The wind danced across the land, whipping the trees about in a fury, an echoing howl that sent the scattered villagers running for the safety of their houses as the sky darkened, and the earth heaved.
Madness it was. Or so it seemed. For though the fearful mortals ran, there was one who stood waiting. One who laughed and played as the storm tore apart the world.
A child, young and brave, ignored the pleas of the village mothers who called to her from their windows. She balked for, as he’d said, they were afraid, they were afraid of what they couldn’t stop. Afraid of what the wind would bring, of what the earth churned for. They feared it, yet never even considered it was what they deserved. It was what they’d earned.
“You shouldn’t be here,” the wind itself howled to the child. “Go home.”
“They shouldn’t suffer,” the child replied. She felt the wind shift, the darkness thicken.
A creature, bent from the wind and built of shadow, eased from the tree line just beyond the child. Its molten eyes locked on the village and its maw agape with rivulets of moldering night. “Do you think they’d be as kind in turn?” The beast rumbled with the sound of the wind.
The child turned sunset colored eyes to the creature and sniffled, “They made a mistake. You shouldn’t hurt them.”
“A mistake?” The wind laughed. “They certainly did. I warned them once. Yet they persist. You beg for them, you alone plead to me now. Why are they not here? Why have they allowed a child to be their voice? A child to brave this death?”
“They are scared. They don’t know better. They don’t deserve your ire.”
“They do.” The wind calmed, and the beast came forth. Its jaws wide and hungry. “Go home Tiris, you can’t save them. They must atone for what they’ve done to you. I will make them regret it.”
With a soft hand Tiris reached out and grasped the creature. Her bandaged fingers fluttering through the beasts shimmering hair. “I’ve forgiven them, Wesley.” She whispered. “Why can’t you?”