All the windows are locked. Curtains closed. Blinds pulled down all the way to the sills. Even so, its chilly breath hisses through the tiny gaps and reaches my knees. There is an occasional tremor in the candle flames on the coffee table. The nervous awareness of the force outside. The normally vocal pigeons on our roof are silent. The shapeshifting dragon is letting rip, giving a spectacle of its histrionic power. Now it soars into the skies, its tail lashing the dark clouds, sending crackling rain to slam against the window panes. Now it’s a tiger roaring in the night, sending a rumble rippling through the air. Now a witch slaloming between chimneys on her broomstick, her impish giggle tickling the stars. Then a gigantic owl, screeching in the roof, its wings whooshing in the air. Then it swells into a tempestuous sea, foaming lips gnawing at the cliffs, then ebbing away before gathering into waves rising tall, fearless, tossing ships like juggling balls. All of a sudden it retreats, quietens down, vanishes, like a memory you doubt. Odd phrases of a tune that haunts you but which you cannot quite remember. But, just two minutes later, it’s a dragon again, spewing flames like a Venetian glassmaker’s furnace, the bewitching fire of an Andalusian gypsy – spinning, swirling, lunging, turning raindrops into needles of ice, the supersonic speed of its flight making the windows quiver. I am king, the dragon says. I am emperor. And you’ve seen nothing yet.
“It sounds like everything’s about to come crashing down,” H. says, looking up at the high ceiling of our living room.
I feel electrified, a thrill stroking my skin, like fingertips running up and down my spine, a sense of excitement and joy swelling inside me. That and the unwavering sense that the power outside is choosing to keep me safe.
“I love – I’ve always loved the wind,” I say.
Beautiful wind imagery! I love the sound of it, too. It triggers something deep and primal and mysterious. Thank you for evoking all the guises this elemental force can assume. When the howl comes next, I will think of these and smile.
Love the image of the dragon tail slashing the dark clouds.
Der Wind, der Wind, das himmlische Kind … nature spreads thoughts and seeds. I love the charged atmosphere during thunderstorms, while a continuous chilly wind makes me grateful for walls and warmth.
I love dragons. I think they have bad press in Western minds. Thank you for your lovely comment.
Loved the witch. That image will stay with me next time the wind roars through.
So glad. Thank you! There’s a poem by Pushkin called ‘The Demons’. I can’t find a translation of it… I’ll ask a fellow translator and send it to you. If not, I’ll have a crack at it myself. It’s BEAUTIFUL and describes a night wind.
Hi, Katia. No one can create an atmosphere quite like you can! I wish I felt the same way about the wind, but since I’ve been living on the coast where I am now, such otherwise welcome winds bring a lot of damage, not so playfully benevolent as your charming and evocative bit of witchery-wind where you are. I long to hear a good rainstorm slanting down outside again and not have to wonder how much we’re going to get charged for repairs! But you have given me something I can enjoy, anyway, if only vicariously. Really good writing.
Thank you! You’re very kind. If you haven’t already, read the opening pages of Dickens’s ‘The Chimes’. Now THAT’s writing about winds!
I love the howling wind too, since my childhood, when I slept under the roof, but more than once I feared the tiles would come crashing down. I an glad the build solid houses over here. 💨🙂
Yes, our flat is on the top floor, so the playground of the winds.