Since the time she was a little girl, Angelica has had a deep passion for music. In her bedroom sits a record player which includes her precious albums by her favorite Portrainian musicians. Under her bed, she keeps several tattered music books which are full of wonderful songs. She enjoys playing her Bluerose piccolo, an instrument that was given to her at a very young age by her mother. Although she adores this with all her heart, she has her eyes set on another instrument called the Scarlet Piccolo. This one shines with several hues of red. This piccolo is very rare, it has been said to hold magical powers. If one plays a certain song, it will apparently cause drastic effects in their world. Musicians have thought this to be utter nonsense. Angelica ignores their cynical remarks. She believes the magic powers would hold goodness for the people of Portrainia. As every day passes, she becomes less hopeful that she will receive it. This rare treasure may come sooner to her than she expects.
Today is no ordinary day for
Edison and Angelica, for today they will celebrate their four year anniversary together. Edison decided that he would surprise Angelica with a special gift. When he was finished working at the Bazaar for the day, he took a walk to the Rarcius Boutique, a store located in a patch of woods in the Merchant’s Way, a path that leads out of Hollowmill. It is a very odd store, ran by a peculiar owner. No one knows his name, for he has never revealed it. The shop is said to hold rare and priceless valuables to which no one knows how he came into possession of them. Strangely enough, the inventory changes on a weekly basis. One week the store may carry rare coins and stamps, and another week it may carry swords used by legendary Portrainian warriors. Edison felt uneasy entering the store, considering all he’s overheard from the townsfolk. Nonetheless, he took a deep breath, and took his first step inside. No one seemed to be there. “Hello?” Edison repeated out loud, to the point his voice was cracking. The sounds of footsteps came from behind him, and he turned on his heel quickly. Nobody was there. “Well, good afternoon young man.” spoke a deep voice. Edison gasped and turned towards the counter. The mysterious owner was standing behind the till after all. “What’s the matter, did I scare you?” The owner asked. “No… No… of course not…” Edison replied while trying to keep his legs from shaking. “I’m here to buy a special gift for my fiancée. Today is our anniversary.” He continued. The owner gave an unbidden smile. “Well then, young man,” he said, “This is your lucky day. I just happened to have what you’re looking for…” Edison was now confused.
The owner reached underneath the counter and pulled out what appeared to be a musical instrument.
Edison’s eyes widened at the beauty of it. “I know I’ve seen that before.” he thought to himself. Then he realized what it was. “Is that the…” He uttered out loud. “Scarlet Piccolo?” finished the owner. Edison nodded his head. “My fiancée… It would mean the world to her if she could have that piccolo.” he said with enthusiasm. “Well, I could sell it to you for seventy-five doubloons.” The owner chuckled playfully. Edison realized he didn’t have much money. He intended to bring some home for his parents. But this gift was so important to his Angelica that without a second thought, he reached into his pocket and counted out five yellow doubloons, which totaled seventy-five. He tossed them on the counter and the owner placed the piccolo into a box. “I can’t thank you enough for this.” said Edison, happily taking the box. As he began to walk out, he heard the same footsteps. Turning around once again, no one was there. The owner had vanished. A little terrified, Edison ran out of the store. Sunset began to fall over Portrainia. Edison thought it would be wise to get back home to Hollowmill as quickly as he could to surprise his fiancée with his special gift for her.
Meanwhile, Angelica had just finished preparing a special anniversary meal for her and Edison. It consisted of roasted Cornish hens, corn meal muffins, and
Edison’s favorite, split pea soup. Her house was decorated elegantly for their evening. On the dining room table, she placed the best table cover she owned, with white dishes lined in silver, two beautiful goblets, and she lit three pillar candles. Now all that was missing was her fiancée. While she put on one of her favorite records, a knock came at the front door. A wave of excitement and happiness went through her. She hurried to the door, and eagerly opened it. There he was, dressed in a black dinner jacket with a crisp white dress shirt, and black dress pants. How handsome he looked. Her face blushed a little with the excitement of seeing him. In his right hand, he held a bouquet of roses. His left hand was behind his back. “Good evening, my love,” and before Edison uttered another word, Angelica threw her arms around him. “Please darling, come inside.” She replied. The warm ambiance of the house made Edison instantly forget his fears of the Rarcium. His nose was tickled by the scent of lavender perfume. The music playing sent a wave of calmness through his head. Angelica sat down on the couch next to the record player. “Won’t you join me?” she asked, patting the spot beside her. Without responding, Edison sat down beside Angelica. The melody of the music was soothing, and lingered on his ears. “This song… It’s beautiful… what is it?” he asked, staring off into space. Angelica giggled. “The song is called . It was written by a pianist named Charlton Falke. I’ve heard that his music can bring out many emotions.” said Angelica. The soothing feeling that overcame Garden of Libera Edison turned into fascination. “You have always had a spectacular taste in music, my dear.” he responded.
