TITLE: The Wind Walker
GENRE: Young Adult
Disasters should come with a warning-a bell ringing, a hint of brimstone-but nothing triggered my internal alarm while I cut across the dying lawns to the house. There was only the faint scent of burning leaves and our front door left wide open on a blustery, October day. That wasn't even unusual because Jemma often forgot things like doors and groceries. Self-preservation was not among my mother's gifts.
I climbed the wide porch steps singing with my iPod, the wind catching my hair, and the leather purse full of books bouncing against my hip. A stray leaf blew against the wicker chairs where Jemma and I sat with my stepfather on warm summer nights. For that moment, the illusion of a normal family she and I had woven was still intact, and then the smack of a fist and her broken cry unraveled it for good. The open doorway framed her as she fell.
Violence raised the hair on my arms, its dissonant hum as wrong as the black-edged anger in my stepfather's aura when he stepped toward her. I'd spent my life trying to be something sane and human, locking the power away inside myself for Jemma's sake. But it was always there, coiled and eager to be used.
My hand shot up. Power exploded along my nerves, and all six-feet-something
of ex-linebacker flew backwards across the room. I didn't touch him,
although I barely noticed that.