The Wind and The Castle – a new fairy tale inspired by Hermann Hesse
I published this fairy tale as an eBook on Amazon and you can get it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MGDBXWK
What is the Wind and the Castle?
“The best tradition of storytelling…profound truths within simple tales … A love story and a dystopian drama … The Wind & the Castle made me think about … how we learn, where we find wisdom.” Arabella McIntyre-Brown, a British author who lives in Transylvania.
Here’s a short version of the fairy tale:
A powerful emperor built a huge fortress to subdue the desert tribes.
As soon as the wind saw the castle he fell in love.
The wind used all his powers to impress the castle. He picked up massive quantities of sand and made fantastic shapes in the sky. He used the sand to dance and dive and create patterns in the heavens.
But the castle just sat there with its doors and windows tightly shut, keeping out the nasty sandstorm. The castle suspected a trap. Resisting intruders was, after all, what it had been built for.
Eventually the wind realised that he was being regarded as a threat and he changed tactics, becoming gentle and helpful. He brought in winds from the south with the aroma of herbs. He was an expert at rainmaking and over the following year he provided the right amount of water to ensure the best harvest on record. The sandy wastes around the castle grew fertile, crops flourished and the garrison-folk grew fat, rich and content.
The more the castle resisted the more determined the wind became but, after several years, the castle gave up its resistance to this strange force. The castle surrendered to love and the wind sent a massive column of sand miles into the sky, and dived down to the castle’s main gate. The people knew they had to be off the streets or they would be swept up by the tornado. These displays impressed the people and the castle glowed with satisfaction.
Of course it couldn’t last, and the council of elders had said it would end in disaster.
In the early days of the castle’s existence the council had been revered, but now their advice seemed out of keeping with the incredible new circumstances that the wind had brought about. The voice of wisdom was clashing with the raw power of enthusiasm.
Just as the castle was settling into a new feeling of trust, the wind got bored and started looking for new conquests.
The castle was a formidable lady with a hot temper and nobody had had the courage to tell her what was common knowledge – the wind was a playboy, a fly-by-night, an unfaithful lover. To him the castle had been an impossible conquest, but now he had moved on. The wind was already eyeing up his next target – a forest – and he didn’t feel the need to tell the castle.
He never told his former lovers when he moved on, as he didn’t want to face their anger. He was also on the move constantly so it was easy to forget.
But the wind visited the castle now and again, rather like an errant husband who’s not interested in his wife any more but pretends all is well. But women are not easily fooled and the castle was a wise one, despite her young age, and soon realised what was going on. Her fury was terrible.
The garrison-folk were afraid of the castle-spirit. They knew that she protected them from the elements and their many enemies in the desert.
The castle could talk to the commander and she ordered him to prepare for the wind’s next visit by slamming shut every door and window and have the archers fire arrows into it.
At first the wind took this in good humour. The sight of all the gates and windows slamming shut looked amusing and there was a toy-like quality of all the soldiers coming out and firing arrows into his vapours. He put on one of his fancy displays but the people on the ground didn’t react as they usually did, they didn’t seem to be celebrating him anymore. Something was different and he left in a huff.
Next time he came visiting the wind realised he was being fired on as an enemy. He couldn’t understand what he had done wrong. Although the wind was a flighty character, he had great pride and the castle had offended him to the core. How dare she fire arrows at me, he thought with rage.
It’s an outrage, he thought. Such ingratitude . All that attention I lavished on her! Although the arrows passed through his vapours quite harmlessly, they made him furious.
The soldiers intended to collect up the arrows as soon as the wind moved on, as it surely would. But the wind didn’t move on for many months. Driven by revenge, he wanted to inflict as much pain as possible. The first thing he did was pick up the arrows that were scattered around the castle and, using powerful blasts of wind, guided them down at incredible speed onto the hapless soldiers. Those who didn’t manage to dive inside were skewered like olives at the commander’s grand receptions.
They soon learned that to step outside could be fatal as they would get speared with arrows, which the wind kept moving in great arcs, searching for targets. Or they would be plucked high up into the air and dropped. The castle was surrounded by bodies of those who had been killed like this.
The garrison folk nearly starved as they were unable to reach their food stores. If it wasn’t for the children who, disobeying orders, had gone out to get food and water for their families, they would have starved. Nobody knew how the children managed to avoid the fury of the wind but it was assumed that they were too fast for him.
Eventually the sun intervened. When he learned what his son had been doing he was appalled. With his noble wife, the moon, they told their errant son to stop killing people.
You know perfectly well, roared the sun, that we don’t kill people. We don’t need to. They kill each other perfectly efficiently, they die of diseases and old age and we leave them to it. That is how it has always been. If you don’t obey me your punishment will be terrible.
The wind complied. He had expended his fury and stopped fighting the castle. It was in the nick of time as he was in the process of burying the settlement in sand and, had he succeeded, there would have been no survivors.
Several days passed before the inhabitants came out of hiding. The children told their parents that it was still unsafe to come out but they would keep them supplied. But when the parents’ heard the clattering of hooves on cobblestones, and saw that the children were staging a horse-race through the narrow streets, they realised it was over.
This is just a short extract from the eBook. To get the complete fairy tale just click here.