I know, what am I doing distracting myself with oneshots when I should be updating Shadows? Well, I'll tell you what, finals. That's right, this is actually for my creative writing class, but I thought you might enjoy it too. The prompt was to write a story based on a song, so I decided to explore why the song of storms makes it, well, rain.
I feel the ending is a bit rushed, but it was already too long to present in front of the class and the time is slowly ticking away. So suggestions would be lovely if you have them. Other than that, please enjoy!
Oh, and I don't own Legend of Zelda or anything thus related to it, only the characters created for the purpose of this story.
He was a builder, nothing of any significance. His work always kept him busy. From when the rooster crowed at dawn to when the wolves howled at dusk he was lifting, sawing, hammering. There was no time for a family, not in Ivan's mind. Always there was something to do; always there was somewhere to go. Whether it was one side of the kingdom or the other, where he was needed, he would go. Not that he much minded. He didn't much care for things of that nature anyway. He lived a solitary life, and that's how he liked it.
So it was to no one's surprise that on one particular night, he'd decided to go for a walk after dinner. This was normal for him, something he often did to both to take in new surroundings and to escape his coworkers who, by this time, had usually drank enough to lose their sense of decency and were, therefore, intolerable. Honestly, he thought they'd been hard enough to deal with during the day!
The village glowed with the reds and yellows brought about by the approaching twilight. Shadows flowed from buildings, stretching across the dirt paths that passed as streets. Mothers were calling for their children to come inside as they, quite reluctantly, were forced to stop chasing each other. He couldn't help but crack a smile at the clear disappointment on their faces. Not that he gained pleasure from other's pain, mind you.
"Where do you think you're going, laddie?"
The gravelly voice had caught him off guard and he froze in his tracks. He turned around to see an older gentleman shooting him an odd look. His pure white beard was quite long, but he was lacking in hair other than that. His face was etched with experience and the hunch in his back was so prominent that he had to lean on his cane just to remain upright. "Not into the forest I hope." He continued. "No one goes there after dark, not since the witch started a-roaming these parts."
Ivan blinked and glanced back in the direction he had been headed. He hadn't been paying much attention to where he was going at the time, but now that he looked he noticed that he had been headed straight for this forest. A dark shadow hung over the forest path and all the trees stood absolutely still. It would have been quite an eerie sight, but he was not so easily fooled. "I've never heard of a witch before," he said turning back to his company. "But I think I'll take my chances."
"Suit yourself," the older man scoffed, shuffling off down the street.
Crazy old geezer, Ivan thought as he started off toward the forest. Usually he had a high respect for elders, their wisdom and experience were admirable and they only deserved as much. However, this man was clearly losing touch with reality. Of all the places he'd been, all the things he'd seen, never had he heard of a witch before. Though to be fair, the forest was quite daunting. The treetops above him formed a thick blanket which blocked out what was remaining of the daylight. The village probably had a number of scary stories to help explain these occurrences, and probably just for pure entertainment of course.
After going a bit further, drinking in the natural artwork of the goddesses, there came a slight breeze that brushed across his skin. It carried with it the slightest hint of… music? Why would there be music out here, and at a time like this? The hairs on the back of his neck began to stand up as he listened intently.
A crow burst forth from the tree in front of him, the flapping of its wings shattering through the veil of near-silence. He jumped at his, and stopped to allow the beating of his heart to slow back down. Clearly he was letting his imagination let the better of him, so he shook it off and continued forward.
Yet the further he went, the louder the sound became until he could identify that it was, indeed, music. It was beautiful, seemingly upbeat with a fast tempo, but had an almost haunting melody. He was intrigued, and began to search for the source of the sound.
His ears eventually led him to a clearing, within which sat a young woman. Her eyes were closed as she seemed to lose herself in the song. She was beautiful, though that would be a huge understatement. Her skin glowed in the remaining daylight that broke through the canopy above. The very forest appeared to be enchanted by her presence. Poor Ivan could only look on in amazement, his mouth hanging open like an idiot.
