It Began as a Sound on the Wind
The old man awoke in the middle of the night. The rain had ceased and all was quiet. A gentle wind pushed against the sides of his flimsy shack.
He got up and went to the door, as though compelled by a will that was not his own. His feet shuffled over the worn boards and out into the night.
The old man lifted his face to the sky and the one bright star that shone through the last remaining bits of the storm. Tears shown in his eyes. He muttered something unintelligible, musical, a sound hardly discernable from the quiet, keening voice of the wind.
The wind carried it down the sheer face of the mountain. It swept into the valley, over the swollen river, and into the sleeping village.
It recognized the house; a small one, smoke curing from the chimney even at such a dark hour of morning. A window was open to the night. The wind flung the sound over the sill and into the house – the only house still awake at such an hour.
The sound reached Lucy’s ears, and she knew that it was time.