking in the Force that vibrated in the soil.
"That's right. Open up to the Force. Let it flow in and out. Don't try to control it." After a few breaths, his voice dropped to a whisper. "Concentrate on your breathing, your heartbeat. Concentrate on my voice. Just let it move."
Eyes closed. Arms relaxed at her sides. Back straight. Legs crossed. Feet atop her knees.
Master Skywalker's soothing voice permeated her. "That's it. You're doing great."
Her breathing intensified, from deep breaths to small gasps.
"Let go of the fear. You can do this."
"How can you just turn off your emotions? They drown me."
She huffed when he didn't reply. After a few moments and a few cleaning breaths, she ceased trembling.
"You cannot control the Force until you can control yourself."
She felt the elusive peace wash over her.
"Good. Now stop the river. Pull it into the cistern in your center. Let it fill you."
She scrunched her eyes together and held her breath.
"Breathe. Just breathe."
His voice penetrated her, wrapping her inner core and the Force in its sonorous tones.