Today while I was working on Luminescence, I found a scene I'd written for The Kindling, but had to be cut for the sake of word count. I put it in Penumbras--but once again, it had to be cut. I think this scene was eventually condensed into a few lines. So, I thought I'd post it here.
It takes place during the summer training at Mockingbird Cottage. Tension is beginning to cause rifts between Conner, Melanie, and Lexa.
After breakfast, Dr. Timberi led them outside to a shady place underneath some trees. Conner tried to maneuver himself next to Melanie, but she always seemed to keep Lexa between them. Lexa noticed, too, because she kept looking at Melanie, then looking at Conner, shouting all kinds of unspoken questions on her face.
“Our task today requires energy, but no movement, so if you wish, you may lay on the grass while we do this.” Conner dropped to the ground, enjoying the soft coolness on his skin and the sweet smell of the clover. Lexa followed him. Melanie hesitated, then looked up at the deck, and flicked her fingers. One of the chairs flashed pale pink, and then bobbed over to where they had gathered.
“I don’t like bugs.” Melanie sounded apologetic. “May I sit instead of laying down?”
Dr. Timberi smiled. “Of course, Melanie. Now, the three of you have seen Magi become invisible, and it is a distinctly useful technique. This is phasing, and it is based on the fact that there are forms of Light we cannot see—ultraviolet or infrared, for example. Essentially the frequency on which some light waves operate makes them invisible to the human eye. When you phase, you cause the Light inside of you to form wavelengths invisible to the human eye.
“This is one of the great advantages we have over Darkhands. When you are Phasing, they cannot see you—although they may be able to sense the Light in other ways. However, when they are shaded, which is essentially their equivalent, you can often detect them. The principle there is that Light can illuminate and pierce Darkness, but not vice versa. You’ll remember a few months ago that you could see the Stalker when others could not. He was Shaded, but because you had Kindled, you saw him.
“At any rate, most people either find phasing either extremely easy or very difficult because you don’t do anything. There are no physical actions to take. It is all done mentally.
“Now, begin, as always, by opening yourself up to the Light.”
Conner tried, but nothing came. He couldn’t connect to the Light. He tried thinking of Melanie—which is what he usually did, but today, that upset him even more. What was wrong with her today?
It didn’t matter. He didn’t deserve her anyway. Not after what he’d done—stop it! Stop it, he ordered himself. The cherubim told him it wasn’t real.
But even if it was imaginary, his actions in the Shadowbox had to come from somewhere—stop!
“Now, hold your hand in front of your face. Visualize the Light flowing over your hand—around, over, and under it. Visualize the Light as series of waves, consistent, large waves and fix that image clearly in your mind.”
Dr. Timberi paused and looked at Conner. Both Lexa and Melanie had Light glowing around their hands. Conner hadn’t even opened his gateway. Dr. Timberi met his eyes and smiled. It’s all right, Conner. I’ll help you in a moment.
“Now, change the image. Think of very small waves coming quickly now. Focus on that image. And as you get it clearly in your mind, try to speed up the waves and make them even smaller.”
Conner had given up even trying to open his gateway. At the moment, he just hoped he could keep the sharks from devouring him. Hard enough anytime, but now--
Melanie gasped, and he looked over at her in time to see her right hand disappear. Her arm went down to her wrist and then vanished.
Melanie jumped, then reached over with her left hand and patted it.
“Excellent, Melanie,” Dr. Timberi said. “Excellent! See if you can extend those invisible waves farther up your arm.”
Melanie closed her eyes and scrunched her nose. She took a deep breath and the rest of her arm disappeared.
A look of surprise jumped onto her face, followed by a big smile. “I did it! I finally did something!”
“Wait, we’ve Kindled, so why can’t we see it?” Lexa asked.
“A perceptive question, Lexa. If you were Phasing at the same precise frequency, then you would be able to see Melanie’s arm. As you get more proficient with this, you will be able to adjust your frequency to those around you. But that is an advanced skill.”
Conner got distracted by a really big, colorful firefly hovering near him for a few seconds. It was followed by another one, and then another. Did they usually come out in the day? They’d been hanging around him last night, too. Weird. Did they usually follow humans? A loud squeal chased them away before he could think much more about it. Conner looked over and saw Lexa wiggling fingers that were invisible from the middle knuckles up.
“It tickles!” She laughed, and then her entire hand disappeared.
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