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Sonata of the Graveyard Boy

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It was yet another day. His mother always woke him with a gentle stroke on the shoulder and a kiss on the head, and then made him and his father breakfast and lunch for the day. Then the sun would begin climbing up the sky with pink and orange peering behind the windmill sitting under the blackish blue of night, and the Cuccos would begin to crow. And he would be ready to play in the graveyard with some packed lunch, hugs from his parents and a slightly tremulous "Be a good boy, son. I love you."

Like always, the villagers ran their errands each and every day; the carpenters lumbering about on the project set by their boss who complained about their laziness at the top of his voice, the lady asking for help with corralling her Cuccos who had escaped their pen to go to their favourite walking or hiding spots, the man sat on a roof the boy could see from his window, and the guards standing at their stations. His dad was one of the guards, standing at the gate to Death Mountain.

He was a timid young lad, but for some reason that he couldn't really explain, he found the graveyard and the village itself to have something quite enticing to it. Scary, but enticing. It was usually greyer and less cheery than the rest of the village, and maybe that something had something to do with it, but it gave that wild feel to him that was almost like an adventure. Maybe it was the overall feel of the place which always gave off a gloomy aura compared to the rest of the village? Or the gravekeeper Dampé, of whom the boy was frightened of but at the same time an admirer? He heard of the Sheikah, of whom many of the graves paid homage to, through some stories told by his dad who stood guard at the gate to Death Mountain; how they protected Hyrule alongside the Royal Family, how the great Impa had opened the village for them. But there was so much the boy had never seen, and the hunger to find out itched at him from time to time.

The boy had his scruples however, honed by the routine life and guidance of two loving parents. He knew how to handle money, and Dampé told him not to disturb the graves. He also wasn't allowed to go on the Gravedigging Tour at night as he wasn't old enough, and his father told him to stay away from the well. That being said, the sense of adventure sang to him when he read the sign near the well (Dark! Narrow! Scary! Well of Three Features), and whenever he went into that graveyard to play...

 

One day, another boy wearing a green tunic and a fairy in tow appeared while he tramped around his usual track with stick in hand. He looked athletic and battle hardened, and had a sword and a wooden shield too. He also had a sad expression, as if he lost someone in his family. This boy went to heft one of the graves with flowers at it, and the lad with the stick cried out, "Don't mess with the graves! I'll tell Dampé!" The fairy nudged the lad dressed in green, who tramped up to him with a quizzical look and said, "Uhh, sorry."

After a brief chat, the boy was quite surprised that a Kokiri could have left the confines of the forest to the east, let alone trek up here to the north. "So, what do you want to be when you grow up?" he asked. Link replied while scuffing the back of his head behind his hat, "I already grew up I guess. We're always kids with kid minds and kid bodies, but we call each other grown-ups from the time we have fairies." The boy went on, "Do you have friends?" Link didn't speak for a while, but instead looked down at a lone daisy which was separated by a small bloom of daisies huddled near an anthill shaped almost like a tree. The ants circled around the bloom, but not the singular daisy. Bees collected pollen from the bloom too, but ignored the flower sitting alone. Link looked up and asked about the Heart Pounding Gravedigging Tour, and the boy explained. "...Since I can't do that, I'm just imitating Dampé the gravekeeper all day. But with my cute face, I'm not heart-pounding at all, am I?" The lads chuckled and continued their chat, until the sun sank to the west, down behind the cliffs bordering the path back to the village. The boy looked up to the now orange darkening sky and sighed, "I'd better get home now. Nice meeting you, Link!" He looked down at the daisies Link had just been looking at, and noticed two ants came to it. Then he ran back just as the moon went up.

