The House of the Seventh Minuet LXV

This chapter is told from the POV of Leila Moss.

Kannada: ದಿ ಹೌಸ್ ಆಫ್ ದಿ ಸೆವೆಂತ್ ಮಿನಿಯೆಟ್ – Di haus āph di sevent miniyeṭ

October thirteenth. I would be twenty-five years old on that day– it would be a Saturday that year. A quarter of a century. I had accomplished a lot leading up to that point: graduating high school in the top ten percent of my class, finishing my language arts degree summa cum laude, and helping my friends achieve just as much. We had jobs in our fields, and plenty of freedom to be creative. I had a home of my own, Killian had found love, and I– well, I had all the time in the world.

My friends would be arriving on Tuesday, and it was Monday. I had finished the laundry, made the beds, and tidied the bathrooms. The night before, I had asked them if they wanted to be on any particular floor, and Stefan had asked to be across the hall from me, or close to it. Killian and Larsa asked to be on the second floor, though from the way Larsa was laughing in the background, I think he had ulterior motives in mind. That was fine; I wanted them to enjoy their time visiting me. One of the bigger rooms on that floor was further down the hall, more or less below the library, so I wouldn’t have to hear if they were up to what I thought they might be.

I vacuumed, too. Every floor. Every room. Not completely to show off, mind you; I couldn’t let dust accumulate, even in the spare rooms. And I’d gotten crumbs in the entertainment room. The weather was mostly sunny, so I opened a lot of the windows to let the fresh air in and the smell of cleaning products out. I used some of the more eco-friendly products on the market, sure, but fresh air was the best.

As I cleaned, I thought of how grateful I was that Great Aunt Lydia had left me with the linens and silverware and everything else. There had been plenty of things willed to other members of the family by Morrigan, but even after that, I’d been left with so much. I really was lucky. Being a writer and a lover of nature, I hardly ever got lonely living in that big house on the mountain, but I was thrilled to be having company for a few days.

Once I had all the granite counters shining, I took the runner off the dinner table to wash it, and went about polishing the wood. I was nearly done when I heard a soft hooting.

“Chopin?” I said when I looked over at the window sill. “I didn’t even hear you land.”

She cooed at me and hopped inside, then fluttered over to a nearby chair. I glanced out the window again.

“It’s the middle of the afternoon; I’m surprised you’re awake.”

Chopin hooted a few times and fluffed out her chest feathers. That was when I noticed the necklace she was wearing. It was mostly leather cord, but woven so that it wouldn’t harm her nor fall off easily. I lifted it gently off of her and took a closer look. There was a folded paper attached to it, tied with more leather cord like some sort of pendant.

“Oh, is this from Evander?” I asked, a smile crossing my face despite myself. “Just as he said he would! Thank you, Chopin.”

She cooed and watched me unfold the paper and begin to read Evander’s careful, elegant script.

Dear Lady Moss,

I am a man of my word, and I am at your service. As promised, here is another section of the Ballad of Ríocht Ceoil. I shall copy them down for you in order so as to not confuse their meaning. Until next time, please do not hesitate to send a message back with Chopin.

Dutifully yours,

Evander Faunus

Before there was music there was only silence, and before there was magic there was only metal and stone.

But then the first note rang out, and as it resounded light filled the air. The vibrations sparkled, and when the next note followed, everything glowed.

And the first stone to split gave way to a vine, and it gave a second note in answer to the first. It grew in the light, until the stone split again, and another vine emerged. Then more followed, each singing a note that sought to harmonize with the last.

On and on it went until the land was changed at every corner. There were mountains that reached up to the starry expanse and valleys blanketed in green. There were rivers and lakes and waterfalls, and oceans of aquamarine.

At the heart of it all, with a song that called out across the world, was the tree of life. It was green and vibrant, pulsing with magic and music. It stood taller than any other tree, taller even than the mountains, and it watched over all.

About Legends of Lorata

Eleanor Willow is the author of the high fantasy series Legends of Lorata, which takes place on a medieval-style world filled with elves, dragons, and faeries. There is also a fourth race, one that is rare and magical: the angelic Starr. Lorata is a distant planet watched over by four deities: good, evil, elemental, and celestial-- and there are plenty of legends about them all! One of the most important ones is the prophecy of Jenh's champion, Loracaz, who is promised to return to the realm whenever evil threatens to take hold. There are currently three books completed, and the first one can be read online. Book four is currently being written, and a fifth will most likely be in the future.
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