Story Five – In the land of music

day three

it was the morning of the festival day. the sky was sparking cerulean and the air was soft, the small clouds floating were white and showed no signal of rain. the wind was blowing slowly and the city was more colorful than the first day i was here. surprisingly there was no one around the streets, it looked like some kind of tradition, everyone would have to stay inside until the right time of the festival. about the end of the afternoon. i spend the day at the inn.
” did you sleep well traveler? ”
” yes i did, thank you. so today is the festival day? ”
” yes, and as a tradition, we must stay inside home until the end of the afternoon, in honor of those who died at their shelters during the war incident. ”
” so, it means that i would have to eat my meals here at the inn. ”
” dont worry, the meal today is for free. no charge. ”
” is that so? ah, thank you. ”
i went to the dinning room, it had a wide table in the center and a few smaller ones around it, the room was big, everyone fitted well inside it. we ate both breakfast and lunch together at the inn. we spend the noon playing chess, Othello and some kind of game with glass balls i never heard before. it was fun until someone starts complaining about how othello all the day long was boring. but we didnt paid much attention to him anyway.
the smell of lunch was delicious, and so was the succulent meat with the delicious spaghetti, some tomato sauce on the top, of course, erika’s would be way better than this.
the noon finally came to a end, and with that we all went out in order to gather in the spot, the streets were crowded with people all over the area. from many places of the world, there were all kinds of clothes, faces and people, all together in the same place, everyone waiting for the flautist to show up.
the bell rang six, it was already time for the walk to begin. by the time we discovered that the flautist was already among us. he was in the middle of everyone, sitting on the ground with his head down, looking to the ground. as if he was resting. then with the bells, he stood up and took his flute of, with a deep breath, he started to play a sweet song, without moving. people just turned around to see him playing his flute there. a slow, tender sweet and comforting song was being played with complete mastery of the flute, he was indeed the best flautist in the country.
he began walking towards the main square, his eyes were closed tight as if it didnt mattered how far he was going, as if he didnt needed any guidance, as if, by just playing he would reach his destination without a bigger struggle. then, as he started to move, people naturally started to follow him in his way, maybe nobody really remembered of the festival at that time, maybe, everyone was just following the sweet sound of that flute being played.
before i could notice we were moving, slowly through the streets, and sun was still setting, when i noticed it i just realized that, today was also the longest day of the year. was it any coincidence with the festival day? maybe it was. i wasnt the only one who noticed it, but when i looked around, many people looked at the sun still setting and then scratching their heads. but nobody gave it much though, everyone was more interested in following the sweet sound of the flute down the streets until the main square.
when the sky was almost darkish, the tune gradually started to change into a energetic and encouraging song, filled with strength and will, filling the breath of those who were behind, and making the ones in front of the lines more stronger, i felt it also having effect on me, it was curious how music could influence the way you are right at the moment, its funny indeed its pretty funny. to think that music has such power such propriety.
then night fell down the city, and we were still walking. the flautist didnt had the smallest stop until now, but he keep on playing the flute and, not with the same ability as in the beginning, but better, and as time passed he was playing even better, despite of everyone thinking if he was alright, if he was breathing well enough. but he was there, playing better than the start, firm, strong, and leading the people without showing the smallest signals of weakening. standing this great, making such a effort, in honor of a festival, in honor of a old story. it was something admirable to see.
when we got into the main square the flautist stopped at its center, were was located a small building with a ceiling and a fountain inside it. it was prepared to receive him as there was a table a cushion were he was probably going to rest a bit and some dishes for him to eat, as soon as he got there he sat on the cushion and finished the song, there were two maidens at the place waiting for him, and as he stopped playing it, he suddenly showed all the signals he should have showed during the long walk, he was feeling everything, he was just too busy with the music and leading us there to care about the way he was feeling there. he fell down asleep and the maidens started to take care of him.
it wasnt a act, he was real bad at that time, i was near the small building and i could hear his hard breath, and he was sweating, he was so tired that even moving his head made him tremble all along. amazing to see such a person standing so strong during so much time without showing the smallest signal of weakness.
there were the pause of five minutes in the dark, and then small lamps started to get lit, showing off a faint light not enough to send decent ilumination, leaving most of the square spots in the dark. soon as the party started i headed to the cafe where erika worked.
getting there i had some surprises, first, there was a wide table on the front, full of food, and four huge barrels by its side. there was a large boiling pot burning on the front and many sacks of coffee powder too. the number of waitresses around was a bit bigger than the last time i came. i looked for erika, but she wasnt outside. one of the waitresses said that she was inside for a reason she didnt knew.
i went inside erika’s cafe searching for her, when i found, she was there at the kitchen with the chef working in more food. as soon as erika saw me she just left everything were it was and came running to me.
