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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Franklin Potts was a stocky blond-haired boy about her own age who watched the others suspiciously while standing slightly behind Mr. Faye. Whenever Mr. Faye changed position, Franklin would move closer to his side as if afraid the man would disappear if he lost contact with him. The older man reached down and patted Franklin’s arm gently, which seemed to calm the boy, and he smiled up at him and scooted closer to his leg. When Olie put his hand out to him, Franklin jumped to avoid his touch and shrank back so that he was standing completely behind Mr. Faye.

Olie was surprised by the boy’s reaction. Sara could see it by the look on his face. He spoke to him in a soft voice, telling him that he was safe and that no harm could come to him here. She watched Franklin as he listened to Olie’s voice; his face became flushed and his lips curled up as if he were getting very angry.

This was not the way that most people reacted to Olie—his kind and gentle nature soothed others. It seemed to Sara that the more he spoke to Franklin, the angrier the boy got. That is when the fires started.

At first Sara smelled the faint odor of burning wood, like someone had lit a campfire, and she turned her head to find that a small pile of loose sticks was blazing merrily on the beach. Then she noticed that the sand was on fire. There was a thin blue flame burning in a straight line toward Olie.

Is sand supposed to burn? The thought flashedbefore she shouted a warning to Olie, who was already moving away from the path of the flame. The fire quickly changed course and headed toward him again, only to be stopped by an invisible barrier that Olie put in front of it. Thomas raised his arm, and the fire was smothered by a wall of sand.

Sara reached out to the boy with her mind. I know that it’s you causing the fire. You need to stop it right now! We are your friends. She stopped suddenly when the boy turned to glare at her, his eyes filled with hate. Then her shirt began to smoke, and flames rose up from her sleeve.

All she could think to do was stop, drop, and roll, just like in fire safety class. So she did and the flames were quickly smothered

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