He took off past the well to the right, ran up the slope and headed back home, greeted by his father by the gate to Death Mountain calling, "Hey son! You're late getting back. Didn't get in trouble with Dampé, did you?" The lad replied, "I just made a new friend called Link. He came to the graveyard and we talked for a while." The guard stroked his chin. "Link, eh? Was he wearing green and accompanied by a fairy?" The boy nodded. His father kept scratching his chin as they talked. "He came here as well, wanting to climb the mountain. He looked tough for his age but I wasn't going to let him through, it's far too dangerous. That wooden shield of his wouldn't last a minute up there anyway. But then he showed me a letter with Princess Zelda's permission and I thought maybe he'd be OK as long as he got himself a proper shield like me." The guard lifted up his shield to show the boy. "They have always been made like this, son. There's the Triforce to which we pray for our safety...and the Loftwing on which the Hero of the Skies rode long ago as had been told by the great Impa..." Then the boy's mother came bustling out of the house and called, "Son, supper's ready, hurry before it gets cold!" Then she came out with a bowl full of stew and handed it to her husband with a kiss, before brushing the boy's shoulder gently. The boy followed his mother back into the house, but not before his father called out, "Son! Come talk with me tomorrow. I'll be there with that...Kee...what's-it-called mask that you wanted." The boy looked up with twinkling eyes before nodding, and a small bowl of stew sat waiting for him on the table...

The boy ate fast; all that tramping in the graveyard gave him quite the appetite. His mother's expression, which had always been one of great loving and caring, had a twinge of amusement at how quickly the carved wooden spoon was already scraping the clay bowl, hunting down the last remaining scraps of his supper. "Try eating slower next time sweetie," she giggled. "You don't want to make yourself sick, do you?" She fetched a bottle of milk and began pouring it into a cup that was also moulded from clay as she said this, but the bowl was already emptied before she turned to the table. "Thanks, Mom!" the boy said with a rosy glow, prompting her to sit down next to him and give him a hug and a kiss on the head. "I'm so glad that you're here with us, sweetie. After all that's..." She stopped, and tears rolled down her cheeks as she slowly relinquished her son, put her hands together and bowed her head over the table. "Hylia bless the great Impa for giving us this home."

After bidding his mother and father goodnight, the boy fell asleep fast, his energy spent from playing in the graveyard. He thought of Link and Navi as he lay in his bed, wondering about what they were doing for fun, and what it was like to go on a real adventure. What went on in the fields going down from the village? What lay behind the gate to Death Mountain which his dad was guarding? And what about the well? His mind filled with thoughts of the fun he could have outside of his bubble as drowsiness blanketed him, and night fell...

 

The Cuccos crowed as the orange veil of light that was the sun stretched against the blackness of night, and the boy got dressed and ready to play in the graveyard again. He had his breakfast, kissed his mother as usual, and ran towards the steps leading down into the village when his father called out, "Hey, son! Look what I got!" The young lad skidded and nearly tripped over his own feet before turning to see the guard wearing something very familiar...

He looked up and his eyes twinkled as his father puffed his chest up and showed off the mask, that yellow fox with the closed contented eyes, cheer and nostalgia welling up inside him. And the same feeling seemed to have affected the guard too, wearied as he was by his shifts at his station by the gate. "It's that Kee...whatchamacallit...character mask! That boy in green was selling it! He said he got it straight from Castle Town! And he seemed to be holding that Hylian Shield of his quite well for a boy his age..." the man ended with a muse. "Listen, son, is it OK with you if I keep hold of this for a little while? Don't want you losing it, after all!" The boy had a tiny twinge of disappointment that he couldn't wear the Keaton Mask, but he smiled and replied, "It's fine. Thanks so much dad!" He finished with a big hug, before dashing off down the stairs to play as usual. The guard shifted the mask to a straight position and stood more upright, aglow with nostalgia. He murmured to himself, "It's been so long since I had seen it, I almost forgot what it looked like and what it was called..."

