An early morning sea breeze blew across the empty beach, catching Solana's long, unbraided hair as she sat on the railing of the porch outside her beach house, gazing out at the mainland that was just barely visible at the edge of the horizon. The waters were calm as they gently washed up the shore. It was hard to believe that within a few hours the tranquility of the beach would be disrupted by the usual crowd of surfers and swimmers.

The wind was drawn to her as she sat, absently twirling it around her finger. The morning air was always much more compliant to her wishes than it was any other time of day. Some wisps of air escaped her finger, moving instead to weave through her hair and caress her cheek.

"Up a bit early this morning, are we?" a voice said, startling her slightly.

Solana turned to see who had a spoken. She smiled when she saw Ash walking up the beach toward her. "I couldn't sleep," she said, shrugging. "Figured I'd come out and watch the sunrise…then I just kind of stayed here."

"Well, it was a pretty nice sunrise. Blessing in disguise, I guess," he said, climbing the two steps up to the porch and leaning against the railing beside her.

"Yeah, I guess so," she agreed.

There was a comfortable silence between them as they both looked out over the water. Solana stopped twirling her finger, but the air kept spinning, causing a whirlwind in her hand that eventually died out.

"That's cool," Ash commented. "Do you ever lose control of it?"

"When I get really upset or angry I do…I've gotten better at controlling it, though, so it doesn't happen as often," she replied

"Don't let things get to you; then you don't have that problem," he teased.

Solana smirked. "Some of us aren't as skilled at controlling our powers as you are. I still don't even know what your powers even are."

"I could tell you what I can do, but then it would take away all of my fun. You're jealous of my skills, admit it," he said, grinning at her.

She shook her head, a wry smile coming across her face. "Not on your life."

Ash laughed as he looked back out over the water.

"It's hard to believe that it's been six months since I came out here," he said.

"I can't believe how well you seem to fit in here after spending your entire life on the mainland with all those norms," Solana commented, looking at him.

Ash shrugged. "What can I say? I guess it was just a natural thing for me. When they find someone with a special ability over there, they get shipped off like that. You've got to be able to adapt quickly or you'll end up in a box somewhere begging for food."

Solana just nodded.

"When did you come over?" he asked.

"I was five."

"Wow…they sent you over that early?"

Solana nodded. "That's when they discovered my powers. They would've sent me later, but my grandparents were over here already."

"At least you had someone over here. I got ripped away from everything I've ever known. It was quite a shock for the first few weeks, not having to hide it anymore."

"Old habits die hard."

"Yeah, I guess so," Ash said, laughing slightly.

A few people were beginning to appear on the beach. "They come earlier and earlier every day, don't they?" he asked, pushing himself off the railing.

"You have no idea," Solana said, rolling her eyes.

"Well, I'll let you get back to gazing off into space. I've got some stuff to do, so I'll see you later," he said, giving her a wave as he climbed down the stairs and walked across the sand toward the road that ran along the shore.

Unchaining his bike from the fence it was tethered to, Ash pedaled down the road toward his house. He was looking forward to getting home as soon as possible in hopes that the letter he was expecting would be in the mail.

Upon arrival, he dropped the bike to the ground and opened the mailbox. Inside was a letter with a post mark from the mainland; it was the letter he had been waiting for.

Forgetting about the bike, Ash walked up the path to his house as he ripped open the envelope. His eyes scanned the words on the page as he sank onto the steps.


We hope this letter finds you well.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to say this,

but we can no longer continue sending you funds to

assist in your assimilation on the island. By now,

you should have secured housing and a job of some

sort to support yourself. We're sorry if you haven't,

but we can't help any longer.

Regarding your last letter, we regret to tell you

that your brother was unable to file sufficient

paperwork with the Gifted Transport and Relations

Bureau to allow you to attend the wedding. Both he and

fiancé send you their best, however.

Also, since both you and your brothers have left

the house, we are selling the house and moving elsewhere.

When we get settled in, we'll send you a letter letting you

know our new address. Until then, best of luck.

Mom and Dad

Ash balled the letter up in anger. They were trying to make it seem like they still loved him and were truly sorry for not being able to get him a pass home to visit. He knew the truth. They didn't want him to come home because they wanted nothing to do with him. He wasn't part of the family anymore; he was a freak.

Anger cursed through his body as he stood up and walked back out by the mailbox and mounted his bike. He needed to find a way to get to the mainland and talk to them, and he knew just the people who could help him.