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from Tales of Teal by Erica Roberts

Copyright © 2019–2021 Erica Roberts

Chapter 1

RAAANNGGG---RAAANNNGG---RAANNNGG.

Reaching over, Liz smacked at her alarm clock. 0900. That devil warned her that another boring ENG 101 was on the horizon for today. Maybe she could skip again. Or sleep in the back. Good plan. Good plan. 

Elizabeth Nicole Young, Liz-if you didn’t want to get a scowl, was not a morning person, Her higher education of community college often demanded she rise before noon, but everyone knew a lady needed her beauty rest. Not to mention her roommate and best friend Emily had stayed up all night playing rodeo, LOUDLY, in their rundown 2 bedroom apartment. The small abode was a short walk to campus and gave the women the taste of freedom they wanted after being freed from the imprisonment of their parent’s rules. 

Liz rolled to the side of her bed and let her legs hang off. She was not mentally prepared for the day yet. A cup of coffee was on the horizon for her in the near future. Sluffing off her fuzzy pajama pants and tank, she threw on her jeans and a fleece pullover. Maine this time of year was cool, in the upper 40s to low 50s. So her signature attire of casual college worked for everyday wear. She looked in her closet and grabbed her blue runners for the day, her red were still damp from last night’s jog, and went into the bathroom to do her hair and attempt to look more feminine than troll. 

Once she emerged she opened the tip toed out her small apartment, not wanting an ungodly sight so early or having to try to remember this one’s name, grabbed her bag, and made it outside. The short walk to school would be enough to wake her up, plus she could stop at the local cafe and get some complicated hot beverage to perk her up. This was just a typical morning for Liz. 

She had convinced her mother to allow her to move into the small apartment and live off campus, but not at home with her best friend after finishing high school. Em had no idea what kind of degree she wanted, she only cared about her freedom like Liz. The girls longed for nights with no curfews and the freedom to eat pizza daily. Her wish had been granted when her mother permitted and helped her work up the money for the security deposit, and got her a job at the Market with her to earn enough for rent. 

Amelia Nicole Farmer-Young was not the type of mother to give a handout, especially after the loss of her husband. Her mom had always told her war stories where her father, the hero, Nathan Issac Young had saved his comrades from the IED in Iraq. The flag and small shrine her mom kept in her room proudly displayed his Medal of Honor. How he fought in the war and died to protect his daughter, his wife, his country, his comrades. Though Liz was only a baby at the time, her mother instilled the sacrifice that her father made in her early on. She just hoped that she was making him proud by trying to fill his shoes. His chocolate eyes started back at her in the mirror every morning. Her mother had always told Liz she had his eyes. Would he see and be proud of Teal with those eyes?

She knew her overprotective mom would freak if she knew that Liz, her quiet introverted daughter, was really Teal Lightning that had taken Kingsbooke by storm. Her mom had been her rock throughout her life. They had moved here after her dad died in the war. Mom couldn’t take living in the town where she fell for her high school sweetheart, had their first date, first kiss, got married, and all the memories that flooded the small town she was from. Their families had both been supportive, maybe even too much. Mom just wanted a fresh start to grieve for her husband and raise Liz without all the eyes judging her as a single mom. When she moved a few hours north of Maine to this city, she started everything. She worked day and night to provide for her daughter. Their small suburban house hadn’t been much, but it overflowed with love and the smell of blueberry muffins. 

Amelia and Nathan aka Nate, had made muffins every Sunday, enjoying a huge breakfast. When her mom told her stories, she could see the love in her eyes, feel the longing in her voice and hear his voice through hers. They had been madly in love, and her mom still was. 

Walking through the door of the cafe, the smells of hot coffee brought her back from her thoughts into reality. Her life had dramatically changed since then. She ordered the largest word on the menu and paid for her fancy coffee before fast walking into class. She had made it on time… technically you had until 5 after per the syllabus, and prepped herself to sip and doze as the instructor began his lecture on mid-century poetry. 

The notes on the board weren’t in the least bit interesting. But one shouldn’t wish for trouble…..

The fire alarm jerks the students from their seats and they all file out of the class into the courtyard, whispering and slightly frantic. Alarmed Liz looked around, seeing if there was a need for her, for Teal. Once outside, Liz saw the smoke rising over the roof, smirked and knew she had just earned her day off school. 

She rushed over to the nearest port-a-john, quickly changing into her super suit. Since the near strike with lightning a few weeks ago, these electrical capabilities had transformed her from her everyday Liz to her new persona Teal Lightning. And now it was her time to shine. 

The onesie slide on her like silk. The black fabric covering from her ankles to her wrists with a v-neck line. The only design, a teal lightning bolt from her right hip to her shoulder. Signifying who she was. She took the mask from the bottom of the bag and with the tip of her finger used a little spark to heat the hot glue and form it to her face. Just warm enough to make it stick and cool enough to not leave a raccoon eye burn on her (that’s a story for another day…). Now she was ready for action. Once the uniform was on, Liz was out of the picture and in her place was Teal. Teal Lightning. 

Peering through the door and seeing the coast was clear, she ran out the front and headed to the flames, eager to fight. 

A too eager villain stood, clothed in an orange jumpsuit- Ewww, what a terrible color- tossing a small red fuel container into the flames, making them roar to life. His blonde hair was in havoc on his head and his face obscured by a gas mask. 

“Having a bonfire? Bring any marshmallows?” Teal stated as she sauntered towards the baddie smiling. “I skipped breakfast so a s'more would be awesome.”

“I’ll burn this whole place to the ground! I am Flaming. There’s nothing you can do!!” He screamed as the flames roared larger to life. 

Teal looked around, taking this guy out would be easy, but the flames not so much. Her abilities revolved around electricity. How the hell was she supposed to put out a raging fire by shocking?

She grinned boldly at the arsonist and pointed her finger at him like she would a child with a toy gun. 

“Bang.” A small jolt flew threw the ...






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