The East Wind Blew

A blue flower grew alone. It only had itself. Solitary, stark, contrasted against a mountain. It cultivated at the base, where the mountain’s roots stretched and dug into the forest, creeping to retain that which it never had. But the flower maintained.

Endless days, counted by wind, rain, sun, soil, and disease; the blue flower knew these intimately. The mountain, grumbled, watching the blue flower survive. But why? It wasn’t because the flower stood up to the mountain. Plenty of life outside of the forest challenged the might and presence of the great point; no, something more than just life had irked the mountain.

But the flower wasn’t worried.

The mountain once sent an emissary to the blue flower: a spec of dust, drawn from deep within the mountain’s heart. It brought age, force, stillness, and warmth. These were things that the blue flower had never known.

The spec first had to be broken apart, then forced from the mountain’s chest and drawn out into the air. The active air was something the spec had never encountered. It was baffled, intrigued, and affronted, to see such a thing existing. Why would anything choose to exist outside of the mountain?

It floated down, drifting on uptakes and drafts. The wind played with it…caressed it…held it in a fragile embrace. No pressure. No darkness. Almost as if greeting a friend, if the spec had ever considered such a notion before. But the lull of the breeze tranquilized it. And then the forest appeared.

When the spec first saw the forest, it wanted to hide. The wind picked up, whistling through the branches, charging forth with a scream and a tear that perplexed the spec. Where once had been a repose, the spec encountered lust. It only knew the cold, the damp, and the still, where order prevailed and rhythm dominated. Such chaos was a thing for the roots of the mountain, or perhaps the peak. But to find it hear…how?

Transfixed by its own demise, the spec couldn’t stop. There was nothing to hold it back. Nothing to end the slope. It had been drawn from the heart of the mountain; it was the most prized quality the great monolith possessed. Now it would be enshrouded by chaos and pulled into the storm forever.

There would be no return.

Stillness left. Force was sapped away. Warmth purged by the breeze, and age confounded with intoxication. That was until something interrupted the execution.

It took a moment to realize…it took a moment to accept. The spec had stopped. Indeed, it had stopped. There, in another foreign embrace, it had found refuge and peace. Two things that it had believed only the mountain could provide. The wind tore for it. The raging sounds quipped as they blew by. But the spec had been saved and had no more time for chaos.

But who or what had pulled it from destruction? Who or what could claim to hold the mountain’s heart? There would be rejoicing. There would be praise. If the spec could just retreat home, there would be a treasure for the one to see it done.

A shadow bent over the spec. A pungent aroma filtered out the maelstrom. The spec felt close to life, but again, a different life than before. Then it saw the blue flower.

“My poor little friend,” the blue flower said, “you have worked tirelessly against an avalanche. How you survive is a blessing and a miracle I will remember and treasure.” There was sadness to the blue flower’s essence, but also faith, patience, and age. Yes, there was also age. “Tell me, how far have you traveled to be here, and where can I direct you thither?”

Such an unexpected introduction, and from the enemy of the mountain, no less. Was this fortune or consequence to end up indebted to none other than whom it was sent to parley? The blue flower and the mountain had never before exchanged words, so the spec felt confident in its mystery. But to what end was it now involved?

The spec needed to think. And it needed to postpone.

“I am an emissary, as old and ancient as the rock from which I came. While aged, I am barely born, tossed about like a beginning.” Truth, yet subtle. An art of stone the spec knew well.

“Then my friend, it is a pleasure to shelter you. I am a learned student of beginnings and aged in my own right. Though, to one of born of tombs, I can’t claim near enough age to challenge. Perhaps, there is ought we can provide for one another?” The blue flower’s sadness was palpable, and a desperate plea clung to every word. The spec paused, confused, as it thought itself to be the one in dire circumstance. Mayhap it could provide something in return, keeping its true nature hidden. All parties could be happy if mystery remained intact.

“Speak on, my savior,” the spec announced. “You have pulled me from the jaws of anarchy itself, and I would that I could do the same.”

The shadow of the blue flower departed centimeters as it faced towards the mountain. “I am an orphan, my new friend. Long was I in the chaos you fear, only to be brusquely deposited here. I have made a life, and friends, in my time, but my situation sadly is not my own. My fear, my aged companion, lies in the behemoth that stands before you. If I may ask, have you met the mountain in your travels?”

Uncertain. Unknown. The spec dwelt in territory unscouted. To lie would betray, but to tell the truth would undermine. What to do? “Blue flower, I have heard of the mountain.” Would the flower sense the hesitation? Would intent become clear?

The blue flower…wilted. Visibly, and tangible, to all with the bearing to see. The spec hadn’t noticed before; the regality, the humility. The longing. All gone, fallen to the dusk of the mountain. The spec lost heart and hurt for the blue flower.

“Spec, you see before you a misunderstanding. I have a strength in me that belies my wish. This mountain curses and curls around me, beneath me, and above me. I stand alone, the forest stretched out safely behind. I never…I couldn’t…desire this to be my place, and yet it is. And I survive because I must. Yonder mountain confuses me with misintent; I know this to be true. You, who are kin to the durable, I would plead a truce on my behalf.”

The immense weight of misconstrued casualty pressed upon the spec with more being than the importance of the mountain ever did. In the blue flower’s vulnerability, the spec felt its essence. It could envision the existence below the slopes, always at the mercy of the peak but finding solace only in the integrity of itself. This blue flower fought for love and camaraderie, not for prominence and property.

The spec empathized. An experience it never had cause to do before.

“My disheartened friend, lift your petals high. I, as it happens, am on my way to the mountain now. It would bring me more joy than you could know to be your benefactor this day,” the spec shared with a ferocity of purpose.

The blue flower angled back to where the spec resided, safe and secure in its petal. And paused. Then, with a renewed light, the petal exposed itself to the sky. “I never prayed to have this, for fear of who would be sent. I never wished for solace, for fear of ignorant complacency. I could ask how you came to be here, but I will not. I don’t have the strength. But your willingness to carry me onward would bring peace to a heart long stifled in grief. I still won’t wish, but I will see you to the mountain.”

Such purity. Such trust. No guile could be found in the blue flower, and no cause for the spec to suspect foul intent. Instead, reality dashed the moment to pieces, imprinting on the mind of the spec the memory of the torrential wind, and its selfish chaotic will. It would never reach the mountain again. Void and daft was their companionship, and naught but ash. The spec buried itself into the feathery exterior of the petal. Defeated, finally, at last.

The petal moved, pushing into the light and back into the warmth. “We are one now,” the blue petal resonated. “I can see you to that mountain if you have the will to journey. Well. Do you?”

“Yes, blue flower. Yes. With every piece of my being. But you do not possess the movement to accommodate, and I am at the mercy of the wind. We are in vain.”

Presence refilled the blue flower. “While you have survived in rock, I have survived in chaos. Chaos is singular, but survival is not. I am not alone. To see you to the mountain, I have another who can provide. See, soon the eastern wind comes. She and I have long provided for one another, and to bear you aloft would be easy for her. Tell me you’ll try.”

The spec accepted. “Yes, wise one. I will try. Gratefully and happily, I will succeed.”

They waited. And they waited. And they waited.

Chaos compounded, hoping to dishearten and dampen their spirits. But together they prevailed against the wind. The forest shrieked and called to them, ghostly and dangerous. But together, they prevailed against the horror. The mountain itself belittled them, sitting in ignorance until comeuppance came to pass. But together they smiled in defiance.

And then the warmth of the east wind blew.

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