At the end of the battle

Jesse stood in front of her mother’s grave and stared at the simple stone. Felicity Jones, October 1, 1970 to September 1, 2020. One more month and she would have been fifty. It was too soon. Jesse tried to cry, but her pain had withered into meaningless dust. The sky darkened above her head, reflecting her feelings. Torn. Lost. Alone.

Lightning flashed across the sky as anger rippled over the lake of her seeming indifference. She was calm, but a fire burned within her and it was ready to be unleashed. Cancer was a cruel victor. There was no one to chop down or destroy. It was a disease, a concept that kills and it had taken the person she loved the most. Rain pelted down, angry droplets soaking the ground, but she stayed dry.

What was the point of having power over the storms if you couldn’t use it to save your own mother? The words echoed in her mind as she thought about their last conversation. For some reason, her mother was craving trail mix and she slowly chomped on the dried fruit before speaking.

“Jesse, I really don’t want to leave you. I remember when my momma passed. I wanted to crawl into the ground with her.”

She chomped a peanut and drank a sip of water as Jesse guided the straw into her mouth.

“But I lived and you will too.” Her momma’s gaze held an intensity that Jesse felt in her spine. Even sick, her mother had some power.

“Promise me that you’ll go on. Promise that you’ll figure out how to use the storms to help people.” Her mother started coughing, her face turning red with the strain. She stopped and stared at her daughter, waiting for an answer.

“I will go on and I’ll find a way to help people with my gift.”

The words felt like cotton in her mouth, but it made her momma smile.

“That’s my girl. Maybe you could figure out a way to power the world.”

After that, her momma slept for a little while and then she slipped away. No warning and no goodbye.

Jesse wanted to destroy something. Anything. She wanted to rip the pain from her chest and inflict it upon everyone. Until she heard the voice.

“Child, I swear you got a temper that won’t quit. Go do something useful. I’m never very far away.”

The anger melted away as Jesse dropped to her knees and let the rain wash over her body.


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