The lad ran close to the well, and as he ran past it, he thought he heard a gurgle from deep within it. He skidded on the grass, then walked back to it, round to the sign saying "Dark! Narrow! Scary! Well of Three Features". But it was a well, and full at that. How could anyone get down there to look anyway? And was it his imagination sparked by the inscription on the sign, or could he hear the traces of a voice coming from below the water? He leaned forward until he could see his own face reflected on the surface, and then he slowly leaned more. His knees gave way and he could feel himself hurtling towards the water -

A hand grabbed hold of his arm before he broke the surface, and he looked up from behind him and saw a mysterious looking woman pulling him back. She looked more muscular and athletic than any person that he had seen; it was a physique that would put the carpenters tamping across the village and scaffolds to shame. Short white hair suggested quite an age to her in spite of her physique, and hawk-like red eyes pierced him in a way like no other person he had met, and she spoke in a deep voice, "It's just water. Nothing in there at all." The voice was quite unlike any other he heard, and the lad couldn't help but be enthralled by the whole experience. "Thanks for saving me. But who are-" But then she put a finger over her smiling lips, lay an indigo cloth gently but quickly over his head, then he heard a CRACK! followed by a reddish burnishing of light from behind this curtain, and then she was gone. The boy lifted the cloth, and saw a symbol of an eye with three lashes above it, and a long tear below it. He understood now as he stowed it into his pockets; he had just met the great Impa. But something told him that he shouldn't talk too much about it...

On he went to play in the graveyard as was his routine, but the desire to find out what secrets lay in this little village sparked within too, although it was still damped by a bit of fear. The chilly vibes he got from playing in the graveyard every day, Dampé, the well, Impa...they excited him as much as they intimidated him. He tramped up to his usual starting spot, picked up his favourite stick and began mimicking the gravekeeper as usual: "What's gonna come out? What's gonna come out?!", when he looked up and spotted someone right in front of him with a scary face. The lad jumped almost a foot in the air with a yell of "Gyaah! It's Dampé the gravekeeper!", before taking a closer look and realising it was Link wearing a mask. He scuffed his feet nervously in the dirt, then said "I get a different kind of fright from that mask than I get from Dampé...Will you give that mask to me?" Link took the mask off with a smile and then nodded. The boy then handed Link 30 Rupees, to which Link gave a look of surprise showing he didn't expect the lad to pay that kind of money so willingly. Then Navi gave Link a nudge, to which he nodded then turned to the boy and said, "Listen, I have to get going now. But can I play with you later?" The lad looked up at him and replied, "Yeah, of course. I don't think I ever played with anyone before."

As the sun set in the west headed back towards the village, the boy walked back home with his stick in hand. He went around towards the Cucco lady, who was trying to coax the nearest Cucco to the pen without touching it. She made steady motions towards it, only for the bird to flutter straight into her face before running off, leaving her with a red rash marked with goose bumps and streaming eyes. The boy dashed straight towards home, but went up to his father at the Death Mountain gates and panted, "The Cucco lady is getting allergies, I'm just going to get some medicine for her." He knocked at the head carpenter's house, which was answered by one of the carpenters who had said mechanically, "Sorry but you can't come in here, this is my boss' house and his fami-"

The boy interrupted, "But sir, the Cucco lady! She's sick and needs some medicine!" The carpenter looked down at him before saying, "OK lad, I'll go and ask the Granny." The carpenter closed the door, leaving the young lad outside for around 10 minutes, by which time the moon and stars came out. The boy's mother called from inside, "Son, hurry in now. Dinner's ready!" His father stepped down to the window of their house, and replied, "Honey, the Cucco lady's having allergies again. Our boy's just going to fetch her some medicine." When at last the handyman creaked the door open and handed the boy a glass bottle of potion ("Don't forget to bring it back, and whatever you do, don't break it!"), the lad took the bottle and ran back down to the village to the lady who was suddenly beginning to shake. She took the bottle and drank a mouthful, which seemed to cause her shivering to stop. "Th-thank you, boy," she stammered as she took a second mouthful. "Guess I n-need to get b-back to the laboratory by the lake later." The lad gave a puzzled look, to which she replied, "It's qu-qu-quite a way down to the s-south of the land. The p-professor there is v-v-very smart. He's helping me b-b-breed some Cuccos that m-might not set my allergies off again." After much panting, she gave the boy 20 Rupees for helping her out, and then he set off back home.

