Legacy of the Dragon Bone Flute
Killian lives in his grandmother Elzibeth’s shadow. The people of his village look at him and whisper in corners when they think he cannot hear them. He inherited her fiery hair, passion for playing the flute, and free spirit. Killian’s uncle Ian tells a tale of the last night anyone saw Elzibeth, a tale of music and dragons that sets Killian on a path to the old village in search of his destiny. Are uncle Ian’s motivations for sending Killian searching for the flute as pure as they seem?
While Killian shares his grandmother’s passion for music and love for life, he is different from Elzibeth in many ways. The songs Elzibeth played with the Dragon Bone Flute shaped her character and destiny. What songs will Killian choose to play? Will the Dragon Bone Flute shape Killian’s destiny, or will he command the songs and forge a destiny all his own?
“Stop!” I said, and thrust my hand out toward him.
Father had been coming after me, and he had to stop short to keep from getting hit in the face, but not by my hand. I still had Grandmother Elzibeth’s flute. It stretched out a good ways from my fingers, wavering right under Father’s nose.
His hand came up, and he drew it back, preparing to swat the flute away. Then he seemed to take it in as he adjusted his hand before striking. The familiar ruddy hue of his face paled, becoming not too dissimilar to the ashen off-white of the flute. His eyes seemed like they were trying to scrunch closed and widen at the same time. Staring down the length of my arm and the flute, watching my father’s reaction made me want to laugh. He was one of the handful of men everyone came to when they needed advice, a dispute mediated, or some problem solved, and now here he was, stunned silent with fear over this little thing I pointed at him. I choked down a laugh but couldn’t keep my lips from creeping into a smile. His attention turned from the flute to me, and I think that smile might have disturbed him more.
“Stop,” I repeated.
I drew in a deep breath and let it out to see what Father would do. He stood for a moment, blinking at me, gaze shifting from me to the flute and back again. As he did so, my momentary resolve began to fade. Finally, after a few dozen heartbeats that seemed to be harder the longer we stood there staring at each other, Father took a step back…then another…then a third. As the distance between us grew, I lowered my arm.
His cheeks loosened, he rolled his shoulders as the tension left them, and his eyes seemed to agree on how much they wanted to be open. He still seemed pale, but his breathing returned to normal and he lowered his hand.
“It’s my name day, Father,” I said. “My ten-and-fifth. Please, let me have this adventure on this day. If you must keep me under your thumb and heel all the other days of my life because you think I’m too small and Mother thinks her precious little man is too fragile for the world, fine. I can live with that any other day. I already have. And I will again for the rest of my life. Just give me this one day. One adventure. Today.” I paused, chewed my lower lip, and took a deep breath before I leaned forward, and added, “Please?”
Father crossed his arms and gave me the deep breath he exhales when considering what consequences I should suffer for whatever actions he feels warrants correction. He opened his mouth. I held up my hand.
“Before you say anything,” I said, “answer me one question. What happened to you on your fifth-and-ten name day?”