You take a step back as he hands you the small, stringed object, in full working order. It is certainly identical to the violin that is now tucked into your rucksack, the pointed scroll pocking out of the top.
“What does this mean?” you cry.
The man’s mouth stretches out into a cruel, teasing smile that makes you want to throttle him. You know now that he will not reveal any more of what you want him to...at least, not if you ask politely.
“Stop this.” you snap, “How can you be a friend when you torment me so?”
You stare into each other’s eyes for a minute, which makes you start to feel humiliated by your unjust outburst. He holds your glare with pride, though, but is the first to break away.
“You’ll see...” This time, his voice is as quiet as a whisper, a call from a bird, but you hear it all loud and clear, and it is chilling; the notes of his voice are loaded with melancholy and regret.
Then he turns and walks away, leaving you in contemplation of why he refuses to tell you. He disappears into the thick mist that has sprung up out of nowhere. It brings a chill to your bones. Calling it ‘evil’ would be a bit too much, but there’s something you don’t like about the heavy precipitation.
“Hey!” you yell, remembering that you quarry has just vanished.