Saturday, November 9, 2013

Prompt: Made of music

Stefan had set his phone alarm for just after dawn. His mother didn’t even stir when he fumbled to turn it off, or as he crept around the camper pulling on his jeans and a tee-shirt that didn’t smell *too* rank. He guzzled the last of the orange juice in the small fridge and wondered if he could find any money to buy groceries on the way home. It might take the edge off her temper. Well, he couldn’t buy beer, so probably not.

He shut the door carefully behind him and jumped on his bicycle, adjusting his backpack so it wouldn’t jostle around too much on the way to the dunes. He parked his bike behind a big trash drum and pulled out his dad’s old binocs, hanging them around his neck and shouldering the pack as he headed across the dunes to his favorite spot.

Settled in the sand, he scanned the beach. The regulars were there, little sanderlings and black oystercatchers. He saw some pelagics flying offshore. Ordinarily, he’d be keeping a close eye in case one of them flew in to shore as they sometimes did. Today he was in search of bigger game. Old man Ruiz said he heard a whooper swan when he was picking up oysters in the evening. Stefan had been dubious, but Senor Ruiz did know his birds, and Stefan didn’t want to miss a whooper if he had the chance.

So here he was at dawn with the usual little shorebirds and not much more…when he saw her. The most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, wearing a fancy white dress like in an old movie. Her dark hair was piled on her head, and her dress was open in the back. He was too starstruck to even pick up his binocs for a closer look as she wandered with dreamy barefoot steps across the white sand. Something swirled around her, like sheets of paper, and Stefan thought one fell out of her dress, picked up by the wind and swirling away.

To be continued...


  1. Prompt: Made of music

    I closed my eyes and felt the music flow from my fingers, through the bow, to the fiddle and then out – given sound. It wrapped about me, and I lost myself to the rise of fall of the notes’ patterns. Sometimes I could envisage it, like person standing beside me, the music a conversation – my playing my words, the thrill of my heart the music’s reply.

    “Marissa! What’s that?”

    I snapped my eyes open to a shower of autumn leaves settling to the forest floor in front of the me. To my left, my sister Eriana leaned against a sapling, the young tree bent under her weight. “What?” I snapped, annoyed at the breaking of my musical solitude.

    “That!” She pointed to the ground before the old stump upon which I sat. “The leaves... were you doing _magic_?”

    I scowled at her. She knew as well as I did that I had no magical talent. I’d been tested, anyway, for every family hopes that rogue talent might appear and they can send a child off for training. And my grandmother’s aunt, even, had been a magician, so it was in the family. Eriana had a few more years before she would be tested, and already she showed signs. My younger sister would be off to the big city and adventure, and I would be left here, the boring old one.

    I gripped my fiddle. But music was another way out, and so I practiced every day. “Stop teasing. Why are you bothering me?”

    “Ma says she needs you in the kitchen. Did you forget?”

    I sighed. I had forgotten. We had a big commission at the manor, and I forgot that the breads had to be started today. Sun’s day was usually my free day, when I could escape to the forest and my music.

    I stood and brushed leaves off my skirt. I followed Eriana out. I could almost hear the tune behind me, as if it, too, was disturbed by our unfinished conversation. I turned to look back at my stump. For a moment, I thought I saw a shape, a person, in the leaves, but it was only another wind-blown shower of foliage.

    Time writing: 20 min

  2. Somehow I was guessing birdwatching before you said it! Interesting character. I wonder where this is going...