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With A Readers' Discussion Section in the Back
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Tiny pulled out a chair from the near-by table in which Mozart could sit as Sammy, taking a cue from the pianist, bowed to Bai Chun, motioning for her to sit at the end of the bench. He sat proudly beside her. He interlocked and stretched his fingers backwards, much to Mozart’s horror.
Sammy smiled at the girl next to him, whose wet eyes were proclaiming that she was tenderly pressing this moment in the pages of her memory forever.
“This here tune is brand new. A fella name of Johann Straus just wrote it. Calls it ‘The Blue Danube.’”
I said, “Actually, he named it An der schönen blauen Donau, Sammy.“
Sammy called back over his shoulder, “Gesundheit, Captain Sam.”
Mozart squeezed the bridge of his nose as if in pain. Bai Chun merely gazed at Sammy as if memorizing every strand of his hair, every gesture of his face, every nuance of his voice.
Then, Sammy began to play. And magic flowed from his fingers. I have no words to describe his skill. He pulled up from the core of his first love an ethereal enchantment of sound.
Does love breathe magic into being? Was this talent latent in Sammy all the while, merely biding its time for his heart to find its one true soulmate? I had no answers. I still do not.
All I know is that long, long years later as Sammy’s wife lay dying, this was the tune he played for her, barred by the doctors from her sickbed lest his boisterous nature prove too much for her weak heart. And both of them heard his playing, and for a precious, fragile, all too short moment, each thought back on older, happier times and remembered so much of the past, the dread of what was to come mercifully ebbing if only for a little while.
COMING SOON in PAPERBACK!
“To belong nowhere is a blessing and a curse, like any kind of freedom.”
– Fallen, the last fae.
He smiled as bitter as I felt and started reading:
Other Self –
If you are hearing this, then you have done what I never could, you have found a friend. We of the Tuatha de Danann hate too quickly ,love too seldom. It is why I fear we are the last of our kind.
My Hell will soon end as I bend time and space to take this stranger back to his time shore. My mind will be cleansed of the nightmare my life has become. Why do I do this? I do not know. I owe him nothing. He was, after all, an uninvited guest.
He simply arrived in this chapel through a rend in time and collapsed. Of course, his mind is erased of identity. His strange wallet has papers saying he is a Philip Darius –
I looked up at Philip. "The missing pages in Sennacherib's dossier."
He nodded grimly and went on,
-- A noble name that matches his noble face.—
Philip blushed at that. I smiled wicked. I couldn't get over it. He had actually blushed.
-- Yet, what is here to hold me? You must know all too well the hell life becomes when your body stays young as those you care for age and wither. I have left a legacy of death and terror that will not be missed.
For that, and many other reasons, I will not even give you our real name. It has come to stand only for evil and fear. I pray to the God, that cannot exist, that your legend is a better one than mine. If not, make it so, for both our sakes. I wish you could read this yourself, but the metaphysics of Eternity are unforgiving. If this man is noble, then perhaps so is his lord. I can but hope.
But Hope is a cruel mistress, and Reality delights in shattering our lives. And the name Sennacherib sounds ill, indeed.
I give you my blessings, for what they are worth, which I fear is not much. If you can find them, place black roses on the grave of this gallant knight who sacrificed so much to find so little. I go now to meet our destiny.
The Last Tuatha de Danann
I let out a ragged breath, "Shit."
He mussed my hair gently. "Such language from a faerie."
I grinned sadly, "I left all my breeding in another century, stud."
"Who could tell?"
DRAGONS OF THE BARBARY COAST
YOU WON'T BE SORRY.