Today, I’d like to offer you a couple of paragraphs of my short story „Finale for Harp and Voice“. It’s part of my short story collection „Here be Dragons“.
It was first printed in its German incarnation in a little anthology called „Diebe Drachen und Dämonen“. I then translated it into English and published it myself.
The main character of the tale is Lirandal, centaur and bard. Sadly, he can tell that his best days are already behind him. His greatest wish is to write one more ballad to dazzle his audience with. This is what he gets… not knowing the price he will pay.
Taking one deep breath, Lirandal concentrated on his ballad […], With a sudden movement, he raised his head and struck the first chord.
The low murmor of conversation died away. Lirandal noticed it with satisfaction. A little later he was completely enthralled in his ballad, being only peripherally aware of the great hall. His fingers danced across the strings, his voice was as full and strong as he had always wanted it to be.
He sang about a dare-devil princess who went out into the world to live through many great adventures. She had to pass several tests, use dozens of tricks and overcome countless enemies before winning the love of her life and returning home with him. Lirandal gathered all his might for the brilliant finale, her wedding. He took a deep breath, then he lifted his voice up into the rafters of the roof. He held the final, happy note for a long time, only gradually letting it dwindle to a whisper before finally silencing the strings of his harp.
Of course, much happens before Lirandal can step onto the stage for this, and more happens after he finishes the ballad…
Plus here are seven more stories in that collection for you to enjoy.