Wind Town 2.3

             “So are the kids at school!” Matt protested.
            “Yes, but they forgot how,” Mom said simply. “Or their parents forgot how. Or their grandparents. For some of them, it’s been generations – hundreds of years – since anyone even thought of the wind as alive.”
            Matt goggled.
            “What else could it be?”
            His parents shook their heads.
            “Can you talk to water?” Mom asked. “Can you talk to fire?”
            “No!” Matt exclaimed in unison with Sarah and then frowned at her.
            “They’re not like wind,” she went on obliviously. “They’re not…” She stumbled on the word, and Matt stopped frowning and leaned back as he recognized the trap.
            “Alive?” their mom asked gently.
            Matt’s brows bent across his forehead in a deep v.
            “Are you saying that water and fire are…” he swallowed and changed words, “like the wind, too?”
            His mom’s eyes widened, and her mouth dropped open as her face paled. But Dad was already talking.
            “No, no!” he said hurriedly. “She meant that’s how other people think of wind!” Mom nodded emphatically.
            “They think it’s a seasonal thing. Or a side effect of other weather.” Her mocking tone was a little weak, but Matt was focused on the words. “When the tornado’s come, they blame it on fate or bad luck when it was their actions that caused it.”
            The last bit was said with such frustration and anger that Matt instinctively huddled back into the couch. He could feel Sarah curl closer against his side.
            “They don’t remember,” Dad said quickly and soothingly, as if he’d said it a hundred times before. Mom closed her eyes. For a long moment, there was silence.
            “What did they do?” Matt whispered, cleared his throat, and tried again. “How did they cause it?”

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