Story by Brendan Parsons

 

ANCIENT MELODIES

A story set in a village in Ancient China 12,000 years ago. This is my take on how this Ancient Aztec Instrument found its way into normal civilisation and the Power within the chambers of the Ocarina.

The story folds out in a first person point of view, where the character is not directly referred to by name so any name can be bound to him. The protagonist discovers the sound of an Ocarina early in the story and later seeks out to find the origin of the sound.  The Story Begins on the next page.

Although I am not familiar with Chinese culture basically at all, I think it’s safe to say that the time spent researching was time spent well. Even going so far as to convert English to the Aztec language known as Nahuatl. There is some reference to the Legend of Zelda games on the Nintendo 64, not direct, but rather considering the powers that were created in those games and used to create this stories own powers, that the Ocarina has the potential to bring forth.

There is reference to Songbird Ocarinas in here, but make that a personal challenge to discover.

Enjoy the story, a day in the making and please can you send a reply email, otherwise I will assume it hasn’t reached your end of the mailbox, as I have in the past sent a competition entry that did not function properly, could not be read and thus could not be entered.

 

REASON FOR ENTERING

Congratulations on your brand new Ocarina it looks fantastic, it was one of the main reasons that inspired me to enter. Aside from that factor though I also entered because I’m heading to University very soon and will be taking up a Creative Writing Course, so what better way to practice writing than entering a competition at the exact same time. Originally I was thinking to write up a feature article outlining the want for Ocarinas due to the success of the highly acclaimed Legend of Zelda franchise in its release - Ocarina of Time. Instead though I decided on a story which would capture all the “powers of the Ocarina” in one whole short story, which turned out ten pages long and approximately seven thousand words deep. I always enter a competition which has the possibility that I could win an Ocarina as currently I only have one Ocarina – A plastic one which sounds quite good for plastic, in which I could use to practice and become an average Ocarinist. I’ve been playing a month and recently joined the TON and have become quite adept at it already. I’d like to purchase an Ocarina of Time replica off Songbird Ocarinas soon but also wanted to try my hand at the contest. Thank you for creating a competition like this Songbird. Fingers crossed best of luck to everyone!

Leaving the dreary marketplace swimming in dark shadow’s created by the monstrous storm seemed like the best idea I had came to make in my entire life, I didn’t think twice. Stories that had been conjured up about our land were beginning to sound like an undoubtable truth. Those souls who surround me seem to glare the words evil and bind the message to me through gaze. These rumours stressed our land at night is a dangerous place; all happiness seems to have left our land & its inhabitants, causing many to consider withering and dying. With this thought I quickened my pace, barely noticing a pitter-patter of rain above, up from where that horrible creature roared.

Even with that feeling of constant rain splintering across the top of my head, I continued to run, never turning back to stare at yet another ghostly figure of sadness. One foot after the other, I pushed myself forward through the large puddles in the cobblestone walkway, splashing myself from head to foot. Within seconds of running in the torrential downpour, my hair was soaked and stuck to my neck, my clothes weighing many a times the original weight succeeding as a ponderous burden.

Again I heard it! The sound that ceased the moaning of the wind, ceased the roaring bellowed by that creature in the sky which usually lay in slumber. I had never heard such splendour in all my young life. It seemed to bounce off every single nook and cranny. All thoughts seemed drifting away, but being replaced with happiness and hope. An echo of pure joy darting from one side of me to the other urging me to turn and follow its beautiful melody.

Suddenly reality was restored as only a whisper remained of the sound in all its glory. Realising to be back and my present thoughts recently returned, I headed back to home with the uncommon ringing still at the front of my mind. Now its melody being even more distant, I couldn’t help but forget how the melody had sounded. Nothing though could deter me completely from its ponderous grasp.

