EXERCISE Picture Challenge #21: Magic tunes

Discussion in 'INSPIRING MUSES' started by redblood, May 3, 2015.

  1. INFO: They say that a picture can tell a thousand words. How many can you find?

    Each week a new image will be posted, and your challenge will be to write whatever the image inspires you to write. It can be anything as long as it relates to the picture. A plot, a scene, a short story, a poem, a character, etc. You can write as much or as little as you wish. It's not the length that matters, it's what you put into it. There is no time limit to these challenges, so feel free to jump in at any time.

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  2. Sorry...as you can see, I got carried away. ^^;

    Lasenia raised her head as a sweet, melodious tune reached her ears; a tinkling, chiming sound that reminded her of the wind through the trees and the chuckling of the stream as it wended its way from one end of the forest to the other.

    No, the notes were even sweeter than that, striking with the clarity of a bell—but where on earth was it coming from? Ignoring the anxious glances of the animals surrounding her as they took off in the opposite direction, Lasenia made her way toward the sound, guided only by the notes on the wind.

    Being a woodland nymph, there was no terrain she knew better than that of the forest where she lived, the horn upon her forehead beginning to glow the deeper into the woods she ventured. She stepped deftly, careful not to tread upon the roots of the large, ancient trees gathered here, their branches gnarled and heavy with leaves.

    It was cooler here, the melody growing sharper with every step she took. Finally, she found what she was looking for—though it certainly wasn’t what she had been expecting. It was an alcove, deep in the heart of the forest, filled with flowers and mushrooms, and plant life the likes of which did not grow in her own little patch of the forest. Making her way past the oaken lattice arches, she came upon a figure with long, quilled hair in shades of blue and green, his eyes closed as his fingers danced across strange looking stones of black and white, rectangular of shape. Each time his fingers hit one of these stones, it would dip beneath his fingers, and the sweet sound she had been following would ring out.

    Each one of the notes was as unique as the one before it; some high and keening, others low and melancholy. At least, that’s how it seemed to Lasenia; as if the strange music being played was filled with all emotion and yet none.

    The figure didn’t seem to notice her; he simply continued playing the lilting tune on his strange instrument, his fingers dancing rapidly over the rectangular stones. Glancing around, she noticed that every piece of furniture gathered in the alcove—the instrument, the figure’s chair, the arches—they all were a part of the trees; none of them had been sacrificed for his comfort, but rather shaped to suit his needs, all healthy and laden with fragrant blossoms.

    Lasenia ventured closer, laying her arms across the glossy top of the instrument, transfixed by the sight of the figure playing. Now that he was only a few feet away from her, she realized he was a woodland spirit, not unlike herself; his long, pointed ears stuck out from beneath the fringe of his quilled hair, his tanned skin covered in chutes of newly grown grass and a rich green moss.

    Time lost all meaning, the music drifting over Lasenia like the gently-lapping waters of the river she so frequently bathed in, filling her with a sense of peace. She was enjoying the music so much that she hadn’t noticed the woodland spirit’s eyes open, his emerald gaze fixed on her as she began to sway in time with the music.

    It was only when he stopped playing that she gave a start, her gaze alighting on his smiling face.

    “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude,” she blushed, ears flattening in mild embarrassment, “the sound was just so beautiful that I—”

    “It’s quite alright,” the woodland spirit chuckled, the sound nearly as musical as the notes he’d been playing, “I can scarcely complain if my music attracts the attention of a woodland nymph—especially a woodland nymph as lovely as you.”

    Lasenia’s blush deepened, and she lowered her gaze. “That is most kind of you…um…” she laughed nervously, and shook her head, “I’m sorry, I forgot to ask your name.”

    “It is I who should apologize; how thoughtless of me,” he got to his feet, and inclined his head, “my name is Silvus; I am the guardian spirit of the birch trees in the southern tip of the forest.”

    Lasenia stepped around the instrument, and extended her hand to him. “Lasenia, daughter of the spruce trees that stand sentry over the crescent river.” she batted her eyelashes, completely unaware that she’d done it, her gaze fixed solely on the spirit in front of her. “It is a pleasure meeting you, Silvus.”

    He returned the gesture, gently grasping her hand and giving it a single, firm shake.

    When silence fell between them, neither one seeming to know what to say, Silvus gestured toward the chair he’d been sitting in. “Would you like to try?”

    It took Lasenia a moment to catch his meaning, her eyes widening in delight. “Oh, please! That would be wonderful.”

    Settling into the chair, Lasenia stared at the strange instrument, not moving. Then, leaning forward, she struck one of the strange stones, noticing how smooth and cool it was under her fingertip. As it dipped down, a chiming sound echoed, startling the birds in the branches above into flight.

    Within a matter of minutes, both Lasenia and Silvus were tapping away at the stones, which Silvus told her were called keys; the instrument was something called a ‘piano’. Whenever they struck one of the keys, the keys in turn struck strings hidden beneath the piano’s glossy exterior, creating the beautiful tinkling sound she had heard before.

    “…And that’s the magic of music.” Silvus finished, laughing aloud at Lasenia’s appreciative murmur.

    “The magic of music?” Lasenia ventured, her fingers going still.

    Silvus took both of her hands in his, gently guiding her from the chair and further back into the alcove. At what she saw there, Lasenia gasped, her ears standing straight up as she peered around at the wildflowers and bushes growing there.

    Literally growing, right before her eyes. “Playing music did this?” She asked, glancing over her shoulder at Silvus.

    He smiled at her, nodding. “I can do it with pretty much any instrument—even without one, if I wanted to,” he explained, “but I find music helps them grow faster…and with much richer blooms.”
    Lasenia had performed her fair share of magic before, assisting the flow of the river, healing sick animals and trees, preventing mortal eyes from finding the Ephemeral Forest—but this was beyond anything she had ever imagined.

    “Can you teach me this?” she gestured toward the red roses sprinkled with dew drops, their heady aroma filling her nostrils, “How to make things grow the way you do?”

    Silvus beamed back at her, his emerald eyes bright. “I would be honoured.”

    #2 Rebel-Dynasty, May 3, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2015
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