Sharp cricked his neck as he turned to see his younger brother Flat, who had just burst through the entrance of their living quarters in Hyrule Castle. Flat’s cheeks were flushed with red and he was desperately heaving air into his lungs. He bent over and placed his delicate hands on his knees in an effort to catch his breath.
Sharp hooted with mirth at the sight of his brother. “Dear Flat, I don’t believe I’ve seen you out of breath in your life! What goes on?”
Flat pushed his sweaty, golden hair out of his face and hurried to Sharp’s side. He forced himself to stand up-right and look his brother in the eyes. His breathing was still labored and his words came out between huffs and puffs, “I came…. from the gardens… a soldier told me…. the town is breached!”
Sharp’s eyes widened with shock and the world went quiet as the reality of the situation crashed over him — war had come to their doorstep after all.
Flat grabbed his brother’s slender shoulders and shook him roughly, “Sharp! Didn’t you just hear me? The battle is making it’s way to the castle!”
Sound returned to Sharp’s ears again and he grasped Flat’s narrow shoulders in return, “Yes, Brother; I hear you! We must flee. Grab our instruments and I will take care of the research!”
The brothers broke free from each other and hastily gathered up the most precious of their belongings. Flat then stashed a small, decorative dagger in his pocket — just in case.
The brothers exited their rooms with haste and joined the throng of courtiers rushing through the castle. Sharp held tight to their research as they maneuvered through the crowd, but Flat was so laden with musical instruments that he was accidentally dropping them.
“Forget them!” Sharp insisted. “We have the research and that is what’s important!”
Flat nodded and continued through the suffocating mass. At last, they reached the bottom of a winding staircase and exited through an ornate door to the main foyer of the castle. Flat sighed with relief as the people surrounding him dispersed into the open space and pressed on to their own destinations.
“This is madness!” Flat exclaimed, carefully setting his instruments down on the floor. “How much further until we reach our safe room?”
Sharp opened his mouth to reply and was cut off by a resounding BOOM!
The brothers turned in unison to see the castle doors burst open and a furious mob storm the foyer! The very walls shook with screams as a horde of angry Gorons span purposefully forward. They were closely followed by Zora and Hylians alike, who sang out a terrible battle cry. Chaos ensued as the aristocracy of Hyrule Castle turned on their heels to flee, but instead were met by the blade of a blood-thirsty rebel!
“RUN!” Flat yelled in panic. They twisted and turned in a bid to escape the panic until finally, he could see a door through which they might escape.
“There!” Sharp pointed in triumph. But before he could reach the handle, a fierce looking Zora tackled him heavily to the ground. Sharp screeched as his scrolls of research were thrown from his grasp and the angry Zora put a sharp fin to his exposed throat.
“SHARP!” Flat screamed, shrilly. He threw his cherished instruments to the floor, leapt onto the Zora’s unguarded back and began to pummel every inch of him within reach.
The Zora began thrashing against the wall in an effort to remove Flat from his back. With an almighty crack, Flat banged his head against the wall and unwillingly released his foe, who turned menacingly to face him. Flat snapped his eyes shut, terrified to face his own death. Then he heard a low gurgle and a thump. When he opened his eyes, a Castle Soldier in bloodstained armor was pulling his sword from the Zora’s body. The soldier offered him a nod of acknowledgement and then rushed back into the fray.
Sharp pulled Flat to his feet and threw his arms around him. “Thank the Goddesses, you’re okay!”
Flat squeezed his brother and then remembered that their research lay abandoned on the floor. “Sharp, the scrolls!”
Together, they scrambled to collect the scrolls within their reach, and then ran as fast as they could through the door in front of them. Their instruments lay forgotten at their heels. They reached a spiral staircase and began to climb, when they heard the thunder of footsteps in their wake, followed by shrieks and more screams.
“Where does… this lead… Brother?” Flat puffed as they raced up the stairs.
“I… don’t…. know,” Sharp panted, trying his best to ignore the horrendous sounds that followed them.
