Wind Town 1.7

             A moment passed, then another. The silence and stillness were oppressive and heavy. Matt unconsciously began to hunch down against the pressure. The growing rustle of the grass from Sarah’s shaking was an ominous whisper in the silence. How long before the wind got tired of waiting? It obviously didn’t like the option he’d given it, and he was running out of time. Staring blankly at the vibrating blades of grass, Matt racked his brain. There had to be another way.
            “I’ll come back.” The words were out before Matt knew he’d thought them. He swallowed hard when he realized what he was committing to. A glance at his sister had him lifting his chin determinedly. “As soon as I get her home, I’ll come back and play.”
            The pressured lightened but not the stillness. Was the wind thinking it over?
            Sarah’s eyes were wide and horrified on his. Her mouth opened, and he glared, willing her to stay quiet. She drew in a breath, but before she could speak the terrifying stillness ended. A gentle wind cooled the stuffy air, brushing over their legs. Sarah curled up even tighter with a squeak even as Matt twisted to look.
            A miniature whirlwind encircled the frisbee, lifting it straight into the air. It hovered there, waiting. Matt got the feeling that it would stay right there in the air until he got back.
            Some of the weight left Matt’s shoulders, making him exhale roughly. The wind had agreed. He could take Sarah home. Ignoring the sick tension in his stomach, he quickly moved closer to Sarah’s side. Driven by the urgent need to get her home before the wind changed its mind, he forced his hands under her body and lifted her up. She gasped and struggled briefly. He ignored her and in one hard jerk, shifted her so that he had her pressed tightly across his chest. Good. He could carry her like that.
            His body was better though it still didn’t want to work exactly right. It took effort to stand, and once he did, he had to focus all his concentration on walking. Don’t trip. Don’t drop her. He only had to make it home.
            His fear of the wind’s fickleness drove him like a mule driver’s whip. His breathing got louder with each moment, but he pushed himself to go faster. He needed to get back and play. Before it decided to teach them another lesson.
            “Matt,” Sarah’s voice was almost soundless. “Matt, you can’t-“
            “-Shh!” he panted fiercely. “Not here!”
            He ignored her gasp and focused on the distance. He was getting close. With a last burst of willpower, he vaulted up the porch steps, tripping and nearly falling on the top one. He stumbled to the side and hit the post with a loud thud. The impact on his back threw him further off-balance, and he caught the swing with Sarah’s feet. It swung erratically back, smacking loudly against the siding.
            Matt tried to keep it from hitting her again, but the sidestep was too much for his tired legs. He collapsed to one knee. As the pain of the impact rushed up his leg, he heard raised voices from inside. Mom and Dad would be coming soon. They would take care of Sarah. Numbly, Matt set her down on the porch.
            “Matt.”
            Without hesitating, he reached up to grab the railing and yanked himself to his feet. He stumbled down the steps and forced his stubborn body back toward the field.
            “Matt!”

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