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The little girl skipped along the rain-soaked path as lightning played tag above her head. Booted feet took pleasure in the numerous puddles as the rainbow umbrella she held warded off the worst of the rain. She hummed off-key; the tuneless song dissolving into delighted laughter each time thunder ripped the sky. The smile plastered to her face in no way reflected the gloomy clouds above.
Stopping in full view of the muddled sky she dropped the umbrella and tipped her face back, staring up into the rain, smile never faltering. Opening her mouth she discarded the earlier humming in favor of song.
The words that passed her lips were haunting, speaking of generations rather than the scant few years her body suggested. They thrummed through the storm, the language alien and beautiful. One high note seemed to reach towards the sky, brushing against the clouds.
There was an instant reaction. The clouds directly above the girl crackled with increased energy, flashing with bolts of lightning. Still singing her haunting melody the girl spread her arms as though to embrace the sky.
Raw energy flickered and collected, streaking towards her to strike to her right. The little girl didn’t flinch, her song unfaltering. More bolts struck around her, close enough to tease her long hair up.
With a deep inhale the tiny girl hit a particularly high note, the clear sound cutting through the rolling sounds of thunder and rain. With a shudder the clouds let go of their energy, one huge bolt streaking down to impale the ground directly before her.
The song thrummed to a stop as the girl inspected the sphere of lightning that crackled at her feet. It hovered a few scant inches above the muddy ground, flickering and snapping.
With a happy cry the girl scooped the sphere into her arms, seeming unaffected by the lightning that played over her bare arms. As though in response to her grasp the lightning reined itself in, the ball shrinking in size but increasing in speed as it hissed and spit. Mini bolts sparked away from the main mass, licking at her face and arms as she laughed, delighted.
With a careful motion she skimmed her hand over the top of the ball as though stroking a pet. It blazed brighter in response.
A sudden crackle of energy over her head made the girl look up, smile faltering. The clouds were slightly lighter than before, beginning to drift apart. At some point, unnoticed by the girl, the rain had stopped its incessant pounding in favor of a light dribble.
The ball in her arms crackled, darkening when she glanced back down at it, smile replaced by a sad frown.
“So soon?” She whispered to the mass and it flicked a tiny bolt out to caress her cheek before snapping out of her grasp, again hovering before her.
The tiny form was distraught, reaching towards the lightning. But it was too late.
With a roar a bolt from above struck the ball of energy and sucked it up, racing back into the clouds which were even now dissipating. The girl stared after it, heart breaking. Tears washed her face in a parody of the rain she had been standing in only moments before.
“Come back soon!” she called and at the edge of one dark cloud she saw a flickering of light, promising her.
The smile stole back onto her face as the girl picked up her rainbow umbrella and shook out the water, already pining for the next rainy day.