I open my eyes to the dimly lit cell of the dungeon. A cool breeze sweeps across my arms sending shivers down my back. The quiet noise of crying is brought to my attention and my heart beats faster. Alarmed, I stand and press myself against the stone wall. My heart pounds and my breathing is out of control.
"Who is it?" My voice comes out like sand. Dry and weak with no shape whatsoever. The crying stops for a second before getting louder. Panic fills me. The kings guards will be here any second if this continues.
"I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to know your name." I force my voice to sound friendly. The person sniffles quietly before I hear them shifting closer toward my cell.
"My name is Vivienne." Her voice floats through the wall. I frown when I realize that she'll be requiring my name next.
"You don't have to tell her." West Wind whispers in my ear and I swat her away like a fly.
"Oh yes? And what would you know?" East wind counters and I growl at them.
"Get out of my mind!" I scold them both and I get a strange sound from Vivienne.
"Not you. My name is Wind. I hear the wise North Wind, the ever tempting South Wind and the annoying twins East Wind and West Wind. And of course there's the distant cousins Southeast Wind, Northwest Wind and well, you get the picture." My truth is met with silence and it leads me to be live that Vivienne thinks I've gone crazy. It won't be the first time. That's why I got put in this place. The winds told me of a whole land a sea away but when I tried to leave they drug me back and locked me up. You're crazy! They ranted but I never believed them.
"I wish I could do that," she sounds regretful when she speaks but I don't understand why. Talking with wind is not only annoying but also distracting.
"Maybe you should just escape without her," South Wind suggests and I contemplate taking his choice. Reason settles in though and I throw out the suggestion.
"I'm leaving Vivienne and I was wondering if you'd like to come with me." My words are tentative and I prepare myself for a rejection. She's just a child after all and if I leave her I'll regret it for days.
"You don't even know the crime I committed why do you want to help me?" Her voice gets louder and I hold back the urge to shush her.
"Hey, don't push your luck sweetheart. It's a leap of faith not a miracle," I warn her and I feel the temperature rise in the air. Curious I listen to the wind but for once they are silent.
Pulling two rat bones from a pile I set to work on the lock hanging from my door. Even if she isn't coming with me I'm not going to wait for the sun to set to escape. Escape. The word used to be foreign and evil but now it's the only word on my mind. It's become the rolling hills of freedom instead of the jagged peaks of confinement. My goal is to leave my home country, Kenessa, behind entirely. Head for the hills and follow the setting sun. Escape. The word is like sweet honey on my cracked lips. Just the sound of it is the feel of the wisdom of wind flowing through me once more.
I don't know what's out there. The are rumors of course but it's said that the king silences anyone who has the audacity to speak up. And boy do I ever believe that one. That's the reason I'm in the dungeon in the first place. I'm here because I spoke of the most forbidden, feared words there is. Freedom. East and West Wind taught the foreign concept to me and I knew even then I shouldn't have trusted those twins. The slight taste of freedom here and there grew on me like the plague and ever since I've been obsessed with this idea of being free.
I hear the slight click of the lock and a second later the door swings open. The breeze that greets me is warm and refreshing. Nothing like the stale dank air that reeks of waste and rats.
"I said I'll come with you," Vivienne repeats herself and I remind myself not to get too caught up in myself. I work on her door next and soon I hear the tiny click that signals that the door is unlocked.
I pull open her door and see that she isn't at all who I imagined her to be.
"Well I'll damned. If it isn't you Fire That Burns Through The Woods." I greet my old enemy using her full name. She smiles mischievously at me and pushes her fire red hair from her face. There never was a Vivienne. It was Fire the whole time. Why did I have to set her free out of anyone in the world?
"Well, well, well, looks like my savior today is Wind Who Blows Between Trees." Her tone is mocking and hurtful but I don't let it show. Her amber eyes scan my pale blue ones like she's searching for a needle in a haystack.
"Guards, east wing, approaching fast," North Wind informs me and I nod in response.
"Time to go," I announce as I turn and run up the stairs that'll take me to the Great Hall. I figure if we can blend in we can get out in no time flat. Fire follows me and doesn't complain even as I toss her a set of the scullery maid's clothes. We sneak out to the drawbridge but just as we prepare to leave the wind blows a warning.