A gut wrenching gurgle from my insides determined my coherent hunger, however that thought didn’t stick for too long as I also am hungry to find more about this wonder of a melody. After that thought the house was in sight. Still being at a running pace my right foot landed unevenly on the damp stone road causing me to slip and topple over, sprawling all over the floor. My food purchase from the market joining me down there. Just another unfortunate thing to add to our others.

Entering the house, I placed the now damp and dirty food on our meal table. Not that we had used it in these past collection of months. If the rain had come sometime after it did I could have cleaned my wounds. After a wash-up from the water in our dugout water hole, I gathered up the food cleaned it and walked silently to my grandfather keeping my honour at bay.

Why has he been sick so long? Suddenly I remembered the earlier thought about how many people had given up hope. I pushed that away and disagreed with it, my grandfather is a fighter. A celebrated master of kung fu in wushu. We have always lived in a fruitful life because of his teachings, which made him receive the upmost honour and earnings. He lay still as he had been for months: in bed asleep, or pondering the great many questions. I ate there as I had for the same length of time. After his meditation he woke weakly bowed and ate the food. I was suddenly scared that having not worked for all this span of time, we could become completely poor.

I myself were too pondering the great many questions, however focusing on one in particular, the mesmerising melody I had heard twice that evening. It was so captivating I fell asleep with dreams fuelled of mesmerising melodies, in a colourful and blissful land where happiness was everywhere.

I woke to the exact opposite - being late for my studies. Once again in a running motion I charged forwards this time heading to our study dojo of the 咆哮的老虎. (Roaring Tiger) Arriving late of about eight minutes. Our first mentor “Bakura” pointed out that this was the second time I had arrived late this week. He directly dismissed me from today’s studies for having my mind too caught up in other things, which was quite true.

Travelling instead now in search of my answers I heard it completely erasing my worry that I had let down Bakura and instead I mentally thanked him because if I had not been dismissed, I would never have been able to investigate the origin of the melody. Sure enough I was running again in the direction where I presumed the wonderful sound was coming from. It was complex to believe it was the right decision because the sound bounced from place to place.

The sound growing could only mean one thing - I was starting to get closer to my goal. Each line of sound creating these warm and harmonious feelings I now felt. Even I couldn’t help notice that villagers around and about seemed to feel the same. They all now wore bright smiles on their faces, sharing out a bit of joy, which is rare these dark days.

Hearing the sound continue on, I returned to my determined goal. Like my grandfather taught me, there is no giving up, you try and try again until you succeed. He was the master of the instructors we have today like Bakura. The powerful force that attracted me was restless, so was I. Winding down a country road in the span of land where farmers make their produce, I had to stop for a break of fresh air and to regain my much needed stamina if I were to find the origin of the medley.

The sound suddenly stopped at the end of a beautiful melody and did not return. Instead I decided to follow my instincts on where I believed it originated from. After a short hike up to a farm where the sound was believed to have come from, I noticed smoke uplifting into the summer sky from a small cottage. Treading on deep but good soil as I made my way to the farmhouse cottage.

I was hoping I’d hear that sweet, sweet melody again to confirm my exhausting adventure through trudging this damp soil, now making me sink. Tramping closer to the possible origin my heart started rapidly beating in its sanctuary, faster and faster as I edged closer through the farmer’s soil. Knowing that there were a few beats left, thud...thud...thud, my heart trying to break free of the cage surrounding it faster and faster pounding and suddenly silenced when I entered the cottage.

Fire blazing inside a contained area where an elderly man was picking up a red-hot clay creation with blacksmith tongs. He turned and leapt in fright as he spotted me staring at the scene. The tongs releasing the blacksmith’s creation into the air! The elder’s eyes wide open. Without thinking I dived for it as it fell, I caught it. My heart broke through my ribs and flew out of my mouth or so it seemed. Pain encased my mortal body as flesh on my right hand boiled at an impossible temperature. Dissolving layer after layer of skin and leaving its imprint.

