Silent Elegiac

Fantasy, Short Story, 5K words


I met Elsan when I wandered away from the Score.

To be honest, I wandered away often. I wanted to see what lay beyond our keep. Moderate-sized Scores dotted the valley and I had visited many of them, but had never traveled beyond the Minstrel lands into the Silence, the place where those who had no music dwelt.

My name is Auren and I hail from the Serenade Score. I am of the Minstrels and we share this land with the Avarecchio, those with “miser’s ears,” as we call them. Generations ago we were one people, or at least we lived in the same cities and sometimes married each other. Musical ability ran in families, with some possessing perfect pitch and others having no sense of tones at all.

Those who had music kept to themselves and in a few generations separate neighborhoods became separate cities and, finally, we lived apart. Now it is forbidden to speak to the Silent. They have no music, and therefore they have no souls. They cannot speak in birdsong, or in the Minstrel language, a multi-tonal tongue that can communicate on several levels at once.

I didn’t so much seek out a Silent man, but I bored of the monotony of life in the Score. We all have the same talents. We can mimic the sounds of the animals and we each play numerous instruments. Our lives are lyrical: We have songs for every effort, every chore. I bored of singing arias to the washing of my clothing or the baking of bread. I wanted a bit of Silence in order to hear my own music.