A Song in Darkness – First 532 words

How long does it take to judge your interest in a work? How long can you read before knowing whether or not you want to continue?

I’m not sure. Not really. But I’m hoping that this opening to A Song in Darkness will be enough to make any reader want to carry on with the whole thing. Hopefully in a few months it will be ready for a full read. Let me know your thoughts on this opening segment. Back to editing!

The campfire popped and hissed. It was a friendly sound that blended in well with the distant croaking of frogs and the nearby chirp of grasshoppers. Or was that crickets? The lone man sitting close by the fire could not remember which, if either, sand at night. He did now that grasshoppers were most often green and crickets were almost always a shiny black, and that either one could be used with fair results in an attempt to catch a fish. Outside of that, he didn’t care too much about the little bugs, to be honest.

After all, there were very few songs about the insects, and those that did exist were more for a gathering of children than for entertaining a tavern and he far preferred the latter to the former. Not that he was against performing at a child’s party, if the coin was right. In fact, he had especially fond memories of playing before the young son of the Duke of Rothchester. The son, a simple child of eight, was already learning to be a self-righteous and pompous as his father. But one of his tutors, she had been quite fetching. 

The man at the campfire smiled as he remember how the two of them had let their voices mingle well into the small hours of the morning. However, the house mistress was ill-amused at such harmonies and he had found himself sent on his way rather suddenly.

But that was long ago, before his face started showing quite so much of the distance he had travelled. Back when he was Lucas Honeysmile, so known for his comely ability charm even the dourest of hearts. Now, he was Lucas Whitehair, for the obvious reason. Still, he supposed he should be thankful that he wasn’t welcomed as Lucas Baldhead or Lucas Blindeyes, or, worst of all, remembered as Dead Lucas.

And there had been several times in his career as traveling musician and spinner of tales where the likeliest of outcomes had been his demise, but he had managed to cheat the odds and add yet another story and song to his repertoire. He might not be celebrated by kings and queens, but he had performed for them and perhaps would do so again. In the meantime, he was welcome at inn and tavern alike and he was healthy enough that a night or two outside, underneath stars or canopy of trees, did not slow down his next day of travel. Assuming the weather wasn’t vicious, that was.

Which was why he had been keeping a close watch on the sky as day gave way to dusk. It had been exceptionally bright and clear, the kind of day that almost had to end with a sunset that any artist would long to claim credit for. But there had been something about it that was off. Something that rang the warning bell deep inside, but he couldn’t place the reason for his discomfort.

At least not until the sun had fully sunk beneath the earth and darkness took hold of much of the land, excepting a distant patch where the orange glow remained. That was when he had known. 

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