” aha there you are theia, how was it? did you liked the opening of the festival? ”
” yes i did, i was amazed how the flautist stood strong all the walk. ”
” every year i wonder how do he make it, and where lies his motivation to do this all. one must be way strong of will to suppress all the weakness and stresses while walking during two hours. oh, by the way, did you noticed that everyone stayed in silence during the walk? ”
no, i havent noticed that until the time erika said. of course i could have noticed it but then, why didnt i?
” its said that the will of the leader will make everyone focus on the same thing he is focused. what were you thinking back then? ”
” i was, just listening to the music, for a time o spaced out and think about how strong he was and about the sun. ”
” yes, he was also thinking of his music, sometimes he might fail, but the original flautist made people unaware of everything around, but the song. it looks a lot more like a legend nowdays, but then, they say that marvelous things barely happen nowdays. because of us all, its said that our faith is no match for the faith of the old ones. and sometimes i believe that its right, if we only could have the same faith on everything. ”
i stayed silent
” ah, of course, i knew you wouldnt forget the promise of yesterday. ”
” not really, what was it anyway? ”
” are you kidding me theia? ”
” no, im not. i come here because i knew you wanted me to come back, i also did because it was enjoyable to talk with you yesterday. ”
” you’re still joking arent you? ”
” no, im not. ” i said it with a face as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
” geez, theia you’re reall hopeless arent you? ”
” i dont know. ”
then i saw some tears showing up into her eyes but, maybe i was mistaken, she just started to laugh and gave me a hug. the chef looked at me with a tender smile and said in a tune only i could hear.
” thank you, traveler ”
when erika let me, she took a cake out of the oven, and started decorating it, she asked me for helping her out, i agreed with it and went on decorating a cake.
how is it, decorating a cake? well, one could say its almost like playing around with sweets and sugar and making a mess, and getting all dirty with all it. but man, there was so many vanilla sweets that i was glad until i couldnt bear any more. and when we finished up. erica said.
” this is it theia, we finished your cake. ”
” you’ve got to be kidding. ” and i really meant that, it was a huge cake, and i just realized that its taste was actually vanilla too, my favorite. the cake was really huge, really really huge.
” i also will transform this one into a official order on the menu, it will be called Theia cake. ”
” why is it named after me? ”
” because you’re going to be the first to taste it, and because you love vanilla, also, because you helped me out decorating it. ”
” it was fun. ” i said
” yea, it was. ”
” thank you theia, for today, for yesterday, thank you very much. ”
” what are you thanking me for? ”
” what? ”
” i did nothing. ”
erika giggled and said, ” oh well… nevermind then. ” and showed the same smile she showed when we meet. i still think that if arshe hadnt a magical smile, erika’s would be the best i ever saw.
i spent the night at erika’s cafe, helping her out into the kitchen and with the customers, i also went out on a stroll with her twice, so we could enjoy the festival a little. there were games, there were drinks, and so much music, people were partying as if there was no tomorrow. everyone’s smiles and laughter echoed into the dark sky and made the starts shine bright, and the moon was huge shining low at the sky, rising slowly through the night until it reached the top of the sky. there were no clouds, and the wind was gentle, the place wasnt hot, instead, it was surprisingly refreshing. maybe because the square was wide, there were fountains running strong, and the open space was enough to hold everyone and a bit more. even though the place was crowded.
we partied until the sky started to become lighter. and then, everyone was told to stop for a moment to listen to the song of daybreak.
the flautist stood up at the center of the square, still inside his building. he took a deep breath and started to play the piece, it was a tender song, gentle and comfortable, it made me think of waking up, the fast notes being played, so masterfully blended with the scenery of the sun breaking through the hills, the sky was at the start dark. but slowly it started to become light blue, passing by indigo and a blueish tune of violet, it was beautiful to see the stars still shining in the lighter background. and as the sun started to rise, the orange colors of the morning dyed the clouds into tunes of yellow and red, and the sky turned into a colorful spectacle, like a rainbow, almost like if i was watching the sunset run reverse.
when the sunrise ended, also ended the music, and the flautist once again sat onto his cushion and said loud.
” now everyone, enjoy until the night falls again. ”
and so we did. i partied with erika until the sunset. and she asked me to sleep over at her place that day, before leaving the town, i agreed, and went with her to her house.
there we chatted a bit during night, but it didnt lasted long, we where exhausted. the bath i took showed me that right away, we just sleeped well for the night. sure, it was fun. i guess im coming back again next year.