Prisoner of Pirates
“We need to move faster,” the Captain grunted at her. She nodded and moved her hands forward. The wind followed her command, pushing the sails.
“With these manacles, I can’t move us faster than this,” she said defeatedly.
The Captain eyed her carefully. “Fine, don’t slow down. I want my treasure by sundown.” She nodded and lowered her head.
Once he walked away, she pulled out a small piece of parchment. She looked around before throwing it and catching it in the air. She carried the note on winds to land and hoped someone would save her from this prison
I soar on winds high above the world as a phoenix. This is my favourite form, better
than human. It took me a while to shift properly from only pictures. That was the hunter’s’ fault, they who killed phoenixes' to extinction.
Wind rustled through my feathers. I loved to fly, I was born for it. It must be the reason I was am able to shapeshift. The gods took pity on me being born a human and gave the ability to be more; to live life on the winds.
A steel capped arrow tears my wing, I squawked painfully. Not hunters again.
It is easier to believe that he is a wind god then the ending of our whirlwind romance.
“Are you sure you have to go?”
He cups my cheek. “I wish I could stay on earth but if don’t go back, my kingdom will crumble and I will die.”
I bite my lip. I should tell him but it will just be more painful to leave. He gives me a soft kiss and smiles sadly.
“I love you,” I mumble as he dissipates into wind. At least he’s not gone forever. I place a hand on my stomach and smile.
The guy was crazy, yelling about the outside as he was dragged away. There was no outside, only a technological utopia. Yet he didn’t leave her mind as the car drove home.
She crept out of the city, past 3D food printing factories towards the wastelands. It was, as always, dead. Cautiously, she stepped down onto dirt and through a projected barrier. She was confronted by green trees, and wind nudged at her face. It was serene.
She struggled when they dragged her away. She begged to see blue sky and feel that cool breeze at least one last time
Elliot sat atop his wind dragon and stared at the scene beneath them. “They don’t really need our help,” he commented and Mistral snorted in response. Elliot sighed, “Fine.”
They swooped down towards the struggling ship. It was slowly being pulled backwards into a growing whirlpool. Mistral took a deep breath in and blew a gale force wind. The little ship was pushed out of harms way onto calmer waters. Elliot gave Mistral anappreciative rub on her neck.
They flew over towards the ship where the crew on board were all at the side of the ship staring at them. Elliot cursed under his breath. Not again.
“Let’s get out of here,” he said quickly.
Mistral was fast, but not fast enough. Two spears pierced her wing before they got out of firing range.
“Mistral, you’ve just got to make it to the island over there, it’s not too far.” Elliot chewed his lip. It would be close, but they might make it.
Mistral roared in pain and her body tilted to the side. Elliot bent his head down; they were going in for a crash landing. The force of the crash threw Elliot off her back and he rolled into a nearby tree.
There was a dull pain in Elliot’s back, which he ignored. Instead, he checked on Mistral. He stretched out her wing and she sent him a chilly gust in displeasure.
“Calm down, it will be better in a minute.” Elliot leaned over, pressed his hand against the torn flesh and it slowly began to knit itself back together. “There, good as new.” He smiled at her. She flapped the wing happily and blew a spring breeze around him. He laughed at her and then cursed. “The pirates are following us, we’ve got to go. Now.”
“Would you just listen to me for one second?”
“No, I think you are being completely absurd. There is no such thing as magic.”
“There is, just watch carefully this time. Keep your eyes on the clover.” With a lot of concentration, the clover lifted out of Delilah’s hand and swirled around Edgar’s head.
“That proves nothing, the wind could have done that.” He crossed his arms.
“No, I am that wind,” she said, frustrated.
“I refuse to believe something that you are obviously faking.”
“And what will make you believe me?”
He shrugged. “Something the wind couldn’t do on its own.”
“Fine,” she snapped and splayed out her hands. She’d never tried this before. Delilah took a deep breath in and wind began to swirl around her. It created two small hurricanes underneath her feet and began to lift her up. “I told you so,” she said and lost control of the tiny hurricanes. It sent her sprawling onto the ground.
Her face flushed red. “I’m still learning to control it. Do you believe me now?”
“Yes, I believe you,” he said hastily.
“Good, now I need your help with something. I accidently set off a hurricane in Scotland.”
“So that will be strong westerly winds across the coast tomorrow morning. Thank you for watching channel thirty and goodnight.” Wendy smiled widely at the camera until the little light turned red. She collected her papers and walked off the set.
“Good show tonight,” Elsa said. “The ratings are going up and everyone is really taking to the new ‘Windy Wendy’ persona.'
“Thanks.” She smiled brightly. Wendy had only been here two months and it was the best job she’d ever had. “And again this opportunity has been phenomenal.”
“Honey, you earned it,” she said before she was whisked away to fix another problem in the station. Wendy grabbed her bag and headed towards the parking lot.
“Wendy, wait up.”
She turned to face a slightly puffed Roland.
“Oh, I was just wondering," he scratched the back of his neck, “what you’re doing tonight?”
“My sister is forcing me into going on this blind date. It sounds horrible. I think its just a guy she works with who wants to tell everyone that he’s done it with ‘Windy Wendy’ from the news.” She screwed up her nose in disgust.
“Right, right. Umm don’t worry.” Roland turned away from her.
“What was it that you wanted to say?”
“It sounds like you are already busy so it doesn’t matter now.”
“Honestly, I’m probably just going to call and say that I’m sick. Then I’ll stay at home in my pyjamas. Unless I had something else to do tonight.” She let the innuendo hang in the air.
“Then,” he stepped closer to her, “would you like to go out with me instead, maybe?” He smiled nervously.
