Excerpted from Song of the Ocarina
© 2014 Ann Narcisian Videan
“Lean back against this tree and repeat the tune I play.” Noel hummed a short haunting melody.
Lark listened carefully, and memorized the melody as he played it the first time through.
“Now, this time, listen carefully to the musical tones and how they tie into the environment.” She didn’t really know what he meant, but concentrated on the way the notes sounded as they interacted with the various natural surfaces around them. As he hummed and she listened, the sounds stopped resisting against the surface of the grass and tree trunks and started seeping through the foliage, becoming at one with it. How odd.
“Now you try. Play it.” He nodded at the flute. She played the melody through once, perfectly. A proud expression bloomed across his face. “OK, now lean against the tree and repeat it several times while focusing again on the tones fitting in around us.”
As she played, she noticed the trees, grass, and flowers around her shimmering with what looked like heat waves. A tiny grey kiwi and a very black opossum snuck out from under cover and listened, noses quivering in the shady space. The music melded with the surrounding foliage and a magical, harmonious drone started as if from nowhere. As it emanated from the plants around her, rising and falling with the phrasing in her tune, everything began to glow with a faint luminescence.
Noel studied her as she played, one hand leaning against the tree. Pinions of iridescent light spread outward from his shoulders, spreading up and out behind him. At the sight, she let the flute’s last note fade. She studied the energetic aura growing denser behind his back as it flowed together. The force took the shape of wings, but did not create actual appendages.
Distracted by light moving all around her, she scanned the area slowly. Everything remained in its place, but the park somehow transformed into something new. Colors enriched, enhanced by a shimmer of energy. A quiet, melodic white noise hummed underneath the sound of the lake water slapping on the shore and the birdsong high in the trees.
Noel stood motionless, his head tilted back, and took several deep breaths. His energy-field wings moved in sync with his breaths. After a long moment, he grinned down at Lark. “Home.”
“Home?” She glanced around at the familiar, but strangely new, surroundings. With her flute still in one hand, she moved a few steps away to finger a velvety leaf on a fern. When she moved, the startled kiwi and furry opossum scurried to hide under a bush across the way. She glanced back at Noel and caught an energy field hugging her back just like his. She spun quickly to see what was behind her, but the aura moved with her. She reached back to try to touch the “wings,” but her hand met nothing. An unknown weight dropped in her stomach. “Noel… what’s happening?”
“Don’t worry, Alouette,” he whispered. “This is where we’re going to find your family.”
“It’s still Queenstown, but it’s not.” She peeked around, otherwise motionless.
“That’s right. It’s Queens’tyn, your home.”
“And my home would be…”
She furrowed her brow. “As opposed to Earth?”
He laughed. “No, we haven’t left Earth. The ‘Plana Via’ spell you just cast simply brought you to a different plane of consciousness.”
Lark’s eyes widened. “Spell… Plane of…” Like in fantasy books?
Noel simply nodded.
Lark’s head spun. She placed two fingers on her temple. What was happening? Was she dreaming?
“But how did we get here exactly?”
“You used karakia to move us.”
“What humans call good magic, but not exactly like wizards’ and sorcerers’. We use the energy of all life to manipulate our surroundings.”
Several points of light suddenly appeared under the bush occupied by the kiwi and opossum, and she took a sharp intake of breath. Two of the twinkling glow-points advanced toward Noel. Her eyes widened as they transformed from small dots of light into very tall, luminous beings; humanesque, but other-worldly.
One evolved into a strikingly beautiful woman with a thick braid of jet-black hair. Leather armor, laced with green tooled leaves, graced her lithe form. She clicked a quarterstaff into a mechanical holder at her waist as she rapidly glided, rather than walked, toward Noel.
“You’re back!” she cried.
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