The Ill Wind

She drifted down lonely paths, the flowers in her hair withered black and her bare feet thick with mud and ashen with cold.

Where laughter called, she turned away. Where smiles bloomed to greet her, she fled.

It was alone that he found her; hovering just above a rocky cliffside, the ragged ends of her dress swirling about her legs, her tangled hair afloat around her.

There was a power about her that gave him pause, but nonetheless, he approached.

‘I saw you, at the solstice,’ he said. ‘Flitting about the rocks. My sister called you over, but you fled. You looked so sad. The others say you are always alone, as no spirit should be.’

She hugged herself, lowering in the air until her feet touched bare rock. Over her shoulder, she said, ‘I am the Ill Wind. I have to be alone; I don’t want to bring anyone harm.’

‘I’m not afraid,’ he said, taking a tentative step toward her.

‘I’m only the Autumn Breeze and only newly into my powers, but nobody should be alone. If you don’t want to hurt me, then that’s enough for me.’ He offered a hopeful smile. ‘I think we could be friends.’

‘You should fear me,’ she said, frowning. ‘Empires have fallen at my passing. What makes you think you’ll be any different?’

‘Nothing,’ he replied. ‘But I’d like to try, all the same.’

She took an uncertain step toward him. ‘Okay.’ she said.

So they tried.

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