After a lovely dinner and evening with the goddesses in the complex, I returned to my floor with an open invite to drop by anytime. We had shared many stories about our pasts, both good and heart-wrenching. We enjoyed a lovely — albeit spicy — meal. We chatted, caught up, and found our relationships had matured into a bond that can really only be shared with others who are as immortal as we are.
I had a family here who cared about me. They had all been through hell, misery, trials, and tribulations. I wasn’t really alone in this world, was I?
I thought about Pittusiak, the snow lynx that found me hiding right beneath my father’s gaze. She made herself at home in my cottage, coming and going whenever she pleased, but she always came when I felt low.
I thought about Bylur and how he stayed in the forest here, the park protected by Artemis. Even after thousands of years, he was still happy to see me.
I thought about all the people I had opened up to, the guys at the station. Andy, Daniel, and Lewis, who shared my love of the weather and liked my passion and intelligence.
Then there were the goddesses that had opened up and welcomed me. There was no judgment, only support and friendship.
I had come here out of obligation and a need to prove myself. Instead, I found myself supported by the people I had surrounded myself with. I was lucky to have people and pets who accepted me for who I was.
There was a small knock on my door, the one that led to the elevator. I stared at it for a moment, puzzled at the sound. I wasn’t expecting anyone and certainly not this late.
When I opened the door, there was a warm rush of wind as they raced past me into the room. I recognized the aurae and shut the door behind them.
“Welcome, Cousins,” I said softly to the pair of adolescent-looking figures. “The room through the glass door is warm and shouldn’t hurt you. Please come in and take a seat so we can talk.”
They held each other’s hands. They were trembling, but nodded confidently and pushed through the door. I recognized the girl with the platinum blond pigtails. The other girl had long white hair down to the middle of her back that swayed as she walked. They were dressed in sheer blues that shifted colours when they moved. Their wide, ever-changing eyes took in the lack of decor as they sat on the plain white couch, nearly disappearing into it.
“Can I get you ladies anything? I have, hmm, let me see, tea, water, and apple cider,” I asked the girls as I turned over a couple of glasses on the glossy white table and set them down.
“Uhm. Miss Khione,” I heard Platinum Pigtails whisper before fidgeting and looking down.
“I’m your cousin, darling. It’s okay to speak freely. I promise to keep the cold to myself.” I let myself smile. “I am sorry for hurting you the other day.” Baby steps, I thought. These two seem very fragile.
“Miss Khione, I’m Chinook, and this is Föhn,” the pigtailed one said at last as I poured them each a glass of room temperature water.
“Nice to meet you both,” I said, smiling as I sat back in a chair beside them.
“A little bird told me you were looking for the Olympians for something. Is this still true?”
“You can speak to birds?!” the white-haired Föhn asked as her eyes changed to a bright pink.
“No, no, it’s an expression. The forest guardian only told me your intentions were to find an Olympian. I know I’m not top of that list, but is there anything I can help with?”
Chinook took a big sip of water while Föhn twirled her hair around her fingers, fading in and out of translucence.
“Um. Well, it’s… It’s about Skiron,” Chinook said as Föhn totally vanished. The two girls were radiating an uneasy warmth into the room, and I felt a bout of nausea settle in my stomach.
“Uncle Skiron?” I asked the girls. “What’s wrong with Uncle Skiron?” I hadn’t heard from the God of the Northwest Wind since my attempts to train with him many years ago.
“Well, um…he-he,” Chinook stammered.
“He’s missing!” Föhn called out, taking solid form and pacing by the window.
“Missing?” I repeated, not quite understanding the frantic tone. Gods disappeared all the time. “Did he go on a trip?” I asked them.
“No. He’s just gone,” Chinook said, shaking her head and looking into her lap.
“Poof. Vanished. Hasn’t been back for a long, long time now,” Föhn elaborated.
“Did he say anything? Leave anything? A clue to his whereabouts?” I asked, fishing for more to the story. Their faces flickered, and their looks of worry and concern made my heart race. I wanted to help them however I could.
“No. He was at home, his usual compound. He was teaching us how to help carry his winds and shift the seasons. We need to get back there, to try to keep the seasons from being so abrupt.”
“Wait…the one in northern Canada? I put my weather station near Uncle Skiron’s compound to get the weather changes as they happen. It’s been offline for a few months now. Did you girls see anyone tampering with it, by chance?”
“No, Miss Khione. We just mess with mortals. Cousin Seth makes sure we don’t touch any gods’ things anymore.” The visible tremble from Chinook made me wonder what exactly Seth had done to her and what she tried to mess with.
“Can you help us find him?” Föhn asked, her flickering form moving back to Chinook’s side.
“You mentioned abrupt weather changes. Has something happened up there?”
“Well, without Skiron’s Northwest Wind, seasonal change has been volatile, swinging widely between autumn and winter. Abrupt seasonal shifts as the West and the North winds switch out until the North Wind finally takes over,” Föhn explained.
“When the winds shift, the weather changes. But cool autumn is supposed to change gradually into cold winter with Skiron’s cooler winds and the warm aurae,” Chinook continued,
“But what is happening is that it will be a mild evening that will get swallowed by the icy north wind, bringing a deep cold, with frost, ice, and snow.”
“Harvest was ruined this year by a sudden deep freeze from the north wind. Farmers lost everything still in the fields. My sisters and I tried to keep it away, but we were too late.” The tear glistened on Föhn’s cheeks as she held her sister’s hand.
“We might cause a little havoc, but we don’t want to see the mortals ruined.” Chinook was crying too. I handed them each a tissue and nodded. They wiped their now dark blue eyes and gave me a sad smile.
“After the harvest was ruined, we tried to find Boreas. He has been away for a long time, leaving the north wind nymphs to do his job. We don’t survive well in the mountains either, so we came here to the God Complex to find someone to help us.”
“But no one would listen. Or see us. They only see themselves and the mortals they are interested in. Even the gods forget the winds have names.”
“Even you didn’t see me at first.” Chinook pointed to the faint red mark on my arm. Her handprint was still visible. “I tried to get you to listen a few times before that, but you didn’t hear me. Föhn dared me to cause a little chaos outside that café, but I didn’t mean to burn you!”
I smiled, now understanding why they were so nervous to come to me. They thought I was going to be upset that she accidentally burned me. “I’m not badly hurt, Chinook.” I raised my arm to show her. “It looks worse than it really is. I take longer to heal with the cold running throughout my body.” I stood up and grabbed my cloak, stuffing my cell phone in my pocket. These two had suffered long enough. I turned and held my hands out to the girls, pushing just enough cool air to keep their warm air from making me more nauseated.
“I’m listening now, and you have my undivided attention.” They smiled and placed their small hands into mine. I gave them a reassuring squeeze as I led the way out. Their tears had dried, and their eyes turned pink and purple with excitement. My heart warmed as I felt their fear slip away into the cool air as we stepped outside the complex.
As the girls faded into their breeze forms, their warm air rushing ahead of me toward their home, I called out, “Let’s go find Uncle Skiron together.”