All I could do was throw the clay aside and yelp in pain beyond imagination. The elderly man rushed over, dived down to the same level and poured a bucket of cold water over my hand and placed it inside. Water then evaporating and arising into the already blackened and smoky room. Pulling my hand out for a second to look at damage, I blacked out into an unconvential sleep.

 

A worried look in the wise elder confirmed it was bad when I awoke later that day. Looking at my hand after a deep breath, I noticed bubbles and symbols accompanying the patterns already there organically. It was hard to take in, what urged me to save the thing in the first place?

The elder then proceeded to ask me if I was okay and the incident was his fault. The burns were amazingly painful and the much blackened hand would never return to normal. After much questioning about my health, we decided that I was alright, just in an amount of pain one wouldn’t believe. Asking him what I had saved he responded that it was an instrument. I had only heard of another such item in my life called a Xun which usually made sounds that scream more than entice.

Then I realised that an instrument is something that which is used, could it be the magnificent melody maker heard before? I asked whether or not he and his “instrument” were behind the sounds. Yes is the word he used next. Walking off for a second he returned holding a strange mould of clay which had holes all over it. Then it came to me – a similar one like this burned me earlier.

He began playing a melody, continuing to create a masterpiece of sounds playing on and on, I couldn’t help but stare and wonder how a hugely complex thing could produce such splendour. Never before had I heard such brilliance, the melodies before weren’t anything compared to this one. This melody deemed to be the best, by creating a warm and tingling sensation in my right arm and left leg. Stopping he asked how I was feeling now.

Staring down at my burn I was shocked to discover that my hand was back to a normal pigment and the once “absolutely” ruined skin and torn holes were gone! Asking how it is possible, he answered “The Ocarina livens the spirits of our souls and can have a profound effect on the environment” Taking this all in I decided there is immense power within the chambers of that instrument, which the elder - Azarin had referred to the instrument “The Ocarina.” Without further thought I slipped out whether he could possibly teach me.

His answer wise with “For one to become one with the ocarina, they need to be pure of heart and can summon the incredible powers from within and be able to change the world for the better” Excitement building up as Azarin pondered the idea. Eventually he decided that he would, it was his fault he explained that I had become extremely burnt and would like to repay the favour in this way.

After helping clean up the mess caused by the incident, Azarin insisted I head off home and get some rest. Azarin played a melody as I travelled home, as per my request. Nothing could make me any happier then I was at this time. Pushing the thought of my burnt hand completely away. I would keep this a surprise from my grandfather as I’d rather play a melody when I have mastered its art.

Every afternoon after study at the Dojo, I would hike to Azarin to seek his lessons. I was disappointed to find that our first week of training would see to the construction phase of the actual instrument formed in the belly of the raging fire, not direct though, instead its “baked” rather than “scorched”. As usual I try to cut a few corners here and there. Patience he tells me, When I hear that enough already from my grandfather and my study instructor Bakura.

 

On the third day of training he decided that I should practice building one myself. I couldn’t, just thinking about the complexity prevented me from going forth. The thing must be carved exactly to detail; otherwise the ocarina’s melody will sound more like wind and no marvellous melody will follow. All that training over the past few days could not ready me enough for this gruelling and arduous challenge. My already misshapen clay work looked even more atrocious when I decided to carve out the holes of its damp clay appearance. Repulsive or not I placed and began to bake it.

I started to believe Azarin, that there is still a chance it may turn out. With the same wise expression “You should not dwell on such matters, an Ocarinas chamber, will rely on not merely its appearance and shape but rather the correct carving of the holes, you shall try again should you fail your goal.” Then dwell I did not for the words of an elder should be kept among your thoughts and implemented into your mind and senses. There was little more time before the Ocarina be ready.

Indeed within the next few minutes, I was again working on my challenging construction project. Grabbing the tongs, swinging them in the Ocarinas direction and grasping it firmly causing it to break into a thousand pieces flying in all directions, Azarin ducked out of the way quite quickly for an elder. My senses weren’t as sharp, another of the scalding pieces flying towards me, I reacted by diving straight to the floor. Scalding clay splattering the room in all directions, ignoring us in the process. “You will try again tomorrow, your training today has come to a close.”

