Symona had a rare free hour, and she wanted to spend it alone. No cabin mates chattering in her ear or anything like that. So she decided she would go find the Pan statue and hunker down behind it in that little pine copse he was tucked away in. It was enough off the main paths that she would have the privacy she wanted, but not so isolated that she would get lost or anything like that. She just wanted to have a little time alone that was not tied to being in a practice room focused on the music.
She found her way to the statue readily, and rubbed his lower hoofed foot by way of a greeting as she picked her way through the scrubby branches to get around behind him, then sat down with her back to the foot or so wide wooden pillar of the statue's base. Pan would keep watch for her while she relaxed and just stared up at the sky through the greenery of the spiky pine branches. The needles on the ground made a soft enough carpet or bed that she didn't even feel like she was sitting on the ground, but rather on a kind of smashed down blanket or comforter instead.
Symona leaned back, resting her head against the scruffy bark of the lower trunk of Pan's pedestal and looked up, noticing how dark the green boughs made certain splotchy areas over her heard look. Most of the sky was totally blotted out by the layer behind layer behind layer of the needle studded branches. And they were not the long pine needles you could make rings or necklaces out of. These were all those super short, stubby nubs of needles that were less than an inch long and just made the branches look like fuzzy caterpillars or something if you looked at a single, individual branch.
There was another kind of bushy something or other growing up from the ground around the statue itself, too. Its leaves were all a little darker green and round. The bigger ones were about the size of the silver dollar coin she had back at home, while the smallest ones were closer to the size of a dime, or maybe her own thumbnail. Symona thought they looked a little bit like tiny little flute keys, especially the way they grew all in a straight line along the tiny twig like vines, as long as you just looked at one side of the vine at a time. They really grew in both directions from their vines, so maybe it was like two dark green flutes laying side by side more, their round keys all lines up in perfect rows.
Symona had a picture of a bunch of flutes laying side by side like that back home in her room, too. All shiny and silver, polished up to gleam. Most of them with solid keys, but a few sprinkled in to the group shot had open holed keys, so they kind of made little splotches of darker shadows in the sea of glittery silver. The picture was an actual photograph from flutes that some artist had laid out on top of a black velvet blanket, but you could only see tiny bits of that blanket down near the bottom right corner of the picture. Most of it was just the close up of the flutes, mostly of the keys on their main bodies. You couldn't even see past the foot joint in most of them
except for one Suzuki student flute that was laying on top of all the rest so you could clearly see both its foot joint section and the head joint that bent back with that huge U shaped bend in it for tiny hands to hold.
Playing with the grassy "keys" of this mystery bush at Pan's feet, Symona fingered through some of the Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream part, just silently, not even practicing the breathing. It was kind of like just playing in the air, she almost couldn't even feel the leafy round "keys" as her fingertips brushed them. Just the one spray that was closest to Pan's lowered right cloven hoof that was right against the pedestal base, and that she was really feeling the wood or whatever that statue was made up of under the leaves, not the leaves themselves.
As she "played" with the leaves at Pan's foot, Symona swore she could hear the notes ever so softly playing, muffled, as if they were from a great distance, or maybe even inside a wooden cabin nearby or something. That was probably it. Another camper going over the first flute part in one of the practice cabins down the road. She stopped, and so did the music. She waited a few breaths, then tried tapping the leaf keys again, and sure enough, the notes once again started to play.
Hmm. That was weird. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Or maybe Symona was going crazy, or this was all just one crazy coincidence.
Symona tapped the grassy keys again, this time in a simple scale up and down, and the mystery flute played the notes in that very same sequence. She tried speeding up, then slowing down as she went up and down the scale, then with some halting, dotted rhythms, and the distant notes again echoed her every movement.
Rocking back on her heels to sit up straight, Symona stared hard at the statue, then down at the leaves of that bush vine and tried to trace the vine back into the base of the bush, but she lost track of it almost as soon as it dove in to the main cluster of leaves and twiggy branches. Then the cloven hoof twitched ever so slightly. Symona blinked.
Had Pan just moved? That couldn't be for real! Symona thought she was losing it. She shook her head, then stopped still. Why was she fighting this? It could be fun? What if this was some kind of lock to a doorway to another dimension like in the chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter or something?
Symona bent back to the woodsy flute key leaves and tried fingering a few passages again. Going from the high D to the C and then b meant going from pressing her left middle and ring fingers to just the pointer, to then using pointer and middle finger, but the mystery distant flute did not play until she found a leaf to be the thumb key growing down on the other side of that one twig to press in for those three high notes. They normally were on ledger lines above the staff on the real music part. She was starting to get into this. It was like she was being a code cracker, only it was with flute, and she knew fingerings like they were her native language.
She was definitely on to something with the Mendelssohn though. She didn't even know why she had started messing around with the scherzo even, the allegro vivace of his scherzo just sounded like perfect fairy secret music to Symona. So she tried playing the opening, slowly, to see if the secret flute playing did anything. But all she got was that faint echoing playing. Hmm.
Maybe she needed to play more of the song. Symona had been stopping when she got to the end of the first four bars of the melody, because the next four were just playing one note, the F above high C on the top line of the treble clef over a couple more times. Well, it was in rhythm, and in unison with the second flute when you played it for real, so maybe she should keep playing the line? This time, Symona kept playing, first four measures of the ta, ta-ka ta-ka rhythmic motive, then the longer dotted quarter tied over the bar to a syncopated kick repeating note, then back to four bars of the eighth note, sixteenth notes, eighth notes rhythm again, only this time all on the A above middle C, pressing her pinkie down on a squished little half-furled leaf where a split key would be on her actual flute.
The third time, when she got to the ta, ta-ka ta-ta eighth note, sixteenth notes pattern, it stayed up in the higher register longer. And this time, it didn't drop to a syncopated repeated long note. Rather, this time she got to play the ta, ta-ka ta-ka motive three more times, only with an accent on each of the first of four sixteenth notes when they came up. So even though that was something she would normally do with her breath, not her fingers, she tapped the accented notes a little firmer as she got to them. Maybe it was a little more like percussion than woodwind playing, but it felt right.
It was as she "played" the last note of that twenty-fourth measure that she heard the distinctive "click" come from the base of the Pan statue's tree trunk like pedestal. Was that a crack she saw?
Symona stopped playing with the leafy keys and scooted over closer to the tree trunk. Or rather, the statue pedestal base. It was hard to see from the front, but she was pretty sure there was some kind of crack that had not been there before. Feeling along the seam with her fingertips, Symona found an indentation that was big enough for her to fit three fingers in all together. When she did that, she felt something cold, almost metallic, and alarmed, pulled back.
The metal half-came out with her fingers, but it was just a pull ring. Symona laughed softly at herself for being such a scaredy cat. This was no time to be timid! This was a secret and she had just unlocked the door to it!
Listening to: Spouse playing Quake 2
Drinking: when we eat