The Brass Ring

(A short-short by me that won the August 2011 short story contest, held by the Aspiring Writers group on LinkedIn. The theme was “Adventure”, genre was “Young Adult”, and focus was “Amusement Park”, with strict word count of 715 words)

Cecile hid her tear-swelled eyes behind her long black hair.

“Have a great time!” bubbled the park employee as she took the ticket. Cecile muttered a “thanks” and struggled through the turnstile. Dusk’s light peeked behind her, framing her slender silhouette.

At the midway, Cecile closed her eyes and immersed herself in the surroundings. The amusement park had always been her escape. The dazzling lights, smell of cotton candy, and roar of machinery — they filled her senses and muted her sorrows.
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The Language of Music

(Rhogar’s my D&D 4E Dragonborn Bard. This is a short write up on how he performs his unique brand of Comprehend Language ritual.)

Rhogar reached out and traced the unknown language on the sarcophagus with his scaly claw. He retrieved his ritual book and flipped to the back pages of the volume where they were filled with sets of five horizontal lines. Without hesitation, he bit into his index digit. He winced a little at the slight pain. A small bead of blood oozed from the wound. Then, he started tracing the unknown symbols at various positions on the horizontal lines with his blood. He let his mind navigate the musical stave. To the untrained eyes, the symbols were static. To Rhogar, they drifted and shifted along the musical lanes. Inside his head, the unknown symbols echoed and resonated a cacophony. He couldn’t help but hum along with the music formed in his head.

When he’s done tracing all the symbols, he licked his finger and the wound closed. He then took out his lute and started playing the tune he heard. First, it was rough and primitive, like a novice learning to play his first song. As minutes go by, it grew in complexity. Rhogar’s fingers danced up and down the lute, traversing the string highways. Finally, with one final pluck of a particular high note, the symbols on the pages glowed a crimson red momentarily and washed the room with sonic energy.

Rhogar put the lute back on his back. He took a deep breath, gleaming he said, “I’ve got it!”