Yes I’ll be there and I will succeed I thought running home with the pleasing sounds of the Ocarina flowing through my body in exciting bursts of joy. However it was not joyous to think about what had transpired earlier with Azarins challenge. Deciding that I was dwelling on the Ocarina more than one should, I pushed the thoughts away and joined the faint but glorious melody while travelling to the nearby market for provisions.

Sure enough the thoughts returned back to me the afternoon of the next day, where I started to begin my next attempt. Allowing enough time for a quick explanation of instructions by Azarin I felt confident enough in beginning again. Making sure this time round the grip of the tongs were quite laid back instead. While the red-hot burning clay let the heat escape, Azarin began to teach me when the first Ocarinas were constructed.

A few decades ago when Azarin had been a young learner, he had loved to explore the world and what it has to offer. In his travels, he came across a huge space of land containing temples and villages belonging to the Aztec culture, who live not much farther from here. Studying about the Aztecs I found was quite fascinating. Bakura had also learnt from them back while he was studying. That’s how he had known much on the subject, however he must have missed an important detail.

Our Aztec brother’s were the creators of the Ocarina wind-instrument as Azarin refers to it presently and told of the vast number of shapes and sizes that had been able to maintain it into. The Aztecs did not believe that others outside of their culture should be fit to play among them. However Azarin had been in a similar incident as had I and asked to learn the mighty powers of the Ocarina.

The Aztecs spoke of moving mountains with magnificent melodies, morphing the mood of the above sky and healing the wounds of unfortunate tribesmen. This had rendered Azarin full of wonder and excitement, similar to me. The Aztecs began challenging Azarin in the same way and taught their ways to him. It wasn’t until another hour when Azarin stopped and brought over the new Ocarina.

As soon as I picked it up, he pointed out when having your hands over and covering the holes differently will hit a new sound on the instrument. However after listening to his, I began to test mine out. After hearing this new Ocarina I just wanted to throw it away, because each sound was more like air and a screeching sound. Sounds that make me want to clap my hands over the ears.  Once again Azarin wisely said “Try again tomorrow, you are not yet experienced enough.”

Hiking to the market I noticed something I hadn’t seen in about a year, people were shaking hands, talking and being happy among friends instead of being locked away and dull. Especially at the marketplace, a few people were actually advertising their produce and collections. This has become rare since everyone has become weary of how dark our land is. Taking the road home I couldn’t help but study the steps to creating an Ocarina in my head, barely aware of where I was going. Luckily there weren’t many obstacles on this path, colliding only with a clay sculpture of the Roaring tiger.

That next afternoon when I arrived at Azarins, instead of being inside his house, he was out and about his farm, gathering and enjoying the hot sun of today’s summer day. When I waved out he stopped what he was doing and came inside ready, as I was to begin the afternoon training. After a quick demonstration on the general creation of an Ocarina, Azarin gestured me to proceed with construction. Believing I had never been so careful in all my life, the Ocarina slowly took shape.

Happy with what I had achieved so far, I glanced at Azarins already made Ocarina and took that into account when I proceeded to create the chamber holes. With the image burned into my mind, one by individual one I carved the holes into the clay. After reaching for the tongs I carefully grabbed the Ocarina and placed it down to bake into a rigid masterpiece – hopefully anyway I thought.

Taking it out a handful of time later, it seemed baked and ready to play. Azarin clapped his hands together and bowed saying “You have done well in the forming, let’s see if it plays just as precise.” This is something I was undoubtedly not looking forward to. Putting the end of the Ocarina that yearned for air to my lips, I blew with folded fingers covering each hole. Then it happened...

