Theme: International Fanworks Day
Author's Notes: The main character’s identity should be guessed easily enough.
Summary: A fiddle player visits a small town and gets an unexpected compliment
Word Count: 508
I’d had no intention of performing when I entered the small town on great Anduin’s bank, for I had still coin enough to take care of my needs, and I had learned long ago that music was the best way to reawaken the whisperings of the curse that still drives me, and always will. It also draws attention to me if I play somewhere more than once in a generation. Yet the fiddle in its case on my back led to the inevitable, so here I am, sitting in a corner of the town inn’s common room, providing some of the music for a wedding feast. As the last tone of my tune fades away, I put down my fiddle, and surreptitiously flex my right hand in an attempt to alleviate the pain in it.
Amid scattered applause – for I am only one part of the entertainment, and most guests are more intent on their drinking and don’t really notice the music – one of those who were listening comes over. He seems intent on a chat, and I brace myself for a flood of compliments. As he sits down next to me, he says, “You play just like Daeron of old must have played.”
I blink, stunned, and he laughs, mistaking my confusion for modesty, false or otherwise.
“No, really,” he says, his eyes taking in my threadbare and oft-mended attire, “It’s rare enough to have a player of your obvious skill choose the life of a wandering minstrel, but the way you made what is no more than a banal, though cheerful ditty sound like a great ballad played in a king’s hall … That takes real mastery.”
I attempt to demur, and he laughs again.
“Do you play yourself/” I ask, trying to move his attention away from me, for most, if not all, men love to talk about themselves.
He nods eagerly. “I do, but I’m nowhere near as good as you are. Enough for a bit of a tune at a gathering, though, without setting the dogs a-howling, and that’s enough for here.”
I raise an eyebrow at him, and he laughs. “Don’t get me wrong; life is good and peaceful, but it can also be dull beyond belief, and I can’t help but wonder about the great stories, and what it must have been like. Can you imagine,” he asks, “how long Daeron played for Lúthien, and after loving her from afar for all that time, she falls for this stranger and forgets he is even there. That’s right cruel, and yet all that is ever sung about is Lúthien and Beren, hardly anything is said about Daeron.”
“Yet we do know all that you say about him, and the letters he made are still used after three ages,” I object.
“True,” he says, and sighs wistfully. “But enough for now, my friends are getting more beer, and I think you’re wanted to play again. Perhaps we will speak again later.”
I nod and smile as I pick up the fiddle again.Perhaps.