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| Category: || Fantasy Fiction |
Posted:|| January 3, 2020 Views: 535|
Chapter 30 of the book The Piper
A Short Reunion
"The Piper, part 30"
Piper is a young musician whose grandfather has passed away, leaving Piper an orphan to be raised by the music guild where he is an apprentice. After the funeral, Piper returns alone to play his flute at his grandfather's grave, and a Fae appears--a creature considered swift, strong and deadly--and compliments Piper's flute playing. Captain Burkehart comes to the rescue and escorts Piper back to the castle. During the next few weeks the Fae (Redd-Leif Summerstorm) approaches Piper on several occasions and says he has some secrets he needs to share, but each time they are interrupted by a vigilant Captain Burkehart. Meanwhile, Piper continues his musical education under the direction of the popular performer Master Braun, including traveling with a performing troupe. A wolf attack leaves Piper separated from the musicians and in the hands of Redd-Leif Summerstorm who tells Piper he is half-elven and Piper's elven mother (Melodica) is alive and wants to see him. Redd-Leif then leads Piper into the faerie realm.
End of Previous Chapter
"Father always said playing the Mage Flute was intense. Perhaps we should put it away for now. When you are ready, you can play it again." She held the case in front of him.
Piper placed the fife back in its case, his fingers lingering a moment as if unable to release the connection. Even as he took a hesitant step back, he found it difficult to take his eyes off the instrument. Once Melodica closed the case, Piper's trembling fingers reached to clutch the flute hanging at his side.
"Master Crescendo's cottage is at the end of this path. Serein and I will leave you here." Melodica gave him a peck on the cheek. "Have a good day, Piper."
"Thank you." Piper nodded to Melodica and Serein, then started up the path. All this affection is going to take some getting used to. Lynx had volunteered to show him the way to the Prime Sage's cottage, but Master Raven had called an early morning bow-and-arrow practice for the young hunters and Lynx hadn't returned home in time.
Piper paused in his tracks. Actually, a few minutes alone were welcome. Yesterday's events had left him feeling unsettled and drained. He found a boulder next to the path and sat down. So many extraordinary things have happened. I encountered elves, pixies and faeries for the first time. He smiled at the memory, but quickly grew contemplative. Redd-Leif started to tell me he was my father. Then Lynx bounces in and tells me I have a brother and a sister too. And why didn't Redd-Leif tell me two weeks ago he was my father when he told me about Melodica? I'm supposed to believe I'm not human; I'm half-elf and half-Fae. He shook his head and stared ahead at nothing in particular. They seem like a nice family, so happy to see me. Maybe. . . It seems so fantastic, yet everyone treats me as if it is fact. If it's a trick, it is certainly an elaborate one.
And what about the Mage Flute? A musician is supposed to master his instruments, to use his skill to bring them to life. The Mage Flute feels like it has a mind of its own--powerful and unpredictable. And being able to play it supposedly confirms my heritage as an elf. Piper put his hand on the flute at his side and breathed a sigh of relief. At least you're a reliable friend.
Piper looked up the path. Speaking of friends. "Rupert!" A wave of relief flooded through him.
"Hi, Piper!" Rupert broke into a run, pulling up short when he reached Piper. "It's so good to see you again."
"And it's good to see you."
"Master Crescendo said you arrived yesterday."
"I did. I asked about you, but he said you were playing at a concert last night."
Rupert nodded. "The pixies had a big festival. I felt honored when the musicians invited me to go with them, especially since I've been here such a short time. It was so exciting. There was wonderful food, games, and competitions. When the stars came out, the music became the center of attention. Talk about spectacular! The pixies started dancing and some of them even changed size and started flying around. It was the most incredible thing I've ever seen." Rupert had a transported look in his eye. "We played for hours. I wish you could have been there, Piper. You would have loved it."