“ W-W-W-W-W-W”

The sound so pure so undeniably mesmerising. Lifting up a few more fingers and bringing some down, I tried out all sounds in which Azarin referred to as “notes.” Now I was creating the very thing that captivated me several days earlier. Azarin clapping at how I had mastered its creation this day. Azarin decided to spend the rest of our session in Aztec history. I was keen to learn more about the intriguing and mysterious culture, but I would rather master the art of Ocarina playing.

Ignoring what my body told me, I listened intently about our nearby culture. Listening to the long explanation deemed more like a history lesson until Azarin began discussing the powers of the Ocarina stored in its godly chambers. At first Azarin was at disbelief with the Aztecs that Ocarinas have power within. However completely believed them after a display of power. The Chieftain of the Aztecs pulled out his Ocarina and played it brilliantly. Azarin gasped as the Chieftain had brought forth an early sunset.

Unbelievable I thought, so when he had spoken of them saying that you could move mountains with marvellous melodies and change the mood of the above sky, they could do just that...? I asked and Azarin just responded “there are many possibilities; Aztecs are known to do extraordinary things.”

Surely it’s not possible, but when I asked Azarin if such thing could be reality he responded saying “That storm last weekend was my doing, I summoned it up on top of the mountains in which it amplifies and travels, that is how you could hear the Ocarina that night. I played it twice to begin and halt the storm.” This left me speechless as I now render the Ocarinas power a truth.

After another long while of discussing the power of the Ocarina, it was soon time to leave and halt training again until tomorrow. On the way home I was listening out for the Ocarinas incredible melodies, but nothing came, so I assumed Azarin would have gone back continue with his produce. Since my plan was to not yet show my grandfather the Ocarina, I left it back at Azarins farm cottage.

That morning I arrived at the Dojo extremely early hoping that I could make up for being late those few days before. When I arrived though, noticeably Bakura was not present. A fellow student walked forward and told me why our instructor wasn’t present. One of the Masters at the Roaring Tiger Dojo passed away last night, “Mr Sakuya” who had been extremely sick. Instead we were dismissed that day without further consideration.

It wasn’t a happy dismissal like the other day, but it was easier knowing that I had the whole day ahead of me to train. However before that were to begin I had an extremely important question that needed an answer. Azarin was surprised to see me at this time and asked me why I had been dismissed so early in the morning. After this I decided to ask my question “Azarin, of all the powers an Ocarina has can the Ocarina be able to bring someone back to life?”

Azarin breathed deeply then began another historical story. Azarin explained that what he had referred to the other day as an “incident,” was actually when he and the chieftains daughter fell in love. The Aztec tribe scowled and spat their tongues out at Azarin the outsider. The chieftain announced that Azarin was to leave after one night’s rest. This was when the chieftain’s daughter “Myan” pleaded against her father’s decision.

Although the Chieftain was not fond of the idea of accepting Azarin, he would do whatever necessary to make his daughter happy. This is what she wanted so that is how it shall be. Other tribesmen disagreeing, but most accepted Azarin among their tribe. Azarin and Myan became married through traditional Aztec proceedings and lived the life of a married couple. However over this time there were still those tribesmen who would disagree.

Through the early months of being married, a few assassination attempts occurred against Azarin, none being successful. Azarin decided to learn everything an Aztec should from self-defence to Ocarina playing, which as Azarin already had explained was a tough thing to persuade the Aztecs to let him learn their traditional instrument.

A request from Myan to her father led him to teach the power of the Ocarina to Azarin. They became great friends in that time also winning over almost the entire Chinese Aztec tribesmen. Further demonstration of its incredible power came into light for Azarin. Powers of Healing, destruction, environment and travel.

Azarin continued to talk of the power of travel. This Chinese Aztec tribe had found the power to travel from one side of the world to the other and meet the other tribes in a matter of minutes, with a certain melody. However was only for incredibly skilled Aztec Ocarina players, as they have shared talk of those who travelled and never returned. Because one song was to go and another to return.

