"Behave yourself tonight," The moderately dolled up woman said to the mellow yet angsty teen who stared bullets at her, "God knows we've put up with enough your foolishness today. Finish getting dressed and come join the party."
The woman walked out of the room as she closed the door behind her, leaving the teen girl to sulk in her seemingly bored, slightly melancholic aura.
"Well," The girl murmured, "I guess it's time to join this party."
Hours earlier, her mother yelled at her for being the subject of some very disturbing rumors.
The rumors were spread that the "teenage rebel daughter of the Mendez family" was the person responsible for the recent fires appearing around the school.
Twice in the bathroom, once in the principal's office, and one particularly strong fire that almost destroyed the recreational area.
But no one saw any accelerants around her, not even a single match or lighter to implicate any wrongdoing, so the administration had no choice but to chalk it up to a few "random acts of god."
The teenage rebel chuckled to herself as she heard that, imagining people thinking of her as some kind of god.
She had recently discovered that she had the power to start fires.
She had no idea where she had gotten these powers, how she had gotten these powers, or why.
All she knew was that it was ignited by her inner anger, spewing out through her fingers on her command.
It started when a deep anger was triggered within her, creating a blue flame from her fingertips.
She had held this deep anger that burned within her during the last few weeks prior to the fires due to a trusted family friend.
A creepy old man.
His name was Gustavo, a wicked old pervert who also happened to be her father's boss, as well as a weekly provider of groceries for them. He had been acting creepier towards her as she had recently turned fourteen, even going so far as to grope her maliciously whenever he hugged her.
She chalked it up to him being eccentric, assuming that that would be the extent of it.
She had no idea of his wicked intent.
She decided to join the party and pretend nothing was wrong.
As she got up and sulkingly headed to the party area, the door to her room creaked open, revealing that Gustavo was there the whole time... waiting for her to be alone.
He entered the room, holding a bottle of rum in one hand as he closed the door behind him. "Hey bad girl," he blurted out slovenly as he clicked the lock, "I heard your mother saying what a bad little girl you were being. Naughty little Mari."
He then grabbed her arm as he threw her to the bed.
"I've told you before that you're a bad little girl. You're always wearing light clothing, showing off that... nice little body of yours."
Gustavo, stinking of Rum and oozing desperation, drunkenly stared at the teenager's still developing body with hideous lust, eyeing her breasts in particular.
"Let... Let's fool around bad girl. Let's fool around a little."
He then grabbed her by the shoulder, lifting her up as he sloppily took her shirt off.
She stood there frozen as she stared at him, the tears running down her cheeks. "You...need to stop," she began, "please... don't touch me. My family is waiting for me."
Gustavo smiled wickedly as he looked at her and responded "So? Let them wait. Your family loves me. Not only do they love me, they COUNT on me to provide. Where would your father work if not at my store? The free groceries you have received from me over the years. That's not cheap, taking care of your precious family like that. All I ask is that you let me... Fool around with you a little. You can do that for your family, right Maritza?"
The teenage girl looked up at him for a second as she just stood there, shirt off, bra exposed, feeling the hot air on her bare skin.
She felt deep shame, anger and self loathing as she realized that Gustavo wasn't going to leave her alone anymore. Even if she complied with him now, he would not end with tonight. He would keep harassing her for more until she either ran away or did something about it.
So that night, she chose to do something about it.
As Gustavo pulled her pants down and reached for her bra strap, recklessly ripping it, she stared into his eyes and yelled:
Gustavo quickly smacked her in the face, then stood back as he saw a dark blue flame spew out of her fingers, heading for and connecting to his chest.
The fire spread voraciously throughout, growing on him as he began to scream in pain. He frantically opened the door, running out to the living room where the party was still in full swing.
The music suddenly stopped.
There was a lot of yelling.
Maritza's mother in particular screamed in utter disbelief, Yelling her name.
Another teenage girl ran into the room where the man just ran out of.
The girl saw her cousin, bloody lips quivering, pants down near her ankles as she asked her cousin:
"Maritza, are you okay?"
Maritza ran to her cousin, hugged her, and bawled as she frantically Said "I burned him. I burned him..."