Wednesday July 22nd, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the minstrel.

I managed to get a bit of weed eating done in the sprinkler rows this morning before having to shift my attention to the house. A little while later I had the truck loaded up with junk and was heading for the dump for a much needed cleanup of the yard and basement.

This afternoon a good friend from high school arrived with her family. Her, her husband, and their two kids will be camping in our yard for the next two nights before making their way back to Victoria.

I'm not sure how much work I'll be getting done tomorrow, but I feel like I should get at least a little bit of time in the garden while they're here.


"Here are the words to the song for you to sing to the king," the woman in the black hood says as she slides a wrinkled piece of paper across the table. I do not pick it up, for my hands are bound behind my back. "Please don't change a word, don't you dare change a thing."

I look down and begin to read. It does not take long for the words to disappear and for my swift death to take their place. I look up.

"Consider yourself a bringer of truth, dear singer." She tilts her head to the side but her features remain hidden in shadows. "Just make sure your weapons strike true, word slinger."

Responses tumble through my mind but none spill out from between my lips. I can thank the gag for that.

"For if they do not you just might lose a finger or two in the middle of the night." She produces a dagger from the folds of her cloak and places it gently on the table between us. "Wouldn't that be quite the sight? A minstrel who cannot play his instruments quite right?"

I could still play. Maybe not the way I did today, but I'd find a way to continue my work. Somehow or another. I would have to.

"Or perhaps, if I do not hear my pretty words sung by this fine young man, I shall just go straight for his tongue."


morganna said...

Singing his way from town to town
Over bridges, in taverns,
Never knowing where he will sleep
Going along, brimming with joy.

Greg said...

@Morganna: another neat acrostic! I like the way the verse meanders as your minstrel does :)

@Marc: "I managed to get a bit of weed eating done..." made me raise an eyebrow momentarily until I read the rest of that sentence :) That would have been an interesting morning for you, however you choose to interpret it!
Hmm, I find myself distrusting the woman in the black hood, and not just for her sartorial selections. She seems very determined to get her words in front of the King, and that kind of single-mindedness is rarely good for the object of the attention.

The Minstrel
"What's the difference between a bard and a minstrel then?" Clytie lifted her arms, all eight of them, and spread them out like the tendrils of a sea-anenome, capturing sunlight.
"Colour, I think," said Xogenes. He wasn't really paying attention; Clytie's latest body-mods disturbed him and made him look for other things to do so that he didn't have to think about them. He was building a tiny, metallic mousetrap and had a hot-glue gun gripped precariously between his arm and body. "Aren't Minstrels edible?"
"I would have thought a bard was edible too," said Clytie. "You could barbecue him. Or her. Bardecue, even! Oh, Xogie, let's have a Bardecue of our own!"
"Uh-huh," said Xogenes. The gun slipped and he instinctively pressed his arm against his side to trap it, squirting out hot glue onto a passing butterfly and affixing it to a tulip. It buzzed sadly, dying slowly. "Uh, what?"
"A bardecue! Let's find a bard and cook and eat it. We can invite all of our friends, it'll be a blast!"
"All of your friends," said Xogie. He was certain that his friends wouldn't turn up just because Clytie was going to be there, not just because she was proposing, he thought, cannibalism. "I don't think that's going to be that easy, Clytie. Bard's probably run away when you're not looking."
"Well let's get one of those edible Minstrels then," said Clytie, pouting. The bee, dead now, folded its tiny legs up as the heat from the glue contracted its muscles, and Xogenes felt a tremor of guilt. "We can feel it up on Winstrol so that it's big and meaty and then paint it the right colour to be a bard and then have a bardecue with our Winstrol Minstrel."
"Um," said Xogenes. He snapped the mousetrap shut and allowed himself a small smile of pride. "Won't that cost money that you're saving for your next body-mod?"
"Oh." Clytie's once-pretty face twisted on itself and she gave what might have been a shrug. "Oh well! How's the mousetrap coming along? Can I kill mice with it yet?"

[Minstrels are a type of chocolate :)]

Greg said...

Darn it: the butterfly should have been a bee all along, "Bard's" should be "Bards" and Winstrol is a steroid. I'm clearly not having a good writing day!

Marc said...

Morganna - that is an impressive poem packed into a four line acrostic. Very nice!

Greg - hah :P

Well, despite its apparent faults (only one of which I'd noticed before you pointed it out, by the way), this is a very fun scene. These two seem like quite the pair. I can only imagine the sort of trouble Clytie will get them into!