Azarin learned for decades, there was so much he could have learnt. At this time Azarin had become one of the well respected incredibly skilled Ocarina players. The Chieftain realised how far Azarin the outsider had come in terms of the Ocarina and had rewarded Azarin with the Chieftains second most prized possession. His first prized possession was already with Azarin – his daughter. The second was an Ocarina which appeared to have been made by gods. This Ocarina was called in the Aztec tongue (Nahuatl) “Ehecatl tlantli” meaning Wind-Serpent Tooth, which wind-serpent referred to a Dragon.

Azarin explained the Dragon Tooth Ocarina as if it was placed on this earth by gods, but instead was crafted by the Aztec Chieftain “Dribgnos Nyrrad” himself. The Chieftain told Azarin, that he had become a more accomplished and skilled than he. Myan and Azarin would regularly climb the nearby mountain overlooking other villages and their own land and played the Ocarina for all to hear.

Azarin lived among the Aztecs for many more years until one day, the last group of Aztecs who had not accepted Azarin would rebel against him. Taking up Aztec weapons they struck and killed the Aztec guards patrolling the area near Azarins hut. The leader among them slowly crept inside, making only a slight slither of sound on the ground.

Reaching behind his back, he pulled out an Aztec dagger. Leaning forward over the sleeping figures of Azarin and Myan the Aztec leader tried to distinguish who was Azarin and have a clear shot at killing him. The night was dark and the leader would not have been able to see. For he took his pick positioned the knife around the throat of his enemy and pulled... Azarin choked up back in present times and had tears in his eyes. It was quite clear who had been killed that night.

Azarin continued although his words painful. He explained that he awoke instantly and looked up and noticed a knife flying at him, he had rolled quickly away as to dodge and commenced to use self defence against his shadowy attacker. The knife came at him again, using Aztec techniques he sent the dagger flying through the air. Azarin then commenced to hit the attacker with frequent blows, but his attacker deemed a worthier adversary, blocking all but one.

Now the attacker swung his fists and knocked Azarin to the ground. The shadowy figure used this time to recover his fallen knife and have the final stab. Azarin was back up though before the attacker had presumed and redirected the knife towards the Aztec rebel. Stabbed through the stomach the Aztec tribesmen fell.

This didn’t stop the others from joining the fight though, instead they ran through carrying spears and daggers armed and ready. Azarin pulled the knife from the fallen foe turned and cut his way out of the hut. He ran with increasing speed away from the scene, in the direction of the Chieftains hut, there were bound to be four or more guards of the chieftains high order.

Azarin pointed out the Aztec tribesmen who are running and flashing their weapons to the moon drenched land. Instantly the guards ran forth flashing their own weapons in return. A few guards threw their spears, directly piecing two attackers in through the chest. As for the last tribe rebel, he began to flee only to be stopped literally dead in his tracks.

The next part of his story was obviously too much of a sensitive area, so he asked if he could skip it and sum up what happened next, I agreed and listened on. Azarin due to circumstances announced that he had to forget and leave back to where he came from, to start fresh. The Chieftain insisted that he would start a new life here, however eventually agreed with Azarin who left with flourish.

A decade after that and it be this present day announced Azarin. With that closed an end to his story and yet he had not forgotten the question. “No it is not possible to bring someone back to life. I have tried everything believe me” said Azarin in a choked up and tearful way. I felt sad too now, I was about to tell him how sorry I was to hear his story, but he just seemed to change gears and begin teaching me the art of sound with an Ocarina. I wanted to learn so passionately I did not tell him.

Passing over my recently constructed Ocarina I began learning each note, sound and amplification of the instrument. Then I began bringing all the knowledge together and creating my own melodies, as instructed by Azarin of course. This made me so happy, I could finally decently play Ocarina, after training on the day for at least three hours.

The next part of training was to be revealed later, after we have climbed the hill in which Azarin played his storm summoning melody. I was extremely excited, it seemed I may be taught how to summon a different mood with the power of the Ocarina. Climbing up Azarin talked of how bad life has turned in our land today.