The brothers pressed on, higher and higher. They passed many rough, wooden doors as they climbed the spiral staircase. Eventually they reached the top, which opened onto a short, narrow passageway. Sharp and Flat crossed the corridor in no time and fumbled with the handle of yet another door. When it swung open, they spilled into a small chamber, which housed only a bed, an old wooden dresser and a simple chair. Flat realized that they must be at the top of the servants quarters; one of the castle’s highest towers.
“Barricade the door!” Sharp cried as he began to push the bed across the room. Flat rushed to aid him and together they managed a weak blockade. The sounds of the battle below still echoed and became louder with every moment.
Flat glanced out of the only window in the room, which looked onto Castle Town itself. “The town is ablaze!” he exclaimed, his face crumpled with despair. Thick, black smoke filled the sky as bright, red flames engulfed the town. “Are we to die this day?”
Sharp looked into Flat’s eyes; bright green, just like his own. In those eyes, Sharp witnessed his brother’s awful fear. “No. Not today, dear Flat,” he answered, trying his best to hide his lack of conviction. “The Castle Soldiers will come for us… we just have to wait.”
Flat nodded, trying to believe Sharp’s words. Then he remembered the dagger in his pocket. As Flat reached for it, he realized that one precious instrument remained on his person. “Look, Sharp,” he called, pulling the instrument from his pocket. “It’s the ocarina.”
Sharp looked closely at the ocarina, which was decorated with the symbol of the Triforce. It was the perfect distraction from their fear! “Let’s compose, Brother.”
Flat straightened out their scrolls by the dying light at the windows. The sun was setting and soon they would not be able to read their notes. Sharp frowned at just how much research they had actually lost. Only two of their scrolls were of any use.
“Let’s combine these,” Flat suggested, pushing the scrolls side by side. “Perhaps we will have some luck.”
Sharp brought the ocarina to his mouth and began to play. When nothing happened, Flat insisted that he try once more, but this time in reverse. Sharp sighed and took up a tune again.
This time, as Sharp finished the melody, the failing light of the sun fled the sky all too quickly, and night fell upon them suddenly. The brothers turned to each other in disbelief.
“Nightfall, already?” Sharp questioned, his eyebrow arched and excitement coursing through his veins.
“Again!” Flat exclaimed, taking a turn on the ocarina.
Sharp’s eyes went wide as the sun rose steadily above the horizon, casting it’s warm rays over the world below. “Are you seeing this, Brother?”
Flat jumped to his feet and clutched the windowsill, “Did we do that? Did we unlock a secret of the Royal Family’s magic?”
Sharp gazed at the sky in awe. “We done it!”
Flat rushed to the dresser which formed part of their barricade. He pulled open the drawers and raised a quill and ink pot aloft with a triumphant, “Aha!” He then recorded the fruits of their labor on a scroll and titled it The Sun’s Song.
“It’s perfect!” Sharp nodded with satisfaction. “An apt title, dear –”
The brothers jumped in alarm as someone attempted to break through their blockade. In their excitement, they had momentarily forgotten the imminent dangers that had followed them through the castle.
“Open up!” a woman’s commanding voice demanded. “In the name of Lord Ganondorf, open this door!”
Sharp and Flat looked at each other, sheer panic rushing through their veins. Only one tribe would inflict the name of the power-hungry Lord Ganondorf — the thief clan: Gerudo.
“The research!” both brothers uttered in alarm. Sharp grabbed the precious scroll and rolled it up tightly, before hiding it in the leg of his leather boot. Flat stowed the ocarina in his pocket, just as three Gerudo women poured into the room, their scimitars glinting and the crimson blood of their victims evident on their garb.
“Two little men!” one Gerudo sneered.
“Hiding like frightened children!” another Gerudo mocked as her fellows cackled from behind.
Flat swallowed his fear and straightened his shoulders, “We are not children, thief!”
Sharp glanced quickly at his brother, alarmed that he would so blatantly offend the women when their own lives were at stake. “M-my brother simply means t-that we are m-mere composers, attempting to avoid any b-bloodshed,” he stuttered fearfully.
