A child was born in the House of Roses, inside stone walls as pink as early dawn. His mother smiled when she heard him cry, and his father rushed to get the Speaker they paid to come, to tell them what wind would rule their child’s life. He came back more slowly, leading a woman in dark speckled robes that whispered as she walked, her sightless eyes hidden from them beneath a mask as dark as late dusk. She ordered every window curtain pulled aside, so that winds could flow freely to the room and fell silent for a long while, waiting, listening.

The child cried as a gust of wind tore through the room, and while the father quickly lowered his eyes and murmured safe words beneath his breath, the mother watched the Speaker lift her face to the wind, her heavy robes alive and whipping from the gust. She reached out her hands as if to place them against the air itself, but drew them back sharply with a gasp, almost as soon as she had felt the wind against her fingertips.

It broke whatever held the wind in the room, and the gust rushed out the opposite window that it had come. The father lifted his eyes to look at his wife, who could not keep her wide eyes from the Speaker. The blind woman moved her head to them, as if she could see them, her hands vanished into her sleeves and her mouth taught.

“It was the Wind of Prophecy,” she told them. “But one that burned.”

“What does that mean?” the mother asked her, worry weaving through her voice.

“I am not certain. I must consult with the others.”

“Price is no hurdle, to figure this out,” the father told her.

“It has gone beyond that, now. A child born with such a wind heralding the birth rises above the importance of coins in my purse. Do not leave this House until I return.” The speaker turned from them and moved out of the room with the ease of one not blind.

So stunned were they by her words, neither father nor mother thought to lead her out, both parents now looking down at their newborn, who slept peacefully in his mother’s arms.

“What does it mean, little one?”