Prior to Arcane Solutions:
I woke up in a hospital room.
“Cordi?” Mom’s voice sounded thick and choked, as if she’d been crying.
“Yeah?” Mine was a rasp. She leaned over me, a smile trembling on her lips. “Am I sick?”
“Not anymore. You’re going to be fine now. Are you thirsty?”
I managed a weak nod in answer. She poured water into a paper cup, and then used the bed’s controls to raise the head so that I was sitting. “Here you go, baby.”
It took an enormous effort to lift a hand to the cup. Mom kept hold of it, guiding it to my lips. I sipped at the lukewarm water and noticed my hand.
“What happened?” My hand seemed larger, but so thin, every bone and blood vessel clearly showing. “What happened to me?”
“What’s the last thing you remember?”
“Fireworks. We were watching the fireworks last night.” I smiled, recalling the gold and pink weeping willow sparkling in the sky. It had been pretty.
“That wasn’t last night, baby,” Mom said in a gentle voice. “You’ve been asleep for a while.”
“For how long?” I stared at my hand, which shook, still touching the cup.
“Everything’s going to be fine. Let me call the doctor in.”
Mom sighed. “Three years. You’ve been in a coma. It’s January 2nd, 2003.”
Eyes widening in shock, I looked at her. “What?”
“A lot of things have happened, but we’ll talk about it all later. Everything will be fine.”
“Three years?” My fingers tightened on the cup. I felt a wave of cold sweep through my body and shivered in reaction.
“Cordi,” Mom breathed, her blue eyes focused on the cup. There seemed to be steam rising from it. She pulled the cup away and looked into it. After a minute, she held it so that I could see, her expression awed. The water it held was frozen solid.
Confused and afraid, I began crying.
“It’s okay. Shh.” She smoothed my hair back and touched my cheek. Something happened, a sort of click in my mind. I shrieked as things in the room rose into the air. One of the machines began beeping frantically.
“Cordi, calm down,” she said, gripping my hand. A nurse came in, only to stop and gape at the things that were floating. “It’s okay.”
That’s when the wildly beeping machine caught fire, right after another weird clicking sensation in my head. The nurse yelled for help while scurrying back out into the hallway as my mom dropped the cup. “You need to calm down.”
I screamed, “What’s happening?”
Mom didn’t get the chance to answer as a doctor rushed into the room, followed by the nurse. She had an extinguisher in hand, and began spraying the fiery machine.
“Let me try.” The doctor took my mom’s place, and both of my hands in his. His eyes were spring grass green. For just a moment, before he began to speak, I thought I saw someone else there. Someone with longer hair and weird looking ears. “I’m Doctor Allan. I want you to relax, Cordi.”
“But there’s stuff,” the now scorched machine shot up to the ceiling and then crashed to the floor. Pieces flew free of it, scattering around the room. Mom and the nurse ducked, but the doctor didn’t. I couldn’t.
A few pieces stopped inches from us both and he smiled. “I know, and when you calm down, so will everything else.”
“What? I’m not…”
“There have been many changes since you fell asleep. Do you like fairytales? In a way, you’ve become one.” He had a low, soothing voice. The pieces hovering in the air near us fell with a clatter as I listened. “You fell asleep an ordinary little girl. While you slept, you turned into…”
“Don’t say ‘princess’. Because I know the only way I can be a princess is if I marry a prince, and there aren’t any except over in Europe, and I am not in Europe.”
He laughed. “No, not a princess. Something more special than that.”
“What?” I vaguely noticed everything settling back into the right places around the room.
“You are a psychic.”
I pulled my hands free of his. “Like on TV late at night? You call in, and they charge you nine-ninety-five a minute to tell you all about your future?”
Doctor Allan lowered one of his hands to help my mom back onto her feet. “No, not like that. You’re a true psychic. Telekinesis and pyrokinesis are definitely two of your talents.”
“What do those mean?”
“You can move things and set them on fire with the power of your mind.” He looked as Mom handed him the cup. “Ah. You’re a cryokinetic too. Three talents.”
“This happened first,” she said. “I need to call your father and tell him you’re awake. Will you be all right for a few minutes?” When I nodded, she patted my cheek and smiled before leaving the room.
I licked my lips, and looked at the destroyed machine. “Does that mean I have to pay for that?”
The doctor chuckled and held up the cup. “Let’s not worry about them. Instead, tell me what happened before all of this. What did you feel right before the water froze?”
“I-I don’t know. Mom told me I’d been in a coma for three years, and I felt cold.”
“Shock.” He nodded. “What did you feel before…”
“I didn’t feel anything before stuff started flying. But I heard a clicking sound. I think in my head.”
“And how do you feel now?”
“Okay, I guess. Wait. Three years?” My voice rose. “I’m eighteen? I can’t be eighteen yet. You have to know stuff to be eighteen, and I don’t know that stuff.”
His eyes seemed to sparkle. “Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly.” When I obeyed, he smiled. “There’s a girl. You’ll have to do your best to remain calm until you’ve learned to control your new gifts. Otherwise,” he nodded at the remains of the machine. “That occurs.”
“Oh.” My eyes closed. “Okay. I’m tired. How can I be tired after sleeping for so long?”
“Psychic abilities use energy. I’m going to prescribe a mild sedative to help you stay calm. At this point, we don’t want your abilities weakening you any further. You need to time to grow healthy again.”
“Uh-huh.” I felt my head roll to the left on the pillow. The doctor kept talking, but I didn’t hear much of it because I fell asleep.
Real sleep, not another coma.