In literature, perhaps Cervantes’ inclusion of windmills in his masterpiece Don Quixote (1605 & 1615) is now iconic, where being quixotic means ‘tilting at windmills’:
In the same chapter and scene, Sancho Panza says, 'Did I not tell you they were windmills and that nobody could think otherwise, unless he had also windmills in his head?' - which gave birth to the phrase 'To have windmills in your head', that is to be full of fancies.
Crime writer P.D. James featured a windmill in her Adam Dalgliesh thrillers. In Devices and Desires, Commander Dalgliesh has just published a new book of poems and takes a brief respite on the remote Larksoken headland on the Norfolk coast in a converted windmill left to him by his aunt. But he cannot escape murder, as a psychotic strangler of young women is at large in the area…
My short horror story features a windmill, too, and can be read here
Aloft here in my tower,
With my granite jaws I devour
The maize, and the wheat, and the rye,
And grind them into flour.
I look down over the farms;
In the fields of grain I see
The harvest that is to be,
And I fling to the air my arms,
For I know it is all for me.
I hear the sound of flails
Far off, from the threshing-floors
In barns, with their open doors,
And the wind, the wind in my sails,
Louder and louder roars.
I stand here in my place,
With my foot on the rock below,
And whichever way it may blow,
I meet it face to face,
As a brave man meets his foe.
And while we wrestle and strive,
My master, the miller, stands
And feeds me with his hands;
For he knows who makes him thrive,
Who makes him lord of lands.
On Sundays I take my rest;
Church-going bells begin
Their low, melodious din;
I cross my arms on my breast,
And all is peace within.