Friday, September 20, 2013

Prompt: I didn’t know you played! Part 1

Sarenca rested in her meditation pose in the shade of the white-blooming azara tree, inhaling its sweet fragrance with every breath. She easily set aside the sounds of other people in the courtyard. A few distant notes of music caught her attention, though, even in her trancelike state. A half-remembered tune made her fingers twitch, and she suddenly longed to play once more.

A gasp, a few exclamations pulled her back into the here and now. Her eyes flashed open, brilliant blue against her deep black skin. She didn’t move, observing the people stopping in their tracks to stare at her. In front of her. She glanced down and tears filled her eyes.

“Do you play?”

“Is it real?”

“Will you play for us?”

An old woman approached and crouched down on the other side of the yeberen, that hadn’t been there when Sarenca first settled under the tree. Where had it come from? Sarenca thought of the memory, her hands caressing an instrument she hadn’t seen in decades.

The old woman reached her hand over it, but did not touch it. She looked down its length, then up to Sarenca. “No one has heard this in over a hundred years!”

Sarenca smiled sadly. “Well, not quite that long,” she replied in a voice that was itself an instrument, soft but strong, carrying a sweet tune of its own across the gathering crowd.

The old woman smiled uncertainly. “Would you…could you…play it for us? I would like to hear it once in my life.”

Sarenca bowed her forehead to the ground, honoring the old woman and the instrument between them. The old woman backed away, and Sarenca reached a fingertip to the oblong wooden frame before her. Would she even be able to play it after so long?

At her touch, the wood shimmered and a pure tone flowed out over the people around her, drawing them closer with every breath. As if she had never stopped, Sarenca played. Her fingers ran over the wood, caressing it with light touches all over the delicate inlays and carvings she remembered so well, even though she had never seen this one before.

The crowd was mesmerized. They drew close, silent, breathing in unison, sighing in rapture as the music swept over them, through them. It restored love, hope, dreams, faith. Strangers clasped hands. Parents swept their children into tight embraces. Lovers wrapped arms around each other.

And still Sarenca played. The crowd grew, eerily still and silent as the people filled the courtyard and flowed into the streets around it.

And still Sarenca played. The sun’s light crept deeper into the shadow, and the moon which had risen early in the day shone bright above them. No child cried, no one grew restless, no one left.

A staccato beat intruded on the yeberen’s sweet music, then wrapped into it, adding an unexpected harmony.

Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing:
~50 minutes

September word count:

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