I sat where I always sat; under the large oak tree a minute's walk away from my house. It was pretty much my second home, even if it was nothing but a tree. I'd discovered it years ago, and now, it was a place filled with memories.
But since my fifteenth birthday, it hadn't felt the same. I was sure that it was the same tree, because I could find where I'd scratched my name crudely into the trunk last year. It just felt completely different.
"Maybe it's not the tree, maybe it's you..."
I shook the thought from my head. I'd been wondering that for a while now, especially since I'd been feeling different myself too, almost like a whole new person. I was still Julia, just a different Julia.
I stood up, feeling the urge to start pacing to figure things out. As I walked, I suddenly felt a sharp pain at the sole of my foot. With a yelp, I lifted it up and saw a small flame smouldering where I'd been standing. I gazed at it, willing it to go away, and it began to dwindle until finally going out.
Slightly shocked, I leaned back against the tree. It was weird that I was still startled after that, seeing as it wasn't the first time it had happened. In fact, it had been happening pretty often since...since my fifteenth birthday.
And it was more than just being able to sprout flames from my heels; I could control fires too, and I was actually getting the hang of it. Whenever I was using the cooker, rather than using all the knobs, I just controlled the flame with my mind.
But it didn't stop me from wondering why on earth I had this ability. Sometimes I wondered whether my odd birthday, July 1st 2000 at exactly midnight, had anything to do with it, but it just seemed stupid.
With a sigh, I slumped down, and found myself sitting at the foot of the tree once again.