After scraping the last of his dinner off his bowl made of clay, and a hug and a kiss from his mother, the boy went to bed for the night. He watched the moon rising up over the rooftops and into the dark canvas of the night which housed the many stars, until his eyes drooped and his head sunk into his pillow. In his dreams he was laughing as he played with Link in the graveyard, both of them as happy as can be. Then the graveyard disappeared and there was nothing but blue sky and clouds of all shapes and sizes around him; a gigantic bird with vibrant plumage flew from underneath him and he mounted perfectly on it. The bird soared through the sky, wind caressing the boy's face...Then there was a lake, whose surface they skimmed with a light rainbow mist, then ascending slowly up to a tree on a lone island...On the tree was perched a huge Cucco which opened its beak and said in a strangely echoing voice, "In the shadows lies the truth..."

A crash on thunder woke him with a start, and the moon was obstructed by a thick padding of grey clouds. Jagged forks of lightning crackled through the clouds, and he thought he saw a bolt strike down near the graveyard. After 30 minutes, the storm stopped, the calm allowing the boy to drift back to sleep again before dawn.

 

The Cuccos crowed again, signalling the morning as the sun climbed up with its orange and rosy glow, breaking the dark of night. The boy got up, feeling excited about another day playing in the graveyard. He had his breakfast while talking to his mother about Link and how they might get to play together soon. She was very happy for him, and when he kissed her goodbye for the day and bounded off, she looked on fondly, with hope for a future brighter than the war they had been through a decade before.

The ground was still wet from the short storm the previous night; the boy slipped on his way up to the gate to Death Mountain to speak with his father about Link, and the prospect of playing with him one day. The guard threw his masked head up in the air and gave a hearty laugh. "That's wonderful, son! I am so happy for you, finding friends and helping people out. You are a wonderful boy!" He patted the boy's head, and then the lad went on to tell him about the dream he had last night. They both were very excited when the boy told him about the birds ("They must have been Loftwings!"), and the fantastic scenery of the dream taking place. "But the part with the Cucco was when things started to get weird, it said something I couldn't remember much of, but then I heard a storm and woke up!" His father replied, "Yes, it really came down hard last night. I'm pretty sure that I saw one of the lightning bolts hit the graveyard!" The boy's eyes widened. "Really?! Will it hit the graveyard again?!" To which the guard gave another hearty laugh and replied, "No, don't you worry son. Lightning never strikes the same place twice. You'll be OK!" He then hugged his son ("I love you, son. Stay safe, and be happy."), and then the boy walked down to the graveyard, taking his time due to the still soggy ground.

On he went to the graveyard, taking up his favourite stick and tramping around the place brandishing it at the dirt. He went around for about 10 minutes, drawing little patterns on the dirt patches that were dotted between the small rocky paths around the tombstones, when he noticed that the huge tombstone at the back...had disappeared! He immediately ran to the back of the graveyard where he now saw a hole replacing the huge carved rock between the two marked stones of the Composer Brothers. He crept up to the hole, looking down at it as he did with the well, when the ghosts of the Brothers had appeared out of their resting places. He jumped as they brandished their batons at him, glowering menacingly as they howled at him, "PERISH, MINION OF GANONDORF!", and then fell backwards and into the hole...

He found hard rock at the bottom, and had hurt his leg. Apart from the pain however, he felt amazement as he saw the catacomb inside the hole had been carved from night-blue rock. But fear seeped in when he found skeletons and bones strewn around the corners of the room and heard whispers in this place and his very soul. "Shine light upon the living dead..." But how can someone dead come back to life? The boy was shaken with nerves as well as pain from his leg, but onward he pressed towards the large stone steps leading up to a door, a hand on his bruised knee. After 7 minutes' grunting and heaving himself up on the blue rock stairs, he reached the top and the door opened for him, greeting him with a sweetish, rotting smell and a sorrowful moaning chorus.

