Fiction Sunday 2 — "And She Danced with the Moonlight"
The Second Story for "Where the Stars Used to Sing"
And She Danced with the Moonlight
She made her way to the river while the silver swirls of stars danced across the night sky. Here, down in the valley, the stream glimmered grey as it wound its way past the old mill where a tall chimney of red brick sent lazy smoke curling into the cool night air.
There, at the edge of the water where an owl hooted and noiselessly took flight, she stopped to wait for him.
At first it seemed as if the rushing water and groaning wheel were the only sounds to be heard. Yet, as the moon rose higher and higher into the night sky, she could hear its singing become louder and louder. The song held strange words that mortals could not understand, but her it would beguile outside on the nights when the moon was waxing.
Tonight was full moon and the song stirred within her, caught her breath, let her heart beat to the strange tune that lingered on the wind.
The stars, their voices soft and far away, murmured along with the moon's song.
"Dance! Dance!" the music urged her, but she knew it was not yet time and lingered in the rushes.
The moon's silver-grey reflection appeared on the shallow water near the river bank. She stepped down towards it, bending the lithe reeds aside to step into the cold water with her bare feet. Yet she did not feel the cold, for, as she touched the reflection of the moon, the piper stood before her again.
With a grin and a wink he threw his patchwork silver-grey cloak over his shoulder and placed a plain tin whistle to his lips. The notes that he played spread out and calmed the ripples until the water was like a mirror on which he stood and played, bathed in silver moonlight.
The melody filled her veins as her feet started their own reel around the moonlit piper. The strange music caught her heartbeat and led her closer and closer upon the water until she reached the piper who now stopped the haunting notes and took her hand.
"Come with me this time," he said in a voice that wrenched her heart.
She shook her head and looked towards the east.
"They are already waiting for sunrise," she said and leaned in to kiss him. Her golden dress shone for a moment like the light of a falling star and the stars' elegy for their coming parting filled the night sky.
The moonlight faded with the dawning of the day. There were tears in his eyes as he wrapped his grey cloak around him. She closed her eyes then, unwilling to see him leave.
She started singing in a strange tongue then and the sun cast its first rays over the horizon as her tears fell into the rippling river water.
The sounds of the mortal world flooded her senses as the darkness lifted. She wiped away her tears and stared at the horizon, now shivering with cold. The sun was waiting and she needed to welcome the new day.
She lifted her voice and the golden beams streamed into the valley. One last time she looked up at the fading moon and her voice wavered. The lingering notes still echoed in her heart even as she sang and kindled the sun to warm the earth once more.
She'd have to wait, she mused. Wait until the end of days has come and the sun falls into the sea and she is released from her appointed task.
"Nogshea a'laerta indara," she sang and placed a hand on her aching heart.
"Nogshea haerta indara," she heard the piper answer before the notes of his song faded.
Welcome to another Sunday fiction newsletter!
This week I give you the second story for Where the Stars Used to Sing. Although written third, I'm planning to have this story right up front once the collection is published sometime later this year.
Obviously this artwork was just the spark for the story, but I find that most of my flash and micro fiction start out with just a quick scene or a photo or artwork that someone else have created. It's a bit strange to try and explain — I feel like I get a "wut r wurds" feeling when I try to explain!
The music of moonlight
When it comes to the music, I have to add that I really love Irish — or well, Celtic — music and some of the music can really rip out your heart and stomp on it before giving it back to you because it is so beautiful and also very emotional.
I really first heard this kind of sound from the tin whistle in the Titanic soundtrack (yes, I adore that OST) and the beauty of it really struck me.
It's also very interesting to listen to "Concerning Hobbits" and "My Heart Will Go On" to hear the different kind of music that you can use the whistle for.
For this story though, I hope that the music that people imagine will be more of the "My Heart Will Go On" kind. Haha!
The language of the sunlight and moonlight
You may be wondering what language it is that I used at the end of the story. Well, that is actually a bit of "handwavium" as it was once called on the Writing Excuses Podcast.
Instead of choosing an actual language — or using the one from The Ruon Chronicles — I basically just made up two sentences that sounds like the emotion I want the characters to feel (Another wut-r-wurds-moment). I did Google the sentences after I wrote them to make sure that I don't write some curse words by accident!
I did play with the idea of using Afrikaans for the sentences, but that just didn't feel quite right sound-wise.
I may also use this "language" in some of the other stories, but then I'd work on giving it proper structure, etc. and you can stay tuned to the newsletter to see what happens.
(The language of The Ruon Chronicles will definitely be a subject in the newsletter at times.)
I'll be back on Wednesday with another newsletter (sorry that I missed Wednesday this week, I was struck with a severe migraine on Tuesday and was quite useless for three days), but, until then, stay safe and well!
Ps. The photo I used for the image is by Alexis Antonio (Unsplash).
PPs. Enjoy "Concerning Hobbits" (Howard Shore) and "My Heart Will Go On" (James Horner/Celine Dion)!