14. Mr. Brass
rating: +34+x

You're following in line with your traveling companion, your feet a few steps behind him.

You surmised him as friendly in your thoughts when you first met him. "Entertaining company", was how you remembered it. He was a talker, a foil to your pragmatic silence. You had heard of great composers and musicians, but this man's knowledge eclipsed them all. You could not name a tune without a song he knew, even the few which you seemed to come up on your own. But the strangest of all the features he had were those hands of his, and the sounds that he made with them.

On the first day you met, he showed you his talent without delay. He simply placed his hands on an immaterial instrument before his lips and blew. An invisible instrument with neither color nor form, but made melodies all the same. Every time you talked he had a new instrument, whether a tuba, trumpet or trombone. When your friendship was young, you had asked him of his nature, how had he become a Mister, in the same way you had asked many people. He told you he never knew, he merely awoke into the life one day. Those early memories were from a long time ago.

It was only a few hours ago that you had found him again, and in that time you had made him your friend once more. But, already his music is taking a different tone. It was darker than before, dimmer. It did not escape your mind that he had realized the similarities - certain things can be dyed or shaved, but others cannot. Still, you had changed so much since those early memories, he could not possibly. . ? The other man's sight flashes about the forest path which you had taken him down. He asks to turn back, you tell him it is only a bit farther.

Around a bend in the trees, ah, there. The noise of a dart firing, the yelp let out by Mr. Brass. You turn to face him as he loses consciousness. He finally makes the realization, the slight color of red to your eyes the last clue he needs. But it is too late for him. His body becomes limp in your arms.


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