”’Editor’s Note: Prometheus Rebounds is written by Bill Danks, a former Hawaii resident and Social Studies and Creative Writing teacher at Maryknoll Schools, who was named Economics Teacher of the Year in 1981 by the Hawaii Joint Council on Economics Education. Danks also won three playwriting awards from the Kumu Kahua theatre group, had staged readings at Kennedy Theatre and the UH Art Auditorium, as well as the Hawaii Literary Arts Council’s conference “From Script to Screen.” He received Special Recognition for Excellence in Screenwriting at the first Hawaii International Film Festival, had poetry published in Hawaii Review and Ramrod, wrote for local Hawaii radio, television, and papers such as Sun Bums, and was a finalist in the screenplay competition at the Philadelphia Film Festival in 2003. His current book was named the Freedom Book of the Month for February 2004 by the The Henry Hazlitt Foundation. DEEP SONG, his second book, will be published in 2005. Prometheus Rebounds may be ordered for $15.95 online at http://www.Amazon.com or at http://www.Borders.com directly from Borders Personal Publishing (Pam Durant) at 1-(866) 954-2747 or through any Borders store (ISBN number 1-4134-3832-6). Hawaii Reporter is serializing this novel, beginning next week. One chapter will appear each Wednesday. To reach the author, write to Bill Danks at mailto:NovaZorro@aol.com”’
When Prometheus got home Athena was playing their father’s old Koto, a Japanese table harp. Her long pigtails flew from side to side as she speeded up the tempo. He laughed and tried humming along with the tune.
“I remember that song.”
“Do you remember this too?’ she asked, stopping her song and picking up a Syrinx lying beside her. She tossed it over to Prometheus.
“My old Pan Pipes! I thought I threw it away.”
“You did, brother, but I took it out of the trash.”
“So we could play together again someday…like today.”
“But I can’t play,” he reminded her. “You know what Dad said.”
“Aw, c’mon…,” she insisted. “join me.”
He really didn’t want to, but maybe it might be good for her if they played a little together again. This was the first time he’d seen her touch any of Dad’s things since he died. Yeah, it would be excellent for her.
He ran his fingers along the smooth bamboo, tracing the Greek letters at the base of each tube. He always thought the Syrinx was a great instrument. He remembered the story his mother had told about how it was named after a beautiful nymph who fled from the god Pan into the swamps and was changed into a clump of reeds. Pan was heartbroken. He cut the reeds and tied them together forming the pipes that sometimes bear his name as well as hers. Prometheus used to love the way his mother told that story. She used the Syrinx to dramatize it as she went along.
It was a great instrument all right, but an extremely difficult one to play. Much harder than say a regular flute or recorder. After all, they had holes and keys that you could finger. The Syrinx had nothing but open tubes. Like blowing into a bottle, everything depended upon the player’s own lips and the angle at which his breath attacked the wood. Very few people could really play it well. Dad, of course, was a master of the instrument as he was of most things. Prometheus wasn’t.
As Athena and he began to play he remembered another time, years before. He was trying his best on the pipes and she was then playing a smaller scaled-down version of the Koto. Dad was expertly strumming the full size instrument. He was also giving his son instruction.
“Prometheus! You must relax and breathe more deeply.”
He kept trying but he kept failing. He knew his posture was too rigid and his tone too pinched, but there just didn’t seem to be anything he could do about it.
“Bring forth the inner beauty of the bamboo!”
“How?” Prometheus asked.
“How? Just let it flow from your soul.”
He tried that, but it just made matters worse. Again he knew how badly he was failing to please his father as the old man looked over at Athena, winked, then turned back to Prometheus and smiled.
“You do have a soul…don’t you, Prometheus?”
He wanted to throw the instrument down and just walk out. He wanted to so much that day, but of course he didn’t.
But now, in the present with Athena alone, he did exactly that. She looked bewildered, picking up the Syrinx and calling after him. He didn’t turn back.
Luckily Hobie was still at the court and it was still deserted. They started working on rebounds. It was then that Prometheus learned how the old man