Xander stood in the center of the field. From the periphery, standing well away near the tree line that lined the edge of the field, Sean watched Xander stretch his arms out wide. Xander closed his eyes and tilted his head backward.
“Are you ready for this?” Xander called. “Whatever this is, sure, I’m ready.” Xander heard the musical whisper of the wind as it called to him. Like a snake through the safari, the wind slithered between the tall grasses, causing them to sway and dance in rhythm. The wind kicked up around him, pulling at his clothes and hair. As the wind increased, it buffeted him from side to side, nearly causing him to lose his balance.
The sensation was like magic to Xander. The energy of the wind caressed his skinlike an old lover. It enveloped him where he stood and seemed to pour through his open mouth, filling him with its energy. When he was satisfied with the demonstration, he exhaled, forcing the soothing winds from his lungs.
As quickly as the wind began, it died away, leaving Xander standing alone again in the middle of the field. He lowered his arms and turned excitedly toward Sean.
“Did you see it?” “See what?” Xander gestured behind him, and then turned in a tight circle. “The wind.”
“The wind,” Sean replied flatly.
“Did you see the wind blowing through the field? That was me.”
“You made a breeze? That’s what you’re telling me? That’s what was so important? Xander, I love you like a brother, but I break wind all the time without having to drag you out to a field to see me do it.”
Xander frowned at his friend’s disbelief. “Fine. I was going for a small demonstration but if you want big, we’ll do big.”
Xander returned to the center of the field and held his arms outstretched again. He closed his eyes but quickly opened one to peer at his friend. Sean leaned against the trunk of one of the trees, his arms crossed defensively in front of him. “You’re going to want to back up for this one.”
Sean turned around and looked behind him. “I’m already at the trees. I can’t go much further back.”
“Get… I don’t know. Get behind a tree.”
“You want me to hide behind a tree while you break wind again?”
“Will you just do it?” Xander said, exasperated.
Tossing his hands in the air, Sean walked around to the backside of the tree he had been leaning against. “Is this good enough?”
“Thank you.” Xander assumed his position in the field once again, lifting his arms straight out from his side. “Come on, wind… spirit,” he whispered quietly enough that Sean wouldn’t hear him. “Let’s give him something memorable.”
Instead of slithering through the grass like it did last time, the wind pounced on Xander like a lion. It roared into the field and crashed into Xander. He staggered as the wind took up a dance around him. He quickly opened his eyes as a wall of wind formed around him, swirling like the birth of a tornado. The grass around him stood strangely still but the wind filled the rest of the field. Every exhaled breath came out of Xander’s mouth in a puff of smoke as the temperature plummeted around him.
As the wind swirled faster and faster, he saw cans and bottles emerging from the grass. Like puppets being controlled by a skillful marionette, the debris danced in the wind. It got caught up in the swirling madness and became part of the ever-expanding swirl of air.
Xander’s ears popped as the air pressure increased. He tried to call out for Sean, or even laugh at the excitement of the moment, but the maddening wind stole away his words as soon as they left his mouth. Instead, he tilted his head back and laughed silently into the swirling maelstrom.
The increased air pressure drew the heavier objects out of the tall weeds. A rusted hubcap emerged, followed by a dilapidated car radiator. They joined the rest of the debris in its swirl, spinning in increasingly fast circles as the whipping wind reached near gale- force strength.
The hubcap flew dangerously close to him as it spun past. It was gone from his peripheral vision as quickly as it had appeared. When it reappeared, it was quite a bit further away, nearly to the distant trees. Like a projectile shot out of a cannon, the hubcap slammed into one of the trees, embedding itself deeply into the coarse wood.
Startled, Xander broke his concentration. For a moment, the cans and bottles slowed their spin before hanging in the air. They collapsed onto the ground as the last of the magic dissipated from the air.
“Sean?” Xander called out, suddenly worried for his friend. If the hubcap had enough force to bury itself into the thick wood, he was worried about what any of the other smaller items would have done to his friend. “Sean!”
“That was so freaking cool,” Sean yelled, emerging from behind one of the trees. “That was so freaking cool!”
Xander sighed happily at the sight of his heavyset friend. “See, I told you hiding behind the tree was a good idea.”
“That was so freaking cool!” Sean yelled again as he bounded through the thick grass. He crashed into Xander, enveloping him in a bear hug. “How did you do that?”
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