"Red Sky in the Morning"
Pach woke on the chilly morning of March 4th in the year 1696. He got up and washed himself all clean and sweet smelling, he dressed in a soft grey knee button breeches and white ruffled shirt with a matching coat of soft grey as well, neatly he tied his neatly washed hair back with the traditional black satin ribbon of the learned musician. He sat down at the small desk I had provided for him in his room and wrote out a list of things to do for this day, the first and foremost was to get a gift for Antonio, as this was the anniversary of his birth seventeen gentle seasons ago. Then he came down to breakfast with his friends, J. Sebastian and Antonio, they ate and chatted merrily between friends. Often their conversations were about music. After breakfast, they went their merry ways to conduct the businesses at hand. Once outside Pach noted the sky was an unusual blood red instead of the usual gold and blue. 'Perhaps a storm comes brewing.' He thought, he had no idea just how right he was. He went to the shop of Dannon Massengaile, a maker of musical instruments and asked if he could make a special violin, a beautiful special quality violin of exquisite property. Herr Massengaile said he could and promised Pach it would be ready for Antonio's party. Pach smiled and paid for the violin immediately. Then off Pach went to the mayors office and asked about buying a lot of property so he could have a home built there. "I have a vacant lot at 724 on Sonata Lane Pach, if you are interested." Mayor Steiner said, "Is it relatively small?" Asked Pach, "Well, it is not too large for one as small as you, Pach. It is for your home, am I correct in assuming?" The mayor asked, "Yes Good Mayor, it is." Pach smiled, "You know Pach, I have never heard of anyone as young as you taking a home site by yourself." Mayor Steiner said, "I could stay at the inn as Reuben would allow, I feel, however, that it is time for me to be on my own." Pach said more seriously, "After all, J. Sebastian lives by himself, as does Antonio." Pach reasoned, "J. Sebastian was all of sixteen seasons when he moved to 321 Cantata Avenue. And Antonio is supposed to live at the rectory, but you, Pach are only still a very young boy." Mayor Steiner said, Pach smiled, "I have pretty much been on my own since I was thirteen seasons. I will be alright Good Mayor." Pach said, then he thought and said, "Besides, I am sixteen seasons now." "God of All of us... Has it really been a year since you came to us?" Mayor Steiner asked in awe, for truth it felt as though Pach had only been here for a very short time and yet, it seemed as though he had always been here. Finally, Pach purchased the property at 724 Sonata Lane for the sum of $400. The contract was drawn up for Stav to begin building the little home as soon as Pach had drawn the design for his home exactly as he wanted it.
Then Pach went to the furniture builder and ordered a bed frame to be built and a chest of drawers, a table, a cabinet, bakers rack and lastly, but very important was a roll top desk with a special place to safely keep Lady Rose Wood and Idyllwild, his two prized violins. Then after that, Pach left the storeroom and headed for his teaching position at Saint Martin's Academe'. He entered the Academe' and went directly to his classroom number 13. This was his music class. "Good morning class." He said pleasantly, "Good morning Herr Pachelbel." The children said in unison. Pach sat down at his desk and began writing something. He finished it and then asked one of his students, "Do you know what is composition structure?" The student shook her head, "It is the body of the composition so it is not simply unsubstantiated jumble." Pach answered, the class breathed in awe, so intelligent was their young teacher, and barely older than his pupils. "I want each of you to compose a piece for violin, using the structure as you know it. I do expect uniformly consistent compositions." The young teacher said. With that, his pupils set to composing their assignments. Pach took this opportunity to also compose some music. Everyone was busily writing when Pach heard a strange noise. He looked up quickly and gasped with his eyes wide with terror. He rose to his feet quickly, the sight which greeted him was his pupils drenched in blood. The sound of his chair against the floor caught the attention of one James Mendener, “What is it Herr Pachelbel?” He asked his teacher who was suddenly pale as a ghost, “N-nothing… Please, continue.” Pach said as he blinked his eyes and suddenly all was normal once again. He drew a shaky breath and wondered what that was all about. Quickly he put the back of his wrist to his forehead… No, he was not running a fever, so it was not an illness. He took note of his body, no, he was neither hungry nor thirsty. What could it have been? He consulted Elipta, she found no explanation. ‘Most perplexing indeed!’ Pach thought to himself, what followed was most disturbing however, the sound of a childish laughter, it was not familiar so it rather unnerved the kinetic. Pach disregarded it finally and continued with his class. ‘It must have been only an illusion caused by stress is all.’ The young teacher thought. Finally, the morning was over and it was now time for luncheon. By now, though, Pach was really hungry, were he not before.
