Saria's Song

by Christi Sanders

He was a man much like any other, young and thoughtless, with a desire for adventure, fame and riches. It was these things that brought Erik to Hyrule, in hopes that Ganondorf may help him obtain them. The last especially. The new king of Hyrule, no matter how he had become so, was offering great rewards for service, rewards Erik would be a fool to pass up. There had been a test of skills for those wishing to join Ganondorf's ranks, but Erik had passed with flying colors. Or had he?

Erik now wondered if he had made some mistake in his test, for the day after Ganondorf had given him an assignment.

"Go to the Lost Woods. In a small clearing known as the Sacred Forest Meadow, you should find a small girl with green hair and eyes, playing an ocarina. I want you to kill her." This wa what Ganondorf had ordered. Erik would have been pleased to be given a task so soon, but this was out right insulting! Kill a little girl? How weak did Ganondorf think Erik was?

These thoughts filled the young Hylian's mind as he tramped through the underbrush of the Lost Woods, seeking the clearing Ganondorf had spoken of. He would do it, of course, that was not the issue. But why had he been given such an easy job? Erik kicked a rock away in vexation. He would prove he could do more than defeat children!

Erik listened for a moment, picking out the faint tune he could hear comin from his left. That was how one found their way in this accursed place, for it seemed someone was playing a cheerful tune on an ocarina some ditance away. Erik only had to follow his ears to find the place where he would carry out his job.

It was not easy traveling, the trees were a constant hinderance. They came up everywhere and put off his sense of direction. There were insects buzzing around his head, biting him occasionally if he seemed to have forgotten their presence. But Erik did his best to ignore it all and soon found himself in a small feild empty of trees, jus as his master has said.

The music was now loud enough to hear clearly, and Erik followed it for a bit longer until her saw through some bushes a large tree stump, on which was seated a small girl who couldn't have been more than ten.

She had green hair, just as Ganondorf had said, and was the one responsible for the music penetrating the forest's solitude.

Erik pulled out his dagger and crept quietly towards his soon-to-be victim, she'd never even know what hit her!

But before Erik had even fully emerged from his hiding place, the girl stopped playing and turned to look at him. Erik stepped out, it was pointess to hide any more.

The girl had the characteristic features of youth. He face was round and soft. Her strange green hair glittered in the light that filtered through the canopy over them. Her cheeks were dusted with freckles where the sun had kised them one too many times. All in all, she was the picture of childhood.

The girl lifted her large eyes to him and gazed at him, fixing on his dagger and then his face. Erik stood stunned a her eyes, for they did not match her young body at all. They were dark and haunting, full of pain and wisdom. They burned into his mind like hot coals even after he looked away.

"You've come to kill me," she said quietly. It was not question or an accusation, but merely a statement as if to confirm something she had been expecting for a long time.

Erik almost fell over at her calmness. There was no trace of anger or resentment in her voice, nor fear or dread. Just pain, a wistful sadness that would suggest she would not miss life much.

Erik nodded in response to her question, and the girl turned back to her song.

"Very well, I will not stop you."

Erik had not been prepared for this. A chase after a frightened child?

Yes. A fight with an angry one? Certainly. Begging and pleading? Why not?

But this... this was not natural.

After a moment, Erik managed to regain his composure and moved towards her. She did not respond to his footsteps and for an instant Erik wondered if she had really turned and spoke to him, if he had dreamed it and she now knew nothing of his prensence. But this was not true and he knew it.

Erik lifted his blade over the girl's head and prepared to bring it down, but somehow could not bring himself to do it. This girl was so strange, to be so peaceful when death was upon her? She must know something he didn't. Erik hated the idea of her having more knowledge than him, it made him feel inferior. He stood, torn between his duty to kill her and his desire to have whatever gave her such courage.

After a moment the girl turned to him again and spoke. "What is wrong?

Something troubles you."

Once again, Erik was shocked with the girl's perception. "How-how do you know that?" he asked weakly.

The girl looked at his dagger and said, "You came to end my life. You are stronger than I and have a weapon to your advatage. I have not put up a fight to hinder your task, and it should be quite easy. And yet, I still breathe. There is no force out side to stop you, so there must be one within your heart that keeps you from doing what you have been ordered."

Erik took a step back. "Ordered? How do you know that I was instructed to come here and am not merely killing you for my own fun?"

"I know many things," she said vaugely. "Kill me or not, it is up to you.

But I will play my song until you decide, I hope it does not bother you." And with that, the girl placed her small ocarina to her mouth and the sweet music once again filled the meadow.

"How can a child know so much?" Erik asked with irritation. "Why are you so wise? Why does a simple little girl have more knowledge than me?"