When the song finished, she turned to look at him with piercing blue eyes. He quickly averted his gaze, not realizing she'd been aware of his company. He quickly stammered out an apology as she must've viewed his behavior as highly inappropriate.
Instead, the girl's lips broke out into a smile, one that made her face shine like the sun. With her long red hair hanging perfectly on either side, he could've sword she was an angel. "Did you like it?" she asked.
He blinked, trying to break out of his daze. "It was… amazing." He finally answered, silently thanking the heavens his voice remained even. This appeared to elevate her spirits further as she hopped up and all but danced over to him. Ivan's heart nearly stopped as she grabbed at his hand with enthusiasm. He wasn't used to such attention from women, especially not one as breathtaking as her.
"I'm so glad you like it! I wrote it myself." She said giddily, tugging at his arm. "Come. You should join me!" Still recovering from her touch, he allowed himself to be led over to the stump she'd been sitting on a moment ago, all the while trying to fight the blush that was creeping its way onto his cheeks. Blushing! He thought, Now that's a first!
"I absolutely adore music," the girl continued, completely unaware of his inner turmoil. She let go of his hand to fix her white dress as she sat down. "What about you Mister…?"
"Just Ivan," he answered a little too quickly, as he moved to join her. She giggled at that, and the blush made another attempt to occupy his face. Why was he acting like this?
"Well Mister 'Just Ivan,' it's a pleasure to meet you. My name's Nymph." She held out her hand, which he hastily shook. "So, do you play?"
"Not at all," he laughed nervously. "I couldn't even begin to tell you how an instrument works, but I always appreciate a good song when I hear one."
She smiled at him again, before looking off into the distance. She stayed like that for a moment, lost in thought, before speaking again. "Don't you love how it makes you feel, how it can connect with you as if it knows your thoughts and your dreams? That feeling only intensifies when you play. It becomes a part of you, a part that you're sharing with the world."
Ivan found his mouth hanging open again and quickly closed it. He'd never thought about it like that before. Sure, he enjoyed a good jig as much as the next guy, when there was time of course, but he'd never realized music could be so emotionally charged, that it could have such an effect on people. Now that he thought about it, people were always happy when the notes were quick and upbeat, and solemn when they weren't. Had he just been too ignorant to realize it was the music's doing?
"I know!" Nymph said loudly, breaking him from his reverie. She was all smiles again. "I can teach you to play!" He opened his mouth to protest, but she took notice of this and cut him off. "It'll be a piece of cake, trust me!" She quickly picked up her flute and put her arms around his shoulders to show him how to hold it. He consented to this, suddenly forgetting why he'd been about to protest in the first place.
And so every night following, Ivan would return to that forest clearing so Nymph could teach him how to play her flute. He began to understand what she'd said about music, and how one could connect with it. He began to feel a connection to her as well, and found himself eagerly awaiting the end of his shift so that he could see her again. His coworkers began to take notice of his change in mood and that he was more distracted than usual, but when they asked, he just smiled and shrugged. This, of course, only concerned them further. All he ever did was work and go for walks in the forest until the late hours of the night. So they decided to talk to the villagers, who told them the story of the witch. But when they confronted him about it, he only laughed. "The only thing dangerous around these parts is the villager's imaginations," he told them, and they let it drop.
Never had he felt so happy in his life. Yet his work there was slowly drawing to a close and soon he would be moving on, and this worried him. He scolded himself for getting attached when he knew this would happen, but still ended up trotting back into the woods like a puppy. So as he walked that day, he'd decided to ask how she felt about his leaving. If she wanted him to stay, then he would stay, simple as that.
But something was off about the forest that day. It was quiet, yes, and dark as usual, yet they were a very different version of those things. The quiet was suffocating, as if the forest were closing in on him, while the dark hid all kinds of menacing secrets. He'd tried ignoring it, but constantly found himself looking over his shoulder as if something were watching him.