He came into the inn, sat at his usual place, and looked at J. Sebastian who was sitting in his usual place as well. “What is it Pach? You look a bit peaked.” J. Sebastian asked concernedly, “Nothing J. Sebastian. I am well, just a bit stressed is all. Thank you for your inquiry however.” The small kinetic said, “Well a nice cup of tea will make you feel better.” J. Sebastian said, Jenna brought Pach his tea and just as Pach picked it up to drink, the cup exploded into flames in his very hands. Pach jumped with a start and a sharp gasp of shocked surprise. “Pach! What is it?” J. Sebastian inquired, “The cup…” Pach began, “What of it? Drink child.” J. Sebastian said encouragingly, but also very concernedly, “It exploded in flames J. Sebastian!” Pach said in an elevated voice from his norm, “Pach, what is the matter with you? You did not even touch it yet.” J. Sebastian said as he touched Pach’s hand, at that moment the unnerved boy felt something and looked down at his leg, there were scores of huge, black spiders crawling up his legs, and when he looked to the side there the same sight greeted him on his arms. He leaped to his feet and ran into the street screaming in utter terror, he so disliked spiders. Antonio was just walking to the inn from Saint Luke’s Orphanage for Girls when he saw Pach running madly through the streets, “Mi Maria! Pach!” The priest shouted and then ran after the shaken boy. He caught up with him and cornered him in the alley behind Adele’s Dry Goods Store. “Pach!” Antonio shouted to his shaken friend, “No! Spiders!” Pach cried, “What spiders? Pach?” Antonio was afraid for his young friend, just then J. Sebastian came up to them, “What in the name of Satan’s Arse is going on here Antonio? Pach, what is the matter with you?” J. Sebastian demanded, “Spiders!” Pach maintained, “There are no spiders Pach.” J. Sebastian insisted, “Nooooooooo!” Pach cried out and it was then that Antonio realized what he had to do, he dealt a sharp slap to Pach’s face which brought the young one back to his senses, “Th-thank you Antonio!” Pach said as he drew a very shaky breath and stood taking in lungs full of cool air, Antonio had turned a gentle seventeen seasons on this day and it was to prove a devilish anniversary of his birth to say the least. Pach went back to the inn with his friends and sat down to eat. “You are likely simply over stressed is all Pach.” Antonio said, “Likely.” Pach agreed finally., they ate their luncheons and then after a friendly chat between friends, and much more tea and coffee, they decided it was time to go back to their schools for the final part of the day.
J. Sebastian left first after shaking Pach’s and Antonio’s hands he paid for his meal and walked out into the windy daylight. Pach observed this and then gasped sharply as he saw a sail, as that of a sailing galleon appear on J. Sebastian’s back and arms and he spread his arms to the wind and flew along with the wind shouting and whooping hysterically. Pach closed his eyes tightly and shook his head sharply with a gasp he opened his eyes and the spectacle was still occurring, “God be merciful!” Pach screamed in a whisper, Then he closed and opened his eyes again and the sight was gone. J. Sebastian was walking normally on to Saint Matthew’s High School. Pach sighed and sat still and looked around, he had no idea why his usually strong mind was playing such tricks on him, Antonio looked at him, “Are you well Pach?” He asked caringly, “Yes, Antonio. I am well, I am just more tired than I thought is all I think.” Pach said hopefully, “I pray that is all it is child.” Antonio said as he embraced his young friend and headed back for Saint Luke’s Orphanage. Pach got up and walked slowly back to Saint Martin’s Academe’, he was shaken to the core but he would not let this keep him from teaching his class either.
