Here’s my fifth Megan Monday. Enjoy!
Listen now my child, while I tell you this tale of Brennus, the great bard and enchanter of thousands. This is the opening of his history.
Brennus was an orphan. He’d lived on the streets for as long as he could remember scrounging up whatever he could get. And, occasionally, stealing. He’d always had an aversion to stealing, as if someone important was watching disapprovingly. It was, of course, a necessity for a boy of thirteen who had to fend for himself. So he stole. That’s what he was doing right now. It was simple, really: slip into a crowd and find either someone with bulging pockets, or an unwary basket of food.
He found money today. He sauntered towards the tavern. As he reached it, the most magnificent sound he had ever heard poured into his ears. He shivered with bliss, and a man walking past stared. A sudden resolve seized him, and right then he decided that he would make music like that. He hurried over to the music. A skinny, ragged man was playing a harp badly. One or two citizens loitered around, but none were listening.
“Please sir,” Brennus choked, “please, would you sell me that harp?”
The man stopped and looked him up and down. “By the looks of you, you don’t have enough money to buy food, let alone a harp. But then again, perhaps you do have some ill gotten gain.” Brennus blushed and started to mutter something, but the man cut him short. “Well, you’re the first beggar boy I’ve ever seen who had the decency to blush. And I can’t say I’m not hungry. How much do you have?”
The man sold it to him for a ridiculously low price, as even Brennus knew with his limited knowledge of such things. He picked up the harp. Oh lovely, beautiful harp! He stroked it, then strummed it gently. A man stumbled by, humming drunkenly. Brennus plucked hesitatingly at the strings of the harp, finding the tune to the drunk man’s song. There, that was it. Again he played it, this time faster. Next he added on a few notes, a few more, and a few more. Finally, it ended. It was hardly recognizable as a bar song. He looked up. There were people around him, and surprisingly, they didn’t look disgusted.
“Again, play it again!” a man said. “Probably a drunk,” Brennus thought, but the other people nodded, and murmured their assent. He took a breath, then started-not the same tune, but a different one. He picked the tune up faster this time, and expanded it rapidly. When the song was done, the people didn’t laugh or mock him. They applauded, and a few even threw coins. He stared, taken aback. He had never touched a harp before in his life, and he wasn’t anything near skillful. Well, he wasn’t about to protest. He played again, and again, till a huge crowd was gathered. He began his career that day, a career that eventually took him to the court of the king and higher.
And that is the tale of Brennus. Or leastways, part of it.