Finn sat under the large Floom tree; its willowy branches and leaves swaying softly in the gentle, light breeze that made itself known along the hill.
He turned the object he held over and over in his hands, wondering exactly what he was supposed to do with it. He had never played any type of instrument before in his life, let alone a flute.
It was a beautiful flute, to be sure. Gold in color, lightweight, with dazzling jewels encrusted around the tip. On the end, there were small, detailed carvings of runemarkings - runemarkings he had never seen before.
He frowned a bit, running a hand through his messy brown hair. His green eyes glinted in the light coming from the sunset on the horizon. His thoughts drifted back to a week ago. A week ago, when he had this instrument thrust into his hands.
It had been a beautiful evening as Finn walked through a quiet part of town. The moon was full and bright, the stars shone wondrously, and soft music could be heard drifting through the windows of the several taverns and hotels lining one side of the street.
The street, itself, had been almost empty. A few happy couples taking their time walking, enjoying each others' company; a couple of people here and there meandering along, looking into shop windows, or stopping to stare up at the stars. The street lighters had only come around about an hour or so ago, so it wasn't completely dark, as of yet. However, it was darker than it should have been. An odd, almost ethereal presence seemed to be watching over the town.
As Finn turned a corner, to make his way to another street through an alley, from behind a stack of boxes came an old man. He was wheezing, moaning, and clutching his chest.
Finn blinked as the old man, clothed in tattered rags which used to be clean and fresh clothes, collapsed into his arms. The man was heavy, and Finn soon found himself on his knees, still trying to hold onto the old man.
The old man looked into Finn's eyes, and stared. Finn flinched slightly, for the old man's eyes were haunted and distant.
"Take this," he wheezed, as he shoved something cold and hard into Finn's hand. Finn clutched the object, but found the task of holding the man with both hands, whilst holding the object, difficult.
"What -" Finn began, but was cut off by the old man's persistent coughing, and fierce voice which followed. "Don't ask questions, don't. Take it, the flute, learn it, use it. It's yours. Belongs to you, now." Again, the old man burst out with a fit of coughing. It was then that Finn noticed the blood coming from a small wound on the old man's head.
The old man aggressively clutched at Finn's shirt, and pulled himself up slightly, to talk right into Finn's nose. "Do not let anyone know you have . . . that." He coughed, then wheezed. "It's special. Play songs with it, fix this land. War coming. Graytorin, our land, our home . . . in danger. Flute, songs, " again, he began to cough. When he stopped, he continued. "Meant for you. Please. Save us." And without another word, the man died in Finn's arms.
Finn, frightened, scared, and suddenly cold, left the old man there and ran. He ran all the way across town until he reached the farm where his home lay. It took him hours to get to sleep that night, but he did. He didn't even think about the flute until the next morning.
Now here he was, a week later, still contemplating the damned flute that had come into his possession. No closer to any answer than he was that night. He had tried to play it many times, yet all that came from it was disjointed, off-key, lousy noise that couldn't even be considered close to music.
Frustrated, flustered, thoroughly annoyed, and oddly contemplative, Finn rose to his feet, putting the flute away inside of his satchel.
As the last of the sunlight dipped below the mountains, Finn heard something cut through the air above him, above the trees, and he turned his attention skyward.