Chapter 39: Cold River
Dawn took a deep breath. She was still grounded. She could still sense all the magic around her. All she had to do was draw on it…
Water started to seep from her palm. First a trickle, then a stream, like the water from a bathroom tap. She focused and she controlled it. It didn’t turn into a gush. She started to smile.
It flowed down onto the snowbank, melting as it went. She frowned and touched her other hand to the stream. She hadn’t deliberately made warm water… but it was warm, closer to her own body temperature than to the air temperature. Then again, she didn’t know what temperature she’d made before. It hadn’t felt cold. “Corrie, do you remember what temperature the water you made was?” she asked, still watching the water she was creating flow onto the snow.
“Not really,” said Corrie. “What about the flood? Do you remember?”
Dawn frowned, trying to remember and keep the magic flowing at the same time. “I don’t know… I guess it was kind of cold. It was cold when it evaporated, anyway.”
“You’d have to be making really cold water if you wanted it to flow onto the snow and not melt it,” said Edie. “Besides, this looks really cool.”
It did look cool. A river a couple of inches wide had been created now, cutting through the snowbank Corrie had made when she shoveled, running in a meandering fashion away from the dorm. The water was clear and pure, and where there was still some snow underneath it, it shone blue in the sun, reflecting the sky. When they paused in their conversation, Dawn could hear people laughing and shouting on other parts of campus, but she could also hear her river running through the snow, like a tiny, silvery waterfall.
It seemed to aim towards the gates at the front of campus for a while, but Dawn knew that couldn’t last; if there was enough of a hill there for people to sled down, there was too much of a hill for her little river to overcome. Sure enough, after about thirty feet it took a sharp turn to the left. At that point, she turned off the water flowing from her hand, and released her connection from the earth. Both took focus, but at least they both worked.
The three of them watched the river continue to flow. She must have given it enough momentum to keep moving away, because it did, leaving behind a furrow in the snow. It looked like a shiny blue snake, moving away like that. But it did slow down, freezing around the edges, and finally stopped with a little puddle at the end, less than a foot from the nearest tree.
Dawn let out a sigh and looked up. “I don’t know why, but I was worried about it going into the woods,” she told Corrie and Edie. “Do you think if the faeries there found it, they could connect it to me?”
Corrie shook her head and held a hand out. “They might. It’s probably a good thing you didn’t send a random stream into their territory either way.”
Dawn used the hand to help herself up. “It looks cool like that, mostly frozen on top of the snow.”
“I bet it’ll look really cool when everything starts to melt, too,” said Edie. “That is, if we can watch it. It’ll disappear pretty fast when the snow does melt.”
Dawn nodded. “We’ll have to look out our windows and see if we can see any of it…” She looked up at the building, but of course, they were at the opposite end of it from their dorm rooms. “Okay, we probably can’t. But maybe we can look out of the hall window periodically.”
“So how do you feel?” Corrie asked.
“Good,” Dawn automatically replied. Then she took a deep breath and wiggled her fingers to gauge her actual energy levels. “Yeah, I feel fine. I don’t feel drained at all, even though I created a lot of water.” She pulled her glove back out of her pocket and pulled it on. “I’m cold, though. Let’s go back inside.”
Corrie grinned and got the door open for them, then ushered them inside. “I’m pretty sure that was less water than I created on Monday.”
“It was also less air than I created yesterday,” Dawn said. The walk up the stairs was warming her legs, though it still felt a little hard to bend them. She must have been outside in the cold for too long. “Maybe some other time I’ll try creating a lot of water.”
“Just don’t create a lot of fire,” said Edie, with a small, teasing grin.
Dawn shook her head. “It doesn’t work the same way. You start a fire, you don’t create fire.”
“No, Professor Lal says we can create fire the same way,” Corrie said. “She just didn’t want to start us out with that because we’ll burn our hands.”
“Okay, don’t you try that!” said Edie.
“Who, me?” said Corrie, folding her hands under her chin for a mock-innocent look. “I would never do anything so reckless!”