"I can imagine it. I met a group of pixies on my way here and played for them. It was pretty amazing." Piper looked Rupert up and down, noting the sling on his arm. "How's your arm? Are you alright?"
Rupert grinned. "I'm more than alright. Elemental healers are remarkable. They're able to reduce the healing process by half. Instead of six weeks, it will only take three weeks for my broken bones to knit. I only have to wear this splint for another week. And the musicians are wonderful. Master Braun was right about this trip. I've learned so much in the past couple of weeks. This place is amazing. I feel so lucky to be here."
Master Braun. I bet he's worried about us. I wonder where he is?
Rupert looked up at the sky. "Look, Master Crescendo let me sleep in since we didn't get back until almost dawn. I'm late for practice with the other musicians so I've got to hurry, but we can get together this evening."
Rupert took a few steps down the path, then turned back. "Meet me at Moonbow Meadow."
"Everyone knows where it is." Rupert tilted his head back the way he had come. "By the way, Master Crescendo is waiting for you."
"Yes, I know."
Rupert smiled. "The High Mage is an amazing teacher. You're in for a wonderful day. See you later." With that, Rupert trotted away.
Piper watched Rupert until he reached the end of the path and turned onto the road. He heaved a frustrated sigh. It wasn't the reunion he expected. Somehow, he'd pictured the two of them talking for hours as they caught up on what had happened to them, and figuring a way out of the faerie realm and back home. At least Rupert is safe. He looked down the path. Rupert was nowhere in sight. He's obviously enjoying himself too. He seems so enchanted with this place. Piper hesitated. Is it possible they put a charm on him?
Piper turned and looked up the path with its beautiful hedges and trees The foliage didn't hold the same wonder it did yesterday. He kicked at a loose stone on the path. I should head to Master Crescendo's cottage. Instead, he pulled out his flute and began to play.
Master Crescendo enjoyed watching the bees buzz around his flower garden. Even more, he considered their pleasant humming sound some of the sweetest music in nature. So, why were they all so still at the moment? He walked around to the front of the cottage and listened intently. Flute music resonated in the distance. A musician was pouring his soul into his instrument. A musician who was so talented even insects and leaves took notice. A musician so naturally gifted he was unaware of his influence. A young musician who was in need of understanding by the sounds of it.
Master Crescendo smiled knowingly, stepped inside his cottage to retrieve his cloak, then started down the path.
|The book continues with The Piper, part 31. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.|
Cast of Characters
*Piper = A musical apprentice, just turned age 15.
*Rupert = A musical apprentice. Piper's friend, age 14.
*Grand Master Raymond Acker = Head of the music guild. Piper's grandfather. Recently deceased leaving Piper an orphan under the care of the music guild.
*Captain Burkehart = Captain of the Guard at Castle Welf
*Redd-Leif Summerstorm = A Fae
*Master Braun = Troubadour recently promoted to the rank of Master in the music guild at Castle Welf
*Sheba = an enchanted creature in wolf form
*Melodica = an Elven female
*Master Raven = Elf; master hunter
*Lynx = Ten-year-old son of Redd-Leif and Melodica Summerstorm
*Serein = Six-year-old daughter of Redd-Leif and Melodica Summerstorm
*Master Crescendo = Elven High Mage, First Sage of Music and Song
Elementals, also called Fair Folk by humans
*Fae = Oldest of the elemental races. Known as strong, swift and deadly by their enemies. Characterized by white hair and skin that shimmers silver-blue in direct moonlight. Usually taller than humans and muscular.
*Elf = Most numerous of the elementals. Often slightly taller and more slender than humans.
*Pixie = In their normal form they are six inches tall with wings, but they can change size to as large as humans or as small as a faerie.
*Faerie = Vary in height from one to three inches. Wings vary and can appear to be like those of dragonflies or butterflies.
Fair Folk = Name given to faerie races by humans. Refers to elves, Fae, faeries, brownies, sprites, gnomes, dwarfs, etc.
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