His singing drove her nuts! Anytime he entered the same tavern his very voice made her teeth grind with aggitation. It wasn’t the quality of his voice, or even the tone. Actually, he really wasn’t all that bad at singing and playing his mandolin.
It was his songs. The topics he chose. The idiocy of his own ideas. Everything in his world was honey-sweet, creamy-smooth; altogether too cheery. Even his tragedies had unrealistically happy endings.
The appropriate dreariness of the tavern brightened at his entrance. Not because everyone was happy, but because his clothes contained their own light show. Decked out in shimmering jewels so fake not even a tiny beggar child would mistake them for something valuable. He was a blight on sensibilities and a sore in a blind man’s eye.
“Thana!” His voice breathed, elighted, in her ears as he clapped her on the back solidly and made himself comfortable next to her.
She growled in response.
“Not in a good mood eh?” His shrill voice chortled in her ear like so many twittering birds.
“I’m never in a good mood when you’re near,” she said bluntly.
“I noticed that, it’s a good thing we run into each every once in awhile or you’d likely brood yourself to death!” He laughed.
Thana sighed and rolled her eyes. “Or my life might suddenly seem brighter and less bothersome…”
“Touché, touché” He slapped her on the shoulder and got up from the bench. “Ladies and gents! May I direct your attention to this table over here?” He gestured widely at where Thana was sitting and she, in turn, buried her head.
“This is Thana the Brave! This fearless woman has saved you people countless times!” Cheers went up in the tavern, and mugs were raised.
Thana sunk further into the hard wood of her bench.
“This woman is so marvelous that I’ve written yet another song about her!”
“Gods please no…” She groaned. “I’m going to kill you bard.”
“Later,” he said, under his breath as he unslung his mandolin from his shoulder and began to strum a sunshiney tune on it.
He droned on about one of her recent adventures and Thana attempted to block out yet another warped story of his until a single line caught her attention. By this time he had crossed the room and was sitting on the edge of the bar table separating the kitchen from the eating tables. She realized with embarassment that he was singing of her tale from long ago…a tale she thought no one knew. Her story before she became a reknowned adventurer.
“His parodies have gone too far…” she growled as she glared at him menacingly. He didn’t noticed, or feigned not to.
Nary a word said they,
As they looked in each others’ eyes,
Thana and the knight,
Between them are no lies.
They were meant to be
A tale of greatest love
“Death will not separate we”
Said Thana to her love.
But the evil in her brother
Sought that very thing
He married her to another
Killed the very thing
That kept her alive…
She escaped her ruined fate
Became the people’s hope
The light in evil’s dark
Her vengeance didn’t wait…
Thana felt herself going cold all over at the mention of her past sung in such an offhand manner, but the stupid bard sung on, completely unaware of his own danger…
With a smile on her lips
And tears upon her face
She slew the evil Sar
She saved the human race…
This princess who is brave
This warrior who is strong
Bereft of heaven’s love
But no, not for lo–
The last ended in a squeak of voice and squeal of steel as an arrow found its way through the mandolin, stopping just a breath from the bard’s heart. A smile of satisfaction played on Thana’s lips as she looked evenly at the bard. She ignored the tears on her face as she walked calmly to him and pulled the arrow out of his instrument, all the while staring at him evenly.
Tapping the arrow on his chest idly, and a lilt in her voice she said, “A warning. Do not write of things you know nothing about.” She pulled out her dagger and with a snarl embedded it in the bar counter between his legs.
Satisfied, she turned away from him and walked up the stairs to the inn above. As she lay in her bed dwelling in the past a funny thought occurred to her. For the first time, one of that screw up’s tragedies actually made her cry…