So as many of you know, I recently submitted to anthology that was published on amazon kindle. If you didn’t know that then you should buy it and write a review by clicking here. Anyway. The story I submitted was by no means complete. It was the start of a greater work that I have been outlining over the past few weeks. The outline is far from being done but I feel that I am sufficiently deep enough in the plot that I can start writing it without having to worry about scrapping the whole story. I’m posting part of the first draft that I have just written this morning below. This literally came right out of my head and you’re going to be reading about half of it. I hope you enjoy it.
The Fifth Flagon was alive with dancing and music. Lithe and vibrant it wove through the air, sprawling forth from his violin, filling the spaces that were lacking with the peace and joy that comes only from the comfort of having good beer, a roof over your head, and a fiddler who can set your feet to dancing. And dance they did.
Carth Giator watched his audience come alive to the rhythm of his music as he pulled the bow over his violin strings, spinning a melody out of the air so fluidly a spider would have been jealous of it. He smiled as he played, watching the stiff collared shirts and even stiffer expressions of the gentry slowly relax as they were swept to their feet by his song. It always amazed him how quickly music could turn a crowd of two bit politicians into a crowd of revelers that would rival any sailor’s carouse.
He laughed as he played. Give him another quarter hour and he might have even gotten the scarred army captain away from his tankard at the bar and onto the dance floor. But it was not to be this night. He finished his song, and, drawing out the last note like a sigh from his fiddle, he stepped off the stage as the Master of Entertainment announced his name.
“Carth Giator, everyone,” cried the portly red haired man as he stepped up to the large table they were using for a stage. His face was rosy and flushed from dancing with the blonde haired maiden at his elbow. Carth raised his hand to scattered applause and appreciative nods and stepped behind the stage.
“Let’s give everyone a breather before the next musician,” said the man, still slightly out of breath.
“Come off it, Trean, let’s have some more!” shouted a voice.
The man called Trean smiled, “Not all of us are as young as you, Brent,” said Trean warmly. Then he raised his eyebrow, “Nor apparently do we all possess your skill with the female sex. There were a few laughs as the two young women next to Brent flushed a deep red and pointedly looked in opposite directions.
Still chuckling, Trean continued, “There will be more music in about fifteen minutes, please feel free to visit the bar in the meantime. The more you drink, the better the music sounds!” This too got a good bit of laughter.
“I hope I sound good without the added crutch of alcohol,” said Carth to Trean as the man stepped behind the stage.
“You, my friend are a rare exception to the rule,” said Trean, still smiling.
Carth smiled back. “How did I do tonight,” he asked, “The applause wasn’t very loud.”
“That’s because everyone was still catching their breath after your song,” said Trean lightly, “you have fire on your hands, my friend.” He held out a small purse. “In total you earned twelve silver pennies and eight copper bits, not bad actually,” he said, “You should think about making music full time. If anyone could do it it’d be you.”
Carth took the purse and idly tucked it in to the inside pocket of his tunic.
“I don’t know, Trean,” he said, “Music can’t pay this well every night.”
“True enough,” Trean said gently, “Even so, if you happen to change your mind let me know, God knows we could use a good house musician.” He looked over Carth’s shoulder. “Your friends are waiting for you, it seems,” he said, clapping Carth on the back and looking him en the eye. “Think about it,” he said.
Carth nodded and made his way over to where William and Michael sat in a corner of the bar. As he passed through the crowded dance floor, several people stopped him and shook his hand, offering him drinks, trying to tie him down with invitations to play at their daughter’s wedding or their nephew’s coming-of-age party. Eventually he shook them all off and, grabbing one of the many pint sized mugs hanging from the wooden ceiling, he washed it out at a fountain and filled it up from the musician’s keg.
He received free food and drink on the days he played his fiddle at the Fifth Flagon, something that he wouldn’t be entirely opposed to for the rest of his life if he took to playing full time. Mug filled, he continued towards his friend’s table.
“Brilliant as usual,” said Michael as he approached. Carth pulled up a chair and flipped it around backwards so his arms were resting on the wooden back.
William nodded, “He’s right,” he said in his musical Tuvalian accent, “You did quite well today.”
Carth nodded, signaling to the waitress, “That’s what I’ve been hearing,” he said, “It’s almost work. Do you know how many times I’ve turned away offers to play birthdays for bratty noble’s sons?”
“Ah I wouldn’t say that too loud if I were you,” said William easily, “You never know who might be listening.”
“We’re not in Tuvila, Will, Carth’s not going to get strung up for making a general insult towards the nobility. In Riddium everyone knows that noble’s sons are the scum of the earth, including the nobles themselves.”
“I don’t under-”
“What’ll I get you boys?” asked the curly haired waitress, interrupting their conversation.
“Do you have any Braggot?” asked Will darkly.
“Sorry,” asked the waitress, suddenly anxious, “braggot?”
“Don’t mind Will here,” said Michael brightly. “He’s been sullen all night. Braggot is just mead brewed with honey and malt. You have something like that, right?”
The waitress nodded and turned to Michael, “What’ll you have?” she asked.
“Just a half-pint of draft beer for me,” said Michael. He looked the waitress in the eye, “And you name,” He gave her a wink. The waitress looked startled, almost taken aback.
“I’m just Katie for you,” she said, then she turned to look at William, eyeing his shock of blonde hair and sharp blue eyes. “But for you,” she said, taking a step closer, “I’m Sara.” She turned to Carth, “Do you need anything Carth?”
“No, Sara,” he said warmly, “I still have mine from the musicians keg.”
She nodded and, left to get their drinks.
“That’s not even fair,” said Michael once the waitress was out of earshot. “It’s your hair.”
“Maybe it’s because he doesn’t try to flirt with every serving girl he comes in contact with.” Carth looked at Michael, “They talk, you know. I’ve heard them.”
Michael looked as if someone had struck him across the face. “You mean they don’t enjoy it?” he asked incredulously.
Will just rolled his eyes towards the ceiling. Carth looked pointedly behind the bar where Sara and another serving girl were whispering to each other.
“That’s it,” said Michael with false irritation, “We have to find a new bar.”