Jenna stood in the center of a village. Her village. The dark thatch roofs were unmistakable. The people around her glided about their lives, their faces blurry though she knew their names. They ignored her, as they always did in the dream. A woman with a basket of fruit walked through her, not skipping a beat. Jenna existed in this world to watch. She wished she could close her eyes and not see what was coming next.
A northern wind ruffled the hem of her blue dress. The sky grew dark with angry clouds. A peal of thunder echoed off the mountains. The villagers began to seek shelter from the sudden storm. Over the thunder came a war horn, and the sky began to rain fire. Jenna looked on in horror, frozen where she stood, as the people she knew, her village, burned to the ground around her.
Something clutched her hand. Startled, Jenna looked down to see the round, clean face of a young girl. Her brown hair was pulled back in a single braid. She wore a yellow dress with a white apron. Her blue eyes were locked with Jenna’s. She gripped Jenna’s hand tightly, but she didn’t seem afraid.
“Follow the wind.” The little girl said. Jenna almost missed the words over the thunder and fire. “Follow the wind,” she said again, dark red ash snaked across her face. In a puff of flame the girl vanished. Jenna recoiled, suddenly able to move. This had never happened before. Confused and terrified, Jenna took off across the village at a dead run.
She had lived through this nightmare a thousand times. The fire rain, the sounding horn. Every time before it would end with the fires engulfing her own body. Then she would wake up. Now she ran for her life. She passed the villagers smoldering in the dirt. Balls of flame rained down from the dark clouds. Who was that child? Why had the dream changed? “Follow the wind.” The words echoed in Jenna’s mind as she rounded the stone walls of the Blue Cow Inn, and stumbled into a large, bare chested man.
The man grunted when she hit him, and he knocked her to the ground. His muscular frame towered over her. His long black hair spilled down his back. Unlike the others in the dream, his face was in focus. His features were clear. He had a long square jaw and his grey eyes regarded her as an enemy.
“Why am I here, girl,” he shouted. “Why have you cursed me with these visions?” His voice was deep, and heavy. His words were spoken in a slow rhythmic cadence. “I seek the child, but I need more time. The elders were slow in sending me. Those fools couldn’t read the signs if they floated at the top of their ale mugs. Yet here I am, trapped in a vision, talking to a spectre about the Yol’nog.” The man slumped his head down. He seemed defeated, lost like she was. A thought popped in her head.
Jenna took a few careful steps closer, the man kept his head down. She touched her hand to his muscular arm. His head shot up, his eyes locked on hers. Pushing back fear, she spoke the only words she could, “Follow the wind.”
Jenna woke up to the crackle of fire and was afraid that she’d again used her powers. She peeked around and saw a simple camp fire with four dark shapes couched around it. Staying quiet, she rolled her body to get away and something tugged at neck.
Panic flared as Jenna reached to her throat. She felt a cold metallic object. She reached for her power, the forbidden magic, only to find her source was gone. Fear began to overtake her and she clawed at the object around her neck. She had been captured again. Not again.