The family was known for being a bit strange, and, at the same time a little bit too aggressively normal.
They had smooth, sleek black hair and pale skin, widow’s-peaked and licked back. Except the little boy that didn’t.
The boys all played football, and soccer. They joined Jr. varsity teams early and played sports right into college. Except the little boy that didn’t.
They were indifferent students, boys and girls alike. Decent enough in classes to get by, but they all hung on by their teeth to a B-minus average. Except the little boy that didn’t.
They were clannish, talking only to each other. There were nine of them, siblings, and then another twenty cousins and second-cousins and kissing-cousins and what-have you. They didn’t date, as far as anyone could tell, they didn’t bring home friends, and then didn’t talk about their family.
Except the little boy that did.
What they said was cryptic, what was overheard was nonsense. They talked in code most of the time. None of the family made sense. Except the one little boy that did.
And they were magic, all of them, the dark-eyed dark-haired beautiful ones. They were magic to their core, magic to the tips of their fingers. They didn’t just do magic, they were magic. Except the one.
They said – when he could hear and when he couldn’t – that the magic had just run out by the time he was born. The magic, the dark hair, the athletic urge. All of that had drained out of the family, so that there was nothing left for the youngest brother except brains, chocolate-brown hair and blue eyes like the sky. Nothing left for the little brother except a smooth tongue and a casual attitude with the rest of the world.
And the family was hated by the world, hated and reviled. They were distrusted, shunned, whispered about, hissed at. Hated. Except the one, the littlest brother, that wasn’t.
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