The Gerudo howled with laughter and the third stepped forward, raising her scimitar in Sharp’s direction, a foreboding look upon her face. “Then you are of no use to us,” she growled.
“No!” Flat screamed shrilly, pulling his dagger out. He slashed with wild abandon at the woman’s flesh and drove the dagger into her flesh. She shrieked and fell with a thud to the floor with a wound that would claim her life.
Sharp pulled Flat to his side, his face stricken with horror. He placed his arm across his brother’s chest and felt the thumping of his heart. “Forgive him, please!” Sharp begged, his voice pleading.
The remaining two Gerudo women stepped forward menacingly, their eyes blazing.
“Perhaps we will take you to Lord Ganondorf after all, Composer.” one woman threatened. “And your brother will have to live with the knowledge that his actions are responsible for your fate.”
Sharp froze, terrified that he might be brought in front of the cruel leader of the Gerudo. His thoughts spun to their research. He couldn’t let Lord Ganondorf get his dirty hands on it! Flat was sobbing uncontrollably into Sharp’s shoulder, his words almost indistinguishable as he apologized over and over again.
One of the Gerudo women reached out and roughly grabbed Sharp. Flat screamed and pulled at his brother, unwilling to let her take him. “You can’t have him!”
The other Gerudo woman pinned Flat to the wall, and he struggled with all his might until he managed to slip from her grip.
“Kill him, Meela,” the Gerudo woman who held Sharp captive commanded, lazily.
Meela jumped to her feet and pulled at Flat’s hair. She yanked him backwards, and drew her shining scimitar across his throat. Flat fell to the floor with a thump and his life’s blood poured from his wound.
“Noooo!” Sharp cried, twisting violently to free himself from his captor. He wriggled, cat-like from her grasp and pulled Flat’s dagger from his victim’s chest.
Meela snickered, “You are outnumbered, Composer. And you are coming with us!”
Sharp looked from the women’s amused faces, to Flat’s lifeless body, and back again. He felt the scroll of research against his leg and made a decision.
“Never,” Sharp whispered, meeting their eyes. He would not let them take him alive. He felt his own self-inflicted, searing pain, then fell to his knees and sank to the floor. He could see Flat’s glassy eyes in front of him, staring into nothing. As his world went dark, Sharp heard through muffled ears, the voices of the Gerudo women.
“He was brave, after all.”
“No, he was a coward. A brave man would have faced our Lord Ganondorf.”
“Should we take Arinah back with us?”
“No, her body will slow us down. Let’s go.”
As the women left the room, Sharp’s eyes flickered shut for the last time.
“In here, Sir!” a young soldier called from the top most room in the servants quarters.
“Let me past!” Viscen demanded, pushing into the room. He came to a stop in front the body of a Gerudo woman and then cast his eyes over the two Hylian men beside her. A spark of recognition lit up the captain’s eyes, then his features went dark as he worked out what had taken place in that room. “These are the Composer Brothers, Sharp and Flat. The king commissioned them with a special task, known only to them. I knew Flat; he was good man. The Gerudo are responsible for this!”
“Look’s like they took one down with them, Captain,” the young soldier replied, nudging the body of the Gerudo woman with his boot.
Viscen nodded in agreement, “Send word to the king, it is important that he knows of this. Go now.”
Yes, Captain!” The young soldier turned on his heel and left on his errand.
Viscen bent to inspect the bodies and noticed a scroll sticking out of Sharp’s leather boot. He pulled it out and read the title, “The Sun’s Song”. “Were you protecting this?” he murmured, wondering why a sheet of music would be so important.
“Captain!” another young soldier called. “Our troops have apprehended two Gerudo women, they were attempting to flee the castle with other rebels!”
Viscen stood up, “Alright, I’m coming.” He took one last glance at the Composer Brothers and whispered, “I’m sorry that I couldn’t save you, but I will make sure that you are avenged.” He rolled the scroll up and tucked it into his belt; he would make sure that the king received it later. For now though, he had rebels to attend.
Artwork by MudSaw