Noxious, acid green water trickled from the ceiling into pools around this part of the catacombs, and creatures that looked like people with clay-like bodies were there, slouching or huddled, all shuddering and all groaning the same mournful chorus which reverberated around the room. The boy stood there, unsure of whether to run back or move forward to the next area which was on the other side, covered in shadow. He was terrified, but at the same time felt sorry for them, and the curious side of him made him shuffle his way forward in spite of himself.

The creatures raised their heads and faced him; literally wooden faces, carved tear trails leading a path to the chin down from eyes that were empty, like fathomless voids. They all had circular mouths revealing horrible, misshapen teeth which opened wide as they met his gaze, and all at once emitted a soul-piercing shriek which reverberated around the room and froze his spine. The boy literally could not move, even if he wanted to, and he shivered and whimpered as the creatures shuffled towards him with arms stiffly against their sides, their mouths hungry and taut with hate. One of them was already inches from him, and he could feel its cold earthy fingers grasping his shoulders, and putrid hot breath on his neck...

Then he thought he heard an ocarina playing from the area in shadow, and wondered if it was a song for the end...

All of a sudden, they froze where they stood, covered in a white aura. Then he heard footsteps, and a sword being drawn, then slashes against flesh amongst shouts from another boy, and a fairy yelling warnings...

Next thing he knew, the creature that was about to bite him relinquished him with a pained snarl as the metal blade cleaved across its back. Then came the soul-piercing shriek as it turned to face its attacker. Then the boy watched as more slashes carved through its body, before it let out an elongated groan and fell to the floor. At its feet stood Link, panting as he pulled the sword out of its gut, scrubbed it with a handkerchief, and returned it to its sheath on his back. And Navi the fairy fluttered over to the young lad and chimed, "Hey Link, this boy's been badly hurt. Shouldn't we get him out of here and take him to his parents?"

Link handed the boy a bottle of red potion, which he drank gratefully, and already he was starting to feel better. He made to get up, but instead just managed to roll over to one side. "S-sorry Link," muttered the lad, pink with embarrassment. "I just wanted to see what was around here, in this village. It gets quite boring sometimes, so I go to play in the graveyard every day." Link replied, "Don't talk too much, you're still in a bad way. Come on, let's get you home." Then he carried the boy in a fireman's lift and carried him almost effortlessly through the door, jumped down the stairs with shocking strength and agility for a kid his age, then went to the light leading up from where he fell...

They were back in the graveyard. The Composer Brothers were gone. The sun peered out from behind the dull grey clouds that blanketed the place, and on Link walked to the west towards the village. But in spite of the renewed sunshine, the boy couldn't help but feel ashamed and disappointed. He supposed it had been a good day to start with, but he felt he had been somewhere he shouldn't have and was frightened by his experience. Indeed, he thought he had spotted a shadow in the trees, a hawk-like red glint reprimanding him. He suddenly said to Link, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have come down there. I'll stay around here now." Navi reassured him, "At least you're alive and safe, and you'll be back home soon."

Soon they reached Kakariko, and one of the carpenters almost ran straight into them. He stopped and asked, "Hey, what's wrong with that boy? He looks hurt, you might want to-" But his words of concern were interrupted by a yell coming from his boss, "Oi, quit yer yappin' and get to work! This village ain't gonna build itself!" The builder jumped and called back, "Y-y-y-yes, sorry boss!" And off he bounded up the stairs to the windmill, leaving Link to carry the boy back to his home. He took the right, and as he passed the well, the boy heard the same voices that whispered in his mind earlier. "Look for the eye of truth..."