Arriving at the top, we climbed aboard a fixed boulder where Azarin does his playing.  The view of our land was amazing I had never realised how beautiful the place looked during the day. Turning around Azarin pointed out something else. He did not mention yet what my eyes were looking for, but when I found it I explained “That is where the Aztec tribe is?” Tucked away down below the very bottom of this other side of the mountain was a temple and village. “Yes that is their land”

Azarin began teaching the melody he played the first time I heard the Ocarina. After I was confident to try I began only to hear it sound slightly wrong. Azarin again said “You will try again until success.” Over and over I tried. The beautiful sounds experienced were much more wonderful, when playing myself rather than listening.  This attempt sounded perfect to me, I turned to Azarin for feedback and he simply said “look for yourself student, watch the sky as it changes its mood”

The feeling of constant rain splintering across the top of my head had never been so exciting, Clouds gathered fast as my storm was created. Azarin nods and replies that I have done well. Now trying to play the melody again is probably going to be the hard part, with the ongoing rain. Yet I continued without further instruction. The sound produced seemed exact, but there was only one way to find out. A few seconds later the rain simply stopped, proving I had controlled that power within.

During the experienced hike downhill, Azarin began playing different melodies, which were light at heart and would put a smile on a face. I closely played along, trying out different notes each time. I could announce that I am average at the Ocarina but not good enough to bring home yet. I had several weeks of training ahead of myself.

Each afternoon I would head down to Azarins excluding the weekend though in which he would use to farm and grow his produce. Every Sunday night Azarin would be heard and then loads of ongoing rain would pour across the land shortly after, performed weekly to grow his produce. I was developing everyday with the Ocarina. Always learning new melodies, tricks and a reward of more powers, the Ocarina was my favourite way to spend a day.

 

Azarin taught me powers of healing, powers of time, powers of leadership and many others especially involving the environment, Azarin let me spend every Friday practicing the powerful medleys. Summoning rain, hail, snow which was uncommon and modifying the current time of day. The powers captured my imagination so much I simply wanted to use them all the time. Azarin took this into account and spent the next few days teaching me patience and how the powers can be bad.

I would always drastically improve my Ocarina skills each day, even Azarin made the comment that I am learning things which took him three years to master in just a month. Every time I had arrived for training, Azarin would always use the same Ocarina which he first began with and more than half the time I showed up he would be halfway through making more.

With this in mind I asked to see the collection he has of Ocarinas. Azarin stood there and considered my request for a second, then he wisely responded “No, you need to do one more thing for yourself” Azarin then challenged me to play every single melody I had ever been taught. A challenge beyond challenges he had said. Azarin explained that he received the same challenge by the Aztec Chieftain.

Thinking back and pulling out every melody from my mind, I prepared myself. Extracting the necessary memories seemed so normal to me, I had spent every night from the beginning onwards going over the structure behind each song, as far as I could tell I have implemented all into my mind, we’ll soon find out anyway I thought.

Putting the Ocarina up to my lips I began playing the masterful melodies one after the other. Azarin listening with the upmost concentration. Alongside melodies which had a power bound to it, I arranged them so that the next in line would outdo the melody before it.  I changed the time of day to the morning then back to afternoon, changing the weather to rain and then a heat wave and summoning up due from the ground, uprooting trees and connecting them back again.

It was the most glorious thing ever heard in one’s lifetime, animals gathered as the Ocarina sung its melodies thanks to my harmonious composition. Azarin seemed to wander off back in time, probably to a memory which had him in my position. Pausing at times for a quick intake of air and then straight back to it. There were just a few songs left, my mind was telling me.

