Wind Town 2.1

             “Matt-” his dad started.
            “Stay back!” Matt yelled, hunching against the door. Panic seeped through everything. “You’re part of it! You’re-”
            “That’s enough of that, Matthew Aaron!” His mom lunged forward and grabbed his ear, tugging down on it hard. The sharp pain broke through the hysteria, and he yelped. Struggling hurt, and he immediately stopped trying. She was acting like he’d broken her favorite vase, and the normality of it poked holes in the fear so that the panic had no choice but to leak away.
            “Linda, he doesn’t understand.”
            “Then he shouldn’t have been playing with it,” she snapped. Releasing his ear, she grabbed his shoulders and shook him. “Think, Matthew! Why did you think our house was safe? Why are you and your sister the only children who understand it?”
            As his head bounced back and forth like a baby rattle, Matt could only gape at his parents. It was like someone had taken the facts of his life and poured them out on the floor where they scattered like marbles.
            “Is… is it our fault?” Sarah whispered. Matt had forgotten she was there. “The other houses – the people. Is it our fault?”
            Her eyes were huge in her pale face, and Dad immediately pulled her down on his lap, wrapping his arms around her.
            “No, honey, it’s not your fault. It’s none of our faults.” His reassuring words were strengthened by the soothing tone of his voice. More magic? Matt’s brow furrowed, and he shuddered. How would he know if it wasn’t? How could he be sure?
            “We’ll explain.” Mom promised suddenly as if sensing his thoughts. “We were going to wait until you were both a little older, but,” she sighed, and her hand trembled on his shoulder, “it’s too late for that now.”

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