Link had almost reached the house, when the two boys glimpsed an indigo figure facing the guard at the entrance for a short moment, before a CRACK! sounded off from the spot where it stood, and it disappeared. Then as they went up to the house, the guard called out to Link, "Hey, Mr. Hero!" He went up to them to look at his son, then knocked on the door to the house. The boy's mother answered, then cried out, "Son! What happened to you?" The guard replied, "It's OK honey, he's just a little shaken. Let's take him to bed and get him something to warm up with." Shaken was certainly how the boy felt after the whole day; being attacked by those monsters in that hole wasn't in his schedule at all. After Link set him to bed, he took the cloth that Impa had covered his head with, and held it gingerly over his bruised knee as his mother set a mug of tea at his bedside table, pouring some milk in from a bottle.

 

The boy hadn't slept well that night. He woke with a start as a howling wind whipped through the village, bringing with it a torrential downpour of rain and a frenetic clattering of wood from afar. He looked out of the window and saw that the windmill, which usually churned in its slow and sleepy rhythm, was now spinning amazingly fast. It was almost out of control! He was beginning to wonder whether to go out to play in the graveyard that day, but then the storm stopped after 15 minutes and everything went back to normal.

That morning, the boy went downstairs feeling much better and refreshed, and ate breakfast with his mother. She looked worried, but he said to her with rosy cheeks, "I'm feeling loads better, Mom. Thanks for taking care of me." She came over to him and gave him a big hug, saying tremulously, "I'm just so glad you're safe, sweetie. I wish this peace would last forever, and you would grow up with a family and be happy..." She sniffed, before kissing him on the head. "That boy who helped you, Link I think it was? Is he coming to play with you?" The boy replied, "I hope so." She hugged him again and said, "Have fun sweetie, and take care." And off he went to speak with his father.

The guard stood with the Keaton mask on, displaying it with glee before his son, who came up and said excitedly, "Dad, I forgot about this, but look what Link got me the other day!" The boy took out his wooden mask, and put it on before grunting, "I'm Dampé the gravekeeper! What's gonna come out? What's gonna come out?! When I start digging, we'll find out!" The guard stared at the mask for a second, but then gave a hearty laugh. "That's Dampé down to a tee! So, are you going to play with Link today?" The boy said, "I hope so, I really want to." The man then knelt down and patted his head, saying "I hope so too, son. Anyway, I better get back on duty. Have a great time!"

Off the boy went down to the graveyard, but then he stopped at the well and noticed the water was all gone. He worried about being able to get a drink, but also noticed the voices he heard before sounded a little louder than before. But he paid no heed to it, and ran straight for the graveyard.

When he got to his favourite spot, he waited eagerly for Link to come. But after 30 minutes, the boy decided to pick up his stick and tramp around his favoured path (careful to avoid the big hole and the Composer Brothers' tombstones at the back), until he stopped and sat on the grass. He drew some patterns in the dirt, and in the afternoon while the sun was still up, he decided to give up and went back to the village. He was nearly at the village and was about to try helping the Cucco lady, when he stopped at the sound of a man's voice to his right.

"Hey kid. Come here for a second." The boy turned to the right just before entering the village proper, to find a huge man with red hair wearing black armour sitting on the crate behind the wall, elbow on his knee and resting his chin on his fist. The lad replied, "I'm not supposed to talk to strangers, mister." The man chuckled and said in a surprisingly reassuring voice for his intimidating stature, "Don't worry, boy. I won't keep you long. It's just that I've lost something while passing through." There was something about this man that made the boy wary, but at the same time thought he looked pretty cool. Plus he figured the man needed help, but was still wary. "Who are you?" asked the boy. The man gave a grin that was almost like a leer, "I am called Ganondorf."

