XVI.

The starry-eyed girl rummaged in the soil. Three things she found. A crumbled piece of paper, yellow with age, somehow preserved in the airless ground. A flat slate with some letters etched onto it. And finally a long thing that looked like a black pole. She wiped it on the grass and the charred black coating scraped off, and the charred black soil inside the pole dropped out. The pole gave a shine of silver. Bringing the thing to her lips, her long slender fingers found the holes in the flute. She played one single beautiful note, kneeling on the hard ground cooked by the July sun in the deserted hills. The music touched her heart.

And the girl wept tears she did not wholly understand.

The End

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