“I would like that very much,”
“Really?” he asked surprised.
She nodded. A grin broke out on his face which Wendy returned.
The new engine was next to silent, something the engineers were excited about. This was as close as they had gotten to the military base in the past eight months that Daniel had been placed on the drone project. The information that they could gain from this drone if it entered the facility could change the course of World War three III. Everyone was gathered aroundthe live screen watching in silence. Daniel could feel people behind him holding their breath as he manoeuvred the lightweight aircraft. They’d just passed the outer perimeter fence when the drone flew right into the rushing wind torrent. Daniel grappled with the controls as the wind grew stronger.
“We’ve hit a wind wall.” Daniel pulled at the controls. He gritted his teeth; he was beginning to lose control. “The drone is too light to hold its own.” The picture on the screen spun and the last thing they saw before they lost contact was the ground rushing up to meet the drone.
The room groaned as one. “Our project is going to shut down now,” someone commented.
“All it took was a wind torrent to derail us,” Daniel said, holding his head in his hands.
“Today was a good one.” Fiona said as she disconnected the holding tank. It was only the size of a large coke bottle and inside it swirled a miniaturised hurricane. “It was a Category 3 and thankfully, not like the disaster last week.”
Caleb spun on his chair chewing his favourite strawberry gum. “I think I’ll be the judge of that after the damage you did to my last wind vacuum.”
“Hey,” Fiona said as she passed it over to him, “that was not my fault, it was a Category 5 and it would not be sucked up.”
“It doesn’t suck up the hurricanes, it systematically displaces the molecules and energy into smaller-” He stopped and looked up at her over his glasses. “You’re not paying any attention.”
“You do the lab stuff, I do the storm chasing, that’s how it goes.”
Caleb sighed and returned his attention to the wind vacuum in front of him. Fiona sat down and put her feet up on the desk. Caleb glanced at her and she grinned back at him. He rolled his eyes but didn’t comment. Fiona picked up the papers from the desk and returned to the half filled in risk assessment. It was due in two days’ time.
“Do you feel that?” Caleb said, his head snapping up.
“What?” she said, taking her feet off the table. The ground had begun to shake slightly underneath them. “Is it an earthquake?”
“No, it doesn’t quite feel like an earth quake.” He glanced at their back wall filled with tornado containers. “Our tanks are moving.” Caleb stood quickly, followed by Fiona. Both rushed across the room but not fast enough. They watched in horror as their massive collection of tornado containers crashed to the ground, unleashing the remorseless winds from inside them.
I wandered slowly towards home. The first half of the night had consisted of running into the old football team who laughed about the good old times. Then when they discovered that I was gay, they sunk down their heads and moved away about as fast as they could. Then my very annoying ex had shown up unexpectedly and flaunted his new boyfriend in front of me. Then on top of that, the medication from my doctor meant that throughout that entire crappy night, I couldn’t consume a drop of liquor.
I kicked a rock at my feet and shoved my hands deeper in my pockets. I was ready for this night to be over. A wind whipped down the street and ripped the hat off my head. I swore; this night couldn’t get any worse. The hat slipped away from me and I ran after it. I’d almost grabbed it when I crashed straight into someone.
“Sorry,” I said and grabbed the hat off the ground. “I was just chasing my hat and I didn’t even see you.”
“That’s okay,” he shrugged and blushed red. I smiled at him brightly. Maybe this night wouldn’t be so bad after all.
The wind seemed to follow me as my feet pounded against the half-rotted stairs and crashed through an upstairs doorway. The old wooden floor scratched at my hands and I ignored the blood that pooled in my palms. I scrambled to get back up and closed the door quietly. I crept away into the room with my hair standing on end. The house seemed to creak around me, and I held my breath. I pressed my back against the wall and slid to the floor. My tears had run dry and I’d started chanting a prayer in my head. My fists where clenched and the only sound through the silence was the dripping of my own blood onto the floor.
I froze as a cool breeze passed through the wall and straight through the wall and straight into my chest. I knew that cold chill would be forever ingrained in my bones. Wind swirled wildly in the corner and a frightening ghost rose from it. Her old dress was torn, and blood splattered. As she turned slowly, the blood in my veins froze. She cocked her head to the side and locked eyes with me, causing everything inside me to shrivel as she smiled.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t human. The body looked human but its eyes were full of insanity and it moved like a dog. Trees flashed by me as I ran. I wanted desperately to look back to see if it was gaining on me, but I couldn’t risk it. It was too dark and the trees so close together it would be suicide. I winced as it howled behind me; it was enjoying the chase.
I skittered around a large tree and nestled myself between its roots. I pressed my hand over my mouth and tried to calm my rapid breathing. I could hear it close by; leaves crunched as it moved. Then silence. All I could hear was my own heart pounding in my ears. It must have been confused. For the first time tonight, I felt a surge of relief and hope. Maybe I would live to see the sunrise.
It slowly moved into view, softly padding forward on four limbs. I sunk further into the tree roots. In my head, I chanted an old fairy tale my Dad used to tell me, anything to distract me from the monster only ten feet from me. Every step away from me it took, the more relaxed I became.
A soft breeze brushed past me and rustled my hair, it kissed my skin lightly. The thing froze standing stock still then raised its head and sniffed. It couldn’t smell me on the wind, I reassured myself. It was some kind of mangled human, but its sense of smell could not be that strong. The thing snapped its head around and locked eyes with mine. There was nowhere to go, not enough time to get away. I screamed into the wind that had betrayed me as it ran straight for me.
First published by Fantasia Divinity in Winds of Despair