Ganondorf...the name sounded familiar to him. "I got attacked by some ghosts yesterday who said that name." The huge man gazed ahead towards the graveyard, before looking down to the boy and going on, "Anyway, about that thing that I lost. Do you think you could find it for me?" The lad replied, "Yeah, sure. What's it look like?" Ganondorf grinned again and said, "Thanks, you're a good kid. What I lost was a reading lens. It's got three little pointed bits over the eye, and it's purple. The bit you look through is red on one side, and blue on the other." The lad said, "OK, I'll go and look for it. Do you remember where you last had it?" Ganondorf scratched his chin musingly with the same grin, before replying, "I was near the well by the windmill. Hope I didn't drop it..." The lad piped up, "The well's dried up. Should I look for it down there?" And then the man chuckled and said with a bigger grin showing his teeth, "Yeah, please. I'd look for it myself, but I have some...errands to run and can't wait around. Thanks, kid." And off the boy went to the well and hooked his feet onto the rungs of a ladder leading down.

As soon as his feet found the bottom of the ladder, that same voice he had heard in his dreams and around the well spoke louder and clearer than before. "The truth lies within." The boy looked around the still wet stone but no such reading lens yielded, so he edged into a tiptoe towards the chasm, fearful but also more curious than ever, and then walked in where the darkness swallowed him up.

 

What sounded like drums began to beat in a slow, soft rhythm as the boy advanced, coming across a crawlspace near the floor. There was an iron-like smell in the air; it gave him the chills. But on he went to look for this lens that Ganondorf had lost. He fitted himself through the crawlspace, and on the other side was a ladder leading down to a metal grating floor coated in blood, and piles of skulls about the place. There was also a huge Skulltula hanging from the ceiling, and a skeleton leaning against the opposite wall. Other than that it looked like a dead end, and nowhere could the boy see anything like a purple reading lens. He was paralysed with terror; he wanted to run back and never return to this place. But the drums grew louder, seeming to beckon him forward. Even the Skulltula didn't seem to try pouncing upon the boy as he passed, as if it was allowing him passage too. Before long, he put a hand to the wall next to the skeleton...

His hand seemed to pass through. He moved his hand to the left, where it touched the cold earthy wall where the skeleton leaned, and he thought the voices saying "Look for the eye of truth..." came from it. He moved it to the right, and touched a wall there too. Beckoned onwards, he walked forwards, and passed through.

Was it an illusion, or did he really pass through a wall? Was the wall a ghost? The lad didn't know what this place was, and he was feeling more and more uneasy and scared. He shrieked in terror when a Green Bubble - a giant flying skull covered in green flames - flapped past him. But he moved onwards, beckoned ever further by the drums, and he saw all manner of horrifying creatures which eyed him hungrily, but they ignored him. The boy moved onward until he fell through an invisible hole in the floor.

He hit a wooden scaffold, and over it he saw a pool of the same noxious green water he had seen in the hole under the big tombstone at the graveyard. And there were more of the clay creatures moaning their chorus. But there was also something he didn't see before; a dot of shadow in the middle of the pool that grew bigger as the drumming sounds got louder and beat faster. The shadow began to shape itself into a figure hooded in black, leaving a trail of smoke in its wake as it walked across the water, staring up at the boy with gleaming red eyes.

The being spoke, in precisely the same voice the boy had heard from the well, the skeleton, and the Cucco in his dreams. "You have come to find the eye of truth." The lad couldn't speak; he was terrified and awed in equal measure. "The great Ganondorf sent you here to find it. He is setting his plans in motion, it seems." The boy tried to speak, but for some reason the words couldn't come out. The shadowy figure kept speaking. "You have lived in peace and safety with your family, while maintaining an interest in the darkness. It is only natural that you should be fond of us. We represent to you the sins that you could never be brave enough to commit. That no Hylian could be brave enough to commit."

But courage the boy found enough of to find words in his mouth at least, though stammered by this horrific yet fascinating sight. "W-where's the reading lens?" The figure replied, his red eyes still ablaze, "The lens is gone. A boy dressed in green stole it from my domain here. But no matter. I have been given power by the great Ganondorf in exchange for my services, during the civil conflict. Now come." The wood gave way as shadows emanated from the being and shattered the scaffold.

