I fled the building, my mind still reeling.
I was angry, livid, an elastic band wound tight. How dare they? I had been around more mortals than they would ever know, living among them for many years. Until I lost the one I loved most and wandered aimlessly for a while before returning to my cottage.
Pittusiak was pacing outside, waiting for me. I manipulated the ice on the door and moved inside, the fully grown lynx padding happily in behind me. The room had my maps and papers spread across various surfaces, so I gathered them up. Each pile represented a device I had placed around the globe, sending me data I was tracking. Pittusiak went and curled up on the pillow by the bed, her purring filling the space in the small cabin. She was such a lovely animal.
In many ways, she reminded me of myself. Pittusiak was elusive, shy around people. She preferred to be alone but still occasionally wanted company and comfort. She was calm, kind, and gentle, but she could unleash a terrible fury when provoked. I especially had a fondness for animals that thrived in the cold. Although I didn’t need a fire, I set one alight, since electronics didn’t fare as well in the cold.
The crackling and popping noise was pleasant and calming. I let the room warm up a bit before opening my laptop. My evening routine started, I felt the tension in my shoulders ease. I checked on all my satellite stations to make sure they were all still operational, downloaded the data, and pored over the results. It sounded incredibly boring, but the data was fascinating and I’d been noticing the patterns were changing ever so slightly.
My email notifications popped up with client requests. I started going over them, making a list of who wanted what. When I reached the latest email, I sucked in my breath with an audible gasp.
My dearest Khione,
Or should I call you Kia now? I would never have imagined you adapted to technology so well. Had I known you were on the ‘net, I would have reached out much sooner. Maybe we would have done something else besides throw icicles at our first meet-up in centuries. 😉
Attached is the copy of the summons and directive you read earlier in the office. I’ve also attached info about your floor at the OA. It includes information on who to contact to get things set up to your liking.
Hope to see you soon, little firestorm!
My fists tightened as I read the Email. That asshole is so full of himself. Firestorm?! Where does he get the nerve to call me that? I haven’t spoken to any of the gods in ages. That nickname was ancient, like fresh-born goddess ancient. It was given to me when the Anemoi were teaching me, and I’d explode in frustration. I am not ebb and flow.
I began to see red as the tension returned, and the indignation flowed through me. My aura grew and seeped off of me, covering the room in frost. The fire grew dim with the drop in temperature and flickered out as the burning wood iced over. Pittusiak mewed at me, and I knew I was losing control.
Today had been terrible, absolutely fucking terrible. I slammed the laptop shut and marched to the front door, each step leaving footprints of ice as I fought my inevitable outburst. My eyes had tears in them. The heat of them scorched my face, and the tears slowly turned to ice, sticking to my skin as they fell. My blood boiled under my skin, and the pain only fueled my anger as the fury pent up inside begged to be released.
I wrenched open the door and stepped outside. The cold air was a mild relief against the fire burning in my face. I tried to control the bound fury, but it fought back. My feverish blood coursed through me, making everything feel searing hot and excruciatingly painful. I screamed, letting my anger take full control, rage enveloping my mind as my body hardened, then shattered into thousands of tiny crystals. The crystals flew into the air and were whipped around by my furious wind. Relief was slow as I wove my way in and out of the trees, attacking anything that moved.
The animals tried to avoid my swirling vortices, the crystalline flakes whipping through the cold air. My thoughts were engulfed with the pure rage that consumed me. I had held it for so long today. Now, I needed to be wild and free. I swirled and whipped and churned the snow, obscuring the sky until I didn’t know which way was up. I lingered like that, just blowing the snow around until an owl hooted, trying to flee my storm. The sun had long set, and nighttime was upon me.
The winds and I settled a bit until the night sky above was visible. Finally, I could think again. I settled down into a pile of snow, staring up at the stars before willing my human form back together. I panted, lying there in a heap on the cold ground. That was how Pittusiak found me. I was curled up and hugging my knees to my chest, staring blankly up at the stars. I wished for a pair of warm arms to pick me up and carry me. The large lynx brushed my arm, nuzzling into me. She wanted me to get up, but emotional exhaustion held me in place. She whined and grabbed my arm in her powerful jaws and gave me a tug.
I took a deep breath and sighed. My frosty breath returned, and I picked myself up out of the snow. We ambled back to my cottage, Pittusiak leading the way. I got to the cabin and pushed the door in. The room was a chaotic mess from the wind, papers and maps scattered everywhere. The fire had died, only leaving some glowing embers for light. I stumbled over to the bed, exhaustion overtaking me, and collapsed unceremoniously onto the little cot. Pittusiak jumped up and curled into me, her purring rumbling against my chest. The last thought I had before falling into oblivion was, They will never see what they do to me. They will never see the monster I am inside.
The chirping birds greeted the morning, awakening me. Pittusiak started pawing at the door, wanting out to hunt. I groaned and picked myself up off the cot and stumbled over to let her out. I was stiff, and my muscles hurt from my violent lash out. A sigh escaped my lips as I looked around at my dishevelled space. Frost covered every surface so I set a small fire. It warmed the room, melted the frost, and was just enough to heat my cider. After pouring a cup of the warm spiced drink, I opened up my laptop and clicked on the attachments. Reading through the information pack, I sat back, contemplating. Since the rage had burnt out, I could think more rationally about the whole situation.
I could run my consulting business from there. I never met my clients in person, but within the GC I could remind them I existed, that I wasn’t that lost little goddess anymore. I could work with the local news network as the consulting meteorologist. Meet with other climatologists, and see if anyone else saw or recognized the changing patterns. I would have to be very controlled with my power, but I could do that. I’ve done it before.
I replied to the email, explaining how I wanted my floor set up. In particular, the temperature controls were important, more important than the decor. I’d fill it with maps and data, anyway. What I would like to see was that it was split into at least three sections. I needed one warm enough for mortals to be comfortable, with a meeting space. One cool enough that electronics worked at peak efficiency, that would be my office space. The last would be my personal area, just below freezing.
A sense of relief flooded through me, and I tackled my clients’ requests, humming along to the music playing from the speakers. A few forecasts here, some data requests there, and a peer review request, nothing too difficult. My decision to move didn’t weigh me down like I thought it might. Once the frost had evaporated off of my work and I finished with the responses, I recollected my mess of papers and maps. I was reorganizing them when my phone pinged.
The GC had received my request, and my floor would be ready by Sunday. Some mixed emotions settled into me as I realized the changes that were about to happen. I looked over to see Pittusiak return with a pair of white bunnies for lunch. She settled down to happily gnaw on them just outside.
With her jaw stained red and her belly full, she traipsed in and laid by the small fire, lazing and purring in the warmth. Cats, I thought. Vicious hunters that are both dangerous and easy to love. I smiled briefly but realized that I was going to have to leave her here on the mountain. She would not like to be locked up with me in the complex. Here she was free. She could do whatever she needed to do, and I’d never take that from her. The large cat’s snores were echoing in the room as she rolled onto her back. I would miss my companion, but it was time to grow up and face this challenge. I was ready.