Hoping that I had remembered each and every song ever learnt, lowered the ocarina and waited for feedback. I waited for a few minutes, before Azarin returned to his present soul. Opening his eyes he smiled, bowed and announced “Congratulations, you have mastered all I know about the Ocarina, you are now among the greatest Ocarina players and you are now more experienced then I”

I couldn’t believe it, there’s no way. Azarin explained that when he was challenged he didn’t remember all the melodies, but I had crowning me better than he. Following Azarin as requested he showed me a new room in his old cottage. Stepping inside all I could do was gasp, my words seemed to have left me.

Ocarinas were spread out everywhere, all over the room, different shapes and sizes and different amounts of holes in the ocarinas. When I was about to speak my breath left me once more for in front of me, there was no mistaking it, the Ehecatl tlantli! It was the dragon tooth Ocarina passed down by Dribgnos Nyrrad himself. Somehow I had assumed that Azarin had returned it before leaving the Aztec tribe. Nothing would have prepared me for what Azarin was about to say next.

“I want you to have it, it was passed down to me for determination and sheer skill and now I pass it on to you, it has a new master. With that said Azarin reached forth picked up the glowing coloured Ocarina and passed it on. I bowed, there was no way of returning it to him, he was seriously intent on handing it over, and all I could do was accept the Ocarina in gracious gratitude.

Azarin announced “In fact all of these Ocarinas will now be yours. I yearn to return to the Aztec civilisation, I have lived there for most of my life and need to return. The world needs this... this “music,” and you are the one who can pass it on, they need you, the world needs you” Azarin continued “When you play above that mountain I will be able to hear your music, your melody. Play for the world, teach people as I have taught, otherwise the world may crumble completely apart.”

There was nothing I could do to change the mind of Azarin. Simply agreeing was the way to go here. “I will leave this day and start another life tomorrow, feel free to visit the Aztecs after your studies.” This was both a sad day and a glorious day, I couldn’t decide by myself. That’s why Azarin then said “Do not dwell on this, it is for the best, for the both of us, I hope that you will continue my path” answering with “I will, people will purchase, learn and spread the Ocarina. I promise this.”

Returning home I played the Dragon Tooth Ocarina, playing a new melody I created on the long trip called “Ancient Azarin.” Walking the streets of town I played a melody called “Joyous day,” the sound drifted from house to house. While walking I noticed faces poke from around corners with smiling expressions. Halting my music for that of a second I noticed the sound of more than a dozen footsteps, even rarer to find then good acts of faith.

Turning around I instantly took in how many followers I had acquired. Over fifty and continually growing, turning once again I marched forward towards the market. After purchasing our food I was surrounded by hundreds. Eyes staring wide in anticipation of what I’d do next. I began playing a song called “dance til’ dawn,” the effect was instantaneous, people all around began dancing, smiling and clapping along to the music I played.

Walking home from the market they all followed, dancing along to my medley of melodies. I couldn’t wait to show my grandfather what I had accomplished. The day drifted on and while grandfather was still eating I pulled out the Dragon Tooth Ocarina and began to play. He smiled, turned and started to have a spasm of moves.

I realised though that he was dancing in that bed and I remembered a childhood memory of my grandfather trying to dance, that is how he always had danced. He bowed after I finished and then he slept, It was a good idea that I should too. Early that next morning I spotted breakfast on the table, the first time in nearly a year. I looked around and there walking my way was my grandfather. How? I hadn’t played an Ocarina song of healing; it must have been purely the Power of the Ocarina!

EPILOGUE

Years on I have become a creator, salesman, teacher and master of the Ocarina. People everywhere have been captivated by its appearance, sound and power. Life has returned to our world with the introduction of music and a new chapter of history has been added. My grandfather has returned to be a master at the Dojo, teaching new generations. I usually spend every Friday afternoon up on that same hill playing for both Aztec and Chinese cultures and hope that down there Azarin is listening and enjoying my new music. 12,000 years on and the Ocarina is still being played as a popular instrument that gives life to those that need it. Over the years most powers have been forgotten and few still remain. The power to captivate civilisation and give life to those who are missing out on it. This enjoyment is still being passed on with new people discovering the Power of the Ocarina!

 

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