He took up class and asked his students to perform their compositions one by one. He called Angelin Maris first, a flame haired beauty who so loved her teacher stood before Pach and took up her violin. She handed the composition to Pach for him to study. As he read the composition, the writing on the page began to form into a circle and then dance as though performing a gigue. Pach gasped and dropped the page as though he had just touched a satanic bible. Angelin looked at him shocked, “Surely it cannot be that awful Herr Pachelbel.” She said in a reproachful tone, “No. o-of course not. Continue Angelin.” Pach said as he stared at the page lying on his desk. The girl played and it was beautiful, Pach’s mind concentrated on the music and not the horrific scene, which had so, frightened him. After Angelin was finished, he smiled and said, “Well done. That is a worthy composition.” She smiled back and gave a well-executed curtsy to him; she knew he would award her a star on her composition parchment. Then, after what seemed an eternity, the day of school ended and Pach took himself out of the building and into the cool air, he took in large quantities of the coolness and looked around. What he saw next shocked him severely. My niece Jenna was walking down the street with a basket on her arm… She was stark naked as the day she was born. Pach was so over come by this he fainted dead away. When he woke he was in Saint Peter’s church and Antonio was beside him holding his trembling hand, “Pach, thank God you are awake. You fainted and it was because Stav was bringing the materials to the sight of your home he found you and brought you to me. Are you alright child?” Antonio asked very concernedly, “I-I feel fine Antonio. I do not know what is wrong with me.” The shaken kinetic said truthfully, “You are pale as a ghost child and shaking like a leaf in a strong wind. You will stay here, or I will stay with you at the inn, whichever you prefer.” Antonio offered, “I will s-stay here with you, if that is alright.” Pach said, “I offered, therefore of course it is alright.” Antonio said as he softly stroked the boys forehead. Pach sighed in a defeated tone, “We must go have supper before retiring Pach. Do you think you can manage to come with me?” Antonio asked the young one. “I can.” Pach answered unsurely. They came to my inn and as soon as they came in Pach gasped and stepped back in horror. “What is it Pach?” Antonio asked, “There Are Dogs Sitting On The Tables!” The unnerved boy shouted, I looked around quickly, “Pach? You are hallucinating. There are surely no dogs in my inn. Least of all on the tables.” I took Pach’s hand and led him in showing him carefully no, there were no dogs on my tables. Only the water pitchers with cool water, which I sat Pach down and poured him some of, “Drink this child. It will make you feel better.” I said hopefully, He drank it slowly and Antonio said, “I am going to keep him at the church with me tonight, so I can keep watch over him Reuben.” “Splendid idea Antonio. Whatever is ailing the boy, I pray you do him good and get him over it.” I said. They ate their suppers slowly, Pach kept peering around cautiously, he could feel a presence he had felt before but could just could not place what or where it was. This unnerved him greatly and he began to breathe faster and faster, harder and harder. He was clearly on some sort of brink of insanity. After they ate, Antonio took possession of Pach and they left the inn. “I am going to get you to bed immediately.” Antonio stated, as they left Pach gasped at a truly shocking sight… There in front of the inn was Stav Lougstor… Dressed in tight pink and white ballet garb and dancing a dainty ballet, as graceful as any fine ballerina. Pach made a sound as one terrified and slowly losing his mind. True is, he was. “Son of God! Pach are you alright?” Antonio said, “No. Let us get to your church… Now!” Pach fairly shouted, he took off in a dead sprint for Saint Peter’s and stood trembling on the steps when Antonio arrived. “Wait Pach. I will unlock the door for you.” Antonio said. Pach peered over at the town square and saw a sight that completely unnerved him. The Egyptian god, Anubis was chasing the Egyptian goddess, Bastet around the town well. Pach closed his eyes tight and then opened them, “Mother of Christ.” He sighed weakly as the vision vanished finally. Antonio took the pale kinetic in and aided the unsteady boy in dressing for bed, then he laid Pach on a soft bed and covered him. He bestowed a kiss on Pach’s forehead and said, “Sleep well Pach dear. I am only a whisper away.” Antonio left Pach to sleep but did not go to his loft. Instead he went into a smaller room next to the one where Pach lay. Somewhere in the night, Pach was awakened by an unusual sound, singing, but where? And who?
