TITLE: Sign of the Star
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Someone approaches, the winds tell me. A rider.
Silently I welcome the winds in return. Though I may journey for the next year and a day by myself, healing and helping others with my landmaiden’s talents, at least I will not travel alone.
The road to the mines—really a dirt path barely wide enough for a wagon—is empty this sunlit afternoon. Those passing through Porden did so earlier, if they traveled at all, for the mines are a full day’s hike from town. I doubt that anyone but me has gone anywhere today. Last night was the rite of Midsummer’s Eve. Mother and I led the people in the sacred celebration, honouring the new season with dance and song. When we slept at dawn, we were hardly the last to retire.
I step to the side of the road in time to see the grim-faced rider fly past on his chestnut horse, the whisper of a breeze in his wake. I cough at the dust kicked up by his flight. But I do not have time to wonder who he could possibly be, for before I can, the mount’s rear hoof catches on a protruding root, and the beast pitches its rider, foundered.They have been with me my whole life, these winds—or at least for as long as it has mattered. Warm Northern breezes swirl through the cedars and caress my face the moment I leave Porden that first afternoon. They linger as the day wears on.