A deep sense of dread and foreboding had been coursing through Terri’s veins since the moment she had seen the first creature about a month ago. Though it had flashed in and out— at one moment visible, and in the next, faded from existence — Terri had the acute sense that it was watching her.
Although Terri could not see anything out of the ordinary as she walked home, she had a slight nagging sensation at the back of her head as if she was being followed. Whilst a simple case of paranoia was a possibility, Terri was not willing to take the risk after the incident earlier on in the day with the creature that had touched her. She sped up her walking pace by a fraction and paused her music so that she could listen out for any danger. Terri didn’t hear or see anything at first, but after a few more minutes of walking, after crossing another road, she heard a distant melodious harmony being sung. She looked around for the singer but only saw a stranger heading to his house.
Deciding to ignore them, she walked on. But the song went on, louder than before. Haunting and eerie, the song put her on the edge as she wondered once more where it came from. Though curiosity took her, she wanted nothing to do with a song she knew only she could hear.
As she approached the road leading to her home, she saw a handsome man with a pan flute, gazing intently at her through ebony eyes. He wore only a pair of loose fitted trousers, with no shoes, but he seemed content with the minimal attire despite the cool breeze.
Terri did exactly what she shouldn’t have done and gazed at the creature for too long. If it had wondered whether she could see it, all doubts were dispelled and he stopped his performance for a moment to flash her a sardonic smile.
Deciding that no good would come of staying around, Terri made her way to walk to her home, only being stopped by that ominous chill of a melody once more. How it was that such a tune could exist, she knew not. One of melancholy, fear and hope. She knew in that moment that she’d give anything just to hear it till the end.
Before she knew what she was doing, she began to approach that creature. A creature it much have been for surely no mortal could play such a divine piece.
When she reached it she noticed that a faint ethereal glow surrounded it. Its face was all sharp angles, with high defined cheekbones and luscious lips. Its midnight black hair was a contrast to its pale skin and before she knew it, Terri’s hand was combing through that smooth, dark hair. The creature continued playing though and Terri felt light and free, as if a burden was being lifted from her. The next section of the piece was more cheerful, although still clearly in a minor key.
The creature ended the piece abruptly and Terri felt her heart sink. She needed him to go on. It was a dull sensation in the pit of her stomach; a hollowness that told her that she needed his melody, his playing to exist.
“I do so enjoy an enraptured audience,” the creature stated. Its voice was as smooth as its playing and Terri brightened up a little bit more inside. “Would you like to come with me? I could play you music any day and every day. I could show you things beyond your wildest imagination and I could save you from Them.”
Terri blinked a few times, not comprehending what was being said to her. “Them?” she asked. “Them who? Who do I need saving from?”
“Those that seek to harm you, of course.”
“Who seeks to harm me?”
The creature gave her a strange face akin to mock-sadness, complete with a pout and raised brows, tilting its head slightly before finally answering, “They come by day, they come by night to take away your pretty sight. They have your heart, at least for now but one day soon you’ll be apart.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Terri asked. “My heart?”
“Yes, always a coveted thing,” the creature said, holding its hand over where her hear was. “You’d better keep it safe,” it warned. “So what is it to be?”
“What?” she asked.
“Will you come with me?” it asked again, holding out its hand.
She wanted to say yes and agree to it but knew at once that that was an irrational decision. She didn’t even know who or what this creature was.
What are its intentions? What does it have to gain? She wondered. She feared that it would remain an unanswered mystery.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“Today I am a friend. Tomorrow I might be something else.” Terri rose her eyes, shocked by the implied threat. “So what is it to be, golden one?” It ran its hand through her hair again, scanning its eyes down her body and back up again.
“I don’t…” Terri’s words were caught at her throat by its deep gaze. “I don’t know.”
She wanted to hit herself. Of course she knew she didn’t want to go with it! She was simply too scared to utter the words. If she refused his company then it would leave her bereft for its song and its touch.
Terri had Ariel. He was all she needed. Ariel made sense… most of the time. What she wanted with this topless Pied Piper she didn’t know.
“I’m sorry. I can’t come with you,” she replied. “I’m needed here and I don’t know a thing about you.”
“Tis a pity,” it replied, shifting its gaze to the ground. “I had hoped that you would be able to see clearly by now.”
“See what?” Terri asked.
“The woven webs of lies all around you and the truth within my song. That is what makes it so beautiful. It is said that the truth will set you free and my songs are a testament to that.”
“Oh, I can’t say. You must discover those on your own or listen for my song. Perhaps I’ll come on the morrow.”
“Pardon me?” the creature asked, raising its brow.
“I said ‘no’. I don’t want you to come back. I just want to be left alone.”
“Beautiful golden one, you will soon find out that you are in desperate need of allies. It isn’t wise to snub those that only seek to help.”
“I know, it’s just…” Terri gave a huge sigh and looked to the ground. The creature lifted her chin with a long, slender finger.
“Fret not, golden one. I’ll come on the morrow and see if you’ve changed your mind.”
Before she could protest or ask once more for its identity, it lifted its flute to its lips and continued its melody from where it had left off. The creature turned around and walked, and though she yearned to follow, she found that she could not move her feet. As it turned the corner, its piece fizzled out and Terri regained control of her body, chasing after the creature.
When she turned the corner, there was no one in sight. She wasn’t sure what she had expected but the creature’s disappearance still shocked her, regardless.
This flute playing creature was nothing like the others she had seen before. It was one of the few that had ever given her the least bit of attention, and the only that had treated her in kind… if kindness was the word.
Cryptic and aloof, she had no name for it. No name, but only the remnants of a haunting melody that she yearned to hear again.