Wind Town 3.1

            “Matt,” she put her hands on her hips, and Matt’s shoulders scrunched together from the edge in her voice.
            He ducked his head and waited for the scolding. Instead, he heard a long sigh. When he dared to raise his head, she was looking up with her arms folded and her lips pursed. Finally, she lowered her eyes to his. He couldn’t see any anger.
            “I know that it’s hard to understand, Matt. It seems like a lot of old stories that have nothing to do with today.” She blew out a breath. “But you need to know them to make any of the flashy stuff work. Trying to work with the wind without knowing is like… playing frisbee without having a pinwheel.”
            Matt flinched. Across the table, Sarah seemed to shrink, curling in on herself.
            “I didn’t mean… I thought…” he stuttered.
            “Matt,” her tone gentled, and she put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed. “I know you didn’t. But you need to understand that the boring stuff is important, too.”
            Matt nodded convulsively. When she started talking again, he listened – even when it was about what types of plants people used to burn as offerings a hundred years ago. As she listed plant after plant, all the names started to blur together in Matt’s head. He raised his hand.
            She gave him a surprised look, then smiled.
            “Yes?”
            “Can we stop for a minute?” he asked. She raised an eyebrow at him, and his brows furrowed. “Er,… May we stop for a minute, please?” She smiled.
            “All right. We can take a short break.”
            As soon as she said “All right,” he was up like a jackrabbit and running to his room. He dug in his school bag for a minute and then trotted back to the table. He set the paper and pencil on the smooth oak. Immediately, he started writing down all the plants that he could remember.


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