He got up and went in search of the sound. He went into the theater and beheld Antonio on stage singing opera… But in the voice of a mezzo-soprano diva. “Noooooooooooo!” Pach screamed as he put his balled fists to his eye temples and clinched his eyes closed tightly. He ran as fast as his fleet little feet could carry him for Saint Peter’s he burst in and screamed, “Antonio!” The priest jumped out of his bed as one stung by a hive of bees. “God Of All Of Us, Pach! What IS Wrong?” Antonio shouted excitedly as one frightened out of his wits as well. Suddenly, Pach could not speak, he simply could not utter a word. Antonio was terrified, “My Creator, you have lost your mind. Oh, Sweet Pach, no. Not you.” He said softly in saddened tones. Antonio went to get the physician to see what could be done for Pach. “They mean to lock me away. I cannot allow that. I am the Champion of the Gauntlet of P…” He hesitated, “Or am I anymore?” He ran to his stabled horse, faithful Orion and asked, “Tell me true … Am I the Champion of Sygrace of the Light?” His black beauty turned to his small master and opened his mouth. Instead of the expected whinny, Orion meowed at Pach like a cat. Pach back away in shock, this was too much for him, he ran as fast as he could for the safety of Saint Peter’s once again, he huddled on the bed sobbing and frightened. The physician came with Antonio and I was with them. Pach looked at me and gasped. What he saw was I playing the violin, upside down and in reverse, every piece I played was this way, alas though, and I am no musician. We carried him to the infirmary so the physician could more readily care for him. Physician Moyer gave Pach a sedative to make him sleep. The weary kinetic fell asleep immediately. He slept soundly till he heard a strange sound, the sound of soft strings ripping against something, ‘A violin bow?’ he suggested to himself, he got up and looked out the window, it was Viktor, cutting ham steaks in the town square. Pach ran out and confronted Viktor, “What are you doing?” He asked excitedly, “Cutting ham steaks for the morrows breakfast Pach. Why are you in your night shirt?” Viktor asked as he eyed Pach, Pach noted the instrument he cut the ham with was none other than a violin bow and the delicate strings were ripping apart in the ham, “What are you doing with the violin bow Viktor?” Pach demanded “Trying to cut this bedamned ham, but the stupid strings keep breaking.” Viktor said angrily, “Wha- what?” Pach said confusedly. It began to snow and the physician and Antonio came and found Pach bare foot and not properly dressed for this weather in the town square. “He must be sedated more heavily.” The physician insisted, Antonio hated to, but he agreed this time, they took Pach to the infirmary and sedated him heavily. He was totally unconscious this time.
“What will become of Pach, Antonio?” J. Sebastian asked when he finally caught up with his friend, “I do not know. The good physician can find no explanation for this.” Antonio said worriedly. Time passed and Pach got no better, in fact he got progressively worse. He was finally taken to the sanitarium and locked in a room with only a bed and stand that was all. “I fear he will leave here never.” The sad physician said to us when he came to the inn to have his luncheon. “He is mad as Treasen.” The physician said, “Treasen.” Antonio shouted in a whisper, then he vaulted to his feet and ran with all his might for Pach’s room number 13 at the top of the stairs. He burst in and found the Gauntlet of Power. He gazed into the Eye of Sygrace and said, “NesaerT si erehw em wohs.” Antonio was instantly transported to an abandoned house, he went in silently, he found Treasen asleep on the old bed there within. The priest grabbed Treasen and shook him hard, “You Did This To Pach!” He delivered a massive blow to Treasen’s face and the insane one laughed as hard as he could, “Yes, stealing his sanity and leaving him my insanity.” Treasen said manically, Antonio drew his silver dagger he used to peel potatoes and held it threateningly to Treasen’s throat, “Release Him Or I Will Kill You Treasen!” The priest shouted, Treasen laughed hysterically, “Kill me? But you are a priest. To kill is to be killed in the eyes of God, you know that.” The wild eyed child of the black realms said, “Release Him Treasen!” Antonio shouted as he pulled Treasen’s hair, “Alright then!” Treasen consented, and he took up a mug with a strange tea in it and drank it down quickly, “There! He is loosed of my grip. Now go away red haired priest.” Treasen said angrily. The instant Antonio left Treasen and the house he was in vanished back to wherever the insane unforgiven stay. Antonio went the sanitarium and found Pach in full reign of his mind. He was well again. “It was Treasen. He was stealing your mind Pach. Leaving you as mad as he is.” Antonio explained, “Sometimes I wonder how mad he is… Alternatively, if he is actually a misguided genius. His mind is sharp at devious deception that is sure.” Pach said. “Regardless of what he is, I am glad you are back Pach.” Antonio said with a gentle embrace. “Thank you Antonio, and this is for your anniversary of your gracious birth.” Pach said as he presented Antonio with a beautiful honey gold colored violin with matching bow. “Beautiful Pach.” Antonio sang out, He took the instrument and played some of his finest pieces, so lovely it brought a tear to the eye of Pach, ‘So sweet, so innocent, so brave… I owe you my life dearest Antonio.’ As for Treasen, that insane creature retreated back to his lair in Idengate, the Haunted Forest, he sat watching the cult of the Forgotten Realm and whispered icily in Pach’s kinetic ear, “em fo tsal eht nees ton evah uoY.” A chill ran down Pach’s spine, he knew that was all too true . He said nothing; he did not want to spoil this day, the day he found again, his lost mind.