Minstrel Song

by dossier

Notes & Warnings

You wait impatiently; he's supposed to have been here an hour ago, although you can never count on him being on time, or even close to it. But, when you hear him pelting up the wooden stairs it's easy to forgive him because of his effortless charm and flashing smile.

He sits easily in the chair he's designated as his own, his appropriation evident by the comfortable sprawl he has affected. You return to the small, dim living room from the bright, fluorescent kitchen, with the wine, and he's got his guitar pulled across his lap. Tuning it with a chord here and there, he uses the opening chords from four or five songs to test the strings, and your curiosity is piqued, tantalized by the fragments of music he never plays except to check the tuning.

With the preliminaries over, the last chord opens onto a song that he's written; it has the peculiar sound of originality and is hauntingly familiar, despite the fact that you've never heard it before. It's a love song, sweet, simple and uncompromising, but the underlying sadness in his voice makes you want to weep. You ask him about who he wrote it for, but he shrugs it off, says he doesn't remember and grins.

He takes a drink of wine, and declares it good; he'll say the same about any wine you serve, but you secretly think he likes cheap plonk the best.

Another song is introduced with a flourish and a laugh, an ode to wine he heard once in a tavern. It's Beowulf-old, and the lyrics roll off his tongue like it's his mother's language; randy and raucous. You struggle to keep up, and he takes pity on you slowing down so you can keep up. Vivid, a picture forms in your head, of wooden trestle tables, and men from ages lost holding tankards and singing by firelight and tallow candles.

You question him about the song, and he tells a tale of knights, and fair maidens and deep forest glens, of good and evil, songs of important ages with his guitar the backdrop.

He goes on for hours. Song and wine, stories of adventures and mishaps in answer to your queries; some poignant and heart wrenching, traversing eons as quickly as his long fingers caress the frets.

The hours fly by as fast as his notes until the new dawn sends her pink tendrils through the sky, and the minstrel sees the window brighten. Startled from his musical reverie, he thinks he's kept you from your bed too long. You tell him there was nothing else that you'd rather do, but he packs up his instrument, and stands to leave.

You ask if he'll come again, and he says sure, with the quick laugh that is his faithful companion, and you think somehow, that's the way it's always been. With a grand gesture of thanks and farewell, he leaves quietly in the pale dawn, silent like cat-paws.

Locking the door behind you and wiping your bleary eyes, you go and check the recorder left running in the other room. The archivist at headquarters will be furious that you took the risk, and overjoyed with your treasure.



Fandom: Highlander

Category/Rated: Gen, E

Year/Length: 2003/ ~550 words

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Author's Notes: Heh. experimental, and for the ZoneZineII. original coverart by laylya b.

Beta: My darling Sue, of course!

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