Tracking the Wind – Part 2

Continued from Part 1

At first the wind hesitated, staring through Orion with its piecing blue eyes.  He knew that he must maintain his composure under her scrutiny.  He could not allow the Elemental to see what he was planning upon his face.  He instead held his features in a mask of awe and admiration, hoping that they would not betray him.  The elements despised the Callers and considered them to be their greatest foe, for good reason.  It was the goal of every to Caller to dominate the elements and bend nature’s will to their own.  If Orion was to have any hope of making contact he must convince her that he was not a threat.

After a pause which felt like an eternity, the Elemental finally began to draw closer.  Orion felt his heart skip a beat; the moment had arrived at last.  After years of studying the ways of the elements, this would be the culmination of everything he held dear.  The thought made his lips curl ever so slightly into a crooked smile.  It was a fatal mistake.

“Deceiver.”

The sound was but a whisper, but the effect was that of a cyclone.  In an instant the once inviting face of the wind Elemental dissolved into an expression of pure hatred.  Her skin lost the translucence of crystal and instead took on a smoky charcoal luster.  Her eyes now glowed crimson and her hair sprayed out in all directions, creating a terrifying image.  The wind at her feet began to swirl in tight circles, picking up debris from the ground around Orion and whipping it in every direction.

Orion’s eyes widened in fear as he realized his mistake.  The storm that stood before him would surely crush him if he did not act fast.  Instinctively reaching for his dagger, he drew the long razor sharp blade and held it out in a defensive position.  Upon seeing the weapon the Elemental opened its mouth and let out a high pitched, dizzying scream.  The weapon would be useless against her, but it made no difference.  The aggressive act caused the wind to shoot towards Orion in a maddened rush with murder in her eyes.

The young man attempted to turn and flee but the tempest was upon him before he could respond.  Everywhere around him there was evidence of the storm and its awesome power.  The sky had turned black, the sun covered by thick ominous clouds.  The trees that hung to his left began to bend perilously towards the ground, large branches snapping off and rolling away at high speed.  His leather jacket flapped against his legs and his sunglasses were ripped from his face.  As he turned on his heel and made to run away from the storm the wind’s ethereal hands wrapped around his feet and sent him toppling to the ground.  Smashing his chin upon a rock, Orion felt suddenly sick to his stomach.

This is the end, he thought sadly.  He had worked so long, travelled so far, only to be defeated by the object of his desire in the final moments.

Orion tried to right himself when a heavy branch smashed into his back with a painful thud.  The Elemental was howling again, its fevered pitch burning in Orion’s ears.  He tried to cover his head as he was pelted with rocks and stones, but to it was too late.  The wind grabbed him again, wrapping her arms around his waist and began pulling him upwards.

This was his greatest fear.  If the Elemental took him too high into the sky all would truly be lost.  He could not survive a fall from too great of a height.  Yet he could not escape her grasp, either.  At this point he could not even tell which way was up and which was down.  The wind was spinning him in circles as she dragged him ever higher.  One second he would catch a glimpse of the ground below him, the next he would be starring into the face of the beast, her blood red eyes revealing the anger that lay behind them.

As Orion thrashed against his opponent in an attempt to free himself he could sense that he was quickly losing this battle.  The wind would not let go and was tossing him around like a child’s doll.  He was still being pelted by debris large and small as branches struck his body repeatedly.  Orion was losing hope quickly, the ground growing further and further away.

Suddenly he remembered something his tutor had said to him, many months before.  At the time it had seemed obvious to Orion, but now, in the pitch of battle, the truth within the statement could be seen clearly.

If you struggle against the wind you will only enrage it further.  The key to calming the beast is to calm your heart.  Only then will its effects upon your soul be diminished.  The wind is first and foremost a follower.

With this, Orion closed his eyes, said a silent prayer to any God that may be listening and allowed his body to grow limp.  At first the Elemental was not satisfied.  She howled in his ears, threw stones in his face and continued to take him higher.  But after several long moments of berating his wilted body she began to grow bored.

The delirious rush of wind that grasped him began to dissipate.  The sky above him lightened ever so slightly as the sun evaporated the clouds.  The Elemental quieted her furious howl and slowed her vicious flight upwards.  Satisfied that she had destroyed her pursuer, she finally released her grip upon the young adventurer.

Orion’s relief lasted but an instant, as he realized that he had been liberated from the winds mortal clutch; free to plummet back towards the earth below.

To be continued…

Please take the time to comment on this piece if you enjoyed it. I am hoping to submit this short story to be included in an online Magazine and would like to use this blog to receive feedback on the style and substance of the narrative. Any constructive criticisms or editing comments will be appreciated and considered. Thanks in advance for your help with this!