Sonorous

Sonorous

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Summary

When her contact with the outside world mysteriously cuts off, Mara must journey beyond her home in order to rectify the situation.
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Summary

When her contact with the outside world mysteriously cuts off, Mara must journey beyond her home in order to rectify the situation.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 17, 2017

Reads: 88

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 17, 2017

A A A

A A A

The metal is cold in my hand despite the warmth of the day, and the slight clicking of the keys draws my ear. Brushing the calluses on my nimble fingers, the open tone-holes of the flute resonate with bright sound as the air cascades through the chambers, and my eyes close to listen.

My most recent project, a light jig based on a northern folktale, is most definitely a work-in-progress; I have not even initiated the second half. At the moment, I am working on the countermelody in the flute line underneath the lyrics. It has to be perfect, or else the entire piece would be boring, to say the least. Luckily, flute is my absolute specialty.

I halt my playing, dragging the instrument from my lips reluctantly, and add the necessary notation on the parchment in front of me. I have to be careful, else the other sheets around me tumble to the floor from their precarious perch upon the table. The last thing I wish to do with the rest of my afternoon is tidy up; the condition of my home certainly reflects that sentiment.

After another half hour of experimentation, I finally have a rough outline of the countermelody, enough to work off. I glance at the clock and nod to myself.

“I’ve still got plenty of time,” I utter, even though I am completely alone. I offer a quick laugh to myself; of course I have time. Time is one thing I have plenty of.

I transition to my lyre, the final component of this relatively simple composition. After adding a few chords to the mix, I find that I am not in the mood for that particular instrument. I instead decide to practice the shawm, neglected for too long because of a shortage of reeds. The next hour passes in a much similar fashion; my life is not exactly the most varied.

This time, instead of picking a different instrument, I organize the papers on the desk briefly, enough to prevent an avalanche in the near future, and grab my hat and list. I step outside into the light of the late afternoon sun, my eyes instinctively squinting against the glare. Skirting the edge of the garden, I set off into the woods at a brisk pace. My steps are sure; I have nothing to fear here.

These woods are well known to contain wolves, which prowl through the woods at night, and rumors speculate that creatures far more dangerous than any mortal beast wander these woods, creatures that can suck the soul from your very body, that can carve you up for a trophy, that can control your will like a showy puppet-master. They are right, of course. I live here, after all.

I made this forest my home for well over forty years, my isolation self-imposed. My tolerance for fools has only declined over the years, and the world is chock-full of them. I would like to think of myself as a patient woman, but that would be an obvious lie. Patience is relative, and I would rather not spend an eternity waiting.

I make good time, and soon the trees thin and grow into shrubbery and grasses. Amongst the hilly, bare terrain, one structure stands alone against the windy landscape. It is cylindrical at the bottom, made of red brick, with a wooden scaffold-like structure placed on top. Attached to the roof is a rope that continues all the way down into the depths in the center of it all.

The well has been here as long as I have, and it has been almost like a companion to me all these years. The brick is cracked and weathered, the hard edges beaten down by the harsh plains wind. The subtle howling is present even now, the eerie musicality appealing to me.

Upon reaching the well, I haul up the bucket from its long-dry bed, surprised at the lightness. Usually the action is more of a struggle, but this time I hardly expend any effort. When the bucket finally reaches surface-level, I understand why.

“What in the hell…” I trail off. The bucket is completely empty. Empty, vacant, hollow. Bewilderment flashes through me.

Not once have they forgotten me. Not once in forty years have they failed to deliver. My hand clenches around the handle, the knuckles flashing white.

“How dare they?” I swear, whipping around to head into the direction of the village. For half a second I contemplate how I should deal with them as the ungrateful children they are, but then my steps falter a short distance from the well and I slow to a stop.

 I take a single inhalation to calm myself and to think rationally. There must have been some sort of issue, for them to fail me after this long. I have plenty of supplies left for another few days, and I can fend for myself in the meantime. There is no reason to ruin a beneficial deal after a single mistake.

Reticently, I head back home, wrinkles deep in my brow. The village has some credit with me and they have not gone back on their word, so I shall give them two more days. After that point, I cannot say where we will stand.

Every week, the town west of my cottage sends the supplies I cannot gather on my own into the well, to prevent scavenging, and I collect it that afternoon, replacing it with a list for the next week. There is no face-to-face interaction, no conflict, just a purely business transaction. Supplies in exchange for my leniency. Occasionally I will also send copies of my more mediocre works for them to do with as they will. Indeed, I had not spoken with a human being in years and that fact still comforts me.


© Copyright 2017 Ismaeduval. All rights reserved.

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