Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Spirit Song: Prologue

As mentioned a my first post for the day, I have a new work in progress, Spirit Song. In this post, I would like to share the prologue (or following the musical theme, anacrusis) I wrote.

Prologue (or Anacrusis)

Dorian huddled alone under an old tree as drizzle fell around him. He could've easily sung the rain away, or raised a shelter from the earth but opted to leave things be. The tune of the evening was sombre, and that suited Dorian just fine.

No need for me to freeze though.

The tired enchanter scanned the forest floor with a practised eye, searching for dry wood. Choosing a few likely branches, he hurried to grab them before they got any wetter. After a few trips he'd amassed a respectable pile and began to sort.

He knocked branches together, listening to the hum they produced. Fire and wood were not harmonious combination, a battle of predator and prey. In this forest at least, Dorian had walked under trees eager to burn. So he searched for a stick with that same burning tone. He was almost finished with his pile - and being to rue never purchasing any flint - when he found a branch with just the right resonance.

Good. This'll make life easier.

He lay the branch across the fire pit he'd prepared, and sharply hit it. He closed his eyes to better tune into the branch and the fire sleeping inside it. He took a deep breath, and began to hum. Softly at first, building into a loud, drawn out, "Re".

The stick hummed in sympathy, its vibration building with Dorian's crescendo until it could take no more and ignited. It wasn't complicated enough to even really be a spell, just an inefficient use of power to get what he wanted. But he was tired, and didn't trust himself to compose a true spell.

Satisfied, he carefully built up the fire and relaxed beside it. The cheerful crackle played over the rain's quiet drumming, the duet far richer than any human could hope to recreate. But Dorian's experienced ear could hear the fatigue in the very background. A fatigue so old that people mistook it as normal.

Better not to dwell on that. He'd had a long day, and tomorrow was another chance to find her and break this cyclic curse. The day was approaching and maybe this year would be the year he succeeded.

"May I join you?"

Dorian whirled to face his sudden guest. And smiled, if warily, gesturing for his guest to sit.

The man sat down on the far side of the fire, unconcerned with the rain falling on his unsheltered shoulders. His green eyes were smiling, hidden in the knots of wrinkles on his ancient face. His gnarled hands reached towards the fire as branches to the sun, seeking warmth and light.

Comfortably settled, the man broke the silence.

"What brings you to this neck of the woods?"

"The same reason I go anywhere, " a bitter laugh, "Chasing a myth. I hear that she passed this way."

"Aye, she was in these parts. Only a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, she didn't run into me." The older man stared at his arthritic fingers. "No kiss of eternal youth for poor old Forrest."

Dorian sighed, "I'm not sure it would be such a boon."

"Then why leave you home and family to seek her so devotedly?"

Dorian eyed his guest suspiciously, I would never, pausing to gather his temper before replying, "it is for my family that I seek her. Not myself."

"I apologise for the slight, but I am still curious. Tell me bard, how would eternal youth be a curse?"

Dorian smirked, and recited,

"Once a man did desire endless youth, so fair maidens would hold him uncouth. The spirits rolled their eyes, and prepared a surprise, for all girls hold a babe close in truth."

Forest laughed whole-heartedly, "Yes, well you do need to be careful with wishes and spirits, " noting Dorian's glare had returned, "Which I doubt anyone knows better than you."

Yes, their price is always more than you have.

Gathering his welcome was wearing thin, Forest rose. "Thank you, bard. For warmth, cheer and company. Good luck on your quest. Although, if I could make a suggestion, no tree wishes to stand alone. There is a promising young man in the valley, who might accompany you."

"Thank you for your company, and advice. I will consider it."

Dorian didn't watch the Old Man of the Forest leave, since it was pointless. It may have been unwise to betray his bitterness to the spirit but he'd managed to refrain from insulting him. Which was fortunate, as he may have never escaped this forest, spirit quest or no.

He stared into the fire, looking into the past, the family he'd left behind and the goal he sought. With a snort he lay down and let the tune lull him to sleep.

I don't need company, I am alone. Always.

[+/-] show/hide story

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