The first encounter
Kim's eyes snapped open. There was a single thought in her mind. 'Follow the sound.'
And in that split second before it faded, she knew it hadn't come from her, and that it would happen.
Then her normal morning day blues returned and she grumped silently as she sat up and yawned. Tiredly, she dragged herself from her bed, her duffel bag in this case since there was enough space to curl up between clothes, and zipped it up. She went to the 7/11 for a breakfast of cheap coffee and donuts, and wandered without notice of any kind.
Until, that is, she heard something outside a warehouse. It didn't mix with the life, the heartbeat, of the city, and it was beautiful.
"Hold up, you lost me."
A sigh escaped the narrator's lips. "Okay, okay. Where'd I lose you?"
"I thought she fell asleep in her clothes in an alley, not in her duffel bag."
"She did. I skipped a week because she didn't tell me if anything happened. Since there was nothing to tell, other than that she realized that sleeping in her duffel bag would be better since that way she couldn't lose it without being stolen herself, and it gave her a bed slash sleeping bag that she could carry around without looking too homeless."
"And how did she realize that?"
"Hell if I know. I can guess, but that wouldn't help."
Betty was about to ask about her idle comments when the narrator continued with the story.
She went inside, looking for the source of the sound, when she noticed a small gang, made up mostly of taller black boys, and went behind a crate. Then the lights cut out.
She couldn't tell what was happening, but the screams left fairly little to the imagination. She backed away from the crate, stopping instinctively in the middle of the floor. Coincidentally, she was also right in the middle of the square of moonlight from the only skylight in the entire warehouse. She felt very small and alone.
Then she was smaller, but no longer so alone. Something huge entered her vision. Something she could never have believed if she hadn't seen it herself.
It was big, craggy, weird, just plain huge and freaky! But the scariest part was that there seemed to be nostrils, a mouth, and eyes in this thing, this thing that looked like a pebbled floating boulder.
And yet, even through all the smoke surrounding the two, something else was portrayed, no, conveyed between them. It almost felt like a feeling, and it was delightful and confusing, and exhilarating, and most of all scary and undefinable. It wasn't something she'd ever encountered before, or could ever hope to encounter, and she wished that the universe would just stop. Just freeze in this moment for an hour or an eternity.
But it didn't. A flame flared up and the craggy thing just melted into the background.
She stood there, puzzling out the feeling it left behind, until a flaming timber fell in front of her and reminded her that she was in the middle of a warehouse that was burning right to the ground.
She looked around for a way out, and ran for it. She hadn't run anywhere near that fast or that far in months, so she was a little surprised when she made it without dying.
was surprised when she made it out alive. But, that's sorta beside the point.
After she'd gotten out, she stumbled into an ambulance to cough and be covered with a blanket. While there, she learned from John Meyers, an EMT who'd brought her to the hospital a few times in the past, that someone had called in the blaze 30 minutes ago, about 15 minutes after she'd entered. Then, when nobody was paying attention to her, she fell asleep.
She had one dream, and it was short and simple. Basically, just a smokey voice in an equally smokey (if more colorful) background that said, "Go home, Kim Possible. Heroes don't belong on the streets."
When she woke up, half an hour later, the warehouse had burned to the ground and, surprisingly enough, she found her duffel only 10 feet away. She went over and collected it, forgetting that she still had a blanket around her shoulders, and traveled single-mindedly out of Lowerton and into Middleton proper. She walked right up to the door, and before she realized how stupid this would look, she gave the front door of the bi-level mid-rise ranch-style house with a driveway going up a small hill 3 solid knocks.
The absurdity of her actions, combined with the embarrassingly low status of her recent state of life, hit her right as the door opened. She hid her duffel behind her as she blushed.
The redheaded woman at the door stood there in surprise for a moment. Then words came to her mouth. "Kimmie."
The smaller redhead smiled at the bigger one, still blushing. "Hey mom."
A/N: I would like to say, before I go further, thank you Dmitri, for giving me my first recommendation. I hope that the story lives up to that recommendation.