Together, the couple made the evening magical. For a short while, they sat on the couch and reminisced about the splendid moments of their relationship. Angelica then led
Edison into the dining room. They happily ate supper by candlelight, and danced to An Enchanting Waltz. When the evening was drawing to a close, Angelica decided it was time to give Edison his gift. “Close your eyes, my love.” she whispered into his ear. He shut his eyes in anticipation while his fiancée passed him a package. As he opened his gift, he saw a clay sculpture that Angelica created. It was in the shape of a heart, and that she in crimson. Edison’s and Angelica’s initials were etched in the middle. “It’s beautiful,” he said, “As are you.” Angelica blushed. The sculpture illuminated in the candlelight of the living room. Edison stood up from the table and hugged Angelica tightly. “I can’t thank you enough for this, sweetheart.” he whispered into her ear. “Now it’s time for your gift.” he continued. Angelica’s gift sat on the table. It was inside of a box wrapped nicely in white paper. “This is for you. I hope you like it.” Edison said eagerly as he handed it to her. Angelica became ecstatic. He handed the box to her. Once she opened it, small tears began to run down her cheek. She stared at the Scarlet Piccolo for a moment, and looked up at Edison, who was smiling. “You…you got this for me?” she asked softly. Edison nodded his head. Angelica carefully removed the piccolo from the box. It appeared to be even more beautiful in the candlelight. “I can’t believe you found this,” she said, “Thank you so much.” She leaped over to Edison and hugged him. “First thing in the morning, I’ll be playing my new piccolo overlooking the ocean. Won’t you join me?” she asked. “Of course I will.” replied Edison. “What song are you going to play?” he asked. “I’m not sure yet,” she decided, “Tonight I’ll be going through my music books.” The couple embraced each other with a soft kiss. Edison took his sculpture and headed home.
Early the next morning,
Edison was preparing for a training session. He put his wooden sword into its scabbard, and his wooden shield into its holder, and attached them both to his back. He was dressed in a corduroy blue cavalier shirt, and sapphire cuffed pants. As he was about to go into his backyard, there was a knock at the front door. Standing on the veranda was Angelica, holding the Scarlet Piccolo. She was wearing a purple sleeveless shirt and white pants. “Why, hello there!” Edison greeted. “What are you doing up so early?” “I just couldn’t wait any longer,” Angelica responded, “I found the perfect song to play on my new piccolo.” Edison was surely intrigued. “It’s called the Ballad of the Thieves. It was written hundreds of years ago by a gang of thieves. Apparently it tells of how they travelled throughout the world and stole from innocent people.” she told Edison. “Come with me down to the ocean, I can’t wait to play the song!” With that, Edison followed his fiancée down to the ocean. The waves crashing against the shoreline soothed Angelica’s nerves. She carefully placed her lips on the tip of the Scarlet Piccolo. She shut her eyes and successfully played the Ballad of the Thieves, note by note. Once the song was complete, Edison jumped to his feet and wildly clapped his hands. “That song was beautiful.” he said, overjoyed. “The way you played it was magical.” Angelica giggled and slightly blushed at Edison’s enthusiasm. “Thank you, Edison,” she responded, “I’m so happy you got this piccolo for me. I want to play so many songs on it!” Edison grabbed her and they both walked away from the shore.
Suddenly, the bright and cheerful sun that shone over Hollowmill quickly faded under ominous clouds. The faint sound of thunder could be heard. Lightning struck far in the distance. A thunderstorm quickly ensued. “Let’s get back to my house, look’s like a storm’s coming.” said
Edison. While the couple was running back, they noticed that an object flew past them and destroyed a house. Edison spun around and was shocked by what he thought he saw. The two of them looked towards the ocean, and saw what appeared to be a pirate ship, firing cannonballs at Hollowmill. Villagers were running around frantically at this point, seeking shelter. Angelica saw the gigantic ship. “What… what is going on?” she asked, barely able to move. “You don’t think it had anything to do with the song I played?” “You didn’t do anything, Angelica. It’s just a coincidence, but we had better seek shelter.” reassured Edison. Luckily, the couple returned safely to Edison’s house. Strangely, his parents were nowhere to be found. “Mother? Father? Where are you?” he hollered at the top of his lungs. Angelica was completely oblivious to the whereabouts of his parents. She was too busy staring out the window at the pirate ship, which was getting closer to the village. Cannonballs were still being fired. Villagers were screaming and taking cover. There was such chaos which had started off to be such a calm, beautiful morning. Edison moved towards Angelica. “Come, we have to get into the cellar. There’s no time!” At that point, there was a loud explosion which ripped half of Edison’s house apart. And before they had time to move, the last thing Edison saw was a beam heading straight towards him and Angelica.