Wind Town 2.4

             Mom surged to her feet in a quick, spasm-like movement and strode to face the table in the dining room. Her shoulders stood like sharply defined peaks in the still air. Dad watched her go and briefly pressed a hand to his face. When he lowered it, his eyes were full of answers to questions Matt couldn’t begin to guess.
            “We don’t know,” he admitted.
            The smack of their mother hitting her hand against the wall between the rooms echoed painfully in the hush. They all turned to see her gripping the wall as she leaned on it, her knuckles white.
            “There are too many options.” Anger, tears, frustration, fear – her voice was a hoarse Molotov cocktail of emotions. “We’ve managed to eliminate a few, but…”             A harsh breath followed the words, and Dad started to get up. Before he made it even an inch above the coffee table, Sarah had already flown off the couch and across the room, flinging her arms around Mom from behind. Her body jerked, then froze for an instant before she turned and convulsively wrapped herself around her daughter.
            Watching his mom hold Sarah and rock, Matt drew in a sharp breath and held it, his whole body drawing up tightly. He’d tasted fear earlier that day, but now for the first time, he began to understand that he’d only glimpsed the very edge of the problem. And Mom and Dad had been dealing with it… Matt tried to remember when they started looking at maps.
            The couch cushions tilted, and he knew Dad had moved next to him. Matt stared at his hands. He felt like he had when he’d been sick a week and had to take a math test the day he came back. He didn’t know what to do, and his mind chased itself in panicked circles. But it always came up with the same question. He opened his mouth, made a strangled sound, cleared his throat, and tried again.
            “What do we do?”


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