The earthquake rumbles its way through Kore like a waking frost giant straight from Pa’s bedtime stories. The ground shakes, I begin to sway on my feet and then, I am on my knees, holding onto a wailing Heart. Beside me, Sa is wide-eyed, terrified.
“Did you predict this?” I scream at sar. “Did you? Did you?”
Sa might have yelled an answer. The shaking becomes a roar, drowning out everything. The stone structures topple. Our tents crumple. Kechil whinnies in terror and rears up. Somewhere, something is falling apart. Someone is screaming.
“Damn you, earth,” I shout or might have shouted. “Stop shaking.” I rest my weight on my right hand, my left arm holding onto Heart with all my life. My daughter. My daughter. “Damn you!”
Then the shaking reaches a crescendo. Everything is cracking. Everything is breaking. Heart trembles and buries her face into my breast. I want to be afraid. I should be afraid. Yet anger rises up like a furious sea storm. I am Her, the sea who rages.
My right hand feels as if it is dipped in cold ice. I scream and stare at it. White fire encases it, climbing up my arm.
“Kindness, your arm —”
Kore falls silent. The earth becomes still. Merciful quiet. Heart stops crying.
My right hand burns with white fire. I gaze at the tongues of white flame, like some ethereal flower petals, in wonder. Heart rests her head on my chest. I can smell her hair. I am brought back to reality. My daughter.
“Is this your magic?” Sa’s voice now, hoarse with emotion. “Kindness?”