T is for Tempest
Tempest ran through the forest. She was getting soaked, but the storm gave her the opportunity she needed to escape. She just couldn’t stay in that place a minute longer.
In the chaos of the preparations, all the girls had been hurried into basements and lockrooms. They said it was for their protection. But nothing they could ever do would make her feel safe within those walls. She would rather take her chances with the storm itself.
When the wind blew a branch through a window, the guardian had handed her the keys and told her to see that the younger ones were safe. She did as she was told—those children were as safe as she could make them. Then she told them she was going to help the guardians and left.
Left completely. Not just the young ones, but the center itself.
Now she ran with no plan to get away from that prison. She didn’t know how long it would be before her absence was noted. She wanted to be as far gone as she could before that happened.
Branches and other debris blocked her progress as she ducked between trees. Even before the rain started, winds had shaken the normally still forest. Some obstacles she jumped or climbed over. Others forced her off the path and deeper into the woods. Between the storm and the trees, Tempest soon found herself quite lost.
Still, she continued on. She would rather die in the storm than serve the false truths of The Order.
Tempest stopped abruptly, looking around in panic. Had they found her?
Seeing nothing, she started on her way again. Though she preferred the storm to submission, she still wanted to find someplace dry and secure.
She stopped again, listening.
WOULD YOU INDEED DIE IN THE STORM?
“If I had to,” she said, again searching the trees trying to find the source of the voice. “I would rather die than go back.”
ARE THEY NOT GOOD? HAVE THEY NOT CARED FOR YOU?
Tempest thought. “They clothed me. Sheltered me. But they teach lies.” She paused. Tempest had long felt a truth within her own heart, but had never spoken it aloud. “Their own doctrine says that lying is wrong. So, no. They are not good.”
The voice, sounding from all directions at once, laughed with surprising levity.
AND IF YOUR OWN DOGMATIC BELIEF IS WRONG? WHAT THEN?
She stopped looking then and stood as if staring down an enemy. “I would rather follow a truth that I feel and later learn that I’m wrong, than follow a lie that feels dead to discover that it is true after all.”
THEN COME, TEMPEST. COME FIND SHELTER AND TRUTH.
She knew it was true. Felt it in her heart and her bones. And she knew that if she continued this way, she would find a cave—an earthen shrine to the one that spoke her name.
Tempest started walking and knew the owner of that voice was with her. “Who are you?” she asked. “Who calls me?”
I AM THE GOD OF STORMS. MY FOLLOWERS CALL ME TEMPEST.
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