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Betrayal of the Wind This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   The night was so beautiful! Soft, wet snowblanketed the earth and glistened in the moonlight. I had begged myfriends to let me leave the log cabin to see the stars. They warned meof the confusing, unmarked trails that lead many to their deaths, but Iwas desperate to leave the dreary cabin. I couldn't stand being coopedup.

I stepped into the shadows of the woods and gazed in wonderat the looming pines, their needles frozen. I moved along the edge ofthe trees to an open meadow, only to find stiff evergreens standing likesoldiers. The trees were scattered, forming an endless maze of trails tounknown places in the Northern Territory.

A sudden gust of arcticwind knocked me to the frozen ground. The breath was gone from my chestand my heart panicked. I needed to breathe! I gulped the crisp air andtried to get up, but was weakened by the wind's attack. I managed todrag myself to a nearby tree and sit against its trunk. I sighed shakilyand slowly looked up. The trees had stopped swaying. For the moment thewind was silent. I allowed my eyes to droop and in seconds I wasasleep.

I was soon awakened by a gentle snowfall and thehorrendous sound of dissonant voices calling my name. I shook my headand blinked to see if I was really awake, but I could still hear thevoices, which seemed closer. As they approached, the voices fell uponeach other until they became the single, beautiful voice of a youngwoman. She continued to call my name enchantingly, saying she was theWind, and lonely. She told me I could have her treasure if I would playa game with her. I did my best to ignore the Wind who had attacked meearlier, but she refused to go away. She became more agitated when Igave her the cold shoulder.

Eventually, I became so annoyed Istood up, forgetting my weariness, and said, "I'll play with you,but only if you promise to leave me in peace afterwards!"

I couldhardly believe what I had just said. I was going to play with the Wind?"Well?" I asked impatiently. "What are we going toplay?"

"Chase the Wind and Catch It!" the voice saidhappily.

"What kind of game is that? How am I supposed tocatch you? You're ... invisible, you aren't even solid! I don't want toplay your stupid game! It's not fair. I must have been crazy to agree tothis." I shook my head in self-pity.

The Wind growled. "Playthe game, girly, or the Wind won't keep its promise!"

I was aboutto refuse again, but a strange feeling swept over me, and the Wind'svoice was suddenly farther away.

"Wait!" I called, andbefore my mind could comprehend my actions, my legs were carrying meinto the darkness of the woods, chasing after a creature I wasn't evensure was real.

I ran faster and faster after the Wind who neverseemed to lose her breath. She laughed horribly at me. I was beginningto doubt I would ever walk again after this race through thedarkness.

My legs were nearly frozen with pain and I startedto slow down as I heard the Wind say, "You can't stop now! The racehas just begun!"

Despite my failing body, I ran on as if undera spell. In a fury I threw off my jacket and scarf. The Wind continuedto cackle and said, "Play with me! Play with me! Don't leave me allalone! Play with me!"

I kept running, throwing off articles ofclothing until my breath was nearly gone. After what seemed likeeternity, my weakened legs gave out and I collapsed onto the frozenground, shivering and sweating at the same time. Hypothermia had set inwhile I'd been running, and there was no chance of my friends findingme. I lay on the ground shaking. The Wind had left my side just as shepromised. Everything swirled around me into nothingness as a familiarvoice called my name out of the silence.

"I kept mypromise," she whispered as I closed my eyes. I heard the Wind cacklingin the darkness and I waited for death to come.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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