She was always doing stuff like this, Kara thought, looking down into the teacup. “A storm in a tea cup, very funny,” she grumbled. Carefully she lifted the white mug and carried it back into her kitchen, placing it on the scratched counter with the other bits of washing up. Inside the mug the liquid swirled and light flashed every so often. She wasn’t sure she could hear thunder over the traffic outside though. Perhaps Etta hadn’t perfected this particular spell.
Not that it mattered.
Kara went to pour it away but changed her mind, taking one of the dirty plates and setting it on top of the mug. Out of sight, out of mind.
Apparently not. As she started to pour hot water into the sink the dirty blue plate came flying past her face, swishing her black hair into her face, smashing on the kitchen window before her. Bits of ceramic flew into her face and she squeezed her eyes shut as she ducked down behind the sink.
Behind her the mug was perfectly still.
There was no answer, and she called again, grumbling when Etta finally came wandering into the kitchen from the back of the flat, smiling at her friend.
“Everything okay?” she asked, leaning against the fridge.
“Do something about that will you?” She pointed at the mug standing opposite Etta. The young woman laughed heading over to it and picking it up. She swirling the insides around, drops of milky tea sloshing over the edges, the light bouncing around the room.
“Careful!” Kara cried.
“It’s perfectly fine.”
“It threw a plate at me!”
“Barometric pressure must’ve built up.”
“I really wish you wouldn’t mess around with the mugs.”
“You wanted to live with a mage.”
“No, I wanted to live with you. Not have weather in my mugs.”
Etta simply laughed again, brushing her bright hair from her face and spun a single finger over the mug once more. She picked it up again and showed the empty mug to Kara.
“I could do straight sunshine next time? Maybe a heatwave.”
“Maybe you could just wash them up like normal?” Kara said. Etta laughed again.
“You’re no fun,” she said, before skipping off back to her bedroom. Kara frowned after her. They were closer once, the two of them, but over the past few months things seemed to be harder between them. Their easy friendship had become strained; something that had little to do with the household chores. Maybe she wasn’t as much fun any more, but while Etta played with magic in her room, Kara felt she still had to live in the real world, with real responsibilities. Etta did too, but seemed to enjoyed it so much more now she had magic to play with.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be so bad, she thought, finishing the dishes. Maybe she could have fun too.
Etta felt bad for her friend. Since she had discovered an affinity for magic, her life had diverged somewhat from that of Kara’s. The two of them had been in the same position when they met years ago, and even when they started living together. Just two young women out of college looking to start their careers. Kara had started hers, had found a position at a good company and had made her way slowly up the corporate ladder. Etta couldn’t be prouder but while she herself had found a decent job too, things had quickly changed when she’d accidentally set the break room on fire at the paper company she’d been working for at the time.
Of all places, she grumbled to herself, running her fingers over a line in her book, the paper factory.
They had been understanding though, she had to give them that. It hadn’t been the first time, nor the worst fire. It was just part of the world. They were ready for such occurrences.
It had taken her a week to get all the foam out of her hair and still felt cold after the blast of water had hit her. Apparently they hired their own mage for fires. One who could conjure up a lot of water.
Etta was good with fire though – electricity too – but water took a little more concentration. She practised with it the most, creating puddles in the garden and little storms in mugs. She loved this life much more than the one she was living before, the one she had been expecting with reports and human relations and managers meetings.
A life Kara still had to live.
Etta frowned at her book, demanding it make her feel better, but it only held more spells for creating water from magic and that really wasn’t going to help her friendship with Kara. She stood up in a huff, wondering if an apology would at least help diffuse some of the tension, some of the hurt of her earlier attitude.
Etta turned around, saw a glimpse of Kara in her open doorway seconds before something cold and hard hit her in the face. Her friend laughed, long and hard and for the first time in months, as bits of ice started to melt and drip from her face, a cold drop of water settling on the crook of her nose. She blinked the tiny fragments of the cold from her eyes and glared at Kara, who was looking around the doorway, giggling.
That’s the Kara she remembered.
“I deserved this,” Etta said. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re not the only one who can create snow and fire and electricity you know.”
Etta wiped the snow from her skin.
“Next time I’m putting a snow storm in a bowl,” she said with a grin.
“Next time I’ll fill a bucket up with water.”
Etta laughed at that, their friendship wasn’t broken she realised, just needed a little patching up.