Days later, Emery still hadn’t gone to see his father and the older man was still hanging on his mind. In the cozy world of academics, questions might be difficult but not complicated. Answers were correct or incorrect, right or wrong. You had either grasped the concept or had a misconception. If you were wrong; if there was some misconception, then you could get help. You could learn more, gain a better understanding and clear up that misconception. You weren’t bad or evil, just wrong.

The real world presented more complicated questions. There were no wrong answers, nor right ones. Everything seemed a matter of opinion. Everything depended on point of view.

If their father was truly mad, he should be placed in a facility where he could be cared for. If not he was culpable for his actions and should be punished for injuring the railroad workers and wardens he’d attacked. He should be made to pay restitution for what he’d stolen. There was a fuzzy area between the two, however. How crazy was he? Was it all an act or did he have moments of clarity? Was he really in danger and attacking people out of a misguided attempt to protect himself? Were the people after him figments of his imagination?

Emery sighed and leaned back. The only thing that was clear was that both he and Miles had a form of off-magic. They had likely inherited it from their father. Other than those two facts, nothing was plain. He wanted their father to be sane… but then he’d go to jail for assault. He wanted their father protected and safe but the man seemed to feel anyone in uniform, even doctors in their scrubs or lab coats, would hurt him.

“Dad, what are we going to do with you?” he murmured in exasperation.

continued here