Once upon a time a wind blew through a small, quiet town. But this wind was different from other winds. It didn’t come from the east, the west, the north or the south. In fact, the townsfolk were baffled by the strangeness of the warm, constant breeze. It came from all directions. And none. At the same time.
Was the wind dangerous? The authorities didn’t know, so they arranged independent studies to find out and set in place evacuation plans in case it proved to be harmful. The people frowned and stayed indoors, keeping their children close. The shopkeepers put up signs selling goods to protect against it—might as well turn a profit and all that. It was unknown, you see, this non-directional force of nature. And in this town, the unknown was always to be feared.
The youth of the town detested the prison made for them by their fearful parents. “Stay inside?” they scoffed, “It’s just a little breeze. What could it possibly do?”
A very old, very wise and very wrinkled old woman who bravely kept rocking away on her front porch overheard their jeers. She rocked a little faster and then stood letting her cane support her as she addressed the teens stomping home from school.
“I’ll tell you what this wind can do. No one else living remembers the wind. But I do. The wind can numb you, turn your heart to ice, your brains to slovenly mushes of addledness. The wind can blind you, and bind you. The wind can steal your dreams.”
The teens shuffled from foot to foot, with only nervous chuckles as their response, waiting for one of them to speak to the woman. But none craved the leader’s role. The woman raised a shaky hand and pointed an arthritic finger at a gangly, ginger-headed boy with buttermilk pale skin shockingly free of freckles.
“You,” she said, “You have dreams. You want more than a place in the cycle, a slot along the assembly line.”
The group parted, looking at Quincy. He’d never been one for saying much. And even now he only nodded at the woman.
“Aye,” she said in reply to the question he’d only thought, “This is not the first time the wind has come. It stole most of my generation. They floated away on the wind, mindless and dull to the world.”
Quincy nodded once more, turned and walked away from his peers, cutting through backyards and down alleys to get home. He ran up the back steps and inside, slamming the door in his haste.
“Dad!” he called, “I have the answer!”
His father came around the corner followed closely by Quincy’s ten-year-old sister.
“The wind, Dad,” he said, authority in his voice, “The wind… we have to drive it out. But here’s the catch, it comes from within.”
Dearest readers. I’m struggling right now. And my words are coming out in a jumble. This is something I wrote weeks ago, but was saving it to post with a separate, partner version crafted by The Woodsman. We won’t be posting together any more. I feel I owe you all an explanation of what happened. But at the same time, I want to protect his feelings. There is still so much love there. I’m working on how to reconcile these two conflicting needs.