The girl once again turned from her music and faced him. "Why is a mere child marked for death by one as powerful as your master? Your questions trouble you, kill me and you may be at peace."

Erik looked at the blade. "You know I cannot. Somehow you knew before I even spoke, didn't you?"

She was silent for a moment. "I knew nothing, I only supposed. Only YOU can decide what your hands shall do, I can but guess at your thoughts."

"And yet you guess perfectly," Erik said with a hint of anger. "You knew, and you know now wha I am thinking, do you not?!"

The girl stayed calm. "I can only guess. I suspect that you are jealous of me for you believe that I hold some great wisdom that you lack."

"See?!" Erik shouted, "How do you know? I must know how you know!"

"I know nothing," she said simply, then returned to her song.

Erik fumed for a moment, wanting once again to kill the girl. Why would

she not tell him?!

But his anger soon subsided, the music emmited by the girl's instrument had a calming effect on him.

He decided to change tactics. "Who are you? Why are you sitting alone in this forest? Have you no friends to play with like normal children?"

"I am no one of consequence, if you fear punishment for my murdur. I have friends, but I no longer feel as one of them. I sit here, waiting for the one friend I have who may still be familiar to me. I wait, and I play this song for he will know it if he hears it."

Erik pressed on. "Who is this friend? Where has he gone that you must wait for him to return?"

"He is sunshine and laughter, he is kindness and trust. I wait because he left to seek his destiny. But I fear, deep insside I can feel, that he shall never truly return to me. When and if he comes back he will have changed greatly, and no longer my best friend will he be. Yet still I wait, in hopes that my heart is wrong in this matter."

Erik would have felt sorry for her if he were not so curious. "You say that you don't feel as one with your friends. How, why is this so?"

The girl turned he head away as if to hide tears, though none came to her. "It was a long time ago, near seven years now. When my friend left I felt my heart change. Then the monsters began to attack my home, such a thing has never before ben a problem for our village. The others blamed my friend who had left, and I knew then that I could no longer be part of their world. For I know better, I have knowledge they lack. It is the wisdom you emvy that has made me an outcast among my own people."

Erik could think of no more questions, this last statement had moved his heart too much to think of his onw wants.

She went on. "That is why I must see my friend again. He alone may understand how I have changed, he alone may still see me for what I am. No longer a child but an adult sits before you, merely one trapped inside this small form. You see, my people never grow up."

Erik had not been prepared for this. "Then you are one of the legendary forest children?"

She nodded. "Or so I was. I often wonder now if I have changed too much to still be part of their race. Even my fairy finds me strange now, and prefers to leave me alone when I come here. My thoughts are beyond the understanding of any at home. I must play my song now, for if my friend should be passing near and does not hear me, he will leave not knowing I am here waiting for him. Kill me if you wish, for death would indeed not be unwelcome. I cannot talk anymore, I must continue playing."

Erik stood in confusion for a moment as the girl returned once more to her song. What to do now? He was still bound by contract to kill the young girl- or was she an old girl? That wasn't important, he scolded himself. He had to kill her, did he not swear he would? Oh, how much more difficult this had turne out to be than he had origionally thought!

Erik looked at the girl who seemed to have forgotten his prensence. She wanted to die, had she not said so herself? Erik ratioalized, killing her would be almost merciful.

He tried to envision the girl finding freedom and peace as he lifted the dagger once more over her small head. he brought it down in one swift motion, his eyes clenched tightly shut to block out the sigh of the girl's demise. But his weapon met resistance, it clanked of what sounded like a metal sheild.

Erik opened his eyes in surprise, wondering if the girl's friend had at last returned for her and had stopped hi act. But Erik's etes met only the bewildered eyes the little girl, staring back with sadness even greater than before.

"they will not let me die," she said in a choked voice, "they say I am too important. And now they will not even allow me to stay here where my friend can find me."

"Who are 'they'?" Erik asked as the girl began to rise into the air.

"They say they must take me somewhere safe, where men cannot hurt me. But

I must continue to play!"

A tear fell from the girl's face and splashed at Erik's feet.

"I must continue to play! What if he comes, and I'm not here! He'll never


Erik picked up her ocarina that had fallen from her hand. It was light and delicate. Erik's fingers, though a bit large for the instrument, felt the holes and knew instantly what to do. He lifted it to his own mouth and played out the same melody that the girl had before.

When he finished, he looked up at the child who had now disappeared. "I will play for you, " he said after her, though she could no longer hear him. "I will play for you until your friend comes, for I owe you this much at least. I will play in your stead, and when your friend at last returns he will not pass by unknowingly. I'm afraid that if he seeks you out, he will find that the little green haired girl no longer waits for him. But her ocarina will never agian be silent."

And it never again was.

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