Wind Town 4.6

            Stewing, he folded his arms and deliberately kept his back to the wagon as he heard it rattle to a halt. Any moment Mom and Dad would bust his chops for not helping and walking away. Tension crept up his back and knotted in his shoulders as the silence dragged on. There were some rustling sounds and the clunks and clanks that meant they were fiddling with the wagon. But no one said anything.
            The longer the silence went on, the tenser he became. Guilt pooled in his stomach like acid, making him more and more angry. Why were they dragging it out? If they expected an apology, they could forget it. His teeth clenched. It wasn’t his fault – if they’d told him the truth he wouldn’t have gotten mad in the first place!
            The guilt and anger mixed and swirled together, boiling up until he was ready to burst. His hands clamped into fists, and he decided to tell them exactly what he felt. He leaned forward onto the balls of his feet, about to spin around and let them have it. Even as his weight shifted, the wind blew over him, holding him in place.
            In an instant, fear replaced the anger. He couldn’t move at all. No matter how he strained, the wind constantly moving over his skin held him as easily as a parent held a child. He fought wilder, panting with effort and panic. It was so cold.
            His hands were already turning numb, and even in that firm hold, his body began to shiver. His struggles became uncoordinated jerks as he lost control of his trembling muscles. As the cold seeped into his skull, his brain numbed, too, and he stopped fighting. The anger, guilt – even the fear slipped away into a sort of gray fog. Distantly, he observed that although the wind was swirling around his body, imprisoning him, the wheat in front of him wasn’t moving.
            That’s when the wind began to speak. It wasn’t words or speaking the way people think of it (it never was) but a sort of soothing whisper of sound and meaning. Closing his eyes, he stopped feeling and listened as he’d been taught.
            It spoke to him of the his parents’ worries – worries he had already seen himself – and without saying a word, showed him clearly how irrational and wrong his behavior had been. With the anger gone, he felt only shame and guilt. They rose up like a flood, overwhelming the numbness, and choked him.The more it told him, the worse he felt. How could he have acted like that? Panic exploded, and he began to struggle again without thinking. How could he face them after doing that? The wind shook him, shocking him to stillness.
            Apologize. They will understand.

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