That feeling vanished when he saw Nymph, nothing else mattered when he was with her. She wasn't playing today, though. She was looking off into the trees, as if she too sensed something lurking in them. He called to her, but she only frowned as if disappointed to see him. "Ivan… What are you doing? You should not be here."
He frowned and crossed his arms. That certainly wasn't what he'd expected. Usually she greeted him with a huge grin and nearly tackled him to the ground in that childish way of hers. "What? Why not?"
She shook her head. "Do you not feel it? Please, go back to the village."
"Feel what?" He asked. "Nymph, what's going on?"
"Yes dear Nymph, what is going on?" sneered a high-pitched female voice that made the hair on Ivan's neck stand on end. Nymph closed her eyes, realizing it was too late.
"Why, dear sister," piped in a similar, but distinctly different voice. "It appears little Nymph has been associating with humans!"
Ivan turned in the direction of the voices and before him were two rather grotesque looking women. Their features were similar other than the fact one had black hair while the other was purple. Purple hair! And if that weren't strange enough, both were hovering a few feet off the ground on broomsticks. He almost couldn't believe it, and found himself blinking several times to be sure he was seeing correctly. Witches!
"Humans!" cackled the black haired one. "Honestly, sister, to think you would stoop so low."
Nymph turned on the two, blue fire blazing in her eyes. "Who I associate with is none of your concern!"
"Ah, but it is," said the purple haired one. "You are a witch, lest you have forgotten, and should therefore act accordingly. But instead you feel the need to go gallivanting amongst humans and bring shame upon our family."
A witch?! Ivan looked over to Nymph, wondering how this could be possible. There was no way she was a witch, but the sad look she gave him in return spoke volumes.
"There is way more to life than wreaking havoc on the world!" She argued, turning her attention back to the two witches. "Besides, you are just angry that I got to remain beautiful whilst you two turned into old hags!"
"How dare you!" They both roared at the same time, clenching their hands into fists. "Do not think that we are above fighting our own sister!"
Without thinking, Ivan moved to take a defensive stance in front of Nymph. He didn't know what was going on, but he wasn't about to let her get hurt. She told him to get out of the way, but he barely noticed as he glared at the pair of witches.
"Well, what do we have here?" cackled the black haired one. "You have humans fight you battles now too?"
"Don't worry," the other added. "We'll finish this as quickly as possible."
"You will not touch him!" Nymph snarled.
"Do you believe this, sister? She appears to be in love with the human!" The two hags laughed.
"So what if I am?!" She shot back. Ivan's eyes widened and he risked a glance behind him. The look she gave him, although brief, told him all he needed to know. She loved him. It didn't matter if she was a witch, she loved him. He wanted to burst out into laughter, but fought the urge and tried to remain focused on the situation.
"That is highly inappropriate!" They said. "And we must punish you for it!"
Ivan's head snapped around just in time to see the witches throwing the balls on energy they'd formed in their hands, one black and one purple. There was no time to move out of the way, the energy was coming at him too fast. So he prepared himself for the impact, ready to take this blow if it meant protecting Nymph. He wasn't sure what happened, but suddenly he was thrown back to the ground, followed by a bright flash of light. It took a minute for his sight to return and to regain his bearings.
The witches looked down at him, almost disappointed. "You were lucky human. That blast was meant for you." And with that, they just… disappeared. Ivan searched the clearing, but he was completely alone. Where was Nymph? He searched frantically, calling her name, but got only silence in return. That's he noticed her white dress, lying in a pile before him. No… it couldn't be. He clenched the dress in his hands… Nymph, she was gone.
Something fell out of the folds of fabric. It was her flute. Without thinking, he held it to his lips and began to play her song. I love you, Nymph. Rain began to fall and mixed with the tears that stained his face.
Theirs was a story of love, in its simplest form. Love that transcended barriers, love that never should've been and never would be. To this day, the song that brought them together still evokes memories of pain, anger and sadness. That is why the rain falls every time it is played, for it is a pain so strong that even the heavens weep.