The clay creatures rose from their huddled stances and at once the boy found himself froze where he lay as they let out the soul-rending shriek. They moved towards him, their mournful chorus growing closer as they advanced on him. But the boy found his feet and ducked under the first creature as it lunged towards him, running around the pool and climbing up the ladders for dear life. The creatures couldn't get him, he was surely safe -

But the door was shut in by metal bars. The boy turned around hopelessly as the creatures gazed up at him, and the shadowy being materialised in front of him. It spoke in that haunting, echoing voice, "Let me tell you a story. It is about the past, and us Sheikah..." It raised a hand formed from black mist, and it shrouded over the boy's head...

The boy was suddenly transported away from the well, away from even his own body, and he saw many things. He saw a goddess emanating a blazing white, standing before an old woman with hawk-like red eyes.
"After the Old Gods had created Hyrule, they sent the goddess, Hylia, to watch over the sacred power known as the Triforce with the power to grant any mortal wish. She gave Impa a blessing in return for our people's services. We were to protect her, and the Triforce, from those struck with greed. And we did so using any means that occurred to us, while staying in the shadows where we are at our greatest."

He saw a man wearing a black mask covering his entire head. This mask had horns like a crown curving out from its top.
"Indeed, there were some who wanted this power to rule. After the peace Hylia had promised, the people gave in to greed and a war ensued. One of our clans had crafted the Fused Shadow, and used its incredible power to control the Sacred Realm and the Triforce. That was until spirits of light descended, and put their dominion to a halt before imprisoning them in a world of shadows where they diminished."

He saw nothing but flames and smoke, and heard clashes of swords interspersed with the whining of arrows, and through the flames there was endless fighting between enormous numbers of people in a desert, and then a vast field.
"The great Ganondorf came to me, and told me about how his people were made scapegoats by fate, cast into a barren wasteland to fend against the forces of nature at their fiercest. His people had to take Hylian men with them in order to live on, due to being a race consisting only of women. Save for one boy born every hundred years, whose fate was to rule them as their King. Whose fate, I had seen, was one that would always come back in a cycle, soaking the land in blood and darkness. I along with my clan coveted that darkness, and the liberation he promised me. We joined forces against the Family in whose blood resided the goddess Hylia. The Family whose princess we had pledged to protect. The Family who had us in shackles, and from whom he promised to free us."

He saw a hooded man in a small room, hanging by his ankles before another person with red eyes, raising a sword as others looked on.
"We who fought alongside the Gerudo for our freedoms were punished and executed in secret, away in our holy temple. We were labelled traitors, and our symbol which we wore in our search for the truth had now donned a tear for shame. Made scapegoats for pursuing that which made us Sheikah, pursuing the truth. We pledged then that we would find the truth, and our freedom, even after death."

And now they were back in the well, in the room with the green water. Ganondorf was there too, looking straight at him with an intrigued curio on his wicked features lit by a flickering blue light. "Well, this is a different Poe to what I've seen. Is this what you needed?" The shadowy figure inclined his head. "It is precisely what I need; an innocent soul brimmed with curiosity. I gave him my gift that has been passed down by my kind as well, that should provide enough hatred to break the seal that Impa had placed here. It will take some time though." Ganondorf grinned again, saying, "But of course. Every good plan requires patience. Don't fret, Bongo Bongo, your release will come in time." He raised his hand, which revealed a glowing mark of the Triforce, the top triangle shining first. Then he began to fly above them, before saying, "I might come back for him once you're finished. I know someone who would be interested in him, someone who would fund our campaign. Freedom and truth," he finished, raising a clenched fist, a gesture which Bongo Bongo returned. Then he flew out through the hole which the boy had fell into, before a huge tremor came from afar.