The Whispering Wind
The wind whispered as the sun began to dip below the horizon. Intricate patterns of ice floated weightlessly downward from the pure white sky above, each flake swirled and danced,as the icy wind carried it across the whitened landscape. That morning’s hunting party had yet to return, and Mother Fiana grew anxious as each hour passed.
She leaned against the cold metal of the makeshift bunker, with one leg propped up against it, and looked out over the frozen terrain. Her breath created little puffs of smoke as she lifted a hot cup of liquid to her lips. She closed her eyes and savored the rich, bold tea. It helped to dull the throbbing of her migraine.
Nearby a group of soldiers, on watch duty, huddled together for warmth. Just like the wind, they whispered. Their voices were like white noise in her ears as they spoke words of awe and fear about her presence. They all knew that without the assistance of Warband Goliath, they would have all perished weeks ago. Not only from the cold but the several Icekin barrages that have caused extensive damage.
Mother Faina was unsure how much longer her Ether would last. She was dangerously low already, and she had to resort to borrowing from others. That couldn’t last much longer without making more sacrifices. The almost constant migraines had created a seemingly endless cycle of sleepless nights and exhausting days. When she did manage to sleep, her dreams were haunted by the visage of her brother.
The vision given on her Day of Culmination drifted through her mind and caused her heart to palpate in nearly the same rhythm as her head. The memory of a newborn’s wails overshadowed the whispers of the men nearby. She saw her mother’s exhausted and sweat dripped form laid out on the edge of an elaborate four-poster bed. Faina stood at the edge of the bed as if she actually been there. The room was dark except for the light of a small lamp. Shadows skipped across the room and her mother’s face as she had a momentary respite. An elderly lady Doctor was crotched at the foot of the bed, holding the newborn Fiana. The doctor had just cut the life cord away from newborn Faina as a dark figure appeared from the shadows and loomed over the women. Faina had instinctively known it was her father, even though she had never seen his face. She could barely see it now, as the shadows partially obscured his features. He said something in a low deep voice and reached out to take his daughter into his arms. Then her mother began to scream again, and both the doctor and her father turned in surprise. Gently the doctor reached out and touched her mother, a gentle glow emanating from the woman’s hands.
“Another will be born this night,” she said with a concerned tone and quickly began to prepare for the second birthing.
Suddenly Faina felt a presence, and she turned to see a young man standing beside her. He was staring attentively at the vision that continued to unfold in front of them. He had shoulder-length dark hair, just as she did, and his features were strikingly like her own. At first, she had thought he had been part of the vision, another person in the room during her birth. But then he turned to stare straight at her. She could feel the anger being burned into her as she looked into his bright blue eyes. However, that anger seemed to melt as he reached out and touched her hand.
The touch was like a bolt of lightning running the entire length of her body. It was forever seared into her memory. Suddenly the hole she had felt her whole life had been filled. For what seemed like an eternity, they stared into each other’s souls, and Faina knew without question who he was.
“I will find you,” her twin said, and then he turned back to the commotion of the vision. In those moments, Faina had lost track of what had happened.
Now her mother lay motionless on the bed, the sheets stained scarlet. Faina’s newborn brother screamed in the arms of the doctor. Her father was as pale as the snow outside as he cradled newborn Faina and stared horrifyingly at the lifeless body of her mother.
Mother Faina opened her eyes slowly. The real world returned with soul-crushing reality. The Hunting Party had still not returned, and the soldiers were still huddled together. Though the vision had been months ago, she could still feel the bond that had been sparked between her and her brother. The anger she had felt from him would resurface like a wild animal threatening to savagely tare its prey apart. In those moments, she lost herself. She had been lucky so far that none of her war siblings had noticed, or at the very least, they said nothing.
Mother Faina reached into the folds of her robes and pulled out a small flask. She poured a generous portion of its contents into her tea. She smiled and chuckled to herself. Alya had better never find out about this, or Faina would never hear the end of it.