Covertly, one step at a time, the men began to advance. Kathryn’s sapphire eyes narrowed as she observed the pirates’ movements. Still hidden behind her back, she clenched her hand into a fist grinding the dried leaves into fine bits in her palm held stationary behind her skirt. Slowly, she raised the fist to her chin and took in a deep breath, holding it in her lungs without exhaling. Bit by bit, she uncurled her fingers exposing the crushed Pigweed and readied to cast her spell. She waited. The men continued to advance toward her inch by inch as Kathryn felt her heart pounding in her chest. The lack of oxygen coupled with fear grew fierce with each passing second intensifying the urge to exhale. As she reached the moment when reflex took control and she no longer could hold onto the breath locked inside her lungs, a burly arm reached out for her throat. In one forceful discharge, Kathryn blew out forcefully. Venomous particles exploded from her palm spraying their baneful toxins into the face, chest and arms of the bald brute. Searing pain tore over the large man’s exposed skin. He cried out, desperately clawing at his eyes and cheeks, spinning around blindly as he stumbled backwards into the other men.
Chaos erupted as the wailing pirate cursed and scratched where large welts began to rise. Mariel’s head shot up with wide eyes, instantly darting to Kathryn’s uncurled fingers. She returned her grandmother’s gaze then glanced over to see her father’s look of concern. Mariel was standing behind him shaking her head a startled ‘NO!” But it was too late. The spell had been cast and the pirates had been caught off guard. Ambushed blindly! There could be no recourse now and Mariel knew Kathryn was in extreme danger.
Her grandmother’s and father’s reactions didn’t make sense to Kathryn. Why would they think it wrong of her to attempt to save them all from the conniving group of pirates invading their home? Mariel continued shaking her head fiercely, “NO!” Kathryn paused in total confusion and brushed the remaining contents of her hand into the fireplace. The yellow fire seared into a sizzling green flame before dying back to its original burn. Only her grandmother and father saw the change in the flame and the dismay in Kathryn’s eyes. Why couldn’t her loved ones understand?
As the blistering pirate stumbled out into the deep night air, the cutthroats’ massive leader slowly rotated his monstrous body, slits for eyes glaring murderously at the young girl. His voice was venomous as he hissed at Mariel.
“Ye speak true madame…we be makin’ a trade. Ye can have the damaged goods and we be takin’ ….”, his voice trailed off as his arm raised to point across the room.
His intent was immediately understood as everyone looked down the long muscular arm in the direction of one outstretched finger. The enormous pirate was pointing to Kathryn.