Kane bumped into a large person who was wearing multiple layers of cold weather clothing which emitted a moldy smell. Two other dark shapes emerged from the evening shadows and one tall scraggly man grabbed his shoulder.
“You got a light?” The voice was raspy.
Kane tried to focus on the individual as another man put his hand on his other shoulder to get his attention.
“We gotta light a fire. Over here.” The fourth man pointed to what appeared to be a large trash barrel.
“I don’t smoke. I don’t carry matches or a lighter.” Kane looked at the forming group of what he now surmised to be a homeless pod of hoboes.
“We need to keep warm. We need to light the barrel on fire.”A fifth person appeared directly in front Kane.
“I told you, I don’t have a match or lighter.”
“But you have a lot of money we could use to buy one.” Person number five grabbed Kane by the front of his sportcoat.
Kane looked around. There was no way to escape this group and he had to get to his apartment and to his computer to get his revised Times article to Crandall. He heard Holthar’s voice resound in his head. “The situations will dictate the color of the stone.” Kane felt the throbbing of his Druid stone but didn’t risk pulling it out of his pocket to see its color.
“What’s happening to your eyes?” A man to Kane’s right shouted.
“And your hands?” Hobo number five let go of Kane’s jacket.
Kane looked at both palms and saw his hands a bright fiery orange. It was the first time he had experienced such a color change. So far circumstances had turned his hands to disseminate red light and green light. The red light stopped the taxi cab under the threat of the terrorist taxi driver shortly after his first assassination attempt. The green light from his hands had changed the pedestrian street-crossing signal. But what is the orange color to do?
The group of derelicts parted as Kane approached the apex of his semi-circle and looked in at the accumulation of flammable trash inside the barrel. Suddenly, it became clear. He pointed his palms directly into the refuse container. The beams of intense orange from his eyes and his palms ignited the barrel to produce flames reaching a foot from its opening.
“Who in God’s name are you?” One of the men asked while moving further back.
“How did you do that?” Another asked while keeping his distance from Kane.
Kane moved back from the trash barrel. He spoke to the group who were still